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My boyfriend and my 7-year-old son do not get along

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Hey Rosie,

I am in a sticky situation. I have a 7-year-old son whom I love very much, but his Dad is not in his life. After many ups and downs (more downs) we decided to call the relationship a day, but he then walked from his son completely as well and this was very devastating to both of us, especially my son.{{more}}

This was 2 1/2 years ago. I now am in a new relationship with my boyfriend for the last 18 months and we have a 9-month-old son together. We live in a two-family house; my mom lives downstairs and is a big part of our lives. However, the big problem is that my boyfriend does not get along with my son and my son hates him. He would take care of everything, but totally ignores my older son. He would bring treats home for our son, but ignore my big boy and I can see that this hurts him. He is even acting out in school and I can see that he has resentment towards his little brother. My mom keeps telling me to put a stop to this, but how can I do that? I think my son has to learn to understand that my boyfriend is now his stepfather. What do you think Rosie? I am going crazy here!

Drama

Dear Drama,

This is so terrible and not in the way that you think either. My heart actually goes out to your son! I hope that you take the time and re-read what you wrote to me and realize the massive mistakes that you are making here.

Firstly, let me commend you for taking the steps to end a relationship that was not working for you. Now, that took a lot of courage; however, you have stepped from the frying pan into the fire and your 7-year-old is paying the ultimate price. You couldn’t be serious when you said that your son should get with the program and realize that your boyfriend is the new Sheriff in town? Really? That is a bad move right there! Your job as a mother is to make your 7-year-old feel safe, secure, loved and wanted. At the moment, he doubts his place in this new unit, because his stepfather is not doing a good job of being an “inclusive role model!”

What kind of nonsense is this? Bringing treats for his baby and ignoring the child that isn’t his? This means when the chips are down, he is only going to look out for his child and his compassion is not there for the one who isn’t his blood. Doesn’t this bother you? I know it would surely bother me; what are you going to do here? You have some serious decisions to make and your Mom is right; you will have to put a stop to this now. As the mother of these two little boys you need to set the standard by which your household is run. No man can come in and treat YOUR child like some second or third class citizen, oh no!

If this is the man you want to build a future with (and you better think long and hard about that), you should let him know that you are not liking what you are seeing. Talk about them bridging the gap slowly and, most importantly, he is the adult and can set a great example as a man in this young child’s life.

Look, the bottom line is this CAN be turned around with some work by both you and your boyfriend. Do not dump any negativity on this child; he has a lot on his plate as it is. In time, as his anxiety decreases, you will see a positive flow in your entire household. So, lead by example.

Rosie

Send questions to Rosie at: [email protected] or P.O Box 152, Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

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