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An_244554 posted:
I have a 13 year old step son, who has lived soley with his father and I for the past 7 1/2 years. Most of that time he has had absolutely no contact/relationship with his biological mother, except for the past 2 years she has sporatically been a part of the picture (meaning occasional monthly phone calls) We have always had vehavioral issues with him and honestly seemed to be making progess until lately. He has given up on school completely, doesn't do any of his homework, when teachers try to give him extra time he just sits there and refuses. He lies about EVERYTHING no matter how big or small. He is on adderall but has recently confided to his friends that he doesn't really take it when he's supposed to he just throws it away. I'm at my breaking point, I feel like all of my time is spent dealing with him and his lies and his teachers. I have 2 other children and one coming in a few days. I'm at the end of my rope and his behavior is destroying our marriage, and is embarrassing to his older sister! He seeing a psyciatrist also, I just don't know what else to do!!!
Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hello and Welcome,

I am so sorry you and family are struggling with this. Glad to hear he is seeing a psychiatrist. Have you been able to meet as a family? Maybe you and your husband can also meet with someone to help sort how you will respond to his behaviors.

While waiting for others to respond this resource, 5 Teen Behavior Problems: A Troubleshooting Guide , may be helpful.

Also, check out our Teen Boys' Health Center and our Parenting Center (click on the teen) for additional info.

Take Care,
Hey_There responded:
I had a similar situation. Part of the problem was that from the beginning, my husband wanted me to take on the mom role with parent/teacher conferences, discipline, doctor appointments, homework help etc. My frustration was mainly from having responsibility without authority. After a while, I stepped back and insisted my husband to take most of the responsibility. I know my husband tried as best he knew how, but the consequences weren't consistent and excuses for bad behavior were often made. My step-son is now 21 and is finally learning consequences from work-related situations. He thanked me this last new years eve for all I've done for him because, even though we still don't have a great relationship, I think he knows that I tried. I really think it's hard going through it, but you've got to look at the bigger picture. This boy is hurting even though you're doing everything you know to help him. Is the psyciatrist counseling him or just prescribing medication? I think he probably needs the counseling too if he's not already getting it. There are no easy answers or quick fixes, but there are some good techniques out there that I believe in like Parenting with Love and Logic and a book I read a few months ago called "The Family Contract: A Blueprint for Successful Parenting" by Howard Leftin. In my opinion, nothing will work though without consistency. By the way, I'm not taking about this on the other side of the fence, I also have a 13 yr old who isn't as bad, but still argues incessantly and misbehaves in school. I'm still searching for answers.

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