How do I disapline effectly a 11 yr. old boy as a step parent?
My husband and I have unexpectly have been custody of his 11 yr. old son. He has not seen him in 4 yrs. I have not met him at all. My husband spent 1 week with him before going back to Afganistan. Though we have grown close in such a short amount of time, I am having problems with him lying, breaking thing (by accident) but not using common sense (ie. throwing rocks for the dogs to chase after and breaking a window and horseplaying in the house with our two german shepards and breaking my glass shelving unit). He has also been late repeatly for curfew of 8 pm not showing up til 830pm. I have taken the video game, phone, tv and allowing him to go outside to going to bed early. Tonight again he was 25 mins. late so I plan on being 25 mins. late in picking him up for track practice which I have to leave work early for. I know he is gonna call me and I plan on telling him "Oh! I am late...just as you were late for curfew. You expect me to do my part but you do not follow through with yours. I am an ex probation officer so am I being too hard? I hardly know this young man...however, my husband says everytime he speaks to me..his son either has something taken away or is on punishment. One time his disapline was to read a chapter book of 18 chapters and when he finished, he was off punishment. It took him 1.5 week. I told him that I was not gonna bug him about reading...it was up to him. After reading it..he had to explain to me what the book was about. Am I too tough?
Thanks for taking the time to reach out for some help on how to discipline your step son. As a parent and a role model for this young boy, it is very important that you model the type of behaviors you expect of him. As such, being late to pick him up from practice would probably not have the effect that you are hoping for. Instead, use that as a teaching opportunity. As you pick him up from practice talk about the benefits of being on time and how much people benefit from following the rules. Using every possible opportunity as a teaching opportunity will result in much more progress.
It can be very frustrating when a child is consistently breaking the rules, which is why it is extremely important to be firm and consistent with your discipline. Laying all of the expectations out there for everybody in the home is really crucial. For some help on how to improve discipline in the home check out this link: http://www.parenting.org/article/consequences-teens
mrippy - the member who asked this question - selected this as the best answer posted by another Education.com member.
from a fellow member
It is always our first impulse as parents to discourage what we perceive as bad behavior by using what we call discipline. Essentially we can GIVE a BAD consequence for bad behavior which is, in a word, punishment. Most behavior doesn't respond well to this. We can WITHHOLD a GOOD thing, such as taking the video game, phone, or TV as you have mentioned. We can WITHHOLD a BAD consequence, which amounts to threats of what will happen if the behavior is repeated. But it would always be beneficial to GIVE a GOOD consequence for any and all good behavior which is the kindest, most nurturing course of action. It encourages the behavior we desire, and builds a stronger bond between the parent and child in which the child strives to please the parent. The article attached is from EDUCATION.COM and details more about behavior modification. I hope you may you achieve the change you desire by the method which causes the least damage to your relationship--and your home!
You are the child's step parent, which means you personally have no disciplinary authority over that child, especially since you came into his life at such a late devlopmental age. Since you became apart of his life at this barely pre pubescent age, you're never going to have that effect on him. To him your just his dads new gf and hes not going to follow any rules you try to set. If you want his behavior to change more positively, ask his farther to parent him more. Its not your job nor will you ever be in that postion of power over that child.
@ Kurt. I believe you must have misread my story...my husband is in Afganistan! I am the sole guardian of this child. I can not wait for his father to "parent" him because he is NOT coming home for good til March 2013. I have been thrown in this situation just in a matter of days. Actually, 1 week were we together with his father before leaving for Afganistan. We got word to come to get him during his R & R trip home. So ALL the responsibility has been put on my shoulders. Disapline, school, homework, activities,...everything. This child and I have been just thrown together and expected to work it out. I am trying to be firm but fair. However, I am sure you can understand my frustration.