please help(7 Posts)
I'm new on here.
I just don't know how to manage anymore. I have 4 children, one of them being my step son, he's 11. He lives with us full time and sees hes mum once a week.
Dss is being very difficult, I feel awful as I completely understand his issues, but life is just horrendous just now. His mum and elder siblings just keep telling him he doesn't need to listen and should make life difficult for us, and as he thinks it will gain her love, its what he's doing
He is being verbally and physically violent to me and his younger siblings, he's disrespectful and he just constantly lies about anything.
I have been to school and arranged support for him, us and his mum but every time we try and get her to co-parent she just refuses and tells him he can do as he likes, then doesn't do anything for him.
I have had numerous conversations with dh about us living separately but its financially impossible and I feel guilty as there would be no one to care for dss!
I'm sorry, I come across selfish but its been going on for so long i'm just so exhausted with it all, Its impacting on every one and its not fair on the younger children.
how can I make this better?
Sounds horrific!Without wishing to pry why isn't he living with his Mum?And no you're anything but selfish as you are looking to make things work for the good of your family unit.
I was wondering - has this got worse lately, or has he always been this difficult? If it has got worse lately, it could be partly due to adolescence, and the changes that brings.
There is a book called Divas and Door Slammers, by Charlie Taylor, which I bought when ds3 was going through a horrendous phase, in his early teens. The author believes that, alongside the hormonal and physical changes of adolescence, there are also changes in the brain - actual, structural changes, caused by the hormonal changes, iirc.
The changes to the brain result in the temporary loss of some abilities - such as empathy, self control etc - hence why teenagers can seem very self-centred, unable to see the effect of their actions on those around them, and not caring even when those effects are pointed out.
He describes it as almost a form of temporary brain damage - but it is temporary, and once the hormonal and other changes settle down, these things return. I definitely saw this in ds3 - he had a hair-trigger temper, could say extremely rude and unkind things, and seemed to have no empathy at all - but we stuck it out, dealt with the bad behaviour each time, and he did come out of it. He's now 19, and a thoughtful, pleasant boy. He still has a bit of a temper, but he can manage it so much better.
Anyway, this is all a rather long-winded way of saying that some of what you are going through might be adolescence, and might get better in time.
I also wonder how your dh deals with his son's behaviour. Does he discipline him when he hurts you or his step siblings? Does he tell his son that his mum is 100% wrong in what she is telling him to do? Hopefully he is backing you up - but your comment about living apart makes me fear that this is not the case.
It certainly sounds as if your dss's mum is a lot of the problem - and that she is unlikely to be of much help in dealing with the situation - so I wonder if you and your dh should look for other support for your dss, with the expectation that his mum will be of no help whatsoever - then if she is helpful, it will be a nice surprise, but if she isn't, it won't impact too much on whatever you and your dh are doing to help your dss - if that makes sense?
I hope you can get help with this - it sounds like a very difficult situation for all concerned - your dss sounds like a very unhappy and confused child, and you are all clearly having a very hard time of it.
Thank you both.
She basically just shut the door on him a couple of years ago. There was no explanation, just a text message telling dh to fetch him. She refuses to speak about anything and only gets in touch when she wants to tell us what bad parents we are?!
He's always been a bit difficult but I've put the down to his lack or discipline/rules/boundaries, but the last year its got much worse, especially towards me. I've been in his life as a step parent for 8 years and have always been a family friend of his dad.
His dad does discipline him and explains when things are wrong etc but he feels just as worn out as me and doesn't really know what to do.
I will have a look for that book, it sounds very informative and could help our understanding of what could be going on, thank you.
Is he in secondary school now?Personally,I would have a meeting with his HOY and ask for their help with dealing with the behaviour.It is none of his Mum's concern as you have PR for him.Mentoring/counselling could be a way forward as he will then have interactions with an interested adult who he isn't emotionally connected with.
Have you spoken with your GP about what's been going on?
Another idea is to have ask for the school's PCSO to have a word with him about DV and the consequences of such behaviour.They are there to support you and they would want these assaults to be reported to them.If you think that the line has been well and truly crossed then I think that it's your best option.
My DS became really difficult at 11yo. He was just going through the teenage phase a bit prematurely. He was disrepectful, rude, challenging, uninterested in anything and frankly, it was hard to like him.
The worse lasted about a year. Since then, it is not as bad but there are still phases. Some teenagers are much harder to raise than others.
Just to say that your issues might not be directly related to his situation, but I can understand that however hard it is to deal with it as a parent, it must be double hard for a step-parent.
My advice is: remember that he is mainly your OH's responsibility and you shouldn't have to take on all the weight of the concerns on your shoulders.
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