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What should I do with my step-son?


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  #1  
March 24th, 2011, 10:11 AM
teacherinlove's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2005
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A little bit of background, I married my husband almost a year a go. He has a [now] 5 year old son and I have a [now] almost 6 year old son. We see his son on a 4 days on, 4 days off parenting time schedule.

My step son is a very challenging child. He hits, screams, and cries about almost anything if he does not get his way. He has an attitude of what I think is way to old for him. Being a teacher, his actions worry me. He seems to have a bit of a speech delay and you hve to tell him/ remind him to do or stop doing something atleast 3 or 4 times before he does it. It is draining. When he was four his parents and I decided it would be best to find a new daycare for him because he was hitting, kicking, and biting the kids. He is now at a in home daycare and is doing wonderfully. This is a little background to how he acts. He is a very selective eater and refuses to eat anything unless it is "kid" food.

His mothers house is very unstructured compared to our house. He walks all over her [demanding things, getting what he wants, talking back, yelling, etc.]. He is basiclly a wild child when he comes to our house for the first 2 days and starts to calm down into our routine and house rules and then it is time for him to go back to his mos house. It is hell. I do not feel it is fair for our other son [husband adopted him] to have to go through this, he is a fairly respectful child and follows directions. I feel like he is getting the short end of the stick. He oves his brother, I can tell they have a very close bond yet, he doesn't otherstand when his brother hits him or crys all time time about clothes, food, even having to listen to our words and follow directions. He has asked me why his brother acts this way and its difficult to answer because I honestly do not know why he is so angry.

There are many other incidents I could give as example,but i will spare you the already long reading here. What this comes down to is I feel like I am being taken advantage of as a step parent. I feel like I have taken on way to many parental duties because the parents just want to look the other way to the problems. However these problems ar diving myfamily. It is really affecting my husbands and me relationship. We fight a lot about what should be done with him and how to handle him. Our other son has to deal with all this and we have a baby coming soon. I am concerned about how my ss will react to the baby, he doesn't really understand what is going on right now.

The incident that was the string that broke the camels back for me was over my spring break. The parents assume I will watch him during my vacation without asking because I have the time off. However, my ss behavior os so challenging that it is not like I am watching 1 child but 2 or 3. He is very hard to manage. However, I ended up watching him until Tuesday. My mother had spend the night and we had gone to tour the maternity ward at the hospital and walk around some shops downtown and get a coffee. The entire time we were walking down the streets my ss was running ahead, not listening to either of my mothers or my words to walk with us. We would force him to hold our hand and he would scream and cry. It was exhausting, when you have one that will walk along side you, our other ds and a ss who is wildly running everywhere. We went to get a coffee and the coffee shop had two leather couches and the boys started climbing all over them. I told them to get down, and ds got down right away but ss kept crawling around. I then went and pick him up and put him down. I took ds to the bathroom and when I came back ss was pouting so, we decided to leave. At home my mom told me when I went to the bathroom ss was screaming that he hated me over and over again, and that I was mean to him.

Enough was enough, I told my husband that night that I was not going to watch him the rest of spring break because his behavior was very hurtful and demeaning. My husband thinks I am taking all of this way to personally. The thing is, its not like this is the only incident, he always tells me he hates me, IM stupid, and mean. He kicks and hits me, runs away from me, and flat out will not listen to my words. I have tried talking it out, timeouts, taking things away, and it doesn't help. I am frustrated with all of this, Our family should not have to tolerate this especially when I am a constant face in his life and trying to help him. He goes from nice to angry so quickly. As long as I was to allow him to have his way everything would be fine, but I am not going to allow chaos inside our house.

We are going to a child psychologist this saturday. i am not sure what this will solve. I am just frustrated and burnt out. My husband wants to start sticker charts for ss, but my only problem is our ds is always left out with sticker charts because he doesn't need reminding to not hit/kick or use nice words or listen to adults words. It also seems like we will talk to ss about his actions and he forgets 5 minutes later and does the same thing.

I guess I am looking for similarities, or advice, opinions. Anything really because I am burnt out!
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  #2  
March 24th, 2011, 10:31 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,399
Like you, my stepchild's other home is very different than ours. While my SC's actions have never been like the ones you describe, there have been some friction over what is allowed at mom's house versus our house. The best advice I can give is to remain consistent with him.

Also, I know it's hard but have you tried ignoring the behaviors that are not dangerous? Sure it sucks having a child tell you they hate you but if you ignore that and comment when he says or does things affirming to you, it could help bring out those better qualities.

As for your child, who is well behaved, praise him in that frequently. Let him know that you see his good behavior and are proud of him for that. Another thing you could do, if you go the stickers route with your stepson, is talk to your son about how his brother doesn't have the same skills that he does. Point out his brother's positives to him as an example of things he does not need to work on and then tell him that the sticker chart for his brother is to help him learn these skills. Don't talk about it in a way that puts down the brother, more as a teaching and empowering thing.

Good luck!
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  #3  
March 24th, 2011, 12:13 PM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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I think it's hard on kids who move back & forth so often, especially when there are different guidelines and parenting styles in each home. I really don't have much advise, but I wanted to offer ((hugs)) and support!
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  #4  
March 24th, 2011, 03:01 PM
teacherinlove's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2005
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yes, I have tried ignoring the behavior. As my husband would say, I am the master of ignoring the negative behavior. Being a teacher has given me this skill. I guess I am just burnt out from the behavior and need a break.
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  #5  
March 24th, 2011, 06:08 PM
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I can understand that. It's perfectly natural. Do you have anything that you do to get out of the house when you're on break from school? Anything for some "me" time? When my stress level goes into overdrive my husband sends me to the store for groceries or just to walk around (after making sure all money is at home except for enough for one treat...hehe). With 3 kids full time and a 4th part of the time, plus babysitting, it gets a little nutty around here.
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  #6  
March 24th, 2011, 07:51 PM
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This really isn't any help, but I would be upset if I was in your position. My SD only sees her mom every other weekend. Yet, we still find ourselves dealing with terrible behavior for days after each visit. We are very consistent in disciplining and our kids know what is acceptable and what is not. It is quite obvious to me that things are very different at her mom's house. That is confusing enough. I can't imagine splitting the time 50/50. I really don't know how I would handle it.
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  #7  
March 25th, 2011, 08:10 AM
teacherinlove's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2princes2princesses View Post
I can understand that. It's perfectly natural. Do you have anything that you do to get out of the house when you're on break from school? Anything for some "me" time? When my stress level goes into overdrive my husband sends me to the store for groceries or just to walk around (after making sure all money is at home except for enough for one treat...hehe). With 3 kids full time and a 4th part of the time, plus babysitting, it gets a little nutty around here.
I need to start putting my foot down for me time, especially with a baby on the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by my3sonsplus1 View Post
This really isn't any help, but I would be upset if I was in your position. My SD only sees her mom every other weekend. Yet, we still find ourselves dealing with terrible behavior for days after each visit. We are very consistent in disciplining and our kids know what is acceptable and what is not. It is quite obvious to me that things are very different at her mom's house. That is confusing enough. I can't imagine splitting the time 50/50. I really don't know how I would handle it.
I am upset, but I keep thinking I am over reacting. I know children will say things a lot of times without the intention of hurting, but I feel my ss is not connecting that his words are not ok.
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