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to think not everyone has to like my son, but my DP should try?

(359 Posts)
Yorkshiremummyof1 Sun 12-Jul-20 03:20:58

I’m after advice re step parenting and relationships between. DC and SP

Myself, DP, DS9 live in a rented house. DP and I have been together for a year and he previously got on well with my son.

The situation as it currently is, is that he doesn’t enjoy spending time with DS and finds him irritating. I understand this is for a few reasons.

DS watches YouTube too much and it’s actually annoying hearing him talk to the TV.

When he’s allowed to play on the XBOX he stands far too close and talks to it.

He can have an attitude, not a naughty one just sassy and know it all.

He has the worst selective hearing, he doesn’t acknowledge me when I ask him to do something. He doesn’t say okay, he has about a 5 second pause before he starts to do it so I often get irritated as I think he’s ignoring me, he’s not he’s just processing it. But it winds me and DP up

DS doesn’t talk to us about anything interesting or something that DP enjoys, its mind numbing boring shit like minecraft or pokemon. It’s so hard to feign interest and it’s pretty obvious. I am being blunt, I just think it’s easier that sugarcoating it.

So these things annoy my DP and I think he has let them get to the point where he almost doesn’t like my son. I’ve explained to him that’s kinda a dealbreaker and we have discussed how lockdown might have affected it and how we could possibly start over. We’ve discussed how the same things wind me up, but he’s my child - I love him and I deal with the fact that I hate minecraft because DS loves it. Whereas DP has to want to choose this relationship if that makes sense?

The reason this is an issue is that we are considering moving to DPs house. He owns a lovely cottage in the country however it is smaller than my house, we would have less space and I think he is concerned about DS clicking that DP doesn’t enjoy spending time with him. He is upset that he feels this way and he doesn’t want DS to pick up on it. When DS has some problems with bullies, DP was upset for him but that emotional connection appears to have dimmed a bit, I pointed out they haven’t had a cuddle in a while and DP was visibly upset.

My counter to all this was.

YouTube is a pile of shit but instead of complaining he watches too much we should give him a set day he can watch it and we should encourage other things he can watch. Ideally he wouldn’t watch too much TV but admittedly for the two hours between end of school and me finishing work, I need him to be occupied. But don’t complain about HIS choice of TV when you as the adult have the power to change that.

XBOX - nothing I say will keep him from getting so close to the TV. Deal with it

Attitude - so I actually think that DS is trying to connect with DP. When he’s sassy to me at the dinner table I think he’s got his guard up. He’s totally different with just me, but I’m his mum and I love him unconditionally. The way he is round DP is similar to how I’ve seen him at school where he’s still settling in. I don’t know how to “fix” this

Selective hearing, I think it’s an age thing and perhaps I could change how I request DS to do something.

Talking to DP about boring things. This is so bloody obvious. He’s talking to DP about stuff that DS knows about because he’s trying to connect!! Is asked DP if he offered a topic to talk about and he blanked. things with DS that DP enjoys and’ll find common ground.

The problem is that DP has expected the relationship to magically grow with no effort. I understand why he’s thought this as his only experience with kids has been his god children and he has a really good relationship. Meeting a child aged 8 and being essentially forced to have a relationship is different.

I’d like some advice on how we can both work on fostering a healthy relationship as a trio. I knows my parental failings. Is it just a case of doing some activities with DS that DP likes? How do I navigate the sassy attitude where I think DS defences are up? I worry that the damage is done and DP will never “like” DS and even if he tried to hide it children are intuitive and so as a mother I’d have to end the relationship as DS comes first.

We’ve put moving to DPs on hold until we’re at A place that we think they have a relationship that could work. I don’t want to put DS through the mill, I need to protect him from harm because that’s my job and I love him to the moon and back.

OP’s posts: |
LunaNorth Sun 12-Jul-20 03:22:10

Sling the partner, and learn to appreciate your son.

Yorkshiremummyof1 Sun 12-Jul-20 03:35:45


Sling the partner, and learn to appreciate your son.


I appreciate my son. I’m just being brutally honest about the stuff that is annoying. I love him and he has loads of lovely qualities that I, as his mother, have seen him develop over the years. But my partner has known him for a short period of time so hasn’t had that benefit.

My partner WANTS to enjoy spending time with him but he’s a childless 30 year old and hasn’t a clue what he’s doing. Hence why I am asking for advice!

Ultimately though. I would sling the partner if it didn’t work out....

OP’s posts: |
Puppybum Sun 12-Jul-20 03:36:16

You are trying to make your partner like your son? Sod that for a game of soldiers. Tell the bloke to buck up if he's no interest in kids he should of picked a girlfriend with no baggage

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 12-Jul-20 03:43:02

He sounds like 90% of 9 year olds. The interests change. I have to feign interest in replies. Reptiles FFS. But I've learned lots about bloody reptiles. Your son is completely 100% normal.

Your partner sounds less normal. Not able to deal with a little sass from a child? Really? Not knowing that children tune adults out?

I'd ditch the bloke too. He should be trying very hard at this and isn't.

Aquamarine1029 Sun 12-Jul-20 03:43:27

You need to parent your child and get rid of your useless boyfriend.

Yorkshiremummyof1 Sun 12-Jul-20 03:46:56

I honestly don’t think DP realised kids can be hard work, he’s just not been exposed to them. He doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing hence why I’ve given him that leeway. But when he said DS talks to him about nothing that interests DP I accidentally laughed in his face. I mean barked out a laugh,

“Well do YOU talk to him about anything that interests you?” And it just sort of dawned on him. So he’s accepted that he has pretty much failed because he hasn’t made the effort and he’s thinking of ways to reengage I just wondered if anyone’s had similar experiences

OP’s posts: |
AllNaturalIngredients Sun 12-Jul-20 03:51:48

Your poor son. I don’t think this is a salvageable situation to be honest. Tell your partner where to go, I couldn’t look at him again if he said that

DevilsSpawn Sun 12-Jul-20 03:58:02

Fuck the DP. LTB, your son, who sounds like a very normal, lockdown kid right now btw, is already affected by this. He already knows the man you choose over him doesn't like him.
Your DP is immature and has contempt to your son. What else is there to 'foster'?!

Yorkshiremummyof1 Sun 12-Jul-20 04:02:46


Fuck the DP. LTB, your son, who sounds like a very normal, lockdown kid right now btw, is already affected by this. He already knows the man you choose over him doesn't like him.
Your DP is immature and has contempt to your son. What else is there to 'foster'?!

I didn’t seen it as contempt because he’s only recently articulated these feelings and his word were “I’d like to fix this”.

I have told him that if it’s not salvageable and he doesn’t make an effort that he is out the door. He isn’t a bad person by any stretch, just clueless.

He does some nice things for DS, he took him to a comic book shop on his own steam to buy a comic and he brought him home a brownie from the village shop yesterday. But the way he will give him the brownie needs to be more thoughtful I think? Instead of “here’s a brownie” perhaps he should be getting down on his level and saying “I bought you a brownie” if that makes sense?

OP’s posts: |
Graphista Sun 12-Jul-20 04:08:48

Oh ffs!

Yet ANOTHER post by a parent who has moved in their boyfriend/girlfriend WAY way too soon.


And actually in the op it doesn't sound like YOU like your son!

All the "irritating" things you describe are absolutely normal for his age and stage.

Boot the boyfriend out! Date him AWAY from your son if you wish but he should not be living with you both SO early on in the relationship.

Biochemically the first 12-18 months of a relationship are the honeymoon/rose tinted glasses phase.

It is ridiculous and with a child in the mix potentially harmful to move in together this early!

I wish to god there was a public service ad on such things!

we are considering moving to DPs house oh for crying out loud!

DO NOT do this!

What is your current housing situation? Would you be selling? Giving up a difficult to get tenancy or even worse social housing?

Because it's a HUGE risk moving in with your boyfriend giving up a secure and safe home for your CHILD when by the sounds of things this poor kid can't do right with either of you!

PLEASE do some reading on your child's age and needs and parenting, possibly even take a parenting class if you can because the way you speak about him seriously worries me!

WHY ON EARTH are you hesitating over kicking the boyfriend out?

Some of your sons behaviours are because he no longer feels comfortable in HIS OWN HOME!

The boyfriend has his own place pack him off back there!

I honestly don’t think DP realised kids can be hard work

But this is exactly WHY when there's children involved you take it SLOWLY!

I would honestly suggest an ideal time scale of:

1st 6 months no meeting children at all. Absolutely no need and you don't have a clue if it's a potential long term relationship until AT LEAST this point l

2nd 6 months OCCASIONAL meetings with children doing things that are child centred and closely observe new boyfriend/girlfriends interactions with them for potential red flags

IF things are genuinely going well

3rd 6 months start to spend time all of you doing more mundane/regular things, occasional overnights with boyfriend/girlfriend staying over

4th 6 months more time spent together inc a long weekend or short holiday

5th 6 months IF all the above has gone ok MAYBE move in together at this stage AFTER discussing with the children - not necessarily asking their permission but gauging their reaction, giving them a chance to raise any concerns. AND setting ground rules for the adult moving in. They are NOT instantly a step parent and things like discipline need to be VERY carefully navigated.

At all stages be observant, open to hearing your child's possible concerns and be absolutely ready to kick the boyfriend/girlfriend into touch if it's not right for your child

In your case it all needs to be taken back several steps and slowed right down to undo what's already happened

Josette77 Sun 12-Jul-20 04:15:04

Do you like your son? Nothing you've mentioned he does sounds particularly annoying or irritating. This is very sad.

Zofloramummy Sun 12-Jul-20 04:17:35

How long have you all lived together? If you’ve been in the relationship for a year it can’t be that long. Honestly you can’t make your DP like your ds.

I have a 9 year old, she loves Minecraft and YouTube, also talks incessantly about topics I couldn’t care less about and has selective hearing. She seems to think I’m an unpaid maid and needs pulling up on her manners occasionally. A typical child in other words. She’s also bright, funny and my favourite person in the world.

I suspect that your dp sees your son as a kind of add on. A nice enough kid but he probably isn’t emotionally bonded to him in anyway, I suspect that’s probably mutual as you are the only thing that links them. This was probably Ok in small doses, but lockdown has meant we have all been stuck together. Your DP has to decide if he is willing to put the effort in to build a proper relationship with him,‘if not I’d get rid before your son notices that he doesn’t like him.

Mintjulia Sun 12-Jul-20 04:17:54

Your ds already knows your dp is irritated by him. That’s why his “guard” is up.

Your ds needs other things to do now the summer holidays are almost here. I drag my ds out every fine day, for a bike ride or a kick about. I don’t take no for an answer.

Lockdown has been horribly isolating and my ds talks to his computer game as well, We have whole conversations about zombies and the nether and Ilytra, I have no idea what I am talking about grin but it isn’t hard to do.

Your ds sounds completely normal and a bit lonely. Can you sign him up to a holiday club so he spends time with other kids?

Your dp sound like a nasty selfish got. His next move will be to want your ds to spend more time with his dad. He will try to drive him away.
Do not move to the cottage. It won’t work, you’ll lose your home and your poor ds will be stuck in a tiny house, miles from his friends, with someone who actively dislikes him, and that person will have all the power because it’s his house.

Dump the man and put your child first. Sorry if that isn’t what you want to hear.

Yorkshiremummyof1 Sun 12-Jul-20 04:18:29

Of course I like my child, he’s the light of my life. I was being clear and trying to avoid the drip feed etc.

I know the irritating things are normal for a 9 year old, I’ve already said I think it’s just his age.

And I don’t think it’s fair to bash DP for being honest with me and for being useless. Is this how we treat anyone who stands up and says “I’ve made a mistake how do I fix it”? Because that is what he’s doing.

And I said “considering” moving. Timescale was to move within a year. Because to move DS if it were right would take time and I categorically would only do it if it was right. And then I said it’s on hold, meaning I’m not even considering it as an option at the moment.

OP’s posts: |
Aquamarine1029 Sun 12-Jul-20 04:18:30

Yet ANOTHER post by a parent who has moved in their boyfriend/girlfriend WAY way too soon.

Exactly. And then they wonder why everything is a complete fucking disaster. There is no thought whatsoever what is best for the child/children involved.

Zofloramummy Sun 12-Jul-20 04:23:46

Excellent post by Graphista and I do agree about the timing. These issues here are the main reason why I choose to be single.

It’s not simple at all starting a new relationship, I’m not prepared to potentially upset my dd’s well-being, our relationship dynamic and her safe space at home for the possibility of a functional long term relationship. Isn’t worth it to me, and honestly I can’t be bothered!

genteelwoman Sun 12-Jul-20 04:26:33

Why are you doing this to your son?

He is the main priority

You just keep going on about your partner and trying to justify his actions. Your son shouldn't feel like he has to walk around eggshells in his home or try hard not to be irritating.

Do you know how damaging it is for a young child to know that they are not likeable to the adults in their life and must adjust their behaviour according.

Yes, you will say your DS is completely unaware of this and nothing of the sort has been said to him. These are just conversations between you and your DP, but trust me, he knows.

Dont move your son into a toxic and unstable situation (a man who barely likes him or tolerates him by the sound of it's house). Stop keeping your son in this situation.

Please put your son first. Yes I'm sure you will have an answer for everything I said but if you are honest with yourself you are just trying to justify a situation you know is not okay for your son.

Put your son first

Yorkshiremummyof1 Sun 12-Jul-20 04:27:56

DP is putting a plan together of what he can do to build the relationship. He’s already teaching him how to ride a bike, they like to take the dog out together and also DP has been introducing DS to Dungeons and Dragons (funnily enough I hate it but DS really enjoys doing it so I join in)

I think DS has been lonely although it has been better since he went back to school and perhaps lockdown has just exacerbated all this. It’s been hard as I’ve been trying to balance working and looking after him and I’m certain I’ve got it wrong so many times. I’m pretty sure DP needs to see a doctor about depression, I read somewhere that NHS workers are suffering the most during all of this and there’s been a rise in those seeking support from GPs. Wondering if that’s had an impact on this.

OP’s posts: |
Zofloramummy Sun 12-Jul-20 04:30:13

Be careful with this potential future move, it would place you in a very vulnerable position. Would you be able to keep your current home?

I wouldn’t do it at all because of the power imbalance, his house, his rules, no ownership or feeling like it’s your home. Any problems in the relationship he could threaten to kick you out. I would never advise a friend to do this even if they thought the relationship was perfect.

differentnameforthis Sun 12-Jul-20 04:31:46

So your ds is acting how a average 9yr does, and your partner doesn't like it...and you are worried that you son will find out that your dp doesn't like him?

Don't worry, your son already knows.

Aquamarine1029 Sun 12-Jul-20 04:32:22

DP is putting a plan together of what he can do to build the relationship.

You should be the one making plans for the well-being of your child. Not some man who doesn't even like him.

PerditaProvokesEnmity Sun 12-Jul-20 04:32:45

Your DP needs to move to his cottage in the country while you stay in (what I presume is) your home and concentrate on your son.

You could still see the man, outside your home, but it would be entirely wrong to force your child to live with him.

And even if they had got on well it would be a severe mistake to move into a property that belongs to your DP. You're not married; where would it leave you, and more importantly your son, if you were to split up in that situation? Homeless, is where. I don't really understand how you could be prepared to take such a huge risk with your son's security after just one year of knowing this man.

Yorkshiremummyof1 Sun 12-Jul-20 04:32:46


So your ds is acting how a average 9yr does, and your partner doesn't like it...and you are worried that you son will find out that your dp doesn't like him?

Don't worry, your son already knows.

I know that

OP’s posts: |
genteelwoman Sun 12-Jul-20 04:33:11

This man is not good for your son. You really even sound like you are trying to convince yourself he is great to your son by bringing up positive anecdotes to counter the criticism of him that ⅘qpeople have made.

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