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My DH and I have been together for 3 years. We have a LO who is 6m and he has a son from a previous marriage who is 6. His son lives with us 50% of the time.

My DH is the most wonderful, loving, generous man I know. My issue is that he tries to be more of a 'friend' to his son then a parent as he plays favorites against his ex wife. (They are cordial for their son’s sake, but that's about it). He also had a tremendous amount of guilt about the divorce, which his son has picked up on and uses it to get his way.

Some things he allows my SS to do include allowing him to drink chocolate milk and eat candy/sugar all day, every day. He lets him chose what he wants to eat for dinner (which 95% of the time is different from what we are eating), let's him eat in front of the TV for every meal and doesn't force him to finish his meal and always gives him dessert every night (even if his meal is not finished). I’ve expressed how I’d like to eat dinner at the table, but due to my late work hours I’m not always home until after dinner hour and can’t force them to do something when I’m not around.

He says he gives him chocolate milk because he's such a picky eater that that's the only way to get some nutrition in him, BUT the kid eats everything that is given to him at his mothers!!?? I’ve suggested that he ‘water down’ the chocolate milk with regular milk. My DH said he used to do that, but did not give me a reason as to why he stopped. What bothers me is when the boy asks for a healthy snack or regular milk he says: ‘Are you sure don’t want candy / chocolate milk’?

What really gets me is that he lets him play on the iPad in his bed in the dark for 30 min before bedtime. My DH then has to lay with him for 30-45min for him to fall asleep after. I've told him of all the dangers of giving him the iPad before bed (hurtful to his eyes/causes sleep disruptions etc) He believes that by giving him the iPad before bed that it will make him more proficient with technology and thinks it's a trade off for the fact that he has to lay with him for 30-45 min after because he is wired. When I ask why he doesn’t read to him instead he says that he gets that at his moms and he wants to let him do something different.

I suggested changing the dinner & bedtime routine I was told that it would be very hard for my SS to accept the change. When I finally convinced my DH to take away the 30min of TV (in addition to the 30 min of ipad) before bed there was ZERO resistance from my SS, which led me to believe that this is all my DH’s issues and not my SS’s.

I've brought all of this up to him and expressed my concerns and told him
that there is NO WAY our LO will do the same. He says that I'm sweating over the 'small stuff' and that it’s 'no big deal'. I also think it's a sore spot for him as I'm taking his ex-wife's side in all of this and I think he would feel very betrayed if I were to involve her. I feel like I'm stuck as my SS is not mine biologically and therefore I don't have final say. I'm just concerned for the bad habits that he's encouraging on my SS and how it will eventually cause conflict when our LO is older. How do I get my DH to see it from my side and to grow a backbone and stop parenting his son out of guilt??
 

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We're living with the same man!! Only I'm a few years past where you are. We've been together for 4.5 years, his son was 5 when he moved in.

I don't have great advice, just commiseration... At some point he won't be able to be the "friend" and will have to discipline, set rules, and be the "mean parent."

We have a lot of behavioural issues with DSS that I think could have been avoided had he not experienced a year (give or take) of having everything catered to him (man, the food requests drove me nuts!! and the constant desert!!!) It didn't help that DSS's mom did the same at her place. Two parents parenting by guilt does not make for a healthy, happy, productive human later on.

Best of luck.
 
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