I am new here and don't really know what to say, I am 47yrs old and the mother of a beautiful 12 yr old mixed race son. I am married to a man who is not my son's biological father but has been with us since my son was 14months old. I live in the country and it has always been my son and myself.we never had nieghbors or friends for my son to play with .Dad is always working and when he isn't working he is working on his boat or working out in his gym. My son is having problems in school .he is very undisceplined when it comes to chores(he has none) ,schoolwork etc. He has a very low self esteem and I do not know what to do.if I try and talk to his dad he gets mad and thinks I am blaming him ..well I am! every christmas my son gets a football ,but no one ever throws it with him .I am just fed up and don't know what to do and this is probably stupid but I am so alone!

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Ariana - posted on 02/07/2013

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If you are considering divorce you really should consider going into some councelling to deal with the issues between you and your husband. You have to find a way to get him to work things out and since it doesn't seem to work right now you might want some outside help doing it.

Go online and look up some couples councellors, if he seems resistant tell him you both need to work on this marriage. Ask him to try it for just 4 or 5 sessions and see if it's helpful, and let him pick a councellor.

Just try to talk to a couple of the councellors and see which one of them you both feel would be good and go. You definitely need to find a way to be on the same page.

Debra - posted on 02/06/2013

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no, you are wrong about that , My husband and my son are two peas in a pod ,they are BOTH irresponsible ,self absorbed ,people , I have threatened my hubby with divorce and he has gotten on his knees crying for me to not take his son away, They do hunt ,fish ,watch football ,everything together ,no ,you are way wrong on that , my husband would rather be my sons "buddy" than Father, he refuses to dicsipline him ,when my son does something wrong it is always someone elses fault , he spoils him rotten ,all my child has to do is look at something and it is his . The problem is that my husband will get him a football but the child has NOONE to throw it with , My husband does everything for him instead of guiding him! if I tell my son no my hubby tells him yes ,and then wonders why he is defiant with me ,no ,it has nothing to do with race. My husband came from a Father who was busy making money , he is 60yrs old ,do you know how hard it is to keep up with a 12 yr old at that age? I know I am making excuses ,but ,I know my husband loves his son , he made the same mistakes with his children ,he just never learned his lesson. I need a way to show him how to change and get really involved with our son .He is so busy "making money " for me and our son that he is losing us , how do I tell him I would rather be poor and have him than well to do and not have him?

Debra - posted on 02/06/2013

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I totally understand what you are saying ,I told my husband one time that I needed more time with him ,he told me to hire a nanny ,get a maid and find some activities ,he was busy making money, I have set up chore lists for my son over and over and over again ,it does no good when you have noone to back you up ,I am in constant contact with his teachers ,I even pay a tutor to do homework with him ,my son gets everything money can buy ,he has a horse ,dunebuggies ,go-karts ,dirt bikes etc, problem is the mechanical things break , his horse prefers me ,his father is to busy and self obsorbed , I am the full time secretary ,the laundress ,the yard person ( I tend to 10 acres and 3 donkey 2 horses by myself) full time cook full time mom Part time dad ,I alone clean the house ,I also build the house! if I ask my son to do anything all he has to do is say no and run out the door or start arguing so loud that dad tells us both to shut up. Don't get me wrong ,my husband is a good provider and he does love us ,he is just so NEEDY that it is all I can do to keep up with his needs and if I tell him anything about what we need he gets his feelings hurt . I am at my wits end ,I do not want a divorce but I feel like I have to choose between the two ,and my son LOVES his dad ,really ,they are close ,they hunt and fish together ,they "play" together ,but when it comes to responsibility my hubby is just not there

Ariana - posted on 02/06/2013

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I would try to ask your husband to take two days of the week to start having a date night with you and having a special Male bonding night with his step-son (you could also have a bonding night with your son too). Sometimes if you say, you aren't ever around etc etc it just makes the person become defensive and nothing works out (even if what you're saying is true). Giving him viable ways to fix things (have a special night with you and with his son) is a more hand-on solution.

You could just sit him down or take him for coffee and say that the 12 yr old is having a lot of issues right now and you think having him go out for a special male bonding time doing stuff together (even if it's just hanging out playing ball or going bowling, not watching a movie, something they actually do together) would be really good for him. Then tell him you'd also like time with him so that you can feel connected with him more (and agree not to talk about kids or issues during your datenight time). If he can do this your son will feel more connected to him and so will you (which will help your marriage and possibly communication if you're lucky).

For your son you say he has no chores, you and your husband should try to set chores up for him then. If you do this talk to your husband and try to agree on what chores your son should do and what consequence will be given if he doesn't do it. So maybe give him a couple chores for the day and a few bigger chores that happen once a week (vacumming, putting out the garbage). Make sure you and your husband agree on what you expect to be done and write out the chores you'd like your sonn to start doing. You could tell him, if the chores are not done by 5:30pm (or whatever time you feel suitable) he loses a privilage, like no internet, or not tv (something he likes).

When you tell the chores make sure you and his father are there to tell him what chores he will be expected to do and what will happen if it is not done. Also do not nag at him or try to constantly remind him. After the first week of chores give him the list, or put a list up that he has to check off each time he's done something, and if it isn't done by w/e time you've agreed on the consequence is given, no arguing with him, you'd simply tell him you did not do your chores so there will be no _____ tonight (or tomorrow depending). If he tries to argue with you walk away. Agree that this is what you will do so that your husband knows to also walk away instead of arguing etc.

For homework make sure you and the teacher talk to one another. Does your son have an agenda? If he doesn't get him one and have the teacher sign it each day to confirm whether he's written out the necessary homework he has (in pen preferrably). Then have a special homework time for when he gets home. Maybe give him 20 minutes and then tell him it's time for his homework and have him work on it. If he refuses to work on it I would also have a set-up consequence.

Could you enroll your son into martial arts? It's good for self-discipline and self-esteem. There might also be other boys around his age in the class and good male role models.

If your husband and you cannot seem to agree on anything after you've tried talking these things out (in a calm non confrontational manner), or you can't work things out with him I would suggest going to a couples councellor. If he is resistant to that ask him to just try it for 3 or 4 sessions and let him be the one to choose the councellor you see.

You really need to present a united front and start giving firmer discipline/limits with your son now before he becomes a full-fledged teenager and becomes out of control.

I hope things work out!

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