boyfriend is too strick with my kid!

Kimberly - posted on 11/09/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Hi All,
I just earned my rights back to my 15.5 year old. he has been out of my care for the last 5 years. In the mean time I met, and now live with, a great man. He is a bit older and raised his family in the LDS church. We are from two different worlds. We have/had a great relationship, until my son moved back in close to a year ago. I have been with my BF for almost 4 years.
He has no experience with children of this day and age. In fact, his kids grew up on my ere. Times and parenting strategies have changed tremendously! I know his intentions are good, he wants to teach me what he already learned, raising four kids( all succeeding adults now). And i am jumping right into teen parenting with no experience , i have also been on my own since 13, so i have no clue! His morals are good morals and his advice seems good advice, if we were raising him from scratch and most of his personality traits hasnt already been embedded in him. Also, my son and I have both been recently diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and with him ODD on top of that.
I tried taking his advice about every thing , all the time , every circumstance, but alot of it seemed overbearing and controlling. Most importantly, does not work! I am grateful i found this sight. I have no one else to compare things too except for my boyfriend. we are new here and i am kinda a loner. My family, well, like i said earlier, i was on my own since 13. I really cant trust their advice as alot of them have failed with their efforts. i hear them out ... but i would much rather get feedback from people in the same ship i am in, or close to it.
Needless to say, My son and boyfriend cant stand each other at all. they dont yell at each other but they also dont talk to each other. Frankly, I am sick and tired of my boyfriend insisting i do things his way with my kid! For one, he is not even trying to bond with my son and certainly not trying to be an ACTIVE part of this family. I have discussed this issue in every way i can think of with my boyfriend. down to where i was downright blunt.
He still dont get it.
I love my child and want to make a positive impact on the rest of his teenage years. But, i am very in love with my boyfriend too. I have 2.5 years of raising him left. I would hate to lose what makes my life whole, before i got him back and after he moves out over this problem.
I told my boyfriend that i have found a web sight and i have been educating myself in all these areas , parenting, teens, adhd in adults and teens, step parent families!!! I asked him to educate himself too but he thinks because he has raised a family before, that he knows it all and doesn't need the education. He also works 12 hours a day and is working out of town 2 weeks out of the month.
I am going crazy just trying to handle the simplest things in parenthood. I have gone to 4 parenting classes..ect. I just started taking my son and i just started taking meds for our condition and i am hoping it helps both of us function better.
Any advise would be appreciated
thanks

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Angie - posted on 11/13/2010

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Why is your boyfriend discipling your son at all? It seems to me your boyfriend has a choice to make, either lay off your son or you leave. After not being with your son for 5 years, it might be wise to move out and spend a lot of quality time with your son. He's probably been through a lot and is having a difficult time adjusting to your home. Your boyfriend's treatment of him isn't making that stress any better... If your boyfriend loves you, your relationship will survive you not living in the same house.

Karen - posted on 11/12/2010

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Dump the boyfriend and start being a parent to your son. Get your own place and start setting the rules or guidelines for your son. Be consistant and firm. It is going to take a while but it will be worth it in the end, for both of you. You say you are in love with your boyfriend, does he feel the same way? If he did, he would be more willing to help. Remember, blood is thicker than water. Your son is your blood. He is part of you and you are part of him. His behaivor is his way of crying out for help without actually asking for help. Again, dump the boyfriend and start being a parent to your son.

Dawn - posted on 11/10/2010

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Oh, Wow!...you have asked a lot of questions and have given a lot of information to process.
If you want me to sugar coat it, I can't. I have very strong morals and values and this sounds like a mess to me. I would probably agree with your boyfriend on what he thinks is right as far as most of the discipline and rules. However...hmmm...how to say this without offending...you can't put a boyfriend before your son. If you have 2.5 years left to raise him and have been away from him for 5 years...how can you consider keeping a boyfriend over him. I couldn't and wouldn't...my kids come first always. But, your son does need to learn to respect him, because if you were married, you wouldn't just walk away from a marriage. Living with someone you are not married to is not a committed relationship and you are putting that above your son’s needs. Your son needs loving guidance with a consistent environment and consistent discipline...discipline is “what you find that works to get him to do what he is supposed to do”...some kids do that by talking to them, some through taking things and making them earn it back through good behavior. You have to find what works for you and for your son. But be consistent...if you say no today about something, then say no tomorrow...for example: if you don't want him riding his bike down a certain road that takes him somewhere he likes to go and you told him no yesterday about it...if he comes and asks again today, then you have to say no again...if you aren't consistent, you won’t earn his respect or teach him to listen to you...because he will realize there is no absolute authority in his life. And that is needed to teach children to mind and behave the way you want them too. In our society we have absolute authority...the police, the child protective services, etc...We have to learn to live in society through our childhood. You teach them to be the adult they need to be...the Bible is full of instruction on raising children...read through Proverbs and Ecclesiastes...it talks about a child that is not disciplined will bring shame to his mother and father. It also talks about sparing the rod, you will spoil the child...it does not mean to beat them with an actual rod...it is talking about the rod of correction...there again, that is correction that works for your child. Don't spare correction, because you are afraid of hurting his feelings. Sometimes we have to have our feelings hurt to learn a lesson. Has that not been the case in your own life? It has been in mine. This is the best information I know how to give. I follow through with discipline when my kids break the rules...you have to set your rules...and make sure he knows them clearly and follows them. We have rules in society, you break the law, and you get fined or go to jail. Now is the time to teach him, rather than wait until he has to learn the hard way...wouldn't you agree?

I hope this helps you...but then agian, if you think your boyfriend is to strict...lol. The rules for raising children doesn't change, society does...and look at how children act today, because people think they don't need discipline or structure...or give them too much freedom at to early of an age.

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Beverly - posted on 12/04/2010

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It's alot of stress. For years it was just my son and I, partners in crime so to speak. I had bf from time to time but I always let them know that my son comes first. Then I met my now husband, who was great with my then 12 y/o son, but everything changed when we got married. He wanted to have a say in my son's life. HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I gave birth to him, I almost died having him, I raised him without his father around and there is NO ONE who will take over that role. My son of course started to dislike him, it has caused many problems in our marriage almost to separation, but I continue to let my husband know that he is MY son. He didn't need a father, I wasn't looking for one, this is how it's has always been and this is how it will be and if he doesn't like it, there's the door. Even though we now have a 2 y/o and he is a great father to, he is still welcome to walk out that door if he tries to discipline my son in anyway. Sometimes for men it's about control. In your case you feel he is more experienced so you're hesitant to take control of the situation. This is YOUR child and he is NOT his father. Let him know how you feel b/c this will only push your son away. OUR children are the most important thing in this world and they depend on US as they're mothers to protect and care for them. My son is a great kid, very polite and respectful, well liked by all, sweet and caring, not the best student but he makes it for it in every other way, so I've done something right. For your son's sake, keep up with parenting classes, a therapist for you both, a mediator for them.

ANNMARIE - posted on 11/27/2010

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I am sorry but there should never be a choice between a man and your child. If you don't like the way he insists that you raise your child and you conform to do it his way then you are not learning anything about parenting you are following someone elses advice. You say that you dont agree with the way your boyfriend disciplines your son and yet you allow it? I don't need you to tell me why you didnt have your son for five years but the fact that you are getting a second chance with him should be enough for you to want to be the very best parent you can.
I have been with my husband for 25 years and he is the father of my children yet if he was impacting their lives in a negative way and I felt he was being controlling or abusive to my children,no matter how much I love him he would be gone, no ifs ands or buts.
Being in love with your boyfriend is not enough to sacrafice the well being of your child.

Ciara - posted on 11/13/2010

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I agree and disagree with all the above posts. It is very difficult to beome a "step parent" to a partners child, unless you have been there it is hard to put your point across. With my son and his step-father he was very controling and wanted kids to be seen and not heard. I disagreed with his strict parenting a lot but learned to pick my fights. At times I would totally disagree and agrue the point. Other times I let him "have his way", eventually through a lot of talk and give and take we both agreed that we needed to be strict on bigger issues and not so on smaller issues. We are both very open with my son and if he has a problem then he knows that he can come and talk to us both. It was very hard at the begining to find a compromise but eventually we did. I personally think it is very important to be strict and open with kids nowadays. At the moment touch wood we have a good relationship with the teenager in my family and have had no major problems. The other thing that worked for us keeping him off the streets and away from troublemakers was to insist that he take up one activity and keep it on until he finishes school (his choice of activity). Best of luck

Leisha - posted on 11/12/2010

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I agree up to a point with the replies so far. I do believe that children require constant discipline, but with that said there's a difference when the relationship between parent and child has been broken and has to be repaired. If I'm understanding right, you did not have custody of your son for the past five years. That's a long time in a child's life, he may feel like you can't just come back and tell me what to do and set all these rules. And although you may not agree with how he's feeling, there's definitely validity to his feelings. You two should try spending time together one on one, so that you can rebuild your relationship. Of course you should set up your ground rules, but I don't think your boyfriend should be a part of that. Yes he can advise you, but....you still have to consider everything before making any decisions. His involvement right now is not necessary or helpful to the situation. You and your son have a lot of making up to do, and he has to feel like he can come to you with his feelings and that you'll listen and make his feelings a priority. How can he feel like that if you allow the man in your life to input his own feelings and decisions, your son is going to feel like he's not the priority in your life. And opposite to popular thought, you never stop being a mom so even when he's 18, 28 or 38 he'll still want to feel like a priority in your life. I have a 21 yr old, don't fool yourself in to thinking that your ever done raising your kids.

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I agree with Dawn. For years, I raised my son as a single mother and then I met a great man who I am now engaged too. He is only been in our lives 5 years, but since he has advised me on the discipline of my son, he has changed a lot. He was getting into a lot of trouble, back talking, no respect. It took some time but I have learned that being a friend to our children is not good. We are the parents, our children have friends and we are there to guide them and make sure they make the right decisions in life. My fiance is strict but he does have regular conversations with my son which I think is important. They talk about life, girls, movies and so on. He does try to connect on a personal level but when my son messes up, the punishment for my sons actions are not weak. Of course with my son being 14, he is not spanked or anything but his belongings are taken such as his cell phone and mp3 player and bike. He doesn't see his friends and the punishment sticks for as long as we decide. For every bad thing he does, there is a consequence and we have made great progress! I wish you the best of luck. Only you know if your BF is out of control or if he really cares and wants the best for your child.

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