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How can i get my step son to stop throwing fits?

I have two step kids one is 5 and the other is 7 the girl is 5 and she is great minus some dirty looks but the 7 year old boy is out of control. I have been around for the last 2 years and when i first me their dad the kids cussed and told people to shut up and he thought they were just expressing themselves. I was not ok with their behavior and told him and we talked to their mom and she agreed they needed manners and needed to respect people more. I implemented the corner and they were fine with it for the first year and they really made so many changes in their manners all the family noticed. Lately the boy has started getting a terrible attitude throwing fits saying no and when I put him in the corner he refuses and I add time and he dont care I have to pull him to his room and put him in there all the while he is yelling and throwing a fit. When his dad is around he is not as bad but he still has a bad attitude and will keep on going until he has hurt my feeling or made me mad even with his dads best efforts he is not deterred. just the other day he threw a fit and was so bad we were going to a bday party and he lost going so we dropped him off at his moms and he told he he didnt want to go anyway cause me and his dads attitude were terrible and he didnt know if he even wanted to come back to our house until we made some changes. He does this at his moms house and she disciplines him as well but her husband lets them do whatever they want and he says he just dont care and doesnt want me not to care but doesnt want me to discipline him either. I am at a loss I love these children with all my heart but I dont like the boy sometimes and it causes alot of tension in our house and with our relationship and I feel bad cause I definitely favor the girl but I try really hard not to show it. I also do not have children of my own so I have not been through any of thise is it normal? if not what can I do to help this?

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Asked by ngal at 12:23 PM on Sep. 9, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 3 (14 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • Sounds like he (and after reading this me too) is scared of you.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 12:39 PM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • pulling him to his room, you could pull his arm out of socket, you don't pull kids!
    he is not YOURS to discipline, his DAD should be doing this.

    I have a feeling he truly either despises you for over stepping your boundaries or you are harder on him than the sister and he sees it,


    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 12:47 PM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • Focus on your limits, not on trying to control his reaction to them, or trying to prevent particular "negative" reactions.
    Focus on the limits, being clear about them & maintaining them. Focus less on whether or not being upset about it is OK.
    Don't make his reaction "wrong," but make sure you provide safety for everyone (so his reaction doesn't hurt or harm people or property.)
    Think in terms of protective limits when he is out of control.
    It is better to adjust to reality (to what IS happening, regardless of whether or not it "should be" happening) than to spend your energy struggling against reality. Accept what's happening, as soon as you can. (Notice your upset feelings, irritation, annoyance, anger as signals that you are RESISTING what is happening as wrong, as "unacceptable," and bring attention to THAT internal reality: Your struggle against Reality!) This will increase your ability to be responsive (versus reactive.)

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:58 PM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • Why are you doing any of this?

    I don't normally say that just because someone doesn't have kids doesn't mean they can't know how to be a parent. But I have to say that you came into this with no children of your own and basically demanded that the two people who DID have these kids change things to suit your idea of how the kids should be behaving. Now, if they're cursing and stuff, that's wrong and they shouldn't be. Your only role in this should have been to tell your boyfriend/husband that you don't like the way the kids behave. If he and the children's mother didn't want to make changes, then you should have walked away at that point. Instead, you put yourself in the role of parent before anyone was ready for you to be in that role, it sounds like. Which led to this. At this point, I think your best bet is to back off and let the parents deal with their children, while you stay out of it.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 1:00 PM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • Being responsive, in the sense of responding in truly constructive ways to whatever is happening right then, directly influences the way things unfold. Which means responding constructively (versus destructively) changes the reality.
    Acceptance & flexibility are great tools and end up supporting the changes you are wanting when you struggle against reality (not accepting what's happening, because it's "unacceptable.")

    Biggest tip is to start noticing your internal reactions as signals that you are resisting/not accepting what is happening. Signals that you are struggling against reality. ("That car shouldn't be on the sidewalk! Cars should drive on the road, not the sidewalk! This is unacceptable & should NOT be happening!" Struggling against reality is a waste of energy & time....jumping out of the way of the car, whether or not it "should" be there, is adjusting to the reality of the moment & responding to it.)

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:04 PM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • I am sorry that I didnt give a whole lot of background, and by the way I do not pull him by his arm its more of a push or picking him up the best I can as he is almost as big as me cause if I do not get him to his room he has started punching his sister and me a few times, so it is better to get him to his room as soon as the trantrums start, this was also done per mom as she was on the phone coaching me. I also have him and his sister much more than his parents, as they both work during the weekends and do not have family to watch them. Again I love them and my post was to get help with them from experienced people so I can make our relationship better. Only after being slapped by a 5 year old and told to shut my mouth or else did I ask for help and both parents where on board actually mom had been trying to get dad on board long before and I helped him get on board with mom.

    Comment by ngal (original poster) at 1:29 PM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • Instead of manhandling him, why don't you just say if you don't do such and such there will be no_____ (fill in the blank) and stick to it, how often do you have them, I can assume that they in the past 2 years have 2 new people in their lives to contend with. I have had a SD for a very long time, and I never put one hand on her to control her. Wendy is correct ^^^^^

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 1:31 PM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • they are with me and their dad all week and I get them by myself for 2 hours every day until their dad gets out of work and all day sat from 7 to 5 when their mom picks them up. I have only had to do this 1 time mostly because he was being violent and acting like he wanted to attack his sister. I didnt know what to do so I called his mom and that was her solution until she got there. Her husband has been with them for about 4 years but he steps back and they treat him really bad kicking and punching him and then when their mom gets mad at them they blame it on him and they dont do that to me at all. Many times the kids tell me how great I am and how much they love me. The boy loves me very much and will express how he wants his dad to be with me forever and I am the best step mom, but it is the times he dont get his way and the fits he throws that throw me off and am up to try anything and if its me i will change.

    Comment by ngal (original poster) at 1:47 PM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • The blended family thing aside--been there, done that, know how hard it is, you just have to tough it out--the best way I've found to deal with fits, whether from my five-year-old or my teenage stepson with special needs, is to stay as calm as I possibly can. Raising my voice, scolding, making a threat especially if I don't mean it, all of that will just add fuel to the fire. I'll usually get the others in the family to leave the room so I don't have to move the fit pitcher. Much easier. Then I'll just keep calmly repeating my request, or say nothing and wait for the fit to burn itself out. Don't try to put the kid in a corner while he's spun up, that just escalates everything. Let him finish yelling, then corner time still stands, or he still has to pick up his toys, or whatever. The approach takes time, but you'll see results if your husband will come alongside you. If he won't back you up, you're seriously sunk.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:00 PM on Sep. 9, 2013

  • he does back me up and it is nice that their mom does too. I really am just trying to do my best which is why I am here and I truly appreciate all the advice I have received and I will definitly be doing as much of it as possible. I am willing to change my techniques I just need ideas on how, although their mom is helpful she has many of the same problems I do with him and even more with the girl, the girl is great with me but throws tantrums like no other with her mom thankfully I have not experienced hers yet which is why I am trying to get help now. I have never got on the internet for ideas but after the last tantrum i got a little afraid because he is so big and I need a better way to help him. you are right getting the others out is much easier I honestly didnt even think of that but will use that next time for sure and will be working on adjusting to what is happening. I am still so new at this.

    Comment by ngal (original poster) at 2:29 PM on Sep. 9, 2013

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