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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist and RN
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  35 years experience counseling children and families
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We have a 50/50 custody with my 16 year old stepson. He is

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We have a 50/50 custody with my 16 year old stepson. He is in 10th grade in high school having grade problems.On friday when he was at his mother house I called him asking why he didnt turn in his projects due to school and why he called in sick. He right away got upset for confronting him in a lie and I told him he will not be having internet service at our home for one whole weekend for lying and not turning in homework on time. Last night was my first time seeing him since the phone call and he completely shut down on me. Did not want dinner and did not want me in his room. He did not yell at me just told me to please leave his room. He is angry with me. What does this mean? is he embarrass? or mad that I called the shots of his punishment for lying?
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,

I want to premise my thoughts by telling you that I have been in this situation personally and I am going to give you the same advice that I received. I felt glad and relieved when I received this advice and I am hoping that you will too.

That is, let the biological parent do the disciplining. Your already at a disadvantage being a step-parent because there is always underlying resentment toward step-parents (even if on the surface things seem okay in the relationship). I am sure he is mad at being confronted but you are getting it double just because it was you. Have his father or mother do the confronting. If you are given the information, simply past it along to them. Let father, mother and child know that this is your new policy. If you and father disagree on consequences, etc, discuss it and come to an agreement but never in front of him. Your role should be to back up father in front of child so he sees you as a united front. You may need to enforce the consequence when dad is not present, of course.

I am imagining that this may not be what you wanted to hear but this is a very common problem among step-families and the only way for you to have a good step-mother relationship with him.

Warm regards,
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