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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm dating a guy that has a 12 year old son. We've been dating for almost a year now and it's definitely been interesting and different. Him and his son's mom have a good relationship for their son (they haven't been together for like 8 years). I have never dated a man with a son, so it's been really different for me. I'm not really sure where the line is....what I can do, what I can't do. Luckily, his son is nice and behaved, so I don't have to worry about discipline or anything, but what's my role? Where do I stand?
 

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Moved to BSFP <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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First of all, welcome! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">:<br><br>
and second of all... If things are still going well a year into the relationship -you are doing very well as it is. Unless you are asking him to call you "mommy", you'll be fine.<br><br>
I'll go look for threads that have covered this topic.<br><br>
In the meantime, here is what works for us: dsd's dad does the discipline in our house, and I get to do the fun stuff. He offers guidance, I offer consolation when she's upset and needs a shoulder. I cook and clean, and he reminds her to do the chores. I drive her wherever she needs a ride, but she needs to ask him permission on controversial stuff (parties, boyfriend's house, friends we haven't met). We both help her with schoolwork (math/science is my thing, and language/social studies is his). I offer advice only when she approaches me, he does the "meaning of life" lectures <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">. I believe in balance, and allowing the child to guide you through what he/she is comfortable with at the time.<br><br>
Everyone's place is different, but that's just what works for us.
 

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As someone fairly new to this forum myself, welcome!<br><br>
Oriole rocks as you can tell! :) I couldn't agree more with her philosophy of letting the child set the pace. In addition, there has to be really open, honest communication between you and your bf. Have you asked him how he sees your role in his son's life? What is he comfortable with you doing?<br><br>
I've really tried to follow my husband's lead with his children and both support his parenting style while filling in the nurturing maternal pieces that aren't necessarily his strong suit. Step-parenting is probably the most challenging, complicated role I've ever been cast and it does take a lot of hard work and compromise. But the constant, honest, open communication with your bf is truly the key.
 

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Welcome!<br><br>
I'm a first-timer when it comes to dating a man with children. We have also been dating almost a year. It's different and interesting, for sure!<br><br>
My DP has one of his girls, a 15-year-old, living with him. I'm a responsible adult in her life, but I am also very playful and fun. I leave all of the discipline to DP. I set rules in my home, and make sure DP is clear on them so he is armed to enforce if there are issues (rare). At the same time, I endeavor to make my place a cool and welcoming place to hang out. DP and I make sure DP sets the ground rules before I am on my own with H. We strive to treat H with respect, giving her as much control and as many choices as possible, as well as balancing family time with one-on-one time in all configurations (DP and H, me and H, me and DP). This is working for us right now!<br><br>
Blessings,<br>
Phanta
 

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We do things a bit differently. Ideally, I'd love for dh to do all the discipline stuff, but it mostly falls on me because the kids are young and I'm the parent around all.the.time. I talk with dh about major stuff, but the kids and I have found our own ways of interacting, for better or worse.<br><br>
Start out slow. Let him set the pace as far as what he's comfortable with. Talk to him (or more often, listen to him).<br><br>
Above all, figure out what your parenting philosophy and style is, and what your dp's is. Are they the same? Different? Does kid noise bother you but not him? Does he have issues with cleanliness and you don't care? Differences like this need to be addressed early, or you're going to go crazy, your dp will be resentful, and the child will be in the middle.<br><br>
My stepsons live with us, and dh and I had very, very different parenting styles, which I didn't know at the time since I had no kids. The first night I had dinner with them I ended up in the bathroom crying because they were running laps around the house and the noise was driving me bonkers. Dh didn't even notice! This should have been a red flag that we needed to come together on our parenting styles ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all your words and advice! Yea, so far - I've acted more like the "friend" figure. We joke around, I ask him about school and girls and sports. I'll cook for him and he'll even sit in the kitchen with me and talk to me. I mean, he hasn't done anything for me to be like, "I'm going to tell your dad" so I guess I've been lucky so far. I mean, I'm not officially his step mom - so I feel like I can't be giving him rules or orders. Yea, I've asked him to help clean up the kitchen or to watch his cousin, etc., but nothing too serious.<br><br>
I guess I'll just see as it comes. Thanks for your suggestions!
 
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