Finding A Step Parent’s Role As Disciplinarian To A Troubled Teen Boy

There seems to be no shortage of the issues that can plague a teen boy these days from peer pressure, alcohol and substance abuse to depression and a host of other emotional and behavioral problems.

Dealing with a troubled teen is quite a feat for any parent, let alone a stepparent. As the latter, you have to perform a delicate balancing act where you’ll have to consider not only your stepson’s feelings but also those of his biological parent.

Acknowledging Your Stepson’s Inner Turmoil

While there could be several reasons why your stepson is acting out, it is very likely that his behavior could be tied to the loss of one of his parents-either through death or divorce. If this is the case, he could be struggling with feelings of grief, loss and abandonment.

Additionally, your teen son might feel resentful towards you and your presence in the family. He might blame you for his parents’ breakup or see your presence as a threat to the memory of his late parent. His disobedience and troubling behavior could be a way of exerting control over the situation.

It is important to recognize your stepson’s inner turmoil as these feelings can easily sabotage your chances of establishing a relationship with him. They can also considerably limit your attempts at establishing authority in the family.

Finding Lasting Solutions

In any family, disciplining children works best when both parents present a united front. You and your stepson’s biological parent, therefore, need to have a candid discussion about each other’s fears and expectations regarding disciplining any children in the family. Also, make sure you agree on the household rules and the consequences for failing to adhere to them.

Other recommendations we can give include:

  • Allow the teen’s biological parent to be the direct disciplinarian until you forge a strong bond with your stepson. Taking the lead disciplinarian role can drive a permanent wedge in your fledgling relationship.
  • If you have merged your own children from a previous relationship into the family, ensure both your stepson and his step-siblings face the same disciplinary measures where possible. This will help minimize sibling rivalry which can tear the family’s unity apart.
  • Encourage your troubled stepson to speak out and say what’s on his mind. If he does, ensure you listen without judgment or interruptions. This will go a long way towards fostering trust between the two of you.
  • Get your struggling stepson the right therapeutic care to help him overcome his issues. Family therapy might also come in handy in uncovering any residual problems that might hinder his recovery.

With great care and patience, your stepson can go on to lead a successful life. Should you need any assistance getting him on the right track, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll do our best to help you find a lasting solution.

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