DSS doesn't seem to want me around - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-07-2011, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
lilcrunchymama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The backwoods
Posts: 105
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 

To make a long story short and get to the point...I try very hard to love my DP's DS.  I treat him like I treat my own DD, when I get the chance to do anything for him.  He is constantly asking for Daddy, wanting just Daddy's attention.  He plays with my DD so well, but it's like I don't exist.  DP makes him hug me before he leaves to go back to his mom's house, and you can tell most of the time he doesn't want to.  I tell him I love him and I get a half-hearted response, if any response at all.  It's like he picks random days to even acknowledge that I exist, but I try so very hard to make sure he knows that I care.  I feel so lost with this most of the time.  I actually feel uncomfortable to be in my house when DSS is over because I am not sure what to do with myself.

 

I feel like I should know what to do since I was raised in a divorced family.  I had a step-dad and a step-mom by the time I was 5.  My step-dad and I had a great relationship, but my step-mom and I didn't.  We didn't get along because she didn't like me.  No matter what I did.  I definitely like my DSS, I love him, as if he were my own.  I've been with DP for almost 3 years now and sometimes it feels like we are still going downhill instead of trying to get better.  DP supports me and he sees what is happening, too, but he doesn't know what to do either.  Has anyone experienced this?  With a younger child?  DSS is 7, so he is still family-oriented, but I feel like we aren't a family.

 

DSS has a mom and I am by no means trying to replace her or be better than she is, but I want to feel like a parent to him, too.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Christie, DP to Kevin, mama to DD Morgen (12/07) & DSS Matthew (7/03)
lilcrunchymama is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-11-2011, 10:24 AM
 
Smithie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,422
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

 

You can't force DSS to have/express feelings for you, but you can definitely "fake it 'till you make it" with being comfortable in your own home when he's there. Roll back on the "I love you"s with an expected response and the forced hugging (!!! I know your DH is just trying to help, but WTF?) and act normal and casual and friendly. Even if you don't change how HE feels, you are going to change how YOU feel as you realign your expectations to the things he's already giving you emotionally (affection for your DD, affection for his Dad). 

 

If I had to guess, I'd say that your DSS doesn't want to be disloyal to his mom by overtly loving you. That's his issue to work through. Let him love you covertly.  

Smithie is online now  
Old 01-15-2011, 08:42 PM
 
vivvysue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: okanagan, bc canada... heavenly
Posts: 138
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

i agree with the pp to ease up on the forced 'i love you's' and the forced hugs and would focus more on "faking it till you make it".  plan fun family activities for when he is there. let him know that you want him to feel like your home is his home also and that he is welcome there. it sounds like you are doing these things, but blending a new family takes time and it is hard work. he may very well feel like having feelings for you is betraying his mom. perhaps a date with dad could be an opportunity for dad to talk to him about dss's feelings about coming to your house, you and his bio-mom. where ss could feel free to express himself without worry of hurting yours or anyone else's feelings, just be able to express how he is feeling and then work from there. of course your dh would have to be careful on his approach and try to be as casual as possible, but he should be able to say to dss that he can see how ss is feeling and wants to hear his thoughts on things so that they can come up with a way for ss to feel better and more comfortable in your home. making ss a part of the solution to how he is feeling and being allowed to give his input to what would make him feel better about things might go a long way in helping him to truly feel like he is heard and that his feelings matter and most important that he is a real and truly member of your household, rather than an eow or how ever the access schedule is visitor.

 

hth~

 

vs 

vivvysue is offline  
Old 01-16-2011, 06:43 PM
 
BubbleMa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 1,572
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm going through something very similar with my DSS. 

 

What helped me was to realize that we have many many years ahead of us to build a relationship.  When I thought about that, I realized I just need to take it slow and let it happen on his time.  I make sure he knows I love him and care about him, but I don't force anything. 


Sarah, partner to J and mom to DD1 April 30th, 2002 and DD2 May 5th, 2012. love.gif

BubbleMa is offline  
Old 01-29-2011, 09:37 PM
 
LittleBlessings's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,103
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

You can't force DSS to have/express feelings for you, but you can definitely "fake it 'till you make it" with being comfortable in your own home when he's there. Roll back on the "I love you"s with an expected response and the forced hugging (!!! I know your DH is just trying to help, but WTF?) and act normal and casual and friendly. Even if you don't change how HE feels, you are going to change how YOU feel as you realign your expectations to the things he's already giving you emotionally (affection for your DD, affection for his Dad). 

 

If I had to guess, I'd say that your DSS doesn't want to be disloyal to his mom by overtly loving you. That's his issue to work through. Let him love you covertly.  


I also wonder is bio mom dislikes step mom.

LittleBlessings is offline  
Old 02-15-2011, 02:11 AM
 
BabyBearsMummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 805
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 

lilcrunchymama it sounds like you are trying to force a relationship that simply isn't there right now.  If I was being subjected to frequent "I Love You" and forced hugs from someone I didn't feel the same way for it would creep me out and make me wanted to run quickly in the opposite direction.  I wouldn't expect anything different from a child. Your husband forcing the issue is not helping. You say it is hard to love your DSS and you are uncomfortable when he is in your home. He will sense and react to this. IMHO caring is shown thru action not words children understand this from a very young age. Take it slow and let it happen on his timeline. Carry one with normal life when DSS is around asking if he would like to be involved in activities but accepting that he may choose to busy himself with other tasks.

 

Also your DSS may be asking for Daddy because he truly has a need to spend more time with his father. My DD has told me many times she cannot talk to daddy "he doesn't listen" during her time with him and she rarely gets to spend individual father/daughter time. Every child needs this one on one time whether they are an only child or one of twelve, a child of intact parents or the child of separated parents. I have tired to discuss this with my ex but I would have better luck banghead.gif. Your DSS is clearly asking for more Daddy Son one on one time all that is left is finding a way to provide it to him.  

 

Also you can love your DSS without being a parent he already has two people capable and willing to fill that role. Parenting as separated parents is HARD enough without new partners getting tangled in it all. New partners getting involved only manages to make things much messier. A better idea would be to step back and support DDS parents as they navigate the toughest job on earth.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilcrunchymama View Post

 

My step-dad and I had a great relationship, but my step-mom and I didn't.  We didn't get along because she didn't like me.  No matter what I did.

 


 

It sounds like perhaps you have a history of at times you pushing to hard for relationships. Relationship building takes time and patience by both parties. Pushing too hard and fast when one party needs more time can have disastrous results.
 

BabyBearsMummy is offline  
Old 02-15-2011, 08:33 AM
 
Oriole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: by the ocean, lakes and mountains
Posts: 4,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

First of all, I want you to remember that you can still turn things around. Your dss probably won't even remember much of THIS time in his life.

Second of all, you have to stop with the forced hugs, and keep the "I loves you's" on the light side.

Thirdly, what you need is to stop worrying about dss wanting daddy. It's a stage many kids go through, and in a blended family, we always take things harder because we think it's all about "them" not liking "us", while in fact it is simply the kids connecting with their own parents. Don't feel offended by the fact that dss prefers his own father to you.

 

And the very last thing and the most important thing to do is start building relationship with your dss on your own terms. Take the kids out: just you, your dss and your daughter for ice-cream, or to the playground, or to the museum. Play board games, take him shopping for a sled. Build some time in just for the two of you to connect. Involve him in baking cookies with you. Find something you KNOW he loves (video games? crafts? sports?) and jump in on that. If your husband wants to help (and sounds like he does), tell him to make sure that HE spends some one-on-one time with the boy every time he comes over, and that he allows YOU to spend some time with his son when he comes over. It will work, you'll see. You just have to find your balance as a family. A good start to this would be making a list of ideas on what could help you connect with your step-son, then pick one thing on the list each weekend, and do it! Maybe involve him on making th elist as well. Tell him you'd like to do something fun with him every weekend, give him some of your ideas (Saturday morning doughnuts run? Playing Wii? Taking a dog for a walk?), and ask for his own. Make it sound like great fun, and I hope that will help you find a new connection with him.

 

Best of luck!


New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
Oriole is offline  
Old 02-23-2011, 09:32 AM
 
MsChatsAlot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,962
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Reiterating what others have said.

 

Just be yourself.  Stop trying.  Relax.  Just be you and do what you do.  Allow him to be where he is.  He'll respect you more if you are yourself than if you try to walk on eggshells around him and figure it all out. 

 

My policy with kids is to let them know who I am and let them come to me on their own terms. 

It's not about you.  Remind yourself of that often and just be yourself.

MsChatsAlot is offline  
Old 02-23-2011, 12:06 PM
 
victoriasmommy86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

don't try too hard..

my DD almost 4... is borderline rude to her great grand mother...

and my brother..

and with ex.

Its hard to discipline shy/rude.

She is shy but I feel like she can sense the desperation... Like when great grand mother or ex have a present for her bday.. she wont take it from their hands... so they leave it on the table for her to get when they leave!!!

She I think gets pleasure out of turning her head when my brother speaks to her.. Itsa dramatic effect thing now, and she knows bro will say "oh i still love you if you dont love me, wanna candy?"

I was pretty stern with ex that I can't let her be shy/rude and be rewarded for it.

It pained ex alot.. but he at least has listened to me more than bro and GGM, and she has made the most progress with him.

I would tell her to say "thank you" when he gave her a present and if she didnt he took it home.

Also I encouraged him to stop shadowing her around the playground. it was at the point where she asked me why he was "chasing" her.

Instead of him standing begging her to jump down from the playground tower into his arms... and her screaming "no i dont want you i want mommy" he can sit next to me... and I can say "i caught you the last 3 times im done" and he can offer. or she might ask, him to catch her!

 

Of course DD is still a baby... but he might be liking how much beg for his affection and give yours in return.

victoriasmommy86 is offline  
Old 03-03-2011, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
lilcrunchymama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The backwoods
Posts: 105
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thank you for all of the replies.  I lost this thread after I posted it because I didn't know how to get back to my subscriptions.  Oops.

 

DSS spends a lot of time with his dad when he is here.  His dad plays video games with him, takes him places when he goes somewhere, etc.  Never do I have the opportunity to have one on one time with him.  And seldom when the situation presents itself, DSS is the one that doesn't want to go with me.  We have a major problem with DSS using "daddy never spends any time with me" in order to get his way and make DP feel bad.  That has been a frustrating battle, too.  I have made lots of room for the two of them to do stuff together and apparently it isn't enough.  I think a lot of that stems from his biomom not spending any time with him.  She runs a convenience store and she works 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.  When she takes time off (which she seldom does because she has no one to fill in for her) it is for her own enjoyment and never for her son.

 

We have been seeing progress, but only because I was seeing no improvement and I backed off almost completely.  It was stressing me out.  So, I guess taking the "I don't care" approach (so to say) has been helping.  

 

DP and I do think that DSS's biomom doesn't care for me.  She used to mention things to DP about me, but I haven't heard of anything lately.  Then again, I'm in "I don't care" mode.  And I really don't care what she has to say about me.  She knows nothing about me.  I think she is a far cry from Mother of the Year, so honestly, she has no room to talk.  I mean that nicely.  I vent to DP about her and her choices for their son, but I don't voice it to DSS and she does quite the opposite, about everyone.

 

As to me being another "parent" to him, I have asked DP what role he wants me to be and he said he wants me to be a "parent" to him.  He doesn't want our family to be one-sided when it comes to discipline.  He doesn't want me to always be the bad guy or him to always be the bad guy.  He wants equal parenting roles from both of us.  I had trouble with this at first, but I have gotten after DSS on several occasions.  DP wants DSS to respect me, and he believes this is the way for me to earn his respect.

 

He has been better with the "I love you"s, but I am going to mention to DP that I don't believe DSS should be forced to hug me.  DP was raised very southern and he is over the top when it comes to manners and being polite.  He hates that my DS doesn't say "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" to me.  She isn't disrespectful, so I'm ok with it.  So, just to give you some background on where that is coming from.

 

Anyone have any advice on how to slowly get DSS to want to spend one-on-one time with me every now and then?  I don't want to bribe him with treats, because that is not who I am.


Christie, DP to Kevin, mama to DD Morgen (12/07) & DSS Matthew (7/03)
lilcrunchymama is offline  
Old 03-03-2011, 10:29 PM
 
gingergrltea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 63
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I would just step back,and let him come to you when he is ready,or join his father,and him when they are playing.

 

I think its best to stop the I love you's and forced hugs.With my SO kids,they are nice but I get the feeling that they would feel like they were disapointing there mom by being to close to me.The fact that they have a mom,I would just be there for them if they need you,and join the family for a fun game or movie.

 

Don't worry he will grow up,and you will be important to him.Plus you might be the person he comes to in his teen years for advice.

gingergrltea is offline  
Old 04-09-2011, 12:44 PM
 
mercii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 28
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I really feel for you because I have gone through (and am still going through) the same thing. My step-son is four, and I have been a step-mom since he was 2.. and it has been a really rocky road. First of all we had no idea what we were doing and put too much pressure on pretending things were normal. I think that was a huge mistake on our part. Me pretending to be a mom and expecting him to treat me like a mom was really unreasonable and ended up making me feel terribly pressured and uncomfortable when he was at our house.  After a year of a lot of pain, I finally started to pressure myself less and just "go with the flow". Things got a lot better after that. He still definitely prefers his dad and I still struggle with accepting things the way they are, but we have a better relationship and I don't feel as uncomfortable when he's here.

 

As far as making him want to spend time with you -- don't stress it.  If he doesn't talk about things he likes to do, just initiate something yourself. A picnic at the park, meeting up with Mom's who have kids the same age -- etc.  Don't make him feel like he has to have fun with you. Just do things and let him make his own decision on whether to enjoy it or not. I think once you take off your expectations with him, you might find that he is more "ok" about you than you might think.  Also, try to have family time that includes both you and his dad.  I have heard that part of what makes step-kids love their step-parents is observing a good relationship between you and their parent. If they admire how you treat their parent, they will be more able to trust you.

 

 

mercii is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off