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April 12th, 2006, 10:36 PM
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Meg-O Meg-O is offline
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SO has a son from a previous marriage. He's 9 1/2. Our son is almost 20 months.

From the beginning we have had disciplinary and behavioral issues with him. His mother is a "DisneyLand Mom." We split the time between the houses as close to 50/50 as we can get. The two households are like night and day.

She doesn't have any set schedule or requirements of him. She will buy him things and let bills go unpaid. There is seemingly no structure or discipline whatsoever.

There have been occasions that she has called SO and had him do the disciplining for her... blaming her "arthritis."

Well... now our 20 month old is picking up on some of the nasty habits that his nine year old has.

Hitting in particular...

I can not see anywhere else that Nick could have possibly picked up this trait, considering that none of the rest of us (all adults) in the household hit for anything... period.

While the two boys were taking a shower, I caught his son "fake" hitting Nick (he was making the action... cocking his arm back and then just stopping short of actually touching) with one of his toys. Not just once... at least five times.

He is a very angry boy. He once rushed at my (very) pregnant belly with fists... and I dodged him just in time. I have caught him pinching Nick.

Unfortunately, because of a head injury... he has little to no short term memory... and this makes disciplining trying.

He was on a few different ADD/ADHD medications for a while, and they helped emmensely... but because of a halt in growth, and a law in Nevada regulating weight gain and the medications... we had to take him off.

His mother has since vowed to never allow him to be on such medication. I don't blame her, and wouldn't have choosen any differently, had it been asked for any input.

I personally think that the child's diet has a huge affect on his behavior. She feeds him junk... lots of processed foods, sugary stuff, fast food, etc. I think if his diet were to be improved to things that a growing child needs... his behavior would (at least slightly) follow.

Another factor towards my difficulties is that I am 21. His mother is nearly 48. From the beginning she has been feeding him lines such as, "She's just a teenager, she doesn't know anything." He then repeats them... and I highly doubt that a child would come up with something like that on their own.

Also, and unfortunately, SO isn't much help... at all. Because things are so day and night between the two houses... he is afraid that pushing anything too far will make the boy not want to be here... and he'll fly off of the handle when his mother tries to bring him over. With an end result of SO not getting to see his son.

(Complications furtherd by the fact that they aren't divorced yet... so there isn't any visitation set.)

We have recently imposed a Family Meeting that we hold every Sunday... in which we all sit down... review the house rules, go over his chore list, create a menu for the week (that he is allowed reasonable contribution as to avoid "I don't wanna eat that" issues), and an allowance providing that his chore checklist is completed. That has helped to a point... but because of our budget only allowing $5/week for allowance (which I think is fair for a 9 year old), and the way his mother is with money (giving him a dollar if he drinks his glass of milk )... he seems to not care if he gets the allowance or not. His attitude presenting "Oh well, it's just a measly five bucks... big deal."

In sum, I am tired of it. I was tired of it 20 months ago... even more tired of it 8 months ago, before I knew I was pregnant... and I am bloody fed up with it now. I don't know what is going to happen when Collin gets here.

I'm really at my wits end with this child and how he affects not only my son, but the energy in my home.

I am to the point where I don't give a d*mn. I couldn't care less if he succeeds or fails.

But the worst thing is that I am just about his last hope for structure and discipline... which are so necessary for a child... especially one in his position.

I know it's long... and if you have read this far... thanks.

So, is there any advice that anyone has?

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