I have a 13 year old son and my husband and I have 3 kids, 7,6,and 5 months. Any advise on kids who disrespect their step-parents? The two of them are not getting along and it's getting worse as my son gets older. He has Adhd and a mood disorder, but is so much worse when he is around his step dad. It's getting to the point where they argue everytime I go to work....help!

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Tammy - posted on 01/24/2009

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Is your husband understanding to the ADHD and does he handle your son with respect or total "authority"? My son and step-son are both ADHD. My 4 yr old is medicated twice a day and 15 yr old step-son is no longer medicated. The one thing I learned through counseling is that my parenting technique was sparking the ADHD and causing more defiance. I am by far not saying to not parent the child and make him mind, but the more you insist upon being the "authority", the more they will defy you. I have found that the more calm I am, the better things are in the household. Have your husband try a calm approach in correcting your son and he will get far with him. I got to a point that I only have to speak once to get my point across and it doesn't come down to a yelling match. That was hard for me though... I was raised that when an adult "raised their voice" you listened, not defy...

Beckie - posted on 01/24/2009

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I can tell you that this is just a phase. I have three children and my husband has two. My oldest son went though this phase where he was disrespectful to my husband but I stood by my husband and we made it though it. They get along great now. He was about 13 when it all started and now he is 17. My youngest son which is 14 now is starting into this phase. It will pass..just hang in there and be strong!

Debbie - posted on 01/23/2009

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Quoting Cara:

I dont have a teenage child, my baby is only 7 weeks old however I have been the thirteen year old step child :) so maybe I can give you a different perspective. I had a lot of problems with my step dad during my teenage years. Try talking to your son one on one without an audience and see if there is something bothering him, he may feel like his siblings are being treated better then him, or maybe he feels like he cant love his step dad and his real dad at the same time ( that can be some strong guilt, that was my problem)! I am not saying that you treat him differently then his siblings or that he shouldnt love his step dad, but thirteen is a very confusing age, and I think that it is even harder for kids with divorced parents, I have been in your soons shoes try to be patient it will pass. You should talk to him, if nothing else he will feel like you care about what he feels.


That really helps me in my family as well I need to understand how my kids my be feeling toward their own dad as well as toward their step-dad.Thank goodness my husband and I talk a lot and get help from friends about our own heart and pray a lot because I think it's the only way we are truly managing all of this, raising kids is a hard journey and a blended family is even harder!

Tracey - posted on 01/23/2009

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Quoting Tracey:




Hi Angie:








I'm not debating consistency, it is one of the most necessary of all human relationship guidelines  Therefore, how can we possibly teach any child anything without being consistent?  And consequences for negative behaviour are a must; as well as positive behaviour has to be rewarded if you expect to encourage more positive behaviour.  I have 2 other children that we never struggled with in near the same capacity as the oldest.  But had you been able to get my oldest child to co-operate & pick up trash for you because this was a consequence for his negative behaviour-my hat would have been off to you & you would have made the history books with all the professionals that ever dealt with him.  I'm just wondering though if we're all viewing &  understanding the difference between add(attention deficit) & adhd(attention deficit hyperactivity).  Also, when a child's anxiety disorder is combined with a mood disorder these now become more complex and can be more difficult to control in order for the child to be able to grow & learn amongst his peers.  If you find Community Service works - great!  I've found, when they're younger - they co-operate off and on, sometimes even appear to be on track - they might follow some rules, help the rest of the family with household chores, make it to school, on time, if you're lucky - but this usually gets to be too much for them to handle - and rewards, for these children, after awhile aren't enough motivation.  In a very short period of time they're back to they're usual.  Adhd/md children can often wear down the entire family as well as teachers, babysitters, & other family & friends - because it is not just excess energy to burn.  These kids always long to be the center of attention and sometimes lifes twists & turns can force us to change the family plans-since reasoning is pretty much non existent to these kids- trying to keep the peace through a trade off in an emergency can take some pretty delicate manouvering.  I'm simply saying, be prepared.  No one has all the answers.  A lot of these kids are very smart and there actions & reactions will often vary, much like the weather.









Hey Tracey!  Let me start  by saying that in NO way did I intend for you to think that I was insulting your parenting towards your child.  I understand that their are those children that make life very difficult and there isn't a whole lot you can do to get them on the right track...except pray for their safety and well-being.  I understand that you have had or having a hard time with your oldest and my heart goes out to you. 






All I was saying is that children that are ADD or ADHD can follow directions for their punishments.  I am a mom now, but I used to be a very rebellious teenager who was also ADHD.  I wished that my parents had taken the time to relate to me, talk to me and hold me responsible for my actions...that would have helped me a lot!  Even though I was (& still am) ADHD, doesn't mean that I couldn't do what my parents told me to do...I chose not to do it.  To me, it sounds as if the orginal post was asking what to do with a child who is being disrespectful to his step-dad...not to everyone.  If this child is able to show respect and listen to at least one parent, then it's rebellion that they are experiencing.  For that, I would strongly suggest community service.  My son hates doing it, but it does make him think long and hard before he decides to be disrespectful to anyone!  I punish him if he's disrespectful to his other mom (step-mom).  That would be another suggestion, all of this child's parents NEED to get on the same side and figure out a game plan for this boy.  I am sorry if I offended you or anybody else...that is so not my intention.  I am a parent who has made my fair share of mistakes...I am not a person who judges people...I just try to help. 






Hi Again, Angie:  You have not offended me.  And like you, it is not my intention to offend or judge anyone else here who is trying to offer a bit of advise.  I'm sorry you feel your parents didn't take the time to relate to you.  But, again, you do mention key points here - and kids



don't have to have any disorder to respond this way.  Sometimes even adults will respond this way - you said that it wasn't that you COULDN'T it was that you were 'CHOOSING NOT  TO'.  This can sometimes make it pretty difficult to get co-operation in any relationship.  You can keep trying, we always did.  But for us, by the time our son was 15 & we were still having problems, my husband & I use to have a regular saying, and that was... you can lead the horse to the water but you can't force it to drink.   And, guess what, the horse wasn't drinking the water!  Thankfully, even though he had to go his own road (and not a fun one), he's now married, expecting his first child, and our relationship is stronger than ever.  I hope any family needing a bit of help to guide their child in a more positive direction, finds what they need.  

Angie - posted on 01/22/2009

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Quoting Cara:

I dont have a teenage child, my baby is only 7 weeks old however I have been the thirteen year old step child :) so maybe I can give you a different perspective. I had a lot of problems with my step dad during my teenage years. Try talking to your son one on one without an audience and see if there is something bothering him, he may feel like his siblings are being treated better then him, or maybe he feels like he cant love his step dad and his real dad at the same time ( that can be some strong guilt, that was my problem)! I am not saying that you treat him differently then his siblings or that he shouldnt love his step dad, but thirteen is a very confusing age, and I think that it is even harder for kids with divorced parents, I have been in your soons shoes try to be patient it will pass. You should talk to him, if nothing else he will feel like you care about what he feels.



 



 



I too have been a child of step-parents...I second this advice!!!  It's hard not knowing where you fit in or not understanding why you feel the way you do.  Good job Cara!!!





 

Cara - posted on 01/22/2009

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I dont have a teenage child, my baby is only 7 weeks old however I have been the thirteen year old step child :) so maybe I can give you a different perspective. I had a lot of problems with my step dad during my teenage years. Try talking to your son one on one without an audience and see if there is something bothering him, he may feel like his siblings are being treated better then him, or maybe he feels like he cant love his step dad and his real dad at the same time ( that can be some strong guilt, that was my problem)! I am not saying that you treat him differently then his siblings or that he shouldnt love his step dad, but thirteen is a very confusing age, and I think that it is even harder for kids with divorced parents, I have been in your soons shoes try to be patient it will pass. You should talk to him, if nothing else he will feel like you care about what he feels.

Angie - posted on 01/22/2009

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Quoting Tracey:



Hi Angie:






I'm not debating consistency, it is one of the most necessary of all human relationship guidelines  Therefore, how can we possibly teach any child anything without being consistent?  And consequences for negative behaviour are a must; as well as positive behaviour has to be rewarded if you expect to encourage more positive behaviour.  I have 2 other children that we never struggled with in near the same capacity as the oldest.  But had you been able to get my oldest child to co-operate & pick up trash for you because this was a consequence for his negative behaviour-my hat would have been off to you & you would have made the history books with all the professionals that ever dealt with him.  I'm just wondering though if we're all viewing &  understanding the difference between add(attention deficit) & adhd(attention deficit hyperactivity).  Also, when a child's anxiety disorder is combined with a mood disorder these now become more complex and can be more difficult to control in order for the child to be able to grow & learn amongst his peers.  If you find Community Service works - great!  I've found, when they're younger - they co-operate off and on, sometimes even appear to be on track - they might follow some rules, help the rest of the family with household chores, make it to school, on time, if you're lucky - but this usually gets to be too much for them to handle - and rewards, for these children, after awhile aren't enough motivation.  In a very short period of time they're back to they're usual.  Adhd/md children can often wear down the entire family as well as teachers, babysitters, & other family & friends - because it is not just excess energy to burn.  These kids always long to be the center of attention and sometimes lifes twists & turns can force us to change the family plans-since reasoning is pretty much non existent to these kids- trying to keep the peace through a trade off in an emergency can take some pretty delicate manouvering.  I'm simply saying, be prepared.  No one has all the answers.  A lot of these kids are very smart and there actions & reactions will often vary, much like the weather.





Hey Tracey!  Let me start  by saying that in NO way did I intend for you to think that I was insulting your parenting towards your child.  I understand that their are those children that make life very difficult and there isn't a whole lot you can do to get them on the right track...except pray for their safety and well-being.  I understand that you have had or having a hard time with your oldest and my heart goes out to you. 



All I was saying is that children that are ADD or ADHD can follow directions for their punishments.  I am a mom now, but I used to be a very rebellious teenager who was also ADHD.  I wished that my parents had taken the time to relate to me, talk to me and hold me responsible for my actions...that would have helped me a lot!  Even though I was (& still am) ADHD, doesn't mean that I couldn't do what my parents told me to do...I chose not to do it.  To me, it sounds as if the orginal post was asking what to do with a child who is being disrespectful to his step-dad...not to everyone.  If this child is able to show respect and listen to at least one parent, then it's rebellion that they are experiencing.  For that, I would strongly suggest community service.  My son hates doing it, but it does make him think long and hard before he decides to be disrespectful to anyone!  I punish him if he's disrespectful to his other mom (step-mom).  That would be another suggestion, all of this child's parents NEED to get on the same side and figure out a game plan for this boy.  I am sorry if I offended you or anybody else...that is so not my intention.  I am a parent who has made my fair share of mistakes...I am not a person who judges people...I just try to help. 

Tracey - posted on 01/22/2009

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Quoting Angie:

I don't know about that Tracey...I think community service works pretty good! Picking up trash on the side of the road is good for the community, gives them time to reflect, burns off energy that adhd children tend to have and gives you the oppertunity to really talk to them when they are done cleaning trash about their actions and behavior. Being consistent is very important!



Hi Angie:



I'm not debating consistency, it is one of the most necessary of all human relationship guidelines  Therefore, how can we possibly teach any child anything without being consistent?  And consequences for negative behaviour are a must; as well as positive behaviour has to be rewarded if you expect to encourage more positive behaviour.  I have 2 other children that we never struggled with in near the same capacity as the oldest.  But had you been able to get my oldest child to co-operate & pick up trash for you because this was a consequence for his negative behaviour-my hat would have been off to you & you would have made the history books with all the professionals that ever dealt with him.  I'm just wondering though if we're all viewing &  understanding the difference between add(attention deficit) & adhd(attention deficit hyperactivity).  Also, when a child's anxiety disorder is combined with a mood disorder these now become more complex and can be more difficult to control in order for the child to be able to grow & learn amongst his peers.  If you find Community Service works - great!  I've found, when they're younger - they co-operate off and on, sometimes even appear to be on track - they might follow some rules, help the rest of the family with household chores, make it to school, on time, if you're lucky - but this usually gets to be too much for them to handle - and rewards, for these children, after awhile aren't enough motivation.  In a very short period of time they're back to they're usual.  Adhd/md children can often wear down the entire family as well as teachers, babysitters, & other family & friends - because it is not just excess energy to burn.  These kids always long to be the center of attention and sometimes lifes twists & turns can force us to change the family plans-since reasoning is pretty much non existent to these kids- trying to keep the peace through a trade off in an emergency can take some pretty delicate manouvering.  I'm simply saying, be prepared.  No one has all the answers.  A lot of these kids are very smart and there actions & reactions will often vary, much like the weather.

Tamara - posted on 01/21/2009

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support your parner infront of your son, get them to make things together, with hammers nails, quality time is what they need, make him a friend not a father, they need to start again, camp in the back yard, your son needs to feel like he is wanted

[deleted account]

The best thing your husband can do is not react or raise his voice because that will exacerbate the problem.

Instead try some times where your husband can take the three younger kids for an activity or play with them in another part of the house while you do one on one activity (perhaps homework) with your adhd son. It could be he senses you feel unsure about him and he may want more attention from mom.

User - posted on 01/21/2009

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I wish so much that when I became the step-mom to 4 children I had listened to my friends who kept telling me to go to step-parenting support group. It was so important for me to find a sympathetic ear and some good advice. Even though I was already a parent, being a step-parent is very different!

There is no preparation good enough for the emotional and logistical challenges, but there is help. I wouldn't go because my new husband wouldn't go...BIG mistake. I should have gone anyway. I managed through it, but I wasn't able to forge the close relationships I very much wanted with my step-children. My husband wasn't too interested in co-parenting, just left it up to me or ignored issues...I didn't know how to handle it. But it's my fault I didn't do more to figure it all out by seeking out the help I needed early on. I could have been a much better step-parent regardless of my husband.

So my advice to you, is that I urge you to reach out to others who are in your situation, read books on parenting (particularly ones that teach about scream-free parenting, parenting with boundries, parenting within step-families, and parenting ADHD and mood disorder children), go to support groups for parents at (generally free) local houses of worship, local hospitals, or even through counseling agencies if you can afford them.

But whatever you do don't try to learn it all on your own, it will be very frustrating and a much slower process. I eventually got counseling, but I had lost years and many opportunities. You will gain much by talking about your specific issues and incidents with other who share you situation and have various techniques for you to try. Sometimes a shoulder to cry on will be just what you need for the moment.

They will also help you interpret the behavior of your children in a way that will likely help you cope with the frustrations and hurts you will no doubt encounter as you try to build these relationships over the years. It IS all worth it.

I have since remarried, and have even more step-children, although all my children and step-children are grown now. With many of my step-children I have close relations, some I am still working on having a relationship, and some are quite distant. Life is not simple and it is always complicated by remarriage if children are involved.

Once, in the early years, I was given simple advice when I was struggling to maintain order in a household of chaos, "Just love them". But you know, as much as I wanted that to be a help, it wasn't. It just isn't a matter of loving, you need the tools to parent not just love. Love is what makes you hang in there and find the tools and do the hard things day after day when no body is loving you back.

Hang in there. Get help. Keep loving. Find and try new things. You will find your way! And someday, your children and step-children may rise up and call you blessed. And you will know that you loved well.

Deb - posted on 01/21/2009

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hi i have a 13 year old son we are both his natural parents and he has been going through this stage as well since not long before his 13th bday he started arguing with his dad a lot it mostly ends in tears and tantrums (his)  i think once puberty hits they need to find there place/ pecking order,  in the tribe all over again he will be 14 in june, we also have a 15 year old daughter who around 12,13,14 used to do the same with me its settled down a lot now, and with his adhd may just be magnifiying the situation ask around some of his friends parents as you will find you are not alone and there advice can go a long way, dont give in to his tantrums and arguements is what everyone keeps telling me keep strong.



cheers deb

Angie - posted on 01/21/2009

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I don't know about that Tracey...I think community service works pretty good! Picking up trash on the side of the road is good for the community, gives them time to reflect, burns off energy that adhd children tend to have and gives you the oppertunity to really talk to them when they are done cleaning trash about their actions and behavior. Being consistent is very important!

Tracey - posted on 01/21/2009

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These are some wonderful ideas which I believe can & do work well with children who have the odd change in temperment or maybe even a mild form of adhd.  But there are also those children out there that even the "professionals" refuse to deal with.  And these children, because they are so difficult to deal with often fall through the cracks in society - by the time they get into their teen years they are usually way past being able to get them under control through counselling & often have trouble with things like getting their grade 12, maintaining relationships & jobs, etc.  I don't mean to sound like such a pessimest, but having dealt with a fairly extreme situation personally none of these tactics you're suggesting ever worked in our house and believe me, we tried them all!    

[deleted account]

One of the best ways to start to change behavior is to first examine our own behavior and see if there is anything we can change. If being disrespcetful is a great atttention-getter for your child then try to find moments when he is doing something well and validate him for it and give him the attention he is looking for. Often ADHD kids get a lot of negative feed back throughout the day so emphasizing the positive is good tool to use. Finding things he likes to do, learning something new together, spending some fun time together are all great ways to accenuate the positive.



Changing your reactions to his behavior can often bring a stop to poor behavior. He pushes your buttons because he knows he can and he knows he will get a reaction from you. Set clear guidelines based on family values like: In our house we respect each other in our words and in our actions. Then follow the rules. Discuss beforehand what you and the children think this means and what it would look like and then set up some consequences to any behaviors that do not meet this goal- Time outs, loss of video time, fines for poor choice of words etc. This eliminates the need to engage in a heated discussion when an incident happens. Disrespect is just not tolerated in our house...end of discussion when you are ready to act in acceptable manner let me know, until then you have earned a_?_ (Time Out, $.25 in the jar etc.) And of course if we are looking for respect then we must model that respectful behavior in our words and deeds too. I love this quote from Robert Fulghum, I teach a parenting course and this is one of our class mantra's "Don't worry that your children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you."

Debbie - posted on 01/21/2009

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I think he does feel like your husband cares more about the other children, we work hard in our family to resolve things and allow our kids to speak up and share how they feel we still lay down the law, but we also have to respect them has human beings and a sorry from us every once in awhile never hurts either!!

Angie - posted on 01/21/2009

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I agree that they need to do things just the two of them. That is VERY important! My 12 year old son was disrespectful to my husband and to his dad's wife a couple of times. I explained to him that isn't right and if he does it again, that he will be doing community service two Saturdays in a row! He will be picking up trash on the side of the road and he'll have plenty of time to think about how he will change his attitude! He's been great ever since LOL.

User - posted on 01/21/2009

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My daughter has adhd and I noticed a change with her medication. The name of it is Vyvanse and it works all day. If I give it to her around 7am it does not wear off until 6pm it is great. I notice a sense of peace no fussing I can truly say that has her focusing so much better in school her grades has improved.

Tracey - posted on 01/21/2009

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Unfortunately I don't have any fast answers for you.  But I can tell you that my husband & I have been through similar with our oldest.  We have three children, pretty much grown up now.  My first child was from another marriage.  He, like your son was adhd.  As he got into his teen years the relationship between my husband & my son deteriorated.  And my son's behaviour became more difficult to manage.  All of this put tremendous stress on our entire family.  After having exhausted all other resources for help, when my son was 16 we had no other choice but to remove him from our home.  Our family was being ripped apart.  Nothing we did seem to make this boy happy, while our other 2 kids were still doing really well.  I never felt so guilty in all my life as I did when I was forced to choose between my kids.  And it took a couple of years after that before my son decided to stop fighting with everyone, including the law.  But I now know, had we not gone to this extreme my husband & my son would not have the genuine, loving & respectful relationship that they hold now.  I truly hope that you and your family can find a way to resolve these issues before they get anywhere near the extremes that we endured.  One thing I can tell you from experience in dealing with kids- the best thing you and your husband can do is team up together when dealing with anything confrontational.  If you & your spouse have different views on how something should be handled, don't let the kids see this-it only gives them more firepower, and weakens parents as a team.  Especially through the teen years.  This is just my opinion.     

[deleted account]

You have given him an excuse to disrespect his step father by listing other problems. There is NO excuse. YOU must back your husband. Even if you do not agree with him you must back him. If you do not they will never get along and you will lose one of them. Time alone helps, but your backing makes it better.

A young man at this age is learning to relate to the authority figure in the home and testing the limits that the authority figure has set. Anger never works. Your husband must stay calm and in charge. There is no debating the rules.

Let your son be moody, but only if he keeps it to himself and doesn't take it out on others. Let your husband be in charge and don't get in the way.

Believe me I know. I have a 16 year old that is mine and I have to get out of my husband's way often. They do things together and that has helped, but the biggest difference is that I will not give him excuses and I insist that he obey his step father. They are hashing out a pretty good relationship without me and I am thrilled.

Angela - posted on 01/20/2009

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His biological father is not in the picture at all, my husband has been there since he was 5 and he calls him dad. The only time the Add is the issue is when he annoys his other siblings and they fight, my son feels like my husband always sides with the other kids. It's the mood swings that are the main trigger. My son has huge fits....throwing things....yelling....running away...that kind of stuff. My husband has lost patience I think. At the end of the day I just have more patience for it all. The two of them rarely spend time alone anymore. I spend a lot of time alone with each of my kids, but mostly with my oldest.I am just not sure how it got this bad between the two of em and am really scared its going to get worse. I am going to try to get my husband to go with my son to one of his counseling appts to see if that helps them start talking.

Angela - posted on 01/20/2009

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His biological father is not in the picture at all, my husband has been there since he was 5 and he calls him dad. The only time the Add is the issue is when he annoys his other siblings and they fight, my son feels like my husband always sides with the other kids. It's the mood swings that are the main trigger. My son has huge fits....throwing things....yelling....running away...that kind of stuff. My husband has lost patience I think. At the end of the day I just have more patience for it all. The two of them rarely spend time alone anymore. I spend a lot of time alone with each of my kids, but mostly with my oldest.I am just not sure how it got this bad between the two of em and am really scared its going to get worse. I am going to try to get my husband to go with my son to one of his counseling appts to see if that helps them start talking.

Amy - posted on 01/20/2009

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I have the same issues, except my husband adopted my kids in May 08 when their father signed his right over. It does get easier, but you have to stay on them and be consistent. Writing 200 statements/sentences about respect or the 1st commandment works good too. Hope this helps.

Sabrina - posted on 01/20/2009

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one thing i will say is not 2 use adhd as an excuse its an anger problem it doesnt stop your child from knowing right from wrong, i was 9 wen my mum met my step dad and my advise is 4 u 2 spend alone time with your son as he may be feeling left out u may be showing him attention but he may not realise so make a point of inviteing him even if its just 2 the shop and back them couple of minutes make a big difference.

Stacey - posted on 01/20/2009

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Quoting Angela:

I have a 13 year old son and my husband and I have 3 kids, 7,6,and 5 months. Any advise on kids who disrespect their step-parents? The two of them are not getting along and it's getting worse as my son gets older. He has Adhd and a mood disorder, but is so much worse when he is around his step dad. It's getting to the point where they argue everytime I go to work....help!




Good Morning Angela:  Have they ever gotten along? Have they ever spent anytime alone together just the two of them doing something fun? How long have you been married? Also are there any steps you use for his ADHD and Mood disorder?  I am not a social worker at all however, have worked with youth for over fifteen years and have a fourteen year old son who is ADD. I currently have him taking ATTEND which is an all natural product.  I have seen a complete 360 in his temperment and all areas.  I would love to speak with you more about this.

Alison - posted on 01/19/2009

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All i can say is don't let the step-parent do the punishing. From the child's point of view this person has been put in their life, they have no say in the matter. Especially when the biological parent is still in the picture.  Definitely agree with having time to all spend together, or even just them alone. As long as it is all positive. Don't let the kids see you argue either, may seem common sense, but many people don't realise what the kids are hearing. OK that's my bit!

Carina - posted on 01/19/2009

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I have seen the same problem myself, though I do not have younger kids, mine are 14 [just] and 15. I am a specialist and work with kids in these family dynamics in schools, so you can take or leave what say. This is not an uncommon issue for children of this age in any case, and especially for children with Adhd. But for children of step-fathers is almost predictable for this scenario. Put the 3 together and you have almost an expected scenario. So please don't feel alone in this. What you are describing is actually something that happens a lot. For the long term - he should grow through it and out of it, eventually. it will take a lot of years, but he will. A friend of mine was telling me over the week-end how his step-daughter did all she could to make his life miserable, and admits it, but now they are best friends - mind you she is also now in her early 20's. And i have other friends with the same stories, be it they were the parent or child. But that doesn't help in the mean time does it. This is a tough one to say - but your husband needs to be the adult in this situation and not allow himself to be drawn into an argument with your son. That is not easy to do though, as a man is hardwired in a certain way and he will respond like this naturally, so he needs to take control of it. Your son will also be experiencing hormonal overload for the next 6 years, but especially at the beginning it is a shock to the system. The other thing is that some kids are simply like this anyway. My daughter is exactly like this - argumentative and difficult with me. So, I found something she cannot live without - rock climbing, and she and i go do this on weekends - it takes a LOT of my time and expense, but it has helped. One-to-one time is very valuable for us, and gives us the time we need to slowly break thru her defenses. Another thing is that children need to go thru this stage - tho some seem to painfully blast their way thru. Children who do not learn how to stand up and express themselves [and this is a form of that] usually have trouble later in life being able to. This is a psychologically necessary stage, and the trick is guiding that energy rather than letting it just run wild, or become crushed. The question may be what can u direct it into - for my daughter its climbing - what is it for your son? [just a possibility maybe] The other trick is it may require a large sacrifice of your time and or your husbands, and even your families to do this, so becareful that the others [husband and kids] do not feel neglected - so discuss with them what your doing and why and keep them up-to-date, family meetings are the best scenario. Also, get yourself and husband some time to recharge every now and then - sanity time is so very important. Hope something in this helps. All the best.

Beth - posted on 01/19/2009

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I understand somewhat you are going through except I can see your son's point of view. I have ADHD and I also have a mood disorder.There are several things I suggest your husband read up on ADHD and Bipolar disorders and how to react to them. I only suggest this because my parents didn't know and still don't know how to react to me at anytime. This could be affecting the relationship between them. I have a 14 yr old niece and so the changes of preteen years are making her lash out. I agree with these other moms in the concept of time spent together. I have had a hard time bonding with my 6 yr old stepson and found out the only way for us to bond is to find something he wants to do and do it.

Erica - posted on 01/19/2009

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Is your son taking any medication for his adhd? My son was almost unbearable without his adhd medication that we just recently put him back on.

Debbie - posted on 01/19/2009

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I too have a thirteen year old son who has adhd and he has a step dad, I also have three other children so we have a lot in common. My two older children are from my first marriage so I have an older daughter who 16, my son who 13 and two younger siblings from my present marriage 10 and 8. We struggled for a long time when my daughter turned 13 I think now looking back it was more of my child changing into a teenager then anything else. My son who has adhd is just always a challenge but been through the pre-teen stage before it's a little easier to manage because I'm not so freaked out anymore, hard times come but now my husband and I don't react so badly as we did at first. Now we try to respond to our kids to direct and guide them while we hold our ground with boundaries, which is honestly the hardest thing while still loving them and not holding back our hearts from them because it's hard not to take things personal but they are growing up and need some independence. So my advice would be to talk to your husband and read some great books about teenagers and how to communicate with them, plus sometimes with my older kids I need to be the main disciplinarian and just make sure they know that their step dad and I are very unified about whatever the issue is. And we make sure that the kids and he have one on one time, they need a different relationship other then their step dad telling them what to do or not do. Well I hope that helps.

Erica - posted on 01/19/2009

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I have been in this situation with my oldest son also, he is twelve and there are also 3 other children in the home. Does you husband and your son ever have time alone? I noticed from day one that those two just didnt have no bond together and also weren't really trying to have one, I mentioned one nite to my husband to take him out alone where it would just be him and my son to spend some one on one time. And it has worked. Even if its just once a week, make them spend time together, even if its just playing the xbox or whatever it is you's do. Dont get me wrong they still bump heads but at the age that there are at there going too..Try it.... Have ur husband ask him how his day was , what he did at school, little things like that should bring them a little closer.. Good luck and don't give up.

Tracy - posted on 01/19/2009

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Do they do anything alone together? I have step children ,i never had the problem with them disrespecting me but more of a distance between us so i started doing things one on one with them and seems to be getting better...Maybe this will help them?

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