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Dealing with Disrespectful Stepchildren

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 26 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Dealing With Disrespectful Stepchildren

It can be very hard for a parent to deal with their disrespectful children, but even harder for stepparents, who may not feel that they have the authority to change the way that their stepchildren behave. Allowing kids to be disrespectful, though, isn’t doing them any favours, as all children need to understand the importance of treating others with care and respect. Once a home environment of less than stellar child behaviour has been established, it can be hard to turn it around – but it is not impossible.

Establishing Reasonable Boundaries for Stepchildren

Every household needs rules. Society operates on a system of behavioural guidelines and one of the most important tasks of parents is to prepare their children to become well-functioning members of society, and that training begins in the home. Teaching children to speak and behave in a manner that honours other people helps them to understand appropriate behaviour as well as gives them a base of self-respect and good impulse control.

Children can and should be encouraged to express their emotions, but it is important that they learn to do so without hurting others. Disrespectful back-talking, refusal to comply with house rules, or selfish expectations are all examples of habits that children can easily acquire if their parents and stepparents do not show them that these behaviours will not be tolerated. Kids need to have a clear idea of what is expected of them and they must also be made aware of the consequences, should they choose to behave otherwise.

Enlisting the Help of your Spouse

Stepparents who have the support of their spouses have a much better chance of getting the stepchildren to treat them with respect and comply with house rules than those whose spouses fail to stand up and make their positions clear. Especially in the beginning, kids may be more inclined to take direction from their natural parent, rather than from a stepparent, who they may view as an unwelcome intruder. The adults in the home need to decide together on a set of behavioural guidelines for the children and then present them together, sending the message that obstinate or disrespectful behaviour will not be tolerated by either parent.

Setting Limits and Respectful Discipline

Teaching kids to be respectful requires that they be disciplined in a kind and respectful manner. It is unreasonable to expect that parents and stepparents can utilise harsh methods of discipline and then have children who do not emulate this type of behaviour. Kids may learn a bit from listening to a line-list of rules, but they are more heavily influenced by observing the important adults in their lives. Gentle, yet firm guidance will help kids to understand that they do not need to behave in disrespectful ways in order to be noticed and understood.

Breaking Through when Stepchildren are Stubborn

Some children seem determined to be defiant, despite the efforts of their parents and stepparents to garner their cooperation. Wild or disrespectful behaviour can be symptomatic of a variety of conditions, so if a parent finds that their children are out of control or disrespectful in more than one area of their lives (for example, they act out at home and at school), they may want to seek the advice of their GP to see of their child may be suffering from an undiagnosed behaviour disorder. Teachers and school officials may find it difficult to deal with kids who aren’t able to control their behaviour, so seeking input from children’s teachers can be invaluable. Effective treatment is available once an accurate diagnosis has been made, so parents should not delay in seeking help if they feel that their children’s disrespectful behaviour may be the result of a physical or emotional condition.

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@Mandy - I think I'd stay living apart. The main thing is I imagine you do not want to put your daughter in a situation where she is fearful of the man in your life. Carry on the relationship, but I'd opt for keeping your kids to the resepctive parents! Beth.
LizsLot - 26-Jun-17 @ 3:07 PM
Failing stepmom - Your Question:
So after reading through several post, I realize that I don't have it as bad as some others out there. My husband and I have been married for 3 years. We have a good relationship with his boys mom and husband. The boys are 7 and 12. Up until this past few months we have all had a good working relationship. I make sure that I give the boys plenty of one on one time with their dad and make sure that we are doing lost of activities as a family. The 12 year old has started backing talking every time he is asked to do something. He lashes out argerly with mean words at his brother and myself. I feel at a loss because the only thing I can do is repeat myself until he does what he is told or his father steps in. I am failing as a stepmom because when he doesn't listen to me and talks over me I raise my voice. I know it is stupid and wrong to engage in arguing with him but I do not feel I have a voice in any other way. Any advice on how to handle this stage as a step mom, who doesn't have her own children so already feels left out of the mom groups and doesn't have any friends who are stepmoms. I feel at a complete loss.

Our Response:
Have a look at my answer to Cin below. When you feel you are failing, it's time to adopt a different strategy. By what you say, it not personal to you as your stepson is lashing out at his brother and I'm sure he'll begin to lash out at his father too (if he is going through a typical teenage strop). However, this shouldn't condone his behaviour - but it does require a different tack. Talking to your husband and the boys' mum so you are all on the same page should also help. If you come at this as a united front, then this should help show consistency in your approaches. Good luck - this situation sounds like it is retrievable, you just need to think around it a bit more.
BeingAStepParent - 26-Jun-17 @ 2:01 PM
Cin - Your Question:
I've been in a relationship with my boy-friend for almost 2 years now. He has a 14 year old daughter that treats me with disrespect. The only time she actually respects me is when she wants something or needs a ride somewhere. We've been in arguments to where she calls me names which includes the "C" word that ends with "T" and every disrespectful name you could possibly imagine. She's pulled my hair while driving as well as punch, kick, bite, and has even thrown an ashtray to my head. She spit in my face more than I can count. She lies to other family members telling them that I mis-treat her. I have some video footage to have as evidence to the outrageously horrible things she's done and continue to do to me. What's makes it even worse is her father not disciplining her for things that she has and continues to do to me. The maximum punishment she receives is getting her phone and electronics taken away and is sent to her room. In her room, she kicks the wall and/or windows all the whole screaming profanities from the top her lungs. After things subsides, she has the ordasity to come downstairs and apologize. Not in a sympathy apologetic way, but with attitude and smirk. Clearly, she's gotten away with her rants and her dad did absolutely nothing. I am at my end. I don't know what else to do. The only solution I can think of is to cut all ties with this family and forever be rid of her. Help.

Our Response:
Have you tried to sit down and talk to her personally? Have you thought about applying reverse psychology? If you are experiencing difficulty in communication the first step to ensuring reverse psychology works for you is to acknowledge the other person’s point of view. This means remaining calm and controlled no matter how difficult the situation gets. You need to be able to demonstrate how in control of your emotions you are so that the other person is able to see you have their needs in mind. By suggesting that you are putting someone else’s needs first you will create a reaction that stimulates interaction and communication, and will mean that your needs are considered also. Reverse psychology can be used successfully in difficult relationships that include some form of power struggle. This does not, however, mean pretending or lying in order to get your own way. Using reverse psychology techniques enables you to influence by suggestion, which means that the other person will become more willing to prove a point or act out of character in order to do as you want. Reverse psychology works effectively with people who possess a pattern of behaviour because it is relatively simple to spot potential thought and expression. Individuals who thrive on proving a point will naturally want to do the opposite of what you suggest which makes it easy to use reverse psychology techniques for your benefit. However you choose to develop your psychology skills, it is important that you do so for the benefit of all. Using reverse psychology in a negative way can be seen as being manipulative and controlling, and very few people will welcome the development of relationships with a person who uses psychology techniques to get their own way. Understanding the importance of mutual expression and exchange will provide many openings for increased communication, and this method of establishing and accepting situations and solutions is far better than having to persuade someone to change their mind to suit your needs. Ensure you show respect for another’s needs and you will have your own needs met more readily. I hope this helps.
BeingAStepParent - 26-Jun-17 @ 9:55 AM
I am engaged to a man that I have known my entire life. We both have children with other people. I have 1 daughter who is 5 and he has 2 boys with two different moms 7 & almost 3. The 7 year old only comes around once in a while because he lives out of town but the 2 year old is twice a week and every second weekend. I have my daughter 2 on 2 off and every second weekend. My daughter is petrified of my fiancé. He takes no interest in her, he has yelled at her for crying when she is hurt. He only comes around after she is in bed. As for his 2 year old. He is constantly giving me attitude telling me to go home or that I am not allowed to be there. He random punches me and gets always with it all. His dad just says who cares he is two. The way I see it is 2 or not he should be show discipline and shown how to treat elders with reapect. I feel he is spoiled and my fiancé encourages the behaviour and tells me to grow up. I don't know what to do anymore. I love my fiancé but I am not about to let a 2 year old tell me I am not wanted and I am not about to let my fiancé disrespect my child. HELP
Mandy - 26-Jun-17 @ 3:43 AM
Hi I'm a step mother of a 10 year old girl and have been having issues with her constantly lying and now totally defying me. Her dad and I were together for 2years before she came to us full time but wad with us every other weekend. She came to. Us fulltime cause her mother couldn't be bothered anymore. I get no support from her father but instead get accused of picking on her. I ran a tight ship when my own 2 kids were younger and om doing the same thing with her. Obey the house rules,listern to what I say,respect me and my house.
It's me - 25-Jun-17 @ 11:34 AM
So after reading through several post, I realize that I don't have it as bad as some others out there. My husband and I have been married for 3 years. We have a good relationship with his boys mom and husband. The boys are 7 and 12. Up until this past few months we have all had a good working relationship. I make sure that I give the boys plenty of one on one time with their dad and make sure that we are doing lost of activities as a family. The 12 year old has started backing talking every time he is asked to do something. He lashes out argerly with mean words at his brother and myself. I feel at a loss because the only thing I can do is repeat myself until he does what he is told or his father steps in. I am failing as a stepmom because when he doesn't listen to me and talks over me I raise my voice. I know it is stupid and wrong to engage in arguing with him but I do not feel I have a voice in any other way. Any advice on how to handle this stage as a step mom, who doesn't have her own children so already feels left out of the mom groups and doesn't have any friends who are stepmoms. I feel at a complete loss.
Failing stepmom - 25-Jun-17 @ 4:34 AM
I've been in a relationship with my boy-friend for almost 2 years now. He has a 14 year old daughter that treats me with disrespect. The only time she actually respects me is when she wants something or needs a ride somewhere. We've been in arguments to where she calls me names which includes the "C" word that ends with "T" and every disrespectful name you could possibly imagine. She's pulled my hair while driving as well as punch, kick, bite, and has even thrown an ashtray to my head. She spit in my face more than I can count. She lies to other family members telling them that I mis-treat her. I have some video footage to have as evidence to the outrageously horrible things she's done and continue to do to me. What's makes it even worse is her father not disciplining her for things that she has and continues to do to me. The maximum punishment she receives is getting her phone and electronics taken away and is sent to her room. In her room, she kicks the wall and/or windows all the whole screaming profanities from the top her lungs. After things subsides, she has the ordasity to come downstairs and apologize. Not in a sympathy apologetic way, but with attitude and smirk. Clearly, she's gotten away with her rants and her dad did absolutely nothing. I am at my end. I don't know what else to do. The only solution I can think of is to cut all ties with this family and forever be rid of her. Help..
Cin - 23-Jun-17 @ 4:04 AM
Debs1972 - Your Question:
I would love some help with my step daughter who I have now established seriously hates me. I have sole care for her along with her father. Her real mom died when she was 2. I came into her life when she was just three, and have been her mum for now 3 years and she nearly now 7. She does nothing she is told. Her dad and I include her in everything we do. She is the only child at home. ( we both have adult children but they have all gone off to work and uni) She's a highly intelligent child and she can be very loving. The dark side of her came this weekend when she returned from a sleep over where there was a cat. I'm extremely allergic to cats and have suffered anaphylaxis from being near one in the past. Step daughter was asked by daddy to change her clothes because makes mummy ill. By this time my eyes already itching and sneezing had begun and just beginning to feel my lips blister. She got changed and came into the kitchen where I was cooking. She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was cooking. She then asked me if I was still breathing. Obviously I was so I said yes. She said. 'Daddy says you stop breathing when you have been near a cat'. She then proceeded to wipe her hands and clothes all over me. Then she asked me again if I was going to stop breathing. I didn't rise to this but was extremely hurt by the look on her face. She then started to chew loudly in my face ( I don't like bad eating habits and she knows this) She showed me the contents of her mouth. I didn't actually know what to do. She is very strong willed. I have wondered all weekend what to do - and short of leaving ( which isn't really an option as I love my husband too much) then somehow I have to nip this behaviour in the bud. Do I carry on as normally explaining that what she did was not very nice. Or do I just ignore the behaviour and put it down to 'yet another challenging episode'. There's been so many now- she makes it very difficult for me to like her.

Our Response:
I wonder if you can cast your mind back to your own children when they were small - did they ever do anything to deliberately annoy you? I can recall my own child often being very destructive, obstructive and challenging and sometimes outright nasty. There are times in life that we do not like our own children. 'I might love you, but I don't like you very much at this moment because of your actions', was a phrase I would occasionally use for this type of behaviour. However, why is it we take it on the nose with our own children - but we seem to find it so much more offensive when a step-child behaves in this way? Your step-child is behaving normally and pushing the boundaries. Perhaps, as she is growing and beginning to understand life more she has begun to grasp that her mother has died and what that actually means. The fact you say she can be very loving means she obviously cares for you, so hopefully you will not take this too much to heart. On another note and in practical terms, you say she had just returned from a sleepover. Sleepovers can bring out the worst in kids as apart from being overtired and tetchy, they have also been with other children and this can bring out the wild/disobedient side in them. Stick with it and try and not take these slights to heart. It's not the first and it will not be the last and as a result you may have to try to develop a slightly thicker skin.
BeingAStepParent - 13-Jun-17 @ 10:53 AM
I would love some help with my step daughter who I have now established seriously hates me. I have sole care for her along with her father. Her real mom died when she was 2. I came into her life when she was just three, and have been her mum for now 3 years and she nearly now 7. She does nothing she is told. Her dad and I include her in everything we do. She is the only child at home. ( we both have adult children but they have all gone off to work and uni) She's a highly intelligent child and she can be very loving. The dark side of her came this weekend when she returned from a sleep over where there was a cat. I'm extremely allergic to cats and have suffered anaphylaxis from being near one in the past. Step daughter was asked by daddy to change her clothes because makes mummy ill. By this time my eyes already itching and sneezing had begun and just beginning to feel my lips blister. She got changed and came into the kitchen where I was cooking. She asked me what I was doing and I told her I was cooking. She then asked me if I was still breathing. Obviously I was so I said yes. She said. 'Daddy says you stop breathing when you have been near a cat'. She then proceeded to wipe her hands and clothes all over me. Then she asked me again if I was going to stop breathing. I didn't rise to this but was extremely hurt by the look on her face. She then started to chew loudly in my face ( I don't like bad eating habits and she knows this) She showed me the contents of her mouth. I didn't actually know what to do. She is very strong willed. I have wondered all weekend what to do - and short of leaving ( which isn't really an option as I love my husband too much) then somehow I have to nip this behaviour in the bud. Do I carry on as normally explaining that what she did was not very nice. Or do I just ignore the behaviour and put it down to 'yet another challenging episode'. There's been so many now- she makes it very difficult for me to like her.
Debs1972 - 12-Jun-17 @ 10:26 AM
@Weez - it's a tough one. It sounds like your SD has lots of anger and insecurity issues and once they are ingrained, they are ingrained. Plus, she still has to live with her mother and the mood swings etc the mother's personality will rub off on your SD. You don't say what part your OH plays - is he supportive? I'm a dad on here, my SD is the other way completely surley and uncommunicative - she refuses to speak directly to me - stays out of the room when I'm home - I just feel she dislikes me intensely - what is that all about? I try to be supportive of my wife and my wife is supportive of me - but there is no getting through to my SD and there is only so much hostility I can take after a year of it. @sosad - I'd feel the same anger. It sounds like he has some other issues as well. It must have been difficult for you and yoru husband to reconcile over this too.
MikeD786 - 24-May-17 @ 2:41 PM
I feel quite strongly and had to vent. My other half has a 12 YO child from previous relationship. Their relationship broke down due to his ex's infidelity, lying and violent mood swings. We got together a while after they split. But his daughter resents me. Her mother neglects her to the extent that social services have been involved. Anything I do gets thrown back in my face by their daughter and his ex. I make time for her, make sure she is well dressed (as she doesn't have much at her moms, she is sent dirty and in clothes which are too small, any items we provide 'disappear') she is ignored by her mother most of the time, or her mother overreacts in front of people, I suppose to overcompensate. Her attendance at school was 75% because she could never be bothered to take her. I have to deal with lies, tears, bad attitude and generally feel taken advantage due to how ungrateful she is. She destroys her belongings-chews clothes, singed holes in her bedroom carpet,plus damages countless other items. I have a daughter from a previous relationship and she has never behaved so disrespectfully or would dream to do so. His ex is unapproachable and denies any issues and lies compulsively. I feel his daughter resents me because she needs her own mother to step up. It saps the life out of me every weekend. I have no more patience for her.
Weez - 20-May-17 @ 9:51 AM
Hi I'm a first timer on here too. I have 2 daughters of my own and live with my now husband and his disabled son. His son is 14 and my daughters are 18 and 21, my husbands so. Is in a wheelchair, he has always been a bit full of himselfbut I put it down to overcompensating and he can be controlling if people and manipulative. So he had never been easy to live with but we muddled through unt I found that he had been filming my daughters in the shower and streaming this to his phone. We went through all the proper legal channels and he basically got a slap on the wrist.. most if the authorities saying poor boy.. I am left with my 2 daughters feeling angry and find it very hard to even look at him. I live my husband but I feel so let down I just don't know how to move us forward as a family! Help!!
Sosad - 18-May-17 @ 1:48 PM
My first time on here and before I start with my own story, after reading some off the other stories on here with SK's I feel as if I am not alone and very challenged by it all. I have been with my partner for 5 years now, cohabitating with her 3 kids eldest daughter is 17, son of 15 and youngest daughter of 13. Like most SP's I came into the relationship without any previous experience of dealing with kids and to be honest if I had known what I was in for I probably would have run to the hills before getting involved with my lady. Its really sad as me and her get on very well, except for when it comes to her kids, or rather the eldest two, the teenage daughter from hell and the lazy son. The problem revolves around when I ask for them to do something around the house or if I see them doing something stupid, like damaging the kitchen work top by not using a chopping board, being heavy handed with the hoover and damaging the paintwork, slamming the front door to the point of it coming loose on the door frame and the shear lazy attitude of not clearing up after themselves in the kitchen and expecting someone else to clean up after them, and all the usual day to day stuff we as adults do. I for one like a tidy house and a clean bathroom and kitchen and I know that I am probably a bit OCD in that respect with high standards, my father was Ex-Military and if it wasn’t clean and tidy, there would be hell to pay. When it comes to looking after the things that we buy them like shoes, bikes, computers and they have this mentality where shoes don’t get cleaned, bikes start to rust, not get cleaned and computers are treated like a cardboard box, I get very cross with them and my partner. She has a different approach, usually saying, “Well if they cant look after it, that’s their problem as I am not buying them another”. But inevitably she weakens and then, there’s a new tablet or computer as the old one has mysteriously got a cracked screen or doesn’t work anymore. How about if you teach them to look after things? My parents always taught me to look after things as money was always tight, however, when I try and communicate this to her kids, they don’t want to know, then it gets heated and we all fall out. My partners previous relationships before me, were with 2 guys who never interacted with her kids and she was married to an alcoholic who became mentally abusive, lost his job, the family home and everything that went with it. So she and her kids have not had a it easy at all. Her mother looked after the 3 of the kids while my partner took a job as a Teacher. Her mother wasn’t a very good role model or disciplinarian for them, preferring to put up with the tantrums and clear up after them instead of making them do their daily chores. Also, with no male authority in the house during that time, they found it difficult when I arrived on the scene with my high standards. I guess as I was coming into their home that my partner should h
simont123 - 10-May-17 @ 3:26 PM
I have a 11year old stepdaughter and everything is good with myself and her if when she dose something wrong or looses her temper I calm her down and she dose but I'm confused because with her mum she is so rude and disrespectful and wont do as she says...but it has always been her and her mum for 9years..but all is good as a family but she in my eyes takes the **** she dose with her mum walk all over her but mum doesn't want to admit it she rather let things go than deal with it there and then and leave it till a problem occurs again...!! If she plays up looses her temper mum will sort it talk but daughter knows best argument kicks off then mum leaves in so confused in what to do any help would be grate am I doing things wrong...many thanks n
Net - 4-May-17 @ 10:58 AM
Jonsey - Your Question:
Hi all, I appreciate this is perhaps coming from another angle but. I'm due to move in with my partner. I have two children who live with me full time, their dad has them now and again but isn't reliable. I love my partner dearly and I know he loves me and is great with my kids. My problem is my 10 year old daughter (hormones?) she just seems to have turned into this extremely disrespectful and rude person who thinks she can rule the roost! I'm at my wits end so how that poor guy is feeling must be ten fold! He's a great guy but this is really putting a strain on us. What can I do for the best? K

Our Response:
You must feel incredibly caught between your new partner and your daughter and I imagine you are trying to please both people all of the time. It must be exhausting for you. When you split with your husband, was your daughter supportive? Do you think she might have thought, I have mum all to myself now? In many new relationships there are underlying jealousies when a different dynamic comes into play. But you have to take back control. I suggest you sit down with your daughter and have a good chat. Tell her you love your new partner, the relationship is long term, he is not in your life to replace their father and your love for her and her sister is as stong as it ever was. However, her actions towards both your partner and you are making you unhappy and they are hurtful. Arrange to spend some quality time with her and your other daughter on an individual basis perhaps once a week. But at the same time make sure you lay down the boundaries and state that her behaviour won't be tolerated. Your daughter needs to learn the rules of respect and if she is disrespecting your partner she needs to be pulled up on it at the time. It is a tricky situation to negotiate, but hopefully it will change with time. It did with my daughter and my partner, although admittedly it did take a few years. Your daughter may feel pushed out and that can hurt after she has had to also go through the original split with your husband. She needs careful handling by offering love but also not allowing her to take over which is certainly not acceptable at her age.
BeingAStepParent - 3-May-17 @ 10:54 AM
Hi all, I appreciate this is perhaps coming from another angle but. I'm due to move in with my partner. I have two children who live with me full time, their dad has them now and again but isn't reliable. I love my partner dearly and I know he loves me and is great with my kids. My problem is my 10 year old daughter (hormones?) she just seems to have turned into this extremely disrespectful and rude person who thinks she can rule the roost! I'm at my wits end so how that poor guy is feeling must be ten fold! He's a great guy but this is really putting a strain on us. What can I do for the best? K
Jonsey - 2-May-17 @ 3:52 PM
OK, so... I've known my partner for 20 years, we were very close friends for 16 of those and then we began to date. We ended up living together immediately and about 3 mos in had 4 of his 6 children living with us. The eldest that came to live with us is not even his biological daughter. She belonged to his ex wife and another man. My partner adopted her when she was about 5. The children's bio mom is a drug addict and a very volatile person who had her children living in squalor. They were not being fed properly or made to attend school. When the first came to live with us 5 years ago... Things were OK. It quickly changed tho. The eldest was 12 and a mouthy, lying, drama starting little brat. She did everything she could to cause as many problems as she could. One of the biggest issues was her lying to child services. She told them we locked them in their bedrooms, refused to allow them to use the bathroom, shower or eat. Child services obviously knew this was untrue right away, being that the children were all clean, appeared to be well fed and there weren't even locks on their doors. The eldest daughter only lived with us for about 18 mos before the court removed her based on the fact that she was physically abusing the smaller children, one of which was my own son. Their ages ranged from 3 to 7. Well, the eldest daughter was eventually placed back with her mother, who couldn't care for her and is now 17 and living with a 25 year old man. She doesn't attend school and is basically a loser. The courts don't seem to care tho. As of now the bio mom hadn't sen her children in nearly 2 years and doesn't seem to have any plans to. Currently the children are now 8, 10 and 12 and my own son is 12. The two youngest daughter's are the main problem. They are so defiant. They will not do what they're told, they get into trouble everyday at school, they steal, they lie, they are violent and just generally awful to be around. The 10 year old girl seems to mentally be only about 5 or so. When in public she has her hands in her pants, she rolls around on the floor, she yells and talks gibberish very loudly. As of late she seems to be very obsessed with private parts. Hers and others. She also plays with her own poop or any she may find outside. Nothing I do can get her to stop. The 8 year old is just mean and nasty and can lie to you without missing a beat. She creates elaborate stories and was running a store out of her desk at school with things she had stolen from the school store which is only open on weds. She was charging kids double what the store was selling things for. When asked how she was stealing (she stole hundreds of dollars worth of stuff) she said "I waited until the lady was helping another kid and was distracted and I would fill my pockets" I was mortified. The school called the police and she and I were forced to attend a meeting with the officer and school administrators. It made absolutely no difference to her what so ever. I b
Fed the F up! - 25-Mar-17 @ 8:10 PM
My grandson age 11 was so sweet at age 9 and before.My daughter got married last summer to a fellow they had been living with for almost 3 years.He wants this and this and that now.His friends have ithem why can't he why can't he. and he has also been searching through drawers etc in his parents room when he's home alone after school.He thinks that sex is dirty and ugly and that if parents look it his room he can search in their room. He was taken away from a bad situation with his father and mother left when he was around 4--father doing drugs etc. and being abusive to his mother--so she got away from him by going to a shelter.Eventuallyly she worked as acook and bartender to earn enough to make it on her own. Met her future husband and spent 3 years living with him in the house they own in a great area of a city.I just believe that they should tell him that they have a camera installed in their room and they will know if he's been in there.My daughter said that her husband checks his room out at times so grandson believes he can check out theirs.I don't agree and neither does my son in law. A child has no right to go through his parents drawers.How can they solve this?
Teresa - 4-Mar-17 @ 9:41 PM
@bobeva - Wow! That is pretty tough going. If you are working alongside your OH and you have his support and you are both on the same page then this will help. But it's not going to be easy for you, especially as he develops into more of a teenager. What does your OH say? Can he discipline him? The thing is you know what you are letting yourself in for and you have still decided to marry your man. You will need to be strong. This will not be an easy ride :(
Sheppy - 22-Feb-17 @ 2:14 PM
Sigh... where do I even begin? I have been with my fiancé for two years (I have known him for 14). I love him dearly, and he loves me, we make a great team and have many plans for a long future together. But it can't all be perfect, unfortunately. His son, who is now 12, is literally the worst child ever. In his defense, he has several issues beyond his control: he was born with a heart condition that left him with inadequate blood oxygen saturation during the first three years of his life, which has caused some neurological issues (of the emotional variety), he also has ADHD, and on top of that, his mother is a drug addict who abandoned him. He hasn't seen his mom for 4 years. Despite all of these issues though, it doesn't make his terrible behavior any easier. He is argumentative,he is defiant, he is disrespectful,he lues, he steals, he won't do what he is asked to do on most occasions. He has zero empathy for others. He just does not care about anyone but himself and his needs. He will defy or disrespect me one moment, then walk in the room five minutes later, with a smirk on his face, and ask "whats for dinner?" When he gets disciplined, he will throw the biggest temper tantrums in the world, banging things around, hitting walls, screaming bloody murder. If you try to send him to his room, he refuses. You tell him that if he comes out of his room one more time and he will be punished,he'll wail,"no, no, no", then come out of his room! He has to be reminded constantly, daily, multiple times a day, to do things that have been expected of him for almost two years: turn off the light, wash your hands after going to the bathroom, rinse your dish after dinner, flush the toilet. He doesn't bring home his homework,lies about having any, but then when we find out from his teachers that he does have homework, he says "I didn't know" to which we tell him that it is his responsibility to know what his schoolwork is and to bring it home, and the next day we do the whole song and dance over again. There are signs strategically placed throughout the house to remind him to take his medication,12 signs total, and he still forgets. And now he thinks he doesn't need it, he doesn't see the connection between taking the medication and doing better in school. He has been suspended from the bus and the school already this year, in 6th grade! He still doesn't believe he dud anything wrong on the bus (he was loud and walking around and saying vulgar things after the driver repeatedly asked him to stop, for days in a row).He is the worst. He has the attitude of a teenaged thug, and the emotional maturity of a 6 year old. And we can't get any help because we are on state medical and can't find any providers who will help us. I think he is a sociopath. I am seriously afraid he will grow up and murder us one day.
bobeva - 22-Feb-17 @ 1:31 AM
I live with my partner and her two sons, currently 15 and 12.Now I know kids are kids but things are at breaking point as whenever I ask the kids to things around the house, namely keep bedroom reasonably tidy and take dirty pots to dishwasher I'm seen as the big bad person not only by the kids but also my partner. This then causes friction between me and my partner because I don't think asking them just to clear up after themselves isn't too much to ask. My partners ex left about 3 years ago and my partner feels threatened that if the kids are in a "happy house" then they will want to move out to their dads. It's causing relationship problems and I'm at the point of thinking it's best if we end our relationship because of the differences.I love them all to bits but don't think we are creating a realistic environment and teaching the kids about indiviual responsibility which I feel is a must for our younger generation. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
Bear - 17-Feb-17 @ 10:35 AM
@stressed. This is purely down to a difference of opinion. Your ex may have reasons for acting the way he does and let's face it, we are all a bit soft when it comes to our own kids. I can understand your point of view too as it is still really your home and your territory. But this is what marriage is - it's a compromise and we all have our individual foibles. The first year or so is always the most difficult. I found the first year with my step kids hellish - but we've sorted most of our issues now. Best of luck with sorting out yours. Our kids our our kids for life and they are with us for life - Eve.
Missy** - 14-Feb-17 @ 2:31 PM
Ive just got married and my husband has moved into my home where i live with my 24year old son and his girlfriend who are looking for a flat. My elder son and daughter live in their own rented flats as do my husbands daughter and his son. All of them work and never ask us for anything except my husbands son. Hes 21 and on benefits which he spends on drink, going out and drugs. When my husband had his own flat the son would turn up expecting to stay for days on end to eat and drink and use the internet and electric as he had none at his flat after blowing all his money in a couple of days. Now my husband lives with me he still expects to do this at my house and ive said he cannot stay and now im the bad guy. My husband says im picking on his son because he isnt mine but it isnt that at all, i like the lad but i resent the way he thinks everyone else should keep him. I have no problem with feeding him twice a week when he comes to visit or giving him bits of food to take home but i dont feel we should encourage him to waste his money and then rely on everyone else for the basics that his benefits are meant to pay for. He already gets money and a bag full of food every week from his mum and tobacco from my husband and food from us and this has gone on for over 3 years now. Please give me some advise, am i being harsh on him because hes not mine?
stressed - 13-Feb-17 @ 7:29 PM
I have a stepson who is 15. His dad and I have been married 2 years. We started out getting along good but that quickly changed. My stepson is so disrespectful to me and his dad. He feels that I'm in the way. He thinks his dad doesn't spend enough time with him and feels I'm the reason. I've always made sure that I'm not in the way of my husband spending time with his children. I encourage my husband to spend one on one time with my stepson. As well as we spend time as a family. My husband has done all he knows to do. My stepson doesn't like the rules in our house and that he is expected to clean up behind himself and help with daily chores.His disrespectful attitude has become unbearable.
Worried - 28-Jan-17 @ 9:19 PM
tryingmybest - Your Question:
Hi, so I am new to this whole commenting for advice but I am at a complete loss.I know kids can be difficult its part of them growing up along with the mess and dirtiness however this is not my issue. My issue is that I am with my partner of over 4 years and living with him and his 13 year old girl (yes I know what teenagers are like) and 9 year old boy. He has the kids almost half the time and is a great dad this being a very attractive trait, I have no kids but we are wanting to in the future(I am in no rush). The girl is practically impossible and with a nasty bitter biological mother that poisoned her for the first 2 years its now becoming more obvious he should have done something earlier, she is now with someone new thank goodness but despite this shouldnt have put her opinion on her kids as kids do come first and that includes there mental state even if your hurting! I try very hard but not too hard. Im caring and involved but at the same time allow them time alone with there dad its all about balance and Im happy to have me time. its a very laid back schedule with me and the dad and we are happy but with the girl we arent and arent sure what to do? we are already doing the normal suggested tips. she will steal money from my bag she will break my things she will say some nasty things and her overall attitude stinks what can I do? shes having a negative impact on her brother who currently gets on fine with me

Our Response:
The fact your partner is in support of you is the main point of importance, as without his support it can become a very difficult situation. The only recourse you have is to keep communicating with your partner to try and mutually discipline and work alongside your stepdaughter. Unfortunately, I can't sprinkle a dose of advisory fairy dust on the problem because it doesn't exist. It really is a matter of trying out different procedures and alternative tactics until you can try and find something that works and this is very much a process of trial and error. However, also understanding the importance of mutual expression and exchange will provide many openings for increased communication, and this method of establishing and accepting situations and solutions is far better than having to persuade someone to change their mind to suit your needs. If you can try to ensure you show respect for another’s needs and you will have your own needs met more readily and hopefully communication should occur as a result. A couple of self-help books on the subject may also give your an alternative way of approaching the matter that you may not have attempted before.
BeingAStepParent - 20-Jan-17 @ 2:11 PM
Hi, so I am new to this whole commenting for advice but I am at a complete loss. I know kids can be difficult its part of them growing up along with the mess and dirtiness however this is not my issue. My issue is that I am with my partner of over 4 years and living with him and his 13 year old girl (yes i know what teenagers are like) and 9 year old boy. He has the kids almost half the time and is a great dad this being a very attractive trait, i have no kids but we are wanting to in the future(I am in no rush). The girl is practically impossible and with a nasty bitter biological mother that poisoned her for the first 2 years its now becoming more obvious he should have done something earlier, she is now with someone new thank goodness but despite this shouldnt have put her opinion on her kids as kids do come first and that includes there mental state even if your hurting! I try very hard but not too hard. Im caring and involved but at the same time allow them time alone with there dad its all about balance and Im happy to have me time. its a very laid back schedule with me and the dad and we are happy but with the girl we arent and arent sure what to do? we are already doing the normal suggested tips. she will steal money from my bag she will break my things she will say some nasty things and her overall attitude stinks what can i do? shes having a negative impact on her brother who currently gets on fine with me
tryingmybest - 19-Jan-17 @ 9:51 PM
@Lou75 - poor you sounds like a nightmare situation! If you register the dad on the birth certificate then he'll get parental responsibility, if you don't - he wont and you can tell him why. It gives you more control over when you let him see the baby and although he will be able to apply through court for it at least it buys you some time if you think your baby may be in danger. Good luck.
SassyL - 18-Jan-17 @ 12:45 PM
Just read your post. I was in much the same situation,2 stepchildren and partner living together. Youngest step child (age 7) was absolute nightmare but my biggest problem was my partner couldnt deal with her behaviour so chose to ignore it, he even told me i was imagining it! She would have been very sweet in front of him but the minute he went out the door she was totally disrespectful. She really could have won an oscar! She would cheek me, hit her sister, wouldnt do a thing i asked her and this was on a gud day. On a bad day i would have to deal with her destroying sentimental belongings,stealing,lying,destructing stuff..she even p'd on bathroom floor one day after watching me clean...she would leave objects at the top of stairs when i explained the dangers of doing this! End result! My partner up and moved out because my oldest son gave off about her behaviour and disrespect...im now left 8months pregnant and alone and feeling very bitter that a 7yr old could cause such havoc. The worry i have now is how do i relax when my baby is with dad and his daughter is around..surely given her behaviour i have reason to br concerned for my babys safety...
Lou75 - 17-Jan-17 @ 10:29 PM
Ive been with my boyfriend for almost 4 years now. he has a seven year old child who he fought to get back from the state. this man truly did a 360 in his life so that way his son was out of the system and home with him. the minute we got with each other we moved in together. about 2 months later his son was dropped off and abandoned by someone he considered his mother (she had temporary guardianship of him). I accepted this even though I was a little overwhelmed. things were amazing. we constantly went places and did things as a family. my family took his child in as if he was my own. out of nowhere his child just started acting up. it started with him not being able to get a snack when he wanted. then it turned into a screaming a match with him whenever you said no, give me a minute or just made him wait for absolutely anything. we still took and accepted that all kids get mad when an adult says no. fast forward 3 years later and now his son is HORRIBLE. we knew he was diagnosed with adhd and has been taking meds for this. now hes been diagnosed with ODD. when I tell you this child is a nightmare....I mean it. he screams, talks back, threatens his father, gets kicked out of school almost everyday. his father no longer has a job because of how many time a week he is being called in to pick up his child. he started hitting people at school, students and teachers. he mouths off at everyone...yells, swears, its crazy. he even told his father he was going to kill him. hes destroyed things in the house...hes destroyed his room. it got to the point where I moved out of my own apartment. what hurts me the most is now I have my own kids who aren't even a year old who hardly ever get to see their father because I don't trust his child. I'm scared something is going to happen to them. its gotten so bad that dcf is even involved. the kid truly thinks he does nothing wrong. his father doesn't ever want to argue with him so he lets him have his way but then complains when his child is disrespectful. I just truly cant take it anymore but at the same time I feel bad for dad. I just don't know what to do. I know I have to look out for the interest of my daughters and protect them but all of this just sucks and hurts way too much. I never imagined this would be life.
hackiesack - 23-Dec-16 @ 8:00 PM
@Seenitall - This is sad :( You are always fighting a losing battle if the very person that should be supporting you, doesn't. Remember though it may also be difficult for your ex too to come to terms with this, as he may have been torn between loyalty to you and loyalty to his sons. It is said that 'blood is thicker than water' - and in this case it has unfortunately been proved true. I hope you manage to recover well from your decision and that life will be a lot easier now you do not have this pressure. You need to be around people you love and who love you back because you as a person deserve it. You have been so stong to make this decision, so all power to you and your future because you shouldn't settle for anything less than being treated with love and respect. KatieB <3
K78 - 15-Dec-16 @ 12:33 PM
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