Boyfriend has children, one of whom is difficult- what do I do?

I have been with my boyfriend for several years and accept he has children; I have one of my own. However, his ex has been very difficult in the fact that she has not accepted me. For example, the first summer his kids came to stay with us, she put the kids between us and was telling them, "Don't let her touch you!" As if I had a disease or something. Also, she would ask them what I looked like and compare herself to me in front of them. Seem a little immature? I think so too. I love my boyfriend and we have been though a lot- like any relationship. I know with time, his ex will accept me. However, I believe it has done some damage to the children. The littlest one (4 years old), is quite difficult and constantly needs supervision. I am a substitute teacher for elementary school and I have a lot of patience. But, I believe the mother (ex) has talked badly about me because the little one is VERY disgruntled toward me. I don't know what to do! I am willing to do anything because I want a good foundation with these children because I plan on being in my boyfriend's life for the long-haul. Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated- thank you for your time in reading and answering my question.

If you answer my question, I will answer yours! :D


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  • First of all, it's sad that the child's mother has put you in this sort of position. I have a four year old myself, and I know how stubborn they can be when they dislike someone. With that being said, there are definitely ways to help him warm up.

    To start, try to find time that just the three of you (meaning just you, this child, and their father) can do something special that the child really enjoys. If they like baseball, try taking them to a game. If it's animals, try the local petting zoo. The point is that you are in an environment that the child can't help but enjoy.

    Then, try to bring along something special and thoughtful to show the child you were thinking of them specifically. Using the previous examples, you could try a new baseball hat or a stuffed toy of their favorite animal. It's all about showing the child that you care, and that you can be kind a fun and very enjoyable.

    For now, you shouldn't try to take on a disciplinary role. Any behavioral problems should be dealt with solely by the father. However, you should be quick to reward positive behavior and give plenty of support and encouragement. Ask the father if when at all possible, you be allowed to give rewards the child has earned. Just make sure you don't cross over into bribing the child for affection, or they will walk all over you in the long run.

    Finally, don't be frustrated if the child doesn't warm up even when you're putting in the extra effort. If the child's mother has tainted their vision of you, it might be hard to show them the real you. Give it time and gentle persistence. Four is a wonderful age to form new bonds and with time, I'm sure you'll find a way into each others' hearts.