Harlowe's picture

Boyfriend's Parental Skills....or Lack of....

Hi all. It’s my first time writing in. The reason I’m doing so is because I’m having very serious disagreements with the way my boyfriend is caring for his ten year old son. We all have been living together for three years. Ever since my boyfriend became employed again, about 10 months ago, (I work a regular full-time job as well) we have been at odds about too many things but the most serious things are as follows:
1. The after school care of his son. I’ve pushed so much to get him enrolled in a program and my boyfriend insists on allowing him to be home alone for 2 – 2.5 hours. In the last month and a half we have had to deal with a few issues regarding his being home alone including a neighbor who called CPS. There was an interview conducted by a social worker not too long ago. The social worker said everything looked fine in our home and told my boyfriend and his son that in our state there is no law prohibiting children from being home alone. I still have insisted in getting him enrolled in an after-school camp, but to no avail.
2. Lack of discipline. A couple of months ago, my boyfriend got his son involved in bmx racing and they go to our local racetrack three days a week. Because I just recently began going to evening classes during the week, I can no longer attend the practices. As of two weeks ago they’ve begun to get home from the track between 10:30 and 11 at night on school nights! I blew my top when this began happening, dad and I argued, and he basically said that he is okay with keeping his son out that late two days a week and that besides, his son is naturally a night-owl. And yes, he has trouble waking up at 7 in the morning to get ready for school. I just don’t know if it has affected his performance at school yet.

The mother of this child is not in the picture as much as she should be. She has custody of the boy’s two younger siblings (long story) and for whatever reason she does not ask to see or spend time with her oldest son. I have no contact with the mother—she’s a piece of work.

My step-son is not a bad kid, he just needs a lot of structure and discipline which dad flat out refuses to provide. I have no children of my own, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable, and I’m at my wits end as to what to do. Dad has told me that, in so many words, I'm too uptight and he’s not going to change what he’s doing because it makes his son happy. I’m basically powerless because this boy is not my biological son. Sometimes I feel like jumping ship, but I still love my boyfriend I just hate his decisions. I feel sorry for his son and currently I’m the only motherly figure in his life. I don’t know what would be the right thing to do at this point. Puzzled

HurtAndLonely's picture

I would seriously talk to

I would seriously talk to your boyfriend about the childs safety. What if an emergency happened? No one would be available to take him to the ER or to help him god for bid he knocked himself out in the house. Fire? Tornado? or whatever it may be. I mean 10 is not a good age to make these decisions for himself. If your boyfriend is dead-set on it, then I would suggest maybe befriending a nearby neighbor to help him if he ever were to need it or to check on him maybe half-way through his alone time at the house. And as hard as it is to swallow, it is his child and if he is ok with him staying out that late, then so be it. I would suggest that if his grades start falling, then Dad should think twice about it. If it comes to that, then make him aware which is more important, his education or the bmx racing. I have the no discipline or structure in my house too. After lots of long talks about how he is actually not helping his child by always being the good guy bc children need structure in their lives, he is starting to come around. I feel like in just a year, only here recently have we started to make a difference in this area. And I do have to say, my SD6 is like a completely different child. I actually somewhat enjoy being around her now. Try to keep in mind its a parenting error and not their fault, so dont displace your anger where it doesnt belong. Good luck and hope this helped some!!