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Old 03-14-2005, 09:12 AM   #1
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Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

My boyfriend and I will soon be moving in together and will eventually marry. He has a 6 year old son who he shares joint custody with his ex wife. There are several issues with the 6 year old son I question. Since I will be moving into their home, I don't want to feel unwelcome due to the son "having his way" 100% of the time. Can anyone address my concerns on what's acceptable in your opinion on raising a 6 year old boy?

When I stay the night, his son will come into our room at 6am and crawl into bed with us. Once in a while I don't mind, I think it's rather cute but not every other morning. He came into our room at 3 am lastnight and said he had a bad dream. My boyfriend left our bedroom to sleep in his son's room with him. I woke up at 8 am and my boyfriend was still sleeping in his son's bed with him. I don't know whether I'm being selfish or if I see this as a possible on-going problem. There have been times when his son is sick with a horrible cough, and I will wake up in the middle of the night to find my boyfriend sleeping in his son's bed with him. I do understand a parent's concern when their child is sick, but is it taking it too far? When I don't spend the night, his son usually sleeps in my boyfriend's bed, especially when it's the last night before he goes back to his mom's house.

My boyfriend constantly gives into his son. When his son is disrespectful he punishes him by taking a toy away from him, BUT he ends up giving the toy back, never sticking to the punishment. His son is a bit spoiled but I'm not sure if it's my place to get involved. My boyfriend encourages me to discipline his son, but what I think is acceptable in disciplining may not be acceptable to him. I don't want to over step my boundries.

The bottom line is, everything revolves around his son, from what's on tv, what's on the radio, what we are doing on a saturday night. I understand the importance of doing the right things for his son but should he get his way all the time? Maybe instead of watching cartoons on tv at night he could do other things like color or read a book and let the grown-ups have some time?

I don't have children, so it's hard for me to judge if my thoughts about the situation are reasonable. If we are living together, I'm concerned I will end up resenting his son because I can't get time for myself. I may have to shut the door to the bedroom and curl up with a book, but I don't want to offend them.

I do love his son and want so much for him to accept me. He told me he loved me last week and that made my heart melt. I just want the best for all of us.

Any advice?

Last edited by Betty Bee; 03-14-2005 at 09:17 AM.

 
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:10 PM   #2
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

Well, with regard to the discipline, how about watching a few episodes of those nanny shows? That will show your boyfriend how important consistency is.

Personally, I don't like "sleepovers" if you're the girlfriend. I think it just confuses the kid. Think of it from his point of view - Dad used to have mom in his bed. Now he has his girlfriend staying the night. What if you two break up? Then there's another girl in Dad's bed? What is that teaching a little boy about women?

With regard to him coming into your bed or your boyfriend going to his? That's the kid's way of showing you that the sleepovers bother him.

 
Old 03-14-2005, 06:32 PM   #3
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

It sounds as though your b/f is going to great lengths to keep his son happy. It does sound like he really loves him alot too. Maybe he feels like if he doesnt do these things, his son will reject him and want to be with his mother all the time. Good luck!

 
Old 03-15-2005, 01:08 AM   #4
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

Oh, Betty Bee, I can give you some advice, but I don't think you are going to like it!

I REALLY think that you and your boyfriend need to put your plans to live together/marry on hold until you get some counseling. Discipline for his son is a major issue that you and he need to agree on - not just in theory, but in practice - BEFORE you move in together. If you don't work this out, I can guarantee you that your relationship is doomed.

You've asked if how your BF interacts with his son is acceptable. Yes, it is. It is also acceptable to discipline more heavily like you want to do. The problem isn't with one parenting style or the other. The problem is that your styles are so different.

Again, I would strongly encourage you to work this out before you move in together!

 
Old 03-15-2005, 09:37 AM   #5
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

I totally agree with the above posters. Agreeing on discipline is a major issue. If you are going to get married, and make it work, you need to agree, or come to a compromise on this issue. I also agree that it's not a very good message to send having your g/f spending the night (or vice versa, in any situation) if you have children.
Personally I think letting the boy crawl into bed, etc, is perfectly acceptable. But, for some people it's not. As far as other things, I don't know the details, but when you have children it IS about them, not about ourselves. Even since becoming pregnant I have seen ALOT of areas where I am very selfish. So, if you don't have children of your own, it can be hard to relate.
I hope things work out for you two.
Have you talked to your boyfriend about how you feel and about discipline? If your b/f is encouraging you to take part, I would sit down with him and see what's acceptable and what's not, and come to a decision together.
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:22 PM   #6
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

It's his kid, let him raise him the way he wants. If you don't like it, find someone else.

 
Old 03-15-2005, 01:00 PM   #7
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

A wedge if she plans on marrying him than she becomes a mom to this kid so really she needs to find a balance fast with her boyfriend on how to discipline him.

 
Old 03-15-2005, 03:12 PM   #8
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

Thanks for all your replies. I'm not a parent so it's difficult to understand at times. I realize that someday I will be a step parent and I only want to do what's best. I very much want to be a part of their lives. I care about their happiness and well being. I may be a bit selfish for no other reason than that I'm not a parent and haven't experienced the unconditional love a parent has for their child. This is all so new to me.

Yes, my b/f encourages me to become involved. He asks my opinion on certain parenting issues and discipline and I respect him so much for including me. My response to the issues is how would I handle it if he were my own child. I wish to form a special bond with this child, not just as a step parent, but an adult role model, mentor, and even someone he can turn to if he has any problems. Down the road, if my b/f and I ever have children together I want to treat them equally. I think it's important we come to an agreement on parenting issues now because in the future we will become a family.

 
Old 03-15-2005, 03:20 PM   #9
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulyWaiting
I totally agree with the above posters. Agreeing on discipline is a major issue. If you are going to get married, and make it work, you need to agree, or come to a compromise on this issue. I also agree that it's not a very good message to send having your g/f spending the night (or vice versa, in any situation) if you have children.
Personally I think letting the boy crawl into bed, etc, is perfectly acceptable. But, for some people it's not. As far as other things, I don't know the details, but when you have children it IS about them, not about ourselves. Even since becoming pregnant I have seen ALOT of areas where I am very selfish. So, if you don't have children of your own, it can be hard to relate.
I hope things work out for you two.
Have you talked to your boyfriend about how you feel and about discipline? If your b/f is encouraging you to take part, I would sit down with him and see what's acceptable and what's not, and come to a decision together.




Thank you for your honesty...Your words really hit home especially the part about being selfish. You have changed my perspective of the situation....Thank you again.

Betty Bee

 
Old 03-16-2005, 10:21 AM   #10
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

No problem. Good luck!
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:36 AM   #11
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

Well all I can say is that when I was a kid, the only reason I was allowed to sleep in my parent's room was when I was deathly sick. Otherwise, I slept in my own room. Neither one of my parent's EVER slept in my room with me. Sometimes my mom would sit, read to me and stay with me until I fell asleep, but she never slept in my room.
I personally think letting a habit like that start is not a good idea. My nephew slept in my brother & sister-in-law's room until he was almost 11 yrs old! YIKES! Thank God he finally grew out of it. (He's 18 now)
I realize it's your boyfriend's house, but it's also going to be your home too. Your boyfriend should be the primary disciplanarian (sp?) but the two of you should come to some kind of agreement.
It's hard in situations like these - Good Luck!

 
Old 03-16-2005, 02:32 PM   #12
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by susieq0726
Well all I can say is that when I was a kid, the only reason I was allowed to sleep in my parent's room was when I was deathly sick. Otherwise, I slept in my own room. Neither one of my parent's EVER slept in my room with me. Sometimes my mom would sit, read to me and stay with me until I fell asleep, but she never slept in my room.
I personally think letting a habit like that start is not a good idea. My nephew slept in my brother & sister-in-law's room until he was almost 11 yrs old! YIKES! Thank God he finally grew out of it. (He's 18 now)
I realize it's your boyfriend's house, but it's also going to be your home too. Your boyfriend should be the primary disciplanarian (sp?) but the two of you should come to some kind of agreement.
It's hard in situations like these - Good Luck!



I was raised just as you were. I'm not used to the "coddling" for lack of a better term. I do agree with you...I guess parents just try their best, do what they know, and learn as they go along...just as I'm learning. BUT I certainly would have an enormous problem if he's still crawling into bed with us at age 11!!!! Can you imagine? There goes the sex life!!! ha ha

 
Old 04-03-2005, 12:13 AM   #13
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

I swear we are about in the exact same situation. First of all, I moved in with my husband and stepson's home too. He is an only child who is completely spoiled. My husband bases any free time around his son. His son was sleeping with him right up until the day I moved in. Then he had to go to his son's room and stay there until he fell asleep. My husband will ground him or take something away.....only to unground him an hour later or give back whatever he took away. My stepson is 9 years old now. My husband and I got together when his son was 5. I moved in here last year, so my stepson was 8.

My advice is to let your soon to be husband take care of his son when he has a bad dream or is sick. If he spends the night in his son's room, so be it. But the child coming into your room must stop. Personally, what I did was I told my husband I wanted to sleep naked. Which is true. So he has "trained" his son to knock if he needs something and Dad goes to the door.

As far as the discipline goes. You both need to do alot of talking, seriously. You need to know what page your both on when it comes to that. I don't do any discliplining. My husband does it all. I am not saying one way is right, but as long as you agree thats the main thing. His Ex-Wife has requested that I not spank him....so, I don't. I do make comments like "if you think I am going to take you to Lazer Tag after the way you acted today, your highly mistaken....you have ruined it" I will make comments like that, but I also stick to it. I guess it is disclipline. But it's still not what I would do if I had a child of my own.

My stepson for the most part is a good kid. He is a bit forgetful and can be really mouthy. Other than that, he is great. It's that mouth that drives me crazy. His dad ignores it and it drives me up a wall.

But keep the communication open as possible and talk to your husband. The way I look at it is at least he is a great dad. We have enough dead beat dads in the world be glad your not dealing with one of them.

 
Old 04-03-2005, 06:36 AM   #14
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

I am sorry to all of you who did not have the "coddling" when growing up - how sad that must have been.

I will have to say in regards to disipline you should be on the same page. It will be hard I think because before you have a child of your own, it's hard to know what you would do if it was your child. My views on disipline and childcare were so much different before I had a child. There is that unconditional love thing that makes it hard. I do believe in limits, routines, and consistancy but it's done with love. A good parneting book would be benificial. You two could read it together and discuss the issues and what each of you would do in these situations. Then you could try and come to a common ground.

I don't see anything wrong with a child coming into the parents bed or the parent sleeping in their bed. What kind of habit is that going to develop? A habit that shows the child that he is loved unconditionally? No child will be crawling into their parents bed when they are in college - cherish these days when they are young and need you. They will be gone before you know it.

 
Old 04-04-2005, 08:56 AM   #15
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Re: Soon to be step mom wants to know is this normal?

I have the same situation. I moved in with my fiance and his 8 year old daughter before we were married. I did sleep in another room though, we would never sleep in the same room when she stayed with us. I was always angry about his way of correcting her. He always seemed to let her do whatever she wanted. The TV issue always bothers me and still does. When she is with her mother - she watches TV all day long. As soon as she walks in the door - she turns on the TV. I let her watch some but then I believe she can read a book or play with all those toys in her room. I am only the step mother but I do try to correct her. Sometimes the father is not there at that time - why let it go until he gets home. If it's something terrible than the bio father can handle it, but she is a great girl. I have no problem with her. I do believe that you and your spouse need to have understanding on discipline. You both need to agree with the rules and stick to it. We agreed to the rules even though sometimes the daddy bends them for his little girl. We get along better by agreeing to it all. The rules in our house of course are different than the mothers. That's when it gets hard!!! Good luck!!

 
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