[Solved] Step Son seems over needy
This will be my first post, and I thought i'd try and get some advice about my step son.
I've been with my Partner now for 2 years, and I first met my step son when he was 5 (it was a terrifying experience, but I stuck with it) he's now 7, but unfortunately he seems strangely attached to his mum.
We had a miss-carriage a month back and his dad told my step son while he was staying at his dads. Since then, he's been following her around, wants to be watched when he's in the bath, makes her count to 120 when doing his teeth, wanting hugs at strange times (I.e when he's eating dinner to the point he just dropped his knife and fork while flinging himself at her, or trying to be inside her jumper while walking around the shops). His previous year school teacher made me aware that he was 'emotionally behind' the other children, but has seemed better since I've been on the scene. Even his eating has become worse, His child minder has described his eating as great, just eats like a hungry dog, but when we sit down to eat, he. will. take. forever... mainly because his mum sits there and watches... its taken him over an hour to eat a sandwich before... we did tackle this a few times by leaving the room, and I've never seen food disappear so quick. Other times, he'll be eating and we'll be talking and he'll get up and dance as if to say... "Hey, look at me".
You may be reading this and thinking, mate, that's normal. But he keeps also requesting his mum treat him like a baby, but if i have some one on one time with him, I couldn't describe a more normal 7 year old boy.
The reason I've promoted myself to post is this morning we were taking photos for his first day in Year three. I took a few of him hugged his mum, and said to him "lets get a photo on your own". His face completely changed. It was like looking at Norman Bates, and he refused to smile. But as soon as he got outside and his mum took a photo of him (again 100% of her attention) a lovely photo suddenly appeared. He also decided that when me and my partner had a hug and a kiss to say goodbye to each other, he needed to be in the middle of the hug.
I don't know. Maybe I'm overthinking this but, the last thing i want is for him to resent me, or find it difficult at school because his mum isn't around (if that makes sense).
Before he went to visit his dad he was becoming more independent, like getting ready for school, making his own breakfast etc, but now he's solely reliant on her providing those things.
Thanks for reading and i'll appreciate any comments or advice you may have to offer.
Have you discussed this with your partner?
From what you say, it does sound that his separation anxiety could be linked to the loss of your baby. Perhaps he's worried for his mum, or maybe thinks he might lose her too.
I would talk to the school and see how his behaviour had been there, speak t his dad if possible and find out how he reacted to being told about the miscarriage and if his dad h noticed any changes in his behaviour.
I think you will both need to be patient with, try and talk to him about how he feels and perhaps talk to him about personal space, there are books for children that cover that and I'm pretty sure there will be books that will address miscarriage too...in the meantime, just give him lots of reassurance and hopefullywith a little time and patience he will start to settle down. If not, it might be a good idea to talk to the school nurse or his GP
All the best
I agree with mojo - at a young age, children don't have to deal with death, certainly of people who are young, so the death of a baby (which is probably how it's been explained to him) will possibly hit harder. I would certainly speak to your GP, it may be that some counselling or support could help a great deal.
My experience is somewhat a little similar though not as extreme.
When I came along my oldest (I refer to them all as my kids as to all extents & purposes they are) was 3 and a half. Mum had to do EVERYTHING! It was clearly a strain on mum & when I tried to help my stepdaughter would either refuse or make such a fuss that eventually mum would take over. Magically the problems would end as soon as mum came in. If we tried to have a hug she would get in between us and essentially push me out.
I hoped that when we had the second it would get a bit better but if anything she seemed to sense that her time as the only child & mums focus was coming to an end.
What I realised was that mum felt guilty that my daughter wasn’t going to grow up with her biological dad (despite the fact he’s an absolute w-anchor) and so gave in to all her demands and lavished her with all her time, gifts, sweets etc.
We eventually sat down & discussed the situation & I told my wife how much I needed to have my own bond with my daughter but that it felt like she was blocking me. Happily she understood & encouraged our daughter to do more stuff with me.
Things improved, shes 14 now & we have a better relationship now but her default setting is still to ask mum, even if I’ve slready given an answer. Rather than get in the middle of when having a hug she’ll get in the middle of us when we’re having a discussion or making a decision. Fortunately she’s old enough now to be reasoned with, mainly done by my wife, and she will back off.
So my suggestion is speak to your partner & see if she can support you in building your relationship. It might just take him seeing that his mum trusts you for him to do the same.