You are here

Step-Son making unreasonable demands.

Rival's picture

My step-son for the last few years has been getting more and more out of control. He has stopped going to school and is smoking weed and  other drugs. He states that his biological father has abused him in some way leading to the drug use and I have tried to get him help with therapy and psychiatrists but he is refusing any help there and wants only to get high. My wife has pretty much stopped trying to deal with him because of the stealing, lying and drug use and has left me to deal with him. She pretty much stays in our room or leaves to hang out with her friends so she doesn't have to deal with him. Lately he has requested to be put in foster care because I won't let him do whatever he wants. My wife at this point is upset with me because I won't back off. For me trying to get him help and require him to go to school and graduate high school doesn't seem to extreme. I stated if he doesn't go to class and stay on track with graduation and stop doing drugs I'm not paying for his cell phone nor allowing him to play his video games online. At this point I'm not sure what to do. I don't think backing off is going to help anything and only make me a prisoner in my own home. His aunt took him for a week and she sent him back to us because he was to much for her to handle. She wanted to take him for a few weeks to give us a break. I hate to say it but that week was so amazing for not just us as individual but as a couple. There has been so many problems that have erupted between us because of his behavior that just went away when he was gone. I do love him and he wasn't always like this but I just don't know what to do anymore. I did see there is this federal funded program called job corps that I believe might be a good option but it seems whatever I suggest is seen as just not loving him by both my wife and my step-son. I'm just so lost at what I should do.

Winterglow's picture

So how old is this kid? 

Looking for a solution to help make this delinquent into a decent citizen is actually loving him WAY more than his own mother does seeing as she isn't raising him, doesn't discipline him and runs to her bedroom to avoid dealing with him. 

BTW, I love the idea that he imagines foster care is some dreamland where nobody expects anything of you and where you can just go when you feel like it. I'd be tempted to arrange that for him ...

Another thought, where is he getting the money for his drugs? What are the chances he's dealing? And what kind of drugs are we talking about here?

I suggest that the next time you know he's got drugs in his room you call the cops and let them deal with it. Repeat it every time he has drugs. I'm assuming he's under 21 and, if so, it's illegal in California. Don't pay any of his fines and don't help him get out of his time in a detention centre. He very badly needs a reality check ... so give it to him.

Rival's picture

He is 16. I feel like is making a threat of foster care in order to get his way. He isn't reasonable at all.

Winterglow's picture

Well, here's the thing - foster care isn't a hotel, you can't just walk in there and request a room. However, he might be able to get a nice cell if you call the police on his drugs.

tog redux's picture

Job Corps is very strict about rules, even if he agreed to go, he'd get kicked out in 5 minutes. 

How are you able to maintain love and respect for a woman who is abdicating all parenting? What is she hoping for, he will just magically get better, grow up and move out? 

You can't be the only parent here, it won't work. I agree you should stop paying for anything for him. Let her pay for it all. Might be time for an exit plan as well. This kid will be in your home doing nothing 10 years from now. 

Rival's picture

I think her plan is to wait it ou till he is 18 and then throw him out of the house. The thing is it's only when it comes to her kids that there are problems between us. Whenever they aren't around things between us are good, I hate to say that.

Winterglow's picture

Well,, how very responsible of her, how loving. Rather than getting him help while she is still able to,, she prefers to wait it out and throw him in the trash. Of course,, her lack of parenting is not responsible for the way he turned out. Not her problem. 

Do you have any respect for this woman left at all? 

PetSpoiler's picture

He needs a dose of tough love.  Time to call the cops next time you catch him doing drugs.  No bailing him out, no paying his fines.  He's big enough to get himself in this mess, he can be big enough to get himself out of it.  

Rags's picture

IMHO ou are on the right track.  Keep increasing his state of abject misery.  Start having him piss test each time he enters your home. A positive test gets the police called on him. Start taking anything and everything out of his hands and his mom's hands and get him in the system.  

The courts will jerk a knot in his tail and one way or the other.... he will launch. Either he graduates from HS and launches, or he launches when the courts intervene and drag him off to spend some time in places he really will not want to experience.

LittleCloud9's picture

You cannot talk someone, especially someone that young and foolish, out of using drugs. I have learned this the hard way. He will only change when he hits rockbottom or he is forced to change by a court or something. Why are you still paying for his phone? You should not be providing anything for him beyond basic needs at this point. Its wonderful you care but drugs seriously change a person. Try counseling for you and your wife. She needs to learn what enabling is and why it's dangerous. Don't let him destroy your life too.

consider talking to an attorney about your options too. You may be able to get some kind of help from the state or family services. You have offered help. Now you need backup. This is too much for you alone. 
As a minor he probably really doesn't have the right to refuse treatment for addiction. But when he gets older you won't have any control. If there's a chance you can help him, it's probably now or never. 

Rival's picture

Yesterday he ended up stealing from us and used it to get drugs. My wife confronted him and not only did he admit it but acted like what we are goin to do about. We threatened calling the police to search him and his room if he isn't going to follow the rules and he left. He is at his friends house stating he isn't coming back here and is requesting to go into foster care according to his friends mother who contacted us. 

Winterglow's picture

You do realize that you had the perfect opportunity to deal with him there...? And you blew it. 

You might get another chance when the friend's mother kicks him out. 

DPW's picture

You have two options: (1) Stay and fight this with mom, where she agrees to step up and be a united front with you - it's not fair that she's checked out;  or (2) Leave.

If you pick (1), you and mom need a serious plan of attack. If he's smoking more than weed, he's doing something hardcore and it's going to be hard to get him off of it. He's going to have to want to do it for himself. Is he so far gone that he needs detox?

As of current, let him wallow in his choices; eventually he'll ask to come back home. I would change the locks and not allow him back in without a set of rules in place with known consequences - real consequences that are of value to him. He has no access to his stuff until you give him access. He stays sober. He gets into therapy. He participates in the family in all ways. Time for tough action. It's going to be tough on you but you can do this. Remember to never enable him; always deliver the consequence. If you are not consistent, he'll manipulate you both. He's in active addiction. 

failuretolaunch's picture

I feel for you. I've had my problems but luckily my partner is at least engaged with her kids and although I've given her support, maybe too much at times, she still deals with her kids.

This is NOT your problem. Sad to say it and sorry to say it too, but if she doesn't step up and deal with it somehow, you need to leave if you can. You don't have to end the relationship with her, but you have to have your own space and you have to let her deal with her $hit, because it is not yours. Maybe then she'll step up or ignore it. Doesn't matter you are out of there and you can dip in and dip out as you please.