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 Post subject: Children -- both sides
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
I just found out that my SA boyfriend is allowing his 14 year-old-son to watch an HBO series that glamorizes drinking & drugs, treating women as objects, and going to strip clubs and using prostitutes. It's a very crass comedy intended for adults. I have told him that I don't think it's appropriate at all for his son to be watching, but I don't really know what else I can do. I'm not sure if his ex-wife knows, but i know she wouldn't approve at all. I think it would be really wrong for me to tell her and get between them as parents, but I am sorely tempted. I am so worried about his son. It almost feels like child abuse to me. I don't know how I can just sit by and let this happen. Please tell me that I'm overreacting and it's not as bad as it feels to me right now. Is there anything else that you can think of that I should do?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:38 pm
Posts: 67
I think your concern is justified as a childs brain can easily pick up the wrong ideas at that age and then they become their reality. Thats why its illegal for an adult to show a child online porn in my country. Its a very difficult thing for you to deal with though. I think someone needs to have a word with the child and see what ideas he is getting from this.

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'The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows'. Buddha.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:08 pm 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
Hello sp2007,

Your concern is valid. What is the rating of the program? If it is 18A or Adult, it very well could be considered sexual interference on the father's part (in that he is intentionally exposing him to adult material). That said, my guess is that this is a matter of social obligation more than a matter of legal obligation. What you do is really up to you. I hear your concern about not wanting to get between your bf and his ex wife as parents. That said, your bf is not really living up to his role as parent, and is instead acting like the older teenaged brother.

Were I in your position, I would first consider what I feel is my place as a mature and responsible adult in society. Consider what your values tell you regarding the wellbeing of children and minors. You have communicated your disagreement with his actions (a good thing) --in what way does his dismissing your concern impact your values? Do you have any boundaries for this? Because the boy is a minor, his interests that should be at the fore of the situation. You could talk to him to see if you can gauge what he is getting out of it, but I am not sure his answer would be honest or even aware and even if you are convinced that he is "okay", this will not mean that he is in fact okay and not under the influence. If you know the mother would not approve, and if you see the mother as being in a better place to protect her son from the impact of his father's actions, and if you feel the father is not looking out for his son's wellbeing, then what do your values tell you to do about that? Not as the girlfriend, but as a mature and responsible adult.

I wonder what has you feel like you would be trying to get between them as parents? Is this what you believe your motive to be? It may help to step back from the situation and look at objectively. This can be hard, but imagine it was a friend coming to you with this problem, what would your advice to them be? If it was your son who was exposed, and someone else in your position, what would you want? Imagine being the mom of this boy, and knowing what you know about her, what would she want? It is not appropriate, in this situation, to consider the father's p.o.v. because he is not acting with mature responsibility. He is acting selfishly (so his point of view would invariably be there is nothing wrong with it.).

Finally, if you are still stuck, it wouldn't hurt to call a child protection agency in your area, anonymously, to get a sense of what the laws would say about it in your area. After reflecting on what they have to say, you could then decide the appropriate course of action.

Be well.

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
Thank you for your reply, Coach Mel. I have been away for a few days -- during which, I spent zero time thinking about my bf, his SA, or this issue. It was quite helpful for gaining some perspective :-)

I checked the rating on the program. It's rated TV-MA for crude indecent language, explicit sexual activity, and graphic violence.

I agree that I feel it is a moral obligation vs. legal.

My motive is to protect the child, but I'm sure that both my bf and his ex-wife would feel that I was meddling. That's just how they are. That being said, I know for a fact that his ex-wife would not want the child exposed to this.

Apparently she doesn't know. I'm sure her son won't tell her. The saddest part? My bf said that he knows it's bad, but he's still letting his son watch it.

Your point about my bf dismissing my concerns is valid -- I need to communicate to him that is unacceptable. As for a boundary, I don't know what would be appropriate.

I keep coming back to the fact that his behavior is just unacceptable on so many levels that the only appropriate boundary is to end the relationship. I suppose ignoring him could work too.

I'm beginning to think that boundaries are best communicated via actions, not works.

In any case, I need to keep reminding myself that when all is said and done, I cannot control what he does or doesn't do. In other words, I can't stop him from letting his son watch this.

I think I know what I need to do. Thank you for helping me to come to a decision.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:53 pm 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:36 pm
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sp2007, what a hard situation to be in. You've gotten great feedback and seem to have good instincts on how you want to proceed.

I just wanted to add that while the mom may not want her son to watch this type of program, she doesn't really have any control over how he parents him either. Unless, of course, that sort of thing is in their parenting plan or custody papers. When my first husband and I split up, I would become quite frustrated with things my kids said went on at their dad's place. Their dad made it clear it was up to him what they did when they were with him. After much angst, I realized I had to let go of their relationship with their dad unless it was something I had any control over, such as illegal activities or abuse. It wasn't. It was hard to let go but in some ways it also freed me.

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"It's today," squeaked Piglet.
"My favorite day," said Pooh.


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