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Deeply disturbing - need advice


Mesemene

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Ok, so as some of you know, I'm a stepmom to my husband's son, and though not by blood, to his son's half brother. They're 10 and 11 years old.

 

The 11 year old, not too surprisingly, is playing with the stirrings of girl attraction writing sweet notes to girls in school who he calls his "girlfriends." His mom and stepdad are discouraging it, saying he's too young. And I have no issue with that.

 

HOWEVER, here's the part I'm deeply disturbed by. Every time they find one of his notes to a girl - the first question is "tell me the truth, is she white? How black/hispanic is she? Tell me the truth!" Now, when he was being crossexamined tonight when I went over to pick them up, he stubbornly refused to answer, and I wanted to applaud, honestly.

 

The problem is, neither myself or husband are related in any way to the elder. So legally, we have no leg to stand on with him, though I hate seeing it, and intend to pull him aside and tell him my views - not to influence, but more to let him know that I personally don't care if the girl he likes is purple with green spots if he likes her, though I also think at his age he doesn't need to try and make a "girlfriend/boyfriend" tie or talk about having kids!

 

I should add, since mom married this guy, in the place of the confederate flag she used to hang is now Nazi Germany’s Battle Flag 1938-1945 - the centered swastika with the iron cross. To say I disapprove is the understatement of the century.

 

I don't doubt she loves the kids - but - I will NOT allow that kind of pollution in my home, accross my doorstep, or while the kids are with me. I won't budge a hair on it. And I can see that causing potential conflicts.

 

Any suggestions, or even any idea if this would, much as I would hate to split the boys, be a good reason to pursue sole custody? I consider racism one of the lowest forms humanity can sink to - and I don't want my stepson being polluted with that nonsense and rhetoric.

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Hard to try and NOT cause confilict.. ad you are 'step'? Poor boy being spoken to as such.. sheesh.

I would at least do my own thing and tell him that it really doesn't matter what colour/race she is. I think that's very poor parenting. I did NOT grow up in a racist home and neither did my kids.

 

I never said much of anything about colour or race and have actually told my own kids we also had some 'coloured' people in my school and they are just the same as us. It does NOT matter. ( i dated a dark guy in high school- was a cool dude).

 

Like you mentioned would definitely be a good idea to bring this issue up with their father (ur other half). See what he thinks.. of what you want to say/do. If he agree's go for it.

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Thank you, Victoria and SooSad.

 

Since it's something I feel very strongly about, I couldn't decide if I was overreacting, and if not, what tack to take. I'd hate to jump at pursuing legal action when, at the moment, it's pretty apparent neither boy has adopted the parent's views or attitudes. I'm actually wondering if the older one is quietly rebelling in his way - he can be rather precocious at times and subtle/devious in his thinking around things.

 

On the one hand, it's refreshing after 11 years of influence that the kids, apparently, don't give a rat's behind about race. But they're at that age where they start noticing more, and where peer pressure and the potential of gangs becomes a real presence. The very last thing I could think I would want for either of these bright, imaginative, and open minded boys is to end up in some white supremacist gang, or go the opposite way and rebel by finding one of the gangs out here (southwest) that have started to move up from Mexico.

 

So it bothered me, a lot. This area is a heavily Hispanic influenced one, and I would hate to see them cutting themselves out of a huge chunk of socializing and friendships (and even future relationships) due to something stupid like skin color.

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Make it a conversation.

 

"Tell me about this girl"

 

11 year old gibber

 

"She sounds nice. What does she look like?"

 

11 year old gibber

 

"She sounds pretty. Do you guys hang out sometime?"

 

etc

 

You can also subtly influence them when in your home. Nothing heavy handed, but I, for example, remember loving talking about history with my dad. We would watch the history channel together. I would ask question about things I didn't understand, like, "Why did Hitler hate the Jews?" and my dad's personal favorite from when I was very young and we had watched something about dictators, "Did they know they were bad or did they think they were good?"

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You can influence a great deal more by example and how you live rather than by getting into direct fights and legal battles with the parent. The former will most likely get you the result that you are seeking and the latter will cause major damage all around. Direct war is not always the best solution and kids love to rebel against forced views while busily forming their own. You can be the easy going influence that pulls them in the right direction, let the parent be the force they rebel against.

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To give a little background - hubby and I have had about 70% of the kids' raising since they were babies.

 

While the mother has always been a bit sketchy with some of her remarks - she's never been this blatant until she married her new husband this summer. So it caught me flatfooted, mouth gaping, wondering what alternate dimension I'd wandered into last night. All I could think of was how quickly I could get the boys out, and the elder out of the situation of being interrogated. He was grumbling in the car about having the right to do as he wanted - and I did make the point to him that until he was legally an adult, both sets of parents could give him rules within reason that he had to follow. I also told him that there would be some things along the way he would need to think about carefully and see how HE felt - because what suits his mom, stepdad, me, and "dad," would not of necessity be the right fit for HIM.

 

Being the "little grownup" he seems to be pondering on it. I'll probably have a sit down with him and talk to him a bit about the situation in a way that doesn't demean his other parents, but makes clear that I don't hold the same views.

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Yes ,that is exactly it don't demean his other parents to him. But just explain to him how you feel about it. But I do think it's pretty crappy that they're interrogating an 11-year-old about who he feels attracted to.

 

Agreed. OP, I think you tell him that there are things he is going to have to think about and figure out how he feels is a PERFECT way to do this. Kudos!

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