I have stumbled onto your website after searching for a solution with my 2 teenage stepchildren. We are in Australia, and we are what they call a "blended family". My wife has a 15 year old son and a 13 year old daughter living with us, and we have a 3 year old son together. I also have a 12 year old daughter and an 11 year old son that reside with their mother, and we fly them up every school holidays.
I have been noticing a reluctance in the 15 year old especially over the past 6 to 12 months. He is defiant, lazy, has to be told time and time again to do his chores, back chats, swears, and constantly blames others for his misfortunes. He has not once in the 4 and a half years that I have known him taken responsibility for his actions when he has done the wrong thing. He is quick to blame others, which in turn causes more arguments over who did what.
The stress levels that I am enduring are probably not as bad as some parent who contact you, but they are significant enough to be searching the web for a solution. My wife has a much higher tolerance than I do, and I seem to lose the plot quite quickly of late, as my requests more often than not fall upon deaf ears. I find it easier to do the jobs I want done myself rather than get into a heated discussion over who washed and who dried the dishes last night. It is extremely depressing, and my wife and I find ourselves caught up in all the stress and arguing amongst ourselves about things that should be easy.
My 13 year old step daughter is spoilt rotten by her father who also flies up to us every month or so, and she is not so much lazy, but constantly asks for things and when she doesn't get her way she has a hissy fit, saying she never gets anything she asks for and its not fair and gives her mother grief. Here's the thing - if you are with one and not the other, there is very rarely a problem, but when both teenagers are together, they play one against the other until it all ends in tears.
I am not coping with this whole situation, and have found myself on anti depressants which could have been the result of work, every day stress, money problems - or a combination of everything. The last thing you need after a long day at work is to come home to a stressful, argumentative environment that you have no control over.
If your program will help me and my families issues I will be forever grateful. Please help.
My Out-of-Control Teen