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How should I deal with irrational behaviour and sexual advances of a growing up child?

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Addiction Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 1486 Questions
i am 25 yrs old married lady. i am second wife of my husband. he is real estate worker. my husband have a son from his first wife who is now 12 yr old and i have 4 month old baby. My husband always work outside so he comes home once a while and not stay with us all time. one day while i was feeding my baby then my step son came and starting staring at me. Then he asked me to feed him as i was his mom now and never feed him my milk. i didnt understand what to do so i breastfeeded him also. now i breastfed him daily along with my baby. what i am doing is it wrong?? before feeding him he never called me his mom but after feeding him he calls me mom and take care of me. pls tell me what i am doing is right or wrong?? pls suggest me waiting for ur reply..
Posted Tue, 14 Jan 2014 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 1 hour later
Brief Answer: May create problems for you later. Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome to Healthcare Magic! Your step-son is in an age when boys gradually start becoming aware of their sexuality and develop an interest in the female body. It is possible that later your step-son's demands may increase and may prove embarrassing to you if others get to know about it. In my opinion, rather than abruptly telling him to stop, you should tell him that your milk production is falling now and you will also start weaning off your baby soon. Explain to him how only little babies need mother's milk as they cannot eat food, but since he is old enough to eat and drink, he does not need your milk. Tell him that even if you do not breast-feed him, you care for him. Be attentive to him so that he does not feel insecure. I hope this helps you. Please feel free to ask if you need any clarifications. Best wishes. Dr Preeti Parakh MD Psychiatry
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How should I deal with irrational behaviour and sexual advances of a growing up child? 7 hours later
Really thank you for replying me. I many times tried to tell my step son that milk is for baby and not for him but he never listen to me. Whenever I start feeding my baby he comes to me with an innocent face asking for milk. I don't like to scold him so I breastfeed him along with the baby daily. I have been feeding him since two weeks now. Pls tell me how can I ask him to stop asking me for milk without hurting him in detail? My other question is that whether it has any problem on my body? My step son usually bite my nipples while sucking but when milk is almost coming to end then he bites hard so it pains me lot but I control it for him.once blood dropped. Is it common during breastfeeding? I know my step son is just 12 yrs old but I sometimes feel that he is sexually interested in me. Before I feed him he asks me whether he only can open my blouse button and he wants me to change my dress in front of him but when I day no he starts to cry and so I change in front of him only now. From last few days he is sleeping with me only and he won't sleep without me feeding him at night before sleep. I sometimes feels that he gets erection but I am not sure whether it true or false but I just felt it once mistakenly. I know I am asking you lot and lot question but I feel embarrassed to ask you such things in person. I never shared this matter with anyone not even my mom . I trust you so I am asking you.Pls help me by answering this question . Now my step son is close with me and calls me mom. I love him lot and want him to love him too. I want my step son to continue with me like this only calling me mom and loving me. I don't want to scold him or hurt him. I can do anything for him but I don't want him to spoil because of me. I have no problem in feeding him. I am even taking supplements to increase my milk production now. Pls answer all my question in detail as you explain in magazine. Pls help me. I can't share this matter to anyone so asking you pls help me doctor. Again I won't trouble you so pls answer this in detail as to what I should do, how to do and when to do without losing my love from my step son.I am ready to do anythin. I feel that if I force him to stop sucking me means he 'll again lose love on me. So tell me pls what to do. Kindly reply this one in detail.
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 6 hours later
Brief Answer: Explained below. Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX I think you are wrong in saying that if you do not give in to your step-son's wishes, he will stop loving you. Just think if your own child does something wrong, would you not correct him fearing that he will stop loving you? Will you like to buy a child's love or will you want it to come spontaneously? I think your step-son's pleasure in being with you does have a sexual basis whether he himself realises it or not. If you let this continue indefinitely, I expect this behavior to increase and later progress to more explicit sexual activities. And a few years later, once he starts realising what he has been doing, he will not respect you for letting him do this to you. He may even threaten to disclose this to your husband who will no doubt blame you as you are older. In my opinion, you will serve his best interests by stopping him from doing something which is wrong. He will not like it and may cry a lot but in the long run it is for his own good. Feeding him will have no major harmful consequences for your body. The injuries are usually not common while breastfeeding babies as they do not have teeth. More than the injuries, you should be worried about what would happen if your husband or others would get to know about it. Everyone would blame you saying that he was only a child but you should have had more sense. No one will appreciate your doing this to gain his affection. I expect your's step-son's demands to increase with time and the sooner you stop him, the better it is for you. If possible, go away for a few days and do not resume this behavior when you return. If that is not an option, try to tell him that this is wrong for his age and the milk may harm him. If he is still adamant, then say no bluntly. He may throw tantrums at your refusal, but believe me, facing his anger is better than being looked down upon by him, his father and others when they find out. I think you may find it difficult to handle the situation yourself. If your mother is supportive, share this with her and ask her to come and stay with you for a few days. It is possible that your step-son will refrain from doing this when there are other people around. Do not be afraid of losing his love. Be afraid of being insulted or humiliated by him or your husband for giving in to his inappropriate demands. Once he understands the full implications of his behavior, he will not thank you for your acquiescence but feel that you did this because you yourself were attracted to him. Best wishes. Dr Preeti Parakh MD Psychiatry
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How should I deal with irrational behaviour and sexual advances of a growing up child? 14 hours later
Yes I accept that I am doing wrong but I am not understanding how to stop it. yesterday night I didn't allow him to drink so he started to cry lot but I ignored later he slept crying only on bed. Then at morning he asked again again I refused but he started to cry lot and started telling that I am not like his real mom and I am bad etc etc. He was not ready to go to school and was crying lot. later I told him that I would feed him after he came to school and convinced him by promising him etc etc so he went to school now. Now he has gone to school and I am not knowing what to do when he come from school. I didn't wanted to tell this but I feel that I need to tell it .last week I had been to pediatric doctor in Bangalore asking about this matter for which he told that it fine to feed my step son along with my baby. He said that my step son wants to be par with my baby and so asking my milk. I thought he was right and so continued feeding him. He even praised me for feeding step son so I continued feeding him as i didn't understood the later consequence.. My mom is diabetic and her health condition is not good so I can't ask her to come to my home. I need to solve my situation myself . I feel that I need to stop feeding like weaning the baby. Can it work? I 'll decrease the number of times I am feeding him and gradually stop him. Will that work? Do you have any suggestions about it? I think if I stop suddenly then he 'll do something so tell me what can I do? Suggest me some way by which he 'll stop asking me for milk like any different breastfeeding style etc etc Last question do you feel that I need to undergo counseling with any psychiatric doctor? Pls explain in detail Thank you XXXX
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Explained below. Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX I do not think that you need any kind of counselling. There is nothing wrong with you and you are a perfectly healthy young woman. Secondly, I do not think you should wean off your baby now. It will not be good for him and why should he suffer for no fault of his? Thirdly, I agree that feeding your step-son has no immediate harm but may create big problems for you later on. Can you discuss this with your husband and take his advice? If he supports you, then it will be easier to handle your step-son. If he wants you to feed your step-son, then you can continue to do so and take your husband's help if your step-son's demands increase. Supposing if he agrees with your wish to stop feeding your step-son, then you can ask him to explain to his son so that he does not create a scene. You also should not allow yourself to be manipulated by a twelve year old child into doing things which you do not like. Supposing he comes one day and asks you for a thousand rupees for no valid reason, will you give it to him just because if you don't, he will say that you are not his real mother? Yes, you are not his real mother and can never be. He also knows that and he is simply making a fool of you. Do not give in to his threats and be firm with him, otherwise lifelong he will use these threats to make you do as per his wishes and this is what your own child will learn. You can give him something in exchange for not feeding/seeing you undress/ opening your blouse like a chocolate or some other food item that he likes, but be firm on your decision. Let him cry and create a scene for a few days and then he will get back to normal, once he realises that his tactics are having no effect on you. I strongly feel that your husband should be made aware of this unusual behavior or later he may think ill of you. Have you even thought of the possibility that one day, your step-son may threaten to disclose this to your husband if you did not agree to fulfill his wishes? Your husband will certainly believe his son and hold you guilty saying that you are much older than him and should have behaved sensibly. I guess your paediatrician had not realised that your step-son is a twelve year old boy or he wouldn't have given you this advice. He perhaps also wasn't aware that your step-son is also demanding to open your blouse and to see you undress. This is a difficult time, but you need to be strong and firm for your own sake and also for the betterment of your step-son. Best wishes. Dr Preeti Parakh MD Psychiatry
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Follow-up: How should I deal with irrational behaviour and sexual advances of a growing up child? 19 hours later
Thanks for you reply. As you asked I have said all the matter to my husband. He has completely different thinking from you. He is ok with me feeding my step son and he feels that there is nothing wrong in doing so. I told him all the consequence which I may face later because of this. Husband said that he is just 12 year old now and it is ok for me feeding him. Husband said that since he is accepting me as his mom now it's my best chance now to get my step son's confidence and love towards me. Also since I am his mom now so there is nothing wrong in feeding him. I am not understanding what to do now. I sometimes feel that I should feed him as much as he wants but later thinking that it may lead to trouble really make me afraid. I even told my husband that I have asked about this problem in net to a doctor and even explained him what all you told to me. He then told me to do as I wish and he 'll support me for whatever decision I take. But he was more insisting towards feeding his son. I then thought about it for whole night and decided to feed my step son along with my baby but with several conditions that is I 'll feed him only at night before he sleep and if you any such condition which would help me means pls suggest. I know that I am not listening to your advice but I feel that I have no option left. I 'll try to stop it slowly within two three months with the help of my husband. I am sorry for not stopping by your advice but really the way he cried last time when I said no to feed him made me realise I can't stop it suddenly but I should do it slowly. Now I want some few suggestions and tips from you i.e. Firstly I don't want my step son to start developing any sexual feeling towards me so pls advice me how to do it along with feeding so that he doesn't have any such feelings Secondly tell me breast feeding style to feed my step son comfortably as I am not comfortable feeding him the way I am comfortable while feeding my baby. I feed my step son by making him sleep on my thighs i.e. normal breastfeeding style which is not comfortable for me. Thirdly, as I told you before my nipple sometimes bleeds so should I take any medical care towards it or 'll it cause any problem to me? Nowadays I am producing more milk I think. My baby is exclusively on my milk but still lot milk remain in me. Sometimes I use breast pump to remove extra milk. Will it cause any problem or is it due to feeding my step son? What can I do with extra milk? Now most importantly I don't want my step son to develop any sexual feeling towards me while feeding or anytime. Pls suggest me about it as to how can I prevent him from developing such feelings towards me. I have tried wearing feeding bra while feeding my step son so that I don't need to expose whole my breast but my stepson always insist me to remove my bra completely such behavior of him make me afraid so pls tell me some ways to prevent him developing such feelings towards me. I know I am asking you lot of irritating questions but this is last chance to ask you my problems so I am asking you all. I am really thankful to you for answering my all question before and providing awareness ascot what I was doing. You were more as a friend then an doctor really thanks for it. But I couldn't listen to you fully I am sorry for that but I promise you that I 'll try to stop it slowly within 3 months. Do you feel that I need to update my account in this site and ask suggestions from some more specialist ?? If yes means tell me whom to ask ok. Once again thank you and pls answer this question I asked now in detail and also suggest me your advice. I am really thankful to you doctor. Thank you Waiting for your reply XXXX
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 10 hours later
Brief Answer: Explained below. Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX First of all, you need not apologise for not following my advice and neither were you questions irritating. Whatever I had written was just a suggestion to help you take an informed decision and not an order. I am really relieved that your husband is now aware of all that has happened and is with you. It is great that whatever you now do will be with his support, and that takes care of half the problem. You are producing a lot of milk because the suckling is more than previously. The body is sensitive to suckling and produces milk in response to it. If you had been feeding only your baby, then the milk would have been less. There is no need to do anything with the extra milk. You will have to throw it off. Coming to your questions, you cannot do much to prevent the development of sexual feelings in your step-son. The only thing you can do is to draw a line beyond which you will not appease him. For example, if you agree to feed him, refuse to do so if he bites you. Tell him that he hurt you and so you will not feed him. He will then stop biting you. If he asks you to undress in front of him, refuse to do so. If he cries, tell him that you will feed him only if he is a good boy and doesn't cry. Using these tactics will help you to ensure that he does not manipulate you and increase his demands. Similarly refuse to let him open your blouse. Make him behave the way you want him to in return for feeding him. If he refuses, tell him that he is refusing because he is not your real son and he does not love you, and so why should you feed him? Simply speaking, turn the tables on him and manipulate him exactly the way he was manipulating you, though you will be doing this for his own good. If you can do this smartly, in a few days you will notice a change in his behavior and it will become easier for you to handle him. Regarding the feeding style, since he is a big boy, whatever position you choose will not be very comfortable. In my opinion, go by your instincts and do as it feels more comfortable. For the nipple injuries, as long as they are minor abrasions, you need not apply any specific creams as they may enter your baby's body when he is breastfed. Avoid feeding from the injured side if possible, till it heals. Keep the area clean to prevent any infection. And as I mentioned earlier, make your step-son understand that if he injures you, you will become angry with him and not feed him. In addition, when you start weaning off your baby after a couple of months, avoid breast-feeding him when your step-son is around. In his presence, bottle feed the baby so that you can have an excuse for not feeding your step-son. Gradually wean your step-son off too, saying that if he wishes you can give him milk (cow's, not yours) in a bottle like your own baby takes. You just have to put the message across that you will not let him manipulate you. Be firm and keep your husband informed. Things will gradually turn out to be fine. I do not think you need to ask any other specialist regarding this. You can close the query. If you need me in future, you can contact me directly on this site at WWW.WWWW.WW Best wishes. Dr Preeti Parakh MD Psychiatry
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