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Question
Posted by: Heidi | 2006/07/14

Step-son(8) gives me nightmares!

I have a step son who is 8 years old. He is staying with me and his dad. He's a lovely kid but has got the most terrible and horrible attitude. He's worse than a rebellious teenager! I can't take it anymore. He will not listen to me - no matter what I do or say or even how I do or say it. But he will listen to everyone else and they think he's an angel and can't do anything wrong! I really love him but with he's attitude I don't like him. I've got two kids of my own (Boy (5) and Girl (3)) and they are starting to addapt his bad behaviours. I can't send him to his mother because she doesn't want anything to do with him. Since he was a baby of 6months, he stayed with his father. Me and his father (my husband) fight everyday about this. Please help. I don't know what to do anymore and can't take it anymore.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Maybe his attitude partly causes the situation in which his mother wants nothing to do with him, and maybe it is partly caused by this situation. And if you and your husband fight about this every day, that'll mess up a kid, too. What on earth is there to fight about ? Draw up a set of rules for his behaviour ( which you should also apply to the other kids, even if they don't happen to break the rules ) which BOTH of you agree to and BOTH will apply firmly and consistently. And the penalty for him breaking these basic rules will be time-out for 10 minutes for a minor infraction, and loss of some treat, something he likes ( like TV access ) for a major infraction.
Jessica explains the idea sympathetically. And if dad isn';t around much, he has to agree to back you totally in whatever disciplinary decisions you make while he's away, and not allow himself to become a soft-option for the child. Keep a chart of hours of each day, with a tick or cross for good or bad behaviour, which the dad can review with you each time he's back ; so the boy realizes that dad will know about how badly or well he behaved. And both of you give him praise on the occasions, however rare, when he even accidentally behaves well.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Heidi | 2006/07/14

Thanks Jessica, but we already did that and that doesn't bother him. If it comes to me, his ears are SOLID BLOCKED! My husband is working out during the week and only sees him every second weekend and then he is an angel but when dad walks out of the door, he's back to his terrible self!

Reply to Heidi
Posted by: CP MOM | 2006/07/14

My boyfriend has a son of 10 like this. We are seeing a shrink to help us understand what is wrong with him/or us and to work through it. You will have to do this or risk losing this man. Regardless of what a kak child he is, he is still his father's and the man does not want to hear all day what a brat he has.

It's a hard road I know and it's hard to love someone when you want to kill them and dislike them.

Good luck

Reply to CP MOM
Posted by: Jessica | 2006/07/14

You and your husband should come to an understanding that the behaviour is unappropriate and will not be tolerated. After you both can sit him down and explain to him that you both love him dearly and you're not picking on him but his behaviour is unexceptable and that he must stop nuless he wants his step siblings to to the same. Tell him that he's the big bro and that he's an example to them and that he has a responsibility to teach them. Maybe having that responsibility would make him want to change.

Reply to Jessica

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