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Step son with oppositional defiance disorder

Posted by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 10:07 PM
  • 21 Replies

Hi All,

    I'm about to remarry. My fiance has a 7 year old son that was recently diagnosed with ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. The boy (I'll call him Joey) is extremely aggressive both verbally and physically toward adults and other children. He hurts my children constantly, has no empathy, and everyone avoids him at all costs. His grandmother won't even be alone with him. I have spoken with my fiance (as calmly as possible) about the verbal and physical aggressiveness Joey shows towards everyone (except him). The problem? He thinks there is no problem! He actually thinks Joey is "normal" and other children are "sissies". He gets so mad at me or anyone else who tries to talk to him about the issue. Joey is in a special program at school for children with behavioral problems. My fiancé thinks the school is picking on Joey. I just found out (from Joey's brother) that Joey calls his mother and his sister "bitch" and that he was permanently expelled from the school bus for pulling his pants down in front of the children while the bus was moving! My fiancé told me none of this. I feel like my fiance deceived me. He didn't give me all the information about Joey and the seriousness of the situation (how could he not think a 7 year old who calls his mother a "bitch" and pulls down his pants on the bus is not serious?) I moved forward in this relationship and brought my children into this situation without knowing what I was walking into. My children are young, impressionable and vulnerable. And now I'm in a position where it's almost impossible to walk away (moved from a different state, took no alimony from my previous marriage, haven't worked outside the home in 5 years, bought a house with him, etc). I'd appreciate any constructive advice. 

Feeling Deceived


by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 10:07 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Raspberry393
by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 10:21 PM
2 moms liked this

If your fiance doesn't think there is a problem.... walk away now.  If both of your names are on the house ask him to buy you out... that will give you seed money to move to another place... or ask him to leave and seek community assistance. 

faerie75
by Platinum Member on Jun. 25, 2013 at 10:52 PM
My own son is ADHD/odd and while he certainly can be a pain in my ass, he is not violent in the least, and does not call me names. But I've been on him for life. Sometimes my SO gets annoyed at my son but he is sometimes annoying. Some kids like this are bullied, and some are aggressive. My son can be aggressive but he does not bully. He just dont take no shit.
Si_si
by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 12:04 AM
1 mom liked this

I wouldn't marry this man if he can't openly see and face the challenges of this child.

The ONLY way I would continue dating this man would be is if he started facing the truth, was working on treatment both in and out of the house and he was non-custodial. This way I can take my kids out of the home and lessen the impact by keeping them away from his son and doing my own thing.

Otherwise, I would tell him you want to sell the home or buy you out then get job and find a place of your own. I would be honest with him and let him decide if he is willing to work on this relationship with you and see the reality of the situation. That is what I would do before I married someone who was in denial.

mopsmommy5
by New Member on Jun. 26, 2013 at 12:44 AM
1 mom liked this
I have two with adhd/odd, he needs counseling that helps with social skills and behavioral health training-learning to control their impulses and thoughts! If he won't get him therapy then RUN don't walk away! If the kid doesnt get help now he's gonna be a hellion teenager-i would know!!
....ClvrScn.
by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 10:10 AM



Quoting BigFam8:

Hi All,

    I'm about to remarry. My fiance has a 7 year old son that was recently diagnosed with ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. This is a rough diagnosis for any parent to take in. My son was diagnosed in December, but I knew for almost a year before that he had ADHD. The ODD was a surprise. I cried like a baby in the psychologists office. It's not easy to hear the something is "wrong" with your child.



The boy (I'll call him Joey) is extremely aggressive both verbally and physically toward adults and other children.Is he in therapy or on medication?? Remember that he is also dealing with sharing his dad for the first time ( ?? ) since his mom


He hurts my children constantly, has no empathy, Empathy is taught. I know many won't agree with me there, but I truly believe that empathy is a taught emotion.  and everyone avoids him at all costs. As a parent, this is a hard pill to swallow. I went through this with my son, and still do to an extent. My sister and my older brother refuse to keep him ever. The thing is, he is well behaved for them.


His grandmother won't even be alone with him. I have spoken with my fiance (as calmly as possible) about the verbal and physical aggressiveness Joey shows towards everyone (except him). The problem? He thinks there is no problem! Denial - completely normal emotion, especially with a recent diagnosis.  He actually thinks Joey is "normal" and other children are "sissies".This is normal too. He's angry! Anger is normal. He just wants his child to be "normal".


He gets so mad at me or anyone else who tries to talk to him about the issue. Joey is in a special program at school for children with behavioral problems. My fiancé thinks the school is picking on Joey. They might be. My son's ADHD is controlled, as is his ODD. Many school systems will put children with labels into this program, without assesing individual situations. Or he might belong in those classes.. IDK, I don't know the child


I just found out (from Joey's brother) that Joey calls his mother and his sister "bitch" and that he was permanently expelled from the school bus for pulling his pants down in front of the children while the bus was moving!Children with ADHD are typically less developed socially. My son has "undefined social and emotional delays", but it's not always a separate diagnosis. Usually you just have to realize that it's a symptom of ADHD. Many children with ADHD believe that these inappropriate actions are going to be funny, and get them friends. Class clown complex so to speak. They have no impulse control. So if it seems funny for a split second, it's getting done.

It's how parents handle these situations that counts and makes the difference so that the child LEARNS impulse control and doesn't do these crazy things again or similar things again

Also - I wanted to share a story with you. I picked up my neice and nephew last week, and I've got all 3 in the car, and my neice calls me "anna shell" instead of Aunt Michelle . My nephew calls me Aunt Michelle - So my son is explaining how everyone calls me something different. SD calls me Michelle, Daddy calls me Beautiful etc. My neice says " I call my mommy Master Mommy" . We all laugh and I tell my son to start calling me "Quenn Pretty Mommy" and my son thinking he is being funny calls me "Master Idiot" - BRAKES!! I pulled over. Took him out of the car, away from his cousins and explained to him that we do not name call, not even when we are playing and joking around. That it's not funny and it's hurtful. I did not punish him for this, he thought he was being funny. He hasn't name called ANYONE since then.. this was about a month ago. We have to teach our kids.

Children with ODD lash out in anger. It is not uncommon for them to call their parents names. His parents need to find something that works and punish him for it. His mom and his dad, need to demand respect for one another. If he calls mom a bitch, mom needs to do XYZ and dad needs to back her up and demand that his son shows her some respect. Even if that means that things get worse for awhile, because they will. When his parents start putting thier foot down, things will get WORSE before they get better.




My fiancé told me none of this. I feel like my fiance deceived me. He didn't give me all the information about Joey and the seriousness of the situation (how could he not think a 7 year old who calls his mother a "bitch" and pulls down his pants on the bus is not serious?)Anger, denial, embarassment - I'd say cut him some slack. If he told you about the ADHD and ODD, you should have researched it ans asked questions. If he didn't tell you - did he even know. You say recent diagnosis so I'm assuming that it's 6 months or newer but I may be wrong


I moved forward in this relationship and brought my children into this situation without knowing what I was walking into. My children are young, impressionable and vulnerable. Teach them tolerance and understanding, but alos how to stick up for themselves..

And now I'm in a position where it's almost impossible to walk away (moved from a different state, took no alimony from my previous marriage, haven't worked outside the home in 5 years, bought a house with him, etc). I'd appreciate any constructive advice. 

Feeling Deceived


My best advice is :

Research ADHD and ODD - get to know the disorders.

Research dealing with ADHD and ODD in a blended family

Research Step parenting and ADHD / ODD child

Research Helping siblings cope with an ADHD / ODD child to assist your own children

Research Teaching your child how to cope with ADHD

Research Behavior Modification Therapy in the home

Read - "1, 2, 3 Magic " and then talk to your husband, and have him talk to the ex about implementing this. BEST BOOK EVER. IT CHANGED MY LIFE WITH MY CHILD!!!

Pick your battles. My son is almost 6 and will not put his own shoes on. Is it worth the tearful fight every morning? Nope - Why reduce us both to tears at 5:30 in the morning. However, he would NOT clean his own room. That was my hill to die on. I'm not doing it for you. Lots of tears, fights, and confiscated toys later - he does it everyday without the fight.

If a punishment doesn't work - don't keep trying it. If it's not going to work, it's not going to work. Find something that does. Reverse punishment works better for my son. "If you want to go to T-Ball, you have to do XYZ". This was if he doesn't do XYZ, he has punished himself, by missing TBall.

Don't approach him about his son. This took some time for me to grasp this concept. I'd get so defensive over my child and DH would get definsive over his.

So now, I approach him about my child. "Hey I noticed that Jayson is doing X,Y and Z . I was reading this book and I think that it would helpful if we implemented 1, 2 and 3. but I need your help. I think it will work better if we did it for both kids. So do you think that we can do this for SD too"

Even if your kids don't have a problem - is it really going to be a bad thing to tell them to stop and take 3 deep breaths before complaining/yelling about someone else. Is it really going to hurt to tell them to keep their feet still before asking a question? No - not at all.

When you enter into a blended family, everyone has to give a little. In this case, you have to be a little more understanding and patient and give a little more than normal if you want this to work out.

You have to teach your children tolerance. DH and I sat down with SD and explained to her about ADHD and ODD in kid terms and told her what to do if he got out of hand with her. But I'm not a parent in denail. I'm not angry anymore. This is my life and I'm willing to handle it to help my child..

Be patient with your husband - it may take some time. Everyone copes differently... Think about how you would feel if yuour child was lableed with something that would effect them for the rest of their lives. I'/m not saying come up with this fantasy about what you would do and how you would do it better - really look into yourself and be honest with yourself about how you would feel


....ClvrScn.
by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 10:18 AM
1 mom liked this

Oh also - Children like this do not do well in a 50/50 environment. One parent needs to be custodial and that parent needs to be actively working with him. I would say that if DH does not have majority custody, then he should be every other weekend. I don't reccomend that often, but children with ADHD/ODD need rigid routine. My son's routine was interrupted the other day when I had car problems. It threw off his entire day. He spent too long in the car, he missed his morning cartoons, he didn't have his quiet time before Grandma started on him about chores etc. All because my serpatine belt went and delayed us by about an hour. It messed up his entire day.

Routine is so very important !!! I can't express that enough.

My son has charts - dry erase charts that I made using the print center here at my job.

Morning routine

1. Wake Up

2. Go potty

3. Wash your hands

4. Wash your face

5. Weigh yourself ( we're working on weight loss )

6. Change your clothes

7. Brush your teeth

8. Make your bed

9. Get your bag

10. Get in the car

It's the same thing every day and he gets a check mark for every single thing that he does. It brings him closer to the goal - which is getting to Grandma's and watching cartoons..

Then he has chores and an evening routine the same thing.. We work towards a goal

Rachael-Dawn
by Bronze Member on Jun. 26, 2013 at 10:24 AM
I would tell him to put the boy in counseling and get the boy on some meds or change the one's he is taking because they must not be working (there is a support group here on cm called adhd and us if you need advice. They are wonderful!) or the marriage will not move forward. This is a very hard situation to deal with. If he will not take the proper steps to help his son then you have that right I think.
DDDaysh
by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 11:05 AM
4 moms liked this

 Step 1:  Do NOT get married just because you feel like you don't have an out.  If you feel like you can't just up and leave, at least delay the marriage.  However trapped you may feel, marrying this guy is only going to compound your problems. 

Step 2:  Find a support system.  Can you move back home with your parents?  Can your children go live with their father for a while?  Do what you have to do to make sure they are safe. 

Step 3:  Get a job.  Being dependent on someone else, particularly someone you can't trust, puts you in a vulnerable position.  Get a job so you have more options for moving forward. 

Step 4:  If you think the relationship is salvageable, move out and get counseling.  Start this thing more slowly.  Don't bring the kids back into it until EVERYONE is sure things are stable. 

MrsMiles85
by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 12:24 PM
2 moms liked this

Oh wow!  What a hard position you are in!  You are in charge of your childrens safety, period.  And if he wants to be in la la land about his own child, let him deal with that on his own.  I've noticed that some parents just don't want to deal with their kids so they act like everything is okay.  My own husband is included.  Do whats best for your children babe, that's all that matters.  And that doesn't seem like a healthy situation for yourself either.

mamaBerg85
by Silver Member on Jun. 27, 2013 at 1:38 AM
I'm going to bed now but I have lots to say to u in the am because I was once in ur shoes. I was right there with my husband. For right now please understand there will be a wake up call for this man but u have to decide if u want to wait around for it. U can help him find it but u have to love his child enough to tell the man u love that u are frusterated. If u can't love that child enough tip help his dad then get out now. Give them a fighting chance at finding a woman who is strong enough to help both of them.
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