Step Son is Violent and Manipulative

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Casual scribe

Step Son is Violent and Manipulative

There are ongoing issues with my step son and I just need to put pen to paper so to speak.

I feel so sorry for this poor kid.  He is 14 years old.

He has developed very quickly a learned behaviour of aggression and violence when he doesn't get his own way.  Unfortunately his Mum isn't coping with it and is now walking on eggshells and there are very little consequences for his actions.  He has refused to come to our house for fortnightly visits any more and even his mum admits is because he knows we have boundaries and accountability at ours.

Police have been called to the house half a dozen times due to violent outburst etc.  Twice suspended from school in the last two months (not including the Christmas holidays in between).

He really is on an extremely slippery slope.

Counselling has begun and I hope there is a breakthrough but its going to take a long time. The severity of the issue is glossed over somewhat with the counsellor and the son will refuse to go if his dad says he wants to join in on the sessions.  Hubby is going to make an independent appointment to give the counsellor the true background.

Has anyone had similar situations?  It's a fine line when dealing with separated families and interference between parent roles and family breakdown.

We are also concerned for the younger step son who is 11.  Whilst his personality is very different and he has not been estranged from his father in the same way we hope that things don't impact on him.

Hubby would love nothing more than to maintain and strengthen his relationship with his son but I get the impression that the son is not capable due to the issues to have a meaningful healthy relationship with anyone.

We really don't know where to turn. The police won't do much - I guess they just expect that the parents will take action to help the boy but one doesn't really make a decent effort and the other ones hands are tied.

So sad.


Re: Step Son is Violent and Manipulative

Hi Musicmumma,


You seem a very caring and concerned person. Certainly interested in your step-sons welfare and wishing to help in any way possible. Thats great.


Compassion, love, kindness and having boundaries in place are all positive attributes so keep this up because one day they will be meaningful for your step-son. Don't give up.....hope is always there and learned behaviours can be changed.


I can fully empathise with your step-sons mother....."walking on eggs shells" and not having consequences in place is probably not the way she wishes to parent but with her sons aggression....she is more than likely concerned for her safety.


The fact that you and your husband have been willing to have your step-son over in the past would have given her a break from the behaviours she has been dealing with and hopefully one day he may be able to return to your household and be respectful of the boundaries in place. For the moment, though your step-son must be really suffering to be behaving in this manner.


Counselling will hopefully be a big plus and I would continue with allowing your step-son to see her/him. Even if you all feel that the severity of the issues at hand are not fully recognised by the counsellor at least your stepson has been willing to go. Let him go alone. Your step-son will need his privacy to ventilate to someone outside the family. If your husband wishes to see the counsellor privately, then I wouldn't tell his son at this stage about this because he needs to continue with getting some one to one help for his issues.


I would suggest that for the time being you continue to be the supportive person you have been. Maybe suggest to your husband to get some counselling for the ideal world one day hopefully he and his son could get some therapy together. But for might be best to focus on their individual needs. The sons mother too could do with some counselling as she must need support. This, however, is not your responsibility and is a decision the mum needs to make for herself.


You are doing a wonderful job, musicmumma and the family is most fortunate to have you in their lives. Continue to support the other step-son by providing him with some fun times in your household....siblings always need to be recognised and appreciated for who they are because the emphasis is often on the child who is struggling.


Most time you see your step-son, let him know that you and his dad will not give up on him....that you love him but not his behaviours!


Good luck with it matter how difficult it can get through it!

Casual scribe

Re: Step Son is Violent and Manipulative

Thanks for your response.  And thanks for your support of my role (which isn't much really) but I think my own internal issue is being so close to something and not being able to help much.

I do feel for the boys mother.  I just don't think she understood what the outcome of her parenting style would be. None of us have a raising teens instruction manual do we lol. 

The poor boy has learned this exact behaviour from her - I am sure she didn't anticipate that there would be a complete switch in power with the exact same behaviours. 

That is, it used to be mum using aggression and manipulation and son being compliant and pleasing and now it's the complete opposite with son being the aggressor and manipulator (with actual violence added) and mother is compliant.  She has a short fuse and unfortunately he does as well.  Recently, for example, she used a knife to cut the wifi modem lead out of frustration and son took a hammer to the home safe trying to smash it open to get the modem out.

So yes, now it is at the stage where they are in a stand off.

A lot of the time, apparently, the younger one is asleep when things happen but sometimes not and it upsets him greatly. He is well aware that the police have to keep coming to the house - even if he doesn't hear or see his neighboring buddies have been telling him.  We worry about him and the impact it is having on him.  He is a very resilient fella but hmmmm the longer term impact is a concern.  Mum wont agree to the younger son spending more time with us as she thinks that the behavioral issues of the older son are separate to the younger son.  I wish it was that easy to put a box around it but as a past victim of domestic violence I know that you don't have to be the actual person assaulted to be a victim.  

Hubby has been referred to a counselling service offered by Victim Support Services through the Dept of Justice which will be great! 

I also agree that we will just step back and allow step son to engage with his own psychologist and wait for son to invite dad into the process.

We will do what we can from our side to make ourselves as well and strong as possible to that when the day comes to pick up the pieces we have something left of ourselves to give.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.  It means so much.