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how to get Lazy 14 yr old Step son off butt?
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Screaminghollow    Posted 03-19-2002 at 20:44:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
I love my wife dearly but her son is driving me crazy. He gets good grades and keeps his room neat. But he refuses to do a darn thing around here. From the time he comes home from school he pigs out on cereal and other snacks and then won't eat what the rest of us have for dinner. He doesn't ever do the dishes, any cleaning or chores of any kind and we've got to scream at him just to get him to come out of his room. Tonight I brought home ice cream for everyone. A quart of Each person's favorite flavor. When I took a break a few minutes ago, mine was gone. Found the empty container in the waste basket in his room. Of course his hadn't been touched yet. I hate to see anything go to waste, but I don't care for orange sherbert, so I gave his quart to the dogs. I know it what I did was childish, but I am really tired of him just taking everything for himself. (Last week my daughter and I wanted to make peanut butter cookies. We found the new jar of peanut butter hidden in his desk drawer along with the last loaf of bread.) Anybody got any reasonable suggestions that will also preserve domestic tranquility?


Jerry S    Posted 03-26-2002 at 15:07:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Got a 14 year old that would easily fit this some times. Rules are rules around the house and my second wife and I stay together on the plan. She took on 4 boys of mine to live with. What we do is assign regular chores to each boy. No chores= no food no TV etc. Chores get done then. We also give them opportunity to do extra for some spending money, cut wood, extra chores, etc. Always support the positive parts- grades or whatever. Some of the sleeping parts is just growing fast as they do at times. Other times, we have done the pitcher of ice water in bed deal. Do the heart to heart talks. Show them how to cook and do their own clothes. It isn't a hotel they live in. Make sure they know how to sustain themselves after they are grown. When it comes to it, I will swat their fanny even though some genious decided it is illegal. It is a last resort and that pain goes away but God connected their butts to their brain via the spinal cord so the learning can happen that way.


Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-21-2002 at 08:34:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Things have changed a lot since I was a kid. When I got in trouble at school I got a swat or swats for it. I was afraid of the Vice Princible at school. Today kids laugh at them and they can't do any thing about it. You had to dress properly and the dress code stated how you could do it. Hair had to be short off the collar and side burns no longer than to the bottom of the ears. The girls had to wear a bra and bobbie socks in Jr. High no tight sweaters or reveiling type cloths could be worn. You were at school to learn those days. You respected your father and mother and would never yell or show disrespect to them. I got my share of spankings and deserved a whole lot more than I got. But the times now are it takes a village to raise your kids. To many people want to get in the middle of it. You have lost your rights as a parent but you still have to pay for them. It is real rough to raise a child nowdays everbody has a opinion on doing it including me. You reap what you sow and it is up to you to deside on how much you will take and dish out raising a child. You also have to hope for the best and cut the apron strings and let them learn on there own. They either make it or they don't, you do your best and cross your fingers that it works out. There are a lot of outside interferances that will test what you taught them. It sort of is up to them as they grow up, you steer them but they control the brakes. Just give it your best and maybe some day they will make you realy proud of them. Good Luck, Mark H.


kraig WY    Posted 03-20-2002 at 17:54:25       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Buddy I know exactly what you're going through. I had two of that type of step kids. Almost ruined my marriage. Hope and Pray you servive until they're gone. I made it until they both were gone and now you can't asked for a happier married couple then my wife and I. You didn't marry the kids so just hang on until they're gone. I know its ruff, I wanted to shoot them all. Glad I waited.


Sammie    Posted 03-20-2002 at 19:33:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
This is exactly why I didn't marry again after Rodney died when my son was a little baby. My son and I are a package deal. All of the men I met were good to me but not for him or the man was another little boy. I needed a man who could be both a husband to me and a friend and father to Morgan. Since I am my sons mother and I love him, I raised him alone.

My step dad, when I was 6, sounds like you do. He loved my mother, hated my sister and me and never passed up a chance to let us know it when Mom wasn't looking. I didn't want my son to go through that. I never wanted to have to choose between my son and my husband.


kraig WY    Posted 03-21-2002 at 06:28:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
Come on Sammie, every kid needs disiplin and to be taught resposibility. Sure I was wrong by insisting my kids have chores but to keep pease I have mind doing chors while the step son sleeps tell noon. I do get up set when I come home to find the kid standing at the window watching his mother unload firewood. If that would have been my kid I would have given him the tour of the back of the wood shop. Never laid a hand on hers but didn't spare the rod with mine. Now that they're all gone, mine come to see us all the time. Step kids only call when they want money. At wife's request we tried consuling. Pasture/consular chewed me out 'cause, though I was the step father I was responsable for instilling responsibility and told be I was too easy on them. Yeah I screwed cause I took the easy route.


Sammie    Posted 03-21-2002 at 08:48:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My point is, you didn't treat him like your own, never thought of him as your own. How old was he when you and your wife married? As I said in another post - if they haven't learned respect by that age they are going to have to learn it the hard way - life is a cruel teacher sometimes. That's why it is SO important to spend time with your kids from the time they are small and get to KNOW THEM. What do they like, what are they good at, what do they do that makes them feel good about themselves to build self esteem? What do you do to earn their respect? Beat a kids backside at 14 years old is not going to get the kind of attention you want. Did you love your step kids? Even if you didn't say you didn't, they knew.

What I said in my post above was exactly how I feel. I couldn't find a man who could love me AND my son. I am all Morgan had and I made a choice when I found out I was pregnant that I was going to be his mother - for life. Now if I married a man who was good for me and just kept a roof over Morgans head, never took him fishing or took an interest in what he was interested in, not just how he was doing in school but WHAT he was learning in school and get him to talk about it, BE HIS FRIEND. Then I was better off and so was he if I just raised him alone. He's a great kid and everyone loves Morgan. I made sure there were men around - good examples. Scouting, uncles and my cousins who camp and fish, my mother who not only tought them how to help her build her house but bought old computers at yard sales and gave the kids some tools and told them to go see what they are made of - from the time they were really little. Did you ever do any of those kids of things with your step kids? What good is disipline without respect - they will just learn to hate you. If there is not bond, you are just being a bully in their eyes. How can you expect them to respect you if you don't respect them as individuals, not just step kids?


kraig WY    Posted 03-21-2002 at 10:31:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
No I didn't treat them as my own, example: I never gave any of my kids a car/truck. I made them buy a clunker and show them haw to get it running (not fixed it for them) I gave my stepson a truck that was in good shape. Bought a house to get my daughter out of wellfare apartments. She distroyed it. I love my step children and still help them. I use THE book on child rearing (Bible). Where I failed is I was more interested in peace then having the kids amount to anything and that's where I mistreated my step children. Any yes, my oldest boy ins 31, got another thats 26 and you can ask either if they need whooped they know I'll do it now. But I never used anything but my open hand on their backside. I screwed up, but it was that I wasn't strick enough rather then too strick. That's why I blame myself for my stepdaughter having three differant kids w/three differant fathers (no hubby) and my stepson is near 20 and never had a job.


Sammie    Posted 03-21-2002 at 11:21:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hind sight is 20-20 at the very least, Kraig. What I was saying is what you said. You made your own kids buy their own clunker and took the time to help them learn how to make it run - time spent with you and pride in their accomplishments. But you bought a good truck for your step son? Why didn't you make him buy his own and help him learn to fix it too? This is my point. Time, attention, interest will beat money every time. Most kids, I have found, will jump to please someone who sees them as special - individuals, supportive, encouraging, positive and spends time with them to help them grow up and teach them the things they need. I don't mean perfection from either a parent or a kid and ya, kids screw up. So do parents but if a bond between that parent, be it step parent or blood kin, and the kid is strong, that is deeper than the mistakes. I raised my son with the idea that I wanted him to mind me because he loved and trusted me, not because he was afraid of me.

I must say though, it's really hard to step into the middle of a kids childhood and be dad or mom and not be there from the beginning. I really do appreciate what you are saying and I'm not in your shoes. But still - disicpline and (the bad times)and being strict only works if there is a balance - the good times and the bond.


DJ    Posted 03-21-2002 at 05:20:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
You're a very wise women. I knew there was a reason why I liked you.

My first grand daughter has a step dad. He is mean to her when my daughter is away. Stuff like, be impatient and stupid ignorant remarks and digs......

I told my daughter about it. She said she knew and I should tell him. I told my grand daughter that if he's mean to her, let me know.

He knows now. If he can't do any better then they can just send her to me. I'll love and raise her.

Kids should not be subjected to this crap.

Any parent that allows their spouse to verbally and mentally abuse children should be ( fill in the blanks).


todd    Posted 03-20-2002 at 16:47:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have a step mom and a step dad and get along very well with both of them because they became my freind when we first met about 28 years ago. They were my freind when I went through the rebel years of a teenager and were more understanding than my mom and dad. Try being a pal no matter how hard it is especially if you are willing to make it work.


DJ    Posted 03-21-2002 at 05:25:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yes, a child doesn't have the level of maturity that an adult is supposed to have.

A child has to believe they are very important in the family of they will rebel.

It takes mature adults to help these children overcome.


Sammie    Posted 03-20-2002 at 09:22:58       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Been here,did this. My son started gathering parts to build his own "first" computer out of a scrap pile at the computer store. He knew this was the only way he was going to get one at that age. He was very proud of it when he got it working. He had found something he loved and was determined. He lived in his room and like yours, took his plate and snacks to his room. If I didn't remind him, he would forget to eat. He NEVER cleaned his room!!! quit taking out the trash, I quit washing his clothes. I quit buying snacks he started buying his own cuz with his computer knowledge, self taught, he got a part time job after school, without my permission by the way. But as long as his grades were up and he didn't miss school for the job, it was ok. And as long as he got paid a fair wage.

I only saw him when he came home from school, made a bee line for his room, once in a while he would come out to use the bathroom of hit the kitchen but other than that, I didn't see him. Tried to lay down the law, didn't work. Tried to reason with him, he started washing and drying his own clothes. Learned the hard way how clothes get wrinkled!!

I didn't push it too much because I pretty much knew what he was doing in his room when he started using his own money to buy programing language manuals - not the how to books, the reference manuals. He now programs in 12 different languages proficiently and has his own business.

In my case, I played into it. The only way I could "communicate" at all with him was to talk his language. I'd ask him questions about computers - get him talking and he couldn't stop explaining things to me. I pretended to understand but at least he was talking to me. I told him I wanted my own computer and took some classes at the commmunity college. I'm a bookkeeper so needed to upgrade my skills anyway. We have a "chat" program and I talked to him more on ICQ than we did in person and he was right across the wall !! lol Now that he has moved away from home, he gives me hugs and kisses every time he sees me. He comes back and helps me with my house sometimes and calls me several times a week.

At that age, he wasn't mad at me, he needed space to figure out who "he" was. He needed time to be independent from "mom". That was MY son. Your situation is alittle different and probably involves some resentment or the "your not my dad" thing but none the less, he is still a teenager and at that age.

My suggestion - find something he enjoys, that makes him feel "GOOD" about himself and do everything you can to encourage him and try to participate. If he can't see you as a dad, maybe he can see you as a friend. Using the high hand at this age doesn't work. If he hasn't learned respect by now, he will have to learn it on his own. Same thing with TRUST!! It sounds like you don't trust him to behave himself. If you find signs of drug or alchohal use, that is different as if my son would have been on porn sites on this computer but I thank the GOOD LORD each and every day that that kind of stuff wasn't the case. Chores? The only way mine would do chores is if I asked him to help ME do something. Then he would take over and I ended up assisting!! That's ok, at least he was helping. - when he got done with what he was right in the middle of.

My point, even the best parents are their childs friend. At this age, being their friend seems more important and more worthy of respect than being their parent. He is trying to grow up. Help him.


DJ Stop calling him a step child for one.    Posted 03-20-2002 at 06:16:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
He is a child. You are an adult. He needs a father, not a step father.

Leave him alone and let mother take care of it till you grow up.


Salmoneye    Posted 03-20-2002 at 04:40:26       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Stop buying food...


Mudcat49    Posted 03-20-2002 at 03:47:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Maybe it's not part of your problem, but one thing I would check for. The "Munchies" are a sign of someone who is smoking pot.


Dave    Posted 03-20-2002 at 03:42:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
HARD Love, as Mark said, but nothing will go your way, unless your wife is behind you 100%. Dont try anything until the both of you agree to it. Todays children seem to have aquired the nack for "divide and conquer", but as a team the both of you can do it. Then praise for even the slightest good, will go a long way. Been there, done that, and have a whole closet full of T shirts! Your not alone, dont give up, when they turn, it is one of the warmest feelings you will ever know.


Mark Hendershot    Posted 03-19-2002 at 21:38:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Boy some of the problems people have with there kid is hard to answer. Here goes nothing. This did not happen over night and won't be solved that way either. I get the feeling this is not your son. If so was there a divorse involved? And dose he see or is the father still around? Do you have much of a relationship with him on things you do together? You need to sit down with him and talk one on one with no one else around. This way he will have to open up. He might be having some resentment in the fact that you are not his father. You will have to lay some ground rules down and make sure he follows them and back it up if he dosen't. Screaming is not alloud in my home and we discuss the problems. This won't get easier as he gets older. I would find out what he dose in the room and if there is a sterio I would remove it till he starts to do something in return. It is like a animal you want to train you must be the Alpha in your group. He must learn to respect you. Punishment is something you will have to figure out. The belt dose not work nowdays even tho I think a few boys and girls could use it. You have to remove what he likes and let him get it back when he starts to change. Reward for good punish for bad. Stick to your word and say it once. Follow thru with what you say and time may change your problem you have. Good luck tough love is hard to do but it works with time. Mark H.


Theresa Darby    Posted 03-20-2002 at 09:45:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]
It upsets me that someone is narrow minded enough to think a step-parent should do nothing.. If your new spouse is willing to take on the burden of helping to raise another persons child then they are the PARENT flat out. Do not let anyone or child undermine your relationship as a couple.


My son is nineteen and we just finished all the things that are described as hard as it is tough love was all that helped. and not alot.

It is unfair when you buy things for the whole family and one memeber eats it all. We put all snacks under lock and key. which slowed him down a good bit.

I bought ice cream like you said for the family too and my son did the exact same thing. I was just as mad and divide his up among his younger sisters.

We unpluged all his games, cd player, phone, and so on he had to earn them back. MY son was lazy enough that he did not care and chose to do with out.

It was meals with the family or go hungry and he choose hungrey and would sneak into the kithen at night for food. I got up many a night and the dogs got a midnight snack.

He barely passed high school( at least your is getting good grade) and it was not until after he graduated and I threw him out that he started to grow up.

After 6 months of sleeping on a friend sofa he finally found a job and is saving money.

He has even paid back money he owed us for things I was foolish enough to try and help him with like getting his drivers licencse and insurance.

He is home right now but on conditions that are mine. If he can not handle it or follow the rules then the door is waiting.

From a mother that is glad that the step father stood with me and help raise my child as his own.

Best advice I have is it is a family no steps, halfs or other divisions. One family with family rules.

by the way a mother of 7 6 my own and one a step but all of them mine. ages 3,4,7,12,16,18,19
and the son was the only major problem the rest do not want to follow that road.

to quote my step-daughter "mom is a real *itc* when she is mad so do not get her that way"



Melissa    Posted 02-03-2006 at 12:31:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I had to take an "out of control teen" parenting class in order to deal with my son. Now he dosent mess with me when I tell him to do something.


DJ since when are children a burden?    Posted 03-20-2002 at 10:21:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
If one believes a child is a burden, they can leave the home while the child stands half a chance.


F14    Posted 03-20-2002 at 12:17:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
You ever raise a child like has been described?

A child can CERTAINLY be a burden. Doesn't mean ya love 'em less, or treat 'em any different, just means some are more work than others.

I married a woman with three kids, aged 8,9 and 11 when we married 27+ years ago. After an initial adjustment period while we both modified our outlook on child rearing so as to put up a mutually agreed-upon united front, we did the best job we could raising them. The kids think of me as their father, and I CERTAINLY think of them as my children.

And every dang one of 'em was a burden at one time or another. At the moment, my 40 year old son is acting like a 16 year old. Fortunately, he's doing it in Hartford CT, and I live in Maine.

Doesn't make it any easier to bear tho, watching your kid p!$$ away his life.


DJ    Posted 03-20-2002 at 17:05:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
This is what parenting is all about. Good and bad times. A challenge at times, but not a burden.

I could not tell my children that they are a burden to me.

Ooh this would break their hearts.


F14..Me either...    Posted 03-21-2002 at 04:17:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Never said I'd TELL them that.

I guess what I'm saying is, let's call a spade a spade. I get so sick of the PC crowd that wants to sugar-coat everything. Calling a problem a "challenge" doesn't change the fact that it's a problem.

My kids always know I love 'em because I tell them so. When they've done something stupid, I tell them that too. I don't say "You're stupid" I say, "What you DID was stupid. Learn from it, don't do it again." Big difference, don't ya think?


DJ    Posted 03-21-2002 at 05:06:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yes, I agree this makes a difference.

I also know that it doesn't matter how great a parent we are, if you have more then two kids, one will be out of the norm. Same raising styles and discipline etc. I don't know why some kids go sour for a while.

I have a daughter that is thick headed. This child will argue with JC. She is determined, tenacious (sp) and stubborn. She will NOT give in to a stubborn horse or me!

I've decided to homeschool her because she couldn't sit still in her second grade class.

I suspect as long as her spirit does not get broken, she'll be one successful women some day. She does not relent or give in. Raising her is a challenge.

She is one reason why I've brought us to the country. She needs to be protected from herself until she has some level of maturity to her.

I guess I see these characteristics in a positive light. I go at it from an analytical perspective. I try to find a way to support this personality type to channel her in a positive direction without always trying to change her or break her mold.

Different people are just different, but if we study on it, there's ways to see how things are meant to be and how they'll turn out if we provide creative atmosphere and support.

Did I make any sense? ;0)


Sammie    Posted 03-21-2002 at 08:59:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Made sense to me.


Les    Posted 03-20-2002 at 14:54:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Excellent answer, F14. I think you spoke for many. I never had any "steps" but both my kids have steps, (two each, all boys). They caused problems but they were overcome. One of them has just made my 32-year-old daughter a grandmother and me, at 54, a great-grandfather. Oy vay!


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