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Struggling with stepchild

(25 Posts)
user1488312862 Tue 28-Feb-17 20:33:59

This is my first time on this forum and iv come to the end of my tether and need to get some Un biast advise or opinions.
I have a 4 year old and so does my partner his 4 year old has some very difficult characteristics I think he has some mental issues but my other half won't talk to the ex about it because well she's a head case who will use the boy against him at any given moment. Now I am struggling to build a bond with this boy... 2 years later and he is still very difficult and he lashes out at his dad and now my daughter and also is very rude and spoilt and spiteful. I understand he's 4 he is still developing but there is definitely something not quite right I feel I am in the wrong everytime I try to discuss this with my partner as he gets very defensive about his son as his contact with him is every other weekend and 1 week day.
I am now 3 months pregnant and with the stress of the difficult child and his ex that has tried splitting us up many times I am becoming increasingly distressed on what is best for me to do in this situation..I am struggling to build a bond with this child but I know I need to make an effort. I feel bad for my daughter when she always say's that his little boy upsets her coz he doesn't like her. Please give me some advise on what I should do.
Thanks

Wdigin2this Tue 28-Feb-17 22:03:56

Oh God, I really feel for you!!!!
I don't really know what to say, because whether or not your DSS has development problems, a) it seems your DP will not discuss it, and b) he does have problems with the relationship split. He lashes out at people, probably because at 4, he's too young to know how else to deal with his distress. But sad to say, it's all going to affect your DD adversely, and when the new baby comes, I imagine things may get worse!
Is there any possibility of a friend/family member speaking to your DP and suggesting that his little boy needs help dealing with the consequences of his parents splitting up?

user1488312862 Tue 28-Feb-17 23:04:06

You think it may be the separation of his parents? Thing is they split when he was born so he doesn't really know that family unit I don't think he does seem happier when it's just him his mum and my partner but obviously they would never get back together it's a vile relationship between them away from the little ones ears.
Getting a family member to discuss with him that his son has some difficulties that need address maybe a step for me to take though.

Wdigin2this Wed 01-Mar-17 00:26:34

Well, even though he was tiny when they split, he's the one that gets shunted back and forth between his parents, and if the ex is making that more difficult than it should be, it's bound to be unsettling for him!
I'm no professional, but I'd say there is a connection in that, what he experiences in his two different homes, is unsettling and perhaps even bewildering for him.

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 01-Mar-17 16:14:14

But sad to say, it's all going to affect your DD adversely, and when the new baby comes, I imagine things may get worse!

What Wdigin said. You need to protect your daughter as your first priority and I know being pregnant seems like the worst time to make a big change like splitting up, it's definitely going to worse rather than better when your baby is here.

Your partner and his ex are the little boy's parents and responsible for him, including getting him any extra support. It's great you want to help and build a bond with him but it sounds like without his dad taking steps to at least acknowledge there's a problem - whether it's additional needs of some kind or an unhappy and unsettled child - there's nothing you can do and it's not going to change.

You refer to the ex as a headcase, but it's your DP who's failing his son by refusing to address his behaviour.

user1488312862 Wed 01-Mar-17 18:49:26

He hasn't refused to address his behaviour he has tried talking to him and his ex to find out where it stems from and she says it's me and my daughter...he also is now going thru the courts to try and get to see him more as his sons mother is a vile person who witholds contact at every given opportunity. I'm hoping that this baby won't be shunned out and my DPS sons will get all the attention like he already does as he will then have responsibility for 2 children but I have the distinct feeling it will get whole lot worse like you say x

Underthemoonlight Wed 01-Mar-17 19:14:18

Sounds like he's insecure and jealsous of your dd seeing his dad and your relationship with his DF. My DS went through a terrible naughty age from the age of 4-5 but he's much better now. I imagine it will only get worse when the baby comes. Does his DF do stuff seperately with him?

user1488312862 Wed 01-Mar-17 19:22:36

What's a df sorry?

CMamaof4 Wed 01-Mar-17 19:34:38

I really dont think u can blame it all on the fact that his parents split when he was a baby, His parents being split up will be all he has ever known so I dont think that would really effect him, Thats normal to him and he wont know any different.
Sometimes kids can just be a handful, If your dp cant take control of the situation then you are only going to get more frustrated and upset. I do also think if the ex is very negative towards you it can have a massive impact on how he is with you, If the ex and your partner can discuss his behaviour and get to the bottom of it it could be helpful, But if she is really bitter things probably wont change alot.
Kids learn alot from their parents and are often very loyal to them, If she sees you as the villain and projects this he will probably copy her behaviour.

If your partner could realise that he needs to start taking control of the situation and have some positive influence on his behaviour it could help.

Otherwise theres probably not alot you can do. Personally I couldnt live like that.

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 01-Mar-17 19:43:52

DF = dear father. It's a weird mumsnetism!

user1488312862 Wed 01-Mar-17 20:38:05

cmumaof4 I agree with all you said 👌 there's a definite poisoning of his mind from his mother towards us and altho my DP knows she's vile he doesn't quite see from a woman's point of view as to why I'd be upset with all this. He is trying to balance his sons and his happiness and also mine and my daughter there is a certain divide in the family. Should I try harder with his son or should I step back and take me and my daughter out of the situation can't quite figure out the best move. I don't want his ex to win tbh.

CMamaof4 Wed 01-Mar-17 21:12:24

I think u need to take back control, I totally get that u dont want her to win, But really shes irrelevant whatever she thinks about you and your relationship it doesnt matter, Sounds like shes always going to be negative whether you are with him or not.
Its your life not hers and you and your daughters happiness comes first, I personally would lay all my cards on the table and leave. I understand you are pregnant, But you really wont be better off when baby comes if the situation stays the way it is. Do you have a good support network? Can u arrange somewhere else to stay in the mean time before you get your own place? Or have the funds to move? If you explain you cant do this anymore and take yourself out of the situation and leave it might make him realise he needs to try his hardest to fix the situation or he may just continue the way he is, and if he does the latter then you know how important you are/were to him in his life and you are better off out of it all, Yes it will be hard, yes you will be sad, But you will get over it.

You are better off having a happy home as a single parent than you are miserable with an unsupportive partner, difficult stepson and nightmare ex.

You only get one shot as a mother, Dont let your daughters childhood years be full of misery in an unhappy negative household.xx

user1488312862 Wed 01-Mar-17 21:28:14

I am not sure what either of us can do to make this situation any better with regards to his son. I'm starting to think it's my fault because I really don't like his son he is a mini version of his mother who has brought me nothing but stress and bow he is doing the same. But loosing my DP to me isnt the answer I can't think of anything worse than that right now I love him whole heartily and he does me we r engaged with a baby on the way and planning on moving. It's all very over whelming. Do I tell him I dread seeing his son or should I keep quiet and carry on trying to get past my stress worry and upset. X

SookiesSocks Wed 01-Mar-17 21:32:48

What outcome do you want OP?
For him to no longer see his son?

Can you give some examples of the childs behaviour and why its so bad?

CMamaof4 Wed 01-Mar-17 21:36:27

I wouldnt keep quiet, He has to understand how you feel, Your feelings are all understandable it isnt your fault.
Sit down with him and be completly honest with him, Otherwise you are just going to feel like you are screaming on the inside which is so unhealthy, You need to get your feelings out so he can see how upset its making you x

Silverdream Wed 01-Mar-17 21:45:03

His behaviour is purely reactionary and is probably a mixture of how his mother is with him and the confusion of working out how you all fit in his life. It may help him if you have a strict routine when he's with you. Make a visual diary of what is going to happen. E.g. Play , snack , park , lunch , garden time , snack etc. Stick to it showing him what is happening at each change. Put on there when he's going home too. Have a time out step and be clear with instruction. But also praise good things like your playing lovely. Etc. Do the same for your daughter so he's not singled out. It won't work straight away as he needs to get used to the new routine. This may seem a bit of a tie but will help him understand what's happening. Look at how you spend one on one time with him. If it's all sorting out his behaviour and soon as he calms down you leave him to make tea or something else he never has your attention for just being with him. At home he may have learnt that bad behaviour gets attention even if it's negative attention and that's better than no attention. You may have to teach him that he gets your attention for no reason and even better getting it for being calm.
It's going to be a battle. But you doing this will be saving him from a grim future.

user1488312862 Wed 01-Mar-17 21:57:59

Examples of his behavior, well if you tell him off he will laugh uncomfortably and then hit out and throw something. He won't and hasn't said mine and my daughters name in 2 years he calls me poohead. He nearly hit my daughter the other day for the first time coz she went to hug him. He snatches things from her if she's playing with them, won't share with her. Crys when it's time for bed ends up taking my other half till 10pm some nights he is extremely lenient with him. He needs to have things in the same position it was when he left it and if it looks like my daughter is gonna play with it he will hide it even if it's her toy. He spits uses his hands for dinner and eats super super quick and acts silly. There's so much that he does which is odd but is it a normal 4 yr old boy thing?
My other half sees it as when he's here it should be fun and he does tell him off but it's a more of a remark than a telling off. I'm constantly wanting to step in but I can't

SookiesSocks Wed 01-Mar-17 22:03:41

Some of that sounds typical and some does sound like further investigation is called for.

The fact he calls you poo head is something his father should be putting a stop to. He sounds like a disney dad which in turn makes him a poor parent.

You will need to be honest with DP and tell him you do not like his son and that you feel unsupported by him.

CMamaof4 Wed 01-Mar-17 22:30:27

I cant believe your partner lets him call you poohead! That is completly unacceptable! He sounds like he is definately ruling the roost! I dont know how you put up with it.
Your partner needs to parent him properly, he needs to understand that being a Dad isnt all about the fun stuff its about guiding his child through life, Its so important to set out rules, To let kids know what is expected of them, and teach them what is right and wrong. The name calling should be one of the first things to stop! It will only get worse. Please speak out to your partner dont bottle it up its never going to get better on its own.

user1488312862 Wed 01-Mar-17 22:44:33

I will try again. It doesn't end well he thinks it's a personal attack on him and his child. It needs to stop tho. Altho he does always say to him you need to start calling them by there names.

Wdigin2this Tue 07-Mar-17 19:51:26

Oh dear, things really are bad, and there's only one person who can sort this out...your partner! It's his ex, his son and his job to resolve the situation!
If the child is having poison poured into his ears, I really don't know what, if anything can be done about it! Is it possible to involve some kind of counceling into the equation.....or would that make no difference as regards the ex's behaviour?!

Pinkbottletop Fri 10-Mar-17 16:03:00

God, OP, that sounds awful and I can see why you're at your last tether. I'm in a similar situation and I have to say it's the partners who need sorting not the children. Because if he stepped up and parented properly and had your back the way he should, you wouldn't be feeling like this and the child wouldn't be acting like this.

Let us know how the talk goes.

Magda72 Fri 10-Mar-17 16:32:33

Hi OP, I really feel for you - what an awful situation you find yourself in.
Firstly - your dp is a grown adult & should in no way facilitate the name calling etc. There is no excuse for that! As a grown adult he should be able to take constructive criticism from his partner!
Secondly - it sounds to me that his son could be on the autism spectrum so I think that would be worth an exploration.
Thirdly - my dp has three teen sons and a nightmare ex. She behaves very like your own dps ex. She lies, tells the kids blatant untruths about me, accuses dp of all sorts in front of the kids, cancels their activities, feeds them rubbish, lets personal hygiene go etc. etc. We have found that the only way to handle it is for dp to see his kids by himself as the fall out from me or my kids being on the scene is horrendous - yelling in her driveway if I'm in the car etc. The only way stability can be maintained is for me to retreat & for dp to have minimal contact with her as there is NO talking to her. He is at his wits end at the moment and is considering going back to court - the downside of that being psychological assessments would be order with could further damage the kids.
I tell you this as I'm sad to say that aspect of things in your own situation is unlikely to change. If you want to stay with your dp you are going to have to get him to talk & see the reality of the situation & then both of you have to put a plan in place. Your dd did not ask for any of this & it is unfair to jeopardise her childhood in this manner.
I have told dp that his kids are of course welcome in our home once we move in together but that if his ex keeps poisoning the kids against me I cannot have that in my home affecting my own two kids.
He fully gets this & is in total agreement.
Good luck & keep us posted.

user1488312862 Fri 10-Mar-17 17:35:46

Your situation sounds awful. I am thankful I dont get his ex talking to me at all she just posts it all on social Media.
Mediation is the next step for my dp and his ex I have also suggested there may be slight autism with his child but he disagrees and is against the thought of that at all.
I have put weekend charts up in the house for the kids so that worked last weekend very well. Going to stick to that.
He still won't say my name but its still a new concept I have put across and I refuse to answer to poohead anymore.
My sickness with my pregnancy has been too bad to get with reality so I'm just trying to get thru ech day as much as possible atm. Hopefully things will get easier with stucture and my dd stays happy and I focus on her happiness more atm too.

ZombieApocalips Sat 11-Mar-17 19:05:10

If his dad believes that something is wrong with his son then he should talk to his son's teacher. They will be able to tell him more about if he falls in the normal range. Some behaviour sounds normal but it sounds like he could do with some support.

Some of his problems can be tackled. Calling any of the adults who work at school poohead wouldn't be tolerated and nor should you accept it. What sort of meals does he have with his mum and at school? If its food like pizza, chips, sandwiches (ie finger food) then it's perfectly reasonable that he might need reminding to use cutlery) my kids eat their meals at school super fast because they want to go out and play afterwards. If your house rule is that he can leave the table when he's finished eating then it's natural that he'll race.

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