Medical Questions > Relationships > Family Relationships Forum

My Adopted 13 year old Son Won't Connect with Me

Hi, long story short; my boyfriend of about 4 years/now fiance adopted a boy (on his own) when the boy was 3. He is now 13, I've been in his life a little over 4 years because we were friends prior to dating. He never knew his mom so almost a year into it he started calling me mom, on his own, he started joking about it at first and then it was officially everytime. (He was probably 10 or so...) so we move in together.
Since day 1 I have always been the one that does everything with said kiddo. I do all the parades, museums, parties, events, work on school projects and homework every night, decorate the house for holidays, etc. But when it comes to home life I am also the only one that tells him to put his clothes away, do his homework and to flush the toilet when he forgets too. While his dad doesnt really contribute much in that aspect.
So my issue is that no matter what I do, I feel like he doesnt like me. Whenever he wants to cuddle, he cuddles with dad, whenever he wants to be sweet or anything it's all about dad, seriously it's hi mom where's daddy....everyday... I'm not getting any sincere love from him. And everyonce in a while he would ask me to hang with him or show affection, we have more conversations than he does with his dad, he doesn't really talk to him about anything. But still, that is very VERY minimal. I feel like im being ganged up on a daily basis, kiddo and daddy can do no wrong in eachothers eyes...
But as soon as I try to talk about it and say my feelings are hurt, dad sais I'm b****ing and as far as kiddo goes, it goes in one ear and out the other.... kiddo forgot mother's day yesterday and apparently didnt have anyone to remind him. so I don't know what to do... I want to be the fun one but we also nedd to have rules in the house... what do I do?
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 24th, 2014
Extremely eHealthy
It does sound a little late to be either complaining or introducing rules. It sounds as though you made the elementary mistake of treating your boyfriend like an adult instead of behaving like you have two kids and training both of them.
Didn't your mum or dad ever advise you to begin as you mean to go on. If they did they were right and if they didn't they made a serious omission...

It won't be long before you have a pubescent brain to contend with and then the testosterone terrorists are likely to cause further difficulties.
Men and boys alike have a lot in common with certain animals; look at dogs and lions for two examples.

In a family of three it will always be two ganging up on one.

The only thing I can suggest is you start applying the carrot and stick. A little obvious and good-natured play-acting and some stubbornness thrown in for good measure. I am sure you know the form; the old man wants to get amorous so you announce a headache but add the headache might disappear if the dishes get done. That sort of thing should shake up the boyfriend a bit and help him take notice.

As for kiddo, thirteen is the ideal age for him to start learning how to be independent and not live like a pig while he is doing it. He could be living away from home in less than five years and it is time he started doing some of his own laundry, mending clothes, simple cooking and so forth.
The idea will give you the right to ride him harder for his own good and to protect your dignity. "I am not having any boy of mine not being able to cook, clean, sew, etc. and I am not having any friend of his thinking I am too lazy to teach him how not to be a useless man". You might add something about how domestic skill impresses the girls.

Eventually he might see the need for rules...

One good place to introduce rules is at the dinner table. My father always insisted the first rule of meal time was if anything else was wanted after mother had seated herself she wasn't to be disturbed and whoever wanted what should go get it themselves.

As far as mother's day goes I suggest you put a reminder in his phone, leave magazines open where the usual adverts are and suchlike. Don't allow him to forget and if and when he remembers try and leap up in the air, look excited and surprised and grab him and give him a big kiss and leave lipstick on him; chase him around if you have to.
When you start asking him if you have to remind him again as the next mother's day approaches he will start to get it. You have to let him know you see him as a mere male who only has the equipment to do one thing at a time and challenge him to prove you wrong.

Sorry I don't have much more to offer other than you join a club or a night class and leave the two boys to fend for themselves and get you supper for your return. That will give you a good excuse to berate them both if the house isn't clean and tidy when you return.

Good luck!
Did you find this post helpful?