SS has been smoking pot, is suspended from school and has a bad attitude

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2007
SS has been smoking pot, is suspended from school and has a bad attitude
Tue, 03-01-2011 - 1:28am

It's been a while since I last posted. As you may remember, I was having problems with step kids because husband was sure they were perfect and would argue with me about any punishment of them but say that my daughter was not very well behaved. Many of you told me to run not walk from this relationship. I nearly did. We really hashed things out and over the next few months things did get better between us. One of the things that happened was he went and talked to some of his friends who confirmed that yes, his children were very unpleasant and no, they never saw problems with my daughter that he kept saying everyone saw. It has also helped that my daughter moved out a couple months ago. This had nothing to do with anything except a 2 hr commute each way to college. She now lives 20 minutes from school and is doing much better since she has time to sleep.

Obviously this did cause him a lot of stress and he has been kind of depressed and questioning his parenting skills. Because he actually started to be a parent, not because I was making him but because he realized his kids were doing things that needed to be corrected, his daughter is actually doing much better. She is doing a little better in school. She is doing her chores with less arguing. She is less self centered and is making friends at school.

On the other hand, the boy is not getting better. He has always had bouts of defiance that were beyond normal. He has always had a lot of impulsivity problems etc. But because in the past DH wouldn't really do anything it usually blew over and the boy got his way as long as he would do a few things his Dad wanted.

Well lately it's been bad enough that he has assaulted DH a couple of times. DH is pretty good sized but SS is catching up. DH has still been able to keep him under control and has only taken a few punches. Anway, this latest episode started with a suspension from school. It was just some damage to the school property but this isn't the first time it's been a problem. So his punishment was to repaint his bedroom. We have allowed all the kids to be creative with their rooms. His looks like a ghetto and has foul language all over, which I haven't liked and DH has periodicallly made the boy cover the worst of it. DH also decided that he was going to UA his son. This was not because he thought his son was doing drugs but because he thought it would keep him from doing it. DH was shocked when his son said he would test dirty and had been smoking pot for 3 years. He also said we were so stupid because he's stoned several times a week and we're too dumb to know it.

SS has decided he doesn't want to repaint his room. He is not going to cooperate with anything like that. After SS was suspended DH had taken him to the local police station to talk to one of the cops then because he was still defiant he went to juvie.SS doesn't think anyone will do anything even though both people told him that the path he's on is pretty much leading him to jail. DH was so frustrated tonight he also called the Sheriffs dept. The Deputy did tell SS that he can be spanked and even slapped in the face for his behavior and it isn't abuse. But if he pushes DH then he will go to juvie for assault.

I told DH that we really need to have SS tested for ADHD. He was tested as borderline previously. I think this could be some of the problem. I also think that it will get the ball rolling into finding out why SS is the way he is. Someone previously mentioned RAD which I think both kids suffer from. I also told DH the SS needs a complete physical to make sure he isn't having some kind of health problem. DH has finally agreed to both of these things.

As it stands right now, DH is cleaning out and painting SS's room. They are in there talking right now which often means SS convinces DH he'll do what he wants but that is never the case. I often think that SS is a sociopath and just can con people (not just us) into doing what he wants. I hope that DH continues with the painting and removing stuff. I've told him that he should just pack the stuff up and stash it in the attic or maybe even at someone else's house if SS won't stay out of it. DH is feeling really bad and guilty about packing the room up. I also hope that DH does meet with the school to have them do the testing and whatever else they think is necessary. He said he was also going to tell the school about the pot so maybe we can get some help from them.

We don't have a lot of money. SS is on medicaid since we don't have any health insurance. We would like to take SS to a counselor and need to find out how much help we will get from medicaid. We can't afford $3k per month for any kind of residential treatment but not sure what else to do. If SS has any unsupervised time we are at risk of him going and finding pot. He no longer has a social life but if we continue to send him to school he will just leave when he wants to. It also will give him a chance to buy pot from other students. There is also the risk that he just won't come home on the bus and will stay in town. It is a very small town so it wouldn't be hard to find him but we really won't know if he isn't home if we're at work. We have considered moving him to the school near our business so that he will have to sit there every day after school and all summer.

We also have issues with sending him to his mom's. As some of you may remember she is a big partier too. He has stolen pot from her before. She also doesn't supervise the kids at all so he buys pot while he's there. DH is thinking he may need to get a court order to change the visitation so that she can come and visit him at our house or take him for the day but not take him overnight or something like that. I'm sure we can get her to approve that since we can threaten her with her pot use getting disclosed.

Step parenting can really suck. Your stuck with what someone else messed up by taking drugs while they were pregnant then abandoning their kids for years but you aren't really allowed to do anything about it. Thanks for letting me vent.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2010
Hi there... I don't know if I saw your other posts, but how old is your SS? I don't have any advice, but I just wanted to say it does sound like you are taking the right first steps. Has this happened before? It sounds like a really tough situation and depending on your SS's age, there may or may not be a lot you can do about it. I'm sure that having the stepparent situation makes it even more tricky. I hope things start turning around for you and your stepson.