It is hard to be a stepparent of a troubled teen.

So I am having a VERY hard time thinking of something funny to write about. I have wracked my brain. I just can’t come up with anything even remotely funny going on in my life right now. Maybe if I tell you all that is going on you could help me…..

Let’s see, actually, if I do that, it will just depress you all as much as it depresses me. I have come to the conclusion after much drama, that apparently I am a minority. I have done research on the internet looking for people like me. Looking for help, looking for support groups. I have not been successful so far. It is hard to describe. I believe there are thousands of people like me, but I don’t think anyone is willing to admit it. We will be ostracized. We will make people angry. Don’t rock the boat……just suffer in silence to keep the peace……
I kid you not, when I do research looking for my people, I come up empty handed.  I mean come on, seriously people???  Even people looking for their African ancestors will have more databases to peruse than people like me.  So have piqued your curiosity yet?  Are you wondering what in the heck kind of minority I am?  You may be wondering if I am really in such a small group of people?

Ok, so I will tell you…..drumroll please………

I am the Step Parent of a Troubled Teen.  Also known as a SPOTT.  And yes, I did make up that acronym….do you like it???  I have an amazing partner who I love without reservation who is the biological parent to a difficult, troubled teen. We have worked with her, we have taken her to see a therapist, (she was fired by the therapist), we have stopped yelling and started talking.  All to no avail.  And to be totally honest, as the step parent and not the biological parent, I have little or no control over the situation anyway.  As a matter of fact, the websites I did find gave me the following advice:

“Communication and teamwork are essential in a step-parenting situation.”
Yessirree folks,  that is abut all there is to being a good stepparent.  Communication……..right?  They have got to be fucking kidding me….
When you are the step parent of a troubled teen you are pretty much the same as a muchroom sitting in a dark corner.  You have absolutely NO say in what happens.  If your partner is a strong parent and uses tough love and firm parenting, things might get better for you.  However, if your partner is a parent who would rather NOT deal with confrontation and the “messy” stuff, all I can say is boy howdy you better hold on for a rough ride.  I know because I am a partner to a wonderful, amazing, beautiful woman who is a parent of the second kind.  She would rather just NOT deal with anything that is difficult.  In teenage language this really means “it’s okay honey, just do whatever you want”.  Then when there are concerns about drinking and unprotected sex and smoking, it is too late to put the brakes on and try and fix what is broken.  And as the stepparent, I can only hold on, close my eyes tight and whimper in the corner.  Sometimes I click my heels three times and say “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” When I am done, I am still standing in the same fucking spot dealing with the same bullshit I was dealing with before.

So, my real question is……is there anyone else out there who walks my walk?  Anyone who finds themself whimpering in the corner because they are powerless and their house is being run by an unruly, ungrateful, teenager who thinks they can do whatever they want???? And the one adult who should have the power does nothing because it is easier to walk away???  PLEASE for the love of all that is good, there MUST be someone else out there like me??? I don’t mind being a minority, but I don’t want to be the only one………

Just knowing there is one other person like me would help………anyone?????

I am going to go eat something chocolate now……

One thought on “It is hard to be a stepparent of a troubled teen.

    1. Michael, my only advice is if you love the stepchild’s parent enough you slog through it. Keep lines of communication open with your partner, and do your best to talk about the situation objectively. If all goes the way it should eventually the teenager will move out. It is not an easy road by any means, but I am sending good vibes to you!!!

  1. This is my plight as well and there is two of them. I feel powerless. tired, and ready to give both girls an earful. My husband is a burnt out parent who has been raising these two by himself for a long time. I do not entirely blame him. His two kids are complete spoiled brats, who dont give a crap about themselves. That is one point that I try to remember. For them to act this way, they just dont care and they have some real emotional issues. Some of these issues are inherent to the development of the teenage brain, some of its personality, some of it is entitlement, and some of its being fucked up emotionally, spiritually, mentally and socially. I have to remind myself, they must really be suffering inside and not like themselves to be doing the things there are doing. Going back to how I behave helps me to have a smidgen of compassion and not request they both be sent away immediately. By all means this is not a excuse for their behavior. Unfortunately, these two are doing to have to learn the hard way. They are not my responsibility and will never be. Here is my advice to have a little power and relief in your life; if they dont clean up, or take care of things, stop doing things for them; If they dont respect a relationship of give and take with you, then stop giving. It is not mean, it is right.
    I think I wrote this more for me than anyone.If it helps, all the better. Remember, we are not their therapist, hire help, scapegoat or toilet to shit on. Good luck.

  2. I am in the same boat! I feel so lost. I love my boyfriend and I love the kid but something HAS to give. I cannot take anymore, he steals the credit card, refuses to go to school, tells me to fuck off. Destroys my property and I am at a loss of what to do. Unfortunately my boyfriend is afraid that if he dissaplines him that he will leave and go with his mother ( who is a drug addict and raised him until last year) and never come back. I just feel lost.

  3. I am so alone with this situation. It’s been off and on for years now. I’m an outsider in my own home and my husband is quite good at avoiding. We make rules every time he comes back and it’s a joke. We’re talking serious issues here. Drugs,jail, homelessness …. Now he’s back for that “last chance.” In getting fatter by the day! I was a strict parent to my own children and this has become unbearable. I feel like I’m on the verge of a breakdown. I am his babysitter because I am out of work right now and he is not trusted in the house alone since he has stolen from us in the past. I try to keep my mouth shut but I’m so distraught! The tension is unbearable! I think it’s going to kill either me or my marriage. Thank,s for a place to vent.

  4. Well, it is happening to me too. He stole my company credit card with intent to use it. My company pressed charges and his dad spent a butt ton of money and hired a good lawyer who got him one day of community service, WHICH his dad helped him do. He steals from me, from his dad, from his grandmother, from his aunt, from his friends, from anyone he feels like. He was expelled from school and sent to alternative school for grabbing a teacher’s butt. Now, last night, he has snuck out of his window and went and vandalized the teachers mailbox and spray painted “cunt” on the road in front of her house. He also vandalized his ex girlfriends mailbox and wrote on the road in front of her house. And LIE! Every single word that comes out of his mouth is a lie. No matter what he does, he ALWAYS says that he didn’t do it. He never takes responsibility for his actions.

    He is a slob and doesn’t even try to keep his surroundings clean. He smells so bad, that the whole back of the house smells bad when you walk in the back door. He is lazy, he is disagreeable and NOTHING ever suits him. He is mouthy and disrespectful!.

    The child has no consequences. He is 16 and he is absolutely out of control. I am a prisoner in my own home. I am no longer myself. I have been so stressed that I am ill now. So here is what I told my new husband: You have options. Quit your 10 hour a day, 6 day a week job and take a lesser job to be with your teen and be a parent to him, which he can afford to do. Stop ta-taing him! Be a parent! Set rules and give consequences when he breaks them. To that he said: No because he doesn’t want to give up making the money he is making. So my only other suggestion is to take him and go finish raising him, outside of my home and my life which this child has walked on, trampled and destroyed. I will wait for for my husband because I love him, but I will no longer be a prisoner to this child’s bad behaviors and criminal whims. I did my part trying to be nice to him, take care of him, be a friend to him; only to have him look me in the face and tell me that he doesn’t feel anything about me. No “thank yous” from him for “taking such good care of me and my dad”, no “I’m sorry I stole from you” (several times!). Nothing. Just a cold hard stare and a “I don’t love you”. I’m done. They can go.

    1. Amy I am so sorry you are dealing with this horrible situation. I can’t give you any advice because each situation is unique to each family. But what I can tell you is that you NEED to take care of yourself! I totally understand waiting for your husband because you love him. Would it be feasible for you to rent a one bedroom apartment so you can have your own space to live until your stepson is grown? Your husband can visit you there, but that protects you from the horrible stress that is making you sick! I considered that at one point for myself, bit my stepchild was over 18 so I just kicked her out and that helped. This past Christmas she came to visit (she is now 25) and she walked in, hugged me, and apologized for being such a shit. She was crying and I believe with all my heart that she is sorry for all she did. We now have a loving relationship. That was ONLY possible because she FINALLY grew up and took responsibility for the awful way she treated me! I am sending healing vibes and LOTS and LOTS of hugs your way!!

      1. I pray that it turns out that way for us and that he will eventually take responsibility for his actions. I’m happy to hear that she apologized to you. This gives me hope. It helps knowing that I am not alone. It doesn’t fix it, but knowing that I’m not the only one having these feelings or thoughts helps me not feel so guilty and bad for feeling or thinking the way I have. Finding myself in such a dark place, despair set in and I felt that I couldn’t “see my hand in front of my face”, much less reason out how I was supposed to think or feel. They are still there with me, but with much harsher boundaries set for my well being. It’s taking my husband’s mother becoming involved and taking on a portion of the role as “warden/babysitter”, and stricter guidelines about when he is allowed at the home. I actually HATE that it has to be this way. I never imagined it turning out like this. I only ever wanted him to be happy, but, it is what it is. Thanks for listening.

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