I will try to make this short, but still give enough info to describe the scenario.
I am a step mom to a 16 yr old boy. I married his father when he was 3, so he's known me most of his life. Until he was 14 I only saw him a few times per year since he lived with his mother quite a distance away.
While living with his mother he failed 3 grades in a row in school, had numerous behavior problems in school, suspensions, etc. He is very ADHD and has been on a variety of meds, currently on Focalin. He has come to live with us, something we have been working towards for many years. We felt he was headed to big trouble if he did not get out of that environment. He hated his mother's new husband. The new hubby was very partial to the new baby (who is now about 7) and showed immense partiality.
He's been with us now for a year and a half (after finally getting his mother to agree to this). He was socially promoted (due to his age) last year into 9th grade. He finished the year with a 3.4 GPA and was not in trouble at all!!! He is still very ADHD, but it is pretty much controlled with meds. Living with us he has responsibilities and chores, things he did not have living with his mother. He has adapted very well. He tells his father and me that he loves us, and we are "perfect parents" and he loves being with us.
So... what's the problem, right??? His attention seeking behaviors drive me nuts!!! We have had emails and conversations with his teachers that he is a good kid, very smart... but wants to be the class clown, center of attention, etc. He will sometimes need to be taken in the hall and told to settle down. We adjusted his meds to include a noon dosage (with his doctor's approval, etc) and that helped some. He wants to dress for attention, have hobbies that seek attention (fire breathing, unicycle, glass blowing, etc).
Although he tells me he loves me, and I love him dearly - he says that I'm too "OCD" and require too much of him, as far as the cleanliness of his room, his area of the house, etc. He's very much one to leave stuff every where, etc.
So... in the scheme of life... I have no big problems, right? I need to "suck it up" and move on???
I guess my question is... WHY must he have all these attention seeking behaviors now? He gets one-on-one attention from us! He's the "only child" now!!! Is he so warped from the time he lived with his mother (one of many children, step-siblings) when he got no attention and was "bad" for the negative attention, since he got no positive attention from her? What can we do to stop this?
He recently got an award at an evening ceremony at school for his grades last year. We talk him up to friends, grandparents, etc, that we're so proud of him, his grades, how well he's doing.
Sorry this is so long. Anyone have any advice, opinions?