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8 year old step child


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I'm at a loss on what to do here. To begin with, I'm 62 and married to a lovely lady with an 8 year old boy. I was married for 36 years to my high school sweatheart and have a girl (35) and a son (33). My daughter has a girl(9) and a boy(7). My late wife passed on x-mas day 2006 after a two year cancer fight. I'm drawing SS and a pension and working part time as a school bus driver. I'm in excellent health both mentally(we'll kinda) and body.

I met my present wife Lisa in 2008 and we both fell head over heals for each other. That I didn't think would ever happen again. So I'm really blessed to have loved to loving women.

Lisa is 46 and her son is Jon-Paul. Lisa has been married 3 times; two abusive

husbands and an older man who passed away. She never married Jon-Pauls dad and has had a marrage(3rd) and two relationships which were also abusive since he was born. When I started seeing Lisa she slept with JP and her golden retriever. You know how that worked out I'm sure.The dog went outside and JP to his bedroom.

Ok, thats enough of that. I read "help101" post in general parenting and know where she's coming from. Lisa refers to JP as her "miracle baby" and he gets and does whatever he wants. If I say no he goes to mom and wines in her ear.He wines alot to which I say "go wine someplace else" which starts her off.

If I okay one he askes her and gets two. If I say bath at 7:30 today he either gets an ok for 9 or the next nite. If I say enough candy he gets more.

Got to go

I'll repost more tommorow.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


When I shake my head and walk away

See where I'm coming from.

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Guest GingerSnap

Oh gosh, this won't help you but ideas on child rearing should be discussed before you set-up a household or have children. I think this will take a third party/counselor of some sort to help you compromise on this one and a compromise is probably the most you can hope for since that really would be fair. This is kind of where a greater age difference can also play a part in the dynamics of a marriage. I say, 3rd party needed for this one.

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Hi Jutias,

Welcome to the "family"-- there are plenty of us that have been down this path (I for one) and many a divorce has come out of it. Ginger is 100% correct, but it is what is is now. So we have some things to work with.

I remarried 4 years ago to an equally beautiful, intelligent, caring woman with 2 teenagers who cursed like sailors, never cleaned up after themselves, created messes, and were just generally very difficult. In the end it placed a tremendous stress on our marriage. Being a chess player, I decided one day to think about how best to approach this, and there were really only 2 options:

1) Accept things as they are, recognize the inherent boundaries in the relationship, and bow out of the parenting role. This would mean I would be like an Uncle, not a disciplinarian and not involved in decisions, and would need to be very respectful of family dynamics. This meant she handled issues, corrected and redirected, and my role was that of a silent observer who was the nice Uncle. This lasted about 48 hours. I couldn't take the behavior and it violated every bone in my body. So we decided to talk privately and I expressed my concerns. I made sure not to blame her or them and I remained respectful and calm. It was agreed that now that there were 3 of us, that there would need to be compromises on everyone's part and we would need to reshape the family to accommodate each other.

Jutias, before I go any further and tell you what we did (which by the way worked like magic), you will need to sit down and see if you can agree that the most loving thing she can do for her child is to love you. Given this, she must agree to 3-5 basic house rules and that she will be consistent and have your back >95% of the time. She will never undermine you in front of him and you will do likewise. In addition, she will do everything possible to create a unified front between both of you when addressing his needs. W/o this basic agreement, this arrangement with him won't work.

So tonite, sit down and begin the conversation. It may take several days, but you have time. be most gentle, careful and respectful-- and be firm! Get a real agreement that she will work with you as a partner. If she chooses not to, then you have to accept things as they are. My experience with relationships where one partner has to accept everything the other wants when it comes to these matters is that the relationships don't always survive.

Write back and let me know how it goes.


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Thanks GingerSnap and David O for responding.

I'll try and respond more but today I'm out of time.

Last nite was our second parenting class. Go figure after 36 years with my late wife and two good kids and two wonderful grandkids I'm taking a parenting class. I'll try anything to sort this out and Lisa is willing also.

Thanks again.

Mike (Jutias)

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