Posted by: Mary20783

Step-Son - 04/18/05 05:11 PM

Please don't discontinue the step-children thread. I just discovered this web sit yesterday and need help and advice on this subject. My story is a rather long one and I just tried to post it and it rejected me. If anyone is willing to listen and help me I would appreciate it beyond words.
This is the website I have looked for.
Mary--Step mother of 6 weeks to a 17 year old boy.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Step-Son - 04/18/05 06:18 PM

Mary, I'm glad you found us. I'm not sure what happened. If this post is here you should be able to post about about your step-son.

Why not give it another try?
Posted by: chickadee

Re: Step-Son - 04/18/05 06:20 PM

Mary, A warm welcome to you and so glad you found us. I am the mother of step children. I raised a little boy since he was five and six years ago, added two who are ages twenty one and twenty five. All three relationships are doing exceptionally well. I know lots of secrets, but many step parents refuse to listen. A book is in the works but you don't have to wait on that because I am here. I will be glad to help in ANY way I can. I don't have step - daughters but my biological children are female. I think my rules would apply for either sex. It all starts with us. Try posting it again and we'll help you down your path to becoming a happy step-mom.

chickadee, A.K.A. Mommy, Mom, Mum, Andria, Mother!!!...and sometimes "Whatever"! [Wink]
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Step-Son - 04/19/05 07:29 AM

Welcome friend. Please visit this site, and tell Kelly that Queen Jaw Jaw sent you. She's an expert in the step-family arena and is a kind and loving person. She would be happy to assist you, I am sure of it. Not only that, Chick-a-dee fits the same mold. So you can't lose here! I look forward to getting to know you better and once again, Welcome!

Posted by: Sherri

Re: Step-Son - 04/19/05 05:09 AM

I am also a step-mother, the kids are all grown now, but we started out pretty rocky. Thank God we are very very close now. Step daughter Heather and two step sons, Brian and Josh.

In my family, you could hear any of our 5 kids say "There aren't any steps in our family except the ones that go upstairs!" I feel fortunate.

Posted by: Mary20783

Re: Step-Son - 04/19/05 04:37 PM

Thank you all for such a warm and loving welcome to this website. Your words of comfort have brought me to tears. Never would I have thought that complete strangers would open their arms to me with such compassion. Browsing through this site perhaps I should have introduce myself in the proper thread first, but I did an goggle search with the horrible words, I want to kill my step-son. Through that search it lead me to this truly God sent website. I am so blessed to have found all of you and tomorrow when I have more time will explain my story. I am sure that their are a lot of people going through far worse problems than mine, but at this moment I feel completly overwhelmed and reaching a breaking point in my life. Again thanks to all of you.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Step-Son - 04/19/05 06:07 PM

You have found the right place! I'm also a stepmother or as I now call myself, a stepmonster. Two grown stepsons that have nothing to do with me, which I find the best way. So, vent away because I completely understand. Detachment works best for me!
Posted by: DallasGal

Re: Step-Son - 04/19/05 09:14 PM


Welcome - I know that we can help you, or at least direct you to the sources of help.

Some of the things I did before I got married was insist that my stepdaughter get into counseling to deal with issues re: her parents divorce and her relationship with her Mom.

Kaile was distant from her mom b/c of the circumstances surrounding her parent's divorce and her mom choosing to go live with another man and leaving her and her half sister from her mom's other marriage for my husband to raise.

Another thing I did was read everything I could on "blended families", Some of my best reads were:

"Stepwives : Ten Steps to Help Ex-Wives and Stepmothers End the Struggle and Put the Kids First" - This book helped me understand the relationship and conflicts between birth moms and step moms and to respect Kaile's Mom no matter how much of a "Momma Bear" she was and REQUIRE that Kaile respect her in front of me as well. (One time Kaile criticized her mom in front of me, and I looked at her and told her that she may not agree with what her mom did but she is NOT allowed to disrespect her mom in front of me or in my home - this had a two fold impact on Kaile, it established that I and Kaile's dad would NOT be criticizing her birth mom in front of or with Kaile, and also that the respect that we wanted her to show to Me, as her stepmom, was also required for ALL of her parents. Was this easy to do - no, it is a natural way of behaving for a stepmom to behave badly and criticize the "ex", the only problem is the "ex" is a "current" mom to all stepchildren). "Stepwives" helped me understand more about Kid's in divorce and how they are often "caught in the middle" and why they respond the way they do.

"Living In A Step-Family Without Getting Stepped On" by Dr. Kevin Leman - This book really helped indentify how a blended family "upsets" the nature way of life for BOTH families. Coming from our family with ALL Firstborns, I got quite a few chuckles as Dr. Leman had many "lightbulb" moments for our family as far as establishing a new family birth order and meeting the needs of our children inside of our blended family.

I know that if I had to base my love for my husband and the desire to fulfill the commitment of my marriage upon the initial attitude of my daughter, Kaile, when we(Me and Little K) first came into the picture, I would have never married my husband. I found that by praying for Kaile, my stepdaughter, and for God to show me ways to meet her needs, that it really strengthened our relationship.

Kaile at first was vicious - she attacked everything about me - my looks, my weight, even my voice (I am conference vocalist), said I was only after her dad for his money (even though I had more in the bank than he did), and etc., you name it it was attacked.

The thing is, when stepchildren lash out it is because of grief. It really is not personal against the new stepparent, it is their grief.

I have always defined grief as this way: Grief is the disruption of our heart as it beats and longs for what was. Grief is an interruption of the mind as we think about what once was.

Divorce does terrible things to children, and most of the terribleness is not seen until later, when teens or older/grown children are learning about love and relationships for themselves and are exploring the world of interpersonal relationships with some missing information on what actually makes for a good marriage. Most kids of divorce have never seen a marriage in which conflicts are resolved without shooting to kill in conflict. The odds decrease with every new marriage that they will learn new conflict-resolution skills, because parents forget that divorce is only a legal end to a past problem, and if not dealt with AFTER the divorce, the problems of each person just keep getting added into the "blended and extended" family until ALL problems are either dealt with or the stepfamily implodes.

Most parents/stepparents can't get beyond justifying the REASONS they are getting divorced or have got divorced or choose to get remarried, to recognize that there is a responsibility to the children/stepchildren that are part of the package.

Parents/Stepparents can't overlook the emotional needs of the child, even if the divorce is "years" before the new marriage. Many emotions from divorce are dormant in children, because they lack the skills necessary to process the emotions.

When I am talking to moms on Blended Family topics I say this: "Being a mother is the toughest job that you could ever love, Being a stepmother is an even tougher job because it is a struggle against all things natural to love."

Early on as a stepmom, I set boundaries for myself and my stepdaughter. I made the decision that I would let my husband discipline Kaile. If she was disrespectful to me, then her Dad would take care of it. I made it very clear to him that him stepping up to the plate in this area was honoring to me as his wife, as well as honoring to his daughter. By not letting bad behavior go unchecked just because it is a "tough topic", He would show his family love and concern, and cement in all of our minds that he was committed to making our blended family marriage work.

This does not mean that I would not hold my stepdaughter accountable. I would tell her that she had no right to disrespect me and that she had to give me at least the courtesy of a stranger. I didn't require her to like me, much less love me, but she could not call me names, or be disrespectful without consequences.

At one point, a few months into the marriage, we sat down with Kaile and explained to her that she would not be allowed to visit if she could not be civil and be respectful of both her dad and myself and her stepsister (less of a problem since she took to "sistering" easier) while she was in our home. We explained to her that her rights of expression ended at the point that our began. And that we had the right to have a peace-filled home that was a testimony to genuine caring, concern and love for everyone inside. If she choose to come into our environment, she would be choosing to give and recieve the same type of emotions/action. If she did not choose, then visits would be structured outside of our home and would be fewer and far between. We made it clear to Kaile that our marriage came first. We made her understand that we were not going to become a statistic and in doing so reinforce her fears of more people leaving, and further create conflict for her.

From day one, I had expectations for Kaile. She was to treat me with respect and when she didn't there were consequences. When she did, I rewarded her on a level between us, or my husband and I rewarded her together or my husband rewarded her himself. Rewards are verbal praise, expression of gratitude and sometimes gifts. Reward is a tough thing to do as a parent/stepparent when kids are "doing something they should be doing anyways", but it very important to reinforcing positive behaviors and diminishing negative behaviors. (Sometimes it was just something as simply "Thank you for coloring with Kayleigh")

I have also looked for ways to bond more with Kaile. At first I had the Stepmom-Cinderella mentality, that I was God-given to Kaile for a special purpose for her life. Although, I still believe this, I now recognize that magic doesn't happen overnight, I was not issued a magic wand and love doesn't grow in a single heartbeat at the words "I do". I never expected for the "motherly love" I have for Kayleigh, to magically appear with Kaile - I prayed for this love to come into my life, as I prayed specifically for Kaile and her needs, struggles and concerns. Last year, I began a monthly e-mail to Kaile called "Letters To Kaile On her Way To College" in these emails I do NOT talk about any frustrations, I don't vent, I simply talk about the journey ahead and reinforce to her that I am praying for her and that I support her decision to go to college and that I know she will be a success at whatever plans God has for her life.

I have learned from being a stepmom that whatever emotion I feed the most as a stepmom is what will grow. If I feed resentment from the horrible things she did in the past or when Kaile in her immaturity, grief, anger, confusion somehow hurts me, my resentment will grow. If I feed the mothering instinct, the role of nurturer and mentor, that will grow.

Response is a choice.

I choose to realize that the relationship between my stepdaughter and my husband is the most important relationship to ensure the happiness in our blended family. When Kaile visits there is always at least several hours (4-5) that is only Dad/Daughter time. These special times were tough at first to "let go" and "let be". But they were necessary for our family. These times were more important in the initial years that ALL of us being together.

We even practice Dad/Daughter, Mom/Daughter, Dad/Son, Mom/Daughter date nights for the reason of strengthening each part to strengthen the whole.

Mary, I hope that you are strengthened as a Stepmom and realize that there is hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and this too shall pass.

When I get emails back from my daughter, Kaile, that say "love, Kaile" or "I am sorry I didn't notice what a wonderful person you were before. I am glad God put you in my life" - my heart SOARS!!! I know that had I not made the choices that I did early on regarding my boundaries as a stepmom and placing expectations on Kaile, this would have never happened.

Another website resource opening up beginning May 2005 is "Surviving The Blender"(TM) on, I will be heading up this area with a team of Christian writers to help stepmoms in their Mom relationships with their children/stepchildren.
Posted by: Mary20783

Re: Step-Son - 04/20/05 08:03 PM

Yet again many thanks to all of you for your insight, experiences, wisdom, and caring that you have shown me.
Time for my story. I have been married to a wonderful man for 14 years. Both of us went through tough divorces before finding each other.
By choice I never had any children during my first marriage. My husband came into the relationshp with a 15 year old daughter from a his late teens years. He and his Mom raised her from her 2nd birthday. He later married a woman with 3 girls, then they had a girl of their own.
His 15 year old girl and I hit it off right from the start. We became close friends and remain so after all these years. During his relationship with his wife, mind you that union now has 4 girls in it they took guardianship of an infant boy who was born addicted to drugs. He was the child of the first wife's sister who literally left him on their door step. My husband has no blood relationship with the boy or 3 of the girls. Yes, very confusing. That marriage only last 2 years, so my husband never had any time to fully bond with the boy and the 'mother', the now ex-wife turned everyone against my husband.
It's very obvious to me that after being with my husband for 14 years that he is not the monster the ex claimed he was. He also has an excellent realionship with his oldest daughter from that early relationship.
Through the years we have always sent his biological daughter and the boy presents and cards for every major occasion, the kids living with the ex-wife. When we lived in the area they would also come for visits. After we moved away we also had them visit us on school breaks.
The thanks that we recieved from all of our efforts was non-existanct. Never once did they call my husband on his birthday, Father's Day, Christmas and so on. We never received an acknowledgement of their cards or gifts. Nothing!
3 months ago, the 'son' (remember he was never adopted or has any bloodline to my husband, and we haven't heard from them in 9 years now) called and said he was in trouble and needed a place to live. My husband called his ex-wife and she explained the situation. Here is a bit of the problems: He's 17 years old and had failed the 10th grade, then got expelled from school when he went to repeat the grade the next year for threatning a teacher. At first he was allowed to stay at home during the day while his 'mom' and sister were at work, the older daughters had left the nest. After he had stolen money and items from the home he was made to leave the house each day while no one was home to watch over him. Then he started stealing from the homes of his friends. No one ever pressed charges. At some point he just had to find his biological mother, the sister of the woman who was raising him as her own. He found out that she litterally was a whore on the streets and still a drug addict. She had over 5 children from various men through the years. His bio-father is in jail.
My husband and I discussed it and decided to give the boy a chance away from his current enviroment to give him a fresh start. Yes we did go out on a limb since we weren't related to him, and me, the motherless child by choice, but I agreed. The major reason I agreed is that I was adopted 52 years ago by the most wonderful 2 parents anyone could ever ask for. I was and am truly blessed. Both of them are still alive at 86 and 90, a present from God! So I thought is was my turn to 'give back' the blessing I had been given by being adopted. So he came to live with us 6 weeks ago.
It has been my worse nightmare come true. Yes DallasGal I too had the Cinderella mentality. I thought at long last I would have a son to take to baseball games, to pal around with while my husband was at work. I was dead wrong. He is lazy, shiftless, self-centered and a slob. He has no respect for our home. The only thing we have asked of him is to keep his room picked up and the guest bathroom that he now uses clean.
None of that was and is on his agenda. He lost his first job in 3 hours. So far this second job has lasted 9 days, but he gets paid today and we'll see if he then quits. He is extremely disrecptful to me, he leaves a mess in the kitchen, and until I put my foot down, blarred the TV in the living room whenever he was home.
We bought him his own TV, VCR etc (used) for his room. Now he has removed the DVD player from our bedroom along with a boom box thing from my computer/relaxtion room. He just takes whatever he wants from us and places it in his room.
The finally straw for me was when he had spilled his drink all over the kitchen floor and I asked him to please clean up after himself as he was walking away from the mess. He turned back to me and told me to clean up his mess. Then he got right in my face and started screaming at me.
He was nasty and ugly. Basically he stated he didn't care a dam about me, this house or anything or anyone but my husband. He didn't care about the rules we laid out and wasn't going to live my them. I let him have his say and somehow or another told him that it wasn't important if we never became friends, but he would respect me, and he would respect this home, that he would do the simple tasks required of him.That I had the full backing of my husband and we would discuss this later with him. When I told my husband about it late that night after he returned from work, to say he was livid was an understatement. He wanted to snatch the kid up and throw him out that door right then and there. We talked about the outrage further and decided to have a family meeting the next night.
The jist of the meeting was, that he would respect us, the house and would follow the rules or he had the choice of leaving then. If he ever got in my face again that he would be asked to leave the house immediately. I am so very thankful that my husband took my side of the arguement. The fact is he knew the 'rules' of the house before he ever came down here and agreed to them, yet now he doesn't care.
My husband feels that no man ever should disrespect a woman and scream and yell at her for any reason. We have never had a realtionship that included screaming, we calmly talk out any probems that we may have. In the last 6 weeks I can't tell you how many times my husband has lost his temper with the boy. As a matter of fact I never knew my husband had a temper as such until the kid moved in. My 3 cats, who are my babies, sorry if I offend anyone, they have never been so scared and skiddish since we got them. The tension is constant, I walk around on eggshells when the child is home. My husband is a manager of a retail store so his hours differ from day to day. Before the boy moved in we had what I termed the perfect little life. We adore each other and or little home that we have struggled for and I had the 3 cats in the yard life....they are indoor cats by the way, but I think you know what I mean.
I truly wanted this to work out with all my heart when he walked through our door, but I will say now, I just wish he would disappear from our life. I have to take medication for high blood pressure now. I have lost 15 pounds due to the stress and the worse thing of all is I fell off the wagon and started smoking again.
So that's the story, sorry it's so long.
Diane thank you for the invitation to vent.
To all of you thank you for the advice and the other websites that I can check out. Your guidance has been most valuable and priceless to me. To know that there are other women out there who care and are willing to take their time to help me is a blessing.
Posted by: unique

Re: Step-Son - 04/20/05 10:15 PM

Mary, That kid needs to go. Where he goes and what he does is HIS problem. But he is causing you problems, very serious ones at that. At 17 he isn't a child any more and really, there isn't anything you can do for him. HE has to make up his mind and so far all he's decided is to be a user and a loser and a sponge. I wish I could get the sweet deal he's fallen into and I'll tell ya, I pick up after myself and I'd be so grateful I'd pick up after you, too!!! You live in Florida, maybe the Boys Ranch has a place for him. For your own sake, do it soon.
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Step-Son - 04/20/05 11:19 PM

I was also going to suggest a boys ranch or one of those wilderness ranches.

He isn't your obligation. He sounds scary to me. I'm with Unique, kick him out.
Posted by: Mary20783

Re: Step-Son - 04/21/05 02:04 AM

Diane, Unique, you are both so right. I am scared to death of him. I carry a scuba diving knife which cam cause some serious damage in my pocket all day in case he attacks me. I have a huge butcher knife on my night stand and one under the couch where I watch TV in what I call 'my room'. This room is where my desk,computer,radio etc that I use when my husband is at work. It is also the cat room, food, litter etc. It is my soliace and the boy knows this room and of course our bedroom is off limits.
My saving grace is he does work 10-3 everyday.
Unique, yes I do live in Florida and will try and check out the Boys Ranch that you have spoken of. I did a lot of reserach in the FLA gov't website and the programs that are offered there do not apply to us because he has not hurt us, or does drugs, drink, or been arrested.
Thank you both so much....It gives me that warm snugglie feeling to know that you two are taking your time to help me. Just having someone that I can spill my true feelings without holding back has been such a releif and blessing. You two have shown such friendship to a perfect stranger.
Thank you!

[ April 20, 2005, 07:07 PM: Message edited by: Mary20783 ]
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Step-Son - 04/21/05 03:15 AM

It's my pleasure so don't thank me.

This is no way to live. It's your home. He needs help that you can't give him. Sad but true. You didn't create this monster and it isn't up to you to uncreate him.

Maybe you could take on a little sister in the Big Sister program instead.
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Step-Son - 04/21/05 03:34 AM

I am appalled to know that in your once happy home you feel forced to be armed. The question is if he did attack you would you be willing to use those weapons? Having them is one thing, using them is quite another. This boy sounds mentally unstable and could just snap for any reason. I agree with the women that say get him out of your home. What if its your husband he goes after? Life is too short and neither of you owes this young man anything, you have more than done your part and still he is unincorigable. Young men have killed entire fanilys, pets too, so do something NOW before you become a statistic. [Frown]
Posted by: smilinize

Re: Step-Son - 04/21/05 03:55 AM

The thefts and all sounds like he might be using drugs. And drugs (both prescribed and illegal) can physiologically suppress the frontal lobe of the brain where certain immoral and illegal acts such as theft and even murder are controlled.
This boy sounds very dangerous to me. I would fear that he might somehow get the gun and use it on you or himself.
It might be time to get the legal system involved and make it a priority to get him out of your home and keep him out before he can cause more problems.
The Bible says we are to love others as we love Ourselves. There comes a time when we have to love ourselves enough to survive so we can love others.
Saying a prayer for your family.
Posted by: Mary20783

Re: Step-Son - 04/21/05 10:20 PM

My husband doesn't think that the boy will do anything to physically to harm us, that I may be over reacting. The truth is we don't know if would or not. Yesterday was his first pay day and he spent all of his paycheck on himself instead of paying $25.00 a week that he originally agreed to and paying us back some of the monies we have spent on him. He also was suppose to send money back home for his debts. My husband has new guidelines to lay down with him on his first day off, Monday. I feel the boy is just a homeless person living in a room now. I am void of feelings for him. My fears have died down a bit, for now. We'll see what next week brings.
I am trying to think the saying Let Go...Let God.
Thank you for your support and prayers
Posted by: unique

Re: Step-Son - 04/21/05 11:36 PM

Mary, do you have a trusted friend, clergyman, mental health advocate or someone the 3 of you could sit down and talk with? Someone that could help him plan for his future. Does he even have any plans, or is he just 'existing'? So many people have dreams and goals but have no idea how to reach them. The 'disinterested' party can be a few different things if involved, safety for you, someone with ideas for him, another person to help hold the young man accountable to do what he says he wants to do. I would recommend clergy or a counselor - someone who has had experience with this type of situation. Of course, if the young man says, 'I wanna be a 'spongebob' all my life.' - you can say...'hey, you're outa here!' Good luck. Let us know how it's working out. Chatty took the words out of my mouth - - I don't want you to be a statistic!! People are just so unpredictable these days!
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Step-Son - 04/22/05 04:09 AM

I hate to say this but your husband is behaving like an ostrich with its head in the sand: No one thought the Mendez brothers would kill their parents you can ask them, ooops no their both dead. I can go on and on naming examples of kids that have killed Grandparents, Parents, Sibblings and all that heard about it were amazed. You dear lady have signs and they are jumping up and down screaming at you to do something NOW!! He isn't worth this. [Mad]
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Step-Son - 04/23/05 07:14 AM

Mary, I believe it's time to get a professional involved. Even if it's just for you to get guidance on what to do for him.

I appreciate your tender heart and reasoning for allowing him to come stay with you. But so often, tender hearts get broken because people take advantage of them.

I will pray for you, and I will also pray for him. This situation needs divine intervention.
Posted by: chickadee

Re: Step-Son - 04/23/05 08:05 PM

Yes it is definately time to get a professional involved.

Your family meeting was the day before this young man got paid and he disregarded his responsibility to pay the rent or anything towards expenses. I would make sure you have ANY valuable keepsakes hidden, as he may retaliate against you if he decides to leave on his own and needs fast cash/quick cash items, jewelry etc.

If only you and your husband could convince him to get some counselling. You mentioned his biological parents weren't around for him. I guess he was disappointed when he found out one was on the street addict and another in jail/prison. He may be old enough to act right and know better, but I can only imagine some of his pain.

If he had been raised like you Mary, what a lucky young man he would be. It seems his trouble started the day he was born. He didn't have a chance. Parents, broken home, etc. He is probably lashing out because he feels he doesn't deserve the love you are trying to give him. It's something he's not used to yet. Did you consider sitting with him and talking about how you were both raised by others and talk about the similarities and differences. It is something you BOTH have in common. (A common link may be the connection to gain some trust in your genuine concern for him?)

It still doesn't give him a right to treat you and your husband this way. I have added all of you to my daily prayer list. Please keep us posted. May it turn out that you are this young man's new best friend.

Posted by: Mary20783

Re: Step-Son - 04/24/05 02:21 AM

Chick, Yes I did tell him my story about being adopted and he could have cared less, he actually walked out of the kitchen while I was talking. This morning while I was out my husband told the boy that there would be a family meeting on my husband's next day off. The child is not working today and has been home all day and has been too nice. I think he's scared of another meeting. He should be. I went to the bakery store where he works today and did not seek out this young lady, but she came to me and started talking about all the bad things the boy has been doing on the job. With that information and some papers he left laying out, words to a song he was writing I've made the decision to tell my husband he has to go, now! That will happen on my husband's next day off, Monday I pray. I have found 6 different places either for kids who are troubled or homeless shelters that he can take him too. I refuse to live any longer in fear of my life. He can live there until he gets his next paycheck on May 4th and buy his own ticket anywhere he wants to go. We do not have the money to buy the ticket ourselves. We literally live paycheck to paycheck with no savings.
Thank you for adding us to your prayer list, that means so much to me, you'll never know!
You all are the best.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Step-Son - 04/25/05 06:56 PM

Today is a big day for you. I'm remembering you in prayer.

There's a part of me that aches for this young man. I hope he gets the help he needs.I have a place in my heart for lost teens. I'll put him there and keep him in prayer.
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Step-Son - 04/25/05 08:09 PM


My son came home from school one day,
with a smirk upon his face.
He decided he was smart enough,
to put me in my place.

"Guess what I learned in Civics Two,
that's taught by Mr. Wright?
It's all about the laws today,
The 'Children's Bill of Rights.'

It says I need not clean my room,
don't have to cut my hair
No one can tell me what to think,
or speak, or what to wear.

I have freedom from religion,
and regardless what you say,
I don't have to bow my head,
and I sure don't have to pray.

I can wear earrings if I want,
and pierce my tongue & nose.
I can read & watch just what I like,
get tattoos from head to toe.

And if you ever spank me,
I'll charge you with a crime.
I'll back up all my charges,
with the marks on my behind! .

Don't you ever touch me,
my body's only for my use,
not for your hugs and kisses,
that's just more child abuse.

Don't preach about your morals,
like your Mama did to you.
That's nothing more than mind control,
And it's illegal too!

Mom, I have these children's rights,
so you can't influence me,
or I'll call Children's Services Division,
better known as C.S.D."

Of course my first instinct was
to toss him out the door.
But the chance to teach him a lesson
made me think a little more.

I mulled it over carefully,
I couldn't let this go.
A smile crept upon my face,
he's messing with a pro.

Next day I took him shopping
at the local Goodwill Store.
I told him, "Pick out all you want,
there's shirts & pants galore.

I've called and checked with C.S.D.
who said they didn't care
if I bought you K-Mart shoes
instead of those Nike Airs.

I've canceled that ap! pointment
to take your driver's test.
The C.S.D. is unconcerned< BR>so I'll decide what's best."

I said "No time to stop and eat,
or pick up stuff to munch.
And tomorrow you can start to learn
to make your own sack lunch.

Just save the raging appetite,
and wait till dinner time.
We're having liver and onions,
a favorite dish of mine."

He asked "Can I please rent a movie,
to watch on my VCR?"
"Sorry, but I sold your TV,
for new tires on my car.

I also rented out your room,
you'll take the couch instead.
The C.S.D. requires
just a roof over your head.

Your clothing won't be trendy now,
I'll choose what we eat.
That allowance that you used to get,
will buy me something neat.

I'm selling off your jet ski,
dirt-bike & roller blades.
Check out the 'Parents Bill of Rights',
It's in effect today!

Hey hot shot, are you crying,
Why are you on your knees?
Are you asking God to help you out,
instead of C.S.D..?"
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Step-Son - 04/25/05 08:37 PM

Oh my. I love this. Truly love this!
Posted by: DallasGal

Re: Step-Son - 04/26/05 02:32 AM

That was GREAT! =)
Posted by: DallasGal

Re: Step-Son - 04/26/05 03:57 AM


Situations like this are never easy - but this statement of yours says a lot:

"The fact is he knew the 'rules' of the house before he ever came down here and agreed to them, yet now he doesn't care."

Your stepson is making a choice to behave the way he is behaving.

The worst thing to do is not enforce the rules and to not insist and enforce discipline to teach your stepson that disrespect is not allowed.

From the sounds of it, he is in definite need of counseling

It is sad, but at the same time, bad behavior esculates if not checked and held to accountability.

For example, He is taking your and your husband's things to see if he will get a reaction from you all. He should get a reaction, and I hope you are or will be giving him the reaction of taking your things back from his room, while at the same time pulling his privilege of having his own TV and VCR for several weeks (I would do one week for EACH item he took).

He is looking for discipline - give it to him.

You and your husband can also get together and make a contract and have him sign a contract that clearly spells out "This is what we expect" (A) and This is what happens if you do A (B - your reward/privileges/rights), If you do not do A, then this is what happens (C - Your discipline/your lack of rewards/privileges/rights). You and your husband sign this contract as well as your son. Before signing, ask your son's opinion on the items in the contract. If he is a sulky boy and doesn't answer, then the contract stands as is. If he gets beligerent and answers irrationally or immaturely, simply state that you are trying to treat him as a 17 year old and give him the choice to participate in the process, if he chooses to give up his choice by yelling/screaming/being disrespectful the contract stands as is. Once signed, you all are now accountable to the contract of living and home arrangements and no one (your son) can say in the future "I didn't know", "I didn't understand" or "You all are being unfair".

Discipline is not punishment. Punishment is a retaliation, discipline is a loving action that shows a child that as a parent you care enough to care that they know the difference between right and wrong and consciously choose right over wrong.


If the discipline does not work

There is also another resource that may possibly be available for your family in Florida

National House of Hope

The have a House of Hope in Orlando Florida

I also, again, would highly recommend that you get into Christian counseling in your area for both your stepson as well as a family so that as a family you can help your son, through a counselor's direction how to develop better interpersonal and interrelational skills all stemming from an active conscience and learned empathy.

I would also recommend purchasing a home drug test from your local CVS/Walmart/Pharmacy and insist on testing him...every month or every two weeks if you suspect any possibility of drug use. Plan ahead through your insurance company if you feel drugs are involved so that he is checked immediately into a rehab if he tests positive.

Also, I really, really, really like some advice the Dr. Phil gave to a family with an out of control kid - strip the room down to one bed, with a mattress, one blanket, one pillow and two changes of clothes and let him EARN his stuff back over time (time being months) of good behavior. Dr. Phil said that we as parents give our children too much with too little expectations. (amen!)

Someone at some point has to show him what is character and how you build it. You do not build good character by disrespecting others.

Mary, I believe that you and your husband were not put in this situation without a reason and although there is a time to "tough love" and kick a kid out for non-compliance, I don't think you all are at the point IMO. You all just haven't put the full strength of your parenting power into the picture.

If he cannot pick up after himself and clean up his messes - he doesn't determine when and what he eats, you all do. If he wants to act like a two year old regarding food then give him the privileges of a two year old, which is to be on a feeding schedule as recommended by the Assoc. for Pediatric Medicine which is every 3-4 hours.

Make it clear to him that you all love him, but do NOT love his behavior, and it is his behavior that needs to change.

He needs someone to hold him accountable - this means if he steals, press charges; if he lies, ground him, if he takes things that are not his but keeps them in the house - remove all items that are not his plus remove the same number of items that are his and put them in "time out" for one week per # of items.

When he "wins the war" by getting your husband to yell or you to smoke or do other self-destructing behaviors to either one of you or your marriage, then you both are GIVING up the power of your parenting. You retain control when you maintain your power. You maintain your power when instead of "falling off the wagon" and starting to smoke again(which is you HURTING you) you choose to instead of smoking use exercise to lower your stress levels and blood pressure.

(For exercise: Highly recommend sex with hubby - not only does 15 min of foreplay and 20 minutes of sex burn 125 calories for the average weight female, you also get the fringe benefit of focusing on the most important relationship in the house and getting the benefit of activating hormones that naturally reduce stress through sexual contact.)

You maintain power when you vent with a counselor and you respond to your son with solid strength. (Even when you don't feel strong.)

As your husband and yourself are true to what you believe is right and wrong and follow through enforcing the rules, not feeling sorry for the kid who has been through so much, and follow through (is there an echo? <big grin>) then you will have a better behaved kid.

If you don't believe me - Talk to Dr. Laura =)
Posted by: Mary20783

Re: Step-Son - 04/26/05 03:52 PM

Jaw Jaw,
Where in the world did you get the Don't Mess with Mom poem? I love it. Can I copy and pass on to friends and family?
Diane and Dotsie, Thank you for your prayers.
Dallas-Gal, We have tried many of your ideas. He did sign a 'contract' the first day he was here, and then I had him re-read it and re-sign and date a month later. We did take things from him when his behavior required it.
My huband tried the military type approach. Chanting like a Marine will racking leaves, push ups for bad behavior. Phone priviledges revoked, and so on.
I've not been able to log on for a few days due to the following:
Saturday morning a dear friend and I went to the Bakery where he worked to support him and say hello...he didn't show up for work. A teen who worked their stopped by the table to say hello and was very chatty. Here are a few things that she brought to my attention that we didn't know about. The boy had been late to work several times and when questioned, argued about it with his managers. He was stealing food that they were required to pay for. He couldn't ever understand how to use the ordering/cashier register, so they had him on clean up, of course we never heard about that one. He told the teens there he had been a drug dealer in NY. His bio-father was a rap star, that the reason he wasn't in school was because he had a 4.0 grade average and had already graduated. Talked about how many women he had done, and on and on.
There are several more, but here is ONE of the worse. He had sexual harrassed 3 girls and the girls had brought it to the attention of the managers. They spoke to the boy, but didn't fire him, go figure. The last thing she said I'll get to in a second..
Later that day the boy came home and after beating around the bush for 45 minutes told me he had gotten fired. Yikes, what was I to do. My husband wouldn't be home until after 11:00pm and due to the nature of his business and the amount of people on schedule he just couldn't leave the job....From my heart I truly believed it would be best not to call him home. I just acted like the perfect person and listened to him ramble while fixing the kid the best dinner. The boy knew that if my husband found out about losing his job, that would be the final straw. So he was making up this plan that he would leave for work as usual and as soon as my husband left for work he would come back home. (My husband's schedule changes daily) The kid stated that if I told my husband he would take it out on me!
Sunday The boy left for work before my husband. That gave us a bit of time to talk. My husband said if the boy got home before he could get home, to lock him out because he didn't want me in the home by myself. My husband sent me to the bus station to buy him a one-way, non-refundable ticket up north where his family lived. With the ticket in my hand I went ahead and counted the hours before the kid came home. I did let him in after he got home from work and I was so sweet and nice I should have won an award. Hubby got home and I only then told him the last thing the girl at the bakery told me...The boy had a hit list, and I was at the top of the list and as soon as he got paid, which would have been this Wednesday he was going to buy a gun and take me out. My husband went in the kids room, snatched him off the bed told him to pack up while he stood over him watching. During the packing process my huband never once raised his hand to him, or his voice. He went through the grocery list of everything he had or had not done, what I had learned about him at the Bakery, the words to rap songs he had written about killing people, and about his hit list and me being the first one. He took him to the bus station and waited there with him for 4 hours before the bus was scheduled to leave. Made sure he got on the bus and waited for the bus to leave and actually followed the bus out of town to make sure it made it to the interstate without the kid getting off the bus.
When he got home at midnight, he called the boy's mother, the ex-wfie and warned her he was coming home. The child was way beyond any help we could have given him. He was too set in his mind for us to have changed it at all. He needs professional help and the 'real' family their for him. We have no blood relationship to him at all and the boy made sure we knew it many times during he 2 months he lived here.
So ladies, he is gone from our life's. He will not be allowed to return ever in his life.
It's Over!
Without your friendship, and kind caring words and most of all your advice I never would have had the strength to make it through this last week. You have been priceless. You have pointed out so many issues to me and helped me realize the path we had to take, especially after he was making threats on my life. Sleeping with a butcher knife at hand is not the type of life anyone should ever have to go through.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. If ever we should hear about him I will write an upate.
Love ya all,
PS After reading this some may wonder why we didn't call the police. Neither of us have the strength to go through such an ordeal. Lawyers, family and friends being affected through our own pain. Who knows, possible new media coverage.
My blood pressure was off the charts and am now on medicaiton. I've lost over 20 pounds without even dieting for a second. My disabilities have kicked into high gear. The child is not our responsibility.
My husband did advise the ex-wife to call the police if he came and got violent at her home and not to let the child back in her house. That ex has an explosive personality and could phsycially handle herself, whereas I could never deffend myself other than using an item like a knife to protect myself. The ex-wife notified her daughters do to the same. We called my husband's 30 year old daughter and told her the story. Don't let him through the door. We do not know how to reach his biological family to let them know he was returning.
Posted by: jawjaw

Re: Step-Son - 04/26/05 06:16 PM

You are a brave woman, and your husband is a good man. Don't you think God led you to the bakery that day? Otherwise...

In my opinion, you did everything possible. I hope peace returns to you and your husband soon, and that your life becomes what it was before THE SON...what a scary and frightening way to have to live. You lasted much longer than I would have. My best to you both, JJ
Posted by: DallasGal

Re: Step-Son - 04/26/05 10:08 PM


Sounds like you and your husband did the best and only things left available to you...and are now needing some R&R.

Enjoy each other and your home, exercising =) and relaxing together.

Warm regards,
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Step-Son - 04/27/05 12:17 AM

The two of you handled this situation in an exceptional fashion. The young man was given every opportunity to better his life with loving and generous people. There is such a thing as a "bad seed" and nothing anyone does can change it. Life is too short and precious. Now you can relax and use the time to lessen your blood pressure and enrich you and your husbands lives. You tried, thats all anyone can expect...Thank God your safe.
Posted by: Mary20783

Re: Step-Son - 04/27/05 05:02 PM

Thank you ladies for your kind words and support.
We are slowly returning to 'normal'. The engery level stripped from us during the last 2 months is returning too. We are actually planning on doing something social today out of the house, now that we can safely leave the house without fear of destruction.
Yes, Jaw Jaw I truly feel that God had me visit the bakery that day in order for my life to be saved from the boy. Can I print off your "Don't Mess with Mom" poem, or perhaps email to friends?
It's great and more of the world needs to see it.
Thank you for your support. If we ever hear about him or from him, I'll send out an update.
Let Go...Let God
Posted by: Dianne

Re: Step-Son - 04/27/05 05:52 PM

Mary, I'm so happy to hear that your world is back to normal, whatever normal is!

All you can do is pray for this boy. He has to want help too. Such a sad story but not one you created nor can you fix. You're a good person.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Step-Son - 04/28/05 12:22 AM

Mary, wow...I could hardly breathe while reading your post. Jawjaw is right, by the grace of God you heard what you needed so you could feel better about the dicision to send him on his way.

Sit back, relax, and find comfort in knowing you tried to make a difference, but his heart was too hardened.

I will continue to pray for him because the only thing that can set him on the right path is divine intervention through someone who is gifted at working with youth. Perhaps he will find a home for boys and someone there will be able to make a difference.

Bless you for trying.
Posted by: Mary20783

Re: Step-Son - 04/28/05 05:39 PM

Diane and Dotsie,
Thank you for your continued prayers, we too are praying for the boy. We finally did something social yesterday, first time in 2 months. My husband want his "fix" of love from my folks so we spent the afternoon and evening with them. We are so blessed to have them here in FLA and still very active for their age. I have regained the energy that was stressed out of my life and am ready to move one now. That door has closed, another one will open. Moving on....
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Step-Son - 04/29/05 10:34 PM

Good for you! Isn't it amzing what stress can do to you?

I've never had hives in my life, but I broke out with red, itchy splotches during a stressful time in recent years. Crazy, huh?
Posted by: chatty lady

Re: Step-Son - 05/01/05 01:56 AM

Everything I have read also says stress it what can cause an otherwise trim person to have a thick waist or tummy area. It of course adds to one thats already heavy. In my case I know thats a fact. [Wink]
Posted by: wordcharmer

Re: Step-Son - 05/25/05 06:38 PM

Hi Mary,
As someone who raised 4 kids and 4 step kids, my heart goes out to you. I know how hard it must have been on you. I did not survive it unscathed.
You absolutely did the right thing. I'm glad your life is back on track now.

As a child abuse survivor, my heart also goes out to this young man. I always try to look at how he became so mean spirited. What could have happened to him to make him hate the world? I hope you don't mind, but after I read your story this morning, I wrote a poem. Not necessarily about this young man. It could be about many of the lost children of today. I hope that's OK. Here is the poem:

Bad Seed

My mother was a crack head.
My father’s in a prison cell,
so when I was just a little boy
my life was a living hell.

My mother sold her body
to pay for all her drugs,
but when she couldn’t pay for them
I got beat up by her thugs.

My birthdays were nothing special,
and at Christmas there were no toys.
I never knew what love was,
like other girls and boys.

At school the children laughed at me
when my clothes were dirty and torn.
Some days I’d just stay home and hide
and wish I’d never been born.

My childhood was a nightmare,
so to survive I made the choice
to fight back with an attitude,
but no one really heard my voice.

So I kicked, I spit, I cursed.
I lashed out with my fists.
I stole from them, I laughed at them,
but to them, I didn’t exist.

They said I was an unconscionable child,
that I must have been a bad seed.
I told them to look in the mirror
to see why I agreed.

They taught me everything I knew
and then they dared to say,
that I’d end up in the gutter or worse,
maybe I’d die someday.

So I took the next bus out of town
since they rejected me.
I didn’t know what the future held,
only that I was free.

That was thirty years ago
and when I look back I see,
a little boy who only wanted
a chance to simply be

a child like all the other kids
with homes and a mom and dad
who cared enough to love their child
even when he was bad.

The only thing I was guilty of
was not knowing what to do,
when the ones who bring you into the world
don’t know how to care for you.

I could have asked for help back then,
but in my mind there was no need,
when they looked into my eyes that day
and said “Boy, you’re a bad seed…”

© 2005 S. M. J.
Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Step-Son - 05/26/05 07:29 AM

Love it. It's so true. Poor innocent children brought into this world to survive alone. It shouldn't be allowed.

wordcharmer, write a sequel poem and tell us what happens to him.

Have you read any of Dave Pelzer's books? I read a couple with my daughter. What a survivor her is!
Posted by: wordcharmer

Re: Step-Son - 05/26/05 07:39 AM

I'll do that Dotsie. It might take more than the twenty minutes that one took! Lol!

Yes, I have read them. He is a true survivor, but there are so many others whose stories are just as awful as his, but are never heard. That's why I started writing articles on the topic of child abuse.

I also wanted to add that I hope the poem does not make anyone feel guilty. My hope is that it will help us see the story from the eyes of a child. Even an incorrigible child, or ones who seems hopeless. Then when we do, maybe we can find solutions.
Posted by: wordcharmer

Re: Step-Son - 05/25/05 08:19 PM

Have it!

Tending The Garden

“Bad seed” they said, but I proved them wrong.
There are no bad seeds you see,
only circumstances that change us all
from what we were meant to be.

When left to grow without much care,
a bad seed will still grow,
and even can be taught to bloom
in the light of love’s sweet glow.

I never saw my parents again,
but I think they’d be proud of me.
I went back to school and studied hard
to get my high school degree.

Then I took a job and met a girl,
and today she is my wife.
We raised three kids and bought a home
and have a pretty good life.

It took a while but finally
I learned before it was too late,
if you are born from a rotten fruit,
it does not seal your fate.

Without nurturing and guidance
all you’ll cultivate is a weed,
but love can turn it into a flower,
even if it’s from a bad seed.

© 2005 S. M. J.
Posted by: chickadee

Re: Step-Son - 05/26/05 05:02 PM

I enjoyed your poem and the sequel too. My heart goes out to the little ones who never get a chance to be loved.

Posted by: Dotsie

Re: Step-Son - 05/27/05 07:01 AM

wcharmer. how long have you been writing poetry? You're amazing. Wow!
Posted by: Sherri

Re: Step-Son - 05/27/05 07:13 AM

Wordcharmer, what wonderful words of hope. Yes, you can rise above the way you were raised. I'm living proof of it.
Posted by: wordcharmer

Re: Step-Son - 05/27/05 03:06 AM

chick, thank you. There are so many children who don’t know that someone does love them…

Dotsie, I am almost 56 and have been writing since I was a teenager. I keep a file and so far it has about 1000 of my poems recorded. I have not recorded all the poems I've ever written. Some are packed away in attic trunks. Maybe I'll get that done before my fingers become to gnarled to type! Lol!

Sherri, Thank you. Yes, I am too. I am an incest and abuse survivor.

Thanks for your kind words everyone.
Posted by: Bubbles

Re: Step-Son - 01/16/06 11:51 PM

Sounds like my life, although our "darling" is 14. But I'm seriously considering a handgun (could use it for work for safety purposes) and having it on me all the time. I am terrified of knives so couldn't do that. I am beginning to react out of fear and get into survival mode. It sucks, doesn't it? Everything has to be their way all the time. When they want something, it's so extreme a response if he doesn't get it. I just want him to go away. Can't wait until he isn't here ~ it sounds so awful. But I can totally understand. Once we were lucky to have him placed for observation for four months in a facility, felt like heaven. Our story is posted in a new post that I just placed today.