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#1 of 14 Old 11-28-2005, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just a vent...

You know??? That boy is driving me crazy. I've got to take my time outs much sooner than I did tonight.

He is defiant when I tell him to do something. Mostly with homework. He choses to argue than to listen to me explain. He doesn't pay attention in class ( we get weekly emails with complaints that he slouches, plays with things and doesn't listen ) then he argues about his homework based one one or two sentences he heard in class.

He has a difficult time grasping the concept of things or expressing himself. His mother has encouraged him to fake it out rather than admit he doesn't understand and needs it explained ( this is how she handles things in the real world ). He will agrue until the sun comes up rather than reread or listen to another interpretation.

His mother hates me and underminds everything I do or say. He goes to her every other week and complains about me. She is now instructing him to "stand up for himself" when I get on to him to tell him what to do. "Standing up for himself" means to talk back and refuse to obey me. Of course he said this rule is only for me and not his dad.

My stepdaughter just told me tonight that her mother tells her to "stand up for herself". For example, she should tell me or her dad "no" when we take her for a hair cut. I asked if we should tell her to tell mom "no" when she wants to take her to get a hair cut and she said she can't.

I let it drop because it's not the kids fault that their mom is screwed in the head and a control freak.

We go for our "family" session part in this 730 psych eval Tuesday. That's gonna suck. This kid is bent on a fued with me and isn't mature enough to realize how serious this psych eval is.

I've got to let the evaluator see that this conflict if fueled by mom's desire for control and her anamosity towards me.

I know there are lots of moms & stepmoms in this forum that agree with mom's idea that stepmoms shouldn't try to "parent" a stepchild. I disagree. I feel that a stepparent has a responsibility and right to be the adult and role model in his/her home. A child should respect a stepparent just like any other adult in the home.

Tonight it started out calm. I asked him to get his homework done. He rushed & did it sloppy. I asked him to rewrite & proofread. He did, but his work wasn't what was being asked for. He was supposed to take quotes from a story and interpret them. He didn't interpret them correctly because he didn't read the story, just hunted & pecked for quotes. I tried to explain the quote so he could understand it & he argued that I didn't understand it. I asked him to reread the 3 paragraphs before the quote. He then argued a totally different arguement that made even less sense. I decided to finally ask him if he understood the quote and what was being asked of the homework. He wouldn't let me get it out, he kept interrupting and said I didn't know. I told him to stop & he wouldn't. I then said, "Shut up." he kept arguing. I said "shut up" once again. He said I couldn't talk to him like that and continued to argue. My husband then jumped in and told him he will obey and shut his mouth when he is told to. He started crying and said that I told him to shut up in a mean way that's why he didn't listen. Well, let me tell you...my husband made me look like a saint the way he jumped on the boy. I then asked if I should speak to him the way he father did. He didn't answer.

Later he said that I was rude and his father wasn't. He said "shut up" is a rude way to say be quite where "shut your mouth" isn't. He argued quite a bit in that one. This is where I left the room. I heard his father try to explain there is no difference and that if he would have obeyed when I said stop it wouldn't have excalated.

Mom has encouraged the kids that "stand up for yourself" means "you don't have to do what stepmom tells you".

BTW, mom has no problem with the children showing stepdad the same respect as a father.
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#2 of 14 Old 11-28-2005, 03:42 AM
 
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I totally feel for you...my step-daughters rarely listen to anything I say...they also rarely listen to their father...and the older girl is getting in trouble in kindergarden for disrespecting her elders...which means she not only doesn't listen to her teacher but other adults in the school as well...she spit on a girl and when asked why she did it she just laughed and said no reason...both of my step-daughters cry to get their way with their father and they try and do it with me...but I rarely give in...so they think I am mean...I ask them to do something three times before I yell at them and I try and put them in time out for not listening...but nothing seems to work...when they go to their mom's for the weekend they come back and act like their mom told them to scream and cry and not do anything we ask...for lack of better words these girls are spoiled rotten and out of control and I am starting to loose my temper quicker and quicker...and I hate yelling at them but I don't know how to get through to them...I try to help the 5 year old with her homework and it usually ends up in a fight...she has more homework in kindergarden then I had in 3rd grade...I agree with you that children should learn to respect all adults that are well meaning...I try and tell the girls that I will never tell them to do anything bad and I will never hurt them...and that anything I say is for their own good...but they are too young to understand...the 3 year old is almost impossible to reason with...my husband thinks it is because her mother was living with some cousin when she was pregnant with her and possibly did drugs and now she might have some sort of learning dissability...although I don't like to even believe in it I am afraid she might have ADHD...also she has some sort of speech problem...I can only understand about 40% of what she says...my husband and I would like to get her into a special school or at least speech therapy but we are too poor and he is afraid to ask her mother to do it....any way I was just trying to relate and I started to rant a little...and by the way everytime I say "shut up" both girls chime in with "shut up is a bad word" so then I tell them to "hush" and they still won't be quiet especially if I am trying to do my homework or if I am on the phone.
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#3 of 14 Old 11-28-2005, 12:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stressedstepmom

I know there are lots of moms & stepmoms in this forum that agree with mom's idea that stepmoms shouldn't try to "parent" a stepchild. I disagree. I feel that a stepparent has a responsibility and right to be the adult and role model in his/her home. A child should respect a stepparent just like any other adult in the home.
I agree with this...I just think in a situation like you are in where one bio parent is telling the kid to disrespect the step parent what SHOULD be and what is are two different things and you have to start dealing with what is.

I was a stepkid whose mom coached me to hate my father and sm. Honestly there is NOTHING they could have done to improve our relationship while I was a child- NOTHING. What my father and sm did is drop the rope, they kept loving me, and they kept offering guidance but they wouldn't force it (and thank god becuase if they tried I would do the opposite just to prove I could) Today I am very, very close to them. Had they kept pushing my alienation could have been complete.

I am so sorry you are in this delema. I really wish there was something that could make it better, some easy fix. I am afraid when you have a bio parent making the stepparent the target there isn't much to do to fix it. So my advice is to focus on your relationship with this child when he is an adult and recognize you may not be able to fix the relationship you have today.

If you do find a way to fix it please share as I am now as a step mom in a similar situation.

And btw let me add a shout out to your ss's bm. It is an evil game she is playing with her son's heart and no good will come of it!
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#4 of 14 Old 11-29-2005, 03:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stressedstepmom
Tonight it started out calm. I asked him to get his homework done. He rushed & did it sloppy. I asked him to rewrite & proofread. He did, but his work wasn't what was being asked for. He was supposed to take quotes from a story and interpret them. He didn't interpret them correctly because he didn't read the story, just hunted & pecked for quotes. I tried to explain the quote so he could understand it & he argued that I didn't understand it. I asked him to reread the 3 paragraphs before the quote. He then argued a totally different arguement that made even less sense. I decided to finally ask him if he understood the quote and what was being asked of the homework. He wouldn't let me get it out, he kept interrupting and said I didn't know. I told him to stop & he wouldn't. I then said, "Shut up." he kept arguing. I said "shut up" once again. He said I couldn't talk to him like that and continued to argue. My husband then jumped in and told him he will obey and shut his mouth when he is told to. He started crying and said that I told him to shut up in a mean way that's why he didn't listen. Well, let me tell you...my husband made me look like a saint the way he jumped on the boy. I then asked if I should speak to him the way he father did. He didn't answer.
I agree step-parents should help to parent, however, I think you're the one that caused the issue on this particular night.

Would it have been so horrible if he did the work wrong, and then got a bad grade? I'm sure this isn't a one time thing, but sometimes, you need to pick your battles, and it seems like you were just asking for a fight with this one... I'm sorry, but it's how I see it.

Also, 'shut up', IMO is *extremely* nasty, and should NEVER be said to a child!! How RUDE and just plain old NASTY!! I hope you apologized for that, and learn to get your frustration in check next time, and say something better. Maybe they wouldn't listen to biomom telling them to 'stand up to you' if they didn't feel like they had to.. ( when anyone EVER says something like 'shut up' to me, it's instant anger. It's rude and disrespectful, and anyone to talks to ME that way, DOESN'T deserve my respect.... Think about that in the future)
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#5 of 14 Old 11-29-2005, 03:52 PM
 
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"Shut up" is a last resort...these kids don't listen to hush, be quiet, stop making noise, please go in the other room if you are going to be that loud. They don't listen to anyone, their grandparents, their father, their teachers, whoever. They want to do what they want and thanks to their father who is a push-over and possibly their mother, they think all they have to do is cry and they will get their way. Sometimes I try and leave the room so I won't yell at them and they follow me even when I tell them to leave me alone, and go bother your father. I'm not proud of the way I talk to these girls, I'm ashamed and I wish I could control my temper with them. They only listen to me 10% of the time and after 2 years it's starting to wear thin. I would like to get us all into family counseling but their mother would never allow that.
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#6 of 14 Old 11-29-2005, 06:49 PM
 
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This kid is in serious trouble.

He's having difficulty at school and no one is helping him. I realize that you were trying to be helpful showing him what was wrong, but to a kid like that with low self-esteem, he might have been embarassed and covered it up by playing the angry debater. Either that or he's completely looking for attention from everyone/anyone and is purposely making mistakes and not paying attention in school so he gets more attention.

Instead of punishing, could you try rewarding? If you find something he really likes, perhaps he could have it after his homework is done?

I really think this boy is in trouble and a really good counselor or something is needed to help him find some confidence and appropriate power in/over his life. He needs some major guidance by what you've written. And likely he's taking it out on you because you're an easy target being the "stepmom."

Him feeling better about himself will do wonders for the family dynamics.

Sorry this is so difficult for you.
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#7 of 14 Old 11-29-2005, 06:59 PM
 
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I tend to agree with mombirthmomstepmom that you did create some of this strife. I know you feel a step parent should parent but especially when you have angst coming from the other mom in the kid's life over your parenting it is important more than ever to be more a "zen" parent and not a typical parent.

Let go more, pick the battle worth fighting and try to redirect. See how many rewards you can offer instead of punishments. Try to put down your half of the rope whenever you can. If someone else can provide a consequnese (like the school) let them...instead you teach by predicting it and offering to help- something like "wow, I see you worked really hard but I am afraid that doesn't look like what the assignment is asking for...if you would like I would be willing to help you after dinner" and then let it go. If he declines then say "I hope it turns out OK for you, but if not maybe next time I can help you" - in time your ss may come to you asking for help and if you can get that you will be better off in the long run.

No one knows how agravating it can be to see the answer clear as day but not be able to get the kid to listen. But sometimes you have to step back with skids- the system sets them up to be our adversaries and we have to work double hard to break that dynamic and create room for us as parents in thier lives.
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#8 of 14 Old 11-30-2005, 05:06 AM
 
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Stop, calm down, and breathe.
Its small stuff. What's more important, raising a well-rounded human being or someone who graduates high school? (Keep breathing.)
There are skills that need to be learnt from school, but there are also skills that your s/son needs to learn before that. How to accept love. How to trust. How to build a relationship. How to let the past go, and move towards the future. If you focus on his academic stuff (or anything graded) then I'm concerned he's going to feel like you value him conditionally, instead of unconditionally.
I'm trying to get my dh on here because he puts it better than me, but some days he literally counts slowly to ten before every single sentence, because he's trying so badly not to get it wrong. He works really really hard on his relationship with my two, and it's slowly paying off.
Oh- and I'd get him out of that school asap. It sounds like his teachers are nagging him and determined to see nothing but bad in that boy, and that's tainting your view of him. I would NEVER allow a teacher to speak that way about a boy of mine. It's institutional bullying. Give him a fresh start, if your husband is amenable.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#9 of 14 Old 11-30-2005, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
I agree step-parents should help to parent, however, I think you're the one that caused the issue on this particular night.

Would it have been so horrible if he did the work wrong, and then got a bad grade? I'm sure this isn't a one time thing, but sometimes, you need to pick your battles, and it seems like you were just asking for a fight with this one... I'm sorry, but it's how I see it.

Also, 'shut up', IMO is *extremely* nasty, and should NEVER be said to a child!! How RUDE and just plain old NASTY!! I hope you apologized for that, and learn to get your frustration in check next time, and say something better. Maybe they wouldn't listen to biomom telling them to 'stand up to you' if they didn't feel like they had to.. ( when anyone EVER says something like 'shut up' to me, it's instant anger. It's rude and disrespectful, and anyone to talks to ME that way, DOESN'T deserve my respect.... Think about that in the future)
I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion. IMO when your child or stepchild is purposely defiant and belittling and raising his voice talking back or down to you, and you've asked at least twice for him to stop politely, then "shut up" is called for.

And yes, it would be horrible. His grades are one reason we are back in court every year. Regardless of the fact that he's in Junior High, mom continues to blame us for his failing grades. So, in order to keep the peace, we make sure his grades are up.
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#10 of 14 Old 11-30-2005, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ZandersMom
"Shut up" is a last resort....
my point exactly.
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#11 of 14 Old 11-30-2005, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MsChatsAlot
This kid is in serious trouble.

He's having difficulty at school and no one is helping him. I realize that you were trying to be helpful showing him what was wrong, but to a kid like that with low self-esteem, he might have been embarassed and covered it up by playing the angry debater. Either that or he's completely looking for attention from everyone/anyone and is purposely making mistakes and not paying attention in school so he gets more attention.

Instead of punishing, could you try rewarding? If you find something he really likes, perhaps he could have it after his homework is done?

I really think this boy is in trouble and a really good counselor or something is needed to help him find some confidence and appropriate power in/over his life. He needs some major guidance by what you've written. And likely he's taking it out on you because you're an easy target being the "stepmom."

Him feeling better about himself will do wonders for the family dynamics.

Sorry this is so difficult for you.
I agree. I keep thinking about what kind of an adult he will become if he continues on this path. I also agree that he would rather try to make me think I don't understand the work rather than admit he doesn't understand it himself. This is something his mother does also. She glorifies herself to protect her true self. He has watched her get away with it and tries it himself. Only he's got dad's passive behavior and doesn't do it as well as mom does.

He has been to 5 different counselors in the last 3 years. Nothing changes. When they don't think they're helping, they pass him on. Or their grants for their practice gets pulled.

Aside from the frustrations I post, he and I are extremely close. I think that also has a lot to do with him venting towards me rather than anyone else. I think he feels comfortable enough to do it.

We went to our "family session" for our 730 psych eval yesterday. When it came to discussing discipline, he spoke up and said, "We really don't get in trouble that much." my son said, "maybe we don't (Meaning son and stepdaughter) but you do all the time." my stepson turned red and got a little embarrassed. I've never seen that before. Kind of wierd.

We were joking around and teasing each other and telling stories of embarrasing things about each other as usual. I think that doctor was shocked at what he saw. My stepson even made jokes about me. I honestly expected him to try to say something bad about me to put me on the defensive, but he didn't. Instead, he acted like he really looked up to me. Wierd.

I wish my husband would have spoken more. It was mostly just me & the kids. My stepdaughter sat on my lap and kept moving around. Normally, I tickle her when she sits on my lap, I think she wanted me to do that to show the doctor how we act. She was so goofy. Her dad had to get on to her a few times because he thought she was disrupting when others wanted to talk. Guess that showed parental authority.

Who knows. Maybe I'm overanalyzing everything.
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#12 of 14 Old 11-30-2005, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack

Stop, calm down, and breathe.
Its small stuff. What's more important, raising a well-rounded human being or someone who graduates high school? (Keep breathing.)
There are skills that need to be learnt from school, but there are also skills that your s/son needs to learn before that. How to accept love. How to trust. How to build a relationship. How to let the past go, and move towards the future. If you focus on his academic stuff (or anything graded) then I'm concerned he's going to feel like you value him conditionally, instead of unconditionally.
I'm trying to get my dh on here because he puts it better than me, but some days he literally counts slowly to ten before every single sentence, because he's trying so badly not to get it wrong. He works really really hard on his relationship with my two, and it's slowly paying off.
Oh- and I'd get him out of that school asap. It sounds like his teachers are nagging him and determined to see nothing but bad in that boy, and that's tainting your view of him. I would NEVER allow a teacher to speak that way about a boy of mine. It's institutional bullying. Give him a fresh start, if your husband is amenable.
Thanks. I like the way you put that. The academic part is actually the only real problem we have with him. He has been rasied (before I came around) that if you don't understand something you are stupid. His mom called his dad stupid all the time. He learned to fake it to avoid being called stupid also.

Other than academics, we only get on to him for picking on his sister (which is normal, but sometimes he does it in a hateful way).

90% of the time we are laughing, joking, picking on each other (in a fun way), and discussing current events. It's that 10% homework time that we have issues.
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#13 of 14 Old 11-30-2005, 09:51 PM
 
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I think there is another thing at play here. You need to understand the role of hormones in your 12 yr step son. He is getting them. Many of the behaviors you mention are very typical of his age. You are describing one of our moments we have at home schooling. I have it easy I just hand it to my dh to deal with. This allows a break in the head butting competition.

Would you please read Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents -- by Michael Gurian

Another part of the hunt and peck to find the answer is because that is how testing teaches children reading comprehension. They get multiple guess test and the hunt and peck for the answers. Boys have a tendency to lag behind in Language Arts skills. You need to find other ways to teach him. Movement can be key. If he is into sports or video games teach him quotes in that aspect..

I have seen very self confident boys become less confident boys around the 11-13 age range (really don't work with older enough to judge). I have notice small early puberty changes in them. Little peach fuzz, Body Ode, pimples, and voice starting to change. Nothing drastic.
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#14 of 14 Old 12-01-2005, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think there is another thing at play here. You need to understand the role of hormones in your 12 yr step son. He is getting them. Many of the behaviors you mention are very typical of his age.
Yeah, I thought about that. My son was early. He hit puberty by the time he was in 7th grade. He's in 10th grade now and it's all done. whew!

I think my stepson is going to be late or it will drag on due to the emotional abuse he's received his whole life with the conflict of his parents.
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