DP and DSS GCSE options

(26 Posts)
shoppingfrenzy Thu 01-May-14 07:20:00

Regular poster on SP board, using a different name.

DP and DSS have a somewhat difficult relationship. DSS is early teens and often sullen, sometimes rude, non - communicative. I find him very tricky too. DP is not a Disney dad, in fact we struggle with boundaries we want to set as DP's ex doesn't set any of the same ones, and we are often "bad" cop. dSS has an explosive temper too, and can lash out physically against both of us and younger siblings(full and step). Of all our respective DCs, we both find him the most difficult and least predictable. His mum's solution to his tempers and moods seems to be to do all things possible to keep DSS happy eg. he threatens to spoil an outing, so the solution is to organise a special trip for him and a friend to do something fun. Our way of dealing with this is that he doesn't come but rather than have a special treat laid on (which we both see as rewarding aggressive and unacceptable behaviour), he stay home.

Anyhow, that's background...

So DSS has to choose GCSE options. He has a big booklet to read about all the options. He is bright and capable. DP asked him to look at the booklet. DSS refused. He will not discuss the options with DP. DP feels v strongly that DSS should choose academic subjects, but DSS wants to choose what DP calls "soft" subjects eg. Art. He says his teachers have told him he should too. So there are going to be clashes of opinion and will... I am in two minds - I don't think a "soft" subject or two matters if DSS is good at them and enjoys. But DP is really worried about the job market.

There are meetings at school to meet teachers and careers advisories. DP, after DSS totally blanked him, is saying that there is no point in him going to the meetings, since DSS won't listen to him anyway.

I think this is counter-productive, and will ensure that DSS doesn't want to listen to him! If DP doesn't attend important meetings then I think he'll have less "right" to any view. It's like not voting and then complaining that you don't agree with the government.

I think there is more to this than just options. It's about their relationship, which isn't great right now. DSS feels his dad doesn't listen to his opinion or care about him, DP feels DSS is being pandered to by his mum, and we are the only ones setting boundaries. We both feel emotionally drained as it seems to be one issue after another.

I am struggling too with the fact that DSS exhibits many behaviours that I don't like - he physically overpowers his younger siblings, he teases and makes fun of them, he tells them off at the dinner table. Last week he called his brother "retarded". When DP and I said that was unacceptable and tried to explain why, he shouted, threw a glass of water at DP, climbed over the dining table and whacked DP on the head on his way storming out of the room. This led to the not going on the outing I mentioned above.

So I'm not sure what I am asking. I feel torn. I don't like DSS' behaviour and think it needs to be dealt with strictly. But also think DP's approach of not going to options meetings will only make it all worse.

Also aware I need to support DP as he's finding all this with DSS very difficult and worrying.

Any helpful advice?

brdgrl Fri 02-May-14 19:20:04

That's great, shopping - maybe your DP just needed to cool down and arrive at that place (you did say that he and his DS are a lot alike!).
Glad it's sorting out.

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