My girlfriend’s kid doesn’t accept me

I’m 35 and my GF is 31. She has a 8 y/o son who is very traumatized by his father abandoning him at the age of 6. He is very protective of his mother and no matter what I do, I can’t get on his good side (trust me, I’m trying hard). I recently got him a PS5 with a ton of good games and an extra controller so I can play with him, but he doesn’t even let me play with him. I have tried everything to fill the gap his dad left behind, but I keep failing miserably. I explained to him that I would love to be a part of his life and to care for him like his mother does. I avoid comparing myself to his dad, while at the same time I am trying hard to break through his heart of stone. He recently told me to get lost and not steal his mother from him. I gave him a hug and explained that it’s not a competition for his mother’s attention and he shouldn’t see it that way. I explained that I care too, but he doesn’t trust me and keeps insisting that I am stealing his mom’s time from him.

I know I can’t buy him with money, but I’m trying hard to show that I care by getting him things that he always wanted. Tomorrow I’ll be buying a couple more good games for him and I’m planning to get him a Nintendo Switch for Christmas. I hope this wonderful boy accepts me someday.

Is It Normal?
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  • That's his problem. All you can do is be a good dad to him, which I assume you're trying your hardest. Wether he will accept you or not is up to him.

    Also don't spoil him too much. You'll set up a bad example on how to develop relationships.

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  • Spend time with him. That's the most important thing. Talk with him about life and other intellectual things. He should think that you are intelligent. Also, gain his trust by saving him from something. Make him understand that you will never leave him and you're different from his dad. The worst thing you can do is giving him so many gifts. He will understand what you're trying to do. Don't let him understand what you want. Be neutral. Show love and care for him and his mother.

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  • You gotta be tough with him, like in the Punisher when he put a knife to the boy’s throat. It’s the only way to gain his respect.

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  • He will come around eventually but unfortunately you'll never be able to replace his father in terms of being a disciplinarian. And boys need that. You are going to have to take a softer approach to it by being a role model. Your GF is gonna have to discipline him more but dont let him hear you are telling her what kind of punishments to give to him. Maybe one day when he accepts you you can be that strong leader of the house but you will always have to be careful (by discipline I mean time outs, spankings, for writing on the wall or something silly boys do.). Be a good role model and teach him to be a man. He will model himself after you. Treat his mother well. He will come around.

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