Need Some Advice From Step Parents... Long Sorry...

Lounge By galliesway Updated 30 Dec 2008 , 3:38pm by sarahpierce

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galliesway Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 7:12pm
post #1 of 10

I hope I don't sound too horrible here. We have had problems with my step son for years now. He really managed to get himself into a big mess this time! He got arrested and expelled until he is 21 with possible early reinstatement if certain conditions are met. He just turned 15 on the 24th and I'm sick of excuses being made for him all the time and how poor Taylor is being picked on! Please forgive me as I need to vent a bit too! Hubby and I are at each other throats about this. He took prescription drugs to school with intent on selling and the other kid took them on school property. He of of course has lied about this even after admitting to a narcotics officer that he in deed gave them to this kid but said he just wanted to give them to someone to find out what they were. They were his ADHD medicine that he quit taking a few years ago ( kid id them in a picture) he got them out of his medicine cabinet at his mother's house whom he lives with. Hubby wants to have him live with us. I do not want him to come live with us. My hubby and I have a 3 1/2 yr old daughter at home. He has in past torched a porta potty on fire, broke out windows in an RV, stolen money. I thought maybe if finally there was consequences it would scare him enough to strighten his butt out but nope no such thing!

Btw ,he lives in Wi and we are in IL so I'm hoping he can't he has probation and has yet to go to court. We have a lot of problems with his mother and I have tried to help out step son with his grades but he and mother ignore the help we tried to get him. I'm just done I was raised differently I guess as we had to own up to wrong choices and learn from them. I am trying to get myself healthy due to a medical condition in the process and I am currently working 3rd shift and dd goes to daycare. What do you guys think? I just have had enough to handle let alone deal with a reckless teenager. I'm worried sick the other kid's parents could sue.


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sarahpierce Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 8:10pm
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I am not a step parent, but I am a mom of 2 boys. I live in Southern WI, and let me tell you- the kids around here have gotten HORRIBLE! I would never let my boys act like some of these kids. But, onto your dilemma. I can understand your DH wanting to "save" his son. As a mother I'm sure you can understand this too. It sounds like the mother let this child run wild, and the results of this non-parenting have come to the surface. One thing to remember is there is no bad kids, only bad parents. I understand wanting to protect your little one, and you should. If you tell your DH absolutely NO, he will recent you. If he wants his son, humbaly agree, but lay down ground rules with the child and your DH. For example: the first fit of violence in front of the baby- the cops will be called and your gone, he will go to counseling and stay on medications, he will go to school or be home schooled. These are just to name a few. Also, he will never be left alone with the baby. Let the son know this is his last chance and you are here to help him. Let him know he is loved. And treat him like your son, and not just your DHs reckless teenager. If he does come to live with you it would be a good idea for family counseling. It sounds like he never had much of a childhood, so show him what a real family is like. Goodluck, and let us know how it goes.
(((((HUGS)))))) This will be extremely difficult, but this IS his life. He at least deserves a chance to get on the right path.

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stephaniescakenj Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 8:50pm
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I have to agree with everything sarah said. Of course, I am not a step parent, but the product of an evil step mother and I mean that literally. she treated me like a piece of garbage and made me feel more like the maid for her three boys than my fathers daugther and my father never had the balls to stand up to her. I eventually was put in foster care and never saw either of them again. Once I was 14 I was able to make the decision to move out of state to go live with my mom. They wouldn't let me move previous to that since my father had custody and I was considered a minor. Anyway, my point being is that he probably needs a good home and your husband has a duty to take care of his child and when you married him, that duty sort of became yours in some ways. I understand your concerns and would have them myself but if you tell your hubby NO, it's not fair to him and its especially not fair to his son. But chances are, he either won't be allowed to move if he's on probation or being the age that he is, he might not even want to move so you might not have anything to worry about. And realistically, it might just be the crowd he's in that causing him to act out so much. If he has a change of scenery and friends, it might be like a fresh start for him and he may be a totally different kid when he comes to live with you. Also, have you thought about something like a military school or boarding school type thing? My brother in law got into trouble when he was in 7th grade, got into the wrong crowd and my in laws sent him to a boarding school about an hour away for his last year of elementary school, he came back for his freshmen year of high school and did really well. It completely changed his life around.
Good Luck...

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indydebi Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 10:47pm
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Not a step-parent, but my husband is the stepdad to my 2 older kids. We were written up (twice) in our local paper as a stepfamily that works.

And sarah said everything just right. I can't even add to what she said. It's perfect.

ANd this one from stephanie,


Anyway, my point being is that he probably needs a good home and your husband has a duty to take care of his child

doesn't mean that he moves in and everyone pampers him. A "good home" means rules, curfews, guidelines, praise for things well done, discipline for breaking the rules, and unconditional love.

I had a friend who was the step-mom. She had a great line: "Same love ... same rules". She treated her step kids no different that her bio-kids.

Our reward as a parent only truly comes 20 years down the road. And 20 years from now, you will be very proud to hear your step-son say, "I was at the bottom of the pit, but my stepmom took me in and set me straight. I might have hated her guts while she was doing it, but thank god she did it." He will remember who cared and who helped him.

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cakesdivine Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 12:32am
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Originally Posted by sarahpierce

One thing to remember is there is no bad kids, only bad parents.

This is very long so be prepared!

I personally take great offense to this statement. I have 3 children, all raised with the same structure - Love & Discipline, and God! My two oldest are girls they never gave me a moment's problem...ever! My youngest - who is my son, is a totally different story.

He was bullied as a kindergartener, when the bully left the school due to him attacking my son choking him on the bus, my son as a second grader at that time, then became the bully. It was short lived because I suspect deep down it went against his core nature and upbringing, plus we nipped it in the bud. Then the attendance at school became an issue. A child who in the first 2 years of school was nothing but a model student now hated school, it would take 5 people to physically pull him from the van every morning. I stopped letting him ride the bus the day after he was attacked so I took him every morning from that point on. His moods became like a pendulum several times a day from severe depression saying at age 7 that he wanted to die, to him bouncing off the walls in over abundance of joy which would quickly turn into a rage if you reprimanded him to calm down. He was diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar syndrome with a rage disorder when he goes full manic.

Again, I have done everything in my power to keep him out of trouble & focused. In Jr. High he found basketball, his fear of his father's rath kept him in line at home and making the basketball team did so in school. He lived with his dad (we separate when my son was 10 divorce was final just before his 13th birthday) due to his constant outrages, and the last straw was when he punched his sister in the face. So for my girls protection I agreed to let his father have conservetorship, but we have joint custody. Now jump ahead a couple of has a new fiancee, fiancee has a kid from a previous marriage, she is only one year older than our oldest daughter, and she hates my children. So she tells my ex that my son has to go and my daughters are not welcome. My son comes to live with me. I and my new husband, got him back on meds (dad didn't believe in mental illnesses) arranged for him to have counseling, but he fell in with a bad crowd here where we live. My son who had NEVER drank, smoke, or did anything else was now not taking his meds, lying about it, coming & going as he pleased, and skipping school. All the while I am refusing to allow him to get his driver's license. Keeping in touch with the school and his BB coach trying everything known to man to get him straightened out. His dream of being a pro basketball player are now gone, his grades are in the toilet, and he is out of control.

This illness when not properly treated will take your loved ones away from you! Make them do things they know are not right. Now put all that in a hormone driven 17 almost 18 year old boy and it is a deadly combination. He towers over me and when in a rage seems to have super human strength. My husband is worried that he himself will end up in jail if my son lays a hand on me, which he threatens almost daily, because my hubby says he will lay the boy out is he lays one finger one me. My son still hates school and keeps claiming he will drop out at age 18. He already is a year behind as all the happenings of his dad leaving and the bully issues made him have to repeat 3rd grade. I have gone to every Dr., teacher, school official trying to help my son. I refuse to let him have his DL until he straightens up, he just doesn't care most of the time. When he is for a short period in what I call his "right" mind, he then apologizes for what he has done, maps out a plan to rectify the situation, but then this illness rears its ugly head and he is either wanting to kill himself, me, my husband, and his father if he doesn't get his way. I have tried to make sure he takes his meds, he was even hospitalized for a short while because his depression was so bad at one point. They kept him for 6 days only! Insurance decided he was lucid enough and because the Dr. stated my son was doing better they released him. Talk about a very expensive bandaid! Yes I have stood over him to make sure he takes it, but that is when he is with me, sometimes he will skip school and stay gone for days, his pills on the counter at home. He basically has had everything taken away from him, cell phone, games, computer, tv, chance to get his drivers license, but none of it works.

My girls are phenominal! My youngest daughter is in college to become a kindergarten teacher, and my oldest followed in my footsteps as a dance educator and cake decorator. Both, never gave me any grief as teenagers. I know my son suffered the most due to the break up of my marriage but bad parenting IS NOT the cause of my son's ill behavior, it is normal teen angst multiplied by 1000 due to his mental illness. Believe me, my son has suffered consequences to his behavior, as have I.

Some people are just wired differently. Who knows why. But to be told I am a bad parent because one of my 3 kids is out of control is just wrong! I don't drink (never have), I don't smoke (never have), I have never taken an illegal drug in my life, I have a very strong relationship with God and have passed all these teachings and morals to each of my children. He knows right from wrong, good from bad. He at times does not have the mental ability to stop himself from his behavior, and I am sure the teen in him many times just doesn't give a flying flip about that.

I do agree that some parents are just as bad as the kid and the apple doesn't fall far from the of my son's friends is like that. His mom is a drug addict and alcoholic, I don't like my son going over to his house, I have called the authorities on this woman before and CPS has been called many time about the 4 kids she has in elementary school.
I can't tell you how many time my son has asked for his friend to spend the night because the water has been shut off, or the electricity so in hopes to have his friend see there is a better way, I allow him to stay with us, but the minute the lights or water is back on, they sneak away to his house to party. We don't allow the kids to smoke, drink, or do anything that is a vice when at our house, so yes they don't like coming over here, but boy guess where they always tell their parents they are?

Yep at our house because their parents know if they are with us they are safe and not getting into trouble!

Bad parents? none of these boys parents save that one kid's are bad, yet these group of boys tend to stay in trouble. Nothing super bad yet, no stealing, or anything like that, but skipping school and partying way too much.

I recently gave my son an ultimatum that he either goes and lives with his aunt back in Houston or he suffers the consequences of possibly going to boot camp due to his truancy (the school's punishment). He chose his aunts but for one week only. He came home for Christmas and said he wasn't going back. Well we took a trip to Houston to visit my dad, he & his cousin (the aunts daughter) went to the mall...I went and dropped off the few items he brought for the overnight trip at his aunts and came back home. His aunt picked them up. He called and told me he hated me, that I was no longer his mother, and that I will never see him again. I packed his stuff this morning and shipped it to his aunt. He still has not called me since.

He honestly thought that if we unenrolled him here and then enrolled him somewhere else for a week that if he chose to come back all the truancy issues would dissappear...HA! Oh how naive is he. I informed him that no they would then continue to proceed with the court case and he would have a huge fine to pay, community service and a mandatory 3 month sentence at the boot camp.

So you can't judge the parent by the kid's behavior, that kid might have a mental illness.

I truly believe when my son finally gets to adulthood and decides to get back on meds permenantly that he will thank me for this tough love.

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dailey Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 3:47am
post #6 of 10

of course there are bad kids. its not *always* the parents fault when a kid turn out like crap. i agree with what a lot of the others are saying, *however*, you have a small child to think about. who knows? he *may* in 20 years thank you for taking him in OR he could put you and your child in harms way...

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MnSnow Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 4:31am
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Ok I'm going to step in here. I am a step parent of 3 and have 3 bio kids. First of all, recognize that he is a teen ager. A very angry teen ager. While he may have issues, teens tend to dramatize everything. What may be a small issue to us is a huge thing to them.

I agree that when you married your hubby, you "married" his kids too....for better or for worse. I went throught the anger stage with my other halfs kids too. But you know what? Once they realized things were not going to change and their parent were not getting back together things settled down somewhat. All the kids were raised with the same rule, guidelines and consequences. At the same time, I allowed them to be teen agers. Remember when you were a teen and what was the "normal" things you did and felt. I knew when they snuck out of the house and what they were doing. They thought they were getting away with it so that made it cool to them. I believed that so long as it was not harmful or destructive, it was a normal thing for teens to do. Now when they climbed back in the window and I was waiting for them, they had consequences.

Your going to have to deal with the son. Your a mom too. Is this how you would want your son to turn out like? He is YOUR son too. May not be a bio son, but your son none the less. A child does not need for people that are suppose to love them to give up on them. Even if they are extremely angry...that's when they need you the most. Recognize the reason behind the behavior. It's usually not what you think it is. This young man is reacting to a situation that is not in his control and is reacting by acting out. As the parent, you need to give him control and steer him to correct ways of expressing his anger. I think you will find you have a very bright and tender hearted young man there under all that anger.

Good Luck to you

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galliesway Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 5:21am
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Thank you all for your responses! It has given me something to think about. I should mention that I do understand the step parent as my parents were divorced when I was 11 which is why I make it a point not to bash his Mom ever in front of him. I had a step monster for a step mother so I have tried to help from a far so it doesn't appear that I am trying to take his Mom's place and hoping that the help would be better received. My hubby and his mother were never married although my hubby was married before but he has never felt as if he isn't part of the family and my family has always treated him as if he was my son.

He has anger issues which are more than that of a typical teenager it's more like a rage and he has to complete a drug program and anger management as part of the conditions to be reinstated next fall. He has pages of behavioral problems for the last three years that we were unaware of according to the reports. He refuses to take his meds which he needs I think more so for concentration and focus maybe he has bi polar issues too I really don't know. I had set up him to be tested because of his grades a few years back because it was obvious he has a reading and or comprehension problem. He was tested in 3rd when he was in the IL school and fell into the what they used to call lower reading class but now they call it special education. His mother has an issue with that label and has now transferred onto him. They had a 504 plan in place but then he and his mother moved back to Wi and their tests just put him above that level so that brings us where we are today. He has flunked core subjects and summer school but has managed to be put through which proves the no child left behind is a joke!

My patience is certainly being tested and I am wore out and this is affecting our daughter I have a 3 1/2 yr old screaming back talking hitting and swearing not to mention he has a been rough with her a few times. I gave hubby warning to take care of it or I will after the last incident tonight. I feel for him but he is old enough to be accountable he needs to own his part in it I think we'd see a vast improvement if he took the meds and right about now boot camp is sounding like a possibility. It's a shame society has to make people feel ashamed for mental conditions or disabilities. I think that prevents people from getting the help because of it. Taylor was bragging about the situation which concerns me that he thinks it's cool we are so lucky that that kid didn't die or wasn't injured which is something he needs to understand he could have been or be tried as an adult. I'm hoping he has to do some community service or he has to tour a jail or something to see what life could end up being if he doesn't straighten up! His mother needs to hear that she has responsibility as parent her excuses in the past is he is lazy and it's his responsibility . She needs to be a parent and not a friend there is time for that later. My daughter will have rules and I will be tough on her also. I feel for you cakesdivine! Where in WI sarahpierce? Taylor is in the Beloit area. I will keep you posted.

Thanks again you guys!

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cakesdivine Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 1:00pm
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Thanks gallisway. I might add, my son has an above average IQ, has the ability to make straight "A"s. He does not have ADD or ADHD but was misdiagnosed with it at age 10 and almost killed by the outpatient program he was in. The medicine Clonadine nearly killed him. That was a horror story in and of itself.

My son does have major abandonment issues with me, eventhough I have always been there, even when he lived with his dad, I was always around, took him to his gymnastics classes when he was in gymnastics, took him to karate when he was in karate. He took dance at my studio when he was younger, so he was with me most the time eventhough he didn't sleep under the same roof as me on a weekly basis (I had him everyother weekend and the entire summer).

When he is being level headed he is an amazing young man. He loves looking out for all the kids in our neighborhood and plays basketball with them when they ask. I have seen him "coach" them and he is so great to them. I tell him how much they look up to him, and how embarrasing it would be if he ever let one of those kids see him acting out. They wouldn't understand.

I know that great kid is in there, he is just being held hostage by teen angnst and this horrible disease.

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sarahpierce Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 3:38pm
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Cakesdivine- I didn't mean to offened you with my statement. I was just trying to give the op hope. Since it sounds like the mother isn't doing what she can. I do understand mental illness. It runs deep in my family, and I do fear that my children could fall victim to it. It sounds like you have done everything you can, and that does make you a wonderful parent. I promise I was not trying to judge anyone. I'm sorry if you felt that way.

galliesway- I live about 30 minutes north of Beloit. Beloit is not a good place. A lot of the steets you can't even drive on with out CHILDREN walking up to your car trying to sell you drugs. There is also a very strong gang presence down there. It's far from a safe city. My DH has family that lives there, and I cringe whenever we have to go there. Also, my oldest sons great grandma lives off of "switch blade alley", she has tried turning that neighborhood around, but she is suffering from cancer and still finds guns that were thrown into her yard. So, theres a little WI geography for ya! Also, good luck with what ever you decide.

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