MikeILY123February 4, 2014

HI all,

I need your help! I have a now 16 yr old step son. I met his mother 3.5 years ago. I have been living with him for 2.5 years. We just don't get a long at all anymore. IMO, he is very, very selfish and immature. He tells his mother to shut up, get away, leave, STOP, and constantly lies. We have caught him lieing about a lot of big topic issues. When at the table or out with friends/family/restaurant, his table manners are horrible. He chews with my mouth open, he makes a huge mess, covers his face with food and doesn't care about sharing food. We constantly correct his behavior verbally..for over a year...but his behavior hasn't really changed,. He will even lean over and just take others food of their plate without asking. All the above I find absolutely annoying and disrespectful. He wants everything done for him but doesn't do anything for anyone else. For example, at the table while eating, he will beg his mother to get up and get everything for him, whenever he wants it. Ketchtup...drink...etc. She still does it and I find it annoying, especially when he shows no appreciation for anything. And then when we ask him to do anything he will say "your legs arent broke".

Now my wife is 6 months pregnant and I am even more annoyed. I dont want my child to be like him, which I dont think will happen, since I would never let that happen. How can i tell her that? Just this morning she is mad at me because I have been ignoring him lately.

I have spoken to his mother multiple times about this and ask her to be tougher on him and punish bad behavior...but mostly it falls on dear ears. She always threatens punishment but never follows through.

Basically, he is very rude and selfish. I could list even more examples but that's what I think it all comes down to. My wife babied him his whole life until I came into their life and suggested not to do that...but it appears to be too late. Just yesterday he yelled at my 6 year old nephew "GO AWAY and leave me alone"...only thing my nephew was doing was asking him questions while playing xbox. I wanted to beat his arse, physically!

How do we fix his selfishness and rudeness? I think its all related - what do you think? Its torture for me to be at home most time and I know once my baby is born I will ignore his existence for my own self preservation. I'm so frustrated teaching a 16 yr old things that I feel I should never be teaching him. My 3 year old nephew was over and they were eating grapes together. The 3 year old kept his mouth closed the entire time even though he could barely chew a grape but the 16 yr old sounded like a horse. I want my 16 yr old to act 16 - how do we do this? Is it fair to tell her my feeling and tell her she needs to fix it?

I am at my wits end...


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I was in a very similar situation with my step-son (who is now 17). In addition to all the behaviours you describe, he refused to engage in basic hygiene. His clothes and sheets had to be washed at the laundromat in the giant washer with a bottle of bleach. He spent every spare minute playing video games, including during the summer when all the other teenagers in the area had summer jobs. My husband never followed through with any consequences. It didn't help our situation that my step-son has a twin sister who has her own behaviour problems.

My husband and I separated last fall. I am sorry that the marriage broke down, but my daughter and I are really enjoying the peace. If you value your marriage, I strongly suggest that you see a counsellor with your wife and start setting some ground rules for your step-son's behaviour in the house. The problem here is not the kid - it's your wife. She's the one who needs to support you and set some limits. Once your baby arrives, you will have less tolerance for a problem adolescent (soon to be a problem adult) in your house. The situation could become completely intolerable (as mine did) and you will be calling a lawyer instead of a counsellor.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:13PM
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Thanks for your response! Yes, he has the same hygiene problems. We have to force him to brush his teeth every night. Not only that, but he recently got ring worm from hygiene problems. Scary to hear of your situation but can totally understand how it can get to that point!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:17PM
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Just one more comment. This isn't normal adolescent behaviour. Most teenagers want to be attractive to others, not offensive. Can you imagine what the other kids in high school say about a kid who smells bad and has food on his face? We had a full psych assessment for my step-son over a year ago and it revealed some serious problems (including oppositional defiant disorder). The recommendation was a lot of treatment (and possibly some medication if required). My husband never followed through with the program because his son objected. Once he turns 18, he will be responsible for his own medical care, so it's unlikely that he will ever get treated.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:43PM
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Very concerning! I mean just yesterday I caught him using a lighter to set his colgone on fire on the desk in the bedroom. He would spray the table, light it on fire and then repeat. I noticed something afoul when I smelled cologne in the ENTIRE house. I went up and realized what he did. So I took his cologne and hid it. He asked this morning where it was and I told him if it's not important and you just want to waste it plus put everyone in danger, then you obviously dont need it and I told him i threw it away. He was not I overreacting or?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 1:54PM
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My husband never followed through with any consequences. It didn't help our situation that my step-son has a twin sister who has her own behaviour problems.
Setting ground rules. If your partner the bioparent refuses to enforce consequences, or the ground rules and you are arguing over how to parent the child, there are major problems ahead.
The child knows you are arguing and will continue to do what he/she is doing at will besides they are getting plenty of attention.
In my case we had some minor chores, like walk 20 feet and take the trash out. Wipe and put dishes away x 1 per day. Well guess who is picking up the slack on this the bioparent taking the trash out, and wiping dishes. Bio parent only has one good arm and hand so using 2 is difficult, but they are enabling this lazy, sloven 6' 160lbs. 16 yr. old to be belligerent and disrespectful. The bio parent bought the kid an iphone, wrote up a contract. The kid has F,F,D-, Incomplete grades, which have not improved, according to the contract he is suppose to lose the phone with no improvement. He is suppose to do is measly chores without nagging, or mouthing off. Guess what, no improvement. So, look for a divorce lawyer because your life will not change-only worsten, because the bioparent is an enabler.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 2:26PM
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