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Getting Married, Stepsons With Awful Tempers

Question:

I am getting married in June and I wll have 2 stepsons ages 19 and 21. Both of them have awful tempers and get mad at the drop of the hat. However, both are great kids and contribute to the houshold and with rent. My issue is their tempers. They get mad about playing games, they get mad with their girlfriends and they get in fights. I have had a talk with them about it but it doesn’t seem to have gone through their head.

Their dad is very supportive of me and has been at the table when we talk and has backed me up.

My issue is what, else can I do because I am NOT their mother. We have built a good relationship and I do not wish to ruin this. But they need to learn how to control their anger. They refuse to seek out therapy.

Their real mother just picked up and left them and I believe that is the real anger that they are dealing with. They have not dealt with that issue at all.

What discipline manners can I help support them and help guide them? I do not wish to be the “nagging” step mom but I know they are out of control with their tempers. I also know they need me and they do come to me and respect me. I just need some guidance in helping them get through this and how to help them control their anger differently.

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Answer:

Instead of looking for reasons why your two stepsons behave so badly you need to establish some house rules and with you soon to be husband. These two are not children. They are grown men and should know better. After all, there are soldiers in Afhganistan their age and who take full responsibity. In fact, I am tempted to say that they respect neither you or their father or they would not behave this way. You and your fiancee must establish boundaries with them. At the present moment, they behave as they do as if they have no regard for others. Their fights with their girlfriends and with each other have nothing to do with you or their father.

By the way, in establishing boundaries it’s important that you and their father demand better from them instead of asking.

I am also wondering why these two young men are living at home. They should be working full time, studying in school or joining one of the military services. In other words, at this point in their lives, they should be involved in their own lives rather than living at home and causing trouble. Their is no excuse for them not working or going to school. Sometimes well meaning parents make it too easy for adult children to stay at home rather than entering the real and adult world. In other words, the fact that they pay rent is not enough.

In point of fact, it’s time that, in establishing those boundaries, they know that they must be thinking of moving out. You and your fiancee are starting a new life and have a right to privacy.

Best of Luck

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