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Pregnancy and stepchildren(15 Posts)
I'm new to this forum (although I've been a lurker and often come here to look for answers to pregnancy queries I've had). I'm just looking for some advice from anyone who has been in a similar situation. I'm currently nearly 31weeks pregnant with my first baby. I have a 6 (nearly 7) year old stepson. After initially showing excitement over having a new baby around, over the last few weeks he has started playing up, throwing almighty tantrums over the smallest things (not necessarily baby related), calling me and his dad selfish for having a baby without asking him first, telling us he doesn't want to be a brother, hes showing no desire to be involved in getting ready for the baby's arrivals and storms off everytime anyone dares mention the baby. We've tried to get him involved, and as we've decorated the baby's room we have also re-decorated his room. We have part-time custody of him and I am wondering if his mum has been putting doubts and concerns in his mind, he won't open up to us about how he is feeling and me and his dad don't have a good relationship with his mum so we are unable to voice our concerns to her. I'm worried that the closer it gets to what should be an exciting time the worst his behaviour is going to get and we are unsure of what we can do it make it easier for everyone.
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Sorry you're having a hard time with your stepson. He's probably got a lot of different feelings and is struggling to express them.
You may find it helpful to have your post moved to the Stepparenting board where a lot of the regular posters will have dealt with similar situations in their lives. There are some wise women over there!
Thanks for the response. Do you know how I would get the thread moved to another board?
I don't think, unfortunately, that there is an easy answer to this. My suggestions would be:
Before the baby arrives, don't make everything all about the baby - don't stop mentioning the baby but make sure you're still doing lots of stuff with him that doesn't relate to preparing for the baby.
Make sure your DH and you are both as affectionate as possible to him - lots of praise and encouragement , etc. Even if he doesn't seem to be responding to it, keep going.
When the baby is here, even if it's difficult, try and make sure that your DH still spends some time on his own with him doing things that aren't related to the baby.
Lots of praise and encouragement for "helping" with the baby.
I guess, finally, bear in mind that this isn't purely a step-parenting thing - lots and lots of children really struggle with the arrival of a new baby, even when their parents are still together.
You can click on "report" at the top right of your point and ask MNHQ to move it for you.
But notinagreatplace talks absolute sense, and you'll also get good advice from anyone who's got more than one DC and has had to get them used to a baby sibling!
Maybe post on Stepparenting as well to cover all your bases!
Please don't blame the mum I can assure you as a mum of an 8 year old he was upset about his dad having a baby with his DW it's a mixture of emotions, I have been nothing but supportive spoke to his DF about his feelings. It's quite normal for them to feel an element of resentment that their dad gets to be a dad 24/7 and there dad doesn't. Just make sure you keep him involved maybe a present off the baby when he's here etc.
Yeah me and his dad have both mentioned that it is probably upsetting for him to see that his dad will be with a new baby 24/7 and not him and that is likely to be a big concern for him, we have already got in place a number of activities to do as a family and for him and his dad to do alone after the baby is here in order for him to feel included and in order for him to still have time alone with his dad as we both feel that is important.
Its not that I blame his mum, I just think things like 'we've been selfish' and 'why didn't we ask his permission first' are awfully adult things for a 6yr old to come out, we are wondering if hes overheard him mum saying something similar to another adult to come out with that.
I agree with you regarding the comments. Totally normal for him to be anxious and jealous but not to call you selfish. My dd is 5 and she has had some worries. Time alone with me doing nice things has helped. Next time he kicks off about the baby just tell him that no matter how much he strops or how many unkind things he says, you love him, he will always be his dad's first born child and when the baby arrives there will be more love not less, because the baby will love him too. This has worked better with dd than ' don't you want to be a big sister?'
At the end of the day, I think the only thing that will really overcome the insecurities he's feeling is seeing that they are unfounded - i.e. that, when the baby arrives, he's not pushed out and that you do still love him. It won't be an overnight thing.
Agree that emphasising that the baby will love him will help and, when the baby is here, even if it's a bit artificial doing a lot of "ooh, see how he smiles at you" "he's so lucky to have a big brother like you" and encouraging him to teach his little bro/sis things.
Whilst not only is it totally normal for any child you also have to remember the new child will be living with you full time. I'm sure as much as your step son loves his mum it's hard for him to face up to the fact the new baby will have the company of his dad 24/7. I remember struggling this myself when I was younger. Lots of great advice on what to do from the other posters
Thanks for the advice. I like the idea of telling him he'll be more loved when the baby arrives not less, as I guess that might be one of his issues.
Do you currently spend time alone with him? If you do then try to make sure this continues in some capacity too. He's probably just as worried about your relationship with him as his dad's.
It sounds like he's also feeling anxious about what will happen after the baby arrives, will his dad still want to see him? Will you want to see him? Will he still be able to stay at dads house ect etc. Can you talk to him about what will happen after the baby's born and alleviate some of his concerns? And then yes as not etc suggests, make life more about him for a while
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