Anonymous asks :

I have a clingy step child! Any advice? 

My stepson is 2 and he has known that me and his dad are together since before his first birthday. 

He started staying on weekends whilst I was pregnant and had a great relationship with both of us. 

He now has a 7 month old sibling who he enjoys entertaining from time to time. 

However recently he does not want anything to do with me even if I'm trying to help e.g. get him a drink all we get is "no daddy do it". 

He constantly says "no my daddy" if me and our baby try to spend time with either of them. 

He's started crying if I hug his dad. 

He clings to his legs and cries when he goes to the toilet. 

I'm finding it really hard to build a relationship back with the little man but I'm also worried my partner doesn't get much quality time with our child too as he works all week and his weekends are sent with a little clinger. 

I want my stepson to have a good bond with his sister but feel he's growing to resent her. 

He can't get his head around sharing and says everything is his even when I explain it's both of theirs or it's one of theirs but they should share anyways. 

My partner is exhausted at the end of the day spending every minute possible attached to his side. 

It's a difficult situation as we only see him on weekends.

 

Sex and relationship expert Jessica Leoni said: “I appreciate that you are finding the situation upsetting but we are dealing with a two-year-old child here. Give the little fella a break! He has had a lot to deal with in his short life and, frankly, he needs a stepmum who is a little more attuned to his needs. It’s no wonder he looks more to your partner at times of crisis because I have no doubt that he is picking up on the resentment you feel towards him.

Agony Aunts on Female First

Agony Aunts on Female First

“Let’s not forget this boy is a toddler and he has already had to deal with the break-up of his parents. Yes, he would have been far too young to understand what was happening but that huge displacement and the re-adjustment in his life which involves staying with his mum during the week and his dad at weekends will have taken their toll on his emotional wellbeing. Cut him a little slack. He is only two and he will change in time. What he will respond to is a stepmum who loves him unconditionally and who shows him the same love and care that she displays towards her daughter. I don’t doubt that it is hurtful to you when he constantly looks to his dad for emotional support and treats you like a second class citizen. Believe me, that casual cruelty will go in time if you show him how much you love him and you respond to his moods with love and affection.

“My advice for now is to bite your lip and do everything you can to make that little boy feel loved. Explain to your partner that he is hurting your feelings by favouring him over you. Your partner can work on it, too, and with love and dedication I am sure this situation will change over the long-term. Kids can be incredibly selfish and ride roughshod over adults’ feelings, but, let’s not forget, they are kids - they are emotionally immature and should not be judged in the same way as adults until they are older and know better.”

Jessica is a sex and relationship expert for the dating site, IllicitEncounters.com 


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