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Psych. eval - stepson thinks discipline is bad

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Okay new twist to this.

My husband and I feel that it is very important to have structure, rewards, discipline, etc in our home. We feel that a child who can follow rules and routines in a home will be more prepared to do in a job and in society. Yeah, yeah, we sound a bit too optomistic and nerdy.

Mom feels it's more important to be a friend to a child. She allows my stepson to put off assignments until the night they are due. She allows him to not do an assignment all together and just quickly do it before school so he can have more fun with his friends at her home that night. She will yell at him for doing something that annoys her and just tells him to go away.

His father is much more strict on him than I am. I can get upset when I find out he has been lying to me about something for several days. (he can look you right in the eyes and lie to you without blinking). I usually get frustrated at him for repeatedly doing the same thing or breaking the same rule. He is 12 and there are certain behaviors he should have. For example: manners at the table; not a meal goes by that he doesn't do something to get corrected for, last night he licked food off the table that had fallen off his plate then looked at me as if I as a horrible person for asking him to not do that again and watch his manners.

When he goes to his mother and complains that he was punished. He only says that i punish him and never mentions punishments from his father. Sometimes his mother has complained to my husband about a punishment my stepson told her I gave him, when in fact, it was all my husband. My stepson knows his mom dispises me and I feel he says these things about me to get his mom to say bad things about me because he can't do it himself. Also, mom then buys him something to make him feel better about the horrible time he had with me.

Anyhow, he went to the mediator and told her that I get "mean-mad" when I get mad at him. He told her that he doesn't even know what he does wrong when I get upset with him. (he tells me that same thing about his teachers)

I have a feeling he will do the same thing when we see the evaluator.

Any suggestions on what I can do or say to difuse this???
post #2 of 6
No advice really, but wondering if there's any chance of getting this child some counseling? He seems to be having a rough time dealing with things, and well, having biomom openly unhappy about step-mom, and trying to openly difuse any discipline in your home, well that must be ROUGH to learn how to live...

Good luck!
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
He is on his 5th counselor in 3 years. They pass him on for one reason or another.

He said today that when he is complaining about the way he is unjustly disiplined, he fails to mention what he did wrong. He always says he doesn't know why he was in trouble.

He originally started counseling because they thought he had ADHD. One counselor said he acts the way he does because Dad won't let mom speak to him face to face. Apparently she was a student and mom was visiting with her daily whereas dad only went with the boy on his scheduled visits. The counselor nearly said what mom has been saying word for word. She thinks if she can dad can talk face to face then the boy would be better. He's 12, the restraining order has been in place since he was 9. Mom got to talk to dad face to face for the first 9 years and the boy had more problems then, then he does now. Go figure. She stopped because her semester in school ran out and she changed classes.

The second counselor felt he was suffering from anxiety and depression, but he passed him on to the 3rd couselor to get a second opinion.

The third counselor said he was normal and to ignor him, but focus on dad's house, dad's rules, mom's house, mom's rules and sever any communication beteen parents. He instructed the children to not tell either parent what's happening at the other home and call 911 if they have a problem, but don't call the other parent. We stopped taking him because this counselor thought cutting the kid off when he started to speak about something that bothered him was best.

The fourth counselor was better, she listened and tried to help. She was very interested in speaking to the parents (even stepparents) to get a handle on the boy. She had to stop because the grant that was funding her work ran out.

Now he's on the fifth. She's the best so far. She's the supervisor of this counseling place. She's very interested in helping him. She has her concerns about mom always saying the boy is fine and well behaved then my husband and I bringing many concerns about him. We now have emails from his teachers with the same concerns we already brought to the therapist. At least that will prove we are ligit.

Anyhow, this boy knows what a therapist wants to hear. He knows that the therapist won't talk to anyone for him so he stopped telling her things that bother him about all his parents (me included). He says, "Why tell her something she can't fix?"

I just hope that this evaluator we have to go to can see that he is a typical child like the ones on Nanny 911 who plays the parents against each other to get his way.
post #4 of 6
I don't think I'd go so far as to say that your stepson shouldn't "tell" what's going on at the other home, or to tell him that his only resource is 911, like the one therapist did. On the other hand, a dose of "dad's house, dad's rules" would be helpful, since the problem is he wants to use pressure from mom's house to get out of dad's rules. So fundamentally I like the idea of an approach that would have him working out his own issues with each house rather than playing them off each other. (Speaking as another step-parent who's had to handle the children's mom calling up with a laundry list of complaints about our house...).

I can see why, since your dh's ex seems to be a nut, you'd be anxious about his being told not to tell what goes on there. Although to be honest in our case, we have so little ability to affect what dh's ex does with the kids, that sometimes we'd rather just not know - all we could do was worry, or get into a fight, neither of which has a point. Still though, I think that therapist was onto something.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
For the most part we don't react to what the children tell us. But we don't stop them in their tracts after the first word or two. We want them to feel free to tell us anything, just incase there is something they need to tell us. If they feel they will get in trouble for saying anything, they'll be forced to keep it to themselves and mess them up even more.

The children tried to tell that one therapist stuff as well. He told them to ignore their mom when she's hitting or verbally abusing their stepfather. He told us to ignore the children when they tell us the police had to come to get mom to leave stepdad alone. Stuff like that.

We're not talking about mom let them stay up past midnight, were talking about mom yanking drawers out of the kitchen and throwing them across the room and then jumping on stepdad's back and gouging his eyes. (this was on stepdad's restraining order against mom). The therapist told us to ignore this until the children actually get hurt. Just because the children witnessed this, doesn't mean they are being abused.

When it's regular stuff like, "My brother hit me & mom didn't want to do anything about it" or "I couldn't do my homework at mom's because she had friends over very late and their kids were playing with me" we try to say something like, "Well, it looks like you need to talk to your mom about that because I can't help you on that one." and let it go.

Mom doesn't do that though. She says things like, "She shouldn't do that, she's not even your real mom." or "If you were here you wouldn't have to go through that." or "Don't worry, just think of how much fun you will have here when you get back."
post #6 of 6
Whoa. Nasty.

My stepkids get the same comments from their mom as yours does, but at least they don't see that kind of violence on a regular basis at her home. And yes, I agree with you that telling your child you don't want them to tell you about violence in the home is over the top.
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