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His Child Is Ruining Ours...

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April 12th, 2006, 10:36 PM
Meg-O's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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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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April 18th, 2006, 12:18 PM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Im sorry youre going through this. It is so hard. I mean, its hard enough being a step parent, and you add all this in the mix, and it only makes it harder.

I dont have the SAME problem, but a similar situation - we do share the situation of how my DHs sons mother has a house where anything goes, and we pay hell for it.

I dont know what advice to give, other than I understand how it is to need to vent.


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April 18th, 2006, 04:57 PM
Meg-O's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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April 18th, 2006, 09:35 PM
Petesgirl's Avatar Veteran
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Megan, I have a disneyland Ex husband- it sucks! Everything you're describing about food/displine etc. I do feel bad for you, but I'm going to remind you that your step son isnt your equal- he is a child. The way you refer to him as "the child" and say "I don't give a d*mn. I couldn't care less if he succeeds or fails. " is *really* waving HUGE RED flags to me. You sound like an evil step mother, but I know you're not.
I really recommend you take a child development class, AND a child psychology class. You dont seem to understand him, or want to understand him. He is the baby of the person you love, your son's brother, he is a child, he is not an adult.
Besides taking childhood education courses, I recommend you take him to a phychologist with you- family session. It does sound like he has mental illness, I never like it when children are medicated- it messes with their growing brain- their neurotransmitters dont fire off like they would normally, etc. Its just awful.
Please try to look at him as your own child, not a problem that you're dealing with, putting up with. I think a lot of the problems are caused by his mother, she sounds EXTREMELY IMMATURE and selfish. She doenst have her son as her priority.
Is there anyway you guys can get him monday- friday, you guys can provide the stability he needs. You need to find techniques on disciplining children with short attention spans....how did he get his brain injury? Does anyone hit him? Do people pinch him? Where does he get his abusive tendencies?

Just so you know, my dd started hitting all by herself- there is absolutely no hitting in the house, so some kids just start hitting when they are little- but grow out of it. Little kids are like little animals, they rely on smell, touch, movement for communicating and understanding- specially when they cant talk yet, cant express their emotions.

Id like to help you as best as I can, it is really difficult having the patience to deal with this when you're so young. But we all have our challenges....

Oh another thing, maybe you can add a ticker with his age, etc to your signature...you know, really try to think of him as yours....just a thought
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April 24th, 2006, 09:26 AM
MommieinNC's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Okay... since I know Megan and her family personally... I think I should throw in my 2cents and opinion....

If anything, Megan is UNDER STATING the problem and is in no way exaggerating this problem...

The mother of her stepchild uses her as nothing more than a free baby sitter so she doesn't have to pay daycare and can go out on her own whim... Calling up to say she's dropping off the child with no warning, and no option of them saying no. This woman is constantly belittling Megan to the child, constantly belitting the father to the child... It's constant, always... and never ending...

IE: A trip planned to FL... Megan purchased a ticket for the child, reminded the mother over and over again of the date and time... They go to pick up the child on the day of the flight, Mother throws a tantrum saying they never informed her... and then goes on later to tell the child that Megan PURPOSELY sabatoged it so he couldn't go because Megan didn't want to take him along... Wait a min... she purchases a ticket, constantly reminds the mother, etc... and yet she doesn't want to take him along? Yeah... ok.

IE: Megan is a younger mom... This woman constantly tells the child that "Megan knows nothing, she's just a child"... henceforth, the child goes off on that, and tells Megan that whenever she tries to correct him.

IE: Megan is expecting another baby... Her husband works full time. Megan is a SAHM and does school via the computer... The woman tells her son "What are they going to do with a new baby? All they do is sit around on their ***** all day as it is."

IE: Megan informs father of child coming at her with fists, child refusing to listen, child backtalking... Father does what? Nothing... Tells the child he needs to behave... then leaves it at that.

IE: Mother wants to go out... So she brings the child over... No warning other than he's coming over. No option of saying no...

IE: Mother calls up the SO of Megan almost every day with a new problem, making it nearly impossible for him not to either leave work or leave his family to come and help her. She makes it so that he is her "last hope" each time... Henceforth, affecting the time he has with his family and taking time/money away from his job.

Now the child... lord knows... Angry boy isn't the word for it...

IE: When the 1st baby was coming, he was selfish and demanding wanting to know why the new baby to be was getting new stuff and he wasn't...

IE: Coming at Megan with fists when she was pregnant because he didn't like something she had to say.

IE: Hitting/pinching on a 20mth old child... infant... toddler... whatever you want to call the little one.

IE: He tries to influence the time away from his father and the new family...

So it doesn't surprise me to learn that he may be taking out his selfish aggressions on her son... Doesn't surprise me at all. That child isn't hit... at least not from what I've seen... and mind you, we all used to live together... If anyone needed a spanking, that child would be the first on my list to get one for his mouth, his attitude, his outright disrespect, hitting of another child, etc... No one abuses that boy. If anything, he is catered to like a young prince waiting to become a king by his biological parents. One who I think enjoys the conflict he causes, and another who is afraid he'll be lost to him forever if he steps up and takes his repsonsibilites as a parent seriously.

Because the bio parents aren't divorced... it makes things a little harder and difficult for Megan in ALL ways... The mother isn't very accepting of signing divorce papers because that would mean split custody and SHE would be the one paying child support for the child to live to both standards at both houses... As for the father... I haven't a clue why in hell he won't just sign the papers and proceed with it, as it would be better for everyone involved. As long as they are still legally married, she (being the wife) has some type of hold on him whether it be emotionally or legally... And it's not fair to Megan to be caught in the middle...

Now as for suggesting that Megan take the boy to a psychologist... Because she is NOT legally a parent of guardian, she has no authority to do so. Both the childs mother and father refuse to see a real problem, and the mother would quickly refuse to allow the child to go with Megan, so it's a no win situation. Plus, no one except Megan is open to family counseling, so that's another one down the drain...

I understand where it's hard for her to look at him as her own child. The father allows the child to get away with murder, the mother encourages it knowing it gets on Megans nerves and stresses her out... The mother belittles Megan, blaming Megan for everything... the father won't say anything about it, scared he'll loose his son... It's a NO WIN situation that she's in.

Megan has tried and tried and tried for years with no success. It's not like she hasn't tried... because she has... for almost three/four years... There has been NO change and no difference in her trying, so I can understand where she is ready to give up... In her shoes, I would have already given up ages ago!

Megan honey... I really DO feel sorry that you are having to go through this. I really hope one day your SO's eyes are opened... because he needs a huge reality check of how this is affecting you mentally and emotionally... and what it may be doing to Nic and what it may end up doing to Collin...

I am so so so so so so so sorry that neither C's mother nor father want to help him get the help he so desperatley needs, and I fear that the longer it goes on, the worse it's going to become.

You know where I am...
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May 2nd, 2006, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 57
Frankly, I would leave. It sounds as if everybody's needs are being met but your own, and you have put up with it for so long that it has become the norm.

I have a step son that is 8.5 years old, and I am nearly six months pregnant with my first, so I will have about the same age dynamic that you do when all is said and done. However, four years ago I gained control of my step-son, and to this day I do not let him get away with anything. We just recently had an issue involving the mother doing something to undermine our authority, and the issue was big enough that I got the lawyer on it ASAP. I am the boss of this family, not some outsider that lives up the street.

Further, I love my step-son, and I love my husband, and all that jazz, but nobody, and I mean nobody, is going to ##### with my kid. If anybody in this house decides to stop taking me seriously, they can pack their bags then.

And honestly, it sounds as if nobody is taking you seriously.

(On a side note, cancel the allowance completely since he does not appreciate it.)
First child, a boy, due August 27. Step-mother to eight year old boy.
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May 5th, 2006, 11:51 AM
rhysmom's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Oh My

I felt like I was reading about my own life while I was reading your post.

Tyler just turned 9 yesterday and has ADHD, his mom lost custody of him when he was 4, but just recently (xmas time) has been granted visitation unsupervised. We have a 1 year old together and Tyler has lunged at him on several occasions and his reason when asked about it is he makes me mad. He was throwing toys on the ground (he's a baby for god sakes). My SO is very supportive of what we are trying to do to gain control of Tyler. He threw a chair at me last summer and threw a pen at his baby brothers face. He was not allowed to be around him unsupervised for a very long time and that hurt him. I can sympathize with the whole getting money to drink milk. Tyler's mom pays him to get dressed and have a shower. Hellooooo he's 9 years old, this is just common sense stuff, not rocket science. Sometimes I feel like SO just gives in to Tyler and his mother just to keep them both quiet and we end up paying for it in the end with a huge attitude. He lives with us and we provide EVERYTHING for him she pays nothing and yet he idolizes her, she is some sort of goddess, without any parenting skills.

Sorry to ramble on, I didn't mean to hijack your post. I just wanted to let you know we have similar situations and if you need to talk let me know.


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May 17th, 2006, 09:50 PM
MorgaineNTannersMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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OH WOW I have no advice for you but I just wanted to give you some You are a stronger woman than I. This is EXACTLY what I'm worried will end up happening. You've gone above and beyond!
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May 18th, 2006, 12:17 PM
docsmomma's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My son's father is a "Disneyland dad" Anything he wants when he's there he gets. He also gets told to "Hit sister (my DD) and that he doesn't have to listen to me or DH.

Instead of worrying about whether or not he would WANT to come home after his visits to his father's house, I put rules in place. When i pick him up, I give him a hug and kiss, he says I missed you mommy, and I say I missed you too, now remember, all attitudes stay outside the van (I also do this anytime I pick him up from anywhere). He gets in, buckles up and we head home. He tells me the whole way home (usually an hour" all about "only daddy took me here, we had ice cream, cotton candy, etc..."

I have to remind him that we don't have that at our house and if he wants a snack it has to be asked for (he just grabbs one there) and has to be from the snack shelf (healthy snacks). I also remind him that if he gets his target stars (for behaviour and chores) he gets a "treat" from the "treat shelf" (usually the not as healthy stuff).

He told me last week that he doesn't like going to "only daddy's" because "only daddy" tells him "I'm your only daddy" (hence why he, being 4, calls him only daddy) and tells him he only has 1 daddy (he chooses to call DH daddy and cried that he wants 2 daddies, not 1, and we explained that if he wants 2 daddies that's fine, he has 2 daddies because daddy is just a name, and it means that he is very much loved).

He prefers to be home because we have rules, and we have discipline and because after a long battle of him wanting to be the only child, he wants to be with sister. He gets enough sleep at home, he gets attention from us, not just TV, Disneyland, and candy (which is exactly what he gets there). PLus he says "only daddy still cuts up my food, but I'm a big boy and can eat big boy foods!"
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May 18th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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Now as for suggesting that Megan take the boy to a psychologist... Because she is NOT legally a parent of guardian, she has no authority to do so. Both the childs mother and father refuse to see a real problem, and the mother would quickly refuse to allow the child to go with Megan, so it's a no win situation. Plus, no one except Megan is open to family counseling, so that's another one down the drain...

Not to mention, our atty told us that one parent cannot take a child to a counselor w/o the permission of the other parent. We were recomending it for our SD to do family counseling with Dh and myself. Bio mom absolutely refused it.

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