How to get boyfriend to understand. (Long Sorry)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Aliciav78, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Aliciav78

    Aliciav78 New Member

    Good morning all,
    I just don't know any more. I have a 10yo with " adjustment disorder with mixed emotions and conduct disfunction" I think there is more but thats all they are saying he has at the moment. OK We moved in with my boyfriend in sept 08. My difficult child has always been angry for as long as I can remember. There is nothing really that sets him off. We just live minute to minute in our house. My boyfriend has a 10yo with asperg. Who he only sees fri and sat. My difficult child lives in the home mon-fri. My difficult child gets upset often and has these fits and yells and is just mean. Well he was going to his dads for the weekend and he wanted to bring some playstation games. He knows the ones he is not allowed to play. Well my boyfriend saw some of the games he was bringing and called me at work to see if it was ok. I explained no he could not bring them, and told him what ones from the list he could bring. Well my difficult child had a melt down and I came home to a mad boyfriend. Well my boyfriend and his son went to play a game that my difficult child is not allowed to play (Grand theif Auto) and guess what it was out of the case. So I called my husband and asked him to look in the games and tell me what ones were in there. Sure enough my difficult child took that one and stuck it in there with another game. I asked my difficult child why he had done it.. He started yelling at me and would not say he had.. Told me every reason other than the truth. So I told him he had no games or comp for a week.. He is so angry, and hung up on me. I know when I get home today it is going to be a fight. My boyfriend thinks I am too easy on him..He thinks I dont put my foot down and I should take everything away and put him in his room with nothing.. How to I let my boyfriend know that I do try with my difficult child. and yelling and taking everything away does not work.... What would you do...
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Oh, crikey, where to start?

    First, you and boyfriend need to be on the same page on this, and other matters. Not that he has to be as strict a disciplinarian as you (or vice versa). Your son is your son, his son is his son, but you are on common ground and where it all overlaps, you need to all be on the same page. You each have a son with problems (different sorts of problems) and this is only adding to the problems. There is just so much that needs to be spelled out, well ahead of time - I'm sorry, but love alone often isn't enough.

    However, you're there now and you're in it. So what can you do?

    A book we've had a lot of success with on this site is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Where parenting styles we've grown up with, that worked for us when we were kids, just don't seem to be working with our kids, this book can help. It can also help with kids who are also doing well. You don't have to make exceptions for anyone. There is some good discussion on this book in the Early Childhood forum.

    With communication with your partner, especiallywhen dealing with more than one difficult child, my own personal recommendation is for you to get your boyfriend to lurk here/post here too. Even if you think your communication with each other is perfect (and this early in your relationship, that's not as likely) I suspect you would find this would help you communicate even better. At least, that's how it has worked for me and husband. He reads what I post, he thinks about it, anything he disagrees with or doesn't understand, he talks about with me. Sometimes we just talk, not just about our kids but about problems in general. I like his fresh approach and it has helped us understand even more about each other and how we think.

    Other than that - maybe read the book, or read a bit more about how it works.

    As for the situation you describe - you dealt with the problem on the surface (which was I think all you could do at the time) and I think you handled it well. But there are bigger underlying problems that need to be handled proactively, and I think you and your boyfriend both need help with how to do this. You need to actually do it (for your son) and he needs to understand how and why you are doing it. And maybe he needs to apply similar techniques to his own family.

    Otherwise, all you will be doing (both of you) is lurching from crisis to crisis and instead of actually dealing with the underlying problems, you will be finding fault with one another. Not heathly for your kids, not healthy for your relationship.

    And more - it is exhausting doing it that way. You needn't be so tired, you needn't be so stressed, and you could find a better way. ALso an easier way.

    Read the book first. But be assured - we do know your story. Very well indeed.

    Welcome. Sorry you need us, but glad we're here for you.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, there :) How well did your boyfriend know your son before he moved in?

    Unfortunately (and my hub is a "step" to my older kids so we did this)--you can't force him to understand, accept, or love your son. He has to be willing to learn, accept, listen and give his heart. Perhaps he should go with you to therapy sessions and listen to the professionals. Give him books to read. See how willing he is to understand--this is so important if the two of you plan a life together.

    If your boyfriend can not learn to accept your son for who he is, it may not be a good match for you. At the time my hub moved in (he lived with me two years before we married) my three kids were angry about the divorce (although it had been quite a while) and unwilling to accept a new man in their lives other than their father. My hub adapated by backing off and not becoming involved in the childrearing, something we both decided. I parented with my ex. Things got easier after that. However, my hub was willing and able to open his heart to three difficult, obstinate, unyielding kids who really didn't want him to be there--and he put up with knowing it wouldn't be easy. Is your boyfriend usually a flexible person or does he get an idea in his head and refuse to change his mind?

    You know your situation best. Good luck to all of you. Perhaps family counseling is a good idea for all four of you, including his Aspie son. in my opinion it was inappropriate for him and his son to play a game that your son can't play, and boyfriend has to be willing to be sensitive to your child's needs. Actually, that's a game I wouldn't let ANY of my minor kids play!!!! Welcome ;)
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I remember what it was like introducting husband and his family into my group.To say the was "tricky". I, too, laid down the ground rule that parenting decisions for my children remained as my responsibility. For us it helped maintain stability and gave the children time to meld.

    This may sound a little silly but it worked wonders in eliminating parenting stress. I sat down alone and made a list of all issues that triggered problems in my household. Then...if it caused problems, I got rid of it. If the children argued about who got to use the VCR, the VCR went to my business or in my car trunk so it wasn't a "trigger". With the games, I would simply lock up the games that are not acceptable. Often the old saying is true "out of sight out of mind". There were some snacks that I simply stopped buying because x would say that y ate too many etc. etc.
    Oila!! No more snacks.

    Blending families is not an easy task. My best advice is to remove as many items of contention as you can, insist on showing mutual respect and most definitely do your best to get on the same page as your boyfriend before thinking about him becoming your husband. DDD
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So sorry.
    I agree with-Marg, MWM and DDD.
    Make the games go away. Lock them up. Give them away. Whatever.

    You and your boyfriend must be on the same page. You will have to sit down together and draft a plan. If you can't, then an appointment with-a professional will be in order. In fact, I'd recommend that anyway.

    Everyone has problems with-blended families but because both of your boys are "different," the problems are magnified.

    I can only add that neither kid should be playing Grand Theft Auto. Especially an Aspie, who has social issues and needs better reinforcement of the deliniation between good and bad.
    We do not allow that game in my house. It's one of my pet peeves. :( :)
  6. Janna

    Janna New Member

    When you tell him that he has no games or computer for a week, do you stick to it?

    That's the only question I have. If boyfriend comes over 2 days later and your difficult child is playing a game, that's BS. I'd be angry, too. If you stick to what you say, then I agree with everyone else, boyfriend is going to have to learn to be understanding.

    I have an SO that has been with me for 6 years, and has put up with ALOT from my children. I don't know why he's stuck around. Seriously, I'm not being funny. If the situation was reversed and these were his kids, I'd have been out of here 5 1/2 years ago. I think he loves me that much he's willing to stick it out, and I know he loves the boys.

    Video games - horrible. We had a PS2 for a long time and we sold it. My boys have PSP's, which are portable, that are kept in MY bedroom and given when I want them to have them, once they've earned them, and then only. Stuff hooked up to the TV - bad.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Any luck, Alicia?
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Grand Theft Auto? For a 10YO? Seriously?

    boyfriend or no boyfriend, that game should not be allowed in the home. That would be like keeping chocolates in a home with a diabetic.