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Step-Parenting Ask other step-parents your questions about being a step mom.

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Old 03-19-2003, 03:34 AM
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13 yo Stepson

I am really having trouble dealing with the stepson now that he lives with us. I agreed to have him move in with us as I thought it would be better than with his mother who spends a lot of time sitting on a bar stool in a much larger town. (We live in a one-stop light town.) He has only been with us since August when school started. We have found out that he has ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and he is in a Big Brother type program, but I see nothing getting better. The problem is that I can see problems coming from a mile away but his dad can't see it even when I tell him what is going on. He makes excuses for the kid, stands up for him and says he's just being a kid and I did that when I was a kid too. This does not address the problem and just makes me boil. The kid lies to his dad all the time. He has consistently had 4 F grades out of 6, but his dad says " well he told me he did his homework". When I discovered his bedroom window open and the screen off the kid said he was too warm and needed some air. ( the thermostat was set on 65 degrees) Now the window is broke and won't shut all the way. Day says it has always been that way. Wrong! I'm tellin' ya, I just can't win with either one of them. I was really involved the first three months, going to the school, setting rules and such but when I could see that they thought I was so way out in left field with my parenting ideas, and after getting told by dad to "not worry about it" then I just finally gave up and let them deal with it on their own. That led to more trouble. At first the dad was hesitant to discipline because he was afraid that he would go back to live with his mother (which is exactly what he tried when he was in trouble at school, but the condition was that he had to finish out the school year here if he came here) but I don't think the mother even wants him to come back. I am so fed up that I have suggested that they get their own place even tho' I know that will not do any good for the kid and I really don't want his dad to move either. I have a 23 yo boy that is on his own and there are no other kids at home. Keeping my mouth shut and letting them do it their way is not working. I just can't sit by and watch the kid turn into a delinqent but feel that my hands are tied if the dad won't listen to me. Just yesterday I clued him in to the fact that he is hangin with the wrong crowd and that he is headed for more trouble if he doesn't do something about it now. Then last night the cops brought him home. You'd think dad would see that I know what I'm talking about but.......?
Thanks for letting me vent. I feel like I'm on the verge of a mental breakdown. My sis tells me I can never give up on the kid and to hang in there but it's just getting harder by the day.
Any suggestions for me? I know this happens quite often with mixed families so I'm sure there are a lot of "been there done that" ideas out there. I have suggested parenting classes and even agreed to go with him. He's "thinkin' about it".
Thank you all!
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Old 04-03-2003, 12:22 PM
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Hi KC

After going through all kinds of problems with my stepson I'd be the last one to really give advice but here's what I learned.
Never tell his dad anything that kid did wrong. It gets you nowhere. If his dad ask you just tell him if he has to ask then he needs to spend more time with his son. Don't spend as much time with the kid and make sure his dad is the primary one taking care of him and if he doesn't like it explain to him that it's his son and not your responsibility.
I use to call my husband at work and tell him things all the time and when he'd get home I was at the front door complaining about something his son had done that day. He defended him and thought I was out of my mind until I finally said enough was enough and I told his son to not come to me for anything and I made his dad be the one that handled everything and sure enough, I've thrown the stepson out of home and my husband still tells me how sorry he is for not listening to me. No one wants to dare think their kid isn't perfect but sometimes you just have to shove the kid in their face before they wake up and see that not only are they not perfect but they're complete trouble.
If he's hanging with the wrong crowd make sure your jewelry isn't left at home while you're gone.
I had to finally leave and threaten divorce to get my husband to wake up at all. I know the nightmare you're going through and I feel for you.
I don't believe in the ODD stuff, never have. I was horrible as a kid and I did it for a reason. Attention. I think each year they keep coming up with differnet excuses why all kids aren't perfect and instead of seeing that they're just brats they give them a label of some sort.
At the age of 13 if his dad isn't willing to take him out back or at least lay down the law then maybe he'd be better off with his mom ya know. It's a hard situation and one that I will never go through again. I do wish you the best of luck.
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Old 04-03-2003, 03:04 PM
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I would strongly suggest family counseling.

But if it were me, I would not give DH or DSS a choice........they either go and participate or else!

If SS is not gotten under control now, there will only be more grief to pay later!

Good Luck!
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Old 04-03-2003, 04:41 PM
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Re: Hi KC

Quote:
Originally posted by Darla253

Never tell his dad anything that kid did wrong.
i wouldn't make an issue out of every little thing-but i sure would mention it in passing. i, too, am SM to a 13 yo old boy and sometimes my DH can't see things-until i say them. i am sure your husband will see the light at the end-but i think not mentioning things-even when you feel like you aren't being heard-hurts YOU worse. you are helping raise this child. you have a say in everything that happens in your home and you need your partner to be aware of what YOU see. kwim?
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Old 04-03-2003, 09:21 PM
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It's only my opinion, but I think the child needs the help of a social worker. He needs for both you & your DH to work together to get your stepson on the right track. I don't think finding excuses for the boy is going to help him to become an independent young man. Stick together and try to work this out to help the child. I don't think he should go back to his mother if she doesn't care to have him. Good luck to you!
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Old 04-05-2003, 05:33 AM
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I'm listening!

I have read your replys and feel better knowing that others went through the same thing. I also agree that dad needs to know what goes on behind his back or he'll assume the kid never does wrong unless HE catches him doing it. DH has agreed to go to the parenting class! Yippy, I think that will help us both! It is Spring Break here and I was mighty nervous being at work and not knowing what he was doing at home. He has been banned from hanging with one of the boys and I have changed the phone number so the others can't call either. I had to spend all day with him yesterday and I was mighty ornery by the time his dad came home. Couldn't get him to do his chores (that dad left for him), he just pretty much ignored me and made excuses. I'm feeling horrible today because yesterday I called him a "lyin'ass". Just kinda slipped out but I try to never talk to him different than I would expect out of him. Swearing is nothing to his dad and the kid has picked that up now too. I've made it clear that I will not listen to swear words out of a 13 yo!
Now today I'm supposed to drive them 60 miles round trip to get the stuff his mother left in another town. Gees, when do I get to win around here. I am taking them of course, because the kid does need more clothes and has been asking for months to go get his stuff, but I'd better see his dad make him work good and hard when we get back. I just can't hardly even be nice to either one of them when they act like that. Just have to bite my tongue and go in another room.
This venting really helps me, thank you all sooo much!
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Old 04-05-2003, 07:44 AM
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I hate to say this, but his father really needs to "put his glasses on" and, "smell the coffee". This kid is really headed for trouble if his father is going to always make excuses for him. And, you just might tell him, you are moving out if All of you don't get some counseling!! He needs some tough love and Quick! Board up the window so he can't "escape". Go to the school and, insist that he has a homework list every day to be checked off. Then, he has to bring it home to be done and, checked by you and his father. Too many kids end up in big trouble because the parents don't care these days. Maybe his father needs some tough love too! I doubt he wants a criminal for a kid!
Good luck...my heart goes out to you!
JYW, Texas
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