KAF225821's picture

Boyfriend and son?

My oldest son will be three next month and I've been with my boyfriend for almost two years now.  Him and I have a 3 month old baby together.  My concern is him interating with my oldest son.  To me it seems like he doesn't really know how to interact with him and when I say something about it he gets mad at me.  The two of them get along majority of the time but then at times I hate for them to even be in the same room together. My son is going through the control stage right now where he wants to tell evreyone what to do and my boyfriend doesn't handle that too well.  My boyfriend play hits him and my son will say ouch (although it doens't hurt him) or tell him to stop it and my boyfriend thinks he's playing good with him.  I need some help on knowing how my boyfriend should be interacting with my son.  I'm so lost on this situation and I don't know if I'm in the right or if I'm over reacting to the situations.  Please give me some advice.  Thanks

debw6051's picture

First of all, why are you allowing your boyfriend to even "play" hit your son???? Play hitting WILL lead to his hitting harder and harder, not to mention teaching your son that it's alright to hit, even in play.
Secondly, you and ONLY you should be disciplining your son. You and "boyfriend" need to be on same page and son needs to know this so as not to take advantage of either of you. It sounds as if boyfriend feels your son is taking away time from his bio child.
Thirdly, you and boyfriend need to get married so son will feel he's in a stable inviroment and not going to lose yet another father, not to mention the moral aspects you should want to convey to him.

tamz's picture

Men often play hit and wrestle and such. I guess it's the boy way. I learned about the "boy code" when I started to date my bf. I was not happy about the interaction between them at first, but I have since change my view.

There is a certain “boy-code” that I never really understood. The boy-code requires boys to appear brave, show little emotion, not to tattletale, and never to cry. I would have certainly argued these things as “unnecessary” in the past. However, I’m learning that to avoid being humiliated and rejected, boys must embrace these values and enforce them in each other. Honestly, I have really never understood the importance of this interaction between men until now and I have three sons.

Just as you need to understand the rough ways of men, your bf needs to understand the importance of real communication & love. Clearly he is going to be in your son's life even if you two broke up due to your common child. You need to be the one to insist he communicate with and show affection to your son.

I also believe your son is not going through a stage. Address his behavior problems consitently every time and this will improve all the relationships in the house.

junieg's picture

I have to ask Debs, what makes you think that marriage would be a guarantee to a stable environment for this child?

SnglDad's picture

Tamz is right on target. Contrary to popular belief, boy's and girls are different. Play fighting also teaches kids how to defend themselves. It does not breed violence, nor does it suggest that violence is acceptable.

tamz's picture

I am an advocate of marriage and I believe it is honorable. I personally would not move in with a man unless he was my husband.

With that said, I can't see how marriage will teach this man to interact well with this two year old. If this man can't build a solid healthy relationship with the boy, getting married to the kids mom is not a magic bullet.

It is the interaction between the child and the bf that must be addressed, not so much if the adults are married. Because a two year old is just too young to even comprehend marriage.

bdubya's picture

I see two issues going on here...

With all due respect, your son is 3 and shouldn't be telling everyone what to do so I can see where your bf's frustration lies with that situation. You, as this boy's parent, shouldn't be handling it too well either and my guess is that his frustration doesn't lie with the child, it lies with you b/c you won't do anything about it and summarily dismiss his attempts to halt/corral the behavior he sees as unacceptable.

But back to the original question, there is a very big difference between the relationship a boy has with his father (or father figure in this case) than he does with his mother so I see the interaction your bf has with your son as pretty normal for two males. The relationship I had with my dad was more physical...wrestling, sports, horsing around, etc while the relationship I had with my mom was more of an emotional one, I could talk to her about the problems in my life...a girl broke up with me, what do I do on a first date, etc. I see this same pattern developing with my five year old son with his mother and I as well...

The fact that your son still continues to go back to your bf to play leads me to believe that he is enjoying the time with him and is not being hurt in any way. Just make sure he relays to your son that this is only between the two of them and it is not to be done outside of that realm (i.e. at daycare, school, etc) and let them have at it :o)

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Out of all the posts here, I agree w/ you the most. I think the relationship between this boyfriend and the son is normal. My husband play wrestles w/ our boys all the time. This is a way of bonding. If the mother feels that her boyfriend is not relating to her son as well as she'd like to see, she shld talk to her boyfriend. If either of them is uncomfortable in some way, maybe they can explore other means of bonding.
Every child goes through stages, and I'm sure this control stage will pass. But, I agree. The mom needs to step up and discipline her son if he acts out, or otherwise the behavior will only continue. She shld also spend her own quality time w/ her son so he feels he can bond with both mom and boyfriend. If the mom feels her son is in any way uncomfortable, she shld talk to him as well and try to get him to open up to her. I realize he's only 3, but I'm sure he's capable of expressing his likes and dislikes.
Has anyone considered that maybe the new baby cld be contributing to the older child's behavior? Whenever there's changes in a family, kids often react in different ways. I think this boy needs more one-on-one time w/ his mom. It also might be helpful for him to be around friends, whether it be during playdates or at community activities. Even keeping this child busy at home, helping w/ the baby and some chores around the house, might do him some good and make him feel he's doing something important. Trying this may be a good thing, and it may help w/ the behavior and any relationship conflicts in general.
I'm sure if this boyfriend is a good hearted man and he means well, he and this boy will work their glitches out. I'm just curious: Is this boy's natural father in his life? If so, I'm hoping that the families can get along for the sake of this child. If not, I hope this boyfriend stays committed to his family, whether through marriage or not, b/c no one can deny that he's become an important aspect of this boy's life from the time he was one yrs old.