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Stepson torments my son- I can't stop it

When I met my wife, she had a 6 year old son, he always was rude but I figured he'd grow out of it. Now she and I have a 4 year old of our own. My stepson is now 13. Step is disrespectful and rude to everyone, it would be typical teen behavior but he's smart and cuts to people, making fun of the fact I am stuck in my job, that my wife makes more than me and that I'm not athletic. He teases me everyday with how tall he's getting- he's nearly six foot, almost my height, but Im still much stockier than him...  His father is largely absent, left when he was 2, he refuses to pay child support since I moved in though still sees his son every once in a while. My darling little boy is a tiny thing. He's a dramatic kid who is in his own little world a lot of the time, who likes to read- already catching sight words and reading a little at 4! The step says reading is "for fags" but is still somehow getting a 4.0 and plays lots of sports. My parents and my in laws love the step. So bright, so athletic, such a future. They think my boy is a wierdo, looks sick all the time, etc. Context to show where support would be.. 
The step has always pushed and shoved my son around, but lately he's been doing it a lot. My wife works lots of late nights, and the step will come out and look right at me, then shove his brother. Three weeks ago, he actually smacked my son in the back of the head! So I started snapping, ran with the fist raised... and saw me losing everything. Especially losing my son. So instead I grabbed his arm and yelled at him to never try that again. 
Well, it left a bruise... and the wife told me she's afraid to leave us alone together and was going to reduce her hours to stay at home. But she loves her job and the extra work (teaches and the after hours is a drama program)... so I talked her out of it.And step called his dad... no idea what happened there though my wife spent an hour crying and pleading with him on the phone. Step has now been accidentally bumping into my son daily and openly makes fun of me and his mom. Today almost lost it again. We were getting ready to see in laws, and step just kicked his brother in the back, casually, while walking past him paying n the floor. I ran to my son and picked him up while he cried, and step just started laughing and said "God, you're pussies. I didn't even kick him that hard."
What do I do? It;s killing my wife and it;s killing me. I know that if I beat the step up, he'd leave my son alone. But if I lay a hand on him I'll lose my birth son, they'll take him from me I know it! I can't talk to him, I tried a few times. Most times he would roll his eyes and walk away. Last time, after the arm grabbing incident, he said, exactly this- "You're not my dad. So shut the fuck up, you don't get to talk to me. You're nothing around here." My wife isn't really doing anything either- her solution was to leave them alone together for an afternoon so we could go on a date! Oh, step laughed at that and pointed a fork at my son and said "Yeah, leave us here. We'll have lots of fun." She actually said I provoke him and that I'm not much of a role model- losing respect and love for her over this. And I can' count on support from anyone else in the family- they think step is so great and they hate my son. What can I do? I seriously am considering packing up my son and running away... but I'm so broke, and I know that they'd come after me and take him back. I just want to protect my boy. 

Re: Stepson torments my son- I can't stop it

  • First of all, it is not normal behavior for a 13-year-old to beat up on a 4-year-old even if they are step brothers. It wouldn't be normal behavior for even an older biological brother to do this to a little kid. It is actually behavior that indicates a problem with your step son, which makes me think your step son has some underlying mental issue.

    Has anyone BESIDES you seen your step son do this to the little guy? If not, can you get and hide cameras to record the behavior?

    Does your step son hurt small animals too?

    At any rate, he does need professional help. Even if an older child is sad, angry, or frustrated, pretty much all healthy "normal" kids know not to beat up on 4-year-olds, they just don't do it and they know not to do it without anybody having to tell them. If your own son was 10 or 11, I could see a brotherly rivalry taking place and that being a bit more normal for boys so close in age to relate to one another with punches and kicks. But, for a 13-year-old to go at a 4-year-old, that's plain odd.

    It also sounds like your wife is in denial. And, no I would not leave the two boys alone together.

    What sort of interaction does your son the 4-years-old have with kids his own age? Is he in pre-school? Lessons? Sports? Art classes? Something where he interacts with children in his own peer group?
    short+sassy
  • I'm with PP, this is not normal. What stepson this aggressive before his brother came into the picture? I'm sure his father not being in the picture has something to do with his behavior & wondering if mom let him get away with stuff because she felt guilty because bio dad wasn't in picture. So start off it's him & mom all the time. Then you come into the picture & that takes away time from it being just him & mom. Then a few years later, brother comes into picture and takes even more time from him & his mom alone. And his negative behavior is getting attention. Not saying that because of this, his behavior is excusable. 

    I agree with pp that I think he needs individual counseling along with maybe family counseling. I think it may be good after sometime in counseling that at least once a month for mom & stepson to go out for some one on one time & while they are doing that, you can have some one on one time with your son. Then switch, wife has some one on one time with your son & you go hang out with your step son talking to him calmly about life and interests. I think the counseling will be big though because as kids get to this age they don't always know how to express their emotions in a healthy way and take it out often in aggressive manners. My niece to break things & punch holes into the walls until they found her a good counselor who suggested that they get her  a punching bag. After that, she would take out her initial anger on the punching bag and once the anger was gone, she would come down and talk to her parents about what she was made about and since she was calm, she was more open to listening to what they had to say. Not saying that this situation would work for your stepson. But just an example of how a good counselor can help a family situation.

    I also agree with PP that the two boys shouldn't be left alone together. If you are outside doing yard work, then your youngest needs to be outside playing in the yard so you can keep an eye on him.

  • edited March 2016
    When I met my wife, she had a 6 year old son, he always was rude but I figured he'd grow out of it. Now she and I have a 4 year old of our own. My stepson is now 13. Step is disrespectful and rude to everyone, it would be typical teen behavior but he's smart and cuts to people, making fun of the fact I am stuck in my job, that my wife makes more than me and that I'm not athletic.

    He teases me everyday with how tall he's getting- he's nearly six foot, almost my height, but Im still much stockier than him...  His father is largely absent, left when he was 2, he refuses to pay child support since I moved in though still sees his son every once in a while.


    My darling little boy is a tiny thing. He's a dramatic kid who is in his own little world a lot of the time, who likes to read- already catching sight words and reading a little at 4!

    The step says reading is "for fags" but is still somehow getting a 4.0 and plays lots of sports. My parents and my in laws love the step. So bright, so athletic, such a future. They think my boy is a wierdo, looks sick all the time, etc. Context to show where support would be.. 

    The step has always pushed and shoved my son around, but lately he's been doing it a lot. My wife works lots of late nights, and the step will come out and look right at me, then shove his brother. Three weeks ago, he actually smacked my son in the back of the head!

    So I started snapping, ran with the fist raised... and saw me losing everything. Especially losing my son. So instead I grabbed his arm and yelled at him to never try that again. 

    Well, it left a bruise... and the wife told me she's afraid to leave us alone together and was going to reduce her hours to stay at home. But she loves her job and the extra work (teaches and the after hours is a drama program)... so I talked her out of it.And step called his dad... no idea what happened there though my wife spent an hour crying and pleading with him on the phone. Step has now been accidentally bumping into my son daily and openly makes fun of me and his mom.

    Today almost lost it again. We were getting ready to see in laws, and step just kicked his brother in the back, casually, while walking past him paying n the floor. I ran to my son and picked him up while he cried, and step just started laughing and said "God, you're pussies. I didn't even kick him that hard."

    What do I do? It;s killing my wife and it;s killing me. I know that if I beat the step up, he'd leave my son alone.

    But if I lay a hand on him I'll lose my birth son, they'll take him from me I know it! I can't talk to him, I tried a few times. Most times he would roll his eyes and walk away. Last time, after the arm grabbing incident, he said, exactly this- "You're not my dad. So shut the fuck up, you don't get to talk to me. You're nothing around here."

    My wife isn't really doing anything either- her solution was to leave them alone together for an afternoon so we could go on a date! Oh, step laughed at that and pointed a fork at my son and said "Yeah, leave us here. We'll have lots of fun." She actually said I provoke him and that I'm not much of a role model- losing respect and love for her over this. And I can' count on support from anyone else in the family- they think step is so great and they hate my son. What can I do? I seriously am considering packing up my son and running away... but I'm so broke, and I know that they'd come after me and take him back. I just want to protect my boy. 
    This is on your wife.

    She has never disciplined her son and this is 100% her fault.

    When you saw what the lay of the land was when you met the child, you shuld have found yourself another ladyfriend. As you can see, the problem did not go away -- in fact, it's become worse.

    What I suggest:

    Intervention for your stepson.  It would be wise to have a meeting -- you and your wife -- with your district's child study team. He needs to see a professional; they will recommend somebody.

    He's too old to be acting like this and his behavior is inappropriate. I reckon it could very easily escalate into something else.

    I do not know about the discipline part --- the SS needs it but will your wife do it, at this late stage of the game? Hard to tell.

    And for shame on your son...he is 13 and he is picking on a 4 year old???? Shame shame shame is right. This is pitiful and downright cruel. (there will be a generation gap and I knew of 2 fellows who were in the same age bracket; they never got along; I don't know if this is what comes with the territory so to speak but he's got NO business picking on a 4 year old kiddo.)

    Your stepson would benefit from professional help. he's got a biological father that took off and I will bet the national deficit he is seething mad about that.

    Get him intervention asap and keep your little one and this shameful oaf separated. He's got no business picking on a little kid.

    Is your stepson involved in sports and an extracurricular activity? if not, he needs to be; he need time away from his kid brother and he also needs to KEEP BUSY.; He will also learn something too.
  • edited March 2016
    Your SS also needs rules -- and rule number one is not to be rude to adults and other people, his parents first and foremostly.

    No, you are not his biological father but you are a father figure and an adult in authority and this is where your SS has to get the message. If your wife was smart she'd say "Listen to Try and obey him as you wold obey me."

    Reading is NOT "For fags." Reading is hooked in to everything we do and every profession that we have. Here is an example:

    You need to know your word roots to understand anatomy and physiology and without that kind of "reading that is for fags" we would not have any doctors at all or the ones turned out wouldn't be worth shit. You wouldn't know your bilateral from your ventral from your dorsal and you would not know your antihistamine from your anticoagulant..

    You need to know your word roots to become an IT professional -- you need to know your giga and your mega andand your tera and your nano among others.

    If you don't know your linear feet from your square feet, you will be hopeless as a carpenter.

    You need it to become a chemist or a biologist: milli, kilo and micro -- part of the basis for both of those professions.

    It is too bad for your stepson. he will never know the joy of sitting down with a Harry Potter novel, nor know the pleasure that come from reading the biographies and autobiographies of his favorite sports stars.
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