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what is my place as a stepparent to a 17yr old boy who lives with us fulltime?

he got into a fight at school last nite and may be put on probation. his mom never gives him anything for birthdays or christmas,he hardly goes over there and when he does she acts like a best friend instead of a parent,he drinks over there(dont know if she lets him)hes had sex over there. anyway, he is failing evry class and has to make up a class fromlast year(in 10th grade) im concerend he may not graduate at sister in law told me to stay out of it and let his mom and dad sit down with him and talk( im just concerend about him)they have already had this talk with him.i dont quite know what she meant by stay out of it.i told her i just want him to graduate.he lives with me fulltime anyway.she said she had stepkids and did everything for them and they dont like her and it caused stress for her marriage,so it would be better if i didnt get involved..but im taking care of him,does no one see that.


Asked by angelairelan at 10:26 AM on Oct. 10, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Level 12 (675 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • Ask him what he expects of your role as stepmother. Tell him your concerns (showing him you really do care). Tell him what you expect of him as a teen. Kids live up to what we expect of them. If we expect them to fail, they will. If we expect them to succeed they will but only if we guide them and support them. Being a stepmom can be tricky but draw the line in the sand on some things and stand firm. If he screws up, ask HIM how he's planning on fixing things. Don't try fixing them for him. His mom is wrong in being his "friend". Kids have friends. They need parents who take the time to show them they care.

    Answer by admckenzie at 10:47 AM on Oct. 11, 2009

  • i was also a troubled teen and i have a stepfather and a stepmother and they tried to discipline me and it really cause alot of problems. it sounds like this kids life is fucked up and you have to have a little sympathy for the way hes handling the situation, its rough being a kid, having divorced parents and stepparents and it sounds like his mom is not the greatest. i grew out of it eventually. but in my opinion, youd be better off staying out of it. i mean, you should talk to the kid, but i would just not discipline him.

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 10:30 AM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • I think you need to assume full reasonsibility, you knew going into this relationship there was a child and if he lives with you fulltime, you need to parent him and that involves disciplining him. Do what needs to be done to get this boy back on track and you and your DH need to sit down and figure out what you are going to do and if you three can do it on your own or with counselling. Good luck, he is still just a boy and needs your guidance.

    Answer by QandA at 10:32 AM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • We had this situation. Mom in FLA, we're in MA. 17 yo boy comes to live here. His mother obviously doesn't give a rats ass about her son (in both our cases), so it just makes Dad's job harder, but doable. Let Dad handle it all. You should share you concerns and ideas with Dad, but always let Dad be the "teller". You'll never be the evil stepmom that way. He knows he should follow Dad's rules, and you'll never hear "your not my mom". You need to make sure that you are also taken care the way of this being your home and your life, you expect life to be a certain way, and Dad should make sure that the kid doesn't interrupt that by foolishness.

    Answer by EireLass at 10:32 AM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • Well I have a different opinion since he is living with you. I think you need to step up as his "parent" but together with his father. Maybe he also needs counseling but you 2 need to come together for his sake.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:49 AM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • Well, first and foremost, if the kid is living in your home, under your roof, full time, then you are basically providing for his needs. That means you are in charge. You are the adult in your home. Don't settle for letting "his parents" handle it. That's a cop out. If the parents don't want to deal with it, kick his ass to the curb. He is almost an adult. He is not a baby or a little kid. Make him go get a job and start helping out around the house. Cut off all money. That's not your responsibility!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:50 AM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • Your job is to be back up if the parents ask you to. Be kind to him and a guide but do not discipline him. Talk to him about whats going on but thats it. Try some counseling. It really helped us.

    Answer by stickyfingers at 10:51 AM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • What I would do is just talk to him about his future. What are his dreams? things like that.
    If you love him than tell him and also tell him that, do not let peoples mistakes drag him down. Soon he will be a adult and he can make a great future for himself. Just encourage him.
    Kids at this age just need to know that someone loves them.

    Answer by gammie at 11:06 AM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • Since he is living with you full time and the mom gave that up or it was court ordered, you are an acting parent. You are involved.

    I think the boy should be taken out of school and enrolled in GED classes. He should get a job and most of his paycheck should go to his father. Until he is 18 his father should save all that money for a car or college (doesn't sound like that's going to happen). When he turns 18 he can move out on his own or stay with you and follow your rules.

    Most of his paycheck still goes to his father, some for rent and some for the car fund. After he gets enough for the car he still pays his father the same amount and his father pays all or some of his car insurance to make sure he is insured. The car can be taken away for a certain amount of time if he breaks car laws (police don't have to be involved) - drinking and driving, seat belts, ect.

    Give him a giant box of condoms!

    Answer by Gailll at 11:25 AM on Oct. 10, 2009

  • Those that I've come across that have good relationships with their adult step children said that the key is not trying to parent them; be a friend--not a give them alcohol and keep secrets friend, just friendly.

    Answer by happytexasCM at 5:36 PM on Oct. 10, 2009