My son and my husband are step, and they are constantly going at it. My son is 5, and my husband thinks he is the worst behaved kid in the world. What can I do????

Amie - posted on 05/11/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My husband and I have been together for almost 4 years. My sons dad is very inconsistent because he is unstable with his job, housing ect. He is frequently homeless so he's not around for long periods of time. My husband is my sons father figure. My son is 5 and tends to be hard to handle sometimes, he can be hyper, and manipulative, but I know it's because he misses his dad. For the most part he's sweet, and funny, and thoughtful. The last thing I want to do is break his spirit. What makes it worse is my husband and son are always going at it. My husband has said my son is the worst kid in the world. He's said it to him. They fight and my husband says he needs to toughen up, grow up and not be so whiny. I have to get in the middle of it and split it up. Then of course I then get yelled at. I have told my husband that Ty is not the worst kid in the world. He is a good kid, and he needs structure, We are all he has. He needs to feel safe in our home, not afraid, He gets normal discipline by me when he does things that are wrong. I think my husband is harsh with him more because he doesn't want him to be like his dad. I have said over and over the worst thing for Ty is to compare him, I want so badly for them to get along, but it is taring the whole house apart, and lately all I do is cry about this, and my husband is a very this is how i see it so this is how it is and if you don't like it you can get bent type of person. They have had their moments where the actually get along and it makes me so happy, but it never lasts long. HELP PLEASE!!!!

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Dove - posted on 05/11/2012

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Your husband needs to get his butt into counseling and parenting classes or get his butt out of the door unless/until he does. No child should ever be told he/she is the worst in the world. THAT is disgraceful behavior coming from a grown man and needs to stop NOW!

My kids know they are a pain in the butt sometimes (trust me... they take turns trying to be the biggest pain), but they know they are the best 'things' that have ever happened to me and are worth every second of craziness a million times over.

Tina - posted on 05/12/2012

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Your partner is acting like a child. He's 5 you can expect a 5 year old to get whiny. And seriously who tells a 5 year old to grow up. He needs to grow up and take notice of what you say. He's your son. You and your partner need to set ground rules and stick to them so things don't blow up like this. If any man treated my kid like dirt and disrespected me in front of my child like that he'd get told where to go. You 2 need to try and compromise if he's not willing then there's not much you can do. It'll only get worse if you don't have structure he's going to get older play you to against eachother. Not only that if your partner is nasty to him you all may end up losing him 2 his real dad he may even just move out once he's old enough. I've seen it happen that many times once the child reaches their teens and had enough they find someone else live with. I know this is worse case scenario but sometimes you need to look long term at a situation.

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amie, Sorry for your pain.
In my opinion, your son is in pain too. His father isn't around and he wants what any boy wants, a father to teach him things that a father and son would do. He is being torn apart. He don't know how to deal with his feelings, so he is acting out on his feelings because of his dad running off and leaving him. His father isn't a good example and needs to learn how to be a good example from his father. As for your new husband, your son is being told mean things by him. So, more than likely he is looking at the new many in the house and comparing him to his father too. Your husband maybe comparing your son to his father, well it's the opposite way around. His father hasn't been a real father. And when he leaves and suddenly appears hurts this little guy and then he's living with a man who's not acting any better.
Your son is lashing out because he is being hurt both ways, his father for abandonment and then he has another man who's saying things to him. How does this man think this little boy is going to act?He's not going to get better with his feelings when this man is saying he's the worst little boy ever.He's going to hate him and his feelings for him is going to get stronger. And then he is trying to tough him up.....He's probably picking on him to make him tough? Well that is being a bully to this little boy. Your son has been going through a tramatic change...His father not being a father, and then a new stepfather treating him like he is badder than ever. The things you say to a child, they start to believe and start to act on it. Whatever environment a child is in, they are going to respond to it. If the child is being bullied, cut down, they child is going to get worse for hearing it all the time and being treated like that all the time. If it don't stop now, the child could end up blaming you for not stopping it. A child usually looks to mommy to help him. If this man is yelling at you for trying to stop this bulliing.( Because if someone is trying to toughing someone up, they are being a bully.) Your child is hearing this guy yell at you, then that's going to make him more upset from the yelling. What is this yelling at going to lead to next? It also can train your son to grow up and treat his wife and children the same way as he is being treated and how he sees things are going. This environment is bad for this child. He needs your help. You are the only one who can stop this bullying and the words being told to him.He's going to look for you, the one who's always been there to stop it before it gets worse. Hatred can lead to other things,things that you don't want for your son! It's not right for his father being in and out of his life and then one who is around constantly says things to him that he is the worse kid ever. It downs him and he will soon think it is true and may think that is why his daddy isn't around, and he will think that noone loves him, (If he don't already).
I really don't know what else to say. Your son is in an environment with his step father in my opinion is bullying him and really don't care about him. You cant toughin up a kid, They have to grow up and learn for themselves. You can make a child look at you from the bullying and see how you are to him of how they are being treated by you and suddenly outrage comes out, and ere goes a problem you don't want. He may end up having nothing but hatred in his heart for how he's being treated by these 2 men. no man may not ever make him feel good about himself as long as he is staying in an environment as this.

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Lee - posted on 05/11/2012

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There is a reason you fell in love with your husband and I hope you are best friends besides being in love with each other. You have to withdraw yourself emotionally for just a moment and see if your husband perhaps has a point. You say your son is manipulative. Well, if this is the case, do not underestimate how easily he will pick up on the fact that mom and dad disagree about his upbringing. He will use this to the hilt. For him, and the experiences he has had in his young life, he would like nothing more than to have only mom to deal with. I speak from experience, having been in a similar situation. It is quite natural for mom to be over protective in a situation where biological dad is a failure as an example of what a father should be. May I suggest that you schedule a meeting with your husband, yes I said schedule, so he also has time to prepare. Sit with a nice glass of wine or whatever it is you both enjoy, in a relaxed atmosphere. Tell your husband that you understand that he feels your son is the worst behaved child but you would love nothing more than to see your family functioning well and your home a pleasant environment for all three of you to live in. Most importantly, you need to listen to what he has to say. He might have some valid points that you are missing and in other areas he might just be unreasonable. But listen. And whatever you do, do not blame him for anything at all. Your function at the meeting is to discover what it is that is making your husband unhappy so that you can start some sort of healing process in your family.
Once you have listened to your husband, it will be time to have a meeting with your son, and let him know that you are a family, and ask him what he and you can do to make the family better. Set out some ground rules and if he admits that he has fault here, let him sign a contract with you setting out his plans. Encourage him to make friends with your husband and show an interest in what your husband enjoys too.
I wish you the best of luck, because more than anything, you also need to feel peace and tranquility in your home. Both your boys need help, and as a woman, you are best equipped to fix this. If at the end of the day you are unable to, then you have some difficult decisions to make. My community on circle of moms is "childhood bipolar-we can help" if you wish to chat with me further.

Toni - posted on 05/11/2012

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OK - I first want to say that I can't imagine being in a relationship with someone that will always be on top of my kids. With that said, it is hard because you may be giving into your child because you feel terribly (with good reason) about his biological dad. But your husband has been his dad for 4 years. I think you need to be firm with both of them.
here is my silly example. My 3 year old is not allowed to jump on the couch, so when my mom lets him do it I go crazy....she says he is only 3 and I say but when he is 5 it won't be cute anymore. Kids are kids but I feel that when they are young you need to NOT let them get away with things that is not acceptable as they get older.

There is always a parent that is "easier" on the kids and a parent that is the "enforcer". I think you need to think about a few things...is your husband right about your son misbehaving? If not then set him straight....if so then teach him how to convey his message!!!!! He is probably making things worse the way he is taking down to your son......sticky situation - good luck :)

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