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My spouse and I have kids from previous marriages. He has two boys ages 3 and 6, and I have an 8-year-old boy and we just recently had a daughter together. I'm struggling very hard with his two boys, both of them have many issues.

The 3-year-old is constantly getting into trouble, from the minute he is up in the morning until bedtime. He can never sit still and is always doing things he's not supposed to. He'll destroy whatever he gets his hands on. I put him in time out and send him to his room but a few minutes later he will go back and do the exact same thing that got him in trouble the first time. I don't know what else to do with him and I'm slowly beginning to give up.

The 6-year-old is even worse... He wets the bed every night so we started allowing him to wear pull ups, we thought he couldn't get up at night to pee and it was all an accident. Turns out the other night I put him to bed and had him wear his pull up, I allowed to watch TV while in bed and his pull up was already soaked within a matter of minutes which proves that he is just too lazy to get up and go pee. That's not all; he's also very good at lying and sneaking around. He blames his little brother of everything he does, when he beats his younger sibling he'll come to me and tell me that his little brother hurt him to avoid getting into trouble.

When I take them out to try to get them distracted they both misbehave and act up. Dinner time is always a struggle, I cook for them healthy delicious meals and they always put a fuss and don't want to eat. They ask for snacks and sugary drinks all day and of course I deny them because they don't eat their food. As of right now because of the new baby I'm stuck at home with all four kids. I barely have any time to bond with my newborn because I'm constantly having to reprehend my step kids.

My son is very frustrated with the situation and he's having a hard time dealing with these children (I don't blame him). They are really out of control and this is affecting my health. I'm stressed out all the time and don't know what else to do.

Unfortunately my spouse is at work most of the time and goes to school at nights so he's barely around to discipline his children. When he comes home from work and school he's too tired and stressed himself so I don't always tell him that his kids drove me nuts, I just suck it in and let it pile up. My husband tries to take them out and do fun things with them on his days off. For the most part they behave ok when he's around. Whenever he's home both his kids will act up to get his attention. It seems like they only know how to get attention by displaying negative behaviors.

These kids also alternate from mom to dad every other week and I think that's the root of the problem. I'm not sure what goes on at their mother's place, when they come to my home the first couple of days are difficult. I don't think they are any structure at their moms and that's why when they come to me they're out of control.

I'm trying really hard to bond with the boys but I can't because of their awful behavior. Some days I feel like giving up on them.

  • You forgot to talk about the most important part. Their relationship with their mom and dad. I'm afraid it won't work for you if you are trying to be the authoritarian. – the_lotus Aug 24 '15 at 12:20
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    My husband tries to take them out and do fun things with them on his days off. For the most part they behave ok when he's around. When ever he's home both his kids will act up to get his attention. It seems like they only know how to get attention by displaying negative behaviors. I'm not sure what goes on at their mothers place, when they come to my home the first couple of days are difficult.I dont think they are any structure at their moms and that's why when they come to me they're out of control. – nrlb14 Aug 25 '15 at 13:25
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Good discipline for me is based on trust and commonly agreed upon system that has been set up with goals that the child has communicated that it wants to get. Not a fear based discipline that silences the participation of the kid in creating the structure. To do this the personal rapport must be based on personal bonding. I is harder to do bonding with a kid that is already talking and running around, but there are ways witch are based upon dependence of the child towards the parent that is to bond with the child.

But it seems that you have your hands full with two of them, perhaps it would be possible to have only one of them for a few days... you need time to bond with them and the new baby, the 3 and 6 year old also appear to feed of each others. You told us that the weeks are alternate from mom to dad, perhaps the 3 and 6 year old also need to alternate each other to give space for there personal relationship to you.

My alternation suggestion would be to have them both at there mothers every other weekend and both at your place the other weekend, but on weekdays only one of them is with you and the other one is with their other mom. This way you can ease the going without removing the Week/week alternation.

My personal experience with moody kids tells me that he kid will need about two days of rest after alternation before coming back to its senses.So it may also be worth to try a 2-week/2-week alternation cycle. With this system the two day tantrum after alternation exchanges will take fewer days of the year for there are fewer alternations exchanges.

Also when trying new cycles of alternation then in my experience the kid will not start to feel easy about it until the cycles have turned 3 times so a pattern can be trusted by the kid.


edit: also for me, if there is a pants wetting problem, then no TV one hour before bed time. the TV is like a drug for some kids, where their control of their own priorities is taken away from them, so they become unable to take care for the bodily needs like eating, moving or going to the bathroom.

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