11

So there is a lot going on here. I'm going to set aside the fact that he's not her biological father - this is something that teenagers do to any authority figure, biological or not. (They actually do it at any age, they just get better at it as they get older...) Let's start with your daughter: what she's doing is extremely typical. It's stressful, but ...


10

While I am not from a blended family, what helped my sister and I avoid fighting over chores was to have them be assigned to one of us when we were high school / college aged. For example: Me: Sort my own clothes and my parents fold all but her clothes. vacuum and dust 1/2 the house (rooms assigned) Cook 3-4 days a week. Nights and meals assigned. ...


8

[on phone so excuse misspellings] As corsiKa pointed out, there are a lot of feelings and complexities and personalities in play here. It is hard to answer your question without more information. Some very general thoughts: He's kind of the enforcer, and I guess you could say I'm the good cop. 1) He may be tired of always being the "bad guy". 2) He may ...


5

If your goal is to eventually adopt your stepson officially (and I hope it is -- it sounds like your stepson is lucky his mother found you!), then I suggest you take a class on Foster and Adoptive Parenting. I took one with my partner in preparation for adopting. I learned a ton. I've tried various parenting workshops but none have held a candle to the ...


4

My parents' solution was to divide up the chores into four types: Chores everyone works on once the relevant parent announces that that chore is being performed: sorting and folding laundry (when a load of clothes comes out of the dryer, everyone with clothes in that load drops whatever they're doing to get their clothes), cleaning up common areas, ...


4

You said: He seems to have an unnatural attachment with the "mums" in his life What happened surrounding your 9 year-old boy's biological mum? Maybe this is part of the problem. Maybe it isn't. The thing is that family break-ups and, although not always, the emotional effects of break-ups can cause all sorts of problems with a child's emotional ...


4

In children this age, I've found that hitting usually is a sign that they don't know how to handle a situation, and hitting is their attempt to solve it and/or express frustration. Imagine this scenario. 5 year old is playing nicely with 2 year old in the garden. 8 year old comes in and disrupts the nice game. 5 year old tries to think of his options for ...


4

It seems to me that you and your partner's attitude towards each others' kids is actually fostering discord here. If you really want to become one family, treat everyone like they are part of one family, not two families who happen to live together. What I mean by this is that when you refuse to punish your partner's kids (and vise-versa), is that you are ...


4

I have ADHD myself, and volunteered with a few kids with it as well. The first thing I would say is that crying and talking back are not related to ADHD. ADHD does not cause or force these behaviors, it is no harder for a kid with ADHD to start (emphasis on start) doing their chores then any other child. As such if the issue with her doing chores is her ...


4

When my 5 year old had to face the prospect of death (several family members passed in as many months) we had a long discussion about change. I used the example how cutting down a large tree allows all the plants below it to grow and become big trees on their own. They would never live to their full potential in the shadows. So what can seem like a major ...


3

This is a great time to break out the whiteboards (assuming you have any). A few sheets of paper with all involved parties sitting at the same table also could suffice. Start by making a list of all the household chores. Then go around and collect bids for chore responsibility. For example, one of you may want to take responsibility for taking out the trash,...


3

As a mom to two teenagers, I feel safe saying that you cannot make a teenager (boy or girl) become interested in something if he or she doesn't want to be interested. And trying to motivate your stepbrother could easily backfire; he might resist and/or resent any motivational strategies. My advice is to give him some space and let him learn about himself ...


3

...we don't have a good relationship with her and so there isn't any communication about behaviour between my other half and the ex. This is common enough, but not really in the best interests of the child. Is there a possibility that she's picking up a bad attitude about her dad from her mother? If she is, then the choice is to either stick it out and ...


3

This is a tough one and I hate to say it, but you might be in for a rough ride, I hope you and your spouse have a strong relationship. You are dealing with a house full of adolescents & hormones. YIKES!!! I would say that the first thing that needs to happen is a set down with the entire family aka The Family Meeting. I find that it is best if my ...


2

If she really doesn't want any physical contact, I wouldn't force it. I would try to keep a smile and just look at her and tell her that you still love her and you will be there for her when she is ready. I had two different step-mothers growing up. My experience with the first one was horrible, so I projected this experience onto my expectations for my ...


2

How about getting him involved in some community activities or classes? Its hard to find new interests without trying things. Pick up a flyer for classes or volunteer activities at a local center and get him to pick one or two then pay for the class and enroll him. See if you can get him involved in really random classes and things. Some of these might be ...


2

I find the truth spoken in an upbeat tone is often enough. Daddy decided to go live in the country and won't be coming by anymore. It's sad that he's gone but as you said, the family is big and sounds strong so he'll be ok. Often I find as parents we think something will be harder on a child than it actually is for them. I talk to my kids openly about my ...


2

It sounds like the family changes are not the root cause. As another mentioned, start with his medical doctor. However also considered strongly a child therapist/councilor. My family has been through a great deal and a family psychologist has been able to help all of us. She sometimes sees my son alone and sometimes we all go together. It is great to ...


2

A few things: 1) 8 is old enough to be able to think about and weigh-in on this decision. I think it would be a good idea to talk to your 8-year-old stepson to see what he thinks of the idea and how often he would want to fly back to the states. You don’t have to base your decision on anything he says, but that is probably the best way to assess how he will ...


2

Sometimes it is less about what you want to do and more about what you don't want to do. If possible it might help to get into a low level job. The fear of being stuck at McDonald's or Walmart has driven many teenagers to apply themselves in college. As long as he is comfortable he will avoid facing the uncomfortable realities of being a responsible ...


1

I have kids about the same age, and experience in both countries. I second MAA's suggestion of asking your 8 year old. But your approach must be thoughtful. In particular, when (and if) you ask him, I'd say it's important to make it clear from the very outset that, although you're interested in his thoughts, it's you and his mother who are going to make the ...


1

Your situation with ADHD and an integrated family sounds challenging. My son has sensory processing disorder, and I find helping him achieve expected behavior is a combination of standard parenting advice along with extra effort and plenty of patience. Respect: This is one I have to work on. When you've got kids yelling and having a tantrum it is so so ...


1

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you already know this isn't easy. Model respect. Break chores into small periods of time. HELP with the chores. She will not cope well with you sitting on the couch and telling her to do work. Set timers. What can we all get done in 2-5 minutes? (Commercials were made for chores. If you don't do a chore, you lose ...


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