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My 14 yr old DS can't stand his Step brother & my DH can't rise above it(102 Posts)
I've been with my DH for 5yrs & married for nearly 2. My 14 year old son loves & worships his SD but he cannot stand his step brother who is also 14. The two boys are polar opposites, my DS is political, bright and geeky, my DSS is sporty and delightfully daft but not too clever.
My DH gets furious that my son doesn't like his and can be very angry about it, as a result their relationship has now deteriorated to just ignoring each other. My son is very hurt by this but his teenage perspective means that he won't see that if he could change his attitude to his step brother then my DHs behaviour to him would be better. I am stuck in the middle and my DH seems incapable of rising above it. He is extremely protective of his DS in all things and feels that by being kind to my DS he is somehow condoning the dislike he feels and being disloyal to his own child.
I feel utterly stuck and I don't know how to fix this, I know it's really hard for my DH but I also see my DS suffering from the loss of his relationship with his step dad. I just don't know what to do.
How does your DS show his dislike of his SB?
He just ignores him, he won't even show common courtesy of hellos and good byes. My DSS has told his Dad that he doesn't care about it, that he comes to stay with us to see his dad and doesn't care what my DS thinks. I have a very loving and positive relationship with my DSS.
Does he simply dislike him because they're not alike or did something happen between them? Has the sporty one teased the geeky one?
Or is your son jealous? I suppose you have to tackle it by knowing the root of it.
Is DSD older or younger? Does DSS get along with DSD? Is one of the reasons that the boys dislike each have anything to do with your son being a fan of dsd? What does dsd think of the boys?
I don’t blame your DH. DS needs to be polite and say “hello” and “goodbye “. It’s a lesson in life; we can’t all like one another be we do need to be polite and kind in life. Teenagers need guidance and good examples at this age to help them develop empathy. Sorry OP, it’s not enough to say “they don’t get along” and then to allow your son to ignore his step brother. Read him the riot act and tell him to be kind. Your home is not DSS’s full time home and is not going to be as comfortable and secure as the rest of the family, so he needs some help here.
Please teach your boy some kindness and empathy.
My DC are very different (same dad) in a similar way you describe but they still manage to have a mostly positive relationship.
They have found some common ground over the years i.e they like the odd same band, tv show etc.
I would not tolerate them ignoring each other, to be honest that is really rude and unnecessary.
Your DS needs to understand we go through life having to work and get along with people we don't necessarily share similar interests, morals or behaviours. This is not an excuse/reason to ignore them
If there isn't anymore to it then your son needs to learn not to be rude! He doesn't have to like his sb but should show basic manners and say hi etc. That might go some way to fixing things.
So he comes over and your son completely blanks him?
Does he blank your son or try to engage him?
Id be furious. I don’t allow shit manners in my house. Id be telling him both of them to buck up
If your son won't even say hello then he is the problem and I wouldn't tolerate some spoilt brat treating my child like that in his own home.
Even the way you speak of your child shows a bit of Golden Child. If he's acting like a little shit he needs to be brought into line.
Seriously, no child of mine would get away with being as rude as you describe your son as being. You need to fix this. They don’t have to be friends but your son needs to display common courtesy. Your DHs reaction is totally correct and I am shocked you question it.
Unless your DSS has been very unkind or bullying to your DS you need to have a chat with your DS about being polite and respectful to someone that is in the family, ignoring hello's etc is very rude, they don't have to like each other but there's no need for rudeness IMO.
Just realised SD = step dad not step daughter sorry
I think it comes down to basic rivalry. My DS father has been largely absent in his life, he adores his SD and loved having a 'real' dad at last but he's been an only child to a single mum all his life and wanted his SD to himself but knows that my DSS will always come frost in my DHs mind. The boys had some minor fights when they were 8 and 9 but nothing since. My DSS does make the most of the friction and has deliberately wound things up by telling my DH that my DS has said or done something mean to him. The last time this happened was during our summer holiday, since then the boys have just ignored each other.
Ignoring someone is rude. I would sit both sons down and have a talk about their differences. They don't have to be best friends but your son shouldn't be making it obvious that he doesn't like him.
your DS does need to show some basic manners tbh, flip it around and imagine if your DS went to visit his Dad and came back saying that his step bro literally ignored him all weekend. You’d be pretty pissed off. I can totally see why your DH is annoyed.
You need to have a frank conversation with your DS, manners cost nothing.
How would your son feel if sd ignored his friends because they were very different? It is very rude to blank someone else. Hello, goodbye etc is very basic manners that you'd give strangers on the street.
I wouldn’t allow my dc to treat each other like that, or anyone else who lived in the house. You have to be polite, even if you don’t want to spend time with someone. Your ds is being rude (excluding that he’s been bullied by the other boy of course!)
Has DS started ignoring DSS due to him telling lies then? DS probably thinks it’s easier to ignore him and then he can’t be accused of anything.
So you're annoyed that your DSS has the audacity to grass up your sons shitty behaviour?
Stop making excuses what are you doing about this?
You could threaten him with family therapy to resolve it! He'd probably find that idea so repulsive he'd break the silence.
It probably has become a habit he feels he can't come back from. You need to find a way to break the habit.
There are probably loads of articles about this sort of thing online.
I think you first have to speak to your husband, as his behaviour is adolescent in this matter. Point out to him that he’s the adult and had to treat the boys equally.
Then take your son to lunch and have a heart to heart. Drive a long way. I always found cars were the best times for my kids to open up. I think you have to tell your son he needs to be kinder, particularly if he’s brighter. Tell him he will have to deal with all sorts of people in life, and this is a good life lesson.
I wouldn’t speak to the stepson about his manipulation but I would mention it to your husband if your son follows through.
Sounds like 50 50 to me amongst the boys - they are the same age pretty much. I don't see the point of forcing friendship but civil behavior is required and its about sitting them BOTH down with both parents there, but your DH needs to also back down from who is right an wrong - it needs to be start again and allow it to settle without him upping the anti in terms of listening to tattle tailing and behaving like a teen himself by taking sides. You have to do the same - I don't think you are particualrly taking sides but you are also not helping to sort the issue out.