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Behavior issues in 10 year old stepson

My stepson is so rude,disrespectful and argumentative it's sooo very frustrating!! My husband does not get to spend a ton of time with him or us because he has to work. Since it is just me and these four boys when he is here, I really try to plan fun things for us to do with him ( and without too for my other boys, ages 8,4 and three months old). It is a ton of work for me to do some of the fun things that I plan for these guys and my stepson acts like a complete jerk about things sometimes it just feels like a waste of time, since he fights with my other sin's or he mopes around like he hates everything. I have had him pan things also so he gets a say in what we do and he still acts the same way....he can be such a party pooper. My question would be how would you handle these situations? He is only with us every other weekend and I do not want to punish my other kiddos because they truly are sooo excited to spend time with him and we do some really fun this normal moody kid behavior? I have been in his life since he was 9 months can we nip some of this rudeness in the butt and still have a good weekend?


Asked by Anonymous at 3:41 PM on Aug. 11, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • Seeing his attitude & behavior in that light (as an indication that he feels safe & is revealing the feelings he carries, for whatever reason) can help to bring a shift in the dynamic. Presently, you feel frustrated and burdened by his attitude, by him being pretty impossible to please. This means you aren't in a position to help him (by the way you respond.) You likely are trying to get him to change or to stop, and likely these efforts perpetuate more of the same.

    I will mention the book title again. It is "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk." By Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. This book is about kids who say "I never get to decide what we do" or "Nobody EVER listens to what I want" or "This is so stupid" or "When are we going home?" or "This is sooooo boring!" This book is about how to listen to them, how to respond, how to make room for feelings rather than rejecting them or struggling against them.

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:54 AM on Aug. 12, 2013

  • The kid might be frustrated that he comes over to see his dad and ends up hanging out with you and the boys instead. My stepson did a lot of that moody stuff, and eventually it came out that he wanted some alne time with just his dad. His dad still has to work, but when he gets off, he tries to make a point of playing chess with his son, watching a movie together, building models, flying a kite, etc.

    Answer by Ballad at 4:13 PM on Aug. 11, 2013

  • I agree that some of it may just be normal moodiness and that it will get worse. However, I don't think that's the majority of the problem. I think a lot of it is probably that Dad is hardly there when he comes to visit. You may be his stepmother, and the kids may be his (I assume) half-siblings, but if this is how things have always been, he may not feel like you're all a family. If Dad hasn't been there to kind of be the "glue' that brings you all together, he may feel more like a guest than a member of the family.

    Also, all the "fun things" you plan - do they keep you all out of the house much of the time? If so, that might contribute to the guest feeling - aside from not spending much time there, most of us know that when we "visit" people, they often go out of their way to entertain us and make sure we enjoy ourselves.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:51 PM on Aug. 11, 2013

  • Maybe what he needs, instead of a bunch of fun things that keep him going all weekend, he needs a weekend at Dad's that is just like his time at Mom's: chores, meals, tv, video games, running around the backyard, and going to bed early for backtalking.

    If he gets that feeling that he's truly a member of the family, rather than a guest to be entertained and then shuttled back to his "real" home, that might help with a lot of the attitude.

    And make sure Dad spends more time at home when stepson comes to visit.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:54 PM on Aug. 11, 2013

  • I know why he's moody- he wants to be with his DAD, not Julie the cruise director.
    Time for dad to step up to the plate!

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 7:03 PM on Aug. 11, 2013

  • Stop labeling him as your "step" son, and start treating him like he's your son. He may feel like he doesn't fit in, and is doing what he can to get attention.....

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 4:01 PM on Aug. 11, 2013

  • I can imagine how challenging this is. I feel for you & your stepson; you both are doing the best you can and feeling frustrated. It is hard not to be seen for how you are trying, or for how you feel.
    I recommend you take a look at the book "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk," by Faber & Mazlish. It's been in print for over 25 (or 30?) years and it's an easy read. If memory serves, the first part of the book takes a thoughtful look at routine patterns of communication: automatic parental responses to things like complaints & negativity on the part of kids. The authors really explore what is going on in these interactions and how to improve the situation. Shifting the WAY you respond to expressions of negativity can be the biggest influence toward eventual change IN the negativity. Put simply, making more room for unhappiness contributes to bringing greater happiness, just the OPPOSITE of resisting it.

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:28 PM on Aug. 11, 2013

  • I can not stress enough that it has always been like this.

    And I cannot stress enough that just because it has always been like this does not mean that it doesn't bother him. Frankly, the fact that it HAS always been like this could be a large part of it. He gets every other weekend with his dad, and for his entire life, his dad is hardly there for that limited amount of time he gets with him - wouldn't it bother you if your dad was leaving you with others during his limited time with you for your entire life? Especially when he sees that Dad's other kids are there all time, so they get time with him, but (to him) Dad can't be bothered to make time for him a couple of times a month.

    The kid is 10. You can't expect him to be able to realize that it's always been like this and that Dad loves him but has to work. You have to realize he's 10, and to him, it's a matter of Dad's always gone. Period.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 8:40 PM on Aug. 11, 2013

  • Truthfully I have an issue with kids doing visitations. And the Dad or Mom they are suppose to be visiting is not even there. I am glad I was never a step mom. Because I would tell my DH that if you are not going to be here the entire time. The kid is not going to come over.  Kid will only come when you are off.


    Answer by louise2 at 4:09 PM on Aug. 11, 2013

  • I labeled him my " stepson" in this post was to help explain the situation. I have no clue how he wouldn't fit in since things have been this way since he was 9 months old...seriously. He is my son, I take ownership in his well being, that is why I am concerned with his attitude, since it affects all of us, when we are looking forward to seeing him. My husband does spend time with him one on one but I do spent a fair amount more sometimes, as des his step dad who is married to his mother. I am starting to believe I already ad my answer tomy own question...he must be a normal moody tween and this s just the beginning...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:49 PM on Aug. 11, 2013