How to be a parent to a child that isn't yours?
Ok so my and girlfiend have been together for a couple months now, and I knew she had a child when we started out. To be honest I didn't think much about her son then. Now things have grown more serious, this is great for me as she is making me happy. I realised though that these increased benefits come with more responsibilities, now I am playing a more active role with the childs care, which I don't mind I actually like children. But I never had a child and just taking care of him don't mean i'll be a good parent. Have any of you been though this or can offer insight?
You like children, So, Its not a big problem, to look after that child, belongs to your girlfriend. Even, It has become a responsibility for for you, to become a good parent. I might have not faced a situation like this ever, But, I have seen others, facing the same situation. We must act according to the situations.
i see your point, naturally not many would want to be caught up in it. But since i have become the main provider, it just comes natural. She takes of him in reality i just offer mostly financial support when her purse is a bit on the empty side.
It may be a good work done by you, to give her financial help, when she has no money. But, she also expects some psychological support from you, that you will take the responsibility of her son too.
I don't have much experiment on kids, but I used to helped to look out a few kids when I was in high school, most of them are disasters, so the way I owned their respect was be their friend, talk about kid stuffs and some meaningless stuffs, and sometimes I gave them some advise and help them out with their homework. And I would stop them from doing anything silly and dangerous, but I didn't yell at them for anything though, kids don't know what is right or wrong until an authority figure tell them.
i used to work at a community center, where i did something like a mentorship. You are right about authority figures as a few kids i met had a warped view of right and wrong until i talked to them. Some didn't care and knew they were wrong.
My husband use to be in your spot. When myself and my first husband divorced my 2 boys were just under 1 and 3. He had never been around children and had no idea what he was doing or what he was suppose to do. My advice to you is sit down and tell her how happy you are that things are getting more serious, and ask her what her expectations are. For quite a while I was not okay with my husband (now) disciplining or doing any of the big things. It was nice that he would offer to help make meals or just the simple things. So have a good discussion with her. Find out what she wants and doesn't want. If things continue seriously, and your relationship lasts you will learn to really care about the child. It doesn't happen over night.
Being in a relationship with a mom can cause a lot of damage if things go wrong. Personally I would say until the relationship is serious (more than a couple months) avoid getting to involved with the child. If you and his mom break up it will be hard on the child if he has become attached to you. Attachment is great if you are in it for the long haul, but at only a couple months in you have no idea where the relationship is going.
i see, didn't thought about the attachment part, me and her do talk about where she ideally sees herself in the future, as i also tell her my future plans. But i usually have doubts, i don't know about her but she seems content.
definitely agree on the not too soon thing. We were six months in when my hubby met my son for the first time. I didn't want him to get attached and then lose another male role model.
I met my husband when my son was 6 years old. He's a bit younger than me and at that point had no children of his own yet. At first, he took on the role of "friend" not parent. As things became more serious, it sort of unfolded naturally and it was never forced. We started by focusing on ways for them to bond with each other. We went on a weekend camping trip for example and he and my son pitched the tent together and cooked on the fire etc. My son had never been camping and was eager to listen and learn and it helped them kind of establish that role. As time went on, we had a baby of our own and he has always worked to be very careful to not show his own son favoritism. My son naturally refers to him as his stepdad now - on his own.
When I was growing up I frankly did not like my step father at first and that role was forced on me and there was years of tension between us because of it. He chose to adopt me and I was given no say in the matter and my feelings were not considered. While I know as an adult that it was my mother's choice to make - I still felt pushed into it. I did not want my son to ever feel that way, so my advice is to do what I did - let it unfold gradually and naturally. Focus on bonding activities, things you both enjoy (my boys it was superhero stuff and star wars).
You'll see by his reactions when he grows to trust you fully, so just be patient and focus on setting a strong example.
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