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Where to begin . . . not sure I can stand my stepson

Posted by Coffeefan (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 3, 12 at 17:44

This is my first time here, but I have found this site after much desperatelooking. I am about ready to go crazy and wanted to some support before I decided whether to jump or not.

I am married with a 12 year old stepson and a 5 year old bio-daughter. I have been with my husband for 9 years and married for seven. We have had primary custody for the last four and a half years and before that it was joint custody.

My stepson is ADHD and suffers from PDD/NOS (autism spectrum disorder--but mild form). We are all suffering from his behavior issues, but I am almost ready to do something drastic because I just can't stand it anymore. I feel annoyed the second he walks in the room and relieved the minute he goes to bed. He is the number one source of stress in my marriage and family in general. I know that I should have more patience with him, but after 9 years, I am about at the end of my reserve.

We used to have a fairly warm relationship, despite his behavior problems. After my daughter was born and he came to live with us most of the time things have gotten worse. The behavior that you can accept in a small child, gets tiresome when they are 11 and 12. I don't see things getting better.

My husband tries to deal with my stepson, but even just ends up getting frustrated and yelling. In addition to his behavior problems (lying, refusing to do what we ask him to, constant arguing, lack of courtesy) we are also starting to move into teenage territory.

I don't want to disengage because I know that my husband would not accept it. I feel frustrated because he does not always support my discipline or way of interacting.

I don't think that I want to leave, but I am at my wits end. Am I a bad person because I am not sure that I love the person that my stepson has become? Is there another way?? Please help.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Where to begin . . . not sure I can stand my stepson

As a parent of a teenager with adhd I totally sympathize with you! Its not easy when its your own biological child...dealing with a stepchild like that is even harder!!

We don't medicate, which makes things more difficult. I used to be against counseling, but we finally tried it because I was nearly to your point and it was my biological child! It was not a quick fix, but over the last year being in counseling has improved things a lot. The counselor (actually psychologist) meets with me and my son and he talks to him about whats going on and gives him imput. He also talks to me alone and gives me strategies to use at home to help deal with some behaviors and change others.

One thing I can say is that with a kid with ADHD you can not pick them apart. Pick a behavior or two you really want to change and start with those. Some things you really have to let go. Remember that ADHD keeps them from processing everything. So sometimes when you are repeating things over and over again and getting frustrated they really didn't even hear you because they were focused on something else you said or something else that was going on. Give simple directions and never more than one direction at a time. Give lots of praise, but make it meaningful.

And try to keep your patience.


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