My step son is a terror. He lies on me, steals, curses, bullies my daughter and is only eight. His father has only seen him twice in his life and he is set to visit again this summer. I am having anxiety attacks over this. My partner says he will be more involved in the life to modify his behavior but I have observed that he is seems less than sincere and I dont want the burden of caring for this child again. Help - my realtionship may be at risk over this issue.I have discussed this with my pastor and he says this is something we must both work on - my partner has not parented this child and now I feel he is ignorant of all that it takes to work with a child, especially one with significant behaviorial problems. Last summer, I dealt with the child and my partner worked and did little to interact with a child he barely knows. To top it off - the childs mother is also difficult and calls constantly to complain how bad the child is and she wants him to move here with his father. I am thinking of the entire family when I express my concerns of safely integrating him into this household. I feel like the bad guy because my partner does not consider the financial or emotional impact this child will have. I have been told to just back off from some friends and others have told me to just pray. I would not mind bringing the child here if his father and mother took active roles in setting up a professional support system to modify this childs obvious problems. I dont see these things happening and it scares me to death. Advise please!


3255 days ago

since his mother also realizes hers son is a handful, then I think it's safe to assume that you're not just being the typical stepmother who doesn't really care for the child. I agree you're in a tough position because it's hard to dish out discipline when you're the step Mom and you don't want to do it all on your own - then you'll look like the evil step mom. I think since his mom admits her son has problems, then I think all three of you, should agree that he may need some counselling. Your husband also needs to take an active role in disciplining him when he comes to visit and be consistant. His son also needs to be told, that when your husband isn't around, that he must respect you and behave. There is a good book called The Kazden Method For Parenting The Defiant Child - that you could read as well as your husband and the boys mother.

It's very possible that some of his behavior problems are related to unresolved feeling about the divorce. I think everyone from his teacher/Mom/Father/You, should all be on the same page - how to handle his behavior. His father should also set aside some father/son time where the boy will have a chance to form a bond with your husband.

I understand how this is very stressful, but try not to get upset and look at this up coming visit with optimism. Try to understand that he needs help with his emotions and that's why he's acting out. You shouldn't be left handling this all on your own because then you'll feel resentful. It's much better to find a way to manage him now, than when he's older. I hope it all works out. :) Bella

3255 days ago
This is tough. There's a good way to work with kids so that they respect you and listen to you. I suggest that people watch episodes of Supernanny. You can read articles that deal with your situation and watch videos. The videos are just as important because the thing she does SO WELL is respect herself. She knows she is entitled to respect and speaks firmly, directly, and calmly. It's really an art. I think this is one key to dealing with your step-son.

You AND your husband need to practice her techniques and work as a team, ALWAYS. No splintering off. Your husband/partner is going to have to really commit and you should tell him about your anxiety, panic, and how important it is to your relationship that he participate and take the lead on this.

I do think it's worth, as bella mentioned, looking into what might be triggering some of his behavior. You can try talking to him, but it might be a good idea to have him see a child psychologist.

Best of luck to you.


3249 days ago
Im confused a bit, you call him a step son and then the next minute you say his mom and dad, and then you call him the child?

I too think a child psychologist may be the way too.