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Step-Parenting Ask other step-parents your questions about being a step mom.

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Old 08-17-2006, 10:33 AM
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Sad face How do I cope?

I live with my girlfriend who I love to no end. I am helping her raise her son. We're trying to be a family. Her son is 5 1/2 years old. When he misbehaves or acts up, I lose interest in him. Don't get me wrong, I love him. But I can't find it in me to have that "unconditional" love. He doesn't do anything to me personally but I see his behavior, immaturity for his age, and lose interest in being around him. I can honestly say he gets on my nerves. I don't want to feel that way around him. I would love to have a good relationship with him, but he turns me off ALOT. I've talked to my g/f about it because I think between her and his grandmother, this is why he is the way he is. His father's the same way with him. They spoil him rotten. He's disrespectful, talks back, argumental and threatening. Doesn't want to do anything for himself....doesn't want to learn. Anything he wants, he gets whether or not he behaves.

In the mornings, he gets carried out the door to daycare if he doesn't want to walk. (He hasn't started kindergarten yet.) It makes me sick. I just can't be that way with him. It just doesn't come out of me to baby him like that. I've been raised with different morals, and my morals don't stick with him. Is this a hopeless case?

Exhausted.....

Marco
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:56 AM
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Hi Marco~ Welcome to Family Corner!

I wouldn't say that your relationship is hopeless at all. I do think that you need to sit down with your S.O. and be completely honest with her about your feelings on how your stepson is being raised. Since you have been together so long, I do believe that you should have some say in how he is being raised in your house. The key here is to sit down and talk, talk, talk. You can't be angry or mean when you do this as this will put her on the defensive even more. I understand how difficult it is when children spend time in 2 different houses and live with 2 different sets of rules.

What is the relationship between your S.O. and her ex? Would the 3 of you be able to sit down and work out a set of rules for this little one to live by at both homes?

Have you thought of family counseling?

I'm sorry that I dont have any answers for you but I can lend an ear ( or in the case an eye ) if you need to vent.

I hope that things get better for you soon.

Tami
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:24 PM
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Marco, I don't know that I have any answers either but we are all good listeners here and there are many that do have great ideas.
I have 2 boys 11 and almost 16, the one thing I know is that you need is consistancy and uniformity between adults.
I guess life is a learning curve and like Tami suggests a councillor for you as a family or maybe parents or even solo maybe a good idea.
I wish you all the luck and strength you need.
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:14 PM
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Oh, Marco - don't feel that your case is hopeless. I am a step parent, but my steps were all in their 20's when we married, so it is different. But some things are the same. Remember just because you love his mum doesn't mean you will automatically love him, or love him unconditionally. It often takes time, and sometime LOTS of effort. And there is no quick and easy answer. Like Tami and Bilby, I'd say counselling is very necessary. My 3 steps have no intention of accepting me and I have to say I don't really like them. But I love their dad to bits.
Because this little one is so much younger you do have a right to be part of his upbringing and guidance. I assume you help support him? He sounds very spoilt and for his own sake needs to be helped to grow into a nice little boy. You say you spoke to g/f about the situation. Was she open to help?
I pray that things will improve and that you will become a warm, loving family unit. You have shown great strength admitting the problem and I'm sure you will show the same strength dealing with it.

Keep in touch,
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:55 AM
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I agree that family counseling could help. If you cannot afford to pay for counseling, church clergy are also trained in family counseling and usually are free. Step parenting is a very hard job but it can have so many rewards. Could you and your gf sit down and talk and perhaps set some guidelines about what is and isn't acceptable behavior and then discuss how to deal with inappropriate behavior (ie consequences)? Both parents need to be consistent each and every time. Children need guidelines and rules and they thrive on routine. It isn't easy to step into the role of parenthood with an already 5 yo child but with patience I know things can work out. Your gf just needs to be open to working on things with you. Just make sure your expectations are not too difficult for a 5 yo to achieve. There are also some great books out there on parenting, step parenting and positive discipline. Check with your local library. Perhaps there is a book you and your gf could read together.
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:23 AM
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Part of it might be jealousy on his part. How long have you been in the household. I was a stepchild and believe me I tried my mom's new men, because I had learned that most people (men especially do not stick around) so I did not want to get close to them and get hurt again. He might also sense your feelings. The mom and grandma are probally trying to make up for all the loss this young has experienced (that is human nature) even though yes it might be that it is actually causing the behavior problems. Was the child this way beforehand or just after you came into the picture? Their might be something else going on (like ADHD or ODD- just a thought). I believe that counseling may help but you would all 3 have to go and all 3 of you would have to be willing to try what the counselor says. Good Luck and just be patience, in time the child will learn to trust that you are not leaving.
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:55 AM
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Marco, hang in there..you are in a difficult situation...by being a boyfriend.
The parenting rules should be put in place by the mother/father. It will be hard for you to correct her child...for if it is not agreeable to her..you will get chewed out.
Remain calm with her, and talk to her about how your parents raised you...or what you think..just be gentle.

I think a 5 yr old is too old to be carried like a baby..now if the child is sick, handicapped, or needs to be carried for a reason..that is different.

Coddling and babying him,all the time is not good..when it is time for him to go to kindergarten, the separation issues and playing with other kids will be hard.

Seems like they are trying to keep him a baby..and they should be trying to let him grow up and stand on his feet.

Now, if the child shows fear...say a thunderstorm..of course comfort the child. Or if he falls off his bike..comfort him..

I have only raised boys...so I am proud to say, they grown into good strong men.
I did my job alright...but they do still call me to ask me questions like how do I make gravy? or meatloaf?
And they call Dad when they are needing advice on how to fix their car.

Good Luck to you! Kids are alot of fun, and bring alot to your life.

Janet
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:25 AM
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I can relate

Marco, I met a man with two small children seven years ago, I had two and he had two, his were 5 and 3. It was not easy in the beginning, they even slept in his bed, thanks to his ex-wife. When I came along, I needed to get his children out of the bed before my children wanted to get in. So we compromised, we agreed that they could sleep in the living room on the floor or couch and watch tv, until they feel asleep, then we would go out and turn it off. This was not the way that I raised my own two children, when it was bed time, they went to their beds, but I loved this man, and was willing to compromise on things that were not of any great harm to the children. It is hard when there is ex's involved in the parenting, I should know, he has one and so do I. As time goes on, things do get better, try to let her know how you feel about the fact that treating him like a baby will only hurt him in the long run. Children love to feel independent. They are proud when they can do things on their own, let her know this. I think "unconditional love" is hard to give when you did not bond with a child from birth, but it can be done if the two of you be honest with one another. Give it time, and let her know you would like a say so in how things are being done in your home. good luck, it can work. kat
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:59 AM
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I'm with you friend, I am having a very difficult time having a relationship w/ my step daughter. I don't quite like anything about her and I'm having a hard time pretending that I do. Her father had her with a woman who has nothing to do with the child, and he acts like he soesn't either...I'm pretty much hopeless and feel that my relationship is going to come to an end over it...and very soon.
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:15 PM
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Marco, I agree with Janet. It is the place of the child's parents to discipline him and teach him how to grow into an adult. You should be talking to your gf about how you feel. Counseling wouldn't hurt either. They aren't doing this child any favors by allowing him to act this way as someday they will regret it and it could possibly be too late to correct the problem. A 5 year old should be at an age when he is helpful and enjoyable to be around. Good luck!
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