October 17, 2006,
M.B. asks from Huntsville, AL on October 09, 2006
Helping My Son (5 Year Old) Adjust to My Dating
Need some advice! My 5 year old son is shy and very jealous of me showing affection to anyone else (including my daughter - 12) but especially my current boyfriend. We have been dating for over a year, but because he is military, the relationship is long distance. We only see each other every few weeks and he hasn't spent a large amount of time with my children - I waited a while to introduce them also. My son does fairly well, but gets really possesive - like he doesn't like me even sitting next to my boyfriend. He is very competitive by nature (with everything down to who gets to the car first) and he is a bit on the sensitive side. Anyway, I'm just not quite sure how to handle it. I try to remind him on a regular basis that no one (not even his sister) can replace "his place" in my heart. He just acts out some or becomes totally reclusive when I try to include him in activities with us. I don't want to force him to warm up to anyone, but I'm concerned mostly about the reclusiveness or shyness he reverts too. Anyway.. if anyone has any simliar experiences.. please share~
D.J. answers from Spartanburg on October 10, 2006
Hi. I know how it is to go thru the dating thing with kids. My ex and I split up over 2 years ago, when my son was 5, and my daughters were 8 and 10.
It takes a while to get them to warm up to anyone. I had a rule at the beginning not to have casual dates around them. Recently my boyfriend and I had our year anniversary..All my kids really like him now. At the beginnin, he didnt come around when the kids were there, but they heard me talk about him. Then after a few months, he began to come over just for an hour or two, while the kids were home, then he'd leave. We slowly increased the time he spent around the kids..with absolutely no romantic attention between the two of us..it was just the 5 of us hanging out as friends. He would do things like take my son to the playground and throw the football with him, or just watch him so that Eli could go play. He would race with him, play army with him, catch, etc...Eventually, and only in the last few months, have we begun to kiss each other when the kids are there...still no tongue as I dont think thats appropriate in front of children at all. But this was with my BF coming over several days a week.
If your son doesnt get to see him often, its going to extend the time it takes for them to bond. It's very important for him to spend time with your son alone as well as all of ou together. And if he wants to sit between you on the couch, let him, its not a big deal for the two of you but it is for him.. and if you fuss at him or get frustrated, he will feel he is being pushed aside. My son still sits between BJ and I, or sits on my lap when we're all on the couch watchin tv. It's probably also best if your son doesnt see the two of you share a bed..when your bf comes home on leave, have your romantic time after the kids are asleep then let him sleep on the couch..if he doesnt understand then he's not putting your sons interests before his own and isnt good father material.
I made it clear from the beginning that my children's needs come first, but I also explained to my kids that as much as i loved them, I would date. That they had a right to tell me how they felt about the person I dated, but not to demand that I not date.
It's a slow process, but will work out in the end.
2 moms found this helpful
N.A. answers from Greensboro on October 09, 2006
I know how u feel my 3 yr old son is very jealous. My husband (his dad) and I can't even lay in the bed beside me. My son will get right up in the middle of us and if he can't get between us he will get really mad and not talk to us. He is also jealous over his over brother. So I think it is very normal.
H.S. answers from Columbia on October 10, 2006
I am new mommy in waiting, but have a friend who had almost the exact same problem, so I can only share with you what worked for her. Her 6 yr old son was extremely jealous of the time she spent with her boyfriend and became jealous and sometimes reclusive when he had to share his Mom. What my friend did was this... She made sure that when her boyfriend was going to be around, she talked with her son before her boyfriend came over and made plans with him for later the same day or a couple of days later. For example: If her boyfriend was coming over for a family dinner, she made plans with her son for the next day to take him to the park... just she and him. This helped him understand (not just hear) that he was very important to her. She did the same thing when she was going for a date alone with her boyfriend. After a couple of months her son was able to see that the boyfriend was not competition.
I hope this helps.
C.B. answers from Auburn on October 10, 2006
HELLO..MY NAME IS C...I AM ALSO A SINGLE MOM OF 3 CHILDREN..MY OLDEST SON IS SOMEWHAT LIKE YOUR SON...ONLY MINE GETS UPSET WHEN I GET A NEW BOYFRIEND..HE HASNT LIKED ANYONE I HAVE BEEN OUT WITH..UNTIL NOW.HE DIDNT LIKE JAY AT FIRST BUT NOW HES COMING AROUND TO SEE THAT IF I CAN BE HAPPY WITH JAY THEN HE CAN TOO.HE TRIES VERY HARD TO BE NICE..I JUST DON'T SHOW JAY ALOT OF AFFECTION WITHOUT SHOWING MY KIDS THE SAME..TRY TO GET UR BOYFRIEND TO PLAY WITH UR SON WITH U AND HE WILL COME AROUND..HOPE MY STORY CAN HELP U OUT SOME..
W.P. answers from Decatur on October 09, 2006
My youngest was 3 when I started dating someone new after my divorce and like you I took my time in introducing the kids to my boyfriend *now husband* I think it is the fact that your boyfriend is only around occasionally so they never get any real time to bond. Maybe if he and your man were to do something just the two of them.....go for ice cream or watch a football game with some popcorn or something he will see that this person isn't just interested in you but ALL of you. And him as an individual. I wish I could help you more. My youngest was a bit standoffish of most people at first but warms up pretty quick once he gets to know them. He will start getting more independent soon.....took mine till he was 5/6 to start seperating from me. Hopefully that will be the case with you also :0) Good luck.
A.C. answers from Greensboro on October 09, 2006
You and your date should try not to show a lot of affection in front of your son. Holding hands is okay but donít be making out with the guy (you can do that behind closed doors or when he gets to know him a little better). Try getting the guy doing something with your son, that your son likes to do (without you being there). It will take time to build a relationship.
J.M. answers from Roanoke on October 10, 2006
I am a step mom of a seven year old who tends to do the same to his mother and every now and then still acts very badly and gets quite he use to call her very bad names after his dad and i started dating and we had to sit him down and tell him that his mother loved him and he shouldnt do such things and she was dating someone new and they are wed now but it took a while for him to realize that his daddy and mommy werent getting back to gether they have been apart for 5 years and he still tries to move his mommy and lil brother in with us so believe me its not an easy tesk but they do eventually understand
V.S. answers from Tuscaloosa on October 10, 2006
Hi, my son was 10 when my husband now. His father and I split up when he was 18 months old. I did not start dating again until he was 4, So for a little while there it was just the 2 of us. Before my husband, my son gave me such a hard time about every guy that came around. He even locked one date in the back yard with our dog that did not like strangers. It took about 6 months to get my son to even admit that he like my husband. But my husband made it a point not to show much affection toward me with my son in the room. And at least one night during the week he would take me and my son out. He tried to include my son in just about everything we did. It's not easy. Good Luck!!