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13 Year Old SS Not Speaking To Me

Posted by on Dec. 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM
  • 10 Replies

I have been married almost 5 years, I have a SS 13 and SD 11. The mother gets them every other weekend for a long weekend, my DH and I are raising them the rest of the time. My SS and I used to be close -- I read him bedtime stories, we told each other we loved each other, hugs, etc. Since he turned 11 (and his mother got remarried a couple months ago also) I have noticed a profound change in his behavior. He won't speak to me or even look at me, if I ask him a direct question it's "Fine", "good" "ok". When he IS speaking to me, it's to be rude or sarcastic. Meanwhile, he thinks the sun rises and sets on his dad -- who lets him have unlimited screen time and rarely or never gives any consequences. He is a video game addict who plays games every waking moment that he isn't in school -- DH doesn't see anything wrong with this and tells me I'm not allowed to limit it. It makes me crazy. And it's heartbreaking to miss the wonderful little boy I once loved. He has turned hostile and ugly to me and except for me yelling at him one time that he was wasting his life playing video games, I have been nothing but loving and pleasant to him. This is making my life intolerable and I cry about it every day. Anybody else been through this? Did it get better? Help please! 

by on Dec. 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM
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Replies (1-10):
STVUstudent
by on Dec. 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Even if your DH is going to let SS spend every waking moment playing games, he needs to lay down the law about the rude and disrespectful behavior.  You may want to enlist the aid of one of SS's teachers or guidance counsellor to talk with DH about the screen time and lack of consequences... if that doesn't work, well, you see what you have.  This is your life.  If it doesn't work for you, talk to a marriage counsellor and try to fix it or get out.

OvrMyHead
by Silver Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Your SS sounds exactly like my DS13.  He is on his computer every waking moment he is not in school or after his curfew at night when I make him give me his computer before he goes to bed.  My DS also really doesn't want anything to do with DH--he is very short with him giving 1 word answers while he loves to hang with me.

I have tried and tried to limit his computer time and get him to open up to DH (and he does this to others as well) but I just can't seem to get anything to work.  I have tried everything (this has been a years long process).  Finally I just decided to let DS do what he wanted as long as he is getting good grades and following rules.  He is never rude.

There are times when he does put his computer down and plays with his sister or his cousin or does something with me and I really cherish those times.  My DS used to be such a wonderful child, now he is a surely teen.

3stonestepmom
by Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 3:04 PM


Quoting STVUstudent:

Even if your DH is going to let SS spend every waking moment playing games, he needs to lay down the law about the rude and disrespectful behavior.  You may want to enlist the aid of one of SS's teachers or guidance counsellor to talk with DH about the screen time and lack of consequences... if that doesn't work, well, you see what you have.  This is your life.  If it doesn't work for you, talk to a marriage counsellor and try to fix it or get out.

I would so love to get him to go to marriage counseling, but he refuses to go...thinks we should be able to fix everything "on our own". 

pdxmum
by Ruby Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 3:04 PM

This might sound harsh so put on your big girl panties.

If normal 11 year old development is making your life intolerable and you cry about it every day, you need some help.  Get a parenting book, get yourself in therapy, grow up but do something.  Kids are meant to reject and hurt us.  It is called growing up and pulling away and becoming independant adults.  It is their job.

Unfortunately, you don't understand this very basic aspect to kids, you do not possess what is referred to here as the bio-filter.  It is natural and organically developed when you have your own children.  As a SM, you need to develop what I will call a "step-filter".  It will never be as easy for a SP to have a full blown bio-filter, but you need to learn what is normal behavior and what isn't.  First step is  respecting your DHs views on parenting his children.  If you don't agree with that, then you have a DH problem and no amount of filtering will fix that.

3stonestepmom
by Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 3:08 PM


Quoting pdxmum:

This might sound harsh so put on your big girl panties.

If normal 11 year old development is making your life intolerable and you cry about it every day, you need some help.  Get a parenting book, get yourself in therapy, grow up but do something.  Kids are meant to reject and hurt us.  It is called growing up and pulling away and becoming independant adults.  It is their job.

Unfortunately, you don't understand this very basic aspect to kids, you do not possess what is referred to here as the bio-filter.  It is natural and organically developed when you have your own children.  As a SM, you need to develop what I will call a "step-filter".  It will never be as easy for a SP to have a full blown bio-filter, but you need to learn what is normal behavior and what isn't.  First step is  respecting your DHs views on parenting his children.  If you don't agree with that, then you have a DH problem and no amount of filtering will fix that.


whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Stop being the bad guy. If his dad lets him have unlimited screen time, just roll with it. See if you can lure him away from the screen with other activites that would appeal to him. 

3stonestepmom
by Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 3:11 PM

I am already in therapy, actually. And it helps. I know some of this is developmental work that he is doing, but I just hope we can be close in the future. As a SP I was just really starting to develop closeness with the kids when he started to do this, so I didn't have the confidence a bioparent would have that he might come back around someday. It's pretty hard to live in a house with someone who looks at you like he wants to murder you, I don't care who you are. 

pdxmum
by Ruby Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 3:20 PM

I understand not having the confidence of a bioparent, I have 3 skids - SD20, SS16 and SS15. I have been in their lives for 6 years.  I also have DD17 and DD19.

Do you have biokidds?

What you must face is that he may not come back around someday.  But if you focus on being a great SM (and more often than not that means not to try and be a parent) and at least in SSs presence support choices your DH make, then you have a good chance.  Not saying you always have to agree with DH but do that in private and do it respectfully.  He is the parent.

Is the murder comment an exagerration or do you really fear for your life?  Just wait until they are teens.  My DDs have the most brilliant death stares.

Good for you for being in therapy.  And good for you for handling my thoughts with grace. 

Quoting 3stonestepmom:

I am already in therapy, actually. And it helps. I know some of this is developmental work that he is doing, but I just hope we can be close in the future. As a SP I was just really starting to develop closeness with the kids when he started to do this, so I didn't have the confidence a bioparent would have that he might come back around someday. It's pretty hard to live in a house with someone who looks at you like he wants to murder you, I don't care who you are. 


pdxmum
by Ruby Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 3:23 PM

I can always lure SS15 away from screen with the offer of a card game.  There is no pressure when playing cards to actually do anything but play cards.  I don't force a conversation or even expect a conversation.  Because there is no pressure, more often than not we have a lovely conversation.  And sometimes he is just so caught up in the difficulties of being 15, we play in silence.

Quoting whatIknownow:

Stop being the bad guy. If his dad lets him have unlimited screen time, just roll with it. See if you can lure him away from the screen with other activites that would appeal to him. 


jules2boys
by Gold Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 3:27 PM

It may be easier to face that you will NEVER have the same relationship you did before with him.  But, this is developmentally to be expected too.  He'll NEVER be that same little boy he was, he's growing up, maturing, he'll have hills and valleys, he'll have good days and bad, you'll love him while hating him at the same time, and this is all NORMAL, but he'll never be the little boy you used to read to and cuddle with, and that's OK. 

Change your expectations of your relationship and you may find it easier to cope. 

And I agree with all PDX shared with you. 

Keep going to therapy and bring this up as well. 

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