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Step parenting problems with small age gap

(11 Posts)
YStepParent Wed 24-Aug-16 13:47:12

Hi guys,

I am 23 years old and my partner (female) has a 16YO son. I have been struggling at times with his lack of respect for me.
Don't get me wrong, he is a good kid. I have been with his mother since he had just turned 13 and there has always been one main problem - the playstation.

When he is spending time with us he is lovely as can be but when he's playing on his playstation he becomes very rude, irritable and doesn't listen to a word I say.

Now the thing is, I don't feel like I can discipline him which makes it difficult when it is just us 2 in the house. I know from when my brother was like he is now, turning the Internet off obviously takes him away from what is causing the problems in the first place. Therefore, my preferred course of action would be if he doesn't listen to what I say/starts arguing with me when I'm trying to do something nice for him (e.g. taking him to his Grandad's on his dad's side so that he can go on holiday when I have already taken him to 2 interviews this week and feel very unwell) that he doesn't want to go at a certain time, I would take the router away and not give it back so that he would actually get off his bum and get ready. But like I said, I don't feel like I can discipline him as his mum can get quite irate if I do so.

Does anyone have any pointers on what to do? I do my best to be a good step parent - I support him and his mum, take him places he would enjoy, help his mum with everything I can to support him, help him study, help him practice his interviews etc etc. But I seem like public enemy number 1 at times.

All I want is to be able to have a good relationship with him but be respected. I know I am young and when I was 13 I would probably have been like "who do you think you are" but he is nearly 16 now and this has been happening for years.


Lunar1 Wed 24-Aug-16 14:45:16

There just isn't a big enough age gap for you to be in a parent role, especially with enforcing rules. Do you all live together?

YStepParent Wed 24-Aug-16 15:13:50

Yes we do so I can't let him walk all over me when his mum isn't here. Unfortunately I feel like I'm in a constant battle of having to tell his mum which I don't want to be doing. I just want to be able to get on well with him and not talked down to when I ask him to do something (which isn't very often)

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 24-Aug-16 15:15:34

Hmm, I think the best you can hope for is to achieve a sort of big brother type relationship.

But I would leave him alone as much as possible - it must be very hard form him.

YStepParent Wed 24-Aug-16 16:08:43

I'm actually a woman so I try and have a big sister relationship.
Like I say, we normally get on really well. He talks to me about problems he's having at school or with his studies and I help him out.

Like I said as well, he's a good kid. In fact he then apologised and gave me a hug saying he didn't want to argue about 2 hours later. It's just sometimes he is difficult and it's always the playstation, I just wanted to know if anyone had any tips and hints when he's like that?

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 24-Aug-16 16:29:04


I really would just avoid situations where you feel the only option is to remove the router.

Just treat him like a younger brother do don't tell him what to do but ask nicely. And if it is something for his benefit and he doesn't get ready then I'd just leave him to it - his loss.

And I am laughing to myself at the thought of an older sibling not telling a younger one what to do wink

Good luck with it.

Lovemusic33 Wed 24-Aug-16 17:29:47

It is tough, I had a small age gap between me and my eldest step son, I felt more like a friend than a step mother, dicapline is hard with any teenager, teenagers can be very difficult, now I have a teen daughter and I can see that it's just as bad with my own as it was with the step children.

Lunar1 Wed 24-Aug-16 17:56:50

What are you asking him while he's on the PlayStation? Is it something that can wait for his mum? You are just too close in age to have authority over him. How long are the two of you in the house alone for?

YStepParent Thu 25-Aug-16 07:45:16

I literally said to him that I would be taking him to his grandad's for his holiday in a few hours and he kicked off (this was so that his mum didn't have to finish a hard day at work all day to then drive for 2 hours and get stuck in traffic).

Like I said, I never really ask him to do much at all, normally his mum does so I act as much like a big sister as I can but still believe I deserve some respect as I have basically single handedly supported them for the last 2 years, helped him revise, helped him with his homework, taken him places he wants to go, kept the house in order for him, looked after him when he's been sick etc etc.
I don't want him to feel like he owes me or anything, I'd just prefer not to be called a prick, retard or told to piss off just because he's on/has recently been on his playstation.

Yesterday we were in the house all day together but I mostly let him get on with his own stuff and come and talk to me if he wants to.

Honestly, he is the nicest kid when he's not on the playstation. When he did his GCSES it was banned all week and he could go on at weekends for a few hours and he was so much nicer, barely any arguments.
But when he has been on it he ends up having a go at me just for leaving his door open after taking things up to him, to which I tell him not to speak to me in a certain way, he then argues more and his mum and I then end up in an argument because obviously he's her priority (which I understand completely).

harderandharder2breathe Thu 25-Aug-16 13:22:21

Why do you and your partner argue about you enforcing rules? Especially if it's things that are for step sons benefit!

Can you discuss and agree key rules and punishments with your partner so when she's not there you are just following what has been agreed? Make your step son part of the discussion so he knows he can't divide and conquer.

YStepParent Thu 25-Aug-16 13:40:50

I have tried to talk to her about it before but she took it to heart. It has settled now and he has gone on holiday but next time I will need a discussion with her as to my place in the family as I don't feel I should be on the bottom as such.


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