Even if a mother’s heart is in the right place, when a new man comes into her life sometimes her child will feel threatened by this and act up as a way of bringing the attention back to him or her. Now if a mother is purposely focusing all of her attention on her new man and is knowingly neglecting her child, then that’s a different story.
A young boy who’s used to being the ‘man of the house’ will definitely feel weary about his mother having a new man. Some kids will resort to behavior that you’ve never seen before as a way to bring a mother’s focus back to them: bad grades on report cards, not coming in on time, talking back, trying to sabotage your relationship, hanging out with the wrong crowd, stealing, cursing you out, etc.
But as a mother, your first reaction should not be to ‘scold’ your child because after all you’re the parent and a child will act like child when they feel their needs aren’t met. But you have to ask yourself, Why is my child acting up and craving attention? Is he/she feeling insecure or left-out? Is she trying to create a distraction so you do not notice something else going on? Whining and throwing a temper tantrum about a popsicle is usually NOT about the popsicle. What is it about? A tired and cranky child who’s upset about not being the ‘man’ of the house? A child who’s jealous of their mother having a new man?
Start by reassuring your child. Tell them that this new man is NOT the priority and that you still love them and they are FIRST in your life. Of course, they are going to want to see this in your actions, so even if you have to take a break from your relationship — not break up — but if you’re spending every Saturday with your man, tell him, I need this Saturday to do something with my child instead. If your man is the man you believe him to be, he’ll understand and he won’t mind taking that back seat, passenger role. If your child is involved in extra-curricular activities, then be there. Don’t drop them off at your mother’s house saying, ‘it will just be awhile’ while you go out partying with your man because a child will always pick up on when you’re putting your new man before them. Children are smarter than we think they are.
The sooner you address this issue the better chances you will have of saving and rebuilding the relationship between you and your child. There are so many children who have grown up resenting their mothers because they feel their mother gave her man more attention than them. And remember, your child is forever but that man may not be.
Your child’s love is stronger than any mans. Never forget it!