Easter with difficult stepson


Well-Known Member
We are now back in regular contact with Difficult Stepson. My wife speaks to him, or sees him, on a weekly basis and he visits us again. He spent time with us on both Saturday and Sunday for Easter and a family party. He's got a girlfriend now, a girl one year younger than him, who lives across the street from them. This girl accompanies him to every visit. I'm not sure whether or not this pairing is a positive one, as she shares many of his issues, but it's obvious they care about each other deeply. Difficult Stepson has never had a close, caring relationship before (either friendship or romantic) and I couldn't be happier that he is now having this experience - I just hope it doesn't turn sour, but I'm trying not to project into the future.

The two of them were holding hands, draping their legs over each other, and tried to sneak upstairs to his room at our place but I made it very clear that wasn't happening. So they came back down and we played board games for an hour or so before Difficult Stepson drove himself, his girlfriend and younger brother back home.

I think we'd be naive to think they aren't sexually active. We try not to nag him about being responsible, using birth control, etc. We do know the girlfriend has more supervision at home than our Difficult Stepson has with his father so we hope that she, if not he, will take this responsibility seriously. Difficult Stepson continues to shirk accountability in every other area of his life that I can see, so I wouldn't be surprised if the same magical thinking extends to a potential pregnancy as well.

I asked him how online school was going (we can tell from our monitoring that it isn't going great, he isn't completing his work, the same story as brick and mortar school) and he stiffened up, and gave a terse response. I didn't follow up. It's his life and I need to butt out of it unless he threatens his own safety, or mine, or my wife's.

Overall it was a pleasant visit and it's good to have him back in our lives. There's been a definite transition since the "break" in that he is asserting his independence. We relate to him differently; more like an adult. This is both good and bad. He's only sixteen years old and has proven himself both unable and unwilling to handle the burdens of being grown up; he needs guidance and parenting, but he won't accept it and I have finally accepted that there is nothing I can do about that.

I'm thankful for the good memories with him created over the weekend. I will do my best to hold on to them.

Thank you for listening. I hope everyone had a nice holiday.

Coffee Lover

New Member
Thanks for sharing. I know I'm guilty of always walking away from things focused on "the bad" and what we could do differently next time or how we could have handled moments "better" to improve things that its easy to forget to sometimes just stop and enjoy things and the good moments for what they are.

I'm glad that you guys had a good Easter and were able to enjoy it. Sounds like you all needed it and that's wonderful!

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
You could give him some condoms. Is there any chance he will get a job over the summer? Sometimes that helps a young person mature.


Well-Known Member
Stepson told us, when he was selling us on the online HS plan, that he would get a part time job to pay for the classes as well as fill his time. It's been a few months since then and he is not working. His grandfather could easily hook him up with a caddying job at grandpa's country club but stepson won't consider it. Stepson claims he's filled out some applications at fast food places and big box stores near his house but things "haven't worked out."

When you try to push him on anything he shuts down and then removes himself from our lives. My wife feels we need to accept him as he is. I don't necessarily disagree as long as he is not harming himself or others - and in my book that includes taking financial advantage.

Dad bought him a car without our knowledge and he drives himself, girlfriend and little brother all over the place. When my wife calls him he's usually out to eat with the girlfriend. Where the $ is coming from we don't know. My wife pays child support to her ex so this might be part of the answer. We think the girlfriend's family is fairly well off, so she may also be bankrolling him. And we know that he has used weed in the past. It wouldn't surprise me if he was doing some dealing, but we have no proof.

He suffers from debilitating anxiety which he won't medicate - he can't function in the outside world without his medications. His father, with whom he lives, won't make him take the medications. So it's a vicious cycle.
It's hard when the other bio parent is always sabotaging your efforts and validating the kids bad behavior. Sends so many mixed signals to the kid about proper behavior. And of course the child is going to side with the parent who is easiest to deal with.


Well-Known Member
Of course. I have accepted that I can't control or change the situation or the other people involved. I can just change myself. That helps a lot, along with boundaries about what I will accept in my home. As long as his father is living, stepson won't be trying to live with us, so there's really nothing for me to fret about. It's just sad to see a young person you care about screwing up.