Help with my 15 year-old stepson's behavior

DeAnna - posted on 03/03/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 15 yr old stepson informed me this morning that he doesn't care what I say, he will do what he wants anyway. My husband grounded him to his room Friday and we took all his games, notebook, and mp3 player from him. He doesn't have a tv either. I guess I would like advice on how to handle him now...he feels he can't get in anymore trouble since he is already grounded so he is being really disrespectful. I had a call from his principal last night about my stepson throwing a banana out of the bus window. I see that as a problem, but not a big problem. In the past I have made him write sentences such as " I will be respectful to my teachers" and that hasn't helped either. I have been in his life for 5 years now. I just don't know what to do anymore. Thanks.

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Trisha - posted on 03/03/2015

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How long is he grounded for? I would be tempted to ground my stepson for a week for saying something like that to me. At that point, I would tell him I would be happy to extend it by a day for each time he is rude/disrespectful to anyone in the house.

Just, just so we are clear... This is exactly what most parents of teenagers have to go through. It is still a challenge, and I remember having a similar conversation with my stepson (been in his life for 4 years, he is now 16).

It will take some time to find a happy balance of respect. We are very much trying to communicate with my stepson and treat him more like an adult. If he starts acting like a disrespectful kid though, we treat him like one - and we tell him why.

The banana thing? I don't think I would even worry about that. It is even biodegradable. I would just explain to him that his teachers didn't appreciate it, and that it would have made the bus dirty, which was disrespectful to the bus driver. Tell him to think that stuff through.

We are at a good stable point in our life. We are giving him more privileges, (ex. later out times) under the guidance of "we are only giving you this privilege because you are acting like you deserve it. If that changes, it will go away."

To be quite honest though... A lot of our successes with him lately have been sitting down at the table with him when problems come up, and discussing the issues with him. No raising of the voice. No talking down to him. Explaining the issue at hand. Asking him WHY he things it is a problem. And then asking him HOW he plans on fixing it. We usually give him one opportunity to fix his mistake before he gets grounded or a privilege taken away. If it happens multiple times then we tell him the consequences of his error, usually he knows it ahead of time.

Edit: We have found out that a lot of our problems with my stepson, stemmed from the way we were reacting to his misbehavior. Not from him being a bad kid. Too much lenience, he starts giving attitude. Not enough: he is a grumpy prick. lol.

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Trisha - posted on 03/04/2015

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I am actually expecting my first in 2 months. Coming in during the pre-teen/teenager stage for your first go at parenting is definitely a challenge. lol.
My husband was frustrated with him at one point and said to me "OMG AND YOU WANT TWO MORE OF THESE?". My response was "I would at LEAST like to enjoy some children at their toddler stages instead of only getting to raise your ungrateful teenage boy."
That shut him up for a bit... lol. He actually apologized.

I think you will get the results you want with the grounding system you put into place.
Wish you luck with it. :)

DeAnna - posted on 03/03/2015

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Originally he was grounded for one week. After this morning, I added an additional week. I told him this afternoon that for each day we don't have any problems with him, either at school or at home, I will deduct one day from his punishment. But for each day there are problems I will add two more days. He actually apologized to me this afternoon. I doubt he was sincere. I think he realized he went too far.
I have no children of my own so this whole step-mom thing is new. I just thought after 5 years we would have a better relationship. We get along great as long as he is getting his way.
As for the banana incident, I am not punishing him for that. I told him not to throw anything else out the bus windows. The principal made a big deal about it, so I told him I talked to my kid about it.
Every time we try to let Raymond show us he can be responsible, he lets us down...he is immature and loses privileges.
Thank you for responding and for the good advice.

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