My Stepson Suddenly Doesn't Like Me!
My husband was given full residential custody of the kids shortly before I came into the picture, with their mother having visitations a couple times during the week and every other weekend. (This should tell you something about the mother—not so wonderful. You have to be a pretty messed-up woman to have the custody go to the father, ya know what I mean?) She has always been pretty unstable. She jumps from job to job, she moves from house to house, her phone is turned off this week, on next week—you get the picture. From what I could tell, she was never that involved in the kids' education or belonged to the PTA and stuff like that.
As a matter of fact, NOBODY was that involved before I came along. When my hubby and I got together, I wanted to show my stepkids that I support them and whatnot, so I joined the PTA, I tried to go on field trips for their school, I signed them up (and paid for) extracurricular activities, I played with them and took them places—I totally embraced them and wanted to treat them as if they were a child of my own because the things I did/do with them, I planned on doing with my own kid(s) one day. I wouldn't want my stepkids to think, "Oh, she'll do ___ for my brother/sister, but she never did that for me ..." Needless to say, I've always tried everything in my power to make sure I had a good relationship with my stepkids.
Now, don't get me wrong: I haven't tried to give them an image of all butterflies and rainbows with me or anything. I have always tried to be some sort of authority figure as well, setting household rules, creating a chore chart—all that good stuff (of course, with my hubby at my side).
Last year I had a baby, and the hubby and I purchased our first home—two BIG DEALS in one year. These are also two BIG ADJUSTMENTS the stepkids have to make. This meant a new family member to share attention with AND a new home, new schools, new friends ... the whole shebang. Both of my stepkids have done AWESOME with welcoming their baby sister, and my stepdaughter has done pretty darn good with adjusting to her new school, but my stepson? Not so much. This is his first year in middle school (already an adjustment in and of itself) and he's kinda bummed to be away from his buddies.
Anyway, this last report card he brought home some SERIOUSLY bad grades. The only A he got was in gym! This is coming from a kid who ALWAYS had A's and B's, no matter what. When my hubby and my stepson's mother spoke on the phone, she was trying to tell my husband that my stepson hates his school, kids pick on him, he wants to go back to his old school ... blah blah blah. She told my hubby, "You just don't get it" (about being the new kid, which my husband knows TONS about, seeing as he moved like 10 times from the end of elementary school to high school) and then my stepson's mother said, "You handle it your way, I'll handle it mine!" and hung up on my husband. Alrighty then ...
Well, since then, I contacted my stepson's teachers and found out he simply isn't turning in his work. My sincere intention is only to help my stepson succeed, so I have been doing eveything I can to help him organize himself and get his work done properly. I bought him an organizer, I'm checking the homework hotline each night he's with us, etc. etc.
Now, all of a sudden, my stepson doesn't like me! He's ignoring my messages, he's telling his sister how much he dislikes me ... what happened?! Where did I go wrong? Any advice?