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Discipline For Stepson

My stepson visits us every other weekend. We ask him to make his bed and leave his door open when he's' not in there. He often shows an attitude toward this and does a sloppy job making his bed. What is a good way to handle this, including some consequence ideas?

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 ---Lynn on 1/2/08
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I notice that you say 'we' ask him to make his bed and leave his door open. I assume then that this rule comes from your husband also. If this is the case it would probably be better to let your husband do the disciplining. The boy should respect you when in your home but it would be better for dad to discipline and make sure he is not imposing rules that are totally different from those of his mum otherwise the child will be very confused (and resentful).
---RitaH on 1/5/08

Such foolishness....leave his door open when he isn't in the room. What a waste of energy to set such silly rules. Reminds me of my OCD friend who insists that her children not sit on their beds once they are made. As far as making the bed sloppy, sounds like a typical teenager to me. Why not let the kid enjoy his time with his father? Sounds like you are making these rules, not his father.
---Susie on 1/3/08

Do you really want to punish him for something so simple? It may not be his nature to make his bed. Pick and choose your battles. This seems like a very minute one. I'm still as sloppy now as when I was little. Only God can change the nature of a person. Maybe it's his to not make his bed. This does not deserve any consquences in my eyes. Please don't jump on me. I was abused as a child for stupid things so making a bed to me is not a good reason to harp on a kid.
---Donna on 1/3/08

How old is your stepson?
---a_friend on 1/3/08

The father should be doing the disciplining. As a step-parent you have no right to discipline.
---Susie on 1/2/08

Maybe he thinks he is doing a good job. Have you ever helped him with making his bed or explained why and how you want it done?
As a stepmother you must learn to be a friend first. Get him to teach you how to play video games or something he likes. Build his self-esteem and show him real love. He will show you respect.
It is not his fault that he is your stepson.
---Elder on 1/3/08

If consequences make him go along with you, is he respecting you? I'd say go for a relationship getting to really know each other > it is so-o-o less challenging to merely get superficial respect and grudging conformity.

"nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:3)

God is trusting him to you to show him how to have a loving relationship. Yes, you "might" need to learn along with him > trust God for this, stay with it.
---Bill_bila5659 on 1/2/08

TUFF LOVE,is one way.What does he love?Take it away.It will tuff-up your love,and his.
Not everthing...something.Make him earn his way through life.And at the same time you yourself is being taught.But you can't cross the line.LET YOUR NAY BE NAY.....AND YOUR YEA BE YEA.Otherwise your nay will be yea,and your yea will be nay.Just to name one of the many ways HE educated my spirit about...FAMILY, UNDER THE 4TH and last OF THE 4 SEGMENTS OF LEARNING OF HIS 24 ENDOWMENTS OF KNOWKEDGE TO MY SPIRIT.
---Jack_8773 on 1/2/08

I agree with linda, leave the consequences to the father. A step mother shouldn't really be disaplining him. You should just be treating him like a guest.
---sue on 1/2/08

My ex-husband was EXTREMELY hard on my kids (who lived here 24/7), but when his children came, there were no rules for them.They didn't have to pick up after themselves or even go to bed at a decent hour, whereas my kids did.It was a horrible experience.Ex-hub's excuse for not setting rules for them is he didn't want to anger them as they wouldn't come back. It was wimpy and inexcusable & caused ENORMOUS problems for us.I wish I had an answer, but the dad should enforce the same rules regardless.
---Debbie_in_Ohio on 1/2/08

I would suggest having a private conversation with your husband. Let him know how you feel & the two of you come in agreement about the child's discipline.

Regardless of you being the stepmother, he still needs to respect you. So talk to your husband first. Also be patient with the kid. When my mom remarried it was different for my brother & I. We had to get used to Greg, our step-dad.
---Rickey on 1/2/08

We don't know how old he is.
But does it really matter whether or not he makes his bed?
If he does not, he will just have an unmade bed to get into.
And why ask him to leave his door open when he is not there? If it is shut it will shield you from the uintidyness.
seems on both counts you are making work for yourslf!
Better to ask him to help with washing the dishes ... now that is practical help for you.
---alan_of_UK on 1/2/08

Pile more chores on or make him run laps, it won't kill him.
---A_Dad on 1/2/08

It's easier to love your own children. If son represents ex-wife, only adds to the angst of visiting stepchild. It's not his fault, don't add your emotions to the fire, the kid will resent you. Leave discipline to his father. If father doesn't care about the bed, neither should you. When son leaves, father can make the bed.

Make certain you're not taking your problems out him. Otherwise, these visits will escalate to point of real division.
Be the adult, leave discipline to father.
---lovable_linda on 1/2/08

As the stepmother, I doubt he's that keen on your parenting skills. It's likely he wants to be around his father, but prefers his birth mother. Mixed families are a mixed bag. Adolescent angst can move to anger when a stepmother spends her time thinking of consequences instead of setting an adult example of truth with love.
I think you're going about it in a childish manner. I think your husband would have better results - man to man.
These are the consequences of divorce and stepchildren.
---lovable_linda on 1/2/08

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