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Old 03-06-2010, 01:07 PM   #1
N0obKnitter
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OT: when your boyfriend/girlfriend has a kid
Oh hai .

My boyfriend has a 6 year old son from his imploded marriage (we're both in our mid-30s.) This is a new experience for me, never dated a guy who had a kid. His kid and I like each other and he's really easy going.

It's possible in the future my boyfriend and I will cohabitate and marry. Since I'm a n0ob to step parenting or even dating a guy with a kid...halp.

I've already been in a situation where I had to tell his son not to do something, like play legos on the burner on the stove (lol.) The weird thing is, he complies if I ask him not to do something.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:04 PM   #2
MoniDew
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and the problem is....?

It's your house, your rules! You're doing great! You asked him not to play legos on the burner and he complied. As long as you are decent and respectful, he's fine!!! Sound like the biologicals are raising a good kid. Just stick to the topic on whatever the issue is and stay out of the stuff that isn't your problem.

You're doing just fine, really!!
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:12 PM   #3
Jan in CA
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My DH had a kid when we started going out, too. Plus I am a stepchild. I have a couple thoughts on this-
  • Don't try to be the "mom" because he already has one. You still need to be the adult because he has enough friends, but... you know what I mean.
  • Be respectful of his mom and let him talk about her if he wants to even if it's hard for you to hear sometimes.
  • Never let him hear you saying bad things about his mom.
  • It's okay to have your own rules and boundaries, but remember he may have different ones at his moms house. I used to tell my SD that we do it this way when you're here and she was usually okay with that. There's going to have to be a lot of compromise.
  • I can't stress this enough --Talk to your boyfriend a lot about his expectations regarding the child and how you feel. The whole situation can turn if communication isn't open.
  • A good relationship with the child's mom is nice and it's helpful if you can discuss things with her, too.
My own stepmom didn't have a good relationship with my mom and in fact was pretty rude. She would get upset if we talked about our mom and my dad told us never to talk about her again. Her rules were strict and and didn't take into account what we might be going through at home. It was stressful to say the least.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:50 PM   #4
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Thanks guys...My BF and I talk about everything quite a lot. We don't live together *yet* but our future plans include that. His son's mother is Bi-polar, um quite lazy, feeds his son lots of junk food (like McDs etc) though I was careful to avoid talking about that stuff in front of his son. She may be uh, how she is but she is still his Mommy and that won't change, I respect that. I haven't yet met her but I'm sure that day will come soon enough.

I'm not a totally strict nutjob but if I think his son is going to do something dangerous or bad I think it's ok for me as an adult to tell him "no" and he doesn't seem to mind me doing it, either.

I also was teaching his son how to knead bread dough, how to spread cookie dough to make bar cookies and some other things. He was keen to learn all about those things and takes instruction amazingly well. The kid doesn't act bratty like some 6 year olds do, he's laid back, like his daddy.

I actually really like his son, we share a love of swimming (he let me toss him around the public pool and we went off the diving board/slide etc.) I won't ever have my own children, aside from expensive medical intervention (too old now anyway) so maybe someday I can be his pseudo-mom or something, if he wants.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:23 PM   #5
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It sounds like you're off to a great start will be a good stepmom for him.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:59 PM   #6
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You are doing a wonderful job! I am a step-mom and my daughter has a step-dad. Keep up the good work!
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:06 PM   #7
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Everyone has had really good advice. And I will only add this one thing, based on my husband being a step-father. If you have a problem with the kid, try to bring it to your boyfriend in a way that shows your concern and respect for the child. Don't constantly harp on it. Like I've told my husband a million times over the past 11 years, build a bridge and get over it. Kids are kids and you have to remember having been a kid. Kids are logical, reasonable or even honest. Don't let any problems you may ever have with his kid come between the two of you, or fester and become resentment. It's hard, really hard to listen to another person complain about your kids. And, sometimes, even though you know the kid has been a brat and you're at your wits end, you will revert to an eight year old child yourself and just shut down instead of listening. (been there, done that, saw the movie, bought the t-shirt).

So be honest, be constructive and make sure your concern shows more than any anger you may be feeling. It sounds to me like you already have all the makings of a great step-parent.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:28 PM   #8
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I sure remember what it was like to have a mother who was dating different men, some of whom treated me with disrespect. I am highly sensitive to how everything must feel for his son, his parents are in the latter stages of a divorce, his mother is bi-polar, a heavy smoker, lives in a trailer with lots of other people so he has to share her bed etc. I'm amazed the kid is that well-adjusted and well, pretty happy. I wouldn't be!
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:46 PM   #9
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Everyone has given GREAT advice so far and I think you are doing a GREAT job thus far....I just want to add something very personal....
I also have a step mom and a step dad, along with a foster mom and dad! My foster dad just passed away last March and he was the GREATEST man in the world. dont get my wrong I love all my "parents" but my foster dad overcame huge obstacles (he was a quadraplegic) but he taught me more about "real life" than anyone. He is the one who "shaped" me into the woman I am today! I always went to him with my problems because of his gentle and genuine manner. He NEVER NEVER yelled or raised his voice to me, even when I think I needed it. Dont get me wrong he diciplined me, but it was obviously never physical, but just the tone of his voice when he was dissapointed in me, that was the ultimate punishment when he would say "I am so dissapointed in you". We always talked about my punishment (what do you think should happen was his favorite line) I think that is VERY effective...I use that with my own children today. As I have grown into a woman, my foster dad became my VERY BEST FRIEND! Step parents or Foster parents (in my case) really make a significant impact on a child's life. I miss him so much!
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:19 AM   #10
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get ready for one crazy and wild ride.

I was the stepchild, I have been the stepmom for 13 years so far and step-grandma for 6 years...


1. no matter what happens, the two of you must present a united front to the child at all times when the child's around... once they find a weak spot as they get older, they may try to play both ends against the middle.

2. your SO needs to make it clear that you have just as much right to enforce the rules and punishments as he does

3. I wish i still had it, but i read an article YEARS ago that helped with my role as stepmom that pointed out our "role" is more like that of a well meaning aunt.....

4. enjoy it While my stepsons are all grown up and out on their own now, the one who lived with us until recently (he moved in when he was a teenager... his mother had no control over any of the kids and he used it to his advantage to turn the courts against her so he could get what he wanted, which was moving in with us LOL) never told his friends that i was his stepmother.... they always thought that I was his mom until we met in person and then he had to explain his mother lives over an hour away and i'm his stepmom

5. Don't refer to him as your stepkid.... adopt the attitude that the only "steps" in the house are the ones that take you from the first floor to the second... I always treated my dh's kids the same as the ones he and i have together and as a result ahve a great relationship with 2 out of 3 of them (the third no one sees, he's 18 and working at his first year of college).... as well as the oldest one's wife and 2 little girls....


6. it's going to be stressful and there'll be days you're ready to say bugger it and throw in the towel, but remember: You only need to deal with the ex and family courts until the kidlet's 18.

7. There are also MANY MORE good days than bad ones..... try to forget the bad and focus on the good.
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