My stepson - the saga continues (long, semi-rambling)

Then what are you sticking around for?

May I point out your wife has already made this choice? By undermining your efforts as a father to her children and allowing her children to disrepect you and your authority, she had already chosen her children over her marriage.

Whoa a minute!

Every other aspect of our marriage is fine. This is the only area of contention. It’s not like the stepson is running roughshot over the household. It’s just when he fucks up, it’s usually a doozy.

She knows what she needs to do here. She chooses not to.

Slight hijack: a co-worker was a smoker. He knew he needed to stop if not for his own health, but for his 8-yr-old daugher (who had been bugging him to quit). He tried quitting on several occasions, but was unsuccessful. A few months ago, he had a chest x-ray that worried his doctor. THAT was what it took to convince him to try and stop for good. He hasn’t had a smoke in five months and has lost the desire (at least 99.99% anyways) to to light up.

The only thing that’s going to convince my wife to drop the hammer on her son is, unfortunately, going to have to be something worse than what’s already happened. If he gets into this new school and it doesn’t work out, he’s going to have to go and live with with his father.

That may end up being a worse fate for him, but it will wake his ass up. I refuse to be pushed out of my house.

This kid is 16? Hey, that’s nothing. My best friend has a son who is 30 years old, and still doesn’t have a responsible/sensible bone in his body. His mom bails him out every time he screws up…which is every six months or so. (I talked about this in an earlier thread) I stopped even trying to have an honest discussion with her about how she enables his behavior–it always ends in an argument.

My theory is that she feels guilty, that’s it’s her fault, and she’ll do anything to help him get his act together. Right now, she’s footing about $10,000 for car repair and DUI penalties from his last incident. I think he’s got it figured out; why should he make any effort, when his mom will always be there to pull his fat, lazy ass out of the fire?

Good luck!!

Mr. Blue Sky

I FEEL your pain. I had a marraige break up from (what i suspect, never REALLY given a reason) differences in parenting/stepparenting styles. Give the same choices today I would try to remember that I am a STEP parent.

Please know my thoughts are with you, your wife and especially your toubled stepchildren in these difficult times.

I really can feel your pain, Blue.

I’m the easy going mom who wanted to believe that her son was just “making bad choices.” I helped him out a million times. He never would get his shit together because he knew I would always be there to bail him out.

I finally woke up and kicked him out at age 19. He ended up screwing up his probation and going to jail for 6 months. I still didn’t let him move back in when his time was up. He brought all this on himself! He’s trashed 2 cars that I bought him. (Not wrecked, just no maintenence.)

Anyway, I quit helping him. I’ve given him food on occasion, and he’s welcome to come over and eat or wash clothes anytime. But HE has to figure out how to get (and keep) a job with no car.

It’s working! He is a waiter at a decent restaurant that’s within walking distance of his apartment he shares with two other people. He’s struggling, but trying to succeed - at long last!.

Some kids need to learn the hard way, but it’s so hard to let them fall when you’re their buddy. Mom needs to grow up too, and be a real parent. If I learned, then she can, too.

Good luck to you and yours.

Hold on a sec! Smoking pot, underage drinking, sex and driving over the speed limit do not a felon make! I’ll be it you took a poll, a lot of people on these boards have done the same thing. And didn’t listen to the voice of experience or reason. And didn’t end up in jail. And turned out just fine.

I understand Mr. BlueSky’s concerns. I also understand his wife’s difficulty with seeing things the way he does. But let’s step back and evaluate the severity of his crimes and hold off on the sentencing. None of these infractions, separately or collectively, guarantee this kid to turn out to be a drain on society.

That’s true that not ALL kids turn out bad, but the ones that do (in my experience, YMMV), have started this way. It’s not so much what they do, but whether they learn from their mistakes. He really hasn’t so far.

For a 16 year old the things you mentioned are not all that bad. I do think your last statement about the next call she gets being from the morgue is way out of line. You should see what a real problem kid is like.

Sex at 12, yes, not a very smart decision, though he was at least responsible enough to use protection, that’s leaps and and bounds above some older kids having sex now a days.

Pot smoking at 16? Oh no! Will no one think of the children?!?!?!

Make it clear that it should NEVER happen in your house, and that if he gets caught he’s on his own coupled with some educated discussion on other drugs that will actually harm him, and well as the legal consequences of using pot and getting caught.

Drinking while driving is no joke. I would have confiscated his car and his driving privilidges would be revoked until I felt he understood his lesson.

Jeez I was atleast as bad as this kid (never got into serious trouble in school though) and I didn’t turn out so bad. I’m loving towards my family, I have a decent programming job, and I’m going to school for dentristy. Experimenting with pot and sex at a young age did not kill me.

Am I being naive, was I just lucky? Or is this kid in need of some discipline, but not some overeaction?

Perhaps, but if it gets him straightened out, I’ll live with it. Actually, I’ll live with it anyway. I’ve always been one to look at the extreme scenarios.

Probably a little of both.

Well, if the discipline had started 10 years ago, I believe we would very likely not be at this point today. But, disciplining him would have caused conflict and, as I stated early, my wife did not desire conflict. I, OTOH, can easily deal with it. Ignoring the rants and raves of a child is easy.

The bad ones definitely start out this way. But most of them will pull their head out of their ass before they do themselves or society any serious harm.

You’ve got a wild one on your hands. I don’t mean to minimize his behavior, but at this point, I wouldn’t call it the end of the world.

Does he have any particular talent that he’d like to develop? If there’s something he really enjoys, be it mechanics, art, music, what have you…pushing him into a more concentrated pursuit of that talent might take his mind off of being a butthead. Wishing you the strength to weather the storm.

He’s pretty good in sports, but because of his attitude (that is, not getting his way and losing his temper), he usually gets booted from whatever team he’s on. He was bringing his temper inline before the expulsion, though.

Other than that, he’s got nothing.

Have you ever considered martial arts?

It might be a hassle to find a dojo or salle with a decent teacher who will instill discipline and self control AND do a little ass kicking when needed, but if you do, it CAN do wonders. I’ve seen some of the most hot tempered, assholish people be transformed. It’ll give him an outlet for any stress he might be experiencieng, something to devote his time to, something that encourages a healthy mind and body, lots of good stuff here. Though it would have to be something he would be interested in.

Tried that already. In fact, the three of us did (him, his sister, and me) for about six months. He didn’t want to practice, so he quit.

Your wife has lost control of her son, and she’s not letting you help. You said she rescinds your punishments, to me, that’s a sign of disrespect. She keeps bailing him out, to me, that’s a sign she’s unwilling to admit she’s screwed up somewhere and she won’t allow him to fall on his ass. You said marriage counseling won’t help, to me, that’s a sign you’ve also given up trying to help him.

No, but the fact that his wife is unwilling to lay the hammer down, or allow Mr. Blue Sky to do so, is extremely troubling and does not bode well for this kid’s future. This kid is out of control, and unless his parents are willing to intervene, what hope does he have? He’s having fun and he doesn’t have to face the consequences. Why should he change?

Mr. Blue Sky, I’m sorry if I said anything to upset you. I am not urging you to leave your wife or give up on your stepson. I have two teenaged kids myself and I know how hard it is, even when the worst thing you have to worry about is bad grades. I wish you the best of luck, and please, move heaven and earth to help this boy before it’s too late.

She won’t admit defeat until she is actually defeated. She refuses to accept the fact that I might be right. I don’t know what more I can do.

This is what I’ve been harping on. As long as mommy is there, he’ll always have an out. When (or if) he hits 18, he’s going to have a heaping helping of reality to swallow and it ain’t gonna taste good.

I’m not upset. I’m aggravated and pissed off (but that’s normal for me :smiley: )

My wife is supposed to meet with the head of that other private school on Tuesday. I’ll post what happens then.

This is where the marriage counseling might help.

I can’t tell you how to deal with your wife, except to point out that what you’ve done so far hasn’t worked to help her see the light.

I’m sorry to hear that. I hope things improve.

Again, good luck.

Possibly, but in her current mindset, having a professional tell what I’ve told will not change her mind. Trust me on this. Like a person who’s addicted to a drug, she’s addicted to her denial.

She’s not ready to admit she has a problem.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate your (and every other Doper’s) input, but I know my wife and I know what she’s willing to do (and not do).

I just wanted to say that I fully agree with what Ivylass has said. This is a bad situation with “worse” written all over it. I would suggest that the counselling should be for you, Mr Blue Sky, to help you figure out what you can and can’t do, and what your role in this situation should be. What you’ve done hasn’t worked so far, and if I were you I would be extremely frustrated with this situation.

I believe we have family counseling avaialable at work. I may have to schedule an appointment.

I just wanted to comment on this–

A lot of these institutions have been investigated and found to be breeding rampant mental and physical abuse.