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Question

06 Jul 2011

Stepfather and son problem
Hi,
I am married to my second husband and we have 3 children, a girl (9 months) and two boys aged five and nine. Our son of nine is from my previous marriage. He is a very quiet, intelligent boy. My husband is very strict with him and does not allow him certain things that he would allow our five year old. Toys will be bought for the youngest boy while nothing would be given to the eldest. My husband says that my son does not want to spend time with him and that is why he won''t do thing with or for him in return. What makes matters worse is that my mom in law lives with us and she is besotted with her own two grandchildren leaving our nine year old not included in certain things, just yesterday she bought a toy for our five year old and nothing for our other son.. They would speak to him in a ugly way and normally would have him in tears. He has his fathers last name whoch adds to the fact that he feels left out. Their actions are busy driving a wedge between the two boys. I just want a peacefull family life. We got married in 2005 when he was just 3 yeard old. He has contact with his dad but only sees him in December school holidays.
Please help!!!
Answer 685 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

You know, I don't like hearing "my husband is very strict with him/her" - discipline should be fair and never excessive, and should be identical when administered by either parent, as they should be consistent about such things. And all the children in a family, regardles of who their biomom or biodad is, should be treated equally under the same set of reasonable rules and consequences.
From your description, your husband is being extremely childish, and punishin a child for not ( in his view ) loving him enough - while behaving in a way that would make it hard for any child to love him.
Similarly, your mother-in-law is behaving badly and unfairly, and should treat all the children equally, whether or not they contain her particular genes.
Family therapy, perhaps starting with marriage counselling, is really indicated before these two childish and selfish "adults" cause needless damage and sadness to a child who deserves none of this discrimination
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