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Stepmom Central Stepmom Central

Troubled teen stepson coming to live with us

Posted by on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:17 PM
  • 73 Replies

I'm new here, so hello.

My husband and I have been married for 10 years, together for 12.  He has 2 children, 15 and 16 yrs old, from a previous marriage that lasted almost 2 years, one child is biologically his, the other is not and does not know it. They live in another town- same state. My husband and his ex do not get along.

Long story short, I have not seen my step kids in 2 years. Their mother has been in trouble for drug use in the past, does not work and does not "parent" her children, (the last part is my opinion based on past and current events). Her family is very well off and pay all of her monthly expenses, groceries, cars. She has no mortgage since her house was built by her father and paid in full.

A few months ago my 16 yr old stepson got into serious trouble with the law. Charges were brought up against him but later dropped. We think his grandfather's money had something to with the charges being dropped, but have no proof. He is on a 1 yr probation. She ended up pulling the two kids out of school because of the incident, so he did not pass 10th grade. There was no attempt to make up classes over the summer.

Last week my stepson called us and asked us if he could come live with us. He said in the current environment he does not feel that he will make it, (staying out of trouble, re enrolling in school and doing well in school, etc). Per the "parole", if he gets in any trouble at all, the charges will be reinstated and he will be tried as an adult.

So after some deliberation we have agreed to have him come live with us so he can get back into school and change his life around. He seems genuinely interested in starting over and in trying to become a better, well behaved, educated person.

I am unable to have children so I have zero experience raising kids, let alone a troubled teenager. I am excited and terrified at the same time.

My husband and I do not come wealthy families. Everything we have we have worked hard for and built from scratch. We have a successful business that we started 6 yrs ago. We are well respected in our community.

My stepson has had everything handed to him on a silver platter, from horses,guns, boats, ATV's to luxury resort homes, expensive vacations, designer clothes, (all funded by his grandparents since his mother does not work). He was also given a brand new truck shortly after the charges were "dropped".

I'm trying to give you an idea of the environment he is coming from. Living with us will be a culture shock I think.

I'm not sure what questions to ask, but I feel like I'm in for a shock as well.

My stepson and I have always gotten along well. I am strict and not a pushover and he knows it. But any kind of interaction we have ever had in the past has been limited to weekends and the occasional holiday. And, like I mentioned before, I have not seen him in two years.

Is there anyone out there who is/has been in a similar situation? I have a laundry list of rules I expect him to follow. My husband agrees to a certain extent, but feels we should ease in to them and not throw all these changes at him all at once.

Any advice would be appreciated.

by on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:17 PM
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Replies (1-10):
destinyangl21
by Bronze Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:27 PM
3 moms liked this

Let your DH be the one who enforces the rules not you. It will only cause conflict with your SS and create an unhappy environment. 

Ellie2014
by Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:32 PM

My husband has to travel on a regular basis. 60% of the time he works from home, the other 40% he travels. For the first few months, we are trying to work out a way to reduce to his travel time.  But under the circumstances, I have to also take the role of disciplinarian when it will be just me and my stepson.

amantonacci
by Gold Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:41 PM
1 mom liked this

This sounds like a bad idea...

wise.toes
by Silver Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:43 PM
1 mom liked this

take a step back and let DH take the lead. support him, offer your opinion but he needs to be the authority figure here.

and i'd never have agreed to have him move with you if dad's not home 60% of the time. 

i think SS is banking on dad not being home, so he can do as he pleases. 

be careful..

Ol--Akasha--lO
by Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:43 PM
What rules do you have that you think SS is going to have a problem with?
Ellie2014
by Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Thats where I am torn.  But our reasoning, what kind of people would we be if we turn our backs on someone who is asking for our help and wants to make a change?  I should also tell you we are doing a trial period inthe next 2 weeks to see if this is even a realistic possibility. 

The rules Id like to set in place are basic IMO.

  • No social media in the beginning for a few months (that is what started him getting in trouble in the first place) His mother told us she felt he needed his own space and she should not monitor his online presence so he could have that freedom.
  • Chores like any other kid would do, (help with dishes, yard work etc)
  • Academics first. That means getting home taking a break and then getting on with homework etc. (she rarely  made him do homework or would let him stay home when he felt like it)
  • No cell phone. (he stays up until the wee hours of the morning texting and talking on the phone.)
  • No movies or parties during the school week, (he had no restrictions and was allowed to do whatever he wanted during the school week)

These are just a few I have.  I dont think they are unreasonable. My husband agrees with al of them except the no cell phone part and no social media part.


destinyangl21
by Bronze Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Don't take the disciplinarian role. Allow your DH to do that. Like I said if you start out in that role its only going to make your SS resent you and he will act out.

I think its wonderful that you want to help him get his life on track. But taking a step back and letting DH take the lead when it comes to his son is going to help the whole situation in the long run.

Quoting Ellie2014:

My husband has to travel on a regular basis. 60% of the time he works from home, the other 40% he travels. For the first few months, we are trying to work out a way to reduce to his travel time.  But under the circumstances, I have to also take the role of disciplinarian when it will be just me and my stepson.


jamelame
by on Jul. 26, 2014 at 12:59 PM
3 moms liked this

Neither of you should be seen as the disciplinarian. That way only leads to one parent being resented and the child trying to play you against each other. Presenting a united front is the only way. Rules are the same no matter who he asks, punishments are the same and come equally from both of you. I would try and make that clear with your DH.

Do you mind if I ask what your ss was charged with? At least, was violence involved? 

Quoting destinyangl21:

Don't take the disciplinarian role. Allow your DH to do that. Like I said if you start out in that role its only going to make your SS resent you and he will act out.

I think its wonderful that you want to help him get his life on track. But taking a step back and letting DH take the lead when it comes to his son is going to help the whole situation in the long run.

Quoting Ellie2014:

My husband has to travel on a regular basis. 60% of the time he works from home, the other 40% he travels. For the first few months, we are trying to work out a way to reduce to his travel time.  But under the circumstances, I have to also take the role of disciplinarian when it will be just me and my stepson.



Ellie2014
by Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 1:05 PM

I think think your advice is reasonable.  My SS has showed nothing but respect for my husband and I.  That's why we were shocked at his behavioral issue in school and with his mother.  He has zero respect for her. 

I can see why. She got her 3rd divorce and this last guy she was married to was actually a good guy. Hardworking, kind to the kids. We don't know the details of why they were divorced.

When my SS was 11 he tried to break up a fight (between his mother and her drug addict boyfriend at the time),with a baseball bat.

That is when we stepped in and went to court to get custody of both kids, but were not able to sustain a lengthy court process at the time and able to compete against her fathers attorneys with the endless cash flow they have. We ended up settling under the condition that the boyfriend would move out, the BM would get into rehab and clean up.  The kids were taken into custody of the grandparents.  Also, we could only go to battle for the biological child.

Now is a different story. We have the support of the grandparents and they claim they are not going to go against us.  So we are meeting the atorneys next week to hash out the details.

whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Jul. 26, 2014 at 1:08 PM
1 mom liked this

My advice would be, that your husband dedicate 100% of his time and energy into parenting his son at this point. You should be the nice lady who is married to dad. Dad should do 100% of the parenting, and be fully involved in every single aspect of his son's new life.

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