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2 Bumps

12 year old Step Son

I have a 12 year old step son (S) who has recently been kicked out of his mom's house and is now living with us full time. At first she said she just needed a break from him, but now she says she doesn't want him back. (She has kept the 10 year old son with her).

S does have some issues. He is on Vyvanse for ADHD and Risperidol for mood stabilizer. When he has a bad day, he throws things around and disrupts the whole house to let everyone know he's angry. I'm afraid to ask him to help out around the house like the other kids, just so I can keep the peace.

Lately, I'm finding it harder and harder to deal with to where I don't even want to go home after work. I'm starting to feel claustrophobic in my own living room because DH has taken his TV & games out of his room, so he's always watching stuff with us. I feel like the most horrible step mom in the world because I just want him to go away for awhile. I'm sick of catering to him on the chance that he'll throw a tantrum worse than my younger kids. And above all, I don't want the kids to witness that behavior. I keep telling myself that he's just a kid and is acting out because he's hurt, but I find that I've been going to bed earlier and earlier just to avoid him & feel like a prisoner in my own house.

I guess I don't know what the question is, but just needed to vent. Have any of you been in a similar situation?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 3:49 PM on Aug. 20, 2012 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (15)
  • Vent away. I have not. I have had my grandson since he was 2 and his visits to his mother are always tramatizing. He also is on meds for adhd and moods (as needed).
    I have him reevaluated every year and we have our regular visits. I just return him to our normal routine with a calm but firm stance.
    I really can not say anything but keep getting him to his dr. and talk to some one about coping skills/parenting this kind of child, for you.

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:54 PM on Aug. 20, 2012

  • He's being medicated but is he also receiving counseling? While I understand your not wanting to incite a tantrum, catering to him and tiptoeing around him aren't helping him either. I would talk to your husband about how you are feeling. Dancing around and avoiding this issue is going to eventually take a toll on your entire family.

    Answer by hootie826 at 3:56 PM on Aug. 20, 2012

  • You're very valid to feel this way. You're not a bad SM. Have you tried counseling for him? Think about, he was just thrown out of his the home he has only have and his mom doesn't want him back. They probably took a huge toll on him.
    Have you shared your concerns with your DH?

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 3:57 PM on Aug. 20, 2012

  • Does he see a counselor or therapist? He may have issues but that doesn't mean he doesn't have to follow house rules.

    Answer by meooma at 3:57 PM on Aug. 20, 2012

  • Is he going to a psychologist? That would be my first step - family counseling. You should not ever be afraid of your children/stepchildren. His dad needs to step up and set down the rules. If there are things he needs to do to help out around the house, his dad needs to be the one telling him what/when to do it.

    Answer by missanc at 3:58 PM on Aug. 20, 2012

  • He does go to a counselor once a month. In my opinion, that's not enough. But, I'm also not sure he's seeing the right therapist. Whenever DH tries to talk to him about how he feels about the therapist he says he doesn't have any feelings about him - that they just play chess for an hour. I don't know if this is true or if S just doesn't want to share what's been said with his dad, you know?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:01 PM on Aug. 20, 2012

  • I know this is not what you asked BUT your husband needs to take this to court especially if he is paying support, you guys now have this child. make it permanent so he does not feel displaced adn then get his counselor changed to one that will also do family sessions so every one can get help. Hugs momma

    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 4:07 PM on Aug. 20, 2012

  • Maybe try a different therapist or increase the visits.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 4:16 PM on Aug. 20, 2012

  • I'd call the therapist (have dh call) and pediatrician and ask him what to do about these behavioral issues at home.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 4:49 PM on Aug. 20, 2012

  • My boys have ADHD. I don't know anything about the mood stabilizers. But, reading what you wrote, it sounds like the majority of this is the result of the way his mother treated him. I'd get him in with the therapist (or another one) more often.

    My kids tend to get more emotional than others when they've had a frustrating day, but the stuff you're describing doesn't sound like a kid who's had a frustrating day and is overreacting. He's got other things going on, and I think he needs some serious help. Get his father to get him in with the therapist more often than he is right now, and I'd also consider talking with his mother about what happened. Hopefully, she'll at least apologize to her son and that might make him feel better.

    But I also have to say, there is a certain point where you just put your foot down and demand respectful, polite behavior - even if that means he drives everyone nuts for a while.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 6:22 PM on Aug. 20, 2012

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