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Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

Okay, I need some help asap. Not even sure where to start. Let me start by saying that I have 3 healthy kids, 2 boys and 1 girl. I'm no longer with their mom, but everything is very civil, and everyone is happy and loved.

The issue I'm having is with my girlfriends son.

Before I go any further, let me just say that the situation really bothers me, and I feel terrible already. So please, no righteous finger wagging.

I love my girlfriend and her kids, very much, and we have a fantastic relationship. We have an argument probably once every month or so, but it's normal stuff, mostly just miscommunication.

She has 2 kids from her previous marriage, 7 year old boy, and 11 year old girl. I love these kids, they are super cool, and well behaved.

Tragically, their father committed suicide about 5 years ago. Her son is too young to recall anything, her daughter sometimes needs some comfort, but not very often.

Okay, on to the problem at hand: The way her son acts bothers me. Its very hard to explain, but I guess you could say he is a mamas boy. Its difficult for me to relate to him. Sometimes it's hard for me to be around him.

Again, I'm not interested in judgements. I need advice and ideas on how to foster a healthy relationship with this kid.

Some examples of his behavior would be that he acts like a baby, but only around his mom. For a while he started calling her ma-ma, but not like the charming southern mama, like the way a baby doll would say it.

Additionally he constantly needs her attention and approval, which unfortunately means her daughter is sort of forgotten.

Again, I like the kid, and I would never mistreat him, or make fun of him. I've done a lot of things to try and connect with him. I introduced him to video games, which has slowly become our families identity. Instead of board game night, we play terraria, or minevraft together.

He is a pretty terrible sport though, and in games that are cooperative, he often will take things he has not earned, or will complain when he doesn't get something.

He also does this thing where he acts "cute". He will "accidentally" mispronounce words, or talk in a whispery, high pitched voice, when 10 seconds ago he was talking completely normal.

Again, he only does these things in the presence of his mom.

I've talked with her about this, and she openly admits that he is her favorite. We recently went to Tennessee, and I looked in the back seat and he was clinging onto his literal baby blanket and his 5 year old stuffed animal. When I asked her about it, she said he won't sleep without them.

If I'm being affectionate with his mom, he will always need to come and get his affection from her too.

She and I have talked about this, and she is trying to work on some of the stuff with him. I guess I just need some advice on how to look past the annoying stuff he does, and get back into enjoying my time with him.

I want to be clear: I love my girlfriend, and love her kids like my own.
Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: New member? Introduce yourself here!

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Hi @ManleyDanley and welcome to the ReachOut Parents forum! 

I hope you don't mind but I've moved your post to it's own thread, so that it can be responded to by our community and given adequate attention! 


What you've shared is very clearly coming from a place of true concern, love and care for your partner and her kids. Thank you for sharing and being honest about the situation.

Two things I need to point out - firstly, we are an Australian based service, so our knowledge is of Australian services and practices. We may be limited in the practical help we can refer you to within the US (if that is where you are from?). However, we can still provide peer support from our compassionate and wise community of parents here on the forum. 
Secondly, we work with and support parents of teens (aged 12 and up), and there are often different things going for adolescents than for kids. 

The son that you are asking about is 7 is that right? 


Having said all of that - I want to encourage you that you are doing all the right things! You are communicating to your partners about the concerns, and are also communicating to the son that you love and care for him. 

I am not by any means an expert in child psychology, but it sounds like something could be going on for the young boy. Acting younger than he is, could be a way of dealing with his changing family and any insecurity he may have around this. Perhaps you could speak to a professional about this with your partner, for tips on how to foster healthy behaviour from the 7yo, as well as healthy relationships in the family.  Either a counsellor, psychologist, or online/ phone based service. 


There are some online, or over the phone parent services you should be able to access for free in the US -  - this is one I found, but you may be able to find a more suitable one. 


Hope that's helpful, let us know how things are going Heart