Title: How do I make my stepson feel comfortable in my home?
00:00:01 Speaker 1
Congratulations. You and your spouse have just blended your families together. Problem is,
your stepson not too keen on the idea? Well, let's talk about that today on Tips on Teens. My name
is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, and I specialize in helping
kids, teens and families live happier lives lives. I lead two organizations teen Therapy Center
and the nonprofit 501 c three organization, child and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland
Hills, California. Every Wednesday at noon, I jump on the Facebook Live to answer your parenting
questions. Let's answer today's. I have two daughters. Twelve years old and nine years old.
I recently remarried, and my new husband moved into my house with his 14 year old son. I've been
together with his dad for three years now, and I had a pretty good relationship with my stepson
before he moved in. But since he's moved in, he's been unhappy and distant, and he even mentioned
moving out as soon as he can. Things were going pretty
00:01:09 Speaker 1
well, so I didn't anticipate having this kind of issue. What should I do? Well, the first thing
is be patient. I know that's a tough thing to do, but I really encourage patience on this. This
is going to be a process, and it's going to take him a while to get used to this scenario. And thank
you for your question, by the way, I forgot to say thank you. So thank you. I would encourage you
to acknowledge his distance, acknowledge his resistance, and just acknowledge it and say,
it's okay. It's understandable. I get it. This is going to be a big transition. I'm here for you.
If there's anything I can do to help support you, please let me know. But just allow him to kind
of be in this place of resistance for a little while. Don't push him to get out of it. Let him go
through it. Let him recognize, oh, this is safe, this is comfortable. And if it is safe and comfortable,
he will get through it and eventually be okay. Now, it's possible that there are reasons why
he's not feeling comfortable.
00:02:12 Speaker 1
Let's say, for instance, maybe your two daughters aren't really welcoming him, but they don't
really show it to you. It's only when you're not around, but he doesn't feel safe to talk to you
about it, because if he does, he's going to upset you and then his dad. And maybe he feels kind
of alone in this. That may not be true, but that may be part of his thinking. That may be part of
his perception. So the more patience and openness you share with him in time, hopefully he'll
come around. There also could be extenuating circumstances that are affecting this. It could
be possibly that maybe he feels kind of replaced even though he's there in the house with his
dad. Maybe he feels his dad doesn't really pay enough attention to him, and that's something
to be aware of. Also, one other possibility is that maybe accepting this new living situation
somehow offends or insults his mother, either in his own mind or in actuality. So it's hard for
him to totally embrace this because he feels in some
00:03:11 Speaker 1
way he needs to protect or defend his mother. Any of these situations, if it got to a significant
point, you may need to seek help and seek therapy for this, because these intrusive thoughts
or the cognitive distortion that may be resulting if these are not happening, or if they are
happening, could get worse. If it's getting worse, get help. Another thing you may want to consider
is it may have nothing to do with moving in. 14 year olds are notorious for pushing away from their
parents and wanting distance and space and not wanting to connect. That's somewhat normal
for 14 year olds, especially boys. If they didn't, they'd never leave the house. So it's somewhat
normal. And it could be that you guys moving in together is happening at the same time where he's
trying to push away and be more independent. And in that case, that's just going to happen. And
again, I don't think the advice changes. Still be patient, still be open, still be inviting.
Eventually he'll see, oh, this is not such
00:04:14 Speaker 1
a bad place. I can hang out here. But the big thing is inviting, warm and patient. If he's not causing
too much of a problem, let him be a stick in the mud. Sometimes, unfortunately, teenagers can
be sticks in the mud. It just kind of happens. Anyways, that's our question for today. Obviously,
we can go a lot of different directions with this question, along with many others, but if you
have more questions, you can always give us a call here at Teen Therapy Center or Child and Teen
Counseling. And if you'd like your question answered here on Tips on teens, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again and I'll see you guys next Wednesday at noon. Bye.
It Takes Time!
If you’re having trouble getting everyone comfortable with the idea of living in your newly blended home we have this to say: be patient! Getting two families together under one harmonious roof is a process. It takes time!
It’s important for you to acknowledge your stepchild’s distance and to make them be seen. Allow your stepchild to be in his or her place of resistance, and they’ll likely come to a place where they feel safe and comfortable. When it comes to making a happy blended home, there are a lot of different variables and extenuating circumstances, and bring them all under one roof in this Tips on Teens:
“I have two daughters, 12 years old and 9 years old. I recently remarried, and my new husband moved into my house with his 14 year old son. I’ve been together with his dad for three years now, and I had a pretty good relationship with my stepson before he moved in. But since he’s moved in, he’s been unhappy and distant, and he even mentioned moving out as soon as he can. Things were going pretty well so I didn’t anticipate having this kind of issue. What should I do?”
Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.