My husbands son has a terrible attitude: What should I do?

I am in a relationship with a wonderful man. We have a blended family. His kids have been distant due to baby mama drama. One teen is an antagonist, and I just don’t know how to cope with his nasty and rude comments towards EVERYONE and bullying behavior towards ALL of our other children. He thinks he is being funny and gets a rise out of making everyone miserable and annoying/aggravating them. Their father tries very hard to correct his behavior and has very stern conversations, but he still reverts to his terrible ways. His mother lets him do whatever without consequences and does not care about him. I am the closest thing to a mother figure. I get told I need to “whoop his ass,” but I feel like why should I do anything when I didn’t create this monster. I am tired of telling an almost grown young man to stop harassing everyone (which is at least 20 times a day if not more)My question is, how can we fix this? Why does he do this? How can I get him to stop? The other children are respectful and respond well to corrective action. He just doesn’t care and says, “what are you going to do about it?!” TIA!


Honestly at this point, if he’s old enough. Tell him he needs to start paying rent or leave. Give him a time limit, if not. Take everything away from him when he’s with you. It depends on how into his teens he is xx


How old is he? Maybe he should spend time with his real mom that doesn’t care and then he might appreciate your actions, if not give him back his same attitude, take his stuff till he earns it back


First of all you should stop calling him a monster. Second, dont let him stay at your place with that attitude, and get him help.


Get him into therapy if possible and tell him he can’t be there as long as this behavior continues…let him go do that at his mom house not yours…as soon as it starts he needs to leave…


Calling him a monster is only going to get him to act our more. If ur really his only mother figure you shouldn’t call him that maybe you both need to get into family counseling before you resent him more and so he can get help with what’s really going on


Sounds like nobody is giving consequences and he knows it. You guys aren’t parenting any better than the other house. What are you going to do about it? He asks bc he knows there’s no follow through. Actually do something about it.


Maybe he is acting out for attention. Is he the oldest? Is he getting one on one time with you and his father? Do you treat him with the same love and care as your own children? If his own mom treats him like shit maybe he needs somebody to show him more love and kindness…

Have you heard of backhanding him a couple times. He’s in YOUR house he should respect you if he can’t do that make him stay away for a week or so but don’t take his bullshit if your husband can’t correct his behavior. He’s a teen not a toddler

You need to put your feet down. I would also suggest seeking professional help. Speak to his school counselor about his behavior at home and ask if they have other programs outside of school that may be able to help him

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Ignore him and tell others to do the same. don’t give rise to his comments no matter how bad it is, don’t react.

I would approach with compassion and ask him the same questions you asked here- talk to him. He probably won’t reciprocate much at first but remain calm and continue to try. Give him LOTS of positive reinforcement for the good things he does, no matter how small. Tell him how proud you are of him. Be kind to him. Try to form a closer bond, and maybe he will open up to you.


Maybe he needs to see a therapist? Sound like he doesn’t know to correctly express his emotions, which he should at his age. May he just has a lot of built up anger no one talks about. I’d say it’s worth a shot.

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Oh my goodness are we talking about my stepson?? :joy::roll_eyes: girl I feel ya. I’m just waiting for him to turn 18 so I can boot his ass out. We have done nothing but go out of our way for him and we have got nothing but drama and unnecessary disrespect in return. There really isn’t anything we can do because his mom feeds into him. Just biding our time

The attitude is a cry for “really show you care and do something about my actions” - if his bio mom just lets him do whatever with no consequences then he comes to your home and the same thing he’s seeking sterness - outside of talking - from you and his dad. I feel he sees the other kids get good interactions with you all bc I’m guessing they are still young enough to mold into respectful young adults but this child is the older of them and was never given that opportunity. Don’t verbalize and consequence and not follow through on it - show him you care enough to give a smacking to his behind or take away his priviledges if he has any that would bother him. Both you and your husband need to take a timeout from the other kids and have a heart to heart with this one before it gets worse and stick with what you say and you will be amazed at the transformation that can occur from it. Good luck and I truly hope you have never called him a monster where he could hear - he could have some low self-esteem going on.

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Take him to a psychologist

spank him i agree just cause u dint birth him dont mean u allow him to disrespect you in ur house in front of ur kids he should be treated as if he was urs and if ur letting him get away with it ur creating the problems as well u wanna be a mother figure be one not leave discipline out thats not helping him u do what u would if u birthed him n if dad gives the ok then u need to do whats best for the child not because u dint birth him smh

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How old is he? Get him in to counseling.

If he is young teens, the moment he starts the behavior, silently get up and start removing everything from his room. Leave a change of clothes, his bed, and that’s it. Maybe an alarm clock if he has one. Dont say anything else to him. He acts like that because someone in his life has taught him to, and then he has been taught that respect is optional. If you engage, you are giving him the attention he wants. If you do nothing, he will keep doing it. So, dont engage, take his things, and after a week or two of NO bad behavior, he can earn a few things back. If he is older (16 or 17) I would tell him when he starts bullying, to grab his stuff, pack his bags (or do it for him) then drive him back to his mothers home and explain that you dont allow bullying behavior in your home but he is more than welcome to return when he learns how to respect others.


School of some kind during the day, a job or some kind of activity afterward and weekends he should be going to another out of the house activity. If he’s not there he can’t bother anyone. He’ll realize that he’s being left out of the family dynamic, reverse psychology possibly. Why isn’t he spending time with his mother? Your husband clearly isn’t parenting with “tough love” because it’s not working with what he’s already tried. Send him on a retreat or respite somewhere but let him know it’s not a punishment it’s so he can get in touch with the feelings he is showing towards others. Neither you or his father have done enough to help him or protect the ones he’s around.

hummmmm! If he is a late teen hitting him is def. not going to work. /counseling as suggested above and positive reinforcement may be your best shot. However when he is not compliant he needs to feel the fire too. No phone for a day. short punishments are more effective than long ones in the beginning. Best wishes! I have worked with neglected and abused children in a residential setting in the past for over 15 years so I do have a little knowledge. Dad has to agree and all three of you come up with a plan and stick to it.


Your husbands son, is your son.


Be loving , be kind , try to form a bond. You won’t win with punishment because with your hate you will get hate in return. At his age you’ll only push him away and make him worse. Win his love , win his trust, and see a kid change before your eyes in a positive way.

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He’s probably a bully because he hates himself and feels unlovable—Lille he’s doomed to be the “bad kid” forever. Therapy/counseling by a professional to get to the root of his emotional problems so he will stop lashing out. Is he being bullied or made to feel “less than” at school or elsewhere?

Find things he’s good at and build on that to build his self esteem. Can he teach your littler ones how to throw a football? Help them with homework? Can you or your husband teach him how to do car maintenance or vice versa? Can he show the family something cool to do on the phone? Find ways he can be a leader or the “hero.” If he feels better about himself he’s less likely to take his despair out on everyone else.

Does he have a physical activity like being on a sports team? Can you go to a pool as a family (can he show the younger children how to swim or dive? Or a climbing wall center or can you afford a gym membership for him & a personal trainer to get him started? How about martial arts classes? They teach focus, respect & self discipline and reward achievement. Physical activity can release anger & produce endorphins, and give him a sense of accomplishment and pride in his body.

Can one of you go out with him to kick a soccer ball, throw a football or baseball or shoot some hoops? Can you afford to put him on a sports team with his school or Boys and Girls Club? Is scouting too “uncool” for him? This gives him social time, potential friends, a special identity (Boy Scout, Tennis Player, the kid who does ______).

Does he have friends? Good ones? Can you encourage positive friendships & make it easier for him to have peers he can talk to about his problems when he doesn’t want to talk to parents?

How about a religious youth group? Drama, art, dance or music classes? Anything to give him an identity outside of being the “bad guy” and give him an outlet to express his angst non verbally.

Is he allowed to express emotion or has he been taught “boys don’t cry” and other tropes? Are there other family members or adult friends who can have a special relationship with him, and act as mentor and sounding board?

He is nasty because he is hurting. Also try to figure out what his triggers are. Periodically swoop in and give him a hug before he is a jerk & tell him you love him. He will squirm away and act annoyed but inside he will be happy.


The fact that she thinks its not her place because she “didint create the monster” is exactly whats wrong with this situation. Not the behavior… Maybe if you treated him like your own he wouldnt hate you. Clearly hes been through enough. Step moms like this give us all a bad name. :unamused:


He’s not giving you a hard time, he’s having a hard time. Big changes with family dynamic normally makes a psychological impact on children. Focus on building a better bond, and therapy to work through the underlying issues. It’s hard to discipline children that are that old if you haven’t already established a solid relationship. The only thing that is going to work is natural consequences at this point. An example, if he’s bullying or being rude, no one is going to want to be around him. Leave the house if you have to, and he can stay there and miss out on all the fun.


Hmm well as a teenager… “Whooping his ass” will just add fuel to the fire. Teenagers don’t respond well to being “whooped” … They just rebel more. Professional help sounds like your best bet… Taking electronic privileges away etc. I went through a phase as a teen(had a step mom as well although she was my mom since I was 3) she treated me like shit though and honestly we only became cool once I matured and once we wasn’t around each other that much. But I will tell you …if he’s made to feel like the black sheep… That may be the root to it all as well. Referring to him as a “monster” goes to show u don’t treat him as your own… Which honestly I wouldn’t listen to you either if u was treating me as such.

What is your husband doing about this???

Sit him down and talk to him as an adult! Ask why he’s acting that way and why he’s so disrespectful about everything and to everyone. He’s not just doing it because he can, hopefully. But there may something going on over at moms that comes out with you two. Explain why his behavior is wrong and why it needs to change. When he asks what you’re going to do about it, ask him what he thinks you should do about his behavior. Make him give himself punishments in a sense. If he says he’d take away his phone/tablet etc then do it. If he says he’s ground himself for his behavior do it. Don’t be scared of hurting his feelings if he thinks he’s such an adult and can treat everyone around him like trash. Let him miss out on family things like shopping trips or movies if he’s going to be mean. Leave him home if he doesn’t act right. (Assuming you can safely do so) his actions have consequences even if he can’t see it and he needs to learn about them now before he gets worse

If all else fails you said he’s almost grown- teach his almost grown ass what happens in the real world of he treats ppl like that. Tell him to leave. Depending on the situation if applies, call the police.

That’s teenagers for you. Listen to the song “teenagers” by my chemical romance

Your husband is trying… maybe get him in with a professional… or hire a mediator with his mama to get her on board. She is setting him up for failure

Do it back to him :woman_shrugging:t2: piss him off and annoy the piss out of him. Than when he freaks out and has a temper tantrum be like “:scream:what? Oh my god! What you’ve been doing to everyone else you don’t like to be done to you?!? Don’t be a fucking prick, kid”

You’re a better woman than I. I would have already backhanded the kid right through a wall once he said “what are you going to do about it.” Sadly, if both his parents aren’t on the same page… the behavior will continue. Sounds like dad needs to maybe be a bit more stern in the way he handles his kids behavior.


Spend more time with him, he is begging for attention, even if its bad attention just so he gets it!!! Hes not a monster yet! Get him help, take extra time with him! Sit him down and talk to him more about his feelings, what would make him feel better. Put consequences behind his actions!

Family counseling and more one on one time with dad. Maybe he feels left out of the mix…

Therapy maybe. “Whooping his ass” isn’t going to fix it. I guarantee you that. He needs to learn how to process whatever it is that he’s got going on personally/emotionally.

I’d get a whole new wonderful man without a bad attitude kid. :woman_shrugging:t5:

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Ugh… Teens… I would take 10 toddlers over one teen. Lol…

I would get him into counseling. Make sure you & dad sit in on a few appointments too so you can get advice on how to handle things.

Get him in counceling

To me, obviously something is going on with him. Have you sat down and talked with him privately? Have you checked with the school to see if anything is going on there that you are unaware of? Have you had him talk with a counselor? Have you done Anything, anything other than telling him to stop harassing everyone?. You said, “I feel like why should I do anything when I didn’t create this monster.” #1 real nice, name calling your step son. I’m sure he is really feeling the love from you. #2 his behavior is bothering you but you don’t want to do anything constructive about it, you just want to complain about it and hope that it stops.

Get this kid ready to move out . Teach him laundry ,cooking ,grocery shopping, budget . He needs a job for a car too. Keep him so busy with practial chores for his future . He should start doing his own laundry and such. Good luck ,teens are big two year olds . Me ,me ,me .mine !

Usually when a teen/child is a bully, it’s because they’re bullied in another aspect of their life.

Maybe counseling? Find the root of the problem. That boy has got to be hurting for some reason. Solve it before the damage is irreversible.

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I may get negative feedback but honestly I don’t care. I was raised where my parents would take everything but clothes for a week and a bed. I would have to earn everything back. I do this with my almost 7yr old and I can say she is one of the most respectful children I have seen or been around. Our son is almost 5 and we will start doing the same with him soon. The baby of the family is almost 3 and we still just do time outs or a swat to the bottom depending on how many times we’ve had to talk to her or put her in the corner. Our kids are very respectful and they may fight but with one look or if they even see that we are upset they apologize and go to their rooms. Sometimes we may have to step in and talk to them but most of the time they know when they do something that they shouldn’t and they correct it.
Also my dad was a military brat and was in the Army. He would make us hold a full gallon jug in each hand and hold it straight out. How bad you acted determined how long you had to hold it and if you started bending your arm or lowering it than your time started over. He also would make us do sit ups and push ups as punishment as well. Hope you find something that works for your family. Maybe he needs counseling

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I’ve been watching Jo Frost on YouTube. She has great ways of getting blended families pulled together.

  1. Warn him if he continues his behavior, he is making a choice to lose special privileges. (Time with friends, late curfew, electronics, car use, etc)

  2. If he does it again. Follow through with the punishment. Stick to your guns.

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I would send him to therapy. I feel like he does this because someone else makes/made him feel this way. I think therapy could do wonders in this situation.

I know this might sound stupid but try ignoring his attitude maybe once he realises that no one is going to rise to it then he might just give up with it but tbh unless u can get his mother to deal with the way he is also then I can’t really see a solution

Simple tell him he will respect everyone or is not welcome in your home …
Sounds like he needs smacked with reality. Quickly at that!
Blended is hard but you have yo stand ypur ground and be on same level and page as youe husband


If he’s almost grown I’m guessing 16 or 17? Try a therapist,if he doesn’t go,or change, I wouldn’t have him in my house,or around the other kids.His dad/your hubby could spend time with him alone.

Why don’t you do a one on one with him with out hubby or the other kids around take him to a movie or lunch just a one on one and talk with him even through I would backhand him through a wall with his behavior but if it Is a cry for attention maybe if you give him the one on one he might open up

One you are a step parent very few teenagers like their step parents(or their kids for that matter)

Two baby mama drama you don’t know what is being said, who’s it’s being said about/around/or to

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Maybe he’s hurting inside and needs some extra love? Maybe he doesn’t get enough attention, you know what they say bad attention is better than no attention. Also maybes you should stop using words like terrible, bully and nasty. Kids pick up on how you feel about them. You might be part of the problem.

Heres what I am going to do abt it , meet only your basic needs no extras meaning TV , music. Rides , nice clothes, food he likes , phone And any extras you guys provide besides his basic needs = water , blanket pillow , can of stew or bowl of veggies , cheap soap and no extras till he starts to respect his family. Teach him he needs to put out in the world what he wants to back . Stick to it it works and keep in mind its almost as much punishment for the parents as the child but soon it will be better .

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Send him back to his mother let her out up w him


He’s a teenager and probably is worried you’ll take his dads attention away aswell as the other children. You were a teenager once did you understand why you were upset/mad all the time? Idk about you but I still have trouble expressing how I feel

How old is he. And how long have you and your partner been together. Just trying to take into all the factors that can cause this. And have you had a heart to heart. Also poor attitude why so you have to when you did not create this monster. You chose to love there dad which means you love his children. I get you are frustrated but try having compassion. There must be reason he is acting g out and expressing himself poorly

Part of the issue could be that you don’t see him or treat him as your own child…
You referred to him as “your husband’s son” when you should be calling him YOUR son or at the very least your STEPSON
And the mentality of “why should you do anything when you didn’t create him” is just plain disgusting
You’re either one of his parents or you’re not and should just end everything right now


Stop calling referring to him as ur husband’s son and a “monster u didn’t create” maybe that will change his attitude towards u!

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Do something about it. He’s your monster now and needs you. He’s challenging you to test boundaries, and he’s probably angry about his home life situation too. Part of it is age because I’ve taught middle school and also have a teen who has a rude comment about everything because he thinks it’s funny and likes to bully his younger sister. Mine lost wifi privileges for a month the last time and had to wait in the car in time out 4 hours while I worked (delivering pizzas) for the bullying since he could not be trusted home with sister. I told him not everyone is a 14 year old boy and gets his joke, etc, so consider who you’re with. Haven’t had an issue since, but were only 3 weeks out of grounding. He knows he’ll be in the car all weekend with me the next bullying complaint anyone has, no questions asked. We also do one-on-one things once or twice a month, PG13 movies are his favorite, so when his attitude cranks up I know we’re overdue. His behavior is a red flag.

I got my ass tore up when I was disrespectful 🤷

Counceling family and individual

Quit the talk and give him actual consequences .
He can do chores. If he wants to act like crap, he can pick up crap. He needs structure and discipline , he doesn’t need someone to keep telling him what he’s doing wrong , he needs some serious redirection and positive role models to exhibit the behaviour you want to see in him.

I feel like we don’t have enough info here…how long have you and his father been together?were you one of the reasons his parents divorced ?I’m not accusing,but I am saying if it’s only been a short time and you now expect this young person to not resent the end of his parents marriage ,his family ,etc…that’s ALOT for anyone much less a suggest family counseling

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I know if I was around 16/17 and being referred to as “my husband’s son” and “monster” I’d be and did act like a monster. Not saying there aren’t other issues that he’s not vocalizing or his mom not caring aren’t a factor, but maybe you’re own attitude is a factor too. Family and individual therapy would be a great start at fixing some of this​:smirk::roll_eyes:

Why the hell is no one on this page willing to stand up to children? It’s simple. Tell him to stop. If he doesn’t ground him. When that doesn’t work tell him to stay with his mama because he will not tall to your other kids that way.


A lot of it could be jealousy

Currently dealing with this at my house my stepson is ten, and if he can’t get his attitude together he will be finding out that all the toys and things he has are extra. It’s hard to go against another parent that lets them get away with everything keep to your rules and it’ll change. At least that’s what I’m telling myself good luck!

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What’s the custody arrangements? Unpopular opinion; He could stay w/Mom. If Mom is creating the behavior and fine w/her son’s actions then let him stay there.

Just BC he’s your stepson doesn’t mean you or anyone else in this situation HAS to be his whipping post. School would send him home, job would send him home or fire him sooo I don’t personally see the difference :woman_shrugging:t2:

… clearly he’s angry. Hug him tight and really understand him. Tell him he is safe here, around those who love him. He needs this from every one

Find an adolescent therapist.

If the mother is allowing him to do what and you guys are correcting him it’s gonna be hard unless both sides correct.

Quit calling him a monster…

Make his ass go sit outside with no phone for an hour every time

The answer is in your last statement. He is pushing every one away because if he hurts you before you hurt him it’s easier to deal with in his mind. It’s the ‘see I told you, you hated me.’ He is hurting, angry hates himself and everyone around him and doesn’t know how to ‘not be that way.’ He wants to make you hate him so he can blame you and the others for his pain. It’s not really even a conscious thought for him that this is what he’s doing- but I promise you it is- and he doesn’t want to be this way either. He just doesn’t know how not to be. As hard as it sounds you have to ‘kill it with kindness and love’. Tell him over and over when he acts like that’s your going to love him till his nastiness brakes. Don’t take it personally take it as a challenge to show him nothing will stop you from loving him. That’s what he wants he just doesn’t know how to show it.

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You may not have created him but he is an example to your other kids. They may behave now but they continue to see him get away with his behavior they may test the waters. Change is hard for kids and can be confusing even at an older age. I would try some stern discipline that doesn’t over step the perimeters of his bio mother and fathers. Maybe talk to your husband about some things like taking things he likes. I do what my kids do to me they bite I bite back they hit I hit back. Shows them it hurts and it’s not nice. Try some one on one time with him and yourself maybe find a root to his problems. If he is the oldest he may see he isn’t going to get any attention unless he acts out. My oldest son acts out negative and positively for attention and I decide which I will entertain. When it’s harming his brother discipline is in full force

If he doesn’t live with you ask him to leave if he can’t listen and be nice. Maybe he wants someone to show him there are consequences to his behavior

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Let him know not welcome to disrupt entire family. When he makes the changes will be welcome back. Also has your husband tried having dinner with just 2 of them weekly? Some kids can make everyone walk on eggs shells. Including own siblings. Also would talk to mother with your husband tell her his behavior not acceptable & until he makes some changes and respects the entire family he’s not welcome to come over and disrupt everyone not just you! Have been there an after years of trying I am done. Will not subject myself to her disrespectful ways. Can’t win to loose. Thought it would change once she grew up. She is 40 now an hasn’t changed one bit.

Counseling big time for you too! There are 3 sides to every story. You have no right to put your hands on this boy. He’s acting for a reason.

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Therapy, have a day out just with him, like a mother son day or father son day. Maybe he feels left out or whatever his mom told him about yall maybe that’s why… Idk there is always a root to the problem .

He’s obviously hurt by the existence of your new family and your interjection would only make matters worse. I’m speaking from the perspective of my boyfriend who had a terrible home life with his mother who was a narcissistic bipolar but had a wonderful father who was “taken away” by a jealous step mother. He hated her for being a better option for his father romantically. It was a rejection of not only his mother but of himself. This might or might not be your step son’s predicament. But either way, let your husband deal with him, it will make him feel better and preserve the good relationship you and your children might have with him later on. And dont discuss his problems with your kids either. They’re probably more antagonistic towards him than you know and will surely use this as ammunition.

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That’s the trouble his mother . when he’s with he’s mother she allows him to do those things and thinks it’s alright
O have seen those kind of kids before s go hand and tough love