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How can I talk to my soon to be stepson about the way he acts without overstepping my grounds?

I'm having a lot of issues with my 13, almost 14, year old soon to be stepson. He doesn't like the rules in our house. The same rules my 7 year old and 4 year old follow. He feels like I'm picking on him and makes his feelings known to his Mom. Of course, like any mother, she takes his side. She then tells me that I need to pick my battles with him and sometimes letting a towel on the floor go is fine. He knows how to manipulate both parents. Tonight he says he wants to stay an extra night for the barbque but after everyone leaves he texts his Mom and says he wants to go home. When I asked why he said "Because I knew she would". How to I make him understand that how he acts is wrong?

Answer Question
 
jamieleea

Asked by jamieleea at 11:19 PM on Jul. 3, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 2 (11 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • This is a struggle that we deal with on a different level. (my 17 year old has Aspergers.. as does his 12 year old). The best way that I have found to approach this is to take my fiance aside, when things are GOOD, and talk about this. I've asked him if there wasn't some type of middle ground we could meet on. Not necessarily compromising the house rules as much, but approaching them differently with his kids. (we aren't living together yet, but the kids are here at times). Just saying something along the lines of "you need to follow the rules for the kids in OUR house". Somehow finding ground where you (as the parents) can meet to form a combined front.

    He may never understand that his actions are wrong towards you... but the best you can do is try to explain that he just has to follow the same house rules... You may have already tried all this.. and it doesn't always stick the first time! best of luck!
    AudraMorgan

    Answer by AudraMorgan at 11:39 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • I would seriously consider having a family meeting where his mom is invited as well. Lay out all of the rules for the household and let it be known that they apply to everyone. Also, go over the consequences for breaking the rules. Let it be known that when he is at your house he has to follow your rules and that if he chooses to stay an extra night, then he must stick it out there. There's no reason a teenager needs his mommy to come rescue him from his dad's house. Teenagers are rebellious and when the parents allow them to play one off of the other it's even worse. I really do think it is in your best interest to have a one-on-one with his mom (and step-dad if there's one) and then a family meeting with EVERYONE.
    KMAsMommy9182

    Answer by KMAsMommy9182 at 11:41 PM on Jul. 3, 2011

  • Well, since you were in the picture, have the rules changed for him, this doesn't sound like something he has grown up with. Some SM feel that once her and the dad and the kids move in together, everyone has to start living by the same rules, usually her rules, but why should he have to change what he is used to and not you and your kids? You and his father are merging households, they aren't just joining your's. As far as him calling his mom, that is his right, maybe he wanted to stay for the BBQ but wanted to go home after, that sounds reasonable. It sounds like his parents are ok with this so there isn't really a way you can step in without over stepping. And his mom is right, with any 13/14 year old, you really do have to pick your battles, you even more so since you aren't even his parent.
    JLS2388

    Answer by JLS2388 at 11:02 AM on Jul. 4, 2011

  • It changes when all adults are on the same page with the same consistency of discipline. If everyone is pulling in different directions, of course the child will go with what works best for him...good luck...
    mom2mybabes

    Answer by mom2mybabes at 3:40 PM on Jul. 5, 2011

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