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What to do with 11 1/2 yr old mouthy step son?

My Step son makes my life a living hell every morning. I try to help him by OK.. TELLING him what to do, to get moving effectively in the mornings, and albeit every morning he still needs reminders, he yells and screams at me NOT to tell him what to do or how to do it. If I don't, he stands there staring at the fridge wondering what to do with it OPEN even tho' everything is right in front. He has had the SAME routine now since school started over 5 mos ago. This is a daily routine. I tell him every night what the weather is and how to dress. I have even gotten up in the mornings to help. I am always awake, but not necessarily out of bed. My bed is a straight shot look into the kitchen. This morning he had a PLANNED 2 hour delay (as the last 2 days were unplanned and he was already up) , and I told him if he was going to wake up, as we have plans tonight to READ in his room quietly until 8am. He yelled at me and told me he had to GET OUT of bed and watch TV to stay on the same schedule of getting up every day at 630am or he won't be able to get up tomorrow. I am so MAD! I told him to get off the drama roller-coaster. But, maybe I am over reacting and I am on the control drama roller coaster, but I am so fed up with being talked back to and told what to do by an 11 yr old. It so irks me to no end. He is to wash his face with very warm to HOT soapy water as his face is broke out. I stood there today and he had just the a tiny bit of the center of the washcloth damp and NO soap, and then uses a cleanser. (Was wondering why his blackheads and acne were coming back.) He told me he DID NOT have to get the wash cloth wet! I am ready to just let him deal with the black heads on his own and quit spending extra money to use special cleansers on them until he learns how to wash himself. UGH. There are times he comes out of the shower in less than 3 minutes, same child who normally takes a 15 min shower, and then claims to be clean. Of course his dad will say nothing as it is HIS son and he can do no wrong.. And the son just keeps writing Sorry letters thinking that covers everything... What do I, can I do??? Help please..

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Asked by Anidawehiwahya at 2:14 PM on Jan. 30, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 13 (1,115 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • Chose your battles. If he has horrible skin and does not care, let him. He is the one who has to walk around with pimples. If he does not use his acne products why buy them? Who cares what time he gets up as long as he is ready to go when it;s time to go. You need to not criticize his every move and he will not talk back as much. Treat him with respect and he most likely will do the same. My son is almost 13 & I have another who is almost 11 I show them respect and sometimes they talk to me like they are grown and I have to remind them I am the adult here.

    Answer by txnmomof4 at 2:36 PM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • first of all he is 11 someone should be UP with him. He should nothave to get up on his own. Dont coddle him, but get up fix breakfast or what ever. be an ACTIVE parent not a parent watchig from bed.

    Dont stand over him when he washes his face. Make the cleaners available...if he isnt using it right then that is his problem so what if it cost you a little bit. He will grow out of it. He is 11, hes not a teen and he has to make mistakes and things to learn from them.

    IF distruptinghis schedule is an issue for him, honor that atleast he has one he sticks too.
    If it is too much for you then give it all over to dad!


    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 2:37 PM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • One thing I haven't been as good at is making sure he knows I love him - I thought it was obvious, but he needs to *hear* it more and not just see it. I reinforced that everything I ask him or tell him to do is because I love him and I'm looking out for him.

    He's a really great kid, but he and I seem to play "tug of war" more often than not. Talking with him really made a difference in the immediate - he's warmed up a ton (no more super cold shoulder) and we understand each other better. We'll see how this plays out over the next few weeks/months, but I have complete faith that if we keep working toward common ground, I can act like a mom and he will respond well.

    ... continued

    Answer by daylily888 at 2:37 PM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • As a step-mom, we have to work harder to make sure the kids realize we love them too - not just their dad, but them. It takes more work as a step-mom to earn what we deserve as far as attitude WITHOUT resentment. Go above and beyond to be kind to him, not just tell him what to do. Don't stand over him, he's 11 now and capable of washing his face on his own. BUT relate with him, "I used to break out all the time, here's what I did...... I have everything you need to help you not break out right here. If you have any questions or it's not working, come talk to me so I can help you. It sucks to have zits, but you have to keep ahead of the breakout - once you breakout it's too late."

    ... continued

    Answer by daylily888 at 2:41 PM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • I say shut up and let the Dad take care of it, after all it is HIS son.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 2:17 PM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • The dad should be helping you out. If he doesn't, try the broken record approach. Refuse to respond if your stepson yells at you. Simply say, "I won't be talked to that way." No matter what he says or does, keep saying the same thing, like a broken record. Don't give him what he's asking for till he can be fit company. The bottom line is, kid or adult, stepson or not, you don't deserve to be talked to that way, especially in your own house. Don't put up with it, ever.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:26 PM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • I just went through a similar situation regarding my step son - except I thought I wasn't being bossy and he saw it otherwise (he's 15). Here's the biggest challenge - you are not his mom, you act like a mom but he knows very well that you are not his mom. There is an inherent "mom loves me" ingrained in nearly all boys (whether true or not), so even when mom does wrong, there is that soft spot in sons heart for mom. Unfortunately as the step-mom, that doesn't translate. So over the course of the last few days, a lot of *misunderstandings* have come to light between he and I. We sat and discussed these just last night. I allowed him to talk and responded compassionately and from the heart.

    ...continued below

    Answer by daylily888 at 2:33 PM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • I tell my kids every morning I love them and have a good day. Even when they are on my last nerve.

    Answer by txnmomof4 at 2:40 PM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • "Hey buddy. I know I've told you maybe a million times not to keep the fridge door open, but here's why. The cold is like a bunch of ping pong balls, when you open the door they start to fall out, the longer you leave it open the more fall out. It takes a lot of energy to make more ping pong balls (cold air) to fill that space back up and energy is expensive. It would be very helpful if you could think about what you want out of the fridge before you open the door and let all the ping pong balls fall out."

    And tell him you love him - frequently and often. And hugs go a long way too. And the works "good job!" "I'm proud of you!" go a loooong way.

    Answer by daylily888 at 2:44 PM on Jan. 30, 2013

  • I would say this, I responded not nice, because I made my step son's breakfast when he lived with us, it was up to his Father to enforce rules, not me! We talked to one another, and I asked him questions, I never barked at him, if Dad was working he knew he had to ask me, but for all other cases, his Dad was the "enforcer". He is closer to me than his own mother now, and one of the reasons is because he felt like he could talk to me, and I would listen.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 2:51 PM on Jan. 30, 2013

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