10 year old Issues - FamilyEducation
10 year old Issues
03/16/2011 at 09:37 AM

My son will be 10 years old in April and is in the 4th grade. His father was never in his life up to a year ago when I met a wonderful man who loves my son and me very much. I gradually introduced him--not until a year after I was dating him. I wanted to be sure of the man first before my son interacting with him. Well, that is when my household became upside down. My son's dad (we'll call him Herbert) would pick my son up for school and take him in the morning, then pick him up in the afternoon from age infant to 8 yrs old. He would rarely do anything with him on the weekends. He would drop him off on Friday and not see him until Monday morning. He would be a phonepal to him (talk to him on the phone). I never bad mouthed Herbert in the presence of my son. I never denied my son the opportunity to go with his aounts or grandma (on herbert's side of the family).
Well, when Herbert found out I had a boyfriend, he decided to become more involved with his son. He has told his son he does not have to respect or listen to my boyfriend (who will become my husband July 2012). I have spoken to my son and told him he must respect my boyfriend (who by the way has 4 children--all grown adults now. We have had talks with my son my son continues to disrespect him and now has begun to hit and disrespect me and my father. I have tried going to the state and getting my son help and Herbet (who is a police officer) claims our son has no issues. I see it, but I feel he refuses to see it. He feels discipline is needed. Herbert had communicated-I heard him tell my son- not to respect my fiance. I am very concerned and everytime I try to bring my son to a psychiatrist, Herbert plays everything down and the psychiatrist believes him not me! I love my son and I'm in it for the long hawl. I REFUSE to be a parent that gives up.
I need advice on where to turn and go for help. Herbert provides medical coverage for our son and has told them not to approve any treatment anymore without his consent.Herbet and I were never married nor does he pay child support or there is no custody agreements of any kind in court because it has never been an issue. When I try to discipline-spank on the butt-my son, my son calls the police saying I bused him. I do not hit to mark but to discipline. I since stopped hitting him and begun punishment instead. Punishment is not working because he is till disrespecting. I feel my hands are tied and I can't help my baby get the help he needs. I live in Stratford Connecticut and I need advice desperately. I have support from my family as they are thrilled for me to find a person who has been by my side taking all that disrespectfulness from my son. This is begining to affect our relationship at this point so that is why I need advice.
By the way, I have told my son if he doesn't respect Herbert's wife, I will punish him when he gets home. I told him she calls me and tells me when he misbehaves or doesn't respect her. Obviously, Herbert is telling him the opposite.
I do not want to lose my son to the bad things in this world. I have him involved in Tae kwon doe and baseball. I though maybe these activities would help, but it seems to get worse not better.
Now, school is becoming an issue. My son has NO Friends-at home or school. He plays with two kids at home, but there is always an issue-bad mouthing, fighting, etc. I tried to arrange play dates, the playdates cancel cause my son is ti impulsive for them to play with. I feel for him and told him how he needs to conduct himself as a friend. Still, he has no friends and his grades are begining to fall.
Please offer any advice-I am at a wall looking ofr advice.
Thank You
Any advice would be welcomed!

Get a counselor who is experienced with non-traditional families to help you and Herbert to work out a parenting plan. Tell Herbert he can pick the counselor and you can share the cost.

Hi! First I'd like to congratulate you for your courage and for still doing the right thing: not badmouthing Herbert, not giving up on your son, fighting for your own relationship in the midst of all the turmoil - even when it is tough! And, it looks like life must me pretty tough for you now.

I may be wrong, but the way I see your situation now is that your son's dad has always been present in your son's life as he was picking him up for and from school everyday + they were talking on the phone. This did allow a connection to form between them, even if a thin one. With your new boyfriend's arrival though, your son's dad might have felt threatened and been very scared to loose this tiny connection. With a new dad in the house, his son would not need him anymore, or so he could think. When people think they can loose the love of someone they care about, they can get mean.

I would try to find ways to reassure him. You and your son's dad are always going to be his parents and have to try to find a way to work together to make things work. What is your communication with him? Would it be possible to ask him for some advice as to what could be done about the situation. Has he ever made some suggestion that would be worth listening to, that could give him some reassurance that he is still important in his son's life?

Your son probably loves the newly found attention he is receiving from his dad. And his way of maintaining it is to do as his father asks. His intentions are not to be bad, but rather to keep receiving his dad's love and attention. You must try understand where he comes from when he acts like he does.

Having said that, I don't think that disrespectful behavior should be accepted. A strategy I have found helpful when chaos kicks in is not to try to block every single bad behavior. When a child acts that way, it seems that he only does negative things and is always punished or talked to. Choose with your partner three behaviors that is unacceptable for both of you and communicate this to your son. Whenever he behaves in these three ways and only in these three ways, he will be punished. All other behaviors will be accepted by you and your boyfriend. This will help him make his own boundaries about his behaviors. You can re-assess after a while. At the same time, you can reinforce every positive behaviors that he has. Even tiny ones. That will make him feel worthwhile, even if he doesn't show it.

Hi, I also have a ten-year-old with two homes. I'm in the position of your new boyfriend. One of the things we're trying is regular communication with the other household – among ALL parenting figures. It certainly isn't a feel-good option here, but it's necessary to get on the same page. Also, when I know she's acting differently in our house than the other, I can use what I learn from the other household to call her on the change. It at least gets her thinking about herself not being fair to her momma...and fairness is important to her. Next time, I will be asking to have a conference WITH my child and her other parents, so the pattern of her getting away with attitude isn't continued without her knowing ALL of her parents will know about it. For us, all of the adults have to get on the same page to avoid conflict with our child. It's not easy. Hoping for your family. -Mel