Blended Families

Thoughtful article

I read this article about being a parent to a willful stepchild. I thought it had some merit to it and is worth reading...


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." ~ Lao Tzu

Re: Thoughtful article

  • I think that this article is bullshit. 

    Education and Personal Boundaries?  If the Step-parent does not do the research or does not allowed punish the child along the "willful child rules", it doesnt matter if you set your own boundaries.  Kid goes into your room without permission, what is your recourse if BioParent won't enforce a time out or object removal.  

    Going to your room?  If the SP is the only one in the home with a willful child who is on the rampage, you CAN"T just go into your room and listen to music.  If you do, things get broken.

    Offering choices are great, but if your willful child - OR ANY CHILD - do not like the two options, you are back to square one.  Monkey is not a willful child (under the definition provided here) and we still have meltdowns because option A and B are not what she enevitably wants.  And what she does want is usually not appropriate.  

    So I can just see how a willful child is going to react, especially when he/she knows that if he/she throws a fit nothing is going to happen.

    The ONLY good part is having the SP leave.  But even that is bunk because the house belongs to the ADULT, not the child.  No adult should leave his/her house - especially when they are paying for said house  and its upkeep - for a child.  

    What a great life lesson for the kid.  If Im cranky enough, I can get another person to run away.

    A win all around, this article.  

  • Not all of that pertains to me but I do agree with a few things that were mentioned.. Like grounding from a video game for an extensive period of time.. DH grounded 13yo SS from the PS3 for a month and keeps adding time on. It isn't effective at all. If I say anything to 13yo SS it's.. "I don' t care" especially if it has to do with any video game.

    I do see the negative that come from the grounding and I think it's way too much. When it was just DS and I, depending on the crime.. he would not have any toys or video games in him room and would have to earn them back, but I wouldn't wait forever to give the things back to him and he was allowed 30 minutes a day at first and then no longer than two hours on the video game as long as homework and chores were done, which I thought was quite a bit. but it did make him appreciate his things more. I know that's my DS.

    Back to SK's.. I do sometimes feel like that.. not with all of them and not all the time. SD's lie about small things if they think they will be in trouble for something.

    SS lies about big things "dad said I could do this today" and then when DH gets home from work wondering why SS is doing whatever it is that he isn't supposed to. I sometimes told DH that I told SS he could but not anymore, because SS thought he could get away with it with me on a daily basis.

    I think it is a good article.. I think it depends on the age and the mindset of the child though.

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  • My 4 yo DD is a willfull child.  She fits the description in this list almost to a T and I have to tell you some of those suggestions work.

    Now, I would never put on ear phones or leave her - that's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard - but I do give options and I do use short term punishments (time out, losing ipad, losing toy).  It is what works best for her.

    And give her choices always work even if she doesn't want one of the choices.   She'll whine at first that she doesn't like my choices, but I'll start to count to 3 and then she'll say fine and pick a choice and it will be over.

    And to be honest, my DD behaves much, much better for me than DH. I believe this is because I am firm, consistent, and I always punish the bad behavior.  When she gets into one of her stubborn streaks with DH and I'm not there - all hell can break loose!

    As a sidenote - I was the same way as a child and as an adult, I admit to being one of the most stubborn women in the world.  I consider it a strength :) 

  • Sorry if it wasn't helpful! We have some issues with SS but most of it isn't related to him acting out. I thought some of the suggestions were good so I wanted to share it. It does help to see what people's everyday experience is and what will or won't work in these situations.
    "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." ~ Lao Tzu
  • Ummm yeah I'm not sure about some of the things one the list. Especially "headphones" and leaving the house. You can't just ignore the kid and leave him unattended when he acts out. And boundaries? It seems that if the bio parent doesn't want the stepparent disciplining the kid in any way then the stepparent setting their own boundaries and in effect rules and punishment won't go over well either.

    I do think the short-term punishment might work well, DS fits about half the definitions in the article for a strong-willed child and short term consequences definitely work better for him, especially at 3YO. Overall I think the best way to handle a strong-willed kid is to be a strong-willed parent. Consistent, attentive, intuitive, patient and caring. For both the bio parent AND step parent.

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