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15 year old step son HELP NEEDED!!

(58 Posts)
UrMyAngelEyes Mon 11-Jan-16 14:26:05

HI, I'm new here. At my wits end and need some help.
As title says step son is now 15. I've been with his dad since he was 10ish. Things have got so much worse over last few months. I've had to start to refuse to do his washing because there is always lumps of poo in his boxers, its been that bad sometimes its even on the waist band of his trousers. I had a chat with his dad and he said he's always done it, dont no y he's tried to get it sorted but step son dont care.

His room is a pig sty. I wont change his bed because i cant get to it there's so much stuff all over the floor. rubbish every where down behind units under bed shoved in wardrobe where he's been told to clean up. I get told this is normal for a boy his age???

Last night after he had been in the loo I went in and had to go find his dad to tell him that there was poo on the floor in 3 places. He went mad told me not to touch it and got step son to go clean it up. He asked how on earth did u do that, all we get is a shrug and I dont no.

He keeps turning the heating off in his room (I put it on 2 just to take the chill out up to him if he wants to sit in a fridge) so he gets bad condescension on windows, so today while out I brought a interior dehumidifier to see if that will help. when I was looking for somewhere to put it I found mould growing on the walls, window sill and net curtains.

I feel like I'm nagging to bf all the time about step son. I tell step son to sort his room out but he dont listen, I told bf today about mould and i hate having to keep nagging and I feel like a idiot because I try and do nice things for him ie buy him new trainers when he needs them, brought yet another xbox one battery charger thing, ipad charger the list goes on. I feel gutted cuae he just dont care ad has no respect for anything anyone buys him. I treat my son (whos 8) and step son the same I buy one I buy the other.

I'm at my wits end and really dont know what to do sad. So if there is anyone out there plz help!!!

RockNanny Mon 11-Jan-16 14:48:57

This is going to be the second time that I have mentioned this on the forum today, but have you considered that he might have Asperger Syndrome? Of course, I only have what you have said in your post to go on - I do not know your stepson - but I do know that folk with Asperger Syndrome struggle with personal hygiene, tidiness and social skills. I have a Godson and a nephew who have AS and though I am not an expert on autistic spectrum disorders, I am very familiar with Asperger Syndrome. After a quick bit of Googling I have found a couple of pages online that illustrate why I feel that this might be the situation with your stepson. I hope I have not offended you with my suggestion. If my suspicion is correct then it is better that you are aware so that you and his father can seek suitable help and support and come to understand this young man better. My best wishes:-

UrMyAngelEyes Mon 11-Jan-16 15:54:49

Hi, we put it down to him being lazy cause he doesn't do it all time he can go weeks without doing it, then starts again. And state of his room is being to lazy to put rubbish in the bin.

Not offended at all. Just glad someone replied. I have no clue about Asperger Syndrome but will deff have a look at the links and Google it some more as it is getting silly and really need help.


wannabestressfree Mon 11-Jan-16 16:02:19

No buying nice things until the basics are done eg skanky pants straight in the machine and room tied without fail...
Windows opened every morning.
You are going to have to be strict and so is dh. Or he will be there until he is 45.

UrMyAngelEyes Mon 11-Jan-16 16:22:08

I feel guilty if I buy my son and dont get ss anything, I was brought up that u have to earn things in life. I find it hard because partner is so laid back u need a cattle prod to get him to really do anything. I feel like taking his xbox one away and telling him he can have it back when he's done his room properly. I told him he still has loads of rubbish in his room all i get is do I???

He did his room one day and other half asked me to check it be4 he let him go out, ss said if she checks it wont be right. I really do feel like the evil step mum. I've told him it's for his own health/good. falls on deaf ears.

I do wish other half was more like me in the discipline side of things.

UrMyAngelEyes Mon 11-Jan-16 16:27:06

Am I over reacting about the state of his room??

coffeeisnectar Mon 11-Jan-16 16:28:20

Why do you need to check it? What's his dad doing?

I'd suggest this weekend the three of you pretty much empty and clean his room. Then put it back nice and tell him he needs to do 15 mins a night to stay on top of it.

All dirty clothes should go into the machine if they are that bad. Or his dad could do them.

Teens can be a nightmare with laziness, cleanliness and generally not being bothered about their room but mould, poo and whatever else is lurking is not healthy.

UrMyAngelEyes Mon 11-Jan-16 16:28:23

am i overreacting??

coffeeisnectar Mon 11-Jan-16 16:30:03

Just saw the pics. My 17 year olds has more stuff on the floor but no, I'd not be happy. I nag about my dds room constantly!

wannabestressfree Mon 11-Jan-16 16:32:47

Rubbish in bin
Clean sheets and he strips them
The mould, Windows etc would bother me.
It's just about having expectations. It's your home.

UrMyAngelEyes Mon 11-Jan-16 18:00:30

I check cause i wont put dirty things like that in with our wash, and we need to know if he's still doing it.

Been there done that coffeeisnector within a week it's back like pic's or worse. His dad works full time and I
I stay at home so i do all washing etc. These pic's are his room at it's best. Ive told him to put things stright in wash it falls on deaf ears.

wannabestressfree I tell him I will do his bed (not been done in at lest 2 months) if he moves all the stuff so i can get to it. it dont happen. took them for a hair cut and told him he has bed to do. Do u think it will get done?? i dont.

Thats what we keep trying to tell him. His dad said he would have another word with him but not getting my hopes up things will change. He realluy has that dont care attitude. He's had me in tears be4 and gets that smerk kids get. And has the nack of making me feel like i'm the one in the wrong.

wannabestressfree Mon 11-Jan-16 18:25:21

Then close your purse....

UrMyAngelEyes Mon 11-Jan-16 18:36:38

Think i'm going to. Can't keep on like this it's draining.

RockNanny Mon 11-Jan-16 21:48:47

Hi again UrMyAngelEyes!

I'm glad you didn't take offence at my suggestion of AS. I have just done a little more research for you and come across a condition called Encopresis. This can be a companion to AS but also it can affect children not on the autistic spectrum. Not just children either but teenagers also. It can start as a way to seek attention or often follows from a bout of painful constipation. I have included a link below so that you can read some of what I have read about it. Perhaps your SS does not exhibit this behaviour constantly because it depends what the trigger is. Could it be stress perhaps? Could it be unconscious attention-seeking? You say his father is too laid back. Perhaps your SS has concerns and his dad is not paying enough attention. Again, I could be wrong. Just trying to interpret the situation by my own instincts. It certainly seems to me that there are behavioural issues here that need some expert help but his dad seriously needs to get on board.

UrMyAngelEyes Tue 12-Jan-16 10:00:38

Im glad of everyones imput. RockNanny. His dad said that when he lived with his mum and she couldnt be botherd to deal with it is stuck him in nappies till she couldnt any longer so we put it down to him not knowing what to do.

We did also think it was a attension thing because his dads had other partners but ss always manged to split them up because his behavoiur. All kids push boundies when parent gets new partners i get that Think he thought same would work on me. Hes sadly mistaken lol. Ss dont worry about spending time with his dad just wants to be on his xbox all the time. His dad says about doing things answers always no.

His dad has seen how much its been getting to me and has been trying to talk to ss think hes in same place as me and dont no what to do.

Im glad im not over reacting and others think the as me

Imeg Wed 13-Jan-16 12:02:27

This sounds really difficult.
I just wondered, if none of the medical issues seem to fit, could he be doing the poos deliberately to get a reaction from you/get rid of you?
In my opinion in either case you and boyfriend both need to stay really calm as either a) he's got an actual issue explaining it or b) he's trying to upset you, and either way getting visibly angry isn't going to help and might actually give him an incentive to do it again (though totally understand why it's getting to you).
Also, whichever explanation is correct I think it's completely reasonable to expect him to clean his poo up himself at 15 as if he's going to live independently, have a girlfriend etc he needs to learn to clean up even if it's a medical issue.
Can you say you are worried about his pooing and make a doctor's appointment for a month's time? If it miraculously stops because he doesn't want to talk to a doctor about it then you can cancel the appointment.
Could you and boyfriend make a consistent strategy with clear consequences for bedroom heating/opening windows in his room etc. Does he get pocket money? Can you have a clear list of tasks he needs to do each week to achieve certain amounts of it? Eg if it's £10 then maybe he gets £5 anyway and then the other £5 is split into eg £1 if he's opened the window in his room every day, £1 if he's removed all lumps of poo from his clothes (note not punishing him for the actual inappropriate pooing, just for not cleaning up after himself) etc. If he doesn't do it then he doesn't get the money.
If you're going to do that you need to make sure boyfriend will back you up though otherwise he will just laugh at you.
In my experience teenagers can show up their insecurities through a lot of provoking behaviour - you need to tackle unacceptable behaviour while being really clear how much you value him as a person.
Not at all easy in practice I know...
Good luck!

UrMyAngelEyes Wed 13-Jan-16 13:18:05

Think u hit the nail on the head Imeg. 5 years on though ud thibk he would relise it wont work. Even more now as we got engaged a few weeks ago and his dads never asked anyone be4 and this is his longest relashIonship. Even longer than the obe with his mum.i Tell his dad when i have poo pants then he goes off at him and tells him im not washing them till hes scrubed them. Weve tried asking him y he does it he just shrugges his sholders and says dont no. When weve asked if he cares he says no. And again threated him with docs he dont care.
No pocket money cause he does nothing to earn it.

I have told him he makes me feel like a evil step mum. And all this isnt fair on his dad. I also told him i want him to have pride in himself. He had to ask what that was. His dad is backing me up more now than in the start.

Thanx hun. Think im going to need it.

Imeg Wed 13-Jan-16 14:06:56

Personally, I don't think it will help to say 'you have upset me' or 'you make me feel like...' (however true it may be) because he may find upsetting both of you rewarding, especially if he's resentful of your engagement for whatever reason. You need to stay outwardly calm and get on with your own life too. Do you do anything for yourself if you are not working?

You and boyfriend need to discuss with each other what your strategy is going to be, and then you need to calmly present it to teenager, and then stick to it rather than intermittently having a go at him.
In order to find an effective strategy you need to consider:
- what does he care about (don't ask him, look at his behaviour and what he spends time on)? Playing on his xbox? Going out with friends? (if so, where does he get the money from?) Afterschool activities? Clothes? Sport?
- Use this to create a strategy eg in order to use his xbox after school he needs to have done x. You need a mechanism for actually stopping him using it though otherwise he may just smirk at you and use it anyway if he is not used to consequences (eg take it away/switch off wi-fi if it needs that/even turn off the electricity in the house if feasible). Start it at a weekend or other time when boyfriend is around to back you up.
- what do you do for him that would cause him a problem if you stopped (again don't ask him)? eg do you drive him to any activities?
- how is he doing at school? Would he care if you said you were worried about him and want to talk to his tutor?
Have you tried giving him specific tasks to earn pocket money rather than a general request to behave better? teenagers think in the short term and a specific 'I could earn £5 by the weekend if I do x' is likely to work better than a general 'I might get pocket money in the future if I behave better'

In combination with that, is there anything you could do together to have a break from continuous negative interactions and have a positive time with him? Don't spend ages organising something elaborate or expensive though or he will see that it's important to you and may be negative just for that reason. It's hard to know what to suggest without knowing either of you but maybe going shopping together to buy a present for his dad? Or watching a tv programme you both like? Or going for a walk? Ideally without your son around?

It's not going to be easy - you and boyfriend need to commit to it for the long term.

I don't know what professional support is available for teenagers - it sounds like you could do with the equivalent of a health visitor for toddlers.

UrMyAngelEyes Wed 13-Jan-16 15:21:13

I run the house. I dont work.
Hes always on his phone or xbox one. He wont do activites. We get told we cant stop him using his things caise his grandad brought them not us.
Hes not worried about pocket money he has his own from xmas. Birthdays and his grandad.

Ive tried to do stuff but hes not interested. Cant get two words out of him half the time. And when he does its always about apps and games.

Feel like just shutting his door and letting him live like a pig but i csnt as will ruin his health.

Yes but is there such a thing??

wannabestressfree Wed 13-Jan-16 15:40:22

You just need to keep trying even if it is about games and apps. I have three sons and they talk about lots of 'boy' stuff I just have to remain current smile
His grandad may supply things but you provide board and lodgings and electric. I would still say there are minimum standards that need to be adhered too.

UrMyAngelEyes Wed 13-Jan-16 15:57:40

I disagree with his grandad buying all them things. What he asks for he gets. Shows them no real value of things and how hard it is to earn nice things.

I do try with the games and app talk but its all over my head. He seems to think he can do and say what ever he wants. Is it always this hard being a step parent? Is this just normal teenage behavouir?

Sometimes i feel like buring my head in the sand but i no i cant.

wannabestressfree Wed 13-Jan-16 16:34:56

Its over mine but you have to educate yourself. Ask him to explain etc.
I think some of it is probably normal teenage behaviour- they do grow out of it in the end! With some odder elements eg the pooing. All you can be is consistent and his dad too....

antimatter Wed 13-Jan-16 16:43:39

Change router password if you want him off the xbox or internet.

How much data has he got on his phone?

UrMyAngelEyes Wed 13-Jan-16 17:20:00

I do and he says oh it dont matter. Its like pulling teeth. If u do talk to him about anything ie pooing making his dad late for work (he drops him off at his nans and she takes him to school) and say do u care u get i dont no.
Hope so. My 8 year old better not be like this. Lol.

Wouldnt have a clue how to antimatter. I did manage to set the timer on internet so it blocks games site fb twitter etc at a set time so he cant pretend hes gone to sleep.
Dont mind kids on consoles just want him to have repect for us and himself and do his room etc.
IPhones another thing his grandad gave him at xmas. I have no clue on data. I dobt even have his mob no since he swappend phones!!

antimatter Wed 13-Jan-16 18:29:46

all kids are pushing boundaries, we just don't visit their families when this is happening grin

contact your internet provider to help you with accessing router, they should be able to have instructions somewhere on their website

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