Family => Dads With Foster Or Adopted Children => Topic started by: Pdub95 on November 27, 2011, 06:52:42 PM

Title: Help for my son and me
Post by: Pdub95 on November 27, 2011, 06:52:42 PM
  :gaah: I am a single foster dad to a 5 yo boy.  I have had R for 7 months now.  The problem is the way he treats me.  At first, he was very warm to me.  Once he got to my friends and family, I've been pushed to the wayside.  I'm ALWAYS left feeling second (or third)  fiddle when my friends are around.  I have to tell you, it hurts.  I am shunned and usually receive negative reactions from R when I try to socialize with him when other adults are around.

I know R likes/loves me b/c he told his teacher he was thankful for me at Thanksgiving and told his DFCS and CASA workers that he wants to live with me.  I recent months, it looks as if permanency with me could become a reality.  His mom left the state and is not planning to return, and dad is no count.  I do love R and want to legally adopt him.

I love R, but his shunning of me worries me to no end.  Will he outgrow it?  Will it get worse?  What do i do? 

If it helps, R is ALL boy and would live outdoors if he could.  I'm not quite the outdoorsman he is, and I try to balance his extracurriculars with inside and cultural activities. 

Sign me,
Dismayed Dad.....
Title: Re: Help for my son and me
Post by: Keith on November 27, 2011, 08:01:38 PM
Hey Patrick.   First, welcome to daddyplace.    I hope you like the site and end up visiting and participating everyday you can.

As we have already talked about this I will just repeat what I have said.   I think it is very important to try and remember what it was like to be his age.  Try and remember how you felt and what your thoughts were at that time in your life.  It will be hard because I can barely remember myself.   LOL

I'm not actually there with you and see this so it's really hard for me to give suggestions.  I have a question for you, Do you think that maybe you might be your just overly worried about this?  Have you asked R how he really feels.  I know he is 5 but really at that age you get nothing but the honest truth from them.   LOL   Sometimes too honest.   :)

Anyway, I'll sit back and read what others say as well.

Again, great to have you here and I hope to see you stick around.  I look forward to getting to know you better.
Title: Re: Help for my son and me
Post by: z_randy on November 27, 2011, 08:36:12 PM
Hey Patrick,
Welcome to DP!  Glad you found us.  I have a son that is 5 years old also.  There are times when he acts like he wants nothing to do with me also.  Especially when his mom is around.  There is a thread on here somewhere where I talked about this.  He was brutal when he was like 3-4 years old for awhile.  Stick with him.  he'll come around.  It's all new to him now and he's still feeling you out
Title: Re: Help for my son and me
Post by: Ramblin' Dad on November 28, 2011, 01:48:41 AM
Welcome to DP Patrick!

One thing I have learned as a dad is not to take my sons actions too seriously, or be unduly hurt by what he says and does. Sometimes he will act out testing the waters to see what reaction he gets, and to test boundaries. I think the best way to handle it is to give him the unconditional love he craves and to talk to him and let him know no matter what you love him, but sometimes he does hurtful stuff and you would appreciate it if he didn't.
Title: Re: Help for my son and me
Post by: Pdub95 on November 28, 2011, 07:16:37 PM
@Ramblin' Dad, yes, perhaps I do take his actions too seriously.  I suppose it bothers me so much because he wasn't like this at first.  He also can turn it off at school (I teach where he attends kindergarten) and is very affectionate when he sees me there.  Maybe it's because I'm all he has left there, lol.  I do tell him I love him....but I will try having another talk about how things we say and do sometimes hurt others.  One more thing that might matter--he is developmentally delayed and functions as a 4-yo.  Teachers and psychologists attribute this to lack of exposure from the parents; so whereas he is 5, he is immature and functions younger.  He will be 6 in January. 
Title: Re: Help for my son and me
Post by: Pdub95 on November 28, 2011, 07:20:35 PM
@z_randy, yes, he is always testing boundaries and knows just how to push my buttons.   He turns 6 in January, so I hope a change is coming soon. 
Title: Re: Help for my son and me
Post by: Pdub95 on November 28, 2011, 07:29:54 PM
@Keith....Scary picture there!  lol   Thanks, Keith, for the warm welcome.  No, I don't remember when I was 5.  I remember painting on the easel at kindergarten and waddling through a gate as a duck in the spring play.  That's about it.  It's odd, R shows no outward signs of a struggle since his separation from his parents.  He's not seen him mother now for over 6 weeks.  He last saw his birth dad 4 weeks ago.  He never mentions them or any of his 5 siblings.  Has anyone had this same reaction from a foster child?  DFCS says all the children have reacted the same way and attribute it to lack of closeness with the parents.  With 6 kids, aged 14 to 1 year, time was limited for each child I'm sure. 
Title: Re: Help for my son and me
Post by: keetedw on November 28, 2011, 08:37:15 PM
Welcome to DP!

I'm sorry you're going through this.  I have a daughter and often saw it was her mother that was pushed to the side as she focused on me.

Others have said it, and I'll mirror it.  Just remember he's a boy that's having to adjust to some rather dramatic changes in his life.  On top of this, you're the one that sets the rules while others are there largely for play/fun.  I would assume he's going to be inclined to spend more time with those that don't impose rules on him.

Think back to school.  Were your favorite teachers those that were task masters that didn't allow you to get away with anything, or those that were flexible and allowed you to be a child?

Treat it as a phase.  Don't treat him any differently because of this and don't pressure him.  He'll come around.
Title: Re: Help for my son and me
Post by: z_randy on November 28, 2011, 08:38:23 PM
Oh the testing doesn't stop at 6 :-)
Title: Re: Help for my son and me
Post by: Pdub95 on November 28, 2011, 08:45:44 PM
@Keetedw, thanks for the advice.  People have told me it's because i'm the Task Master, the Rule Maker, etc.  I'm sure that's part of it.  We had a family picture made over the weekend, and I took the pic while other members were in the pic.  We took turns taking the pics, and when it was my turn to be in the pic, of course I wanted to stand by R.  He'd have no part of it and stood over on the end by my aunt that he barely did wonders for my self-esteem.   :surprise:
Title: Re: Help for my son and me
Post by: Jessie on November 28, 2011, 08:46:30 PM
I teach where he attends kindergarten

    Could just be a matter of overexposure. If he's around you too much than he may start taking you for granted. When you're friends come around, whom he doesn't see near as often, he probably is just excited to see them. I know you say he has the emotional development of someone much younger but it almost sounds like he acts like a teenager in this sense! LOL.
    Also, like you said, you are probably just looking too deep into this behavior. I was beginning to go down a similar road very recently myself. My 4 year old son only wanted to show affection or receive attention from his mother. I was only there to play 2 player video games or to get him something (like a drink or snack). Before too long, he was once again a "daddy suck." Seems they just go through phases...
    Oh and I definitely agree with Keet, above all else, don't pressure him. He will come around on his own if you are consistently there for him...
Title: Re: Help for my son and me
Post by: Pdub95 on November 28, 2011, 08:55:22 PM
@Jessie, great advice, too.  I never thought about it, but overexposure could be part of the problem.  I've only been away from him 2 night s in 7 months.   Perhaps he does take me for granted!  I keep thinking he and I need more quality time together, but maybe we need some quality time apart!   :biggrin: