Stubborn Step-child - FamilyEducation
Stubborn Step-child
07/26/2010 at 12:41 PM

My step child has a big problem communicating with others, either me (step-mom) his dad, his grand-ma, and he is always angry. His mother died when he was only 2 and his grand-ma has been really nice to take care of him untill me and his dad got together. We don't know how to make him open up to talk through issues. He closes up and we don't go nowhere. He is missing up on family/friends events, because he gets punished...He is creating a big problem in the family. The only thing we want is for him to let it out and deal with life. To me it's very important to talk, and even scream to let it all out...then we walk away, we chill, but never go to bed angry with my natural kids, I can't have that with him...some advices please?
Thank you

Are you seeing improvements in his behavior with the punishments he has received? How old is he? What are the things he is getting punished for?

This child has had very difficult issues to deal with in his life. The death of his mother, change of his primary caregiver, blending into a new family are all issues that need to be addressed in order for his behavior to improve. A therapist and/or child psychologist will be able to help him and your family. Contact your pediatrician or your local Department of Child Mental Health for a referral.

When you say that grandma took care of this little guy, do you mean that he lived with her apart from his father? Realize that you are dealing with a child that has lost his mother. His coping skills have been tempered at a young age. Taking away video games or some other type of punishment may upset him at first, but he will quickly adapt and not be bothered by it. Rather than making a child talk, see if he wants to talk. If he is as stubborn as you say, you won’t get anything out of him that he is not willing to give up. Stop trying to be his step-mother and just be his friend. Authority figures are not always easy to talk to, but a friend is who we seek out when we need to talk. As 2X was saying, he has been through a number of changes. These changes are what have made him who he is today. This little guy needs some counseling and the ear of someone he feels like understands him. Comparing him to your natural children is not a fair comparison, he is not them. Maybe in his mind he has been holding out hope that his mother would someday return. With my own kids I have seen that the finality of death did not really set in until about the age of 8 or 9. With the father moving on and marrying again, this may have been the very thing that shattered that fantasy. In his mind it may be like losing his mother all over again.