My step-son moved in with us full time in June.

Julie - posted on 03/05/2012 ( 57 moms have responded )

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Basically, he has had this opinion that he runs the household when his dad isn't around. He's disrespectful and refuses to listen to anything I say, argumentative and so on. How does a step-mom maintain her sanity and relationship with this stuff going on? His dad doesn't really punish him in any way for the behavior, he says he's going to but then he doesn't. As a result the behavior has continued since June and seems to be getting worse. I'm at the end of my rope with him.

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Jodi - posted on 03/05/2012

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This has to be an issue between you and your husband. You NEED to discuss this with your husband and make HIM accountable for his son's behaviour, or at the very least, get on the same page with regard to your house rules. Tell your husband he absolutely MUST lay down the law on this, and MUST advocate you as his partner AND an authority in the house, or there WILL be consequences. There are consequences that 14 year olds will listen to.



And then, you let his dad know that if he does not follow through with those consequences, you are out. If it is that bad, he needs to understand where you are with this. It isn't acceptable. If my 14 acted like that, he wouldn't know what the sun looked like except when I took him to school and picked him up. And he knows it. My step son (who is almost 13) knows it too. And a BIG part of that is that my husband and I ALWAYS show a united front, and alsways follow through.



From what I can see, you can't do this without your husband's help, and that doesn't seem to be happening.



Just out of interest, have you and your husband had any counselling on this? Maybe that is an option? Some sort of family counselling?

Jodi - posted on 03/05/2012

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Julie, you talk about your step son not responding to counselling....what about your husband? Your husband seems to be a part of the problem, and he is not listening to you and not making the effort HE needs to. Would you and he benefit from counselling on this issue without your step son?

Jodi - posted on 03/05/2012

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I think you need to have a very LONG, serious talk with your husband, and absolutely draw the line, and then ensure he sets up a time to then sit down with you and his son so that the TWO of you can show a united front as to the rules in your house, whether his father is there or not. There has to be a very clear set of house rules, not just what goes when dad is home vs. what goes when you are there on your own.



You haven't mentioned how old your step-son is, so I don't have much else......

Julie - posted on 04/19/2012

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Kim, unfortunately it isn't that easy. My goal in my family is to help all of the children be successful adults. His behavior is BECAUSE he wants me to throw him out. We have started counseling and of course he's trying to get out of that too. However he isn't going to get out of it. He has no privileges and no privacy right now because of his behavior. He goes only to school and home and to karate class on Monday nights. (He would have to be there anyways because my other two are in it and he isn't staying home alone, no way!!!!) Hoping that once things get rolling he might just see the error of his ways and possibly turn into a respectful, successful adult one day...

Julie - posted on 03/08/2012

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You are correct on the part about my husband, he doesn't want to discipline his own children...for the same reason my step son doesn't want to disappoint his mother...fear that they will go away. To make things a bit more clear....I have set aside one on one time with my step son and taken him shopping and out to lunch and a number of other things. He is well behaved when we are together and for a short period of time afterwards, but as soon as we are back in the "main stream" so to speak, he changes gears. Over Xmas break, he saw no one and did nothing...by the end of break he was helpful, courteous and kind. Three days back and school and he was again horrible and disrespectful. I don't drop my kids anywhere on their own....that would be his bio mother that does things like that. Pretty much he wants to not do homework, not help out with household chores and not do anything that he would consider "work"....and lord forbid if he is told to do "woman's work"....I am an independent woman and I do alot of "man's" events. I've never been one to stand back and say that's too hard or I can't do it...until I tried it first. I hunt, I fish, I cook, I clean, even fix vehicles once in a while. My own son who has of course been around me all of his life thinks I'm the coolest mom on earth...at the same time fears me when he has done wrong. He is usually respectful and courteous....but I don't expect perfection. I think if anyone ever has a perfect kid...something is truly very wrong! My husband is taking the boy to the doctor today and is requesting several tests....a drug test for one to rule out that influence. We are aware of several of the "friends" at school have been caught using and that is a major concern. But to explain the situation a little better, my step-son has no respect for woman and thinks that they have no authority in any situation. Two days ago I began asserting myself a little bit more, getting right back in his face when he "tells me how it is" and while the situation isn't improving yet.....he's developed a healthy fear of my own discipline....yet I have only gotten in his personal space and told HIM how it is. Last night was a perfect example of him thinking he is "due" special treatment. He started an arguement with me over math homework (I have a master's degree in accounting...it was too hard, there are too many steps, I don't know how to do it, etc. So rather than allowing him to argue while his dad was busy doing something else, I told him to sit down, shut his mouth and wait until his dad was present to mediate. He was not happy. Eventually he began arguing with me in front of his dad....so his dad got a true picture of the real situation. I have a favored phrase I use when all of my children pout about things that they have no control over....I say "suck it up princess and get it done"...he got very angry with me over that. Well, I do it to all the kids even some adults...not going to tip-toe around his belief that he's better than everyone....we are going to break this learned behavior and correct his bad habits....he'll hate me for a while I'm sure....but I guess in my opinion if my children do not hate me at some point in their lives....I'm not doing my job! :) Another part of my motto with my kids is "Do your best, forget the rest"...we can't ask our children to do better than they are able....it's when they don't try to reach their full potential that is very unfortunate.

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Kathy - posted on 09/21/2012

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My stepson just turned 18. He basically does what ever he wants with no consequences. He has a lot of anger issues related to neglect from bio mom. He is disrespectful to me and his father. The other day I found bullets in his room. He has rifles as he likes to shoot. I do not have a problem with that but we always keep the bullets in the safe. He said he is 18 and he can have the bullets. I told him not while he is in our home. His father locked the guns and bullets in the safe. His bio mom is always buying him swords and knives. She is very difficult to deal with. My stepson is very interested in weapons which makes me feel uncomfortable.Am I paranoid? I just feel scared in my own home. What should I do? I have told a lot of people about this as I worry that he might do something to harm me.

Kim - posted on 04/19/2012

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umm, your house, he can act respectfully in your house or get out. You need to have a long talk with your husband, & if he still doesn't wise up, well, there may be more than 1 person's stuff sitting at the side of the road & the locks changed...

Mercy - posted on 04/15/2012

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I can what u going thru because I have a 17 year old step-son, he was disrespectful to me and two girls before when his dad and I got together. Nasty words was said to me and my girls and at that time my husband and I argue a lot to the point we almost split up. All I did is I keep on adding extension in my rope as if I have more floors to climb before I reach the top. I had a few heart to heart talk with him I opened up to him, basically I become more humble and think that we are the adults so we should be more understanding. They are going thru so much in their life right now and its hard for them to accept new things in their lives. My step-son got a little better to me and my girls after 7 years, things aren't perfect still but its much better now than before.

Julie - posted on 03/30/2012

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Hi everyone, wanted to update you on things since several asked to be kept posted! :) My step-son was finally evaluated yesterday (not because I took so long to do so but because ya know the schedules are just so full...). He discovered that he can't get away with his stories to the counselor and has decided he doesn't want to go to counseling....and got very angry with his dad for saying he had to. In the 10 plus years I've been with my husband I have NEVER seen him react that way to any situation. Yet still the boy persists with this bad behavior. Says he doesn't want to go to counseling because he's going to be insulted...I'm telling you he seems to have absolutely no clue about how he's making everyone feel and how he seems to not care about anyone and how his behavior is affecting them.....I will update more when things get moving on counseling....his first "therapy" session which is supposed to be for everyone he's affecting is on the 10th.

Julie - posted on 03/11/2012

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Hi Tracie, thanks for your input. We have done all of the above. The major issue is that he doesn't seem to really care about the consequences and doesn't think he is to blame for any of it. Any time he gets in trouble he refuses to take responsibility for his own actions and questions why he is being punished. When his dad leaves he treats everyone here horribly. Tonight he has to go with me and the other two to a boy scout meeting because his dad has to go to work before we will be home....he is not trustworthy enough or responsible enough to leave home alone, especially with the nosey neighbors that we have. I'm really not sure what other discipline we can invoke on him, he's grounded from all electronics as well as being unable to go out or use the phone...not allowed to do basically anything and yet still he persists....

Tracie - posted on 03/11/2012

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You and your husband need to sit down and make a list of "house rules" that EVERYONE in the house must abide by. With this list, there needs to be clear, written consequences for breaking the house rules. The two of you then sit down and go over the rules and consequences with your step son. That way, if he breaks a rule and dad isn't around, it should be no surprise to him the consequence he receives. A harsher consequence may be needed for refusing to comply with the first consequence. (I suspect you will get resistance the first few times you try impose a consequence) This is a tough situation, but together you can create a loving, safe, happy home for everyone to enjoy. Good luck!!

Kim - posted on 03/09/2012

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Yeah I knew the ADHD had been ruled out, the post was showing how many kids (percentage) can have it with ADHD etc. Sorry to hear about the set back. I don't like medicating my son for ADHD either, but it was a choice of an unquality life to quality life decission. I don't like our RAD child (due to the bio mom abuse and neglect) being medicated either....sometimes things go on for so long they have to be retrained if they don't show they can be you have to give into the idea of either taking the medication road or losing them to the system now or when they are older...so I fully understand you hesitation on the medication...OH and GOOD LUCK with the RESUCES!!!

Julie - posted on 03/09/2012

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First, ADHD for this boy has already been ruled out. His bio mom put him on the drugs because the school he was at threatened to contact the courts because he was so out of control. He is somewhat out of control here, but not totally. I have a son who is SEVERE ADHD...so I know those challenges, frustrations...and the intense rewards that are found with that type of special child. ODD has been suggested. The friends that he hangs out with are those that are unrestricted in their home life, have absentee parents that have no idea (and probably no interest) in what their kids are doing or who they are doing it with. And I'm sure as soon as it was said that he's in with the wrong crowd, he made certain he found even more of those types to hang out with. I did take away his food rewards. His favored "snack" is ice cream....I paid for the ice cream this time around and made it clear that I will choose who and when earns it. (My daughter is an ice cream addict and will do any chore i request with the promise of ice cream...even dishes!) The snack program was implemented to help my son with ADHD in the evenings when his meds wear off and he is starving. I'm not a big fan of any ADHD drugs and the doctors in this area will not prescribe them to a child who is not ADHD. In fact, my other son who has ADHD has also been said to have a bit of ODD (not so much anymore but originally) and they wouldn't even look at that until his ADHD was at least partially controlled. Definitely not a fan of Risperal...it made my ADHD son totally uncontrollable emotionally....and as a result I would be very hard pressed to convince my husband to allow it's use either. I had thought we were making more progress...but last night we had the same issues over the same subject and the same problems.....then today he got in trouble at school again for being disrespectful to staff....a female teacher of course. The doctor did say that he does need counseling and isn't ruling out depression but cannot prescribe anything until he has psychiatric care (our dr. is kind of a wimp when it comes to that)...and because of our insurance, I can only go to the clinic where they totally messed up with my ADHD son....parenting classes and all these activities to work on making the parent a different type doesn't work until the actual problem is addressed. My step-son has absolutely no understanding...or maybe just doesn't care....about anything outside his own person. Everything he says and does screams ITS ALL ABOUT ME....and around here...that's not an option. (I say this as I'm sitting here with my own rescued dog and a stray that showed up a few days ago....I'm now fostering the stray until the pet rescue can find her a home....what was I thinking?????? LOL)

Kim - posted on 03/09/2012

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Glad you knew what I was speaking of when I said DDD instead of ODD. I have gone through and read all the new post and glad to see you made some headway.



Here is some info on medicating children with ODD.







How to Improve Your Child's Behavior











Description of Oppositional Defiant Disorder



Oppositional defiant children and defiant teens consistently refuse to follow commands or requests by adults. These children repeatedly lose their temper, test adults, and refuse to comply with rules and directions. Defiant children and teens become annoyed easily. They refuse to take responsibility and blame others for their mistakes. These children are stubborn and obnoxious, and even as young children they test your limits and your patience.



Defiant children and teens are extremely manipulative. Everywhere they go they are surrounded by discord. They incite family members to fight with each other and in doing so, turn attention away from themselves.



Here is a list of characteristic behaviors seen in Oppositional Defiant Disorder children. They include:



* Getting angry easily

* Arguing and talking back to adults

* Defying reasonable requests

* Bucking rules

* Intentionally bothering people

* Pushing their limits

* Not taking responsibility for their mistakes or misbehavior

* Getting easily annoyed

* Getting angry easily * Being resentful, spiteful, or vindictive.

* Speaking harshly

* Being brutally unkind when upset

* Seeking revenge

* Having frequent temper tantrums



Medical Treatment of Oppositional Defiant Disorder



Recent studies demonstrate that certain medications can help with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The research is preliminary, but the studies show that under certain circumstances medical treatments may help.



In one study, Ritalin was used to treat children with both ADHD and ODD. Researchers found that when treated with Ritalin, 90% of the children no longer had the ODD. However, this was a poorly executed study. The researchers dropped a number of children from the study because they were too defiant to take their medication as scheduled. Still, even if these children are included as treatment failures, the study still showed a 75% success rate with Ritalin.



In two separate studies, researchers examined the use of Strattera on children with both ADHD and ODD. One study showed that Strattera helped, one study showed it did not help.



In Canada, researchers found that Risperdal helps aggressive children of below normal intelligence. ADHD was not a factor. It didn't matter if the children had ADHD or not.



In another study, 80% of children with explosive behavior improved when given the mood stabilizer, Divalproex.



ODD Alternative Medical Treatment



No extensive studies have been run testing alternative medicine in ODD children or defiant teens. However, an alternative medicine that helps with ADHD should be effective with ODD. There was a pilot study examining the use of Omega-3 oils and vitamin E in ODD children. Both helped the problem behavior to some degree.



Psychological Intervention for Defiant Child Behavior



The main treatment for Oppositional Defiant Disorder is parental management. That means parents of ODD children or defiant teens need to improve their parenting skills in order to meet their child's particular needs and maintain their own sanity.



Originally, these programs were given by health care professionals either privately or in group settings and were expensive and not available everywhere. However, research has come out that demonstrates that a well structure home study parenting program is just as effective, less expensive, and far more convenient.



Here is the link that I got this information from which has way more info on it. http://addadhdadvances.com/ODD.html



Glad your doing the drug test etc. Please keep us updated on the test results and suggestions by the doc. One thing I would change, is the rewards with food, and reward with fun time, ex: fishing, Martial arts lessons (which he probably needs to learn disiplain).



Again so glad to read the headway and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for fast improvement. The one we have issues with in our house has RAD.... Can't wait to read the updates! Best Wishes!

Debbie - posted on 03/08/2012

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Julie, my hat is sincerly off to you. Don't leave. This can be worked out.



Drugs?- If he is experimenting with drugs, he would be an average teen. The problem occurs *IF* he is trying to self medicate an un-addressed ADHD issue. Wrong meds for ADHD will only lead to experimenting with different drugs to compensate for Over or Lower mental stimulation.



The wrong crowd- birds of a feather flock together. He must be *getting* some need filled by those friends. If he isn't getting something out of the friendship, he will move on to different people.



GREAT work reaching out to him with lunch and shopping- keep in mind those are what girls like to do more than boys. Boys like games and discover what *position* in life they feel comfortable with by playing games. (example baseball- everyone plays their position and some like to be in left field and some like to play pitcher. Everyone learns how to co-operate and YOU can establish your position with him by playing games with him. ) sounds crazy and simple- but it is true.



by games- I mean one's like on the Play Station, x-box, wee, multi-player online computer games or physical one's like basketball or baseball. It would be best if ALL of you could play together. The whole family at the same time. Then you all can *learn* which positions you can feel comfortable with and what the other players can count on from that person.



I KNOW THIS MIGHT SOUND CRAZY OR SIMPLE. But it can't hurt to try. You all might have a little fun together.



Keep up the wonderful work Mom!!! :)

Debbie - posted on 03/08/2012

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1/2 of who a person *is* is biological. The other 1/2 is environmental.





Diana Baumrind- 4 styles of parenting and combined control

I) Authoritative ( Assertive)- what all should do best to achieve-

¨ High support, warm and supportive, high control

¨ Reasonable expectations

¨ Encourage verbal dialogue

¨ Will engage in conversation about rules

¨ Respond positively to accomplishment

¨ Outcome--- cheerful self reliant – achievement oriented co-operative





2) Authoritarian ("Too Hard"): the authoritarian parenting style is characterized by high demanding ness with low responsiveness. The authoritarian parent is rigid, harsh, and demanding. Abusive parents usually fall in this category (although Baumrind is careful to emphasize that NOT all authoritarian parents are abusive).

¨ Outcome--- unhappy, fearful anxious, reluctant to take imitative limited communication skills. cheerful self reliant – achievement oriented co-operative



3) Indulgent parent ("Too Soft"):

¨ Overly involved/ coddling

¨ Overly protective

¨ The permissive parent is overly responsive to the child's demands, seldom enforcing consistent rules.

¨ Outcome--- disrespectful, domineering entitled, egocentric, narcissistic, insecure non compliant. The "spoiled" child often has permissive parents.



4) Neglective parent-

¨ Low support

¨ Low control

¨ Few rules

¨ Not enforced

¨ Uninvolved- disengaged-

¨ Little dialogue

¨ Outcome--- poor self control -Immature-Alienated- Low self esteem





I am sure your son is making a switch from his other Mom's parenting style to your family's style.



And at his other house HE might be more of the parent then his other Mom. If so, he is used to taking care of his self to some extent.

Debbie - posted on 03/08/2012

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Julie!!! YOU GO GIRL!!!!! You are taking so many steps to your goal of harmonious family!!!! I am full of smiles reading your post on how you are standing your ground. I learned some things in my Psych Decampment class which may help you further. I think you are taking the steps that you need.

Debbie - posted on 03/08/2012

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This is an issue between you and your hubby--- not the kid. He is just shinning a light on a HUGE issue which is your hubby likes to take a back seat when his son is concerned. Your hubby acts like he just doesn't care to be bothered. The reason taking the privileges away from him doesn't work is the REAL thing he wants is a closer relationship with his daddy AND YOU.



He wants his dad to make Daddy and me time. Movies, fishing, playing x-box together etc.



The best way to discipline a child is to FIRST have a good PLAY (ING) relationship. He will open up through play- this applies to YOU too. YOU need to find common ground, and the only way is to make 30 mins of *special time* with your sons 2 or more times per week.



Mention this to your hubby. See what he does with this information.



Then YOU need to be open to your sons teaching you how to use the game controllers and educate yourself on how to play. OR take him fishing. Just dropping him off at the movies or the mall is NOT what your son needs. He wants to connect.



After you have a good time doing something together--- then you can have a heart to heart and tell him how it IS NOT ok to talk to you that way, and YOU don't want it to continue. Tell him you love him and wish to have mutual fun and respect but you are his MOM and he has the benefit of having 2. (say from the heart, not my way or the highway) But you are in charge when Dad is not around.



Tell him hopefully he can abide by this so you all can enjoy each-other.



I KNOW you want a better relationship with him. I know you love him and want this to work. You are a good Mommy. Let us know how it goes. Good luck :)

Kelina - posted on 03/07/2012

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That's awesome that your husband is supporting you on the doctor! it's a step in a good direction. Hopefully it's just the beginning. I know this might sound weird but do you guys eat a lot of corn or wheat? I remember the change in my friends dad after he found out he was allergic to it. Beforehand, he was this ornery bad tempered guy, and after he found out and started eating right, WOW he actually cared about his kids, tried to develop relationships with them, and was just a nicer kinder person in general. It was a huge difference.

Venessa - posted on 03/07/2012

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There is a lot of send him back to his mum going on and that seems it would simply only serve to ostricise him more. If it were me I may be feeling unwanted at the moment. His Dad definitely needs to step up, but I don't agree at all the a step parent shouldn't discipline. Who disciplines the other children, how old was your step son when his parents split, how often did he see.his dad until he moved in?

Beth - posted on 03/07/2012

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Boundaries MUST be set and reinforced. If not, it will eventually take a toll on your marriage. You must have your husbands support or this will never work. Good luck, my heart goes out to you.

Julie - posted on 03/07/2012

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Thanks Liz, the issue with the bio mom is that she too likes to play the game of "oh that's not allowed in my house either"...but it is. She won't stick to the rules or the punishments that we have put down and when he finally does go to her house, she lets him do whatever he wants just so he doesn't "bug" her. It's been a problem for the last 10 years, she wants to sound like she's doing this wonderful job of parenting but its fairly obvious that there's been quite the lack of rules, structure and discipline. Someone asked earlier if I include him in the structure of the household...absolutely...but he doesn't want to BE a part of the family. To be clear, he WANTS the same as others receive but wants to DO nothing to earn it, looking for a free ride basically...same with the homework, he wants others to just give him the answers instead of having to do the work himself.

Liz - posted on 03/07/2012

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Inform the child your house your rules. Don't treat as a step child treat him as your own. Would you allow your own to do that? I think not. Inform your husband what you are going to do and if he doesn't agree inform him that it has to be that way. I know it sounds harsh and domineering but it is your house too and you are also a parent. If his mother gets involved sit down with her over coffee and tell it like it is . Disrespect is not tolerated. If that doesn't work prayer always helps

Julie - posted on 03/07/2012

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Again this morning I wake up to some wonderful suggestions that give me the strength to work through another day. Last night was the battle of the boys around here....my own son AND the step-son were trying to get out of homework. For my son, that's pretty typical unless he gets an extra dose of his ADHD meds because by the time he gets home he can't sit still long enough to focus on anything...but I made him do it anyways. The step-son worked through about 3 problems and then decided he was done for the night...until I asked to see his homework and realized he had a TON of work that wasn't done,,,when I went to bed his dad was still making him work on it. To answer Kelina, he tries to sneak energy drinks, but they are forbidden in my house and his dad and told him he's not to drink them EVER. My older daughter used to drink them constantly...they caused her to be an instant brat as they wore off. We found out later on Monday that he had consumed several over the weekend, he was complaining of a headache and I questioned why he had a headache...he said lack of sleep, which I latched right on to because I had sent him to bed earlier than normal the night before as he had started arguing with me. I did pretty much lay down the law with him and his dad last night too...confessed to making him a dr. appointment and was rather amazed when his dad agreed with me. Also pointed out that he can continue trying to embarrass me in public, I don't really care, he's just making himself look bad when i don't bow to his wishes in front of his friends. I've considered getting a nanny cam and recording his behavior when his dad isn't here, I have recorded his arguing with my phone and he still tried to deny he said any of it and tried to blame me. OF COURSE. What you are all saying makes perfect sense....the issues are of course a bit more complicated as my husband continues to flip-flop on the discipline. I'm noticing as his son is creating more problems he seems to be taking it out on our other two children by yelling at them and so on. I think he's just as frustrated but is still afraid to seriously discipline his child. I try to feed the entire family a healthy diet..there is of course some snack foods here at all times that I use as a reward system. Unfortunately when my husband gets involved in that he also ruins the process by saying it isn't fair that the others get the snack and his son doesn't, even if the others have earned it and his son hasn't. Moving on to see what the day will bring....tomorrow he goes to the dr. to see about care for depression and with that my husband is 100% on board.

Kelina - posted on 03/06/2012

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So I have a suggestion about your hubby. It worked with mine but it was a totally different circumstance(cleaning our house adn picking up after himself) but have you tried making him see his son and himself as a father as an outsider? My point with my hubby was that if he did the things at work that he did at home he'd be fired. Have you tried asking him what he would think if he saw the same behaviour from a kid while on the job and what he would think needed to be done? I've tried to read your posts thoroughly but my concentration is getting a little off track so if you've already answered this I apologize, but is your hubby in counselling with you? Do you think that that would be helpful if he did? sometimes when people hear the same things over and over from the same person they begin to tune it out. A third party can be really helpful. I'm also sure you've had this argument many times before, but maybe sitting him down when the two of you are calm and talking to him about not just him disciplining his son but you as well. If he feels like you're overstepping your boundaries by disciplining him that's probably going to carry over to your stepson-dad doesn't think it's right therefore it's not and it's ok to do whatever he wants because dad will get mad at you later for it not him. Another thing someone mentioned in passing but gave me a great idea is what kind of food does he eat? one thing I've noticed as a trend on CoM is that when kids have issues like this, food can often be a contributing factor, especially if their diet is high in processed foods, or really sugary things, or even msg. I know that considering he's a teen he probably eats everything and anything and you don't have a whole lot of control over it, but have you tried limiting things like that in the food you as a family eat and have in the house? From what I've heard energy drinks are all the rage these days( never had one-caffiene makes me drowsy lol) so if he's drinking those that's probably a big contributing factor.

Joyce - posted on 03/06/2012

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You need to have a serious talk with his father. If he only does it when his father's not around, maybe you could get a small cassette recorder and record what he says to you. Or even rent a video camera, leave it on, and cover the little red light. Most parents don't want to admit their children are acting like little brats. Good luck!!!

Connie - posted on 03/06/2012

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You need to have a talk with your husband, the child needs to know whats what, and whos who, he needs to have displine as well. Good luck with this one.

Heather - posted on 03/06/2012

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I would ignore him for the most part. Tell him that he is responsible for himself. He needs to make his own meals or he can eat when you make meals, but he must be respectful of you because this is your house too, and he lives with you now. Tell him that as long as he continues to act the way he is, you will not give him money when he wants it to hang out with friends. That he has to earn it and set a good example for his younger siblings.



Try taking him out, just you and him, and talking to him. Tell him that you want this to work and that you don't hate him. He might think that you don't like him.



Talk to your husband and tell him that you will take over with the discipline of your step-son if he won't. Tell your husband that by not following through with things, that he is teaching HIS son to act like this, and treat you with disrespect. This boy wouldn't treat you this way if his dad would step up to him and tell him to behave.



Try taking things away from him if he acts rude, disrespectful, etc. You can also tell him that if he wants to eat (certain things, soda, chips, cookies, things that teens love), that he needs to help out around the house and that you need his help to keep things going when his dad is gone.



Try sitting down and talking to him, and let him know that you make the rules when his dad is there or not. Your husband needs to be in agreement with you on this. If his son is going to live in your house, then his son needs to listen and be nice, and set a good example for the other children. If there are other kids in the house?



I hope this helps. But try talking to him

Kirsten - posted on 03/06/2012

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It is important for you and dad to get on the same page with discipline and your parenting goals. Discussions on parenting will be ongoing while you are all a family. What I have learned is that as a step mom you should be supporting what the mom and dad decide as parenting for the child. As dad's partner you two have control over what goes on in your house and if you two are on the same page, your ideas will still have an influence on parenting with the biomom as well. It's important for your relationships that both you and dad have equal time with work AND play with your child so that one person isn't always the bad guy all the time. I hope this helps!

Michelle - posted on 03/06/2012

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Hi there...so sorry to say that this is hell! Fortunately I have just gone through my ordeal with my stepson...he was almost 4 when I *took him under my wing*....and then 10 years of fury and battles and no discipline and stealing and lying and bullying younger siblings..you no the story..No support from the other mother...and freak times doing homework....Anyway..I eventually lost it...His doorslamming, cursing tantrums seemed nothing to the tantrum I showed. It worked....he was terrified...he could not depend on my dependability ! I was not going to feed into his drama...I dragged him off to the beach(wonderful & soothing...water eased him......out in the nature... and changed his diet....Anyway..I made it clear in a calm nonscreach manner that I was the queen of this castle....he could leave when the time was right..(and when the time came..he did)..but had responsibilities in this family as a big brother ( but you have probably said so already) Its really hard but try not treat him like a kid, do not try mother him, he has a mother....He is confused, frustrated, hormonal, his world has changed.....and you are the only one he has to take it out on...which means he trusts you, he cares for you (but is just too sensitive to deal with it..believe it....!Think something possitive when he comes back from school, (I usually had a moan..not cool...the clash of the titans!!! I listened without critisising....and stopped playing the victim ...and just started being myself...I no longer needed to get approval from the family's opinion...that I was doing something wrong.....I am a good mother......to everyone..So when you have a *guest* in the house , be *nice*....His fury is not worth the emotional trauma the chaos causes the family....and weakening you...All you need is love and to be loved.....good luck xxx

Kalyn - posted on 03/06/2012

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If your husband is a local police officer, you can speak with the captain of the state police and explain the situation of your husband being a local law enforcement officer, and that your step son is a out of control child, or if he is with the state police you can speak with the sheriff , or inform him if need be you will speak to his captain and explain what is going on and a number that can be called directly for your safety because you do not believe things will be handled appropriately when it comes to your step son and it will be swept under the rug, even if that means getting him on probation, I totally understand your predicament except my step son is every other week and i too have a child with a combined ADHD..ODD..Anxiety..some OCD who is 5 and a second child who is 4 who has severe speech and language articulation, my step son hangs out with kids that steals..honestly im not sure if he wasnt in on it, constantly lies...over and over and over again, priorty is social life before school work, He runs the house at his mothers attempts it here, I have a strong personality so he has some fear of me, but none the less, I understand it, I just told hime he keeps it up he wants to keep failing school,keep lying etc, I will bring home the emancipation papers since you dont care about school, quit get a full time job and be the adult you think you are in your own apartment

Julie - posted on 03/06/2012

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I do regularly speak with a counselor as first dealing with my own son who has ADHD (severe) is very difficult. It has taken me quite a while to learn to control what I say and how I say it to avoid setting him off and making a bad situation worse. One issue that I run into with involving any law enforcement is that my husband is an officer....so basically at his say so they can easily sweep it under the rug. The biggest issue is that he just does not ever follow through with his discipline. And when I do follow through then I'm the bad guy, which is fine, but the disrespect and aggressive behavior is out of control. Every time he's in front of me after one of the problems with the step son he does defend me and he does say that his son's behavior is not acceptable, but when it comes right down to the punishment, there really is none. But oh boy heaven forbid my own son ever talked to me even close to how that boy does...first he'd get it from me and then my husband would be all over him. Which I don't understand....I have in the past been forced to discipline my step-son and it turns out very badly. Because again he has no respect for women so if I take ahold of his arm and force him to face a situation he actually takes a swing....he doesn't do that with his dad. I've actually told him in the past to go ahead and swing, give me a reason to make a phone call. He knows the consequences will be dealing with his dad...and he doesn't want to do that...but the mouthing off continues and the arguing and the disrespect....I've made him an appointment for this week to go see his doctor. He definitely isn't going to be happy about it....but oh well. I don't like the behavior or the situation....

Kalyn - posted on 03/06/2012

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Julie,

a couple of things, 1.) I would get counseling for myself and your counselor maybe able to help you figure out whether its dhhs (department health and human services) or the court house or the police department with dealing with an uncontrollable child even if its gettingon probation

2.) get couples counseling, your husband needs to learn how to communicate and grow a set of Kahunas and speak up in your behalf, which will teach his son that woman are to be treated with respect that every action has a reaction...there will be a consequence, and if he wants to continue to mouth off to the female teachers and flunk his classes that is fine with you but you will not bail him out of jail if the teacher presses charges if he threatens her in any manner, and you will press charges on him as well if he threatens you or lays a hand on you, you mentioned you told your husband you would leave if he didnt start to man up, maybe you need to pack a few things and show him you are dead serious, but you may be better off keeping the law involved to protect you seeing your husband is not

Julie - posted on 03/06/2012

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We've had him tested for bi-polar ADHD autism and everything else. He has no issue following instructions from his dad....he doesn't have any rules with his mother and refuses to see me as an authority figure. He's even went so far as to try to tell the younger two children how things are going to be and enforce his own rules with them....probably not a good idea as both of them are skilled in martial arts and know that they can use them to defend themselves.....hehehe. I have made an appointment for him to see the doctor on Thursday and I have made a call to yet another counseling clinic and am waiting for a call back on that. He is very angry and probably has good reason to be, but that doesn't excuse any of this behavior. My son has a medical condition and that's not an excuse either. Learn to control and learn to follow rules...something he hasn't had to do. I'm sure if we just give in to him and let him do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted there wouldn't be any problem. However that's not the answer. But it's not just me he likes to try to bully, he does it to his own mother too. He speaks down to her like she is his servant...a behavior that has been allowed for a long, long time.

Julie - posted on 03/06/2012

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Agreed...I have just taken it upon myself to make a doctor appointment for him this week. His dad happens to be working day shift today. I'm sure I am out of line...but ya know, this is a case where something HAS TO be done and if he ain't gonna do it....

Julie - posted on 03/06/2012

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He sounds like my nephew who is Bi-polar. One characteristic is not being able to listen to authorities. He ended up breaking up the family and is being raised by his Grandparents.

Jennie - posted on 03/06/2012

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Depression in teenagers often looks like anger rather than sadness. Get him to a doctor and on medication ASAP! That will help to calm things down as you work on the other issues. Nothing can be done until his mental health is stable. However, do not let him walk on you or argue with you in the mean time. There is no room for discussion with a child who is doing the wrong thing. There shouldn't be any argument. Tell him what you need to and end the conversation. He is not your peer and it's about time he knows it!

Julie - posted on 03/06/2012

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I agree and have brought it up to my husband since he does know one of the more senior people there and could easily make it happen. I think that my husband is afraid of disciplining his son because for 10 years he only saw him on a few weekends of the month. Even last night he was already breaking the rules that his dad had laid down just that morning as soon as his dad was out of sight. And therein lies the problem....there were no consequences and he mouthed off to me in public (which I don't care) but you know he's just trying to look tough in front of the so-called friends.

Danielle - posted on 03/06/2012

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Heres an idea. If you have a juvenile center there, try that with him. And let him find out the hard way how good he really has it at home with all of u. My sister had to do that with her adopted son. And it seems to have worked.

Julie - posted on 03/06/2012

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Thank you to everyone for your comments, I will try some of these out. I've tried the "ignore", he just side-steps me and gets his way or does whatever he wants because he thinks that when I don't answer or don't do his stuff for him he has no rules. He was fine when they were together, but that was 10 years ago. We now have 10 years of bad and irresponsible upbringing to undo. I've tried not doing his laundry, he just wears dirty clothes....we've had him tested for ADHD, he does not have it. My son from a previous marriage does and he's my own child with that partner (and he is totally different from all of the children). Our daughter (my current husband and I) was raised to be an independent, free-thinker. While that gets her in trouble ALOT, she is not afraid to speak her mind or let people know when she is unhappy about things in general. The issue is absolute, he has no respect for women or their authority because of the last 10 years of being allowed to basically run wild. He thinks that he can bully me....and I'm not one to be bullied by anyone. Someone mentioned having a police officer talk to him....my husband is a police officer and has had a friend talk to him....but again it's the disrespect for women. I think he needs to be bullied a bit by a female officer before he gets any idea. Yesterday my husband laid down the law (yet again) with him about his disrespect for me....and the step-son turned around and waited till his dad's back was turned and disrespected me again....in public. I guess he thought I would actually give a damn that people were looking at us when I raised my voice....hmmm, lived long enough not to really care what strangers think...It isn't possible to send him back to his mother's, she doesn't want him basically. She now has said she will take him the first weekend of each month but that remains to be seen. I do reinforce the good behavior and positively enforce the rules....but I'm telling you he is so far out there that no discipline, no compliments, no nothing works. He did say that he thinks I hate him (show me a teenager that doesn't think his parents hate them...ruining their lives...so on). Basically he wants us to give in before he does....I'm too stubborn for that. He wants to go back to the days of no rules and not having to do homework and so on. I've asked the question why he feels I should be treated this way...he doesn't ever fully answer the question. He side-steps issues with well you if you would let me...blah blah blah...I try to redirect, he does a different dance. I think I might try calling the domestic violence hotline as recommended.....I was told by one counselor that his behavior is abusive, that it can be undone but it's a long hard road. To answer the questions about the clinics he's been seen at, counseling clinics for his issues. At one point his mother put him on ADHD meds because he was totally out of control, but he has been tested fully for ADHD and we have gotten the diagnosis of not ADHD but possibly ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)....for which there are no medications and only therapy is said to be helpful. I have to disagree with the statement that step-parents can never fully be true parents. My son has only ever known my current husband as his dad. When he finally realized that he wasn't really his real dad, he started asking questions, which I answered honestly. His dad is a drunk who doesn't really care about anyone but himself and has no interest in him (he asked when he was old enough to deal with that reality). Keep the reinforcement coming ladies...I'm feeling stronger and more in control with each and every post! :)

Kim - posted on 03/06/2012

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Julie,



You have one of the hardest positions to hold, and every step made can be like climbing Mt Everst. I think (meaning my opinion) at this time...no matter what you do, will be wrong...only because it is obvious this child has no respect for women, due to his bio mothers actions and behavior. He is very angry, Someone mentioned the blending time, which is very true. Having 3 (STEP by diffenition) Children, I have had to only deal with some of your problems with one of the 3. I am curious because in reading your post and others...nothing was mentioned on how this child was even while his parents were together... or how his father (your husband) treated or showed respect for this child's bio mother. Does the mother have any type of emotional or mental issue?



You mentioned you have a child with ADHD (keep in mind this is inheritated) All 4 of our children have ADHD. Do you have it (remember it is harder to see in girls/women then in boys/men).



With the bio mother being absent alot...it makes me wonder if she has moral issues or something mental. You mentioned your stepson had been in 4 different clinics...clinics for what?

Is it possible he has a (DDD-Disfient Disorder Disease)? I hate the word Disease being use in any type of issue, it isn't contagious but thats how they have labeled it.



Before my husbands children came to live with us and our son, we made a rule that whatever rule we had for our son, it must be enforced for all. No partialism! Which can be very difficult for a man with 2 son's and 2 daughters. (The Daddy's little girls thing is a huge battle at times)

Your stepson is a part of your husband and your children. In the beginning I let my husband handle everything in talking, punishment (with his children by the other mother) in time he stopped doing the (feeling guilty he wasn't with them everyday of their life thing) and went to being a parent to them as he is to our son. If my husband started to faulter, we would go into the other room (away from all other ears) and I would ask questions ...ex: Why do you feel that is fair? Because if our son even dared did that you would put a stop to it immediately!

I support(ed) him in everyway possible and with that, he realized he was showing partialism and could lose his youngest son over not thinking. There is no easy answers ever being a "STEP" parent. It makes it much easier for the bio parent to trust and listen to the "STEP" parent when they see the actions of trying our best to help all of the children equally.



I hope you can stay long enough that your family can blend and become one unit. In time your stepson will appreciate the love you showed him by caring what he did or does...may not be for years...keep in mind he is mad right now, and probably not just his bio mom but his Dad.



Sorry to make this so long but I have the perfect example of why I said that. When I was growing up, I had a friend that was raised by her mother she did have a older brother in the household with her...I never knew what happened to her father. She was home alone alot, and would call to come over to play, I had chores, and when I would ask my mom if she could come over and play...mom would say "Only if she helps you do your chores" (which embarrassed me) but my friend would RUN to my house to help with the chores. I asked her why in the world would you want to come over to help me do chores, she would say "Your lucky to have a mom at home that makes you do them" After she left I asked my mom why she would feel that way, because I always thought having more freedom would be the best thing...my mother said " because kids need to feel loved, not just with words or hugs, but feeling needed and having a purpose" She was so right...I always felt my mom loved my little sister more than me because she never made my sister do chores but did me....I am so thankful she taught me how to take care of myself, in time it showed she did love me and trusted me to do things, how to raise my children.



I hope if nothing else that story will give you the strength to carry on and try even harder to do as much as you can for your step son and your own children. Life is short, and everything we do does have an effect on others, may it be within seconds or years. Show your purpose and teach your children theirs, in time they will love you for it! Wishing you the best!

Jennifer - posted on 03/05/2012

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I agree the son might need to be shipped back. Hubby needs to step it up and if he can't then changes need to be made, even if it means splitting up for a little while.

Pamela - posted on 03/05/2012

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Sounds like it's time for a family sit down meeting with you, your husband and the son.



Start by making a list of a full sheet of paper. Fold it in half. On one side write all of the positive behaviors of the child and on the other half write all of the negative behaviors you are having trouble with. Ask the son to do the same with you and yoir husband to do the same for both you and his son.



Then sat aside at least a 2 hour slot of time when all of you devote this time to solving the problem by sharing what you have. Remember to be a good listener and ask the same of all others. Set some discussion rules like..... 1. No interrupting...make a note of your point to be brought up after the other person has finished. 2. Perhaps set a time limit to get through each person's list so that no one person is dominating the discussion.



If this doesn't work I would suggest a family counselor or a third party (friend..minister...etc.) who can be objective and listen to all points of view and act as a facilitator in a meeting.



Hope this suggestion works for you.

Jolene - posted on 03/05/2012

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This is in reply to Kelina Groundwater:



I have to respectfully and vehemently disagree with you. I have been a step mom and my daughter has a stepmom, so I have lived both sides. This kid does not live in a two parent household; he lives in a house with his dad and step-mom. Stepparents are not full parents and cannot expect to be. To expect that is automatic failure. Biological and step parents need to be on the same page and be a united front when it comes to rules and consequences. However, biological parents MUST do the disciplining, otherwise you will have one angry and resentful kid – and understandably so. You have to remember NO kid ever asked for their parents to split up or for a step parent. It takes 3-5 years before a blended family really starts to blend – and that process takes a lot of patience and understanding.

Jolene - posted on 03/05/2012

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Jodi post is spot on. Honestly this is an issue with your husband, not your step son. Your stepson is being a normal teenager by testing the boundaries and figuring out what he can get away with. Unfortunately your husband is teaching him he can get away with A LOT! Good luck! Step parenting is a hard and often thankless job. Been there done that and my own daughter has a step-mom, so I have lived both sides.

Alexandra - posted on 03/05/2012

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well, i think that definitely something has to be done.

The lack of everything you took from him didn't help any, sooo, you must try something else.

I also think you should at once speak with your husband and see what you BOTH can do about this.

About your son, what about NOT doing anything for him? First, of course you have to ignore him any and every time he speaks to you. Then, don't do laundry, don't cook, don't clean his toilet, don't do absolutely anything for him.

Try this, maybe. See what happens.

Amy - posted on 03/05/2012

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Oh and you may want to remind him he's gonna be driving in a few years and if he thinks your gonna let him use the car you bought, and insured he better start showing some respect and initiative to fit into the family

Amy - posted on 03/05/2012

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Don't respond the way he expects, he will want things and when he asks, remind him of how he treated you and that you don't think you will be able to accommodate his wants right now. It will be hard and tantrums will come. But stick to your guns it may hel

Terrie - posted on 03/05/2012

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My sister delt with the same issue with her step son only her husband was of great help. The important thing here of course is communication between you and your husband. You have already received some wonderful advice from so many people that I don't think that I could add to much to it. Just to say that when I feel like my husband is not being much help I have a long talk with him. If your husband cannot understand your position and there is a way that your stepson can go back to his mother then maybe that is what needs to happen. However, if the better place is with you and your husband, then your husband needs to hear you and work with you. Family counseling might be of help here. Someone may have already suggested this too. This is all I have to say on the subject as I think everyone else has added pretty much everything.

Jennifer - posted on 03/05/2012

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If husband is giving his son the keys to the house, so to speak, this tells me your husband doesn't respect you as his wife or partner. Lay down the law with him first and if he doesn't turn things around, not only with himself but his son as well, then I'd say it's time for both of them to leave. You should not have to tolerate that kind of behaviour from either of them.

Judi - posted on 03/05/2012

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Julie, you say in other posts about the way he is also acting in school. You can talk to the counselors in school, explain what is happening at home, let them know that the way he is acting at school is the same as you are experiencing and you have now reached the end of your rope on ideas. Ask them for referrals and suggestions. They will work with you and most counselors are those with social work degrees or psychology degrees and will understand what you are looking for.

Another suggestion is to find a judge who will talk to your son about his incorrigible behavior and if he is arrested, he can be taken away from both his mother and his father and put in foster care. It will be up to him to decide what he wants to do. Also, let him know if he is found incorrigible by school and by courts, this is what will happen, not what could happen. Tell him he has the choice of what happens to him in the fact that he can show better behavior or go through the court system. Also if you have a friend who is a police officer, let him talk to your son because bullying is against the law and he can get in trouble.

Also, he is at an age that he is going through a lot of changes body wise and he may not know how to express himself. As hard as it may be, I would remind him daily...I love you but I do not like your behavoir and I will not accept it. He may be acting out because he may not feel loved. Children may not feel that way when they are shown it, but showing it and saying it at the same time reinforces it.

I would also check with a domestic abuse center for referrals for kids who are abusive and they do provide counseling for these kids for these same kids as adults are the abusers in a marriage or in a relationship. Call 1 800 799 7233. this is the domestic violence abuse hotline. Explain about your step son. He is an abuser.

Stephanie - posted on 03/05/2012

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I didn't read all the other posts so forgive me if I repeat things. I think the most important thing is for you and your husband to sit down and come up with rules and consequences. Then both of you present them to your step son with your husband doing most of it. That way he sees it's coming from him too. Then you BOTH have to follow through on it. Be consistent, the same consequence for the same broken rule every time. There has to be consequences, or then what's the point. If there isn't any then kids have no reason to follow rules. I know this is hard, and you are in an impossible position. You have to make your husband step up. You can't do it alone or you'll be the bad guy. And that's not good for your relationship with your step son! Good luck!!!

Kelina - posted on 03/05/2012

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What kind of things do you do to discipline him? Does he have a part in the structured routine of your home? If your husband won't step and discipline him can you? Why are you relying on your husband to discipline him? He's part of a two parent home now, there should be two parents involved in the disipline. What kind of extra curricular activities does he do? is he involved with sports at all? Would he be interested in doing something like that? Instead of trying to figure out ways to discipline him, it might be more beneficial to sit down and talk to him about what he wants out of life. How does he expect to support himself after highschool? Are there any sports he'd be interested in? any other extracurricular activities like hiking, riding, etc. that he likes and might like to include in his life a little more? Are there ways that you could make that happen? is there maybe even an instrument he'd like to learn like guitar? REspect goes both ways-he's old enough to give it but also to receive it. It might help if you take the same approach to him as you do with your little ones-positive reinforcement. Try to catch him doing things you like and let him know how much you appreciate that. Involve him in helping around the house making dinner, cleaning up(ya believe me, I know easier said than done lol) Try to let the little things go. The slamming of the cupboard doors for instance. Yup, I know, it's annoying and one of those instant get-your-back-up buttons but that's why he's doing it. His mom doesn't give a shit what he does-you do and he's not used to that. It's going to take him time to respond to you. And disciplining all the time probably won't help. Let him know you care in other ways. REward him if he brings home a report card with a decent letter grade. The attitude is not ok. Address it, but try to do it positively. Instead of taking things away, try to spin it so that he's a role model. Add more responsibility to his plate. I wouldn't threaten to kick him out. My guess is that's how he ended up at your house in the first place. All that threat would do would be to reaffirm his belief that a)no one can handle him and b) he's not good enough for anyone. Make sure his dad gets one on one time with him, and make family time for all five of you. It's not going to happen overnight no matter what you do. But also remember that bribes work wonders even if you don't label them bribes.

Lynn - posted on 03/05/2012

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I completely agree with Jodi!



I feel for you. I've been there! My step son was that age when he moved in with us for a year. He was flunking out of school, stealing, lying, and getting in all kinds of trouble. His mom shipped him to us to "fix" him. After a year, we let him decide where he wanted to live on a permanent basis. He wanted to go back to his mom because she let him get away with his bad behavior, and I would NOT put up with it!



Less than a year later, she couldn't take it anymore, and sent him back. She didn't even tell him until the day before, which I thought was wrong. As soon as he stepped off the plane, I sent him to the tent jail here in Phoenix overnight, so he'd see where he was going if he was caught stealing in my house!



I enrolled him tutoring, but he still ended up flunking so badly that I pulled him out of school and homeschooled him. He started it when my son was 2 1/2, my daughter was 8 weeks old, I had six kids in my home preschool, and my best friend's funeral was three days before that. It was a rough time!



He ended up graduating high school when he was 16, because I pushed him pretty hard to do well, and get his work done.



My husband never disciplined him much, but he didn't really question my authority. I was home all day, and he knew I wouldn't take any crap in my own house.



It sounds like some counseling or parenting classes (for your husband) might help, but your husband needs to step up and support you. You need to let him know that if this continues, you're not going to stick around. Once he sees you mean it, hopefully, he'll realize what this is doing to you, and your relationship.



Tenagers are tough to deal with, even if they're your own. I hope you can get through these next few years, until he moves out.



We kicked my stepson out when he was 18 (after he took a truck we were going to give him, wrecked it, and reported it stolen, while he left my two and four year olds home alone for over two hours while I was at work). We had to deal with the stupid things he did, his psycho mother, and his younger sister, for 15 very long years. We finally finished paying support when his daughter turned 19 last year.



My husband's ex STILL calls asking for money, and they're 19 and 23 now! She'll just never learn that the money tree has dried up and she's not getting any more from us!!!!



Good luck, and hang in there. I hope your husband is worth it, and the kid will move out in just a few years!

Julie - posted on 03/05/2012

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Thanks guys, I agree with you as well. We have tried counseling, the step-son does not open up except to complain and gain the sympathy of the therapist of how poorly he is treated and so on. Unfortunately in our area we are very limited as to the selection of counselors and our insurance coverage limits us even more. We/I have had talks with a friend who is a counselor who says he does this with me because I am the only constant he has in his life...no matter how poorly he treats me and how badly he behaves, I'm still here so he feels safe in treating me badly. He does really need serious counseling and has needed it since his parents were separated. We've had him in four different clinics, each time his mother pulls him out...the last time we had to stop due to the cost. I can handle his BS attitude....but it's causing issues with the rest of the family. We have two younger children in the house as well, my son and our daughter together. My son has ADHD...he has his moments but I can always get him under control...there's magic words with that child. With my step-son he doesn't seem to care. There doesn't seem to be any type of punishment that works...he has lost the use of electronics -- game boy, game systems, television, computer, MP3 -- he hasn't been allowed to do any extracurricular activities such as school dances and things of that sort or going skating with his friends....and yet still.....he continues his behavior. Doesn't bring his homework home, doesn't turn in his homework, mouths off at school (to female teachers) and is causing problems on the bus....He even went so far as to try to bring child abuse charges against me because he was told if he kept screaming in my face one day i was going to smack him in the mouth....I seriously think he needs to be treated for depression....but I think the depression is stemming from the fact that he now has to follow a structured living situation where he doesn't have control over everything and is required to follow rules. So....do we treat the depression first and then deal with the situation or do we try to deal with the real situation and then work on the depression? It does not help that his mother is rather absent either, but she allows him to do whatever anyways so the behavior is way worse when he gets back from a visit. I'm scared that he is going to do something to someone and he's going to get in serious trouble. He seems to think that violence and bullying is the answer to everything as well. I don't know, I do know I'm at my wits end with this whole thing.

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