Is This a Freakish Father/Son Connection Here?
April 6, 2011 12:04am CST
Now don't get me wrong... I love kids. And I know that many people out there do let their world revolve around kids and if that works for them, okay. But, myself... I always wanted my kids to grow up to be independent adults. People that knew they could count on mom to be there, but knowing how to act like an adult and do the things that adults should be doing. Towards this end I never talked 'baby talk' to my babies and when I laid down the law I explained why I was. I had them sleeping through the night the day they doubled their birth weight. I weaned them off the bottle at 8 months old, the pacifiers were tossed at 3 months old. When my oldest daughter started school she came home to more school. My home was a constant learning environment. And if my kids DARED talk back to me or whine... it was nipped in the bud with a trip to their room and then a serious talk afterward about why that behavior was not allowed in my home. I never gave them room for messing up. They went through some rough times in life, but that was no excuse in my eyes to slack on bringing them up right. Their dad walked out on them? I'm sorry, but that gives them no excuse to whine and cry because they don't get their way. Business as usual. Sure, it burnt my out and many days I just didn't want to get up out of bed to take care of them... but I had a mission to raise my kids to be adults that I could be proud of. Don't get me wrong, I didn't not spend time loving them. I've read HOURS worth of books to my kids. Every single play date group in town knew my kids. My oldest was in girl scouts, little poms, little cheerleading. My younger two were in parents as teachers, parenting network, first steps... you name it we were involved. And all this on a budget of 300 dollars a month. Now, on to my current deal. My boyfriend are the complete opposite of what I had with my kids. I lost my kids to the state due to some family lies, so I'm always bouncing back and forth between screaming to myself that I'm a horrible parent... and screaming that I'm a good parent and that I was treated so wrongly. It's been 3 years and so I'm getting to the point of reflection and realizing that my best course of action is to just walk away from my family because they are the ones that caused all this damage to my life and my kid's lives. But, again, I bounce off the subject at hand. My boyfriend has an eleven year old son that acts like he is two. He is not mental disabled as far as I can tell. But, he does seem very emotionally disabled. If he comes home from school and there is no candy or fast food waiting for him he erupts into fits of rage until someone digs something up for him. He will sit there and play video games ALL DAY LONG. And if he is asked to do something to help around the house he just ignores it until he is grounded from his video games. Then he rushes to do the chore and cries about not doing anything wrong until his punishment is lifted. If anyone does anything to cross him or upset him he forces himself to throw up and refuses to eat anything claiming that he has a headache until he gets his way. Quite frankly I would let him play that one out since the child wears the same size clothes as I do! On that subject he never eats vegetables at all. He consists on meat and sweets. Once in a great while he can be convinced to eat a whopper with all the ingredients on it. Or maybe persuaded to eat a potato or a banana. But, by in large he doesn't eat anything good for him. The one time I brought up the subject to his grandma I was told that his mom wouldn't let him eat veggies as a baby and that's why he is the way he is on that subject. But, that seems a very lame excuse in my book. I don't really see the child living into his twenties with this menu. He has already been diagnosed with high cholesterol. And my boyfriend figures that all will be fixed when they get a membership to the YMCA. But, in this case I think his son needs a little more than just a workout. I think he needs healthier food choices. But, there is that whole issue which drives me up the wall. Especially because his son thinks it's funny to not give his seat up for me or to lean over my back and scream at the top of his lungs. When I freak out about it my boyfriend tells him to stop and then when he is out of earshot smiles and proudly proclaims that that is his kid. And this is where I get into the root of my wondering. My boyfriend used to be a very big pothead in his youth. He actually started when he was 5 years old by getting into his brother's stash. And it got wildly out of hand as time when on. The only thing that stopped him was when he found out he was a father. At the ripe old age of 16. (His son was actually conceived when he was 15 though.)So, I applaud him for turning his life around and I agree, when you have a child it's a good time to do that for the future of your child. However, sometimes it seems to me like this man has just traded one drug for another. He often says that if anything happened to his son he would kill himself. And he calls his son his best friend daily. He also daily mentions that if his son ever asked him to do ANYTHING he would do it. He has quit hanging out with friends because his son asked him to. He has gone and bought a ton of expensive toys for his son because he asked him to. And most of these toys never get played with or they lose parts and are broken the same day they are bought. Just recently he bought the new Nintendo 3DS for his son only to find out that his son can play it in 3D mode because it hurts his eyes. His son spent a whole day whining about that and threatening to break it or sell it because he didn't want to play it if he could play it in 3D! And my boyfriend only makes 600 dollars a month, so it's a big deal that he does this in the first place. To be treated so badly on top of it just breaks my heart to see. When I brought it up one time he explained that not only does he feel that his son saved his life but he feels horribly that his son's mother abused him and abandoned him so he feels like he has to make up for it. Just tonight I was on the phone with my boyfriend after school and his son kept interrupting him the entire time and finally in the end said 'Daddy, I'm going to bed, but I need you to rub my legs for me.' That kind of creeps me out a little. I don't know why. I know lots of kids need their backs rubbed to get to sleep, but this child is almost twelve! And when you add that to all the other stuff he pulls it just seems weird to me. And it doesn't help that there is the grandma element. She has been the one really being a 'mother figure' to my boyfriend's son. But, that basically means that she is the female in the household and SOMETIMES she helps him with his homework. Mostly she cusses him out and tells him his toys are ugly. She pokes fun of him for being fat and then she makes comments to him telling him that if his daddy loved him he would take him to the science center, the zoo, roller skating... or what have you. My boyfriend doesn't really like going places so really she is undermining his authority as a father and making the whole thing worse. The funny thing is, she never does this stuff around my boyfriend, and my boyfriend's son keeps it to himself that she does this. I can't really step in and tell her to stop because of my history with my own kids and I can't really bring it to my boyfriend's attention because that will just give his family more of a reason to hate me. I'm just so stuck on that one. So in the end... I respect that there are other people out there that hold to the mindset that their children are the center of their world. I believe that this is a valid way to raise your children if that is what you want your children growing up like. I personally wanted my kids to be strong adults and able to stand against peer pressure and bullies, and know how to balance a checkbook... and stay out of debt... and stuff like that. So, I showed them love but I made sure they respected me as well. I don't see any respect in my boyfriends son... but maybe it's just me being weird. What do you think? Will this child end up the way I think he will end up? Is his father's relationship with him unhealthy? I'm not looking for an excuse to leave my boyfriend. I love him and I figure if he leaves me, that's on him. But, I'm just really curious about this parenting dynamic here. The only other time in my life I've seen anything like this the kid ended up growing up to be a man-s*** and he parties all the time and doesn't really care about who people are in the inside. I don't know if this can be attributed to how he was raised... or maybe it's just in a person's DNA to end up like that. I don't know. So, I'm wondering what other people think about this one.
• United States
6 Apr 11
Okay, I know you love your boyfriend and you have other issues as well. I didn't know about his son until now. This is a serious thing as you well know. I hate to say this but your boyfriend does not have a grasp on reality where his son is concerned. He needs to be his father not his "best friend". The boy needs a father! He needs to learn how to be a man and what to do and how to live life and how to act around other people. It is obvious that he has not been taught any of this. Him being allowed to do as he wishes is doing him no favors. I know a boy that was done this way, exactly by his mom, dad, and his grandparents. To this day the young man will not work and he is huge and very lazy. He weights over 300 pounds. He expects others to take care of him and provide for him and to this day his father and grandfather still do. Now where does this leave you with your boyfriend? I'm sorry honey but if you are not willing to just let all of this go and look in the other direction then you and your boyfriend will be butting heads all the time. Or you will always be unhappy about the situation. It will never change. In fact it may only get worse. When you move in your money will go to help support the boy and his habits too. I know you love your boyfriend but you need to think hard as to if you are willing to take on his son too. Because he will always have him around. He is his best friend. He will have him to take care of the rest of his life. You can count on that. If you can not talk to him about his son and he can not make changes with what is going on. Then there is not going to be a chance for any true happiness for you two. I just can not see it. I really hate to say that because I know you have had a hard time in your life and you deserve to be happy. I do hope he can change what he is doing with his son. He does need to change. I hope he will and he must do it soon. If not you are wasting your time there. I'm sorry to be so blunt. Bless you dear and I wish you so much luck on this. Let me know how it goes and what happens.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Apr 11
Thank you for your response. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get back with you on this. I've had a rough couple of days. I did sneak in my feelings into a conversation I was having with my boyfriend and his mom. We were talking about another situation where a kid turned out really bad and I mentioned that too many parents today treat their kids like their best friend instead of taking the responsibility to raise them to be functioning adults seriously. His mom just stared at me a moment and then told me flatly that it's in the DNA. Lol. Because his son is 11 and his grandma has been functioning as a 'mommy' most of his life I recognize that it's not my place to really step in and tell them that they are doing things wrong. Especially since I lost my own kids to the state. Whatever the reasons or the validity of the case. It just looks bad for me to be giving parenting advice. All I can do is either run. Or watch this story unfold and know that I was right in the end. At this point in time I can't afford to run. I need to have this piece of happiness that I have with my boyfriend even though we do have some problems. I can't rock the boat with my mind already on the edge of reason. I just hope that our personal problems can iron out and then dealing with the over indulged child might not be so bad. In fact it might give me a little bit of humor to watch and feel validated about my own child rearing ideas.
6 Apr 11
All I can say is that this entire upbringing thing would have a very sad ending and I already feel bad both for the child and the father. It seems that neither of them has ever known any genuine love or family life, only a make-believe world of their own. One day, when the child grows up and starts having his own life, this dream would shatter and so would their lives…the son will realize that he no longer needs the father (most kids brought up in such self-centered manner, abandon their parents completely) while the father would feel neglected and cheated. Also, both of them equally need counseling to overcome their fears…somewhere deep within, the father is scared to let go of his son, even to friends and family, and its definitely not normal. The kid of course, knows nothing better and keeps himself engaged as best as he can cope with the situation (being a couch potato)…the worst person in this is the grandma…wonder how can she be so cruel…specifically and purposefully hurting the child for no reason whatsoever!
• United States
10 Apr 11
I agree completely with you. From what my boyfriend has mentioned of his own childhood I often wonder if his mom didn't hold the guilt trip over his head that she does... would he be so quick to be taking care of her now that she is ailing? I don't know. I know that her other two children don't. They only come around when she calls them and lays out the 'poor me' lines that she does. And then they come over to see her and help her out around the house. It's really sad to see such a poor relationship dynamic and often I wonder how this is going to affect my relationship with my boyfriend. Because every time he makes a desire known about something nice he wants to do for me she shuts him down. And then she tries to lay the guilt trip stuff on me and it doesn't work with me. And that makes her angry with me. She really does not like that she can't control me like she controls my boyfriend. But, the worse of it is how she treats her grandson she has a great grand daughter that comes over sometimes and when the little girl is there she treats my boyfriend's son even worse like he is somehow second best to the little girl. It is so sad to see. I can see where a heart broken little boy would emotionally act out to try to regain favor because that's what is modeled for him. But, at the same time I don't feel that it is an acceptable excuse either.
11 Apr 11
No, no, the excuses definitely don’t work here…whatever the intentions of the father and the grandma, ultimately they are hurting a child, causing irreparable mental damage (just like she’s done to her own son)… and for you, I think the best option would be to treat the child as best as you can but in an offhand manner i.e. don’t get involved in this hopeless situation and cause unnecessary heart break to yourself.