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What do I do with my bratty step son?!?!?

I hate to say that, I really do. John is a temper tantrum, whinning, obnoxious brat. for example, I once took him (and his very well behaved sister) out to a movie and he became soo infuriated that his sister sat down next to him and put her arm on the back half of the arm rest (she even offered to give him the whole thing) that he punched her in the face... hard enough to draw blood. This is just one of many examples. I've tried talking calmly to him, putting him in a corner, talking to his dad. nothing works. I don't know what to do with this kid anymore. I almost dread having to be near him.... I feel horrible for it. I really do, but i'm at the end of my leash. please help me!!!!

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Asked by TiffanyM22 at 11:31 PM on Aug. 20, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (8)
  • Where is his dad in all this. You should not have to take him anywhere if his bad behavior continues. Have a family conference and talk the situation over. His father need to get more involved. If one family that I know the kid just wanted to spend time with his dad. He acted out with anyone else. It was his only way of seeing his dad. Negative attention was better than none in his mind. grannywilson

    Answer by grannywilson at 12:00 AM on Aug. 21, 2009

  • this instance was a special deal because it was his mothers b-day and dad was at work. His dad tries, but I think he just wants to enjoy the very little time he's given with his kids. we've had discussions about the behavior, but it still seems like it has no effect.

    Answer by TiffanyM22 at 12:24 AM on Aug. 21, 2009

  • His mom and dad need to get together and come up with a plan that is best for their son. Of course he would want to be with his mother on her birthday. Couldn't there be some adjustment for that? grannywilson

    Answer by grannywilson at 2:51 AM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • sound sthe child is frustrated and needs help expressing his feelings. My guess is being in a mixed family has probably deeply upset his sense of security adn stability we often forget because divorce is so common how tragically it affects out children. Your not psychotherapist but if therapy isnt the answer perhaps you can try to dig in to his psyche and see what teh REAL issue is. Children dont WANT to be brats. It is a coping mechanism that comes when they are left to their own devices to deal with a difficult situation. When a situation seems to be escalating pull him aside and say "hey whats teh problem buddy?" and when he says "well..." say "hey i totally get where your comign from. When I was a kid my sister used to do xyz and it made me so mad! But I learned that doing xyz was always better than hitting or kicking" you may be surprised by some of his answers and if he cant give you an answer as to why he is upset cont

    Answer by katiekruschke at 12:35 PM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • say "you know what? thats okay! Sometimes I get really mad and I dont know why either and its okay to feel that way but its not okay to hit. Woul dyou like to paint a picture with me about how you feel instead" or blow bubbles or whatever. He is seeking validation and common ground but has no idea where to get it from adn sometimes simply saying "You know what I am really sorry your mommy and daddy dont live together anymore. I bet that really hurts sometimes and must be super frustrating. Im sorry I cant fix it but I would like to be your friend and hang out with you and do cool stuff

    Answer by katiekruschke at 12:37 PM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • First, no matter how difficult he is, try to not even think of him as a brat. Something is going on. I would suggest to his dad for the entire family to see a therapist (just for a few sessions) and for him to have some individual play therapy. Check with the school. Some schools have certified mental health counselors available. Kids just don't do this for the heck of it. Something is bothering him. He may not even know what it is. It is not normal to have regular outbursts with violence. In the mean time finding other outlets to direct his frustration that is more appropriate. A punching bag, a pillow, private time to cool off in his room....but try seriously to not lable him as a brat. He is obviously hurting and wants others to hurt too. Help him by getting him help. Talk to his dad. Invest in this child by getting him support and giving it.


    Answer by frogdawg at 6:04 PM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • First, you must stop calling him names, even if it isn't to his face. Kids still hear things and sense how people feel about them. Second, it is up to his parents to take care of his behavior. I highly suggest anger management and family counseling. There is something more bothering him than him being a brat. Instead of calling him names, get him the help he needs to find out why he acts the way he does. The next time he punches his sister, CALL THE POLICE and let them talk to him about what happens when he hits people.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:55 PM on Aug. 22, 2009

  • I agree that you need to get this child in to see a therapist. He could be having a hard time dealing with something or even have a medical condition like Bipolar. Get him to a professional & find out what's going on with him. Ask the therapist is they can reccomend a good anger management group/program for kids his age. He needs help & he'll just get worse until you get him the help he needs.

    Answer by busygoddess at 8:14 AM on Aug. 23, 2009

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