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Help! I need advise!

stressed's picture

I know this is long, but please read I really need some help!I have been married now for 9 months. My husband and I both have 10 year old sons. They are about a month apart. The problem comes with both discipline and house rules. We've had to make some compromises (like on Mature video games, etc.) because I tend to be stricter than hubby. So, my stepson resents this and blames it on me that he can't do things that he was once allowed to do. At this point if I even speak to him he breaks down and cries or becomes beligerant. He is with us every other week and my son is with us all the time with every other weekend at his dad's house. With them both being the same age it presents a problem. For instance, if I tell my son to go brush his teeth and get ready for bed, he wants to know why SS doesn't have to do the same. If I tell SS to do the same he has a breakdown. Hubby is very laid back and might never tell anyone to do anything if left alone with the kids, but I have a hard time compromising things that I've always thought were important. I have always given my son chores, just simple things like taking out the trash, but now he feels like things aren't fair if step brother doesn't have to do it and asking SS to do anything is way to much of a battle to be worth it...So does that mean that my son never has to do anything anymore since SS thows a tantrum? Oh, I should also mention that SS developed a cough over about 6 months that we figured out (after tons of doctors visits) was all in his head as a result of his stress. His doctor recommended counseling since he isn't dealing with the changes in his life well. Hsi biological parents have halfway taken him to counseling and I don't feel like it should be my responsibility to take off work to do it or give up my afternoons with my son to sit at the counselor's office. It just seems to me that our lives now revolve around SS and his so called problems and because my son isn't having all these adjustment issues he just gets overlooked. By the way SS doesn't have a terrible life, two parents who are sharing custody, two step parents who are trying to help out as much as possible, two nice houses, lots of good stuff and clothes - basically he has a great life. What do I do? I am open to any and all suggestions!

str8_trippin's picture

You came to the right place for answers. From my experience with SS11, and BS6- we(DH and I)maintain a unified front in keeping certain rules and expectations for the children. It is important to keep things fair between them-rules included!!! Talking back is not tolerated especially when done disrespectfully. Kids can get testy from time to time though. However if this 10 year old boy doesn't learn manners and boundries soon, who knows what kind of adult he'll be later on?
Maybe start having family meetings and establishing basic rules and regulations. And it's imperative that they learn the consequences of there actions. Trust me. My 11 year old SS has come a long way when it comes to behavior. It takes awhile but they can learn. There are lots of books about behavior for children that are positive and encouraging. Kids are more apt to be impressionable with certain literauture b/c the message isn't in the form of the parents voice nagging them to behave!Lol.
Also try to keep in mind that just because a child appears to have a lot of material things/people in his life doesn't mean there is not some emotional trauma or stigma at the root of this issue. Hopefully you guys can help him sort out and validate some of the feelings he may have about anything going on in his life that may be causing him pain or frustration. Kids at this age can be extremely moody(pre-teen hormone thing) especially if their emotional growth has been stunted for some reason or another. It's harder for them to cope without knowing any proper coping skills. The skills that will make them or brake them as a teenager...Hope this helps!

"All that we are is a result of what we have thought."- Buddha

QUINJAI3's picture

basiclly if ss is none responsive to you it should be put back onto the bio parents to pick up the slack and pitch in. you need to establish firm rules for the house and have rewards for achieveing these tasks and then punishments for not following them and dh needs to put his foot down with ss and have him follow the rules too, so that it is fair for your son but also so that ss can learn that if he listens and follows through he gets rewarded but if the tantrums continue he'll miss out. you should ignore the unwanted behaviour and reward/ praise the wanted behaviour, things will get worse before they get better as ss and bs try to test your resolve but stay firm follow your structered rules and follow through if a reward is earnt give it if a punishment is earnt give it. do this consistantly and with both boys at all times. dh needs to try to instill in ss that your are of value and need to be respected as an equal on the parenting front this cannot be done by you. if dh is slack make him do it or things will not change.

the children need equal rules and consequences that are fair and age appropriate but that are firm and consistant and the bio parents need to implament them until equal authority is established. you do not need to be harsh or demanding but you need to be firm and consistant, rewards don't have to be expensisve and the punishments can simply be that they will not recieve the reward and nothing more. also make sure the reward is of value to the children or they will not work for them use the childrens favourite things like tv shows, money, gaming time etc.
sorry if i sound harsh but somethings you need to be firm on and just simply need to be enforced.
hope this helps

stressed's picture

thanks for all the suggestions, both private and in this forum. I like the idea of rewards. It is something we are going to sit down and discuss tonight! Thanks!