I have a 5-year-old and we recently moved in with my boyfriend (40s, divorced, no kids). He’s trying, which I appreciate, but he has very little patience or tolerance for a rambunctious kid. I have a demanding career so my bf has encouraged me to lean on him more, but I feel like he makes it obvious he finds my son annoying. He just has no parental instinct and they’re clearly not comfortable around each other so I never ask for his help or push them to spend time together. I want us to be a happy blended family but even I don’t know the right thing to do at this point to get there. Any advice?

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Honestly, hate to say this, But should think whether this may not be the right person for you.

Work is stressful enough, you don’t need this added worry on top of you. If someone really doesn’t have an urge to tolerate kids then it’s unfair to everyone.
You’ll be stressed, your kid will feel pushed away and the bf will just resent the situation but likely not have the backbone to leave.

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I'm a single mom and, personally, I don't think this is that surprising. First of all, you guys just moved in with this man. He really hasn't had much time to build up a relationship with your kid. Honestly, other people's children are annoying. What makes them tolerable is the relationship you have with the child. That takes time to build. Second, it sounds like your boyfriend is really kind - offering to help - but he may be overly ambitious in his assessment of what he can handle this early on. He's probably eager to be supportive but, like another poster said, he may not have the skill set to help as much as he might want to. I'd concentrate on working on doing more stuff together as a threesome and helping to facilitate a relationship between them. I'd lean on him a limited amount and let things build from there. Like maybe having him play with your son for a bit while you catch up on work calls in another room vs. leaving your son with him for a whole afternoon. Blended families are built over time. It isn't reasonable to expect that it's going to just click.

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I would recommend the Big Little Feelings course for him - it gives you loooots of tools to deal with all sort of scenarios. He is missing 5 years of training as a parent that you already have so I feel it would be a good way to do a crash course on parenting. I was an only child around the same age when my mom remarried and I think one thing that made it harder for both of us to have a good relationship is that in not bothering my stepdad handled everything herself so I never really built a relationship with him. If he is willing and offering, it is probably better to give him a chance and let him learn how to parent your kid even if it will be rocky at the beginning.

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Marital/relationship counseling and family counseling. He may need a neutral third party to ask him questions about his parenting, childhood, attitudes towards family and children, etc. Also, having to explain his own actions out loud to a third party may raise his self awareness, especially with you there to keep him honest. Also, depending on his personality it may help him to have a male therapist who can reinforce your perspective. May sound bad but many times men need to hear a woman’s perspective voiced from another man before it clicks. As a man I know it sounds lame but some things are a biological reality whether they sound bad or not.

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