CHILD BEHAVIOR
COMMUNITY
Is my son's behavior normal?
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by Auspiciousme, Nov 26, 2008
Hello.  I was a single mom until two years ago when I met a wonderful man and married him.  I moved to the city that my husband lived and now live with him and his 3 teen-age kids.  It's been a bumpy ride for me adjusting to our new living situation.  But I am quite happy.  I do have one big issue however that is making us fall apart.  
When my son was born, he woke up alot as many kids do and my husband was unable to help.  So after months of not sleeping enough, I talked to his doctor and he suggested that I either let him cry himself to sleep for a few night until learned to sleep through the night or just bring him into our bed so I could feed him quickly and got back to sleep without getting out of bed.  He did warn me that this will become a very hard habbit to break.  I tried the 1st but couldn't do it.  So he came to our bed and eventually my husband moved to his room!  My relationship with my ex wasn't great to begin with and this didn't help and we eventually got a divorce.  At the time my son was 31/2.  He was even more sensetive and scared after the divorce and refused to sleep in his own bed.  My mistake but I absoulutly enjoyed sleeping next to him.  He was the cutest child and I loved holding him and kissing him and watching while he slept.  I would try to start him in his own bed but he would always wake up and come to my bed later in the night.  I had to work two jobs and he didn't see much of me or his dad (he would be in pre-school or with my parents).  around age 6, he finally slept in his own room and occassionally would come to my bed near morning some days.  And by age 8 he stopped that completely.  About a year ago my husband and I attended a seminar.  One of the topics was children's behavior and the doctor (a PHd in Socialogy) talked about children's sexuality at different ages.  He was very much against children of oposit sex sleeping next to their parents and said that some of them in the future my have sexual proplems or maybe attracted to older partners. A mother who was sitting behind us, got up and said that she has let her son sleep next to her for years and what should she do?  And the doctor said that the problems will show at a later time and he will have to see therapy in the future if need be.
Ever since then, my husband says that my now 10 years old son has sexual feelings for me and touchs me in a funny way.  He says on our wedding day, when I was getting dressed my son who was 81/2 then peeked through the door to see me naked.  And he says he has seen him hug me from behind and he thinks he is getting some kind of pleasure from that.  He doesn't like it when my son comes to our room for any reason.  Specially if I am alone.  We used to lay down on his bed (him under cover and me next to him over the cover) and read together and that has become a major sin in our household since I moved in here with my new husband.  If he comes home and see us hugging or sitting and talking, he walks away mad like he just caught me cheating!  I talked to my psycologist and explained the whole thing and she says from what I explain, there is nothing going on and if there is some curiosity, it's normal for his age.  She told me not to mention this to my son and create a problem that doesn't exist.  I even took my husband there to talk to her and she explained the same thing to him but he totally denies that she did!  I also saw my son's pedatrician and he said that these cases are extreemly rare and my son is normal and I have nothing to worry about.  But my husband continues to get mad everytime he sees any kind of effection between us.  We fight over it and we dont' talk for days.  He refuses to see a doctor with me and he says he sees it with his own eyes and thinks it's inappropriate.  I don't feel anything abnormal and that is why I get really mad when he accuses my son.  He is great little boy.  He does well at school, all of his friends parents constantly tell me how well mannered he is and how sweet he is.  His teachers love him.  And he hasn't even reached puberty yet. He is just very affectionate like I am.  That's all.
I now find myself keeping a distance from my son whom I love more than anyone in this whole world to avoid fights in the house.  My son asked me the other day why I look around when I kiss him!  I love my husband and besides this issue, we have no other major problems.  We have a good life and I feel like it's going down the drain for something that doesn't exist.  
Am I wrong?  How can I proove to him the our relationship is normal.  We just really love each other like a mother and son should.  I don't want to put this non-sense in my son's head.  How can I make sure he is in fact normal and put this stupid issue to rest for good?
HELP..!
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Member Comments (102)
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by kayakka, Nov 26, 2008
Sounds to me like Step-parent jealousy thing. Its sometimes hard making that step taking on someone else's child. I took on 4 and its still a struggle even now they're adults. I feel my partner struggles to accept my son (not hers biologically). You sound perfectly normal to me, and the only scary thing I can see is the possibility of shunning him, especially at this important age, becase of what 'other people might think'. Your husband is an adult. Maybe you could suggest he begin to behave like one.
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by margypops, Nov 26, 2008
This has been normal loving behavior and I do not agree one bit with the Doctor at the seminar your son has done nothing inappropiate. It would be better now if he has his own  bedto sleep in, and you share yours with your Husband, I agree with the above post that  it has created a jealousy issue and has alienated your son from his step dad.It is not un-reasonble for a Mom and a Dad or even other Family to sit or lay on top of a bed to read stories so you should put your foot down and do this,you dont have to prove anything..
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by Auspiciousme, Nov 26, 2008
Thank you margypops and kayakka for your responses.  I have talked to friends and my family and they have never noticed any abnormal behavior from my son towards me or anyone.  He is just a very loving boy but my husband makes such a big deal of things that I sometimes doubt myself and think maybe something is worng and I am just denying it.  He has been in his own bed for the past 2 years and doesn't come to me during the night at all.  Our door is closed and he always knocks and waits for my okay to come in.  I knew myself that my husband is just jealous of him and I just wanted someone else to tell me that.  The last time my husband has kissed his kids was months and months ago. Now that to me is abnormal!
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by kayakka, Nov 27, 2008
I had all a kid could want. Plenty of food on the table, toys,clean sheets etc. Except for one thing. I know my Mum loved me but she failed to show it in the way that matters, physically, ie hugs, kisses, caresses...I'm trying to make up for it with my kids but its difficult unlearning the habit of physical distance. You are giving your son the most positive start in life. Don't underestimate the power of a cuddle, though you seem to know instinctively of that power. I don't think your man is jealous of your son, but is jealous of your love for your son, and that it is somehow undermining your love for him. Does HE get enough cuddles?
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by SeriousSam, Nov 27, 2008
Personally you failed to draw boundaries that you should have at a younger age and in some child custody cases if the whole sleeping together thing were brought up it would not have been in a positive light.

I can't and won't guess a third hand account of behavior but yours was not normal nor generally good for your child.  Life is a process of learning boundaries mores etc. and really if you think about it the ones that you have practiced are not those of the prevalent culture of our society and are very likely to have instilled an oedipus complex and a curiousity regarding girls that is going to start with the most available subject.  Namely yourself.

With children and pets the best ways of instilling good behaviors is to start young, the same holds true with bad behaviors.  And honestly you have already shown your child that you prefer him to sleep with you over your spouse the psychological ramifications were not good for either.

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by Auspiciousme, Nov 27, 2008
My husband gets heavy duty cuddles from me all the time!!  I am very attracted to him so I kiss him and hug him all the time.  I expceted the behavior that he is displaying from my son.  I expected him to be jealous of sharing me with his step dad and his children.  But although I am sure he feels a bit of jealousy, he is been very gracious. Whenever I want to buy something for him, he immedeately asks me to buy one for his step brothers too.  I know in my heart that he is a good person and it's all because of all the love he got from me and my family and of course his own father.  To me showing your children how important they are and how much you love them is the most important thing in raising them.  Of course I do teach him bounderies and responsibilities.  My husband had a very serious dad that never hugged him.  He was also sent at age 14 to a different country which he had no one and he had to get used to taking care of himself all alone.  He did well.  But I do think he was scarred.  The past two years that I have lived with him, I haven't once seen him to hang out with his kids and smile and enjoy himself.  Everytime I ask him, he denies it or says he is preparing them for the real world.
I think that's wrong.  I grew up in a very very loving family and even spoiled to a point.  But when I had to stand on my own and face life, I did.  It was hard but I did it.  
Anyway, I never have felt any kind of sexual attention from my son.  He loves me a lot but that's all it is.  He loves his mommy!
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by margypops, Nov 27, 2008
The most important thing isthat you do not let his pattern of behavior brush off on you and reading your thread I am sure you wont ,it is probably that your husband  wants all the attention for himself from you, and finds it hard to share you, he is jealous of your affection towards your son, what you dont want to believe is that there  is anything other than a Mothers love here and he shouldnt be feeling or saying that.to you. You sound okay if he gets on your case about it just tell him he is wrong and walk awy ,dont feed into it like a child ,it will get him negative attention.
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by kayakka, Nov 27, 2008
serious Sam, are you serious? The only ones putting a sexual context in all of this are yourself and the stepdad. But I guess comparing children and pets says it all. You're absolutely right about the custody stuff, and I'm sure its the same in your country where loving parents are treated as perverts by those with issues around intimacy of the non-sexual kind. yes, its a sad indictment of 'civilised' society that we do this, and its hard to recognise in ourselves. Auspicious, you are a brave soul and the above post demonstrates the risk you are taking in being open, real and honest. A pity there arern't more parents around like you, not only demonstrative and loving, but honest and brave as well.
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by Auspiciousme, Nov 27, 2008
Thank you all.  I appreciate the support.  I am certain that my husband wants all my attention and if he thinks something is going on, it's his issue.  I will continue to love my son and I will continue to show him that I do.  I have told my husband that being a mother and putting my child first is the most important thing to me.  I have enought love to give to both of them without threatening either relationship.  And there is nothing sexual about that!