discipling step children - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 02:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have 2 step children, a 10 year old girl an a near 4 year old boy. They do not LIVE with us, however we travel 4hours north every second weekend for visitation. Usually my step daughter doesn't visit as her step dad is really controlling, but i have been having a significant problem with my step son.

It seems as though he is not disciplined whatsoever at home.. like his bio mom lets him have the run of the house. He is rude, mouthy, loud, tempermental, aggresive, and violent. He swears and pulls the "MY NAME IS ****** AND I DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOU! I DO WHAT I WANT" routine every single time i ask him to do/not do something. It can be as simple as asking him to put on his shoes.. he has to throw a big fuss.. and undermind my athority.

I understand he is not my son, after all my son would NEVER talk that way to me.

I have no idea how i am supposed to react to this behaviour.

We stay at my bfs parents during visitation weekends, so if i try and be stern with him everyone is watching and they always say the same thing "he's only here every 2nd weekend, just let him be"..

However i believe that discipline should be carried on no matter where the child is or how long he is there for. I refuse to let him get away with bossing ME around.

It has gotten to the point that i have even thought of leaving my bf because he just tells me to let it be, and that his son is perfect and i hate his kid and etc.. which is NOT true. I don't HATE his son, i HATE his attitude towards me.

WHAT DO I DOOOOO?!!??!
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#2 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 02:08 AM
 
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As a mother of a baby I don't really have advice for dealing with older children, however one thing jumped out at me:

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Originally Posted by Jaydens_mom
Usually my step daughter doesn't visit as her step dad is really controlling
The stepdad is keeping the girl from visiting with her bio dad??!!!

That sounds like an abusive situation. Could such a dynamic be what makes the little boy act out so much?

And is your BF doing anything about this other guy keeping him from his daughter? If not, I think you might be right to question your relationship with him. Stepmoms have the advantage of seeing in advance what level of responsibility a man takes toward his children. Forgive me if I am misunderstanding in any way.
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#3 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The step son and step daughter are of different mothers. They don't live together at all.
We are working with a lawyer at the moment to either adhere full custody of the girl due to apparent mental abuse, and breach of contract (visitation rights), or at least work on a better visitation schedule, as we are still only getting 1 night with her when she is allowed over because the contract is from when she was under 2 years old.
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#4 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 03:54 AM
 
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You're not going to like this answer:

It's not your job. It's his job to discipline his son, and if he's going to sit on his bum and let that kid pull that crap, then he's going to deal with it in the long run. It won't, however, be the result of lack of discipline at home, so stop blaming his mom. He pulls that crap solely because he is allowed to, and because he's away from home and he misses his mom and he's only just 4. Which brings me nicely back to where I started.
There are some kick-ass posts around here about how some men allow any woman to parent their kids, rather than step up to the post and do it themselves, which I will try and find for you: but this really, really is not your job and I'd question whether, in the long run, this is a family you might choose to raise your own children in.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#5 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am sure he misses his mom but that is a regular basis for this child.
His mother is a nurse, she is away at work for long hours and he is left with his babysitter. When his mom picks him up from day care he goes straight to his grandparents so she can sleep. On weekends she pawns him off on her parents (or even on occasion us even though its not visitation weekend) so she can go out and party or club.
When we give her money for support she spends it on beer/alcohol. How do i know this? If you look in her front door there is case upon case of empties... which is why my bf left her in the first place, she has a drinking problem and becomes increasingly abusive.
Her parents refer to him as "the devils child" due to his out of control behaviour, which could be "acting out as a cry for attention".
On 2 separate occasions we have picked him up for visitation only to find his face had been attacked by 2 different dogs while she was "at a friends" she says, this was when he was 2-3... who lets a 2-3 year old play unattended around dogs?! certianly not i.
He has also came to us with a broken arm, due to him jumping on counters at home depot and one falling over because it was not bolted down properly.
Mind you he was with his grandparents at this time so why was he allowed to be jumping on counters in a hardware store?!!

I don't think people are watching him when he is in care of his mother, so basically yes, he is doing as he pleases.

This is also something my bfs parents say when he is acting up on our visitations, "he is allowed to do that at home which is why, us disciplining him for doing it here won't make a difference" so they don't even bother trying.

This families lack of discipline does not affect my son.. i still discipline him even if his step brother does the exact same thing and gets no punishment. He is MY son and they cannot stop me from raising him accordingly.
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#6 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 03:23 PM
 
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This is a very difficult situation that I have had to deal with. We have witnessed my dss hitting his bio mom and she has said that he swears at her and tells her he hates her. We see that he gets to do what he wants when he wants in her care. This doesn’t affect how we deal with dss. We tell him what we expect of him and praise him when he is being kind and well behaved. On the rare occasion he starts to act out he gets put in time out. After he is much calmer we encourage him to use his words to express his frustration. Children need discipline; it shows them that they are loved and that you care enough about them to help them become healthy adults. Children are also smart enough to know that there are different rules in different households and they will behave accordingly. My dh does most of the discipline when it comes to dss because that is his responsibility. Occasional when I’m taking care of dss I have had to enforce the rules but they are rules that my dh has set up. Even when we have put my dss in time out he has always been sad to go back to his mom. We don’t feel this is because he loves us more, we just think that he feels comfortable with the structure and knows that we love him enough to take the time to teach him what is right. We also don’t think his mom loves him any less. She is just too busy and stressed being a single mom right now. She also feels the need to make her time with him as enjoyable as possible so she does lets him do whatever he wants. Have you tried talking to your bf about how his son’s behavior makes you feel? I know that if my dh let my dss misbehave I would become resentful of my dh and the situation he was putting our family in. I do think it’s great that your bf sees that he needs to fight for his dd but he needs to see that what’s happening with his ds is just as damaging. Good luck with everything.
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#7 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's actually my s/o's mother that is doing all the legal work.. she is 10 years old, so being a product of a divorced family myself, i can understand why at 10 years old she might be starting to have a "social life" and not want to come over all the time anymore. However his mother INSIST she wants to come over, and it's due to the fact that they have asked her and that is what she said to them "dan didn't want me to come over" *(dan, being her step dad).. However sometimes children feel like they need to lie to spare thier other parents feelings, instead of telling that parent that they don't want to come over all the time for thier OWN reasons. I know this, because I was in that same position when i was 10, i didn't want to visit my dad EVERY second weekend anymore, so i made up excuses instead of telling him the truth.


As for the step son, he is OUT OF CONTROL. I have never in my life seen a child this undisciplined, most children are more well behaved when away from home because they are not in thier COMFORT zone... in my experience.

His actions well with us are always excused, as they likely are at home as well. If people make excuses for a childs unacceptable behaviour then that child will be under the impression that it is ok to act that way, and he/she knows she will get away with it, so they do it.

This is NOT my choice to excuse his actions, if he was my child (which obviously he is not) his actions would come with appropriate consequences, and he would be well aware that what he is doing is wrong.

Because he is not my biological child, i am in no position to discipline any more than anyone else in the household (who is biologically related to him), which in this case there is NO disciplinary action at all.

It upsets me because when i attempt to show him what he is doing is wrong, my s/o suggests i just "let it go" because "he hardly gets to see him"...
YET, he feels it is appropriate to discipline my son whenever he deems fit. Over things as mild as running in the house.

He should be paying more attention to HIS sons aggressive behaviour [hitting swearing biting screaming tantrums etc] and attending to that, instead of disciplining my son for things so petty and mild [wetting his pants (hes only 2 1/2), running in the house, leaving toys in the livingroom ].
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#8 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 06:21 PM
 
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What do you mean by "discipline," jayden's mom? I think ALL adults are responsible for disciplining ALL children in their community, but that doesn't include spanking or yelling. It's providing gentle guidance to teach them socially acceptable behavior. Do you feel like you can't even gently correct your stepson? I.e. by saying things like, "these are the rules at [your name] and daddy's house. We have this rule because [xxxx] Can you remember that rule?"
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#9 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would never attempt to spank my step son so that is not the case.. it is usually when i try to take him aside and let him know i don't appreciate the way he talks back to me, or that his hitting / actions are unappropriate, that i get told to "leave him be" by my s/o.
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#10 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 06:28 PM
 
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Your SO seriously needs to step up to the plate here, then. It has to be a team effort. He's abdicating his responsibility to his son, and disrespecting you and your bioson.
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#11 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herausgeber
Your SO seriously needs to step up to the plate here, then. It has to be a team effort. He's abdicating his responsibility to his son, and disrespecting you and your bioson.
I have on MANYYYY occasions told him that he needs to let his son know that his actions are not acceptable, and that i am not asking him to hit his son or to throw him in his room for time out. I have made it clear that even telling the child that what he is doing is wrong is alot better than just "letting it go" or "excusing his behaviour" yet he still seems to think that he doesn't need to because he only sees him 2 weekends out of the month.
Sure it may not make a difference in how the child acts at home under his biomoms care, but it will certianly make a difference in his behaviour while he is with us.
It has gotten to the point where i end up leaving in tears because this kid is verbally assulting me.. Telling me to shut up and that he doesnt have to listen to me, and hitting me or my son... and I can't do anything about it without getting told that im being irrational.
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#12 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He told his son last weekend that i hate him. Which REALLLLLLLLLLLLY made me mad because i have NEVER said that, I have said "I hate the way your son talks down to me, and the way he treats me" but i have never said "I hate your son"..
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#13 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 07:01 PM
 
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You don't have an a stepson problem. You have an SO problem. Seriously. His behavior is extremely disrespectful. Good look, mama.
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#14 of 15 Old 08-12-2006, 08:07 PM
 
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Yes there is something seriously messed up about a person that would tell any child that an adult in their life hated them. Even if it was said (and I know it wasn't) you do not pass that information onto a poor little 4 year old.

Punk, hippy, mama to 4 amazing kiddos, Boy#1 (18), TheGirl (13), Boy#2 (11- PBD) and Boy#3 (6)
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#15 of 15 Old 08-14-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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Mama,

I could've written your post, I think I have actually...

I go through the same things with my step daughter, soon to be 7.

Her mother and I have actually chatted many times about behavior and she says that her child needs to be allowed to grow without restraints of any kind. She only needs to respect her mother and her father (her words, not mine) and now that she is in school her teachers. If someone gives her something as a present and she doesn't like it she is allowed to tell that person that their gift sucks and she hates it. So, in my instance, I do blame the biomom for teaching her daughter that it's alright to treat ppl with disrespect. Her mother has told her father and I that there are no rules, no guidelines at her house. She has the run of the house and can do as she pleases.

However, some of this is coming back to bite her in the behind as she and her husband now have a child of their own and SD is exhibiting the same behaviors there as she was here and her mom didn't believe us or want to help....and her husband, who has stayed in the shadows as a buddy is stepping forward now to tell SD that she isn't allowed to smack the baby, that she needs to listen to him etc....it's not flying bc he was a buddy buddy for 4 years.

A child only knows what it knows from it's parents, from what they see, how they are parented. It's so hard coming from a house with no boundries to a house with them (don't hit others, treat others with respect, say please etc...)...age appropriate ones.

My DH doesn't step up to the plate in these instances. He says he will talk to her about things and then goes behind closed doors and chats with her and then can't remember what he told her. If I come in, all talking stops and she glares at me (I knock first) and he sits idly by. And the times I have been "allowed" in on the converstation, I find he is chatting to her like she has the comprehension of a 16 year old, not an almost 7 year old. And you can't get anywhere if your child doesn't understand what you are saying.

I have been in SD's life since she was just barely 2 years old. It's not like I am new to her, I've been around most of her life. I've never tried to take her mother's place, she has a mother.

They have shared parenting...We get her every other weekend and mondays and tuesdays so at one time we will have her 5 days in a row, then her mom will have her. That has to be hard too but it's the way it's always bend and both parents are unwilling to bend about the visitation. DH would be happy to have her here 100% of the time to keep her out from under her mother's influence (I haven't delved into the eating disorders that her mom has and has passed down to her daughter) but I think if that happened we wouldn't be together any longer.

He wants the girls to share a room when we move next year so he can have a basement in the townhouse so he can go down there and do his thing with his things, a place to put HIS things (another entirely different post) and then let me deal with the disaster awaiting them sharing a room. I don't know how he thinks it would be good, despite the age difference, if DD so much as sets foot in SD's room or touches anything of hers SD goes ballistic and screams, yells, pushes, tantrums....but she will then come out later or another time and help herself to dd's things without a thought....so we've since said that if she can come and do as she pleases with her sisters things, then she'd have to let her sister play with some of her things....

Just wanted to let you know you weren't alone...If ya ever wanna chat mama, email me....
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