WYSO

Stepdadding: A Teenager Talks About Gaining A Parent

May 16, 2019

My name is Michael Moreland. I am 15 years old and a sophomore at DECA High School. I'm actually a very funny person, I like to make people laugh. Making people laugh brings a joy to me, because I like seeing others smile. I'm a very positive person.

I live with my younger sister, y mom and my soon-to-be stepdad.

Let me tell you about stepparents.

At first they come in and try to take over a mother or father's position from your actual parents splitting. It's kind of a hard adjustment.

My dad, also named Michael Morland, and my mom Rene Morley always got into arguments on messager or on the phone, and I hated it. They broke up when I was about nine or 10. When my stepdad first came around, I was in the sixth grade. I really wasn't comfortable with my mom and dad not being together. It was so weird.

Very soon Mr. Joe was spending the night a lot basically moved in. I just feel like when he came into my life, everything had changed. When he got more comfortable with me and my sister and we got more comfortable with him, he started to become more strict and would try to make me and my sister do all these chores that we usually did not do with our mom. He would make me cut the grass. None of my friends were doing things like this at this age. I would get so mad and say why is he doing this. He is not my dad.

He told my mom that she spoiled us too much, and I could say that we were because we barely had chores and my mom used to get us everything. It was so annoying. I used to feel like he changed all the rules and even changed my mom. I feel like she used to never do or say the stuff she did until she met him. I hated it.

The biggest fight we ever had was when he told me to get in the shower and I waited a little bit. But I eventually did get in. After I got out, he was still mad and yelling at me for some reason so I got super mad. So I grabbed my bag with some clothes and walked to my grandmother's house.

I came there crying and told them what happened. They called the police and everything because I told them he grabbed me. Even though he didn't hurt me, I still felt as if I didn't even want to see them again. I stayed at my grandparents' house for a week, but my mom forced me to come home.

When I came back home, me and him had a talk.  I asked him how he felt during our biggest argument.

"Well I definitely feel upset," he said. "But at the same time, as a stepparent, you feel helpless because you don't know what kind of discipline will disrupt the household and make things even more awkward."

I asked Joe how our relationship is now.

"From what it used to be, our relationship is probably a thousand times better," he siad. "You listen. I mean you're still a teenager, and you're lazy just like all teenagers are. But I mean our relationship is way better. We talk. We speak to each other, we hang out with each other. No problems. As long as you don't get taller than me."

This made me realize that he isn't even that bad because I got to learn more about him during that talk. I figured out that we had a lot of similarities. I found out that he is a huge sneaker head, and I am as well. He is also a huge sports fan, and I love sports. We also have big sports debates because of our different interest in teams and in different sports.

Even though he's not my dad and my actual dad is still in my life, I realized that by him making me do these things men usually do for their household, like cutting the grass, cualking the bathroom, plumbing, fixing the stove, etc, all things he yells at me for are for a reason. He told me that he only does all this stuff because he loves me and expects more from me and wants me to be prepared for the future when I become a man and I'm on my own.

I really do appreciate him because of the things he does for me and my sister that we need and of course the things that he gives us that we want. And the big thing, for making my mom happy because it was hard for her when she and my dad were breaking up. He's always going to be there no matter what, especially now because and my mom was having a baby. 

Michael Moreland is a student at the Dayton Early College Academy. To learn more about DECA, visit the school's website: http://daytonearlycollege.org/  Special thanks to Anne Rasmussen, Director of Community Involvement at DECA. Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.