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Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Posted by Amber3902 (My Page) on
Thu, May 26, 11 at 8:48

Hello,

Newbie here. I've been lurking on here for a little while now, mainly just to gather advice.
My info: 34 years old, divorced with two daughters, ages 12 and 6. Boyfriend is 41 years old, one 8 year old son from a previous relationship. We have been together for about a year now, and are discussing me and my daughters moving into BFs house. However, before I take that step I want to make sure we are ready.

After reading some of the stories on here, it appears to me that while the step mom may say she has a problem with their step kids, what I see the REAL problem to be is the inability of the BioDad to step up to the plate, be it not wanting or knowing how to discipline his kids, or letting the lion's share of the parenting to fall on the step mom.

Basically I'm putting my story out there to see what you guys think, if you see any red flags, or anything that would cause you to say moving in with my BF is not a good idea at this time.

Here are the main issues with BF's son. He is too smart for his own good. For example, BF will tell son to put away his microscope. Son will say it's not a microscope, its a box WITH a microscope in it. He constantly interrupts and tries to butt into adult conversations. He's an only child and has all the issues only children generally experience: he's spoiled, doesn't like to share his toys, doesn't play well with others, is used to being the center of attention, etc. His maternal grandparents treat him like a little adult and as a result Son thinks he can interject into adult conversations and correct adults.

In the beginning of the relationship I would point these things out to BF and it would cause disagreements. BF said I was picking on his son. However, as we continued to communicate BF saw what I was talking about and started correcting his son. We've worked out a pretty good system. BF backs me up when I correct his son. I do not spank or hit his son, the same way he does not hit or spank my kids. However, I do back him up whenever he corrects my kids, and insist they respect him the same way they would do any adult.

There are still a few issues. Sometimes when I point something out about Bf's son, BF turns around and says, well, your daughter does it too! I don't understand why he says that.
If my kid is doing something wrong, bring it to my attention and I'll deal with it. But if I tell you your kid is doing something wrong, don�t try to deflect the issue, own it.

The other thing that continues to bother me is BF does not spank his son. I'm not saying he needs to
hurt the kid. I just mean that sometimes a kid needs a good pop to let them know you mean business. BF will tell son to do something, three, four, five times. One time I watched BF tell son not to do something literally TWENTY TIMES.

BF has come a long way from the Disney Dad he used to be, however, I just want to be sure that we're doing the right thing for the kids here.

Another thing that worries me: BF currently has son every Wednesday and every other weekend. But he's mentioned a few times trying to get primary custody of son. BF has even mentioned to BioMom he would continue to give her child support even if she left son stay with BioDad.
This concerns me. Right now it is only every other weekend and on Wednesdays, so it's not that bad. However, I know there is always a possibility of BF getting custody of son for whatever reason. I am worried that if I move in with BF, BF might get custody of his son and I would have to deal with BF's son every day.

I don't want to wind up holed up in the bedroom every day because BF's son is getting on my nerves.

Thanks for reading and any input you have.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

I think you may already have the answer to your question about whether there appear to be any "red flags".

Has your BF asked your opinion of having SS live with you full-time? Seems to me that you should have at least a 50% say in it, since you will become the primary female caregiver to this boy.

What will your financial arrangement be if you move in together? The fact the your BF is hinting that he'll still pay child support to BM even if SS doesn't live with her is a HUGE no-no. You also have 50% say in that, as it will affect your total household income. Will you be expected to contribute to the extra costs of having the SS in your home full-time? I realize that you have 2 girls of your own, but are they being supported in any way by their father?

I think you and your BF need to sit down and hammer out all these details before you move in together. Better to put all your concerns on the table now and see what his reactions and/or solutions are.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Thanks lady q.

You've mentioned a few things I did not think about. Namely, my having 50% say in paying child support even if SS comes to live with us. I am receiving child support for my two girls from their father, so that's not an issue.

We have discussed some about the finances. We basically make the same amount of money so BF suggested we go 50/50 on paying the bills. I've been assuming that the shared bills does not include his CS for his son, or expenses for my kids. I'm thinking we pay expenses for our own kids ourselves. But I realize we need to iron that out before we move in together.

I don't know how to approach BF about the whole getting custody of son issue. He's said that when a child is 12 years old they are allowed a say in where they want to live, and that at that time he'd like to try and get custody of son. I don't know how to say to him that I'm not sure that's a good idea, or that I need to be included in that decision, without him feeling I am just unilaterally rejecting his son.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

I think you should really have an honest conversation with him, Amber. If you're not comfortable with the idea of SS living with you, he needs to know that. And you need to make it clear to him that you have an equal say in that, since you will be bearing 50% of the responsibility for him while he's in your home. He may be a great father who gives his son a lot of his time, but let's face it. You will be expected to do things for this boy that will take time away from your kids, and from your free time -- think driving to and from sports, school functions, sleepovers, and drop-offs/pick-ups from BM when BF is not available. What about the extra cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, homework, etc. Will Dad be prepared to do all that or will it fall on your shoulders (as it does in 99% of cases).

Going 50/50 on the bills is a good idea....I would suggest you keep your finances separate, work out a budget and split it down the middle....if he wants to pay BM child support even if SS comes to live with you, make it clear that if he can't keep up his end of the expenses, then you won't bail him out.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Another thing to consider is that if SS were to live with you full time---which could happen at any time, too, always remember that---you will be doing normal parenting duties for your own DDs.

If you're home with them after school and DH has to work, he is going to ask you, no doubt, to pick his own son up from school, etc. It's the kind of thing where he will build resentment if you're making HIM come home to do things for SS that you are already doing for your DDs.

Not sure I am phrasing this clearly. But let's say you pick your kids up from school at 3 pm every day. And SS needs to be picked up at 3:15 from his school.

Are you really going to insist that DH leave work or hire a babysitter to pick SS up? That would be "silly" if you're available and around to do it.

I use silly in quotation marks because that is most likely what your DH will think, even if he doesn't SAY it.

Believe me, these kinds of things can chip away at a relationship/marriage.

It's all well and good to say now that DH needs to be responsible for parenting his son, yada yada----it sounds good in theory but when it comes time to actually implement it, things get sticky and complicated. It's just not as black and white as it may sound.

When you live with someone who has a child I think you also need to consider the fact that custody can change at any time. BM could get sick or even die. If the unthinkable happens, are you prepared to have a full time SK in the house?

There is no right or wrong answer but IMO if your answer is NO, then you should not move in with your BF.

And what if DH loses his job or his finances otherwise change? Are you prepared for that? How's it going to be for you if your income has to support all of you for an extended length of time.

I'm not trying to be a negative nelly but just pointing out all the worst-case scenarios you need to at least consider.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

"The other thing that continues to bother me is BF does not spank his son. I'm not saying he needs to
hurt the kid. I just mean that sometimes a kid needs a good pop to let them know you mean business. BF will tell son to do something, three, four, five times. One time I watched BF tell son not to do something literally TWENTY TIMES.
"

BF doesn't (necessarily) need to spank his son. But he very much needs to put his foot down and not continue repeating, repeating, repeating directions. DH used to do this and it would drive me stark raving mad, because then (naturally enough) SS would try the same thing with me. BF sounds like he may be "guilt parenting" where he fears ruining the limited time he has with his son by punishing him.

But most kids don't hold grudges over being punished; if BF has clear rules and his son violates them, he'll know and understand when he's punished after ignoring the second or third request (whatever is decided). Maybe you can suggest that your BF try that once or twice, with fairly minor offenses (and thus minor punishments, like a five minute timeout or something). That's how DH began.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Thanks lady q One day soon I will sit down with him and go over the budget in detail, and make sure there are no assumptions as to what gets paid and who is responsible for what.

Lovehadley Thanks for your input. I realize that of course if SS lived with us full time, there are things I'd have to do for him the same I'd do for my kids, and I don't have an issue with that. Just one more kid in the mix, LOL!

BF is over at my place almost every day, and he'll help out when he�s there, takes the trash out, keep kids occupied while I cook dinner, etc. So I think the sharing of parenting roles won't be that bad. But thanks for bringing up the issues that need to be discussed. That's why I'm on here trying to get these things ironed out BEFORE I move in! BF wanted me to move in earlier, but I told him we needed more time for the kids to get used to each other, and for his son to get used to me. While BF sees my kids every day, they have had time to bond, but since we don�t see BF�s son that much, it has taken longer for us to get to know each other. I don't expect miracles, but I do want some kind of order in our lives.

What I'm concerned about is BF's son lack of discipline. With my kids, I have them trained to do what I tell them to do. If they disobey, there are consequences. Since they know I will spank them, they have a healthy level of respect for me. Since I can't discipline BF's son (nor do I want to) there is not that same level of respect from him. If I tell him to do something and he talks back, I hate having to go to BF and "tattle" on Son. I feel like a kid on the playground that says I'm telling your mommy on you!

It's weird, with my kids, I am so sure of myself, but with BF's son I am hesitant to push too hard, but then I resent him when he misbehaves. Sometimes I see BF's son talking back to him and I want to tell BF don't let him talk to you like that! But if I did I'd would be saying something all the time!

Mattie you are right, BF suffers from guilt parenting, he doesn't want to ruin the limited amount of time he has with his son by punishing him. BF does put his foot down, but not all the time. For example, BF's son is a real picky eater. Son will sit at the dinner table and pout because he has to eat something he doesn't like. BF will tell son "go to your room." Son gives him a huge wide eyed look and goes "noooooooo" then BF says "well,then, don�t make a face" and does not make Son go to his room. Then two seconds later the same thing happens all over again.

I will talk to BF about these things, but sometimes BF turns around and says, well, your daughter does it too! Or he says I'm singling his son out when my kids do it too. I've tried to tell him that when he points out something about my kids I don't turn around and say "well, your son does it too!" If my kids are doing something wrong, let me know! I will correct it!! I WANT to know. It's like he doesn't want to know that his kid is doing something wrong, and I just don't understand his defensiveness. Trust me, I try not to nit pick on every little thing.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

How do the kids feel about this decision? Assuming that you are able to talk with your bf, and feel comfortable with what is agreed on. If the children resent the idea, they are going to make your life pretty stressful.

If you do decide to move in, i would suggest to sit down and talk to the children each seperately (but both you and your bf together) and see what they reaction is. Give them a chance to ask questions, and share any of their concerns. It might help to reduce some of the drama or stress if they feel like they were included in the decision.

Your DD's might be ok with whatever you decide for them, but it sounds like the son could go either way. He might be excited about the idea of having "siblings" and he might also be horrified and be afraid his dad won't love him as much anymore. It would give you both a chance to lay down "house rules" for all of the kids at that time and also to gauge the son's reaction.

Although, you shouldn't let the kids determine what your decision is, but if there are really strong objections it might be good to work a few kinks out before you actually follow through with it.

One of the big difficulties for children in a divorce situation, is that lack of control they feel. Helping them to feel "included" would be good i think to smooth things a little. (included, but they are still not the authority, which also needs to be clear. If they don't like it, they need to have valid reasons that can be addressed)

Discussing how you will parent together would be good also. My bf's daughter is 6 now, and back when i was around her.. (we won't go there :) ) if i wasn't sure how to respond to the situation i would just stay out of it. But later i would ask him about it. Such as, the picky eater thing. I would ask him how he would like me to react, or i would say, if i were to do "such in such" would you be ok with that.

There is going to be a lot of stress around maintaining house rules, and discipline. You both need to be a partnership and agree to the rules, and also agree to how displine will be carried out.

If he is not ok with spanking, then find out what he IS ok with, and how he would like his son to be parented. If he doesn't want you to discipline then he will have to be extra cautious with his son to ensure that his son treats you respectfully, even if you aren't the one who is giving him discipline, and that his son is fully aware that he needs to listen to you.

With my bf, even if i don't see his daughter but i hear about her behavior, i try to either ignore it if it's something small, or i say something to him later on about the situation. He's a bit of a "guilty dad" also, which is probably pretty normal for guys in a divorce who want their kids to like them and be happy with them. When i talk to him, i try to point out the behavior, give some examples as to how it is negative, or how allowing it to continue could be bad for the child in the long run, and a few suggestions as to how to change it. Then, i do nothing. Just hope that he can understand what i am trying to tell him, see that i am only looking out for his child, and let him be the one to correct the behavior. (but, she doesn't live with us, or spend a lot of time around me personally so, i don't know for sure if this is the best method. Also, it will really depend on the guy and how they communicate and think. This seems to work for my bf)

It's good that you are thinking about all this before you actually move in. And, because there are kids involved it's needful to think of it now, even though every person in a relationship should probably be thinking about these kinds of things while they are dating, even if they don't have kids yet.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

I think there are a lot of potential issues.

I am a mom. I beleive I see my kid through "mom" eyes. I dont think some SMs recognize that they see "their" kids differently than they see Dads kids.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Pretty much everything in the OP is a red flag. One of the things many people don't discuss or deal with before they get together or move in together is the differences in parenting styles. But, it sounds like you are addressing that. The next would be to accept that the children, who have been raised a certain way... a different way, are who they are. They are a product of the parents that gave birth to them, the people that raised them, the experiences they had before you came along, etc. You can't change the past they've had.

Usually when people are in the 'honeymoon' period & moving in together, they imagine how great it all is & will be... they may have high hopes that aren't very realistic. Then they move in or get married and a year or two later, realize there are all these problems.

Before you move in with him, you have to accept that his son is not going to change who he is. His parents have raised him to be who he is. Another problem is when a parent is told something about their own child but instead of dealing with that... either by defending the child or seeing the outside perspective... but when they deflect by saying "well so & so does that or worse", that is a HUGE red flag to me. What someone else does, has done, or might do later on has nothing to do with what you're talking about at that given moment. If they can't even acknowledge the problem, that's a problem. (I also wonder how he talks about his ex? Was everything HER fault? Does he know how to take responsibility for himself?) And there is very little you can do about how grandparents spoil a child. If the parents have allowed grandparents to spoil the child, it is probably not going to change. and if changes are requested, it may cause a whole new set of problems.

As kids get older, sometimes custody/visitation changes.. they may spend more or less time. Teen years come & can be rough on everyone. and that's another thing some people find hard to look at... far into the future in the long term.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Imamommy - you are right. Deflecting the situation means he does not want to own the problem and address it. Next time he says that "so and so does it too" crap, I'm going to ask him to own the problem at hand and we will deal with "so and so" another time.

It seems like he can take responsibility for himself. When we have disagreements, he is able to admit when he is wrong and come back and apologize.

I hear what you're saying about changing a child, but I've been able to do that with my own daughter who is 12. For the longest I let my own daughter disrespect me and talk rudely to me. It's ironic, but it was my BF who pointed out to me how rude I let her talk to me. I started cracking down her, punishments every time she talked disrespectfully. That and a couple of good whippings and she started acting better. It took two solid months of staying on her case before I saw improvement, but she did change. Granted, I have her six days out of the week, obviously if you have a kid every other weekend, it�s going to take longer.

Kids know who they can act up with. I've heard of kids who are good students at school, and their parents are so surprised because "they don't act like that at home."

I will not interfere with the grandparents, though. I've found out from personal experience that grandparents are set in their ways and there is nothing you can do to change them.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

honestly if you only dated about a year I would wait longer before moving in, or maybe even get engaged first since you have young children...

and i do have huge problem with your parenting...you are surprised BF is not spanking his kids?..do people have to spank?

then "That and a couple of good whippings" whipping a 12-year-old girl????


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Aw everyone has heard the term ' a good whipping' especially if your in the south. I personally do not spank my kids because it doesn't work. I've tried spanking and it doesn't work for us but I'm not against it. I was only spanked twice by my parents and that was about all it took and yep, I was 12, out of control and my dad popped me with the belt. Never happened again.

I think the only problem I see with OPs statement is that obviously her and BF have different views on spanking. BF might not be comfortable spanking his child, have you asked him? Some people, like my DH feel that discipline can be given with firm words where I used to think spanking would work, I was wrong in my case but I know some parents that spank and it works and they rarely have to do it. I don't think there is anything wrong with OPs parenting just because she has spanked her kids. Like she said, it worked to straighten out her daughter.

I do agree that you might want to put off
Moving in together for a while. But I don't agree you should get engaged first. Maybe PO1 means hold off for a while and after holding off, if you plan to commit to a marriage, then move in together. I do think that with your concerns maybe you should put off moving in until you are sure that your future holds a marriage. My Dh and I did not move in together until after we set a wedding date. We waited until dd was out of school for the summer and we moved to a new city and move in together about 8months before the wedding.
I remember DHs biggest concerns regarding dd was that she didn't listen to me when I told her to do things and he thought I was too easy on her. He doesn't complain about that anymore because I actually
Listenened to his concerns and changed my 'standards' for dd and that really helped our relationship. I remember he would get frustrated because he would come to visit and dd would be whinny and I would say well she is tired or she had a hard day and he would say ok I get it but you need to teach her how to handle being tired and how to handle a bad day. I would just think he didn't understand because she wasn't his and/or because he didn't have kids of his own, but now that we have a child together, I see that really his expectations for our child and 'my' child are the same. They haven't always been but he has gotten better and part of our blended family classes we learned a lot and I think it helped us both.

Look in to some blended family classes and I promise you will not regret it. They are very informative and have some good ideas on blending families.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Myfampg is right, a good pop with the belt is what I meant. Some kids need spankings, some don't.

I did ask BF last night how did he feel about spankings. He said he was getting tired of his son's behavior and that spankings might need to be the next step. He's spanked him once before, BF was able to see that son didn't hold a grudge and that it didn't ruin the whole visit.

Last night we were over at BF's house. Now, BF told me he does not like how hyper his son gets, jumping on the couches, getting loud, etc. So last night when we came over, he reminded son of their little "talk" about his behavor. Son was fine pretty much the whole night. We had a good time laughing and talking at the dinner table. After dinner all the kids had doughnuts for desert. Then later on it was time for us to leave. As we were getting ready to leave, I saw BF's son go and get more doughnuts and a small can of coke from the refrigerator. I asked BF "Do you realize he is eating more doughnuts after he already had some?" BF was said, "Sure", like it was no problem. I said "And he's drinking a coke, at 8p at night? And then you wonder why he's hyper?" He said, "He only gets hyper when you guys come over. When he's here by himself he's fine."

Son piped up and said "Yeah, that how WE live."

BF said "Well, you guys are leaving now so it's ok he has a coke."
I said you "Do realize there's going to be a time where we are not going anywhere. What then?"
BF just smiled and shrugged his shoulders. Since the kids could hear what we were talking about I said I would talk to him later about this. I can't believe it. BF told me the thing he does not like about his son�s behavior is how hyper and out of control he gets, and then he lets him have sugar and caffeine at 8p at night!!

The other thing is bedtime. BF will let his son stay up till midnight on the weekends. I don't let my girls stay up that late, maybe the eldest to 10p, but that's because she has karate at 10am on Saturday mornings. Also, it doesn't make sense to me to stay up half the night and then sleep half the next day because you're so tired. BF says when we move in he is going to let my girls stay up late on the weekends. I'm fine with the eldest staying up till maybe 11p if she doesn't have anything the next day, but usually we do. I don't know if that's going to fly though. I go to bed at 10p, and if he expects to get some nooky, the kids need to be in bed. I have a feeling the kids are going to be going to bed at 10p after all. :)

So long should we wait before we move in together?


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

--So long should we wait before we move in together?--

IMO you both have many issues to work out before the thought of living together...and you must face the idea that Dad is never going to view things and treat things exactly the way you do. Pretty clear Dad does not 'see' things in the manner that you do. Does that make Dad wrong and you right? Not necessarily. Is the hope for a mutual agreement to set rules and boundaries for entire household to follow? Yes, but whether the two of you can actually do so has yet to be seem. Currently the two of you are not suited to bring the two homes into one...you're too far apart in what and how you both believe a home should function. If you can not co-parent and support each each in opposite home there is no reason to believe this will all poof just because you move in together. Whether it be food, behavior actions, bedtime, or discipline. At this point the two of you are not going to all be happy in one home together.

Maybe in time, maybe never.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

10 years


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Those are serious issues that won't get better until BF wants to stop what is going on. Like kid said 'that's how we live'. It's like a bachelor pad for them.

I don't criticize what parents do like coke at 8pm or staying up until midnight because it's not my place and I don't have to deal with other people's kids. I do what is best for me and what I can deal with -- to each their own. BUT in your case, this is going to effect you and your daughters and you and BF have to have similar rules for all three kids to make the living situation work. You will hear a lot of, it's not fair and why can't we do that and that is going to turn your daughters upside down with resentment and frustration.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

"It's like a bachelor pad for them."
That's what I was thinking.

"Ten years"? Wow. It's hard to hear that. It's tough because BF and I agree on almost everything else. From politics, religion, to money. I guess it's been wonderful to find someone whom I get along with so well, after being in an unhappy marriage for ten years.

My BF is everything my ex wasn't. He's affectionate, can admit when he's wrong, hates to argue, likes dogs. He always put me before himself, buys me gifts for no reason. He gets along well with my daughters and certain days of the week he'll cook for us. If I'm not feeling well he'll take my daughter to her tennis lessons or karate for me. When my ex wasn't paying child support he helped me with my bills. It sucks that the only issue is with his son.

One thing we have going for us is we are able to talk about things without it turning in an argument. I've thought about what you guys have said and think I am over reacting about the whole coke thing.

This morning I told BF I don't care so much about his son having coke, but what concerns me is there are one set of rules for his son when they are alone and a different set when we are over there. I told him not only will it be hard for his son to keep track of which rules to follow when, but what is he going to do when we move in and we are there 24/7?

He is obviously more lenient than I am, so we are both going to have to do some compromising to meet in the middle. My lease isn't up until October, so we'll see how things go between now and then. Thanks again for everyone's input.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

BF seems too lenient as a parent, that usually back fires later, but you are on the other side of the spectrum, that also never ends well. I can't even begin to tell you how awful that sounds "a good pop with the belt is what I meant. ", how nice...
I anticipate more problems in this relationship.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

I think if BF starts now compromising and making some 'set in stone rules' then by October, If all is successful, the dust should have settled.
You can expect that when dad does put his foot down, and make rules for his son, son is not going to be excited!! He is going to be annoyed and angry and it's not that it will backfire, it will just explode for a while
Until son accepts it.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

If 10 years sounds like a long time... think hard. You want to spend the rest of your life with this person? That's a lot longer than 10 years. My Uncle dated his current wife in separate houses until all her children were grown... about 11 years. (her youngest was 6 or 7 when they started dating & his kids were teens) and they've been married 10 years now & very happy. They avoided a lot of the blended family problems by waiting & it's worked well for them. 10 years can fly by... or drag on. But moving in with the wrong person at the wrong time may ensure you are single again within 10 years.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

--" It sucks that the only issue is with his son"--

From reading your postings, I'm not so sure the only 'issue' is his son. So far he seems to you a great BF, get along well with each other...but is he move-in plan a future together material? Does he have a history of short term relationships? Not knocking the guy, I'm just asking as it was not clear...he's 41 and has a son from a previous relationship...but has he ever had a real committment? Ever actually lived fulltime with in a family situation?

It's pretty easy to play 'family guy' partime, but what will it be like when it becomes fulltime, two stepdaughters, a visiting son, a soon to be teen (with all the teenage drama that comes with). So far you both can't agree on cokes and doughnuts. What happens when your DD wants to take the family car and party with friends at 16? You say absolutely not and he says 'why not'? Then the other daughter brings up at the dinner table that she wants to go to the movies with so and so, who you don't approve of and BF goes 'why not'?

You've done evenings together, but have the whole bunch of you tried trial runs? Maybe a week vacation together (everybody) or even a couple weekends all couped up together. Nobody going home and it's 24/7 day after day. How would it work and what happens when BF can't escape to the 'man cave'?

Just things to think about.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

I think the way you and your BF parent and your living styles are not very amenable to living together.

All these issues need to be sorted before you go there. Why not just renew your lease and take your time? It's so hard to live together and it doesn't sound like you two are on the same page at all when it comes to parenting. All these thing will make it not very pleasant for you and yours.

If he's a great boyfriend then keep him as a boyfriend! As you get older you will really appreciate your space and privacy and not having to deal with his child rearing. You've got your own to worry about..

Take care,
Cat


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

To be honest I cannot imagine in my wildest dream moving in with a man I knew about a year if there are minor children involved on both sides. This is just NO NO. What does it teach one's kids?

Well frankly I wouldn't be moving in with anyone who belts or whips their kids or tells me how to parent mine after less than a year dating me. This situation does not sound very hopeful for me. It seems like premature and not thought through situation at all.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

I happen to agree with you FD, but I've not mentioned the popping and whipping as she came here to seek opinions on the BF/son and not what we think of her ideas of obtaining 'a healthy level of respect'. I did not want a repeat of the hot sauce debate.

The point in the OP thread was opinions on moving in with her BF at this point in time.

What's with the split personalities the last couple days...LOL. Is Kitty logging in partime when your'e not looking?


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justmetoo

accidentally logged in with old screenname. no mystery.

I think parenting style of popping and whipping is a relevant issue here. I think if that's how one parent their children they shouldn't move in with other people who parent differently. If I moved in with someone who belts their children, my DD would have hard time with it. I know her BF does not post here but in a way my advice is for him as well, do not move in.

So i think it is very relevant. Until she described her parenting style I was not sure it is such a bad idea. Now I am sure, it is a pretty bad idea...I think even 10 years won't help here. Because eventually there will be grandkids and again same issue with why isn't he spanking, popping whipping or whatever else he needs to be doing.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Yeah, PO1, you're right.

--"Son piped up and said "Yeah, that how WE live." ..BF said "Well, you guys are leaving now so it's ok he has a coke." I said you "Do realize there's going to be a time where we are not going anywhere. What then?"
BF just smiled and shrugged his shoulders"--

And there it is. BF does not have a problem with BF/son's ways and lifestyle. You do. It's not so much a 'discipline' problem, this is the way they live and they like it. So for it to work for you all these things must change. Everything BF likes, approves of, and enjoys doing in his current manner would have to be erased...changed to your way of thinking, doing, living. All discipline means and manners must turn towards the way you think and believe is the proper and appropriate way to discipline.

I did not 'get' kid did anything at able but prehaps make a slight face at his undesired meal. --"Son will sit at the dinner table and pout because he has to eat something he doesn't like. BF will tell son "go to your room." Son gives him a huge wide eyed look and goes "noooooooo" then BF says "well,then, don�t make a face" and does not make Son go to his room. Then two seconds later the same thing happens all over again".--

How often do you sit at the table and stare at every little thing this child does? Each little look?

Has the child been seen by a dr of late? ---"BF will tell son to do something, three, four, five times. One time I watched BF tell son not to do something literally TWENTY TIMES."-- could there be a ADHD thing going on or is he really just simply ignoring deliberately? DO you really believe that getting up and 'popping' the kid is going to correct this undesired by you behavior? How often does BF correct this behavior when you are not present? If child is allowed to do this/that except for times you are present and suddenly it's an 'issue' for him to do this/that or for his father to react differently only at these times...the kid is not going to understand the lack of consistancy. If there is actually a medical reason for being a bit hyperactive, is merely taking his caffeine and carbs away going to make a difference? Where is the compromising attitude of 'ok, Dad feels soda in evening is appropriate, so lets buy diet caffeine free'?

So many red flags.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

I think it is not as much of a parenting style difference as life style/cultural difference.

I think commenting on why someone else's child is having coke or not was out of line, they do not live together, aren't married, the kid is not hers, it should not be an issue at all. Plus to my understanding she was visiting BF's house, she was invited for dinner, it is rude to criticize your host, host's parenting and host's child in everyone presence.

"I asked BF "Do you realize he is eating more doughnuts after he already had some?" BF was said, "Sure", like it was no problem. I said "And he's drinking a coke, at 8p at night? And then you wonder why he's hyper?"

It was rude, she shouldn't be concerned with what they eat/drink in their own home. I do wish BF posted here I would strongly advice he thinks twice about moving in, he'll deal with control issues. If that's how it is at dating stage, it is only going to get worse.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Yeah, I really don't want to get into a debate about wheather or not spanking is ok.

To answer a few questions, BF was in a eight year relationship with his son's mother, so yes, he has been in a long term relationship before.

I think the "trial run" 24/7 is a good idea. We did do something like that, the five of us drove down to Florida and stayed in a hotel for five days. But it was still early enough in the relationship that I didn't feel comfortable enough bringing up some of the issue with BF's son. BF, however, had no problem telling me that I spoiling my littlest one, letting her cry when I should "give her something to cry about." And I didn't mind him pointing that out to me. Sometimes it takes someone outside ourselves to point out what we're doing wrong. It was just when I said something about his son that he got touchy. At least at first, now, he's not that bad.

Justmetoo, just to make it clear, I did not say anything about BF's son making a face at dinner time, BF saw it and had a problem with it. BF was the one who told son to go to his room, then when son begs and pleads, he changes his mind and doesn't make him go. That he doesn't say what he means is what concerns me.

About the ADHD, BF says he thinks maybe his son needs medication. Son has never been diagnosed as ADHD, so I don't know if that's the answer. I've seen plenty of kids like him who straightened up with the proper discipline. And I'm not talking about always physical punishment either.

I am willing to compromise, however, about the doughnuts and stuff like that. I think we just need to get on the same track about the family rules.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Just wanted to add to my post above - When son pouts because he doesn't like the food, BF is the one who will say go to your room, then son says no, I'll be good and then BF changes his mind and doesn't make him go. Then two seconds later son does the same thing again, BF says go to your room, again, son says noooooo, BF backs off again. Then a few minutes MORE minutes pass, BF sees son making a face again or not eating the food. He says "go to your room" AGAIN, son says "noooooooooo" BF AGAIN backs off, AGAIN.

About being a guest at BF's house, we are past being "guests" at each other's house. BF eats dinner with us almost every night. Me and my girls would eat with the TV on. But my littlest one was not eating her food. BF turned the TV off because she wasn't eating. I didn't mind. My littlest one would never eat her food and he got her to start eating. I didn't get mad or offended when he told me she was smacking her food. I didn't say "but so and so does it too", no, I said okay, I'll correct it.

The same thing with my eldest. It was my BF who pointed out to me how disrepectful she was to me. I didn't get offended. I have no problem with BF telling me something about my girl's behavior. It's when I say something about his son that he gets defensive. And the other problem is instead of him punishing his son, he'll just keep telling him to stop and that's it. If you tell a kid to stop jumping on the couch five, six times you need to stop telling them and start punishing them. The punishment does not necessarily have to be a spanking, but don't tell someone go to your room and then let them plead their way out of the punishment.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

--". BF, however, had no problem telling me that I spoiling my littlest one, letting her cry when I should "give her something to cry about." --

I always hate hate hate when I hear a person say that. Just what the heck does it mean anyway? But what catches my attention on this one here is this was coming from the guy who does not nor consistantly discipline his own. How are any of these children (his or yours) suppose to know what is actually expected of them. And remembering children are not robots. 'Stop crying or I'll give you a reason to cry'? What's a sufficient reason to cry and who determines sufficient?

May I ask how the son's BM and BF co-parent? Do they get along and work out issues concerning the son well together? Are they on the same wave length as far as discipline and more or less as to what is acceptable behavior and what is not?

Also, how do the children all get along together? Not counting the issues between BF and you dealing with the kids...how do the kids interact and feel about each other? And do your girls do visitations with their father? Are there times when you see the son when it is just you and BF and your girls are not present? If so, how does that time go? Have you spent time with BF's son all on your own...just you and Bf's son? Has BF spent time between him and the girls, just the three of them?


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

--"When son pouts because he doesn't like the food, BF is the one who will say go to your room, then son says no, I'll be good and then BF changes his mind and doesn't make him go. Then two seconds later son does the same thing again, BF says go to your room, again, son says noooooo, BF backs off again. Then a few minutes MORE minutes pass, BF sees son making a face again or not eating the food. He says "go to your room" AGAIN, son says "noooooooooo" BF AGAIN backs off, AGAIN. "--

The son has learned that his father is all mouth and no action. Why would son jump up and run to his room? Kid knows father is not serious, even if dad means it when it pops out of his mouth he is not going to mean it two seconds later.

Actually if me I might just reach over and remove child's plate adding that 'well, we'd certainly not want to poison you so it was your choice, be polite and eat or sit there hungry until the rest of us are finished'. I myself have a picky eater but I've learned to work around her...look up some of the threads about refusing to eat and pouting over food here, there are lots. Is the food really something he hates or just not what he wants to eat? Is the food when you and the girls come over different then the food BF and son eat when you are not there? Another thought, does BF and son even eat meals at the table when you and girls are not present?

Last thought on this table/food bit...does son even realize he is making faces? And when Dad first announces 'go to your room', does Dad state why child is being told to leave table and go to room? I have a pencil/foot tapper, half the time he is not even aware he is doing it...in school teacher must state '______ please stop tapping _______'. If she/he announces 'stop that', my son was like 'stop what, I didn't do anything'. LOL. Once teacher learned how to address the offense things got much better between teacher/son. My son is ADD, not ADHD and he went through his high school years non-meds. It was only during his grade shcool years he needed a bit of medication assistance during school hours. Not saying this child is ADD/ADHD but reading what you're saying and how you are presenting it flashes imagines of my oldest son back to me during his preteen years.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

I also wonder if a son pouts all the time when he sees food, or is it particular food, is it a food prepared by someone else who typically does not cook his food...etc I eat almost everything, but there are foods I wouldn't touch, I wouldn't pout, just wouldn't eat. What kind of foods he pouts at?

I still think that criticizing and disciplining each other children is a bad idea at this stage.

And yes BF's son sounds like maybe attention deficit like he needs everything repeated ten times, or maybe he is a smart cookie and does it to aggravate potential stepmother. LOL Didn't the father say that he is perfectly calm by himself but gets all hyped up around you and your kids? 8-year-olds could be sneaky...Or maybe it is his reaction to all the new rules. I wonder if there are deeper reasons for his behavior....


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

BF and BM get along ok, as far as parenting goes. The one issue BF has with the BM is that she dumps the kid off at her moms a lot.

"how do the children all get along together? " The children get along pretty well, but it's not perfect. My eldest gets annoyed by BF's son sometimes. My younger one likes playing with BF's son. At first BF's son would get jealous of the attention BF would show my five year old, but now he doesn't.

Due to his work schedule, my ex sees our girls every Saturday. So on the weekends that BF has his son there is time when it is the three of us, me, BF and his son. And there have been times when BF has spent time with my girls, just him and the girls. Other times BF has a side job to do, so I'll watch his son for him. Then it's me, my girls and BF's son. For the most part we all get along.

As for the food, son is just a picky eater. No matter what it is, who cooked it, etc. BF has admitted he let his son eat only what he wanted to and now it's becoming a huge inconvenience for him. For example, his son is used to drinking soy milk. But it's gotten expensive for BF to buy soy milk for his son who is only over every other weekend and finally he said you know what, you're drinking regular milk just like everyone else. Son has no allergy or medical condition as to why he can't drink regular milk, he just likes the taste of soy milk. And this is all something BF has recognized, I've never said anything to him about his son's eating habits.

"Last thought on this table/food bit...does son even realize he is making faces?" BF's son is smart, he knows what he's doing when his dad tells him to stop. But I think he's learned that he can give his dad a sad look and plead and it will change his dad's mind.


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

My first stepmom used to say 'stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about'. She never got physical but I learned that that meant being locked in a dark room. So I hate that phrase too. It sends chills up my back... It puts fear in a child because they aren't sure WHAT that something is. I hope your BF stops saying that because it can escalate the more he says it.

I agree with everyone. I wouldnt move in just yet. I would seriously consider the blended family classes because although you two are not arguing now, you will be arguing when it's your home too but yet you aren't allowed to make any rules on one child. And since your kids are there all the time (full time) you might find that BF has expectations on a daily basis of your kids but is still Disney dad on the weekends to his.

One thing I learned from my Dh,and he didn't have kids yet so his criticism of my daughter was sometimes hard for me to accept; he made me realize that I was letting dd walk all over me with her pouty face and big blue eyes and her whining. Dd's sm was also the first to complain about how we just let dd walk all over us and we realized what kind of a mess WE were causing by letting her beg her way out of discipline -- I got mad at both SM and DH for pointing it out. I felt that how I was parenting was working for me but then I realized that life was actually HARDER for me by not expecting more out of 6 yr old dd. Parenting with love and logic is an excellent book. You should have BF read it (you too). It helped me so much. I erased all of that guilt I felt from getting divorced and feeling like I didn't want dd to miss out on anything I did as a kid. After reading that book, I realized my parents were actually RIGHT!


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

BF doesn't say "stop that crying or I'll give you something to cry about" to my daughter. He tells me that I should not let her cry for no reason, or for something silly.

"And since your kids are there all the time (full time) you might find that BF has expectations on a daily basis of your kids but is still Disney dad on the weekends to his." Agree.

I think the blended families classes are a good idea. Where do I go to find them?


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

You can google it. In my area we actually have a family advocacy center that holds all kinds of classes. We have blended families, stepparenting, co parenting, toddlers, new parents etc.

Also a lot of churches hold these family blended classes but I guess you would have to be of that religion. I would just google 'family blending class Chicago or wherever you are'.

Good luck I'm so glad you think that is a good idea. It really is!!


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RE: Thinking of Moving in together - Advice re BF's son

Thanks, Myfampg! I'll see what I can find.


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