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Parenting Stepchildren/Stepparenting a 17 yr old


I've been with my now husband for 12 years.  We were just married a year and half ago.  I've had issues with his son mainly for the last 6 years.  His son now 17 stays with us for 1 week and then goes back to his mom's.  I've asked numerous times for him to help out around the house.  I ask on Wednesday and it may get done by Friday.  His father doesn't enforce the rules just sits and agrees with me.  I've finanically and emotionally taken care of his son since he was 5 years old.  He's distance and doesn't express feelings or emotions at ALL. Which I find very strange. But that's who he is.  WHen he turned 16 and got his DL I bought him a car. When we gave him the car.  He just said thank you.  That's all and a half ass hug. I or we pay his insurance which is $130 per month.  Now he's 17 and comes and goes when he pleases. He's a good kid and does great in school. He has no asparations of getting a job. But we told him after he graduates he MUST get a job to pay for the insurance. He's lazy and won't clean up after him self.  Doesnt help me carry in groceries or help out around the house.  Its hit or miss on most weekends.  What do I do?  I'm so irrated right now.  HElp please


First of all... You say he is a great kid -does well in school.  So your big issue is that he does not help around the house and is not expressive in his thanks.

Perhaps it is time for him to start taking responsibility for himself.  If you are tired of paying for his insurance then stop paying for it.  If he does not have insurance he does not drive.  He needs motivation to get a job... and it appears that he does not have any motivation. Does he also get his gas paid for, what about spending money.  

Part of the parental responsibility is to teach our children the skills they need to survive on their own.  So often we pay for everything, and do everything for our children so that when they go out on their own they are actually handicapped due to lack of knowledge and experience.  I am not saying that you do all of that but perhaps it is time for him to start becoming responsible for himself.  

He may resist but when he leaves home he needs to know how to take care of himself.  What better time than now.


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Rick Olson


As a stepparent of 4 children and a family coach, I can answer questions about the issues that arise in step-parenting including discipline,blended families, boundaries and guidelines.


I have 18 years as a stepfather, and over three years as a family coach focusing on unifying, strengthening and empowering families.

My wife and I have written 2 books on Family FUSE Your Family - Family: Unify Strengthen Empower! and Raising Families

BA(Recreation Administration) Grad Studies in Urban and Regional Planning and Design Certified as a LifeSuccess Consultant/Coach

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