Is this a pre-teen problem, or a stepson problem? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 01-08-2010, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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X-posted

Haven't posted on this board in ages, as things have gone pretty smoothly for the last year or so.

Dh and I married 6 years ago, when my dss were 4 and 6. Older dss is now 12 1/2. Dh has primary custody, and the boys are with us during the week, and see their mom on the weekends.

I've always been private with the boys as far as changing clothes in private, not walking around in my underwear, things like that. The only exception was when I nursed my dd, who was born 3 years ago. At first there was some staring, but they quickly learned the purpose of breasts, and it was a non-issue.

Dss turned 12 in January. In the past month or so, I've noticed him staring at me. One time I had to run out of the shower because someone was screaming, but I covered myself completely in a towel. Dss stared at my chest. Last night, the kids were in bed and I was wearing these massively huge and modestly cut flannel pj's, but no bra on. I went to dd's room to kiss her goodnight, peaked my head in the boys' room to say goodnight, and again, noticed dss staring at my chest.

I haven't said anything, as I'm not sure what is normal, what is not. I understand that he's in puberty, but is this a blended family issue, or a pre-teen normality, or a pre-teen problem?
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#2 of 12 Old 01-08-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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My guess would be that it is just natural curiosity, but I have nothing to base it on. I would assume is that it will just be a passing thing.

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#3 of 12 Old 01-08-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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My only experience comes from having a brother and being around DH's brothers...

Pretty sure it's totally normal. Hormones are telling him, "Hey, she has boobs." and he's looking.

If it makes you uncomfortable check with your DH...he can reassure you if it's just a "boy thing" and possibly talk to DSS.

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#4 of 12 Old 01-08-2010, 02:50 PM
 
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Its a puberty/prepuberty issue. Hes getting to the age that he is noticing females and what God gave them Just go about your daily life. Give your DH a heads up he may want to give a "pre" facts of life talk with your DSS. About that age the school also did a family life class that spawned tons of questions about development ( physical).

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#5 of 12 Old 01-08-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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I think it's normal. It might be exacerbated by the blended thing--he may not have the "eew, that's my MOM!" filter" he (might) otherwise would.

I agree a chat with your husband might help things if you're uncomfortable.

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#6 of 12 Old 01-08-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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It's a preteen thing probably heightened by the blended thing. If you hadn't been so modest around him all along I doubt you would be noticing this so much right now since your boobs would be "furniture" by now.
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#7 of 12 Old 01-08-2010, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, ladies! I was figuring it was normal. It doesn't bother me - dss probably hasn't got a clue he's being so obvious about it, LOL. And yeah, proto - no "eww, that's my mom" thing, which, silly me, I had assumed he would have.

I'm so thankful I have this place to run this by. I'll mention it do dh, for sure, but it's just another one of the glorious stages of youth. All I keep thinking is, after dss1, only 2 more kiddos to get through puberty with. I was a bear at that age, and in that regard I'm thankful my 2 stepsons don't carry my DNA!
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#8 of 12 Old 01-08-2010, 06:59 PM
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Sounds like a preteen thing. When my oldest turned 12 he would hug me very stiffly and hold me at arms length. You could see his brain going "oh god - mom has boobs!" LOL I don't think your dss actively staring has anything to do with the fact that you are a step mom. I think all boys are different. My son was uncomfortable and very stiff and my sister's son actively stared. They are very open (as are we) and she said her son would verbalize that he wanted to see (he was around 9 I guess). My .02 would be that it is no big deal.....

I have a question though - none of my business of course - but don't you kiss the boys goodnight? I noticed you said you kissed dd but peeked in and said goodnight to the boys. Again, none of my business and don't feel like I'm trying to make you justify - purely curiousity on my part.

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#9 of 12 Old 01-09-2010, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lab View Post
Sounds like a preteen thing. When my oldest turned 12 he would hug me very stiffly and hold me at arms length. You could see his brain going "oh god - mom has boobs!" LOL I don't think your dss actively staring has anything to do with the fact that you are a step mom. I think all boys are different. My son was uncomfortable and very stiff and my sister's son actively stared. They are very open (as are we) and she said her son would verbalize that he wanted to see (he was around 9 I guess). My .02 would be that it is no big deal.....

I have a question though - none of my business of course - but don't you kiss the boys goodnight? I noticed you said you kissed dd but peeked in and said goodnight to the boys. Again, none of my business and don't feel like I'm trying to make you justify - purely curiousity on my part.
No, I don't kiss them goodnight. Or hug them. It's sort of sad, really, but it goes beyond my comfort level, and theirs as well. I'll put my hand on their back, touch their hair, that sort of thing. The few times I hug them (when I leave or come back from a trip), they react stiffly. Then again, they do that with their grandma too. Their mom is huggy, and I've seen them roll their eyes and try to get out of it as well.

It took me awhile to be able to be comfortable in the differences between my relationship with my stepsons and my daughter. It is what it is. I love them dearly, and I show it in ways that are comfortable for all of us. Their sister, on the other hand, hugs and kisses them with abound. They roll their eyes, but put up with it They're great kids, all three of them.
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#10 of 12 Old 01-09-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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It's a different age entirely, but shortly after I first met my DSS, he was about 5. We headed to the pool one day, and I put on my bikini. This little 5-year-old boy, my future DSS, looked at me when I came in the room and said, "Nice!" which threw me for a loop. Then, he followed up with, "My mommy wears a one-piece." It was all I could do to hold it together, really wanting to crack up laughing. But I just smiled and told him one-piece and two-piece suits were both nice, or something similarly lame like that. Then he asked me why I wear a bikini (guess it made an impression, huh?) and I told him I like to feel the water on my tummy, and he finally dropped it.

Haven't noticed any weirdness since then, but I'm not particularly looking forward to puberty.

So, I'm guessing it's normal behavior.
Good luck!

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#11 of 12 Old 01-09-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
This little 5-year-old boy, my future DSS, looked at me when I came in the room and said, "Nice!" which threw me for a loop. Then, he followed up with, "My mommy wears a one-piece."

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#12 of 12 Old 01-13-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jjawm View Post
No, I don't kiss them goodnight. Or hug them. It's sort of sad, really, but it goes beyond my comfort level, and theirs as well. I'll put my hand on their back, touch their hair, that sort of thing. The few times I hug them (when I leave or come back from a trip), they react stiffly. Then again, they do that with their grandma too. Their mom is huggy, and I've seen them roll their eyes and try to get out of it as well.

It took me awhile to be able to be comfortable in the differences between my relationship with my stepsons and my daughter. It is what it is. I love them dearly, and I show it in ways that are comfortable for all of us. Their sister, on the other hand, hugs and kisses them with abound. They roll their eyes, but put up with it They're great kids, all three of them.
this is us. when i first started coming around, they hugged me once in a while but i think their mom made them feel guilty about it.

then when their first sister was born, i had dh talk to them because they were being very rude about me breastfeeding. i overheard the oldest daring his brother to 'go over there and touch her boob' while i was breastfeeding the baby. they would stare and laugh and make comments until one day i had dh take them home because i was afraid something would be taken out of context. and their mother bf their 2 younger siblings!!!

this time around, i've really noticed that dss1 (just turned 13) looks away when i'm nursing and will even leave the room. he gets extremely bashful and embarrassed. dss2 (almost 12) still giggles and stares so dh had another talk with him.

my vote would definitely be with it's a boy/age thing (thank you, society for sexualizing breasts!)and there is no 'she's my MOM' filter. unfortunately, since you aren't his mom, i'm sure you feel like i did: afraid that someone would see me as being bad or overt in some way.

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