Brandon, my step son lose his mother about half a year ago and doesn’t want to move in with us at all. But we made him move in with us. We have been trying everything to help him out as much as possible. We have been trying really hard to keep him as happy as possible, but nothing seems to work.
We have a large house, two large flat screen tv for everyone to use, Netflix account, wireless internet, nearly every video game systems and tons of games available, and everyone have their own laptop and tv in their room as well.
We thought Brandon would be so excitied about this since back home, his family doesn’t have a tv and have to share one laptop. It was totally opposite, he haven’t touched any video game systems, never sat down to watch tv, use laptop only for a hour or two at night, and even took his brand new flat screen tv apart to make a ceiling mounted projector for his laptop so he can use wireless keyboard and mouse!
Brandon keep asking for membership to rock climbing gym or mixed martial arts gym since he use to have both back home.We don’t want to pay for it because if we did, all kids will want this or that and it would get expensive and become difficult to transport everyone and we really don’t have time to drive them around all day.
Brandon end up always stay in garage tinkering with things if he’s not out running around. He’s never home either. He also really hate school now since it doesn’t provide ROTC program like as his old school did. He have been known to manipulate kids into things as well. We just found out the rumor of him being responsible for getting four kids arrested was true and he got away!
He have been sneaking out for a long time and it is always incredibly hard to catch him. We have caught him only twice and even then it wasn’t easy and take a lot of works and efforts.
We also just found out that he was making a lot of things we don’t approve of in garage! He have been making lock picking kit, firework materials, climbing gears, night vision goggle that actually work, and other things.
He also doesn’t seems to have any friend or anything. He’s always lone and distant. Punishing him doesn’t work at all either. He just keep say he don’t even want to be here and hate living here.
It is extremely hard and stressful. This is just tip of iceberg, there are so much more going on and that is just what we found out. We don’t know what to do any more.
If this is real, you need to understand that this kid isnt like your other kids, who have both parents.
Brandon lost his mom, was uprooted from his home, and is expected to sit inside and play video games all day. Instead he is building cool stuff in the garage, wanting to be outside, and can take apart tv's to make projectors! So much potential going down the drain because of under and over parenting. You dont want him to do anything, but you dont want to do anything with him either. If you arent willing to drive him around and take him out to do stuff, do be surprised when he makes his own fun in the garage. Not everyone was meant to watch television and play video games.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
Sorry I'm going with the the kiddo on this one. If you have money for flat screens and laptops you have money for rock climbing. Electronics do not make all kids happy. FYI our kids doctor will tell you it is NOT recommended for children to even have TV's in their rooms.
Brandon "lost" his mother...I take that means his mother died recently? Ummm, that's a HUGE trauma for a child, of any age! There are all sorts of behavioral changes to be expected after such a terrible loss, including some acting out....I think it's AMAZING that Brandon is behaving as well as he is, after such an enormous upheaval in his life! I'm so impressed that he wants to do such active, positive activities such as rock climbing, building things, and ROTC. Obviously his instincts are telling him to keep busy and keep up his interests, which is a very healthy way to deal with grief!
Is Brandon seeing a counsellor to help him cope with his grief and adjust to these enormous changes in his life? Or would taking him to grief counselling mean "too much driving around" for you?
That said - your new kid needs different things than the kids you have been raising. Your time and money and emotional support is required to help him pursue his avocations. If ROTC is not a possibility, maybe he can start working towards being an Eagle Scout? Rock climbing, martial arts - yup, you can afford that. If your other kids complain, remind them that THEIR mother is still aboveground and invite them to show some compassion for their brother. Maybe he'd like to be a junior counselor at a camp next summer, or attend the Army's summer program for high schoolers if there is one?
You've observed this kid well. You know what gets his energy productively engaged. So seek that stuff out, and reap the benefit of more peace and happiness in your home!
Different kids need different things. It sounds as though your stepson needs more active pursuits than your other children. And while I understand that you may not be able to provide everything he wants due to time constraints, perhaps providing one would be doable? His school doesn't offer ROTC - can he join at another HS? Or perhaps there's a robotics club that he could join that would give him an outlet for his inventive proclivities. Most HSs offer late buses so kids can attend activities. And then either the rock climbing or martial arts?
He has suffered a tremendous loss in his life, and some consideration needs to be given to that. Counseling may not be a bad idea...