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education.com asks:
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How to stop my fiance from bullying my son? He constantly picks at my son about how he eats, plays sports, & utilizes his time when he is home.

"He calls my son fat, tells him he needs to run a mile everyday. My son is 11 & it is really starting to bother him to the point where I see his self esteem is being affected. Somedays it will start when he is getting ready for school. My fiance will yell at him for eating breakfast or getting dressed too slow. He says it is discipline. My son has never missed the bus ever so it is not like he is that slow that he is making either of us late for work. In the mornings he is always ready before he needs to leave for the bus stop & has time to watch a few mins of tv. I seem to be referee & tell my fiance that he is taking it too far. He will yell at my son to the point my son is going to school crying. How do I get my fiance to know that his discipline is bullying? My son comes home from school with his report card with straight As & my fiance doesn't tell him great job instead he will make a comment like well that is the way it is supposed to be you shouldn't get anything less than that...i need help on addressing the issue to my fiance because anytime i try he tells me not to interfere he is just teaching my son to be a man. I want my son to be & grow up happy. I have also told my son that he comes first no matter what and that he can come to me about anything. I am in the middle & not sure if this can be fixed or if I should leave him. If anyone has any advice I would love to hear it."

Asked by "Sarah" via email.
In Topics: Bullying and teasing, Discipline and behavior challenges, Blended families
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jul 23, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

It sounds like your fiance is being extremely tough on your son.  It's easy to see how you would feel like you are truly stuck in the middle.  You have to trust your parental instincts in this case.  It sounds as if your fiance has gone beyond bullying, and is actually verbally abusing your son when he calls him fat.  It sounds like you feel that many of the things your fiance says are unfounded since your son seems to follow the rules most of the time.  Since you mentioned that your son's self esteem is being affected and your fiance's words are causing him to cry, it's time to put an end to the abuse.  

Has anyone else noticed the way your fiance treats your son, or does he only say hurtful things when he's alone with your son?  If that's the case, its a good sign that your fiance knows that what he is doing is wrong.  

As a parent it's your job to protect your son, so it's time that you sit down with your fiance and set some ground rules.  Explain to him that what he is doing is hurting, not helping your son.  There is a big difference between discipline and bullying.  What your fiance is doing is not discipline, if your son is not learning anything positive.  Explain how your son feels when he says those things to him and try to explain that the emotional damage he's doing now can easily follow your son for many years.  Tell your fiance the exact behaviors he's doing that will no longer be accepted in your home.  Explain to him that if he's not willing to follow those rules he will not be allowed in your home.  Your son deserves to grow up in an encouraging and positive environment.  Not one in which he is constantly being belittled.  

It may also be a good idea to take a parenting class with your fiance so you can both learn together appropriate ways of discipling an 11 yr. old.  Our national database has many referrals for parenting classes. If you would like a referral for your local area, please feel free to call us anytime.  We look forward to hearing from you.  Good Luck!

Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000



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Additional Answers (74)

katrowland
katrowland writes:
If this is the way your fiance is already treating your son, it will never get better, only worse. To be blunt, he does not love your son and probably never will. If you love your son you should end this relationship now before your son is completely destroyed by this man. He will possibly have behavior issues arise if this continues. If you tell your son that he comes first, you had better show him that you mean what you say, or your word will mean nothing to him. I have seen this happen with friends and it did not end well for the child. When you find someone that will accept and love your child, you will know it and so will your son. Please don't wait until the emotional damage is done.
> 60 days ago

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AnaSoto
AnaSoto writes:
Please, just leave him, if he do not resepect your son now, he never will. Your son is your treasure. Do not let any boby take your treasure away from you! Run away of Bullying that is more destructive than drugs.

GOD can have a better person and future for you and your son!
> 60 days ago

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chubbyl3l3
chubbyl3l3 writes:
Reading a question like this makes my blood boil, if you were smart and really put your son before your "so called fiance" you would boot him right out of your life.  You are not desperate, you have a loving son who at this age needs or any age needs a positive force in his life.  You are allowing this to happen and its disgusting.  Your fiance needs a good lesson taught to him and thats to get dumped like a hot potato.  He may do something very serious to him and then it will be too late.
> 60 days ago

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mydaycare
mydaycare writes:
Do not marry this guy...once a bully always a bully..  He is going to pull you apart and give your children pain that maybe life long!!  Its a power trip...I stayed with my husband and we are now in our 60's.  Much better life if I had faced my responsibilities and raised my kids my way with out interference from a bully!!!
> 60 days ago

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mydaycare
mydaycare writes:
Do not marry this guy...once a bully always a bully..  He is going to pull you apart and give your children pain that maybe life long!!  Its a power trip...I stayed with my husband and we are now in our 60's.  Much better life if I had faced my responsibilities and raised my kids my way with out interference from a bully!!!
> 60 days ago

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sophiavannessa
sophiavanne... , Student writes:
I honestly do not think you should get married to this guy. If he picks on your son,that is not good. Imagine if you got married to him. He would pick on your son everyday.He does not need to grow up with that. If he does he might do the same thing when he grows up. You may not follow this advice. But if I were you then I would talk to your fiance in a seperate room and tell him how you feel about him picking on your son. He may stop. He may not. Nobody can tell the future. But I can tell you this: THAT IS NOT GOOD FOR YOUR SON!!!!
> 60 days ago

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carmey
carmey writes:
This sounds like abuse.  This problem can only intensify as your relationsip progresses into marriage.  What good can you anticipate, hereafter.  He's already demonstrate bad behavior.  These are more than warning signs.  If he doesn't respect you son - a product of you, how will he treat you after marriage. He needs to hit the road.
> 60 days ago

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cheetahmom46
cheetahmom46 writes:
Get your son away from this abuser.  He's a loser.
> 60 days ago

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loring
loring writes:
I am a new member and just read your question.  I certainly hope you left that bum!  Never, Never put a man before your child!  You and your child are being bullied and you are/were allowing.  I hope you are out of the situation.
> 60 days ago

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StitchedRose
StitchedRose writes:
OMG DUMP UR FIANCE.
he sounds rude and inconsiderate!
an 11 year old boy is just learning new things about life and he doesnt know much about the world yet so let him discover new things. he needs to make mistakes in order to learn, and having someone bully him through it is NOT something he needs at this age. i can not believe you arent already broken up with this man if he treats your son like that. i hope you know he will start doing that to you once youre married and he will probably move up from emotional abuse to physical. please please please dump him, for your own sons saftey and your own saftey.
> 60 days ago

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LizSpann
LizSpann writes:
As Dan Savage would say "dtmfa." Dump the M-Fer already. That is unacceptable emotional abuse.
> 60 days ago

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ekkolittle
ekkolittle writes:
Give that man the Boot. Blood is thicker than water.  You have a responsibility as your son's mother and no legal, nor religious ties to "Napoleon" the fiance. Napoleon is giving you a free preview of what your marriage to him will be like, so take the hint and dispose of this garbage relationship so that your kid can live a decent life.
> 60 days ago

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sonofmine2
sonofmine2 writes:
Your son should come first before your fiance.  He needs counceling both separately. I have seen many cases where the boyfriend fiance has issues and mistreats the step son or girlfriends son. Some even abusing them, and taken too far in some instances death. Taking it too far.  this is emotionally abusing to your son. It can effect him on how he grows up if it doesn't stop.  Your the voice for your son.
> 60 days ago

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candices27
candices27 writes:
Sarah,

I have also experienced this same type of immature behavior with my husband and my son (from a previous relationship). My advice to you is not to leave the relationship because that doesnt solve the problem. In fact it might even leave a negative impression on your son about who is mother is as an individual and how to stand up to bullies in the future (but in the right way). Your going to have to stand up to your husband and let him know that although you appreciate him trying to be a 'father figure' or 'role model' towards your son, but he's doing it in a way that you dont agree with, he needs to lead by example and act like a parent NOT AS ANOTHER CHILD! and dont be afraid to let him know that his behavior is hurting your relationship and could potentially be its demise. But be prepared for the negative and stand for what you believe in dont give in because you feel he may leave, because there just might be a better guy out there for you :0) I hope this helps!
Candice
> 60 days ago

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liciacutie
liciacutie writes:
i think you should talk to your son and tell him that you believe dont let anyone put him down keep doing a great job because conflict do affect a child's mind because he scared of what the stepfather is going to say..and to  your fiance tell him the putdowns need to stop because its affecting your son selfesteem and he going to take that for granted its going hurt him for the rest of his life same situation when i was younger but things change now just have a family meeting and talk it out because its going to worst.
Resources:
> 60 days ago

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jadenmccoy
jadenmccoy , Student writes:
im not an expert but if you tell your fiance to stop bullying him (which he is as well as emotionally abusing him) and he doesn't then you need to leave his sorry behind. Your son doesn't need to have a father figure like that. And if he treats your son like that how is he treating you? Probally the same way right? Do what is best for your son. He needs you!!!!!!
> 60 days ago

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cbaynehelper
cbaynehelper writes:
i think that you should take over and tell youre fiance and tell him to stop if he does not stop you should kick him out the door
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> 60 days ago

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cbaynehelper
cbaynehelper writes:
i think that you should take over and tell youre fiance and tell him to stop if he does not stop you should kick him out the door
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> 60 days ago

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momaof7
momaof7 writes:
Well- the first thing I want to say is, "tell your fiance to either be a 'father figure' to him, or you will find someone who will". But I know first hand its not that easy!! I had two boys before I met my husband. One of the boys, only 8 years old, isn't as 'manly' as the 12 year old. He likes to play with his little sister indoors and watch t.v. and play video games. Beacause my husband believed that boys should be outside playing baseball, or getting muddy, he would constantly put my son down. And yes, he would also cry about it. my husband and I would fight for endless hours about this. It really did a number on our whole family. Finally I sought help from professionals. They told me to tell my husband to put aside an hour or two every few days just for "chris". They would at first just sit there, not talking, watching tv. the tension was horrible!!! So i made a suggestion! I told them if they wanted dinner THEY had to cook it-- together... it was probably the worst dinner I had even eaten but it turns out they had that in common ( neither could cook... AT ALL ) So once a week was their night to cook, it started a weird ( I say weird b/c I didnt expect that) bond. They would go fishing and shopping together to find things to 'cook' on their night. 5 years later they still have the night we all call.... "Can We PLEEASE get pizza!!!"
> 60 days ago

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EdieRaether
EdieRaether , Teacher writes:
Leave him!!!  May I repeat....leave him unless he changes drastically and fast.  You are the parent and his is saying that YOU are interferring?   Are you kidding me.  You are his parent and you are responsible for his well being.  Putting a child down does make him a man and has nothing to do with discipline.  Your son is being seriously harmed in that environement and you must not tolerate it any longer.  
Dead serious. You will feel remorse or guilt for the rest of your life
if you allow this any longer.  This man needs help.
> 60 days ago

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