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Walter, Consultant
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 11528
Experience:  Mentoring Parents on Understanding and Accepting the Challenges of Parenthood.
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I need to turn over the parenting of my 20 y.o. stepson to ...

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I need to turn over the parenting of my 20 y.o. stepson to his dad to whom I've been married 7 years. His mom is deceased.   Parenting him is affecting my own health and well being and he does not benefit from my involvement due to his continuing to make numerous poor choices and his overall immaturity.   Please guide me on the proper way to turn the parenting over to my husband so as not to damage my stepson or my relationship with him.   Thanks.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Walter replied 9 years ago.


What kind of problems are you having with him?

Does he have any disability's that are preventing him from moving on in life?

Why is his father not taking charge?

Any other issues I need to know?


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
He doesn't have any disabilities; in fact, he is intelligent and personable. His father is just not a take-charge person and I'm afraid his son has inherited that too. I say that because I think maybe he doesn't know how to say "no". In his 2nd year of college this yr. we found out that he was into illegal drug activities with his roommate. He smokes cigarettes & such even though he has asthma so between that and getting UTI's from having sex, he goes to the dr. quite often. He's at the dr. right now because his girlfriend of 3 years of whom we DO NOT approve slapped him in both ears and broke his phone a few weeks ago. Now he wants to go on family vacation with her!   (He is EXTREMELY bonded to her family.)
He was on academic probation last semester, he should be a jr. but he's still technically a freshman in college. He got 2 speeding tickets in college and put over 1,000 miles on his car, even though he lives on campus. He's thin as a rail. He doesn't work, yet he spends tons of time on his phone texting and talking. He seemed above average until he hooked up with this girl (with whom he has a toxic relationship) and then went off to college. His mom died when he was 13 after being in a coma for 6 mos. His dad and I married 7 mos. later. His dad needed someone to take charge and I did, but now I have a headache from ramming my head against the wall.
I give up! I have medical and emotional issues
myself and I don't need this stress. He doesn't appreciate it and he costs us a fortune, emotionally and financially.   Basically, he was spoiled rotten (only child) and still is, has
no boundaries, free reign, and evidently no moral compass if he would hook up with his roommate to do what he did. So...I want to wean him back to his dad to help myself, without damaging him further. Thanks.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I should have said he put 1,000 miles per month on the car.
I do love him, I've tried to be a mother to him,
but I think now the cost is just too high.
I'll be his step mom, but his dad needs to do the bulk of the parenting.
Expert:  Walter replied 9 years ago.


I am going to be open and honest with you.........I hope you can understand that your stepson is a adult, but has been treated like a child, therefor he has no desire to become a fully functional adult.

Often when we continue to try and solve our children's problems we are only enabling them. He is over the age of 18 and should be taking more responsibility for his life. If he wants to take the trip, and get into trouble you can not stop him.......neither can his father. Though that doesn't mean you have to accept it and pay for his mistakes either.

My question is this.....if he is not working, how is he paying for gas for his car? What about insurance, his phone bills, etc? I am assuming you and his father are paying for these. While it is acceptable to help him out with food, and necessity's if he is in in school you are not required to pay for these extra things if he is not making good choices.

It sounds like he isn't in any danger of you damaging sounds like he needs a wake up call. What happened with his mother was a sad event. And yes this could be causing some of the issues. But allowing the issues to continue and treating him with kid gloves simply gives him a excuse to act this way.

The fact is many people have lost their parents......some children at much younger ages. While this was painful for him, it is not a reason for his actions. If you and his father refuse to deal with his actions based on his mothers death, when will he take responsibility? Do you think the police and courts are going to accept that his actions are based on the death of his mother when he was 13? The truth is they will not......what happen was horrible for a young child. But not a reason for his actions.

What he is doing, he is doing for himself....if you allow it based on his childhood then he will grab a hold of that excuse and hold on for dear life. The issue is......someday he is going to get into real trouble and you will not be able to bail him out.

Now is the time to rein in his behavior. Time to sit down with dad and let him know that things have gotten out of hand. While you and have father have no real control of his sexual behavior and should not.......since he is a adult. You do have control over some of the luxury's he has in life. If he is not taking care of school then maybe it is time to pull back on some of your funding. Refuse to pay for insurance, gas, cell phones and other expenses. If his collage is near you, then maybe it is time to tell him you will no longer be paying for a apartment or campus housing. Give him the choice to move back home and go to school, or get a job and pay for it himself. If you think he will change then give him a set time. Say next report card he must have brought his grades up to a set amount or funding for the apartment is gone.

If you simply want no part of it........then sit down with dad and let him know. Explain that you love the boy, but his actions are not only a danger to himself but are causing you conflict and pain. Let him know that from this point on he will need to deal with his sons actions. Explain to your stepson, that you love him but his actions are hurting you so for your own personal wellbeing you are going to take a step back and allow dad to deal with the situation. In the end dad needs to stand up and deal with his sons actions now.

It is a sad fact that these things happened to the child.........but allowing him to use this as a excuse will only cause him greater pain one day when he has wasted his life and has nothing.


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