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katykat 10-19-2002 05:43 PM

Dealing with step-children
:( I need some advice. I was married two years ago to a man with three children. We've definaltely had some tuff times around our house. I've had to stand my ground with them more times than I'd like to count. For the most part things have settled down except for me and my 15 year old step-son. Sometimes I think he's trying to split us up. He argues with me all the time, I can't seem to get him to do his homework, he lies to me, he uses me (and his father), he failed his seventh grade year and still is not doing real well (now in his freshmen year of high school). He has no respect for other people or for their property. He wants money all the time but doesn't want to work at all for it. He constantly is mean to one of his sisters and on and on. What do I do. Every time I try to talk to my husband about him he gets mad at me. He thinks I'm picking on him. I just think that someone needs to put their foot down with him and it can't be me. It needs to be my husband but he won't do it. My step-son did get grounded once but he still got to use the computer, phone, watch t.v., and go hunting. The last time I checked that wasn't grounded. What is a step-mother to do? I've even had to defend myself because my step-son complains to his dad (my husband) about me "picking on him" and I have to explain myself. I shouldn't have to do that. I'm getting to the point that I am constantly in a bad mood because I hate dealing with the step-son. Even my son tends to get mouthy and argumentive when he's around his step-brother. Don't get me wrong, my son isn't perfect by no means but he honestly tends to act better when his step-brother isn't around.

Anyone have any advice out there. I'm about to pull my hair out here. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:confused:

Sueanne 10-19-2002 07:16 PM

Hi Katykat.... If I were you I would let your Husband handle him. Your Stepson knows it is bothering you so he is getting his kicks out of it. Don't let him ruin your marriage. Is his mother still alive? Maybe she can have a talk with him. Tell your Husband if his problems are alright with him you will not worry either. See how long your husband will let him go on the way he is. Put on a Happy Face and enjoy your life. At fifteen he should have enough sense to know how he is doing in school and where he is heading if he does not change. Make sure you let your own Son know you don't approve of your stepsons actions but that is his Fathers responsiblity your Sons future is yours. Sueanne

katykat 10-25-2002 04:18 AM


Thanks for your advice. I've been trying to have my husband deal with my step-son as much as possible lately. It has been a little bit better. We'll see how things go I guess. I just have a hard time waiting for my husband to deal with him. Plus I'm afraid that if I don't put my foot down some with him he'll think that he can walk all over me because I'll wait for his dad to handle him and he knows that will probably never happen.

I guess I'll just take it one day at a time and see what happens. What else can I do right?

Sueanne 10-26-2002 08:12 PM

Hi Katykat.... Glad your husband is starting to help out. True your stepson thinks you will not involve your DH because it will cause conflict between you too. He will have more respect for you later on it just takes time. Try and stay relaxed don't yell when speaking to him just explain what you want him to do. Do you live in your own home? Maybe he can help out with lawn work or cleaning around the house for an allowance. Does he like to cook? Nothing wrong with him helping out with dinner. Explain to him what ever he learns now will help him when he is living on his own. Sueanne:daisy:

chey0420 10-27-2002 03:40 AM

help for stepson
Hi Katykat,
You are not alone! I have been married 3 times. My 1st husband is the father of my 2 oldest kids - Bonnie & Brian. My 2nd husband adopted them. we got divorced and he walked out of their lives and they don't have contact. They do however, sometimes see their natural father. He comes around when he feels like it. They also have a Step-Mom. She and I get along good. Their father and I get along but don't talk alot about specifics on the kids just stuff in general. I got married a 3rd time and he towards the end had gotten to have his daughter over on weekends. This went on for about 5 months before we seperated. So, anyway I was a Step-Mom and am dealing with my kids Step-Mom. First question, can you have a real talk with your husband or would that be a bad idea? If bad idea could you have a relationship with the mother or would your husband not want that? I would try one of then if possible but if not try doing what someone else suggested. Involve your Step-Son in doing a activity with you around the house. You maybe could also try finding one of he interests and show your intest in that with him. Also talk with your son about his Step-Brother's behavior. The teen years are rough. Kids now tend to be different to an extent than when I was a kid. They have more pressures and really need loving discipline. I am having a very difficult time with my son but things are getting better. Try backing off withe the major issues but try building with small things. Hopefully your Step-Son will come to build a good relationship with you evn if it takes years. I hope this helps. I not it is long and a lot of what ifs. I will pray for you.

ldyroper 10-27-2002 08:36 AM

Hi KatyKat-
I know where youre coming from!!! I remarried a man and with him came his then 10 yo son. He doesnt live with his mother anymore, cause she is just bad news, cant even take care of herself. I also have my own 15 yo son in the home also. Its almost a constant battle between my husband and the kids. We each are so protective over our own. Mine is NOT perfect, but does well in school, and usually doesnt lie, and behaves well- esp in school. The stepchild is now 12 yo. and is horrible in school, always in trouble, suspended, and basically failed last year but got passed on. His father only grounded him to his room for 2 days of his suspension. I have tried to help with homework with him, but he doesnt care, his father doesnt seem to care to much, but gets mad at me if I call the school to check up on him and his work. I said, Fine, you take care if it. Im not helping him anymore. At school my stepson is a bully and tyrant, at home hes a whiner, tattletail, daddys little boy and lier. His father doesnt see this. My husband reems my son up and down if my son has pushed his kid, or said something to upset his kid and so on. My son and my husband get into battles alot. My husband doesnt understand that brothers (and stepbrothers) will fight and not get along all the time. And my son is always to blame for causing the problem. Theres times I want out of the marriage because of this. My husband does realize he needs to relax a bit on the kids (mine) and is trying. I get a bad attitude towards his kid because of how he at times treats mine. Which causes stress between my husband and I. We are trying, but it is sooooooo difficult at times. There are times the kids get along great. But my husband fails to see those times. . I dont want a divorce over this kid thing, my husband is a very hard worker, can fix anything, build everything, and loves me to death. I do love him also. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone in your situation.

Jeannie 10-27-2002 06:55 PM

Been there done that...I feel for you.
First, you all need family counseling. This will help you and your husband understand that HE is responsible for disciplining HIS son. It's not your job. You aren't his mother or his father. I went through this and those were the words out of the Judge's mouth when it went to court.

You must, and please please listen to me, go to counseling.
If your husband won't go, then YOU go. It will help you deal with things and it will help you put it all in perspective.
But your husband must understand that guidance is needed here all around. The child has issues that must be addressed. You all do.
Get counseling. It's not a matter of money. Insurance will cover, and if you think you can't afford it, the county offers counseling on a sliding scale ability to pay. No matter how you look at it, y'all can't afford not to go to counseling.

Good luck.....

maejul 10-28-2002 08:26 AM


I have been in your position. Sad to say we are divorced because of it. When my ex-husband and I were dating and first married everything was alright. He had custody of his son and I had my daughter. He was 12 (he is now 16) and my daughter was 5 when we got together. My step-son wouldn't do anything I asked. He couldn't even pick up after himself or clean his room. His dad did everything for him. He was always telling lies. He would even tell his mom and sister lies about me. He acted big and tough, but he was actually a whiner. Thought he was big picking on others, but couldn't handle it if he was the being picked on. It didn't do me any good to say anything to his dad. All he ever said was "I'll talk to him", but I don't think he ever did or if he did they just laughed it off. One night he done something to my daughter (hit her or something) and made her whine, he of course denied doing anything. He got in my face and called me a B**** and brought up his fist to hit me. I was scared. He was a little bigger than me. My first instinct was to hit him back but my senses took over. I told him to go ahead and hit me and see if I wouldn't call the town cop. He dropped his fist and turned to leave the room saying he didn't believe I would call him. I told his dad and all he said was he wasn't going to allow that to go on in our house. But, it just kept getting worse. He got his way all the time even to the end. I hope you have better luck than I did. Our divorce came through 2 days before our 3rd anniversary. We only spent 1 year together. I left him a month before our 2nd anniversary. I couldn't take it no longer and I couldn't put my daughter through anymore. We were constantly fighting and then we didn't speak at all. Good Luck to you. :)

katykat 10-28-2002 06:27 PM

Dealing With Step-children

Thanks to all of the wonderful advice that all of you have given to me. It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one going through this stuff. Things are getting a little better. It's just one day at a time. My step-son is spending about a week with us and then a week at his mom's. I hate the back and forth thing but it does give everyone a little break from each other. I have been going to counseling for a couple of months now (as a matter of fact I have an appointment tomorrow). It has helped me so much. I would like to have my husband join me at some point but for right now I need to go by myself. I suffer from depression and anxiety disorder so the stress at home is harder for me to handle sometimes. I'm getting help though and hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel one of these days!

Thanks again for all the great advice!

God Bless!!!


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