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Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by BeStepWise » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:42 pm

I think it a good idea that you wait and don't bring up the topic now it's passed.

It might be possible to bring up the topic before it happens again. An opportunity might present itself, eg you are out shopping and a child elsewhere is hurt and you see the parents interacting with their child, or a story in the news. Anything, to be able to get you to introduce the topic away from the personal experience, before it is about him and his son, when he evidently gets a bit over serious. 

Your gut says you want to deal with this. Trust your gut. Although also know that you are trying to find the line. Some parents are strict. Other parents are lenient. At the extremes neither is good. But within reason there sometimes is not too much wrong with being strict. As long as it's not too strict. So keep enough distance to see if you really find the line, and decide it he is over-stepping it..

What about suggesting to him that it might be good seeing as you now have three children together, that you attend a series of parenting classes? This can be done away from the topic of whether he is too harsh on his son. It could just be a good idea for both of you because you would benefit from being able to co-parent well. You are planning to do something quite difficult. Parenting programmes can be really fantastic. They give you the freedom to become the parents you've always wanted to become, rather than copying your parents style. Parenting programmes give you choices in how you parent as they give options and strategies. Parents who attend them are often so grateful. I have a feeling your partner would REALLY benefit. 

Just some thoughts.

Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by NoodleFan » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:20 am

Good for you.

You have reminded me of a friend from uni who never showed his children any sympathy when they were injured. If their fingers were half sliced off he’d tell them to get on with it even when they were really little. I don’t remember him ever saying they were “embarrassing” though - that seems even worse somehow.

Probably a silly question but could he have broken up with the boy’s mother because of this?

Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by oneandonemakefive » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:46 am

Thank you all so much for your replies. 

I have decided that I am definitely going to address the situation. I think that I will wait for the next episode and use it as a way to explain to him how I don't feel comfortable. I will then also be able to make suggestions based around a real experience. I will be showing his son some big affection too.

Many thanks everyone you have been really helpful and let me know that my gut instinct to step in is the right one.

Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by SW4Aurora » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:43 pm

You have likely posted because your internal alarm is going off and you know that this is just not right. The behaviour described is unpleasant and bullying, which will cause great distress now and emotional damage to his little son in the longer term. Would you allow him to behave this way to your children? That should be the benchmark and if the answer is no, then you need to discuss it with him and make it clear that what he is doing is destructive and does not reflect the good side of him which you see in other situations and adore. If he is unable to accept that then you may need to accept that he will not be a positive addition to your family, and regardless, if it is possible to do so, I would let the child’s mother know what is going on.

Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by Forgetmenot » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:43 pm

I think the fact that you are writing this, suggests it is a red flag for you.  I always try to heed my red flags, as I haven't so much in the past, and in hindsight wish I had.  To view an 8-year-old as an embarrassment would seriously worry me, as boys are even younger for their age than girls are. He could have reassured his son, rather than reprimand him. I am so sorry that you are feeling this way and I do hope you work out whatever is best for you.

Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by Moonlightdawn » Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:48 pm

Am so sorry to read your post, particularly for your partner’s 8-year old boy. Poor little lad, he doesn’t deserve this. I just cannot imagine berating one of my children in this manner. Very upsetting and heart-breaking.

Perhaps your new partner was raised by an authoritarian father and believes this is the way to be. However, we only damage and scar our children when we humiliate them and negate their feelings. We also jeopardize our relationships with them - sometimes for life unfortunately.

Witnessing the rugby match incident would make me question the whole relationship. It would make me wonder what else I’m not seeing.

I think you need to raise it as soon as you can. As one of the respondents say, listen to your instincts. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

In the meantime, shower his son with as much praise as you can - even the little things. Make a real point of it too. God bless him.

Sending you my best wishes x

Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by mymyherewegoagain » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:55 am

I wonder if your partner is stressed/wanting to impress/show he’s not a bad parent etc.. The word ‘embarrassment’ makes me suggest that he feels he is being watched or judged by other parents, even if he isn’t. Maybe he’s over-parenting (unpleasantly) to compensate for this insecurity.

Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by Lulu Luckock » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:10 am

As you both enter this exciting new chapter it might be a good idea to talk things through together with a third party. This will help you to understand what's important to you both and what triggers you as a parent, you can then find ways to work together to the benefit of everyone. 

Establishing some good ground rules at this stage will be key to the success of your future relationship.

Please get in touch via my website if you would like some help to do this.


Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by Lulubear » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:55 am

Yes, I agree that you need to speak to him.  If he is like this now how may things develop in the future for you and your own children as he gets more settled in the relationship?  As for his poor little boy, it must be hard enough for him as it is having to integrate into a new family set up without a Dad treating him like that.  Describing him as an embarrassment in front of you and expecting adult-like manners at the table when eating with you.  He must feel quite uneasy.  It's possible his Dad is putting more pressure on him thinking it will impress you that his son is so well behaved in which case a chat with him should set things straight.  If a chat doesn't change things then it doesn't bode well for your future integrated family.  Poor boy.  I hope he has a less strict mother he gets to spend part of his week with!

Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by Jupiter11 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:17 am

I’m sorry about the situation you’re in. But I would stand up for his 8 year old before you give it one last go/ end the relationship because either way the child needs to know that adults are not going to watch. Show you are uncomfortable by it by your face gestures etc.. it is important that our children know what is right and wrong, then they have the power to accept it or not as children’s rights are important and bully’s are not.

Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by oneandonemakefive » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:03 am

Thanks so much for replying.

You're right there are more examples. He seems to lose it when his son's manners aren't adult lie at the supper table. ``i don't mean he is impolite just maybe not sitting bolt upright or doesn't pass something without being asked. I can't work out if he is just cross about something else and taking it out on his son because he can't or doesn't want to take it out on me or my 2 children?? It's just all very explosive and very unpleasant. I don't think it's reasonable or very nice at all.

I think that you are both right do need to speak to him.

Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by GigiBuffon » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:11 am

Your post wasn’t long - if anything it would be good to have more detail. Is he most of a bully to his son in relation to rugby or does he is always playing too much the bad guy? It sounds as if that was just one example and you have more up your sleeve.

8 is little.

Is he / has he been good to your children or are there signs there, too?

Listen to your instincts and say something soon. Others may be better placed than I to tell you what. I think you would not be bringing this up here if it were not a serious problem.

I would be inclined to focus, in your chat, on what you yourself do / think acceptable with your children and want to have as ground rules, and not pull apart his behaviour that fell short of this too much, to give your relationship a better chance.

I had a very authoritarian dad. I think even the word “authoritarian” legitimises it - he was a bully. It’s left me with a very weird relationship to authority figures, for one.

The example you set by the way you are with your kids should (should) of itself be a powerful message to this new man in your life. It should tell him everything he needs to know.

But have the conversation others here can advise you on, clear the air (he may want some direction from you / to break a bad habit, to give him his due) and try to start again.

Re: New partner is overly strict with his son

by NoodleFan » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:32 am

Oh dear - what a decision.

I’ve no experience but I have read a lot of novels and if that was the first chapter I don’t think I’d be expecting him to be the hero of the story.

But.. you seem committed to the relationship so I think you should try and talk to him. It may have been a one off with him being embarrassed and snapping. But if it sounds like he thinks it’s justifiable then I wouldn’t hang around.

And I want to give his 8 year old a cuddle :(

New partner is overly strict with his son

by oneandonemakefive » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:45 pm

Following a lovely summer holiday with my partner and his son we decided to start to organise our lives so that we have all three of our collective children staying with us on 'our weekends' in my house.
This was great the first few times but I am discovering that he is extremely strict with his son and to be honest is a bit of a bully. Last week he took him to rugby training, he is all of eight, and when he got hurt and cried he told him he was an embarrassment. This is all a shock to me , previously we have all had a lovely time together. Not sure how to intervene for the best. If anyone has any ideas i would love to hear.

Sorry for such a long post.