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feeling not bonded with my older chidl

Posted by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 7:43 PM
  • 21 Replies

I am 26 years old my oldest child is 6 years old. when he was almost 2 i was sent to prison. i have now been home for a year. while i was gone he lived with my grandparents. since ive been home i have been with him and have receltly gained custody back. i am now re married and have a two month old daughter. we have a nice home and have decked his room out for him but he just acts like he doesnt like me and he is just miserable all the time when hes with me. my grandparents and my mom have spoiled him rotten and my husband and i enforce rules. i go to his school sometimes to eat lunch with him, i carried cupcakes on his birthday, i do all the things i feel like a mom should do but... he has no feelings toward me and i hate to say this but i feel the same. i dont feel any connection with him. i feel so guilty that i feel this way. when my 2 month old was born he was a little jealous but now he just doesnt have anything to do with her either. i see him happy when hes at his grandparents and when i walk in its like doom comes in the room. i dont know if he is just not connected with me because i was gone or if it is just that they let him do what he wants and he would rather be with them for that reason... please help!!

by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 7:43 PM
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by Bronze Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 8:06 PM
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 Your son might be fearful to be close to you for fear of losing you again.  I am sure your being gone had to be traumatic on him.  Does he or has he ever asked where you were?  Open communication is so important.  He needs to feel he can trust you and be open with his feelings with you to talk about anything. I am sure the transition from your parents/grandparents home to yours was not easy for him.  Had you talked to him at all about now being in his life? Assuring him you love him and that you will always be there for him.  He needs to hear and know that.  If you feel no feelings for him it may be because you have not given him the chance.  I think since he is not responding to you the way you thought he might, maybe your emotions turned off.  I am sure none of this can be easy.  I think most importantly you need to find out why you feel no feelings for him. Give yourself and him a chance try and spend some special quality time just the two of you together - try and see what his interest are and start from there.  I am sure he deeply missed you and his hurt he may be keeping inside.  Please don't feel guilty the important thing is you are in his life now.  You need to find that loving mother and son connection and it may take some time but I am sure deep inside both your hearts its there.  Why do you feel he is miserable when he is with you?  Have you ever asked him how he feels?  He may be happy with his grandparents because he is bonded and knew they were there for him.  Now you need to continue to let him know you love him enough to never leave him.  If you feel none of this is working maybe seek family counseling.  I hope everything works out.  Please keep us posted...

by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 8:20 PM

You can google some parent / child bonding activities to do with him.

You can also do some family counseling.

I think both would be best.

I also think kids are not comfortable when spoiled and allowed to do what they want. I think they like it best when they feel there are rules that are going to be enforced.

Part of what you might need to do is to build trust with him.

by Silver Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 9:39 PM

It just takes a lot of time, and like you said, he got a little spoiled at Grandma's. He's not comfortable with your new husband, and why would he be? I would really try to get lots of one on one time with him, play games, read to him, shared activities are how boys bond. Don't give up mama. The worse thing for him would be if he decided you don't care.

by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 9:47 PM
You all did not do therapy when you got out?
I'd really suggest it.... It could really help you both, especially him.
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by Bronze Member on Jan. 8, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Sounds like he just needs to get used to you. I'm so sorry.

by Bronze Member on Jan. 9, 2013 at 8:49 AM
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Counceling would probably be a great place to start.  

by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:09 AM
Have you thought about maybe letting your grandparents continue to raise him? Maybe he feels like your grandparents are his parents and you took him away. I only say this because I was raised by my grandparents most of my life and I feel like they are my parents even though I never called them that, but they did most of my raising.
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by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 10:54 AM

thanks for all the advice. its just hard. i do think that he would rather live with my grandparents but its just not the right thing to do now that im home and they are not in great health. he actually interacts with my husband more than he does me. i feel like he just doesnt like me... like he thinks im mean because i make him mind... idk. maybe things will get better in time. i do think about letting him live with them but then i really feel guilty.

by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 11:19 AM

His grandparents are more like his parents... he spent so many important years with them.  When he went to live with you, he had to change schools, right?  He's lost friendships, playmates, familiar teachers, everthing is different!  You are practically a stranger to him.  And your new partner is a stranger.  And then you've added a new child to the mix... he may not ever adjust.

You and he need to go to family counseling, for sure.  If you cannot afford it, look into Catholic Social Services, which offers family counseling on a sliding fee scale.  Meanwhile, encourage him to maintain a relationship with the grandparents.  Make sure he visits them.  

Find out how they were with your son.  You think they spoiled him a little... how so? Did they shower him with too many toys?  Did they refuse to discipline him, set rules and enforce them?  Is he a nice kid right now, or sort of a self-absosrbed little beast?  If he's a nice kid, then they didn't spoil him too much.  If he's a little beast, the grandparents are probably glad he's gone back to your house.  Hopefully, you and the grandparents can build a good relationship, so he doesn't feel like he's betraying them if he learns to love you too.  

Didn't he visit you at all while you were in prison?  Did you write to him?  Did he send you pictures?  My sister is in prison now... she doesn't have any chidlren, but when I visited her, there were dozens of children visiting their mothers.

I hope you and he can build a relationship together.  It can be done - but it will take time and patience.  And he might be a little scared that since you left him once, you will leave him again.  You'll have to reassure him that whatever caused you to leave before will NOT HAPPEN again.

My sister is in for DUI... sixth offence.  She won't be able to make that kind of promise.

by Mom2boys on Jan. 9, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Take it from his view point:  He left the only home he can remember, he gained a sibling, and a step dad.  He is going through a lot and having to deal with a lot for someone who is only 6 years old.

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