Stepson will not listen to mother - FamilyEducation
Stepson will not listen to mother
02/13/2008 at 10:42 AM

I'm having trouble getting my 6-year-old stepson to listen to his biological mother. I have no problems getting him to do what I say, but he never listens to his mother. The only time he does what she tells him, is when I have to make him. He also refuses to listen to women and only listens to men.

I have been in his life for the last 3 years, and at first there was a huge problem with discipline. His mother was in an abusive relationship with his biological father for the first three years of his life, and constantly had her authority undermined by the "Boss" as her ex called himself.

His father has very little to do with him, other than picking him up every other weekend and then putting him on his mom. On weekends his mother will not watch him, he calls and tells us that his mom will not watch him this weekend and he wants to play World of Warcraft, so he cannot pick him up. 

After we get him back to the house and my wife will tell him to get ready for dinner, but he will refuse to do so and say that my daddy told me I didn't have to listen to you. I have to step in to get him to do what he is supposed to do. He has even told me on occasions that he also does not have to listen to me, because daddy told him not to. The reason being that I caused his momma and daddy to break up. This is not the only thing that has happened, some of the things we have heard my stepson say "is my daddy says he doesn't love me because I live with my momma and not him, and the only way he will love me is when I move with him, or my daddy told me to say that my momma is bad and I don't want to live with her.

What can we do to stop his behavior? Does she need to get him away from the biological father, or should we take him to counseling? I'm afraid he is turning into his father and if we don't do anything soon it will be too late. Any advice?



I have not had this kind of experience, but I think you need to document the problems and see if you can get the visitation changed to supervised visitation.  A counselor might be an asset in that effort.  I am really glad he has a relationship with a loving man in his life who won't take his crap.  Just wondering, the grandma who provides care, is there a grandpa in that home? 

  While you are working on changing visitation, just try to have as normal and fun a relationship as you can.  One idea is that when he is disrespectful or disobedient to his mom, you could say, "Hey, nobody treats my wife  like that."  And also I think it would help if he knew that even though he is the other guy's bio-kid, he is an essential part of your family, not disposable.  He may not be your "son" but he can be your boy.   He's been in this relationship as many years as your wife has been. 

   One of the worst things I ever did to a kid was to tell my daughter (who had stolen something) that if she couldn't live by our family rules, we would find her a different place to live, where they had different rules.  NEVER never never do anything like that.  If you already have, tell the kid that you were stupid that day and it was a bad thing to say and you're sorry and you never would let them leave. And when grandma can't watch him, CELEBRATE!

   In divided families like this one, it seems like having two homes makes for no foundation, not for two foundations. 


Wow, change the people around and that's almost word for word what i've been dealing with for the past 4 years. My stepson lives with me and his father. He's been in our care for 4 yrs. She's the one who gave us custody. Thats what doesn't make sense.

It makes sense to the child, who wants his mother. It must be devastating for him to know that his mother gave up custody. Unfortunately, you are the conveniant target of his disappointment and frustration. Having lived this, will advise family therapy and lots of patience, understanding and commitment to this child. Having the full support of your husband is also helpful.