Not even a step parent.
11/05/2010 at 13:44 PM

I'm going out with this guy. He has 2 wonderful children who only visit on the weekends. I was just wondering what I should do about some of their behavior thats a little confusing to me and maybe a little stressful (trying to know how to deal with it all.) I was talking to my mom and she said the kids are probably getting jealous. They will pull my hair. If I tell the one who does it to stop, they don't. (he's 7 right now) He'll pull my hair, push on my stomach, and mess my hair up. I was just wondering if this was appropriate behavior especially toward someone who's not even related to them, also wondering how I should handle the situation. Should I talk to my boyfriend about what's going on? The behavior seems to be reinforced by his family, because the children will also to do it to his sister (pull her hair, push her stomach in, etc.) it's uncomfortable behavior and it's not very fun for me, that's for sure, lol. Also, another thing one of them (the 5 yr old) does is whenever I'm sitting next to their father on the couch, they always sit in between us to break us up (both of them, and then there's eventually no room on the couch to sit.) should I just deal with it and let them have their way or is there something I can do about this?? I'm not even sure if I should be worrying about it.

I realized a long long long time ago that I was on my way to being abusive. The very next time after that that I wanted to spank my kid, I grabbed a pillow off the bed and whaled the tar out of the pillow. It felt great! That was when I learned something very powerful. Whacking a kid isn't about teaching the kid. It's about the parent's feelings.

Spanking should be just one strategy among many, and if you just KNOW that the situation you are in right now is going to end up in a spanking, spank BEFORE you get angry. That way, the spanking IS about teaching the kid, not about your feelings.

I saw a lady at the store do something cool. When she gave her kid a direction and he started to ignore her, she started to count, but it wasn't "One, Two, Two and a half, you don't want me to get to three!"

She just counted. To 17. Which was when the kid finally obeyed her instruction. I asked her about it, and she said the highest she has gotten is thirty something. She says she writes down a number (

Do some research about what you can expect of kids who aren't even five. Their brains are still building some important structures, they aren't just little adults.

Besides being on parent duty 24/7 with no relief, and worry about your husband, what are the other stressors in your life?


Mayamay, thank you for your advice! Even before my husband deployed, I struggled with my temper. I used to tell myself I would never spank, though. I will try the pillow solution the next time!

Thankfully, my husband is not deployed to a war zone, so I don't have the worry so much, just the parent duty 24/7!

That is an interesting strategy the mom in the store has; I would have never thought of something like that! I like it!

I think part of the problem is that I am very critical of myself, and I may be projecting this onto my kids. When I have a few hours away from them to reflect, I usually realize that much of their behavior is normal kid behavior. For some reason it is hard for me to remember this when I am trying to get through the day.

I also grew up in a house where screaming and occasional smacking was the norm. My dad was very supportive and loving much of the time, but had a terrible temper! I love my parents, and know they did the best they could. I didn't learn many useful discipline tools from them, though. I'm going try to get in with a counselor to address my anger issues.


Do you have some friends with young children that you could exchange play-dates with? When my kids were little, four of us moms would each take a week in rotation and have all the kids over (7 kids) for an hour and a quarter three days a week one week out of four. The other three weeks, we'd take that hour three days a week and do whatever needed to be done. I'd often just nap, or sit outside in the sun.


Once I had a similar incident. I was stressed out on every level and actually slapped my daughter. It made me physically ill. The next day I took off work and went to a counselor whom I had been seeing about my divorce, which of course was part of my stress. He said, "Welcome..." When I asked what he meant, he said "Welcome to the human race." He went on to reassure me that no one is perfect. Yes what I did was wrong but I was seeking help and vowing to do better. This event was something of a turning point for me. I never slapped her again. I still apologize for it years later and she continues to say it is OK. I think we both got over it, though I still feel bad when I remember the moment. But you CAN make it a turning point. And getting help is a great option. I know it was beneficial for us.