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MEANCARLEEN SparkPoints: (43,601)
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6/17/11 8:18 A

NO parent should try to be their child's friend to get them to like them! I don't think the therapy is wasteful...I think the therapist isn't working!! I would change therapist. I can't imagine ANYONE thinking its ok for a 9 year old to not wipe themselves and open themselves up for humiliation from peers and anyone else around him. In short, his bio mom is an IDIOT and needs to be his mom and not try to be his friend. (I tell my ADHD 12yr old son ALL the time that I do not care if he likes me and that I didn't bring him into this world to like me or to be my friend. Of course the only time he doesn't like me is when he is getting disciplined for HIS actions)

She will pay a high price for her no rule policy and only making it worse for her son in the long run. He MUST learn that in life there are rules EVERYWHERE and not following them can and will lead to consequences. I wouldn't care what he was allowed to do anywhere in the world, when he comes to YOUR home he should follow the rules or face consequences NEVER back off of that - it may be the only structure he receives besides school.

You and your hubby must always be a united front regarding his son or your doomed and the BIGGEST issue for me regarding your story is it is that you make sure that this childs behavior or lack of doesn't rub off onto your bio children.

MOMOF3FORLIFE SparkPoints: (29,214)
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6/16/11 4:44 P

Thanks so much for your comments!

Let me just say that my husband and I have been married for 6 years now, and together for 8 years, so my step-son has really only known us being together. He's always had the same rules at our house for the past 8 years (age-appropriate rules, of course).

With that said, my husband has tried to get his ex to be consistent, but she always says she feels bad that my step-son has to come to our house and she doesn't want to do anything that might make him not like her because she doesn't want him to ever say he wants to live with us. So in her house, he has no rules, and even when her husband disciplines him (She just got married a few months ago), she always lets him out of it. My husband, step-son and my husband's ex go to therapy, and it isn't helping at all.

We make my step-son a part of our family when he is here. He is just as important as the other kids. For the past 2 visits, things have gone a little better. I'm not sure if it's because we have made his consequences a little worse lately or what. I really just hope things change because it's very stressful! My family is my world and all I want is for us all to get along.

I will never understand why people do the things they do to their kids. I love my kids with all of my being, but they have rules and consequences and chores they have to do, etc. I don't worry about if they will like me when they get older, I want them to be good people and I think they appreciate that we have rules and know we want what is best for them.

CANMTCA SparkPoints: (2,970)
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6/16/11 4:08 P

I too have come from a blended family so I understand some transitional pains when it comes to new family and new family rules. I can almost feel like you are at your witís end with your step son with how you describe him. I feel for you and you do need to take care of yourself as well and let your husband take the initiative to resolve some of this to take some weight off of you.

I do agree with the other poster that it should be your husband's role to teach him proper hygiene. He should also be the one to provided him support and teach the transition into his new family with new rules as well. Step kids can feel lost easily when their identity and roles are no longer clear through big changes like this. It can be very confusing, frustrating or simply feeling left out or not fitting in.

From what it sounds like you are saying your step son has two parents who are telling him very different things, this can cause confusion and maybe even instigates lies in him. Lying is never a good excuse so it is very good that you and your husband are trying to get him to stop. Maybe a heart to heart discussion with the whole family including the step sonís wife so everyone can be on the same page and same expectation and the child can be disciplined the same way so there is consistency?

The fear of public bathroom would alarm me if any child has this issue. It would be a red flag for me and would make me wonder if something had happened.


ASKNEME SparkPoints: (1,773)
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6/15/11 6:50 P

I too am in a blended marriage and my step-son is 9. When my husband and I met he had just turned 7 and he was extremely jealous to the point of when his dad went to the bathroom he would ask where ya going. He finally has gotten used to the fact that I am not going anywhere and he needs to get used to the fact that his dad and I are married. He was still wearing pull ups at night because his mother refused to give him a drink time limit at night and WE got him off of those. He is homeschooled and has NO social skills so he can't think for himself. I get very irritated because he doesn't do the things that 9 yr olds do to make their parents upset, lol. He doesn't do the talking back, but at the same time, he doesn't do a whole lot of thinking on his own. I told my husband I will be so happy one day when he finally does talk back to me that I will high 5 him then send him to his room lol. Having a blended family is definitly not an easy thing to do and having a troublesome child, I can imagine, makes it even harder. When the mother doesn't do anything to help him make his way through life is when you have to do your best while he is with you to guide him. Just do your best to show him what a real mom is supposed to be like and when he grows up, he will respect you more than the mother who chose not to give him any life skills.

Good luck!

MOMOF3FORLIFE SparkPoints: (29,214)
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5/22/11 9:14 P

Thanks for the feedback, sanderson83. My stepson was tested for ADD/ADHD, and they found that he does not have it. My husband has taught his son all about personal hygiene and had continued to go over it every weekend for years to try to get my stepson to learn the right way. The therapy started because his mom was concerned that he couldn't wipe himself and she thought the therapist would teach him how to do it properly (I'm being serious, this is what she told my husband.) My husband agreed to the therapy because the other issues we have had with him and he hoped that the therapist would help us deal with the issues and help my stepson's mom be a better parent. In therapy, the mom has stated that she doesn't care about his personal hygiene, or his grades (she's happy with c's and d's), or his lying, or his jealousy, and she won't discipline him because she feels bad. They have tried to agree to things with and without the therapist, but my stepson's mom always fails to follow through. She tells my stepson that he only has to follow the stuff at his dad's house and not to worry about it at her house.

The issue is the mom, not my stepson. She allows him to be the way he is and he walks all over her. He thinks he can do the same here, but we don't allow it. We give him positive feedback, we do fun things with him, we tell him we love him and he means the world to us, we have always told him that if he tells the truth he'll get in less trouble...but he spends so much time with him mom and she reinforces the bad behavior that the 4 days a month he's at our house (every other weekend) really doesn't do any good. Once he gets the hang of being here and following our rules it's time for him to go home and then he's in a place where he can do what he wants when he wants and everything we did is lost. It makes me sad that his life is like this. I wish we could change it, but the court system refused to change custody even though we had binders of proof to show neglect and harmful behavior on his mom's part.

My stepson's mom told him she doesn't understand why I go to his parent-teacher conferences and why I go to his stuff at school and his soccer and baseball games. She says I shouldn't be there because I wasn't there when he was conceived (Thanks God for that!!) She just got married, and I've never seen her husband. They've been together for at least 6 years, and he's never been at a conference or any of his games. My stepson says her husband is too busy to go to anything, but when they get home from his games he's on the computer playing games.

I just wish I knew what to do. We've tried everything at this point, and nothing seems to work. Therapy is a waste, his mom is never going to change, and he will never learn if she keeps allowing him to do whatever he wants with no rules and no direction. It's a losing situation for my stepson! I want to help give him an awesome life, but feel like my hands are tied. My husband feels the same way, and he gets super depressed over this because he wants to see his son have a great life and live to his potential but he isn't given the chance.

I don't blame my stepson, but we have continuously taught him right from wrong, personal hygiene, lying is bad, arguing with adults is unacceptable, etc. His consequences are usually to write or he may lose TV or video games, nothing too major. But the only way he's going to learn is if it is consistent through both households, and his mom will have no part of that. We're just stuck! Which means my stepson has to suffer because his mom won't be a parent. I seriously feel bad for him :(

SANDERSON83 SparkPoints: (15,080)
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5/22/11 5:25 P

Well first I would ask what started the therapy to begin with? If your stepson has ADD, ADHD, or ODD then he might not be able to complete control his behaviors. Also, you can't get mad at a child for not doing something they were never taught to do! I personally think that it is your husbands job to teach him proper hygiene...first because he's a BOY and second because he is technically the biological parent at your house (I know that shouldn't matter, but i'm sure it matters very much with the boy's mother). As for the lying and such, I would just do the best I could to keep the lines of communication open and tell him "you won't get in trouble if you tell me the truth...even if it was something that you think you would get in trouble for" and stick to that. I know that might be hard at first, but at least it shows your stepson that it is SAFE for him to tell you and your husband ANYTHING and it creates a pattern that is positive. The idea is to give him as much POSITIVE interaction and success when he is at your house. Finally, I would put it on your husband to talk to the boy's mother and figure out a game plan....try to agree on what is acceptable and what is not acceptable....maybe have the therapist act as a mediator.
Lastly keep your patience and just love love love all your kids...that's the best thing you can do! Good luck!

MOMOF3FORLIFE SparkPoints: (29,214)
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5/22/11 12:43 P

I have 2 kids of my own and a step-son who is only with us every other weekend. My step-son has a different lifestyle at his mom's house where he has no rules, he gets whatever he wants, he has his mom wrapped around his finger, he never gets in trouble, and so on. My step-son lies, argues with adults, has horrible personal hygiene (he can't even wipe himself), manipulates people, acts like a baby, is super jealous, and so on. He's 9 years old!

These things have been issues ever since he was young, and unfortunately, they aren't getting better. The lying and arguing were somewhere under control at our house, and then the therapist my husband goes to with his son and son's mother told him we needed to be more lax and allow some streaks in my step-son's underwear and that he's only 9 so the lying and arguing will stop eventually and that we're too hard on him. So my husband agreed to make the changes they asked us to make until the next appointment and see how it goes. Basically, my step-son has a free pass to not wipe at himself at school because his mom says he's scared of the bathrooms at school. My step-son says his mom teaches him to lie and that they argue all the time over everything. So, of course, the control over the lying and arguing that we had has all gone away since the last therapist appointment and my step-son has regressed back to the way things were when he was at his worst.

I'm so sick of this whole situation! I'm sick of him lying to me and arguing with me. I'm sick of his lack of personal hygiene. I'm sick of him being mean to my kids because he's jealous of what they have or have done when my step-son wasn't here and jealous of their friends. It's getting to be too much. We do a lot with our kids, regardless of what kids are here. My step-son has always been treated the same as my kids because he is just as much a part of the family as they are. He just has no respect for anyone and he's out of control!

The therapist isn't helping at all. The mom has admitted she doesn't care about my step-son doing things wrong and she won't discipline him because she feels bad for him that he has to come to our house, she doesn't want him to hate her when he gets older so she allows him to do what he wants, and so much more! He's only here every other weekend, but I want that time to be good so we can all enjoy his visits and make the most of our time together.

Does anyone have any advice?

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