I have shared custody of a wonderful (and influential) 4 year old boy. The path to where he is now has been an incredible journey & I am (we are) thankful he is alive, healthy thriving celebrating everyday he is with us. While he is with is mother he lives with her family which includes her siblings which have returned home and are college aged. My concern is that one of the siblings has overnight guests (male) and are around my son in the mornings and evenings.
Prior to the custody order we both agreed not to have overnight guests or introduce people we were dating to our son unless the relationship was serious and leading to marriage. I realize I can’t control who comes in and out his life & I have no say in who aunts or uncles date. My concern is that there have been multiple overnight guests who have been in and out of the house. While on facetime saying goodnight to my son late one evening he lost focus to our conversation as one the “boyfriends came in the house”. I didn’t think much of it other than the distraction and focus of saying good night to his “daddy” turned into “…. is here… is here I want to go see him”
Fast forward a few weeks and “new phrases” are in his vocabulary including some (in my opinion) inappropriate things. I asked why he said these things and he said that “aunt xxxxx boyfriend says it every morning” Now I’m uncomfortable with what was said and the subject matter, I had the conversation that I thought he shouldn’t repeat the phrase. My son’s response was boyfriend name said it was “cool”. He was also confused as to what the boyfriends role in his life was uncle, cousin etc. Obviously I can’t control the people who stay the night at his mother’s house as she lives her parents it’s not her house.
I am concerned, I don’t know how to approach this with his mother as I don’t want her to feel as though I’m bashing her family. My feelings about my son’s surroundings have been an issue in the past which I have let subside as I know she has the same love that I do and will keep him in the best situations she can control. Anyone have any advice about how I can broach the subject or should I let it go? This is the third overnight “boyfriend” in a short period of time that I don’t know if the open door policy is something I want my son to experience. I know I don’t have any say and to the point that my son’s mother doesn’t have much say as long she is living under her parents roof. It’s really their rules of engagement until she finds a place of her own, which btw won’t be within the next two years.
I’d appreciate any feedback from both mom’s & dads before I take on the challenge of addressing my feelings of overnight guests.
I commend you for spending the time to think about this - you obviously care about your son and have a good relarionship with his mother. Unfortunately, like you said she is now living under someone else's roof and she will not be able to have any say over who her siblings hang out with. I think at this point you should first talk to your son's mother and let her know your concerns and see if she feels the same way. Perhaps she can then take the steps to speak to your son while he is at her place about the difference between his parents (who are his authority figures) and friends of his aunts. (just because a friend of your aunt's says it is "cool" does not make okay with us or appropriate) I am sure your son probably wakes up before these friends and perhaps his mom can take this mornings as opportunties for a early walk to the park (is there a dog in the house that needs to be walked?) or a special breakfast out with his mom?