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  1. #1
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    Default Step parenting - help!

    Hi all.
    So I will give you a quick run down - I have a 7 year old, my partner has a 3 year old (from our previous marriages) and unexpectedly but overjoyed we now have a 3 month old together.
    We have 50/50 custody of our big boys and when it is all of us together - there is nothing but hostility and arguments between my partner and I.
    He does not agree on a lot of my parenting, nor do I with his.
    The struggle that we have at the moment is that his 3 year old refuses to walk and wants to be cuddled and held ALL THE TIME. If dad says no he will begin tantruming and crying and he will not stop. He could go hours and hours and no one is able to help settle him as he does not want a bar of anyone else but dad when he is in that state. My partner continually yells and screams - and then gives in.
    The problem is (besides the fact that it's getting worse, because he knows he gets away with it) is he also won't let me or my son have any time with his dad and completely rules the roost as in dad sits next to me, dad carry me, no dad you are not aloud to hold mine or my sons hand etc.
    Well we have a 3 month old and often my partner will be assisting and then he will continually have to drop whatever he is doing to attend to his son. This often means my son misses out on me because I always have to take over with our baby.
    It causes huge issues. He gets defensive and thinks I am jealous of his son and says he needs to protect him. His son is babied by his whole family - but that's another whole different issue.
    I know we are in a tough situation as for our big boys we feel guilty for our situation and often over compensate - but in my mind, things have changed, we have a baby that I need assistance with too and it's time for his so to learn to be a big boy and that he can tantrum but it won't matter.
    Our relationship is detioriating rapidly because of this issue as every time we are together it's like my son and I are intruders and the outsiders and it annoys and frustrates me that I can't help but say a little comment.
    I could go on and on as I'm just at the point of feeling like this isn't the relationship/family life I want to live.
    Am I being selfish? I love his son and wish he would come to me but because he is babied by my partner and his mum he is so timid and under developed.
    Ahhhh please give me some advice.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Ow OP that sounds like a seriously stressful situation. Step parenting isn't easy. In fact being parents full stop isn't easy. It seems that there is a lot of tension because of your differing parenting styles, and I don't think it will change until you can agree on a compromise.

    It's not your step sons fault he is behaving as he is. He is 3 years old. I can't imagine how the poor little thing is feeling now that there are two more children in his dad's life. Your hubby needs to correct his behaviour and tell him how valued he is. I feel bad that he's obviously desperate for your husbands attention and just gets yelled at for hours until he finally gets a cuddle. He probably wouldn't be so clingy if he felt reassured about his place in his fathers life.

    Your whole family is probably very stressed right now. Well, at least 50% of the time. I really hope you and your family can find the balance and harmony you deserve.

    Good luck OP and congratulations on the little bubba!

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    It might just be that the 3 year old is feeling insecure and wants to be reassured by his dad that his not forgotten about, but saying that i think your partner needs to set up some kind of plan or distracted for his son, and maybe you could give the 3 year old more of your time so he feels like he can come to you aswell.

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    Thanks ladies.
    I understand he is only 3 and it is a confusing time in his life as his mother is pregnant with her new partner also. Plus the 50% of the time that the mother has him which is weekdays she puts him in child care although she is not working.
    But at our place his father plays with him non stop. He gets a lot of attention and he is one of those children that wants to play with you constantly and is well behaved most of the time. It's i guess he doesn't want to share his dad with us, which I get but obviously find it hard as I have to balance my time with my 7 year old and our baby.
    I think the major issue is that he is shy and doesn't like people much unless he knows them - so it's a comfort thing but also to avoid having to look at anyone wheb we go somewhere as he will just say daddy cuddles and hide in his chest.
    But wheb my partner says no, you need to walk as we often have a million things in our arms etc -his son will lose it and his tantrums can last hours. He will repeat the same thing of what he wants whilst crying and screaming and then he will start hitting his dad in the face. That's when my partner has enough and will yell and lose his temper as the only way he will stop is if he gets his way and gets picked up.
    It's hard for us to have a relationship also as we can't hold hands or sit next to eachother at restaurants etc as his son won't let anyone sit next to his dad but him.
    He is quite close to me and I have him on my own sometimes and he is fine. I don't interrupt when he is having a tantrum and disciplining hun as I will say tell him you can't pick him up and he has to walk and then my partner sees me as attacking or having a go at him. We finally had a massive chat about it all on Saturday night and we were looking through all old photos and nearly each photo he is holding his son. He said he didn't realise the extent until he saw that we didn't have one photo where he is in his arms (and I am talking when just the two of us do a selfie etc)
    Plus I think it's harder that he has the younger age child as normally at that age they are quite reliant on their mums still - and in our case he is like that with his father.
    Oh the joys hey?

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    It sounds like your having a really rough time - having a baby is hard let alone having one so early into a relationship/when there is a blended family to consider. That being said Hun I think you need to give the poor kid a break. He's 3 years old, living between two homes and trying to deal with new babies when he's still a baby himself. My heart breaks for him, poor little tyke. 3 year olds can be turds at the best of times, let alone when they are living in a sea of change and uncertainty.

    Don't judge your step sons behavior and the way your DP and his ex are raising the little boy. Listen, if you don't agree listen some more. Let your DP vent to you and wait until he asks for your help. In the meantime open your heart to the little man, let yourself fall in love - it may make those tantrums a lot easier to deal with (I know - my nearly 4 year old is in the midst of a tantruming phase and it's the deep love that is getting us through at the moment).

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    Default Step parenting - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanzyree View Post
    , things have changed, we have a baby that I need assistance with too and it's time for his so to learn to be a big boy and that he can tantrum but it won't matter.
    The 3 year olds development needs haven't changed just because you have a baby. He's a toddler, not a big boy - you wishing he was a big boy doesn't make it so.

    You, your DP and your DP's ex are going to have to try and get to the root cause of why DS is tantruming (eg can't communicate, jelous, doesn't know how to deal with his feelings, upset at change) and then address that. The solution is probably going to be more complicated that your DP putting his foot down (eg buying and reading books about feelings, spending time teaching the abc's, everyone making a game out of mentionIng their feelings, making a reward chart, one on one time with DP etc).

    What if the difficulties you are facing are more to do with having a newborn? Or having a baby with someone you haven't been with for long? Or you/hubby getting used to a blended family? Might be with focusing on other root causes of your problems instead of focusing on the 3 year old. relationship counsellIng, discussing household duties, you getting an afternoon free from bub, going on a family trip may help.
    Last edited by VicPark; 20-10-2015 at 05:47.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VicPark View Post
    The 3 year olds development needs haven't changed just because you have a baby. He's a toddler, not a big boy - you wishing he was a big boy doesn't make it so.

    You, your DP and your DP's ex are going to have to try and get to the root cause of why DS is tantruming (eg can't communicate, jelous, doesn't know how to deal with his feelings, upset at change) and then address that. The solution is probably going to be more complicated that your DP putting his foot down (eg buying and reading books about feelings, spending time teaching the abc's, everyone making a game out of mentionIng their feelings, making a reward chart, one on one time with DP etc).
    Agree with this 100%. I have a 3yo and I can't imagine how he'd cope being put in a similar situation. Probably exactly like your step son! He's not a big boy, he's not like your 7yo. Incidentally I also have a 7yo and even she would struggle with this.

    The poor boy is just 3yo and you're expecting so much from him

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    My DD was constantly demanding to be carried. I told her when she turned 4 she was a big girl and I wouldn't carry her anymore. She turned 4 a month ago and things have improved a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanzyree View Post
    It's hard for us to have a relationship also as we can't hold hands or sit next to eachother at restaurants etc as his son won't let anyone sit next to his dad but him.
    ?
    I think most parents with a newborn and 3 year old would be facing those issues. One of the pitfalls of having young kids close together unfortunately. If there were cracks in the relationship before kids they will most likely get wider unless they are identified and addressed.

    If you are getting to a restaurant at all then hats off to you!

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  13. #10
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    I don't really have any advice, but I do have a newborn and a sensitive 3 year old DS and I can't imagine how he would cope in a similar situation. I think my DS would be feeling incredibly insecure and would probably behave similarly to your DSS. I agree with VicPark, lots of love is the only way to get through the threenager stage!!


 

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