A couple of things. First, I will say that there are different styles of parenting. Some of what your boyfriend does is not good and others, I do! LOL I have two boys and am a parent that likes to nurture I guess. I still get my kids snacks and will cut up fruit for them! They are older than 10! I also ran bath water for my boys at 10. They are now into showers and handle that themselves but I often set their towel out. They are straight A honor students, in the school band, play competitive sports and responsible, capable kids. So, your boyfriends choices are not all wrong. And the others I'd describe as either or both lazy or guilt parenting. When it's EASIER to let them have the snack than demand they eat the full healthy dinner, when they want pop and you just say 'okay' (and also refuse to be a role model and drink it yourself, after all it is a parent who buys it), and buy them things because it is instant happiness without having to really work for it for your kid. Your boyfriend isn't the first to do that. As a kid, my mom had no limits on pop drinking in our house. Mainly because she liked it and drank it herself. I grew up just fine. :>) I gave it up a while ago though as I decided it was adding to my waist line. And I have one son who has it as a special treat and another that doesn't like it at all and it's not typically a regular store bought item for our household. I control that. If I drank it all the time myself, this would be harder. Is your boyfriend or you a pop drinker?
Parents are supposed to do a job though which is groom our kids for being responsible adults some day. And it sounds like again, your boyfriend has taken the easy route with that. Kids resist change and when he tries to give them responsibility, it can be a hassle because they resist or you have to stay on them to get them to follow through.
So, is he a crummy dad? Maybe. But he loves his kid, right?
The coming in and talking to you? Do you have kids? Pretty normal. 10 year olds haven't hit the years where they disappear into their room for long hours and they WANT to be with their peeps. And especially if anything happened where he sees his mom less than he used to. That's REALLY hard on a kid. I would not try to interfere with that. If you were his bio mom, this would not bother you much. You'd plan your date time with your man occasionally and then not be upset that the kids FIND you wherever you go in the house. They just do that. So, you could plan more dates? Or have a routine where you have a half hour of 'catch up' time each day at a designated time (he likes a particular show or has an activity that he does at a certain time? Good time to do it when he is engaged elsewhere).
You can lovingly make suggestions for the betterment of your boyfriend's son. Such as, hey, I think as a household, we should cut down on pop. Know that sugar IS addicting. All who have given it up (ME) knows it is very hard at first. You'll need some sugary juice to replace it and then wean off of that. You can try cold turkey but it's hard (even on ME, an aware adult). My recommendation is to put a limit on it slowly. If he drinks 4 pops a day, make it 2, then 1. Then done and have substitute things he likes. I NEVER thought I'd like water!! but now I do. They also make flavored sparkling water which is an in between drink you can incorporate. Anyway, if you make some reasonable suggestions that are helpful, your boyfriend may start doing some of them. But he's a parent to this boy for good and the boy's needs come above yours. That's parenthood. So, if it's all too much to deal with for you, then yes, I think I'd exit the relationship. good luck
Ya, I agree with Specialmom. And some things to think about.
Your boyfriend has custody. I assume you mean he has sole custody and that happened at least 4+ years ago. So when this little guy was 4 or 5? he lost his mom. That is really tough, and it will stay with a child for a long time. So when he comes in and says, "I love you" every 5 min. That's kind of an abandonment issue. I am wondering if your boyfriend works all day, gets home, is kind of tired, and doesn't spend much time with his son? Which then makes me wonder if when he got home, if he spent some special time with him - playing games, etc. if that might help.
The thing is that he is 10, soon he will be a teenager and the days of saying, "I love you" will be gone. This is really a special age. Try and enjoy it, because there is an innocence that soon will be gone.
Besides Specialmoms good ideas you might also try getting him involved in some kind of afterschool activity....sports, music, volunteer work. In fact, getting him involved in anything is good. Can he help with dinner prep. Does he have any simple chores to do at home (and it can be rewarded)
Oh, by the way, I don't think running the bathwater is a bad thing. But, there is a foam thing that goes over the spout that shows the temp of the water coming out. Its a great way to prevent burns, etc. If you want I can get the name of it. Could be pricey though - I have no idea.
And, I watch my son and his 3 year old. My son leaves for work before his child is up and gets home barely at dinner time. He has only a limited time during the day/night for his kid and he really spends all of his childs waking time with him. I get it, so does his wife. Of course, the kid is asleep by 7:30 or so.
So, there are things that you can do to help the child become more independent. But, overall, I would say the main thing is to sit back and try and enjoy the ride. This will not last much longer. You and your boyfriend will have lots of time together in the future. Best wishes.