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More a vent about being a stepmom than anything.

I have two stepchildren from my husband's previous marriage. We were together for over 2 years before their mother lost custody due to drug usage. The mother & children lived out of state, and we found out and took custody within a few days. Suddenly I went from having 3 children, one an infant, to having five children under age 7.

We've had custody now for about five years. I have come to really dislike my stepson. He is a horrid, obnoxious, hyperactive child. He is always in trouble. He is always leading the other children into trouble. He is always grounded (which grounds me, too!). He doesn't listen, no disciplinary measures work.

Does anyone else have an even remotely similar situation? The child will likely live with us for another 10 years. I can't even bear to think of it.

The brunt of the parenting falls on me. Daddy has very little to do with day to day parenting. I can't even enjoy the other kids any more.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:30 PM on Jun. 15, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (15)
  • Also, their mother has occasionally gotten them for a few hours, but only within the last six months. She went several years without talking to them. It makes me angry that she is living her life (now drug free) and I am going crazy with five children.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:33 PM on Jun. 15, 2010

  • Wow. he sounds a lot like my own daughter...Thats how i feel about her sometimes.. I feel aweful for it, but she keeps the family from getting along. and shes only 5.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:34 PM on Jun. 15, 2010

  • He has a simple task right now that he has been supposed to be doing for over two hours. He keeps not doing it, playing, yelling. He just came in and said the youngest dumped bubbles on his head. Obviously he would know that bubbles shouldn't be dumped on his head, but he still let (and probably encouraged) this to happen.

    I swear, I don't know how I am going to manage until school starts again.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:36 PM on Jun. 15, 2010

  • I feel sad for your situation and sad for your step son too. You are stuck parenting a child you don't know what to do with, and he is stuck with a birth mom who abandoned him (by choosing drugs over her children) and a step mom who probably wishes she could. Don't think he doesn't know this, either, I am sure he understands your feelings toward him. Are ther behavior issues here like ADD or something? Not to point to that as an easy out, but if it is truly the case then there are techniques that could be used to help him learn to focus and control himself better. The bottom line is the only way to improve this is to be proactive yourself, you can't expect a child to be responsible for that. And if you don't seek solutions you will either end up leaving your marriage or suffering miserably for the next ten years, and the poor boy will grow up with serious problems that will only get worse as he gets older. Hang in there and GL

    Answer by MaryMW at 4:49 PM on Jun. 15, 2010

  • He has not been tested for ADD. We and the school feel that it's not quite there, but just an excess of little boy behavior.

    I feel sorry for him, too, underneath my resentment of him, and I have tried and tried and tried to not feel the resentment. He is just so much, constant, 100% trouble. If I do not watch him 100% of the time, he will do something wrong. Granted, it's a bit easier since he's not so young (now he's nearly 8) and less likely to really hurt himself than when he was 3-6 years old.

    Another current example, he is in his room on the other side of the house. There are four children home, the only thing I can hear is him aggravating the other children and just being loud. Over and over and over again. He is so loud, I can't escape him. He destroys things, toys rarely last more than a few days.

    It's too hot to send him outside to play.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:57 PM on Jun. 15, 2010

  • Have the stepchildren attended any counseling? Being removed from a parent and them not being in their life for 'several year's" is quite traumatic for children of ANY age. Has this child been evaluated for behavioral problems? Sounds a lot like ADD or ODD. Rule out medical and behavioral problems first. Consider counseling...for the kids..and maybe you too. You are resentful, for good reason, but it isn't a healthy way to raise kids.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:01 PM on Jun. 15, 2010

  • He has not attended counseling. That is definitely something to think about.

    I know it's horrible, but I wish his mother would take him every other weekend! Or for a few weeks this summer.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:03 PM on Jun. 15, 2010

  • The child should have been in counseling years ago. Since that didn't happen then get him help now. He doesn't understand his own behavior, probably anger based if not ADHD.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:13 PM on Jun. 15, 2010

  • Has anyone addressed his feelings of abandonment? Instead of thinking "what's WRONG with this child"...think "what's HAPPENED to this child".

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:20 PM on Jun. 15, 2010

  • Have you tried finding something he like, maybe soccer or baseball and having him join that. That way he has to keep up his behavior to continue to play. Also chores, try keeping him busy with chores. Give him chores that is appropriate for his age when he is misbehaving. Maybe he just doesnt know where to or to channel is anger. You know what I mean so he is taking it out on the things that is around him daily which happens to be his siblings and school. He may need counseling or buy him some art supplies and tell him to make a book.

    Answer by lilmsnay83 at 7:51 PM on Jun. 15, 2010

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