"Whinny Child Is Making Me Crazy"

Updated on September 15, 2012
A.W. asks from Cincinnati, OH
12 answers

I am in a relationship with a man who has two young children. I get along great with his daughter but his son is who I am having problems with. He is always whinny and if someone leaves the room he starts screaming. I have tried to connect with him but I can't take the constant crying and whining. I have been around children all my life and I have never had a problem with bonding with them until now. So my question is how do I keep from getting so upset with my boyfriend's son?

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answers from Washington DC on

you should move on, because any man who continues to date a woman who gets impatient and upset with his crying little boy clearly has his priorities wrong.
keep looking until you find jus the right selfish narcissist.

13 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

The kid doesn't like you. He doesn't want to like you. You have NO RIGHT to get upset, because he's not your son. The man obviously cares more about dating, then his children.

This one big recipe for disaster, and both parties are more concerned with how they feel, then the how the kids feel.

Time to move on. Hopefully, you will find someone without kids, so you don't feel the need to be "upset."

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Move on or tell your BF that you prefer to see him only without his kids and keep your relationship casual.

Not everyone is stepmother (or even mother) material and it appears you have very little tolerance for the emotions of a young boy. Most kids go though a whiny stage and separation anxiety, something that can be intensified if his parents just recently split up.

IMO if you cannot accept his kids for who they are, given that they are so young and many young kids will be traumatized for a while when their parent separate, I think you may want to consider looking for a mate that has no baggage.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Well, we need ages, because if he's a very young child, it's somewhat normal.

I'm going to be blunt, and this is a bit of a rant and not all directed at your question, but this situation really gets to me. I'm speaking as a child of a serial dater, and I had to pay the emotional price for the revolving door of men my mother dated.

Honestly, if you can't or don't want to handle it, then you need to move on. Don't date someone with kids unless you're going into it with the understanding that you are building a relationship with and could become part of a FAMILY. It's a huge responsibility, and anyone that just dates people with kids without thinking about this, or those with kids who date "for fun" and involve their kids in the relationships too early are being selfish.

So, you can accept that these young children have gone through a lot, are not perfect, and have their own feelings about things. You can learn about child development and age appropriate behavior. Or you can date people who don't have children, so you don't have to deal with the extra responsibility.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

You don't mention ages so we can't even tell if his behavior is age appropriate.

That you don't mention his age, which is important to this question, leads me to believe you haven't a clue about raising children. Learn!

As parent who divorced it makes me sad when people get all into a relationship with the parent ignoring in a way that the children are part of the deal. There is a chance you cannot change who this child is or how he relates to you. That is what I fear you fail to take into consideration.

In the end a man who will put you before his children is not a man you want and a man that will not put you before his children will not want you.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I've been very fortunate to never have been in your position. So take my comments with a grain of salt. But honestly, his son should come first, and if the boy's mom is divorced from his dad and daddy's bringing around another woman, I'm sure this is stressful to the child. If discipline is inconsistent between the two homes, that will make the whining worse. My personal opinion -- and this is not meant to offend -- is that the dad should be focusing on his son, and if you want to help the child, try to understand what he must be going through.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You stop dating men with kids who don't separate their father time and their dating time. Especially kids who go around making horse noises.

Oh, what's that? You meant whiny and not whinny? Regardless...if you don't have the patience of a teacher or a mother, don't waste your time dating people who have children. It's much harder to like children who aren't yours and unfair to the kids who have to share their dad time with someone who isn't really into them. Unless you're getting married, you have no business spending a lot of time with his kids anyway. His parenting time is for parenting. He can date when they're with their mom (or if she's not around, when he gets a sitter).

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

To answer your question? Leave.
To me it sounds like he has a problem with you as well. Time to move on.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

If he's crying that much, perhaps he has some sort of emotional disorder and needs to be evaluated by a child psychologist, psychologist or pediatric neurologist.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Whiny kids are hard when they are your own and you love them because they are your own kids. It's got to be even harder to deal with a whiny child who is not your own. The only thing you can do is to try and teach him to use his words instead of whining a screaming just like you would do with your own children. The poor kid prob. has separation issues due to his parents being apart and another woman always around.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Wow, you're getting a lot of judgment here... I was in a relationship with a man who had two young children, and still am. Those children are now 27 & 30. I remember some behaviors they had along the way that I could have used some useful advice on!

I would suggest talking calmly, when the kids are not there, or at least when the boy is not upset, with your boyfriend. It's best if the two of you can talk over these types of behavioral issues and come to some agreement about ways to handle them. If that isn't possible, if he either won't discuss or the two of you can't agree, now that is a "red flag".

As far as some tactics to try, this boy does seem to having some issues with self-confidence, insecurity, or not believing he is being heard. As with all negative behaviors, you want to go overboard in acknowledging when he is being good. Rewarding appropriate behaviors every time. And paying less attention to the negative.

So for example, if dad is going to leave the room, maybe he tells the boy that he is leaving and that he'll be right back, then he leaves, and any crying is ignored. If he leaves and the boy does not cry, he gets a big "good job!"

Maybe the boy needs more alone time with his dad, while you and his sister spend time together.

And, I've seen whiny kids that didn't have any specific reason to be that way (no divorce/separation/new stepparent). It just seemed to be part of their personality. Then, he will likely grow out of this phase and you will have a lesson in patience until that happens. Remember that he is little and you are the adult, and if it gets overwhelming, add more alone time for you. Just go do something else for a bit.

Good luck to you. Being a stepparent is one of the hardest things I've done in my life, but in the end, rewarding. I now have two wonderful young adults in my life, their spouses, and five grandchildren!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

Don't get annoyed, talk to him and teach him how to express himself in words rather than half cry and half words (which is what whining is). He is not getting the attention he needs or learning how to wait, so you can try to bond with him by teaching him how to ask for things without the whining.

1 mom found this helpful
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