Our Preteen Son Has Anger Management Issues That Make Me Feel Powerless

Modern Parent

It's been a rough day in my household. My stepson, who's 14 years old, and his 12-year-old brother were playing on the PlayStation, which they have allotted time to use. The older one wanted to play a game alone with his friends, but his younger brother wanted to join in, causing a tug of war with the controller. I decided to call their mother to mediate since she makes the final decision regarding the PlayStation. However, my stepson hit his brother out of frustration, and that's when things started going downhill.

I'm trying to build trust with him as his stepfather, so I don't want to be the one who punishes him. I let him know he's in trouble, but his mother will be the one to decide his punishment. However, he tried to take the phone from his brother so that he couldn't call his mother, so I came up with a pretext to get him to call her without interference.

Unfortunately, he retaliated against me and locked me out of the house. It took my 12-year-old son to open the door and let me back in. I told my stepson that he could no longer use the PlayStation for the rest of the day due to his retaliation. However, this only made things worse. He broke his brother's keyboard, making our two-year-old cry.

My wife called him on the phone and said that nobody would be allowed to use the PlayStation until further notice. Even though his mother is the one who decided his punishment, my stepson is still angry with me. He acts as though I did something wrong, and I don't know what to do.

When he's in a rage, I feel powerless to stop him from hurting his brother. I tell him to stop and even threaten him, but he doesn't listen. I've even considered intervening, but he's too big for me to hold back. My martial arts training would allow me to use joint locks or other holds but if I did use such force, I would be the stepfather who might have caused him harm, and our relationship is already rocky.

I'm at a loss as to what I can do to diffuse the situation. I'm disappointed that I can't seem to connect with him, and I feel helpless when he goes into a rage. He's already refused any type of therapy, and at his age, it's unlikely that it would work without his cooperation. I just don't know what to do.

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 1

Published by

Parenting publication

New York City, NY

More from Modern Parent

Comments / 0