Dealing with 15 year old Stepson

by Njeri


I really do appreciate your response as right now I am considering moving out.
My beloved boyfriend and I moved in together 3 years ago. He has a teen who is 15 today and I have a daughter who is 8.

I have been living with my daughter every other week and he with his son on an irregular basis, depending on his ex's working schedule. That was before we moved together.

After moving together, I suggested to him to talk to his ex about having his son every other week like I had my daughter. This way, we all had a chance to be together.

That was tackled and we have been living this way since 3 years ago. Successively over the years, the son got into a habit of playing World of War Craft. The habit has made him to be a slave to the computer. The week he is at our place he spends most of his time on this game; 80% and 20% with us. Mostly not willingly.

80% of his time spent playing video games makes him tired and moody. He lacks sleep and this has also affected him in school. The teacher has called my man more than twice asking for a meeting where she has informed them (him and the ex) that he has an attitude: Never listens to what the teacher says, misses doing his homework, sleepy or tired during lessons etc.

I hate to admit, he also infected my daughter with playing games on computer. But since she is my own, I have managed to set limits on her. Not that we have not set a common limit for both. Each time we do so, it take 2 weeks and his son has already forgotten the rules and limitation we have agreed on. I don't take any action as I consider my man, his father to take action. Which he DOES not.

Now I have decided to move out after this incident:

The boys grandparents asked him to do short summer job at their place to build something. He was going to get paid.

He refused saying that he was too tired and since it was the last week of summer holiday (we came to realize that it was two weeks left), he wanted to be home.

The evening before, he took of to play the World of War Craft at a friend's place, where the parents probably allowed them to be up the whole night. Yes, he was tired, that far I agreed.

A few minutes later after breakfast and the summer job refusal, he was on the computer playing again. I asked him to turn off the machine. Which he did and had his door shut.

My man and I were busy cleaning the apartment only to learn later that behind his door, he had the machine up and running again. I asked him why he had it on and he said he was listening to music. I told him, that If I said no machine on he should have respected that. According to me, if he was that tired, then he should be resting and not in front of the computer "listening to music." So I went to the main switch and switched off the electricity from his room.

He opened the door and said to me, "thank you" and I answered "you are welcome." He banged his door and I went on with the cleaning. The father was at that time taking a shower.

An hour later it was time for him to be picked up. The grandma was to pick him up and drive him to his mom.

A few minutes later, we learned that the power cable to the network was missing. The whole connection and switch to the internet happens to be in his room.

I was damn sure he had taken it along or hidden it.

On confrontation about it by his dad over the phone, he denied it! That not only hurt me to hear, but made me lose the trust I had in him. Yes, I know he is 15 but that was wrong.

So over the week when we have been kids free (we have them every other week), we talked about the issue, we even asked our close friends for advice.
(Suggestions: We must show him that he reacted wrongly and must accept the consequence of his action. which according to our friends was: 1. ask him to return the cable and let him know that we did not like that he took it. Then take the computer from his room and let him know that he will get it if he changes his attitude. 2. Set a limit to his video gaming time and minimize it every-time he misbehaves.)

During the kids-free week, my man talked about what he had done with the cable to his ex who in return accused him for not having time to entertain him. The next day, even though not our week, he drive out to pick him up and they went kite surfing.

Later that evening, he came up with a suggestion of driving the boy's computer machine to his mother the following day; adding that it would be nice for his ex to understand what we go through. I agreed partly on that suggestion.

I told him, maybe we should do that but we should first wait until we have solved the issue and have him face the consequences of his actions, which was on agreement. Taking the machine out of his room for a week.

The same week, on a Sunday home alone the door bell rings. The boy was home to pick up the machine. He had the step father with him. I had no idea about it-it took me as a shock. I told him that he was not going to until we have solved the issue but he insisted that he had talked to his dad. And he had given him the go-ahead!

Don't I exist?
So the boy took the machine to his mother's place-Hooray, problem solved!

No, I don't think so-Now I am considering moving out as it seems like my man and I are not a team.

This is not the first time, we agreed on a rule or limit and he let's me down-Please help me out.

We live in an apartment and the contract is under our names. After typing this, I want him to delete me from the contract: He is home for lunch and I took a day off as I am really down.

Read about the Total Transformation, an at-home program that helps turn around the behavior of disrespectful, defiant teenagers. Created by a therapist who used to be a troubled teen himself.

Please advise!

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