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Step parent woes

Addition: table manners- threatening others using cutlery are what I have a real problem with. The remainder are problematic (and I made the mistake of commenting earlier) but are a reflection of his other issues. He displays a lot of behaviours that are indicative of issues with self esteem, potential bullying and (emotional) abuse. He has negative attention seeking behaviours as well. he doesn’t want to see a therapist. He is looking for work and we convinced him (about two months ago) to go with a job provider (Australian term) that specialises in helping those with mental issues. That has helped, but they initially thought he was too high functioning for him to qualify with them. A lot of my concern comes from the fact that he is capable and verbal but his attitude and vocabulary choice (swearing in copious amounts) are preventing him from getting work.

Not what I wanted to write once I got writing privileges.

About 9 months ago my husband’s son came to live with us. He is now 19, finished high school two years ago (australia) and is still unemployed. The ostensible reason was because we live in a better area than where his mum lives (she moved there a mere 6 months prior looking for better jobs- it’s Hobart- sort of like moving from a reasonable small town to Detroit looking for jobs)


He has high functioning autism- which doesn’t help, a typical 19 year olds attitude and really poor taste in tv shows.

By and large, I try not to require too much out of him- his mother appears to have been quite controlling, but I expect that as he is living with us he needs to be polite to us. Ha. Some of it is simple things like asking rather than demanding, using please and thank you and obeying the rules of the house (no shoes inside). All of these are ignored/ actively flouted. Sometimes they are deliberately emphasised (we ask for basic table manners, he refuses).

He is an adult, he can (mostly) do what he likes during the day (although there is an expectation that he helps around the house). Emotionally he is in his early teens. His favourite to and movies include the Simpsons, prisoner (Wentworth) and home alone. All of these combine to give him an unfortunate vocab.

There are a lot of clashes, which I find hard as I grew up in a low conflict household. I view them as a combination of him trying to find his place in the pack (too many dog training books) and him wanting control over his life (understandable). But for most of his experience, school, tv and to some degree home, the people in control give orders. So that is what he does. I don’t like orders at the best of times, and my husband is used to being in control. So this goes down poorly.


We spend a lot of time talking about choices and consequences (not punishments) we try to link consequences with choices, but not always- ie poor manners at the dinner table result in being required to use chopsticks, poor house cleaning habits mean he has to clean them up etc. but the main motivator is being allowed to drive. He needs a certain amount of hours to get his licence, so having driving bans when he is misbehaving does moderate behaviour,

I don’t know what I want out of this- a good rant I think. After reading the article about the mother who wants contact from her college daughter I wondered if we were being too controlling. But I only expect him to text back if I ask a specific question (and I only text if have one, like will you be home for dinner and when) because I hate vague texts. He has lied on at least one of those (asked when he would be home he said 7 and didn’t get home till midnight, I think he thought we would hold dinner waiting for him- no). I expect a minimum level of politeness in his interactions and a minimum level of participation in the house. I am getting none of those - apart from the dishes- he owes us money from moving his stuff up here (long pissed off story) and he has no money so he is working off part of it by making sure the dishes are completely done each night for the princely sum of $5/ day.


He is currently visiting his mum for 10 days, so apart from the airport drama this morning, 10 days of calm.

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