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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)

IleneAsher
IleneAsher writes:
If my boyfriend and I broke up, and I started dating again....my children are more important than any guy.  If a guy treated my kids wrong, he would be gone.  It doesn't matter how much in love I think I am... if he treated my kids wrong, I wouldn't be in love anyway.  If some dude is going to treat you child like that, he will eventually be mean to you.
> 60 days ago

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Ms.Faith
Ms.Faith writes:
Your fiance is bullying your son.  Your son goes to school crying... are you kidding me!  You stated you put your son first, but I dont think you have.  I am also a single parent and my boyfriend would never discipline my child. He knows that is MY job, NOT his.  He is not the boy's parent. You are!  Please give your son a voice, and let this man go.  DO NOT MARRY HIM! Your first priority is to your son, not your fiance! Your fiance is acting like this now, and your not even married.  What's going to happen if you do marry this jerk; he is emotinally abusing your son now- what's next physical abuse? GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!  DO NOT MARRY THE"JERK"! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> 60 days ago

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lindadeavours
lindadeavours writes:
Sarah, this may be a wake-up call for you. If a person, who "loves" you, will torment a child(yours!), what do you think could happen when you're married? This is not a healthy environment for you or your child. You can make it without him.
> 60 days ago

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HBallard
HBallard writes:
That is unacceptable behavior from an adult. lf this is a man whom you hope to marry, taking care of your son should be a priority. Part of taking care of him is his mental health as well. This does not sound like a healthy relationship for you and especially your son!
> 60 days ago

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koriwilliams
koriwilliams writes:
I would definitely run as fast as you can away from this man.  He is not an appropriate father figure for your son.  
Your child should come first in this case.  Evidently, your son is only trying to please you.  Please don't put this child through this torment any longer.  It will come back and hit you in the face when your child is grown.  He will resent you for this, and possibly not contact you when he turns 18 and leaves home.  
Been through it mom in Minnesota
> 60 days ago

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EdieRaether
EdieRaether , Teacher writes:
LEAVE HIM!!!  Your son is not coming first if you stay.  I think I have answered you in the past, perhaps?  
Edie

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brchacon
brchacon writes:
I would think seriously about not marrying this guy.  I'm sorry but if he doesn't treat the people that you love with respect.  How do you think he is going to treat you?  It is only a matter of time before he starts on you too.  He probably has an issue with sharing you with your son and he sees your son as a rival.  This is a sign of a jealous personality.  What are you telling your son if you choose to have a relationship with someone that abuses him?  Just because you love someone it doesn't mean you have to choose to marry him and live with him.  It would be better to be alone than to be with someone who is abusive to you or your son.  And what he is doing is verbal abuse not just bullying.
> 60 days ago

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MrsSan
MrsSan writes:
Leave his ass... He is not worth your sons unhappiness.  You can find someone who loves and supports both you and your child and be happy to be a part of your life and his.  Being mean to him is not showing him how to be a man.  My soon to be husband tells my son that being a man is keeping your word.  He does not call him fat or talk down to him because he loves him and me.  You dont need to address this with him address it with your son and tell him, because I love you, we are going to be TEAM MOM for a while.  TEAM MOM is when it's just us for a while supporting each other and being each others best friend and when we are ready, together we will welcome someone new in our lives, but I will never allow someone else to treat you this way again or make you feel bad.  That man is losing out not you and your son.
> 60 days ago

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surkaikandace
surkaikandace , Parent writes:
Your fiance seems like he has some real issues.  I would tell your fiance that he needs to stop with the negative talk because it is affecting his self esteem in a bad way.  Your 11 year old son has a lot of dealing with peer pressure, and other things at his age, and doesnt need his step dad making him feel like dirt.  If your fiance can't change his ways maybe he needs to go to counceling, or maybe he is not the man your really want to stay involved with for the long run.  Your children are your number one priority.  Kick him to the curb, if things don't change.
> 60 days ago

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morgan1894
morgan1894 writes:
i would leave him you child is your life then   just some guy bullying you child!
> 60 days ago

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Matie101
Matie101 writes:
If your fiancé is doing that to your son you should break up with him or tell him to stop your son shouldn't have to deal win that he is a young boy and if he is over weight you shouldn't tell him that he is 11 he shouldn't care
> 60 days ago

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4ms1jgm
4ms1jgm writes:
By your inaction, you are showing your son that he is not number one. Your fiance is not a real man but an overgrown bully who seems to be threatened by the relationship you and your son have and is trying to undermine it.
> 60 days ago

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MarthaGarcia
MarthaGarcia writes:
I think you need to prove to your son that he is number one in your book, and leave your fiancé, because he is just a BIG BULLY and had not respect for you or your son.  I'm sure your son and you will be better off alone.  I'm sure if you were to marry this "man" things would get worst it can even escalate to physical abuse!  You need to really look after your child's well being and happiness.  God Bless and Good Luck!
meg
> 60 days ago

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Alienhead33
Alienhead33 writes:
Always remember don't puy anyone that is related to you,your family,your flesh and blood before anyone! You stand up for your son you tell him! If you can't RESPECT my son we are not gonna make it in this relationship. If he still can't RESPECT your son he's still bullying him then that's when you should be like we're threw
> 60 days ago

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