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New to step-parenting (and the site)!(7 Posts)
Hi everyone, Just came across this site today whilst googling difficult teenagers, wonder if anyone had any thoughts on my situation?
I don't have any biological children, mid 30's, divorced, a year into a relationship with the most wonderful man I've ever met. The relationship is perfect.
Our boy on the other hand is 13. He's painfully shy and rarely speaks outside the house. He's a straight A student, quiet and polite and excels at sports. He's got medals and trophies bursting out of his room, but my word has he got a foul temper. He has these "episodes" where he flies into rage, smashes things up and raises his fists to my OH. During these episodes I tend to sit in another room as I honestly feel way out of my depth. I don't feel I have any authority to wade in and even if I did, I'd be scared he'd turn on me. My OH is very patient, tries to calm him down but they can, and often have, lasted hours into the night, which obviously affects us all.
The past few days have been awful, he's been in a foul mood, not bothering to speak to us and it has kicked off a couple of times. I actually lost my patience and have shouted at him one or two times but since I have, this seems to have given him more confidence with his aggression towards me. I don't have any experience with parenting and am a general push over of a person but I feel like he calls all the shots in the house, like we're constantly tip toeing around him so as not to upset him...
We have tried to talk to him when we think there is something on his mind but he simply refuses to talk to us. He'll walk away or if we push too hard, one of these episodes kicks off. We've tried taking away his play station, his phone, docking his pocket money...nothing is a deterrent really
When he's not in a temper, we actually have a very good relationship where we chat about school, I help with homework, I bring treats home for him. He isn't affectionate but I wouldn't expect that anyway, just want to know if this is a common thing? Should I intervene? I'll be honest, I feel like ripping his head off at the moment .....!! but I obviously won't...
Also, should mention these episodes have gone on since before I was on the scene and biological mum isn't around.
What’s his behaviour like at school? Im wondering if anyone else is concerned by his behaviour?
There are so many things, why is his Mum not around? And how long has she been gone?
Has this behaviour started since then?
I'm not sure what the answers are to the temper tantrums but think as a step parent you're best to stay out the way of them and support your DP to get the help he needs to address them. I've been in my step children's lives 8+ years now but I still leave difficult conversations and potential conflict to their dad as much as possible. We talk it through together at other times and I tell him when I think there's an issue he needs to deal with, but leave the confrontation to him alone. There's just so much more potential for them to turn properly against you when you're not their parent.
I'd suggest to your DP that he talks to the school, and possibly the GP to see if any help is available to help him manage his temper. You should tell your DP the impact it's having on you if you're feeling scared or upset by his son's behaviour and support his efforts to tackle it
I’d suggest your DP talks to the school about getting some advice with parenting strategies. What is the situation with his mum? Does how he is feeling now come from that?
I know it’s hard but even when you lose your patience try not to shout; as you’ve found that’s already made him feel he has to increase his aggression in response.
Could be hormones
Could be a sign of more deep upset
Could be something evolving more pathological
You need to stay out of it
As you have only been around a year and yet you keep saying ‘we’ when you discuss his father managing it- can I ask if the boy has anytime alone with his dad?
Are you there full time?
Because if bio mum isnt around and it was just him and dad it must be very very hard if you are now there the whole time and I’d respectfully suggest you need to let them have their space as a family a bit more.
Counselling? though I suspect he'll refuse it.
Are there any befriending services available. I would think the school might know about this.
Did he have a say in whether you moved in or not?
Perhaps he and his DF could attend some family counselling.
Does he feel abandoned by his DM, or let down by his DF?