Bonus-dad needs own tradition with bonus-son
Question: My 8-year-old bonus-son and his dad love the Miami Heat. They never miss a game. About a month ago, when trying to figure out what to buy him for his birthday I found a jersey I knew he would like, so I bought it for him.
In my attempt to coordinate efforts, I called his dad and told him about the jersey. He was very nice and thanked me. Three days later, his mom and I see Dad and Child at the mall, and Child is wearing the exact jersey I bought him -- and it was brand new. I'm trying to support this guy, and he stabbed me in the back. How can I cooperate if he doesn't?
Answer: What I'm about to tell you, I ask you to listen to with an open mind, because it hasn't been explained quite this way in most of the information you read about bio-bonus co-parenting -- and it's a little subliminal, so go with me on this one.
One of the keys to successful co-parenting is for the bio and bonus parent to establish their niche with the child and not cross over it. The father's niche is basketball with his child. That's what they do together. Without knowing it, you crossed over into Dad's niche with his son. As it was, Dad was polite to you, which was commendable, but he also one-upped you, because his perception was that you one-upped him by buying the jersey in the first place -- you entered his territory.
Here's the really crazy aspect -- if Mom would have called Dad, told him about the jersey and explained that she was going to give it to support Dad and son's mutual love of The Heat, the response might have been different. You, on the other hand, are a different story. Even if you all get along, you're in direct competition when it comes to his son. This unspoken competition gets less intense as the kids get older, but when they're at the age of your bonus-son, you're right in the thick of it.
Of course, we all do our best to put our insecurities aside in the best interest of the children, but it certainly isn't easy -- especially if you're sharing custody with an ex who has remarried and your child actually likes this new guy. So, my advice to you, figure out what you like to do with your bonus-son and make that your niche. For now, don't pick basketball. If you like basketball, too, of course, you can't help that, but keep your eyes open and follow Dad's lead. And, look for something else that you can share with your bonus-son that's different and can't be perceived as a way to step on Dad's attempt to stay close to his son.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Blue Jays’ Martin has ‘nothing but praise’ for former Pirates teammates
- Flooding forces evacuation of Ligonier Township residents
- ‘Time for bold change,’ Wolf says in outlining $30B state budget
- Penguins need trade-deadline acquisitions to bring toughness
- Rossi: Pirates’ post-Martin plan comes with a catch or 2
- Artist born without arms, legs gives Hampton students peek into her world
- Man found fatally shot in Washington
- Pitt’s Wright excelling in classroom
- Mt. Lebanon senior Stout has legacy that links to Kurt Angle
- Monessen school staffer punished for issuing '50 Shades' quiz
- KitchenWise: Getting al dente right improves pasta dishes