can't stand step-son

ready2runMay 23, 2011

I know, it sounds horrible and I feel bad but i think i really do hate him. When i see him coming i want to put my hand up and back away. or just not let him in.

A little back ground. me and dh were happily going about our lives. we had a new baby and all was well. had a cute little place and starting out in a new town. then all of a sudden we find out that dh has ss and that he is in foster care, mom tried to put him up for adoption and long story short here he is. SURPRISE!! so dh says bm told him it's not his kid they were not together at the time although it was his ex and she was living with some other guy who was assumed to be the daddy.

either way the kid is here now. it has been 4 years and i am still not warming up to him although i've tried. i hate how he is effecting my life. he is only 6 but he was clearly disturbed when he got here. the first thing he did was smash my baby in the head with a truck... hasn't improved much since then. i know he hates me too. he rolls his eyes at me and ignores me when i ask him to do something. he talks back, he lies, he steals. he gets kicked out of school. he pees on toys and hides them. he stashes food around the house. he breaks things, like not just toys but windows and furniture and the walls. he is always making up lies about me, like he'll walk past me and scream and then say i hit him or he'll fall on a toy and say i pushed him. then my own kids are like "Don't do it, Mommy!" and come running over all sad when i didn't touch the kid. he is mean and bossy to my kids and he argues about everything. gosh, there are days i'd like to return him to the agency that gave him to us and think no wonder his bm didn't want him. the first month he was with us he screamed so much and wrecked his wall in his room and got us evicted. he has probably caused at least $2000 damage to the house here and that's not including the two beds and the livingroom set he's destroyed. he also plays with his feces and paints all over his room with it in the night and guess who has to clean that up? i feel like having him here is detrimental to my other kids well being but of course they are attached to him and don't want him to leave. IMO he is nothing but a nightmare...... i am pulling out my hair right about now. i thought it would be great to have him here as i used to really love having lots of kids around but since he's been here i just can't stand having him around and it seems like he never leaves me alone.

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Even if you run, your child is his half sibling. Your husband could end up with partial custody (anywhere from every other weekend to half the time, as courts are leaning toward that more now). If your husband has this disturbed child as a single working parent, the child is more likely to get worse. He needs extensive professional help.

All of the acting out behavior is quite common in children that have been abused/neglected. Of course it's not acceptable but accepting & understanding are two different things. My guess would be that he doesn't hate YOU, he may hate the world.... he may be full of anger at a mother that had him but didn't keep him, being passed around & never getting to bond with anyone, finding out he has a dad that never saw him (he may not understand that dad didn't even know he existed, he just knows dad was not around when he was being abandoned by his mom and passed around foster care) Then he comes to your home & you have a baby that has everything he never had... he hit the baby. Not acceptable behavior but totally understandable given the circumstances.

I'm curious to know what your husband has done to help him adjust? What has ANYONE done? There are services available to help with children that have been through foster care... IMO, many of them have problems that need counseling. I have a similar problem of feelings toward my SD that keep her at arm's length. It wasn't always that way, I used to bend over backwards to get her to warm up to me or build a relationship with her. Now she's a 12 year old that has similar traits... stealing, lying, food issues, ignores me, talks about me to try & get me in trouble ~ though not to the extreme of your SS. I know she needs something I can't give her... she has rejected me. We tried counseling, that didn't work because she lied & tried to manipulate the counselor. I have disengaged as much as I can being a custodial stepmom... but I'm also not giving up on her. I recently spoke to big brothers/big sisters and hope that finding her a "big sister" would give her someone that can make a difference... I would suggest something similar for your SS if it's possible. It sounds as if he needs a lot of attention & understanding. He needs his father or someone to bond with and to be loved unconditionally. He may or may not be reachable, he sounds very disturbed.... but I can say that I have seen kids with similar problems come out of it and be okay, with the right attention, counseling, love, patience & understanding.

You're not his mother. You didn't enter into the situation with knowledge of him. It's NOT your responsibility to deal with him, it's his father's.

Oh yeah, and next time he paints his wall with feces, hand him a towel & bucket of water. He can clean it up himself. My son, at age 3, would get upset if I told him no. he would make himself cry so hard he would throw up. About the fourth or fifth time that happened, I told him just as he was about to throw up again, that if he threw up he would have to clean it up. At age 3, he understood & it was the last time he did that. There may be emotional problems that cause him to do it anyway, but he certainly should be held accountable for unacceptable behavior.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 3:04AM
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has this child been evaluated? playing with feces at 4 is a sign of some serious mental/psychological or developmental issues. what does his doctor say?

I also think he was probably abused and neglected in a foster care. Dad needs to do serious evaluation and therapy with a child.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:15AM
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he has been evaluated by psychiatrists, psychologists and a pediatrition that specializes in 'difficult' children. one diagnosed him with mild autism based on his behaviour problems and the fact that he rocks alot. one said no he has ADHD and oppositional defiancy disorder. one says nothings wrong with him. i have stopped doing his appointments and stuff with him for the most part. i have been handling all of his care since he got here until a few months ago when i told DH he has to do it because it's not my kid. that was the day he got mad at me while i was cleaning up his feces and urinated all over me. I smacked his bum and told him i give up. now it is dh's job but i still end up having to do the cleaning part because DH does not do a very thurough job and I don't want SS to get sick. DH knows SS has food issues and still lets him eat in his room if he wants to. his answer to all the problems is to send him up to his room to watch movies so he isn't down here upsetting everyone. we do have services in place but they havent been able to really offer anything that has been effective so far. mostly just sticker charts and things of that nature which SS could not care less about. sorry for sounding so negative. i feel like i have put so much effort into this child and am getting nothing in return. i did not start out feeling like i hate him, it has come from the destruction and from being attacked by him and that he doesn't care what i do for him or how much i try to help him he will never be happy with it. it just seems from my position that SS is a giant pile of extra work and headaches and no progress is being made. i feel a bit better not having to fight him at bedtime and take him out in public anymore but he choses me to whyne at and yell at and i can't stand when he lies about me. i worry all the time that he's gonna end up getting himself and my kids taken away because of the stuff he says. he does the same thing to his teacher though so far so she knows he's not telling the truth. i dread being stuck with him for the next 12 years at least. i have no plans on divorcing dad. he did not ask for this either and he has also been unable to really bond with SS because SS does not allow it.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:13AM
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I wish I had more useful advice for you. I'm in a similar position. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one that cares about certain things because those things were important to me when I was raising MY children. They aren't as important to DH and nothing seems very important to BM in regard to THEIR daughter. That's when I have to remove myself (& my opinions) as much as I can to remind me that this is THEIR child, not my responsibility. It's very hard to do when they ignore stuff that bothers me & I either have to learn to ignore it or deal with it... kinda like your DH allowing him to eat in his room or stay in his room to keep him from disrupting "the family". That bothers me because he should feel like part of the family, he should be included & his feelings should matter. One of my biggest irks with SD is that she banishes herself to her room & doesn't participate as part of our family. I find it very sad that a child goes through that, whether it's self imposed or the parent excludes them for convenience. He might as well be in a foster home where the people there aren't necessarily expected to care about him because they get paid to keep him.

Like I said, it's not your job to parent this child. It's his fathers job but dad finds it easier to leave him sit in his room so his "real" family isn't upset by his presence. I would have a real hard time being married to someone that deals with a problem child by sending him to his room so he doesn't upset his family. And this is the person you chose to have children with? Terribly sad!

I'd also guess that the child lashes out at you because you may be the only one he feels even cares. and you do care even if you don't want to or you wouldn't be on here asking for help/advice. I wouldn't worry too much about him causing your kids to get taken away. If it's well documented that he has these problems, especially the lying, then there would have to be independent evidence to support removing children. Of course you should do what you can to protect yourself. I wish I had good advice so I could take it too. I've done everything possible to try make things better with my SD, but I dread her sometimes too. It is a lot of extra work I didn't ask for & could do without... but I do know that even when she thinks she hates me, I am parenting her with the love & concern that I had for my kids and while I don't see progress, I feel that the day will come... maybe when she's 30 & becomes a mom or stepmom... when she may appreciate some of the decisions I make that she hates me for today. (I don't know if she will ever appreciate ME... but she may appreciate the decisions I make in her best interest)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 1:08PM
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"I smacked his bum and told him i give up.'

Smacking never helped anyone, especially not disturbed children

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 4:04PM
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I think this child needs serious help. He is so young and already so much has happened in his life. I think both Dh and you need a support system of at least a therapist and parenting classes on how to deal with a child with these kinds of difficulties. And, I would not stop looking for an answer. It could be nothing more than emotional trauma that is causing him to act out but he still needs assistance on how to deal with these issues. I can understand wanting to give up but he is far to young to give up on. It is well past time to put your foot down with hubby and both of you go to a therapist to at a minimum get on the same page with how to deal with this situation and what you can do together to make things better.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 4:19PM
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I don't normally comment on issues like this because I'm not an SM so I can't say I know how you feel. You aren't really an Sm you are his only mother. I feel for you and just wanted to show some support. You came to the right place. Don't give up. He is so young. He can be helped. Big hugs to you!!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 12:03AM
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@ parent of one: i know that smacking his bum was not the best choice but given the cirucumstances it was all i could think of to get it through his head that he'd better not do that again. and he hasn't so i guess it served it's purpose.

other than that i think i will just continue to step back and keep my distance if possible. i have already done the parenting courses. i have also been attending the odd lecture when they come up. there is a support group i could attend but DH does not want to go, and he does not want me to take the kids even if there is childcare there and i am hesitant to leave him with all the children for the amount of time it would take to get there and be back because he is lacking in the patience department. he also will not go to any type of parenting group or agree to have anyone come into the home and 'tell him how to raise his kids' as he puts it. i realize that SS is too young to be given up on but don't want to be the one who has to deal with it. i will be nice to him and help him with things if i need to but i'm not goint to volunteer to do it if he doesn't ask me. he is not all bad. he spent about half an hour sitting on me today and hugging my neck while i was watching a movie. that was nice.
@mom of 4. dh does not really listen to me. i have tried to show him things i've learned at parenting courses and he always says okay he'll try it but if he does it's once and then that's it. i can't even get him to go to the dentist regularely nevermind a therapist. he has his own issues which is why i was handling everything with SS on my own as well as most of the other kids although he does have alot more patience and understanding for the other 2 younger kids.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 12:15AM
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that's a shame that your DH is not doing more, seems that he delegated parenting to you...keep looking for support in your area...

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 6:19AM
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Ready2Run, I just wanted to show support as well. You're trying your best in an extremely tough situation and are to be commended for that.

It's disconcerting that your husband wanted his very troubled child to live with both of you, but doesn't sound like he can be bothered to do much of anything raising him. Excuse me for saying so but your DH sounds like, well, a jerk. He "doesn't want anyone telling him how to raise his kids"? Yet his response to his child smearing feces on the wall is to send him to his room?! I feel that if your husband is pretty much going to dump all of the child-raising onto you, then you should have the ability to make all of the child-raising decisions as well, including whether or not you need a support group, SS needs counseling (he does) or whatever. DH cannot continue to have it both ways.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 8:57AM
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You have my support as well, Ready2Run. You are to be commended for sticking with it this long and for trying your best to do the right thing for this child. The fact that his father (and his bio-mother) seem unable or unwilling to parent this boy, may explain a lot of his behavior. This boy is only six and there's time to turn him around, given the right intervention. I would continue to explore every avenue available to get this child the help he seems to crying out for.

Honestly, I think I'd have walked a long time ago if I'd been put in your position. You have my respect for sticking with as long as you have.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 9:08AM
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Your letter makes my heart break and my blood boil...
So I'm going to keep my comments very brief:

1 - From your description, the little boy sounds like he is absolutely autistic to some degree. (I have an autistic son.)

2 - The behavior of children with autism can improve dramatically with the right therapies and certain parenting techniques.

3 - There are parent support groups that can be a lifeline for stressed-out parents. These parents trully 'get it' and can listen with understanding and offer tips and strategies that work.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 11:15AM
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thanks for all the support and sorry to upset you sweeby. i also have an older child who has aspergers but does not have any of these types of behaviour problems. she is very independant and can have an attitude but mostly she is very clingy to me and has some sensory issues as well as being very advanced with 'book smarts'.
i feel like this is not what i signed on for and that i shouldn't have to go through this as it's not my responsibility. because it's not and reading on here has made me feel less guilty about disengaging a bit and telling dh to deal with it even if i don't like how he handles things. i had to take ss out to run errands today and he cried the whole time. it was really embarassing. and he kept demanding i buy him things(loudly) and when i said "no, i can't buy you anything right now because of the way you are acting out." he knocked over a whole display and caused everyone to come 'help'.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:01PM
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Ready, I was reading today that feces on the wall can be a warning sign for sexual abuse. If you don't have him seeing someone already, please consider a therapist.

He is crying out for help and his methods are lacking. It is going to take a lot of discipline (on the part of the adults) to get him disciplined.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 11:41PM
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ready2run, every autistic child is so very different that you cannot go by any model. I think he is either has autism or was abused. the issue is not him behaving poorly, it is more complicated like that. even the worst behaved children out there do not smear feces on the wall. honestly either dad does something about it or...

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 6:17AM
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