I need help. I feel like we are going crazy at home and we have no ideas on how to parent our increasingly difficult son (my stepson) and not sure of techniques to try. I need help.
I don't want to sound mean about him and stay objective but I am starting to have a bit of resentment in having to deal with him-he tries to absorb all attention around him all the time and we have other children (5 and 1.5)
There is much more to the story but a short form: Dh and I have been together for about 3 years plus friends before this. He had one son, now 9.5, with his ex. His ex is very difficult. She has definite mental illness-bipolar perhaps with borderline personality disorder. She herself thinks she has BPD and I think a lot of this has been passed onto my stepson. She is really "off" a lot. Outbursts, mean, totally different person, every hostile parenting thing in the book. Verbally and emotionally abusive to dh, extremely unpredictable. Enables son to the point of taking off his jacket, etc. He's in grade 4.
Grade 4. Excellent reading ability-a couple grades above at least.
Great marks in class-so far.
Teacher has difficulty with him because he tries to act like he is an adult and give others advice, etc. Has attitude that he is "right" all the time. Has been (teacher) dealing with increasingly rebellious (rude) behaviour.
He is very smart. He seems to get along with his peers.
He is extremely competetive. Insanely competetive actually-not just with sports but with other stuff.
Attitude that he is hard done by and deserves more than others. Ie/freaked out at xmas time that another kid got two candy canes and he got 1. He is 9.
Learned helplessless. Ie/looking for pencil in house. Breaks down and cries before looking. Dramatic crying-loud, etc. This happens ALL the time. He scares the other children with his "odd" crying outbursts. Ie/ You need to get a water before you do this. (crying outburst, loud...not real crying-it's hard to explain)
He will not think for himself. He will stand there and say I don't know where to find my lunchkit (?). He hates doing anything for himself whereas the 5 year old is like "what is the problem?" The 5 year old has to tell him explanations, etc all the time (he does without prompt) and then my stepson gets jealous or mad.
He can be very manipulative. In many ways. In secret, I have seen him bodycheck the 5 year old or tease him until he gets upset and then lies. He is starting to lie a lot. He blames anything and anyone even if he wasn't going to get in trouble. He excuses everything. It's not just an age appropriate amount-it's so much it's raising huge red flags.
Part of the issue is that he can sometimes say sorry (hardly ever) but doesn't "get" it. Doesn't get "why" something might not be apprioriate or "what" you should do (apologize), etc. No matter how much reinforcing or explaning-he just is blank and doesn't get it. He has a few social cue things that he misses as well like that. It's very hard to explain but it feels like we are working with a very difficult 2 year old. I mean-he is smart-why are there so many things he doesn't "get"? He reads science facts and has a great memory and seems relatively "okay" but since I have met him in the beginning-I knew something is not quite right. Could he have BPD? Or a degree of ASD? Or something? Counseling has gone no where. He is with his very unstable (emotionally) mom for 60% or 50% of the time-she is highly controlling over visits, etc for no particular reason.
Any experience with this?