My views are 'worthless'? I fear my SS because of this :(
I'm in need of some advice and encouragement.
(I'll refer to my boyfriend as BF and to his son as SS in this post. I guess BF usually means biological father in this forum? Sorry about that!)
I've lived with my boyfriend for 2 months (moved to a new city for him). He has a 5yo son who's with us all weekends. I'm unexpectedly having trouble bonding with SS. First few weeks it was going well.
...But then a small, but to me traumatic, thing happened after I'd known SS for 3 weeks (only). I made a mistake regarding SS, and I got yelled for it: I gave SS pain medicine without consulting BF first when SS was under my care overnight.
That got resolved, I apologized etc, and BF forgot about it. But now, a month later, things have only gotten worse and my anxiety is only growing... After the incident I completely distanced myself from SS. First I thought I merely disliked him, but I have realized in the last week that I actually fear SS...
To be more precise, I am afraid of interacting with SS because I fear criticism from BF for whatever I say or do with regard to SS. It has made me so uncomfortable with SS, that I have trouble looking him in the eyes.
I sometimes avoid his presence by hanging around in the bedroom when he's in the living room etc. I especially avoid any decisions and orders. For example: It's been my joy to cook for BF but now I don't feel comfortable deciding what SS eats anymore so BF fixes his own and SS's meals when SS is here. Then there are the orders, I used to be comfy with telling SS to wash his hands after peeing, but not anymore.
Logically I know I shouldn't have any problems with SS, he did nothing wrong and he's a good kid. But somehow after that incident, every little negative action or word out of SS's mouth annoys me.
The things that drive me crazy for some reason:
The following are obviously not the "real issue" here, but the actual things that bug me about SS are really about the interaction between him and his father... There are two things that bug me the most:
1. BF rewards SS's bad behavior by coddling him after he's done something bad.
For example, last weekend SS kicked his dad (because he didn't get what he wanted). Not any sort of severe tantrum or anything, just a single annoyed kick. Then when dad understandably got mad at him for it, SS began to cry. So what does dad do? Immediately picks him up and hugs him tight until he stops crying!
Does this not spell WRONG to anyone else? How I see it, is all SS learns from that is that if he does something naughty, he doesn't have to make things better or even feel guilty, because all he has to do is cry pathetically enough and daddy will make it better.
2. BF makes empty threats like "if you don't stop whining, you'll never do [insert favorite thing here] again". In my mind, the kid will learn that he doesn't have to listen to orders, because at the worst, they will learn to threats, will will never come true anyway, so why listen.
This does not all happen all the time, and sometimes BF does go through with things. And of course, same thing with number one: of course most often he will not coddle SS, and he'll let him be upset when it's needed.
But still, it happens SOMETIMES and that's enough to keep up the whiny talking and crying and talking back that happens every single time things don't go how SS wants them to.
So guys... what do you think? BF shocked me two nights ago by saying something which sounds pretty inconsiderate to me:
He said that since I don't have children, my opinions on parenting are worthless. So now, on top of ALREADY being incredibly insecure around SS, I now don't know how I'm going to ever express these things that take my peace of mind, to my BF, since he's already decided that whatever I will say, will be worthless. He didn't say it out of spite either, he really thinks it's just a fact of life that I can't know anything about parenting.
(Not that I have EVER claimed to be a child expert or anything like it! I just think that all people including kids "do what works" and crying and whining sometimes works for SS which is why he does it.)
I really need help on how to approach my boyfriend about these two things. He's extremely touchy about his parenting (I know it's normal)... what do I do?
I don't want this to get worse, it's already blowing out of proportion in my head and I feel as though am going to explode if I don't speak out to my boyfriend. I have tried to ignore it, drop it, just try to be OK with it, but that has just lead to me resenting that I can't say anything AND being more anxious about the whining and crying.
How can I learn to like and bond with my SS? I need some light at the end of the tunnel. I've never had problems with kids, I even worked at a daycare before... sigh!