(((((hugs))))) to you bandaidexpert! Yes........I most definitely can relate to your predicament. My oldest stepchild (male/17 this coming November) lived with us when he was 14 to 15 years of age. We eventually ended up admitting him for treatment because he was doing things that I won't mention here.....but could have landed him in juvenile detention....BIG TIME.
My recommendation to you is to seek family counseling.....with everyone involved in the therapy. Too often, children from divorced homes get caught up in the drama of their mother's and father's problems that led to the divorce in the first place. We need to understand that the divorce JUST DIDN'T HAPPEN TO US (parents who went through the divorce)......but it also happened ( or is happening) to our children.
Why are divorced parents entitled to be pizzed off and angry, acting out in ways that may differ from children who have been through a divorce......but the kids are expected to remain "normal happy healthy little rugrats"?
They have every right to be angry d/t what has gone down in their family. What was done to mom and dad......was also done to them.........therefore.........your stepson's behavior.
His acting out has much to do with the fact that his family was turned upside down......for whatever reason unbeknownst to us or possibly him. Boys...often times...will express their anger in fits of outburst and misbehavior. They are screaming for attention, and NEED to be shown that they are STILL loved and safe in their new home environment. Some girls wear their emotions on their sleeve and will readily share what bugs them, but some...like my middle child...had a hard time talking out her problems following the divorce, so she showed how angry she was by going from an "A" student involved in everything under the sun to a "D/F" student involed in NOTHING anymore, and she was "proud to be failing".
Today, that child is a nurse, but not before she went through a lot of hell to get to where she is now. I'm sure she could tell you her own story about kids who suffer from divorce.
When my parents divorced, I was a young adult. One time my Mom came to visit me for a weekend (shortly after my parents' divorce was finalized). When I shared with her how her and my father's divorce angered me, affected me; etc....she said......and I quote: "What does our divorce have to do with you kids? You weren't married to him, I was. It was me he hurt, remember."
I wanted to smack her around on the spot, but I have never raised my voice at my Mom or inflicted pain on her like some teens I know.
That scene with my Mom is the perfect example of why kids are acting out after divorce.........because nobody thinks they have a right to be angry and upset about what has affected their lives. We are adults and don't always understand why divorce had to happen, so I can only imagine what a child must be dealing with inside their head and heart. How can they possibly be so well behaved after the destruction of their family unit? Their homefront security
has been altered BIG TIME! To them...they have just gone through their own "9/11 crisis". Are they not supposed to be understood in regards to how they feel about the break up of their home.......no matter if it was good or bad?
My stepson didn't like the rules of our home...he also didn't think he should have to change when he was use to being "the man" around his mother's house. Well........my husband's response to that was.....and I quote......."Son...you are a boy...this is your only chance in life to act like a boy...be a kid.....enjoy your childhood......because there is only one man around this home, and Son...guess what....you are NOT it!"
He is now back living with his mother who does NOT provide him with a structured home environment, but we could NOT make him stay with us d/t his age. At his age...according to family courts, he could choose whom he wanted to live with. I feel so sorry for that kid. I pray for him constantly hoping that IN SPITE OF his parents and their divorce, and the harm it caused him, I pray he turns his life around and becomes the person God wants him to be.
My heart aches for every child who has ever endured divorce along WITH THEIR PARENTS. And...... then along comes the "Step-parent and their children added to the mix", so no wonder the child is having problems. At eleven years of age, he should be expected to do chores around the home. As young as two.....a child begins to do chores by helping his parent(s) pick up his/her toys and place them in the toy box or on the shelf provided for his/her toys. Tasks should be taught, learned, and carried out from a young age according to the child's developmental stages.....both physically, mentally, and emotionally.
There is NO such thing as "Happy Ever After" in any real life situation. Take the appropriate steps and get your entire family into counseling. Find a group near your home that your children...your kid and his...can attend for children from divorced homes. This offers a lot of support for kids from divorced backgrounds. You can find out about one through a "Parent Without Partners Group" in your local area. This group should be listed in the yellow pages, but if not, enter "Parents Without Partners" into the search engine on the internet, and read up on it and find out where your family can attend group meetings.
If your husband refuses to be supportive in this way.......he doesn't really care one iota how his child is affecting you or your child, and the marriage is truly in danger of ending like his first one. :kiss