I don't know what to do anymore(17 Posts)
I'm new to mums mumsnet so not too sure what to expect. But I need any advice I can get. Im having issues with my step son (8yo) he can be the sweetest boy but then be an absolute nightmare! Iv no kids of my own so it was a bit of a shock anyway when I first moved in but I do absolutely love it as well. The kids don't have any contact with their mum, my boyfriend was a single dad given sole custody by the courts when I met him. The mother was very abusive and when the kids were just 4&5 she kidnapped them taking them away from their dad. Obviously this,as well as the abuse (physical&emotional) has seriously impacted them both but especially the boy. I know he adores me though so I really don't understand! I'm getting to the end of my tether now,his behaviour and disrespect is slowly getting worse and I have tried everything! I'm lucky that my partner and in laws are so lovely and very supportive but they sometimes seem to let him get away with things because of what's happened. I love my boyfriend so much and I know that he is the man for me,we are a lovely little family in all other aspects but I don't want to get to the point where the step son and I can't fix things. As awful as it sounds sometimes I really don't like him but then I spend most of the rest of the day either in tears or feeling like I'm doing a terrible job or that I'm being cruel in some way when I'm being so hard on him. Any advice please? Iv broached the subject of counselling for him to my partner but so far it's a no go. Iv tried a 'feeling box' but in one of his tantrums (the 8 yr old not my partner lol) he said it was a stupid idea and refused point blank to do it. Iv tried recently a reward system that if he behaves he can play out every day after school weather permitting but if he's bad then it affects his reward the next day. This worked for a week up until tonight where he had a meltdown then blamed me for everything then got quite nasty so he got sent to his room. Then he feigned illness to his dad to which my partner being a bit of a softy fell for. I really don't want to start hating him and I don't want it to become a reason why my partner and me don't work out because that would be the only reason. Sorry for the essay I bet there's countless typos because I'm on a new phone lol. But any help/advice/or telling me off if I'm doing things wrong would be appreciated very much x
The problem is your partner.
He should be backing you up and supporting you. If you agree a reward system then should enforce it too.
Also don't be so hard on yourself- 8 is a funny age and with no children of your own it's ok to just not feel it sometimes.
Sounds like your doing a great job but you just need a little more support
(And I know it's not the done thing on here but it is OK not to like your step children
or your own children all the time. They can be hard work and it's a thankless job st the best of times
I agree with gingina, you and your bf need to be absolutely on the same page and showing a united front where discipline and handling of the DC's behaviour is concerned. He needs to acknowledge that you're in a difficult role as SM and support you to the hilt and frankly he should already be doing this considering how much effort you're putting in with DC.
You need to sit down together and work out what approach you both think needs to be taken for the issues which come up frequently and also a general approach to parenting as a whole. Be prepared to compromise but emphasise to your bf that undermining each other by 'giving in' or changing approaches in front of DC just can't happen from now on, you need to back each other up.
It sounds to me like you're doing a great job, don't beat yourself up for not feeling the way you think you should about DC, it's what you show on the outside that matters most and you sound kind and sensible in your approach to DC.
How long have you been together and lived together? Are these strategies you are implementing talked through and agreed with your partner or have you taken the lead?
You might want to ask on adoption and fostering pages. Children with a early trauma need special handling. Read about attachment disorder and see if it rings any bells.
Step parenting is very hard. You and your partner need to agree on what you both expect your role to be with regard to the kids. It is a very big change for them and it will take time for them to settle. I am not sure how long you have been living with them, but implementing new rewards and punishments might be too much too soon.
Some stepmothers do not take a motherly role and let the father keep doing the parenting. I am one of those, I never discipline my DSS, I let DH do all of that. When he annoys me I walk away.
What kind of proffesional help does your step son receive for the trauma in his early years?
How does he behave at school do they have any concerns?
Can his dad ask his gp to refer his son to cahms or talk to the school nurse department about the behaviours and his history there could be attachment issues which need proffesional help to deal with or you could cause more damage
We've been together just over a year and the reason why I am implementing some discipline is because I am the one that has them before and after school because my partner has a job that he works full time. This has been a mutual agreement because I earn only the minimum wage whereas he earns a lot more. The night I wrote this is broke down to my partner and told him everything iv put on here and since he's definitely made a point of showing my step son that we are on the same page. I admit I can be soft and my bf can take advantage sometimes so that is an issue I need to sort but I just wondered if any of you have tips to help with the boy. Like iv said he is the sweetest boy but has seriously issues behavioural and emotional which I'm not sure how to deal with.
Thanks for all your comments so far I didn't get notified so just came on to che my thread I was surprised but very happy and relieved to see all your replies
As far as I know there hasn't been any issues at school but that is another thing I was thinking of doing. I was thinking of speaking to.his teacher just to make sure and to, without going into.too much detail, mention some of the issues at home. But I'm not sure if I'm going too far by doing it?
I'd definitely advise talking to school and finding out whether any of these behaviours are reflected at school.
We have a little girl at school who was adopted at 2 after an awful start to life and she sometimes struggles both in and out of school. She responds really well to a particular member of staff who has some time with her one-to-one each week, she loves this and uses it to talk through things, do a fun activity like baking etc and they get to the bottom of issues she might be having with friends or whatever. Her parents are onboard with this and have a great rapport with school - little girl is rewarded for good behaviour at home - by the TA at school. Maybe this is something your DSS can access?
@picklemepopcorn thanks for the tip. Some of the attachment disorder symptoms but some don't but iv posted in an adoption fovum thanks
Thasks very much for that I wasn't sure what to do so I'll give it a go.
This thing keeps posting my message wrong :/ I meant some of the symptoms of detachment disorder match but some dont
I don't mean this unkindly because you sound like you have absolutely the best of intentions. I think you need to take a big step back. Your boyfriend is behaving as if he has handed over parenting to you.
This is a child who has has a traumatic start no matter how you look at it. Your dp should have a tight relationship with school and SS to provide stability and love for his child. He shouldn't be passing any of this onto you and the though of you contacting school should be ringing massive alarm bells for you.
It's too soon to live together, especially as you are trying to to things differently to his family. You may have his best interests at heart but you've not been around long enough to have a say and really shouldn't be his primary carer.
I'm not trying to do things differently to.his family I'm trying to help and reach the child and all things I do I discuss with my partner first I don't just do it. I tell my partner everything right to the smallest detail and not just when he's been bad,I make sure I myself commend his good behaviour and tell.his dad too so he commends him. I get what your trying to say and thank you for your comments but we wanted to take the next step in our commitment. It may seem too quick to some but it felt totally right to us. And the behaviour of my step son has starated to escalate only in the last 2-3 months so I don't know if he's missing his dad being home more or if he's trying to test and push the boundaries
Started to escalate that meant to say
Since you do not have children of your own, is it possible to take parenting classes? How about looking for help yourself on how you can deal with the child. I can see that you mean well, but sometimes as a step parent, you also need help.
Yeah iv just joined a group that says that's one of the classes they will start doing so I'll sign up for that. Thanks
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