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I have a 16 year old step son who lives with my husband and

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our 21 month old little...
I have a 16 year old step son who lives with my husband and our 21 month old little boy, I'm also expecting our 2nd baby in July. We have been having a lot of trouble with our 16 year old, especially when my husband goes away for work. He doesn't eat dinner with us, answer his phone when we call he, swears at me, talks rudely and has not respect for my husband and especially me. He goes to a good school and says he wants to go to tafe to do year 11 and 12 cause he doesn't like been told what to do. He has a part time job but hasn't been getting many shifts, so he sells things that have been given to him to get money. If my husband says something to him he that he doesn't like, he says he will just move back to his mums in Adelaide, which would not be a good move for him... What do we do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Parenting
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Answered in 21 minutes by:
2/10/2012
Parenting Counselor: Dr. L, Psychologist replied 5 years ago
Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1,168
Experience: Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
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Dr Levang :

Greetings. It sounds like you have been really struggling with your son and when you have tried to set limits, he has one upped your husband by threatening to move back to his mum. Has this struggle been going on for a long time, has anything happened where he as decided that he has given up on you as it seems like he is in a really defiant place right now. When you said he is selling things, it makes me wonder what the money is for and if he is using alcohol or any drugs.

Dr Levang :

I do think that the relationship is really deteriorating and that it is important to make some intereventions. Is the mum any help in holding him accountable?

JACUSTOMER-3445dvom- :

Yes it has been going on for a while now. No his mum is no help and not holding him accountable, she asked him to get a tattoo with her name, so he did on his foot, he says cause he respects her. My husband said that there are other ways to respect your family without getting a tattoo. We think the money is for alcohol and or drugs. He says its for food. He always has a dig at what we say or do.

Dr Levang :

Wow. I can't believe his mum would ask him to get a tatoo with her name on it. That's a girlfriend, not a mum role and not even a healthy girlfriend at that.

Dr Levang :

That makes it sense that he would be disrespectful if there are no limits by one parent and then it seems like your husband is unreasonable. I agree with your husband about the tatoo.

Dr Levang :

So is there any other evidence about his using chemicals?

JACUSTOMER-3445dvom- :

He says he just wants to put little effort in, so he doesn't have to do to much. He doesn't do his jobs any more cause we said if you would like to get paid more you need to show us that you can do your jobs without moaning about it. So he don't worry about it I don't want to do the jobs then, or get his lousy pocket money.

JACUSTOMER-3445dvom- :

I found eye drops in his room

JACUSTOMER-3445dvom- :

And role paper thingies and lighters

Dr Levang :

Ok. You can start to respond differently to him. I think you started by saying if you want to earn more money, you can do it without moaning. That is a start. One suggestion, I would have for you is to read a book, Hormones on Wheels, by James Faye. He talks about using love and logic ideas and if you get the audio book, Dr. Faye reads it so you get how to use helpful tones to set limits with firmness and compassion. So that would be start to dealing with him.

Dr Levang :

I don't think this will be a quick fix. You may have to call his threat by saying, its ok to go to live with his mum. He may have to either act on it or else start to live within your rules. He knows he has that card, so this would be saying I can respect that but you will either have to put up or shut up, so to speak.

JACUSTOMER-3445dvom- :

Ok great thank you, that sounds good, because I think without him helping he might think that we are pushing him away out of the family and we don't want that.

Dr Levang :

I am glad you found it helpful and hope you can get the book

JACUSTOMER-3445dvom- :

Well he do for one term last year and didn't like it he didn't say that but he didn't have too. They don't have the internet or a home phone and there was a lot for people living it that house. My husband really doesn't want him to move back over there, but maybe he needs that, it might not be the right answer now, but could turn out better for him in the long run?? He might realize that he had a good family with respect

Dr Levang :

Yes, I think it is life experience that will have the most impact on him. It is a hard decision, but it isn't going well right now. I think this is a good plan. I wish you well.

JACUSTOMER-3445dvom- :

Great thank you for you time

Dr Levang :

Your very welcome. Please remember to press the green accept button to complete our talk. I wish you well and you can ask for me if you would like in the future.

Dr Levang :

I'm checking back in with you just to see if I answered your question last night.

Dr Levang :

Hello,

Dr Levang :

I see that you have not paid for our chat. I would appreciate if you woud.

Dr Levang :

You can also post another question in the future.

Dr Levang :

Thanks.

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Dr. L
Dr. L
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Category: Parenting
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