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Step-parenting teenagers - oy!

(10 Posts)
tuscangal Thu 07-Jun-18 22:44:47

We really have a challenge with my boyfriend's two teenage sons in terms of behavior and expectations. The boys are mostly with their Mom per divorce agreement. My son as well as one of my boyfriend's older kids live with us. We have clear rules and expectations around chores, going out, spending time as a family etc. If the kids don't follow those rules, they lose their phone and/or internet access etc.

First problem is that their Mom does not enforce any rules whatsoever at her house. The boys are simply given everything they ask for. They went through a period of simply refusing to go to school last year with no repercussions. They have started smoking pot pretty heavily, which is an absolute no-no in our house but got really angry when their Dad confiscated their pot (they are 18 and 15). They then proceeded to drink all the alcohol in the house, throw up all over the place and refused to clean up. When given chores outside to do as punishment, they called their Mom who came over and picked them up so they did not have to do the work.

Also my son is Jewish and they started sending him hard-core anti-semitic material online. When we mentioned this to their Mom, she said that they were just joking and it was no big deal.

So I don't know that there's an answer to addressing their behavior. It's really hard when not all the parents are on the same page. It's not like their Dad and I are really hard-core about expectations and we do not yell but do apply consistent rules & consequences for everyone in the house (easier said than done).

Thank you for listening to me vent! Any ideas are welcome.

HeckyPeck Sun 10-Jun-18 16:28:31

Also my son is Jewish and they started sending him hard-core anti-semitic material online. When we mentioned this to their Mom, she said that they were just joking and it was no big deal.

Bloody hell this is awful! They're definitely old enough to know better. I wouldn't have them in my house/around my son until they apologised. Absolutely unacceptable behaviour.

Their mum sounds like she has no boundaries at all as is doing them no favours at all. I'm not sure what to suggest about the other stuff except to keep on applying the boundaries in your house (assuming they apologise about the anti-sematic material, otherwise I'd let their dad deal with them wherever he decided to meet up with them until they apologised (and meant it)

Spanglyprincess1 Sun 10-Jun-18 18:05:51

The online anti semetic stuff is bullying and is offense. They need a proper punishment for that regardless of their moms views as potentially they may go on to think it's okay to do to others which would lead to some serious consequences.
Agree with heckypeck the this needs a firm handling

Bananasinpyjamas11 Mon 11-Jun-18 09:36:05

That is some bad behaviour there! They are messed up boys. They need boot camp. Seriously they haven’t been going to school, they have addiction problems already, they are racist thugs and bullies!

They obviously need some tough love help but their mum indulges them and I don’t think your DP is in any way up to the job. There’s no way I’d like my son have to share a space while he is being bullied either. His parents sort them out or they are not allowed in the house!

It’s like they are crying out for firm boundaries. Structured routine, no messing about, order in their day.

tuscangal Mon 11-Jun-18 19:40:31

Thank you all for the validation. When they have made anti-semitic statements in front of me, I have firmly said that behavior and talk is NOT OK in this house. They then stormed back to their Mum, who passed it off as they were joking and I'm over-reacting.

My son thankfully went off to college this year and they refuse to come over any more (which in turn lead Mum to blame their Dad for their behavior because he's an absentee father).

They definitely ARE crying out for firm boundaries. I think the situation will continue to escalate until it's addressed and their Dad's ability to impact the situation is limited by their Mum not backing him up. It's really sad tbh.

LovingLola Mon 11-Jun-18 19:44:04

I think you need to decide who matters most you to you - your son or your boyfriend. If having your boyfriend living with you means that your son is the victim of vile cyberbullying and your boyfriend is unable to effectively deal with it, then I would have a long hard think about whether or not you can still live with him.

eyycarumba Tue 12-Jun-18 12:41:44

What is your BF doing about the antisemitic comments? I'd honestly be looking at getting the police involved, in the very least the scare them. It is not acceptable and it is not joking. Their mom sounds like a lazy cow who is trying to gain points.

Your BF is a problem though, he needs to be harder on them, they either live by the house rules or they are out, no running to mommy - and if they do, let her keep them.

tuscangal Tue 12-Jun-18 17:10:59

@eyycarumba actually he freaking flipped the hell out at them and has on numerous occasions. This is AFTER the consistent rules and boundaries at our house. Mum came and picked them up because he was being mean to her babies.

So they haven't been over in three months. Selfishly I have to say I'm not disappointed. Bad behavior is one thing. Racist rants are a whole other thing. We wanted to take away their internet and phones. Mum refused (we can take away internet at our house but she refuses to turn off their phones).

The whole thing is beyond ridiculous. What is really infuriating is that she blames everything on my boyfriend because it's easier than looking inward.

At least my DS gets on really well with my boyfriend as my son's Dad is 100% on the same page regarding rules (yes, even though he's 18). Boyfriend is really good to him but also firm about any rules we set and it works (shocker).

My concern is really that this is going to escalate into something more serious like drug overdose or crime. The police in the US do not mess around with this stuff.

eyycarumba Wed 13-Jun-18 09:22:58

Fair enough, it's difficult to co-parent when one half doesn't give a toss and is just point scoring. The 18 yr old is old enough to be looking after himself now, there's not much you can do in terms of making him comply to your house rules. The 15yr old could do with some scare tactics at this point, racism and drug taking are beyond normal teen rebellion.

I hope in a few they snap out of it and realise the truth of the situation like most adults do when they reflect on how their parents are during their teenage years. flowers

tuscangal Fri 15-Jun-18 18:34:43

I think they will snap out of it eventually but boy, this is long!

So Mum bought them both iPhone Xs this week. Common sense has left the building.

I told BF that they are not allowed over to our house any more, especially as the oldest has escalated his threats against his Mum and waits until her boyfriend leaves to try to intimidate her into doing things he wants. Basically she needs to call the cops but I doubt she ever will. I'm worried this will end really badly.

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