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Parenting Issues Message Board

Parenting Issues Board Index

O.K. I have three children so I am speaking to you from experience. To me, it sounds like your son has several issues going on. From what you have mentioned, it sounds like your son may be experiencing some feelings of resentment towards your current boyfriend. It is a lot for anyone (let alone a child) to handle a "part-time" father. Now he is faced with the fact that (in his 7 yr. old mind) his dad places something berfore him (addiction). THat in itself it hurtful. On top of that, he sees this new man who is trying to establish some type of order and your son is resentful. He has not had to deal with his mom having a male companion that also has a say so in his life. Think about being 7, having no stable father and having to share your mom with a man who is not your father yet directs you in what you should do. His resentment of not having his dad could be being misplaced onto your boyfriend.

Secondly, I know it is hard as heck but you have to establish boundaries. I too was in your situation with a child at a young age and single; however, no matter who my son was told to do something by, boyfriend, father, uncle, friend-he KNEW not to disrespect an adult. Even if he objected, he knew how to do it in the appropriate manner. It may just be that your son IS in fact, ungrateful. If that is the case-talk to him. Make him volunteer at the shelters. Have him give up some of his toys/allowance to those who are less fortunate. But for me personally, the whole disrespect thing is more of an issue because not only is it with your boyfriend but it is with you too. How can a 7 yr. old be bossy to his parent? You know how? Because you have given up your power to parent. Remember that you are his parent and not his friend. He does not have to like you. That is what his friends are for. As a parent, it is your duty to prepare him for adulthood....and in adulthood, you can not disrespect people. You can not threaten people wiht objects. You can not be ungrateful for what others do for you. And most of all, you have to learn to communicate your feelings in a constructive manner. IF he is feeling some anger, resentment...he has to LEARN to communicate that to you so that you all can deal with it.

PLEASE do not think I am coming down on you but try to take some time off from your man in terms of the "family setting". It is alright to do things together BUT focus on your son for a while. Talk to him to see where his head is. If necessary, have him evaluated. Spend hours each week just sitting and talking. Sit in the floor and color with him-WITHOUT YOUR BOYFRIEND> Let him know that your focus is on him and not your relationship. I can not speak on your relationship but you all may not be together forever so your son may think that the next person is going to come in and "try to play daddy too". Make sure he knows that he is first in EVERYTHING!

Lastly, I had to learn this the hard way too. DO NOT try to make your child into something they are not. Our expectations as parents are not always our childs desires. God does not make mistakes. Your son is who he is and may not be the athlete that you thought he'd be. Mine ain't either :-) He is getting ready to turn 12 and just now started palying footbal and is way behind everyone else. I say that to say this, allow him to become who he wants to be and not what you desire. Lord, think of what your parents wanted for you. Is that what you desired? I have a streak in me to the point where I will become confrontational real quick; however, my 11 year old son does not care what people say to him. I asked him why he allowed people to say crazy stuff to him without going off on them and he told me it was because he knewwho he was and did not care what they said because it did not affect him. At first I got mad. But my husband eventually got me to understand that he is mature enough to handle his own. He does not have to act crazy to get people to understand him. I love that and embrace it now (because I honestly thought that he was going to be a weekling) but he is stronger than I.

I hope this helps a little. Try a lot of attention with a firm grip on respect and appreciation. Make sure your son knows that no one can replace his dad but that a dad is the person who loves him, respects him, and not just the one who made him. Also, if your man truly loves you, he will allow you to focus on your child and do whatever it takes to make him comfortable (but respectful). If your relationship fails, it is not going to be because of your son. It wil lbe becasue you boyfriend did not want to be around. A child is a child. All of them go through their stuff. A man who runs out when it gets hard is not a man.

Good luck and keep us informed.


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