Question About 8 months ago I married a man with 2 boys and I have 1 girl. His youngest son just turned 9. As a baby this child was very sick, he had a feeding tube and was constantly in the hospital. My husband and his ex-wife divorced almost 6 years ago and my husband is the primary custodian to his boys. With that said the above mentioned child is overly affectionate to me and sometimes my husband as well. By overly affectionate let me give you a few examples, during dinner it isnt uncommon for him to get up and come and kiss one of us. During a hour church service he kissed me 18 times and constantly saying I love you. these are only a few examples It isn't that we don't want the affection its just extreme at times(most of the time). My question is do we address this or leave it alone?
Answer Hi Brittney - I suspect your stepson was traumatized by his early hospital experiences (and family breakup, and he may have felt abandoned by his birthmother. If so, his need to be so affectionate can be an unconscious way of trying to guard against re-abandonment. If his behavior isn't significantly annoying, wait to see if it naturally abates as your stepfamily stabilizes and his security grows. Otherwise, I suggest you mates set some calm limits with him on how, when, and where to express his affection. An option is not to overly reinforce his behavior.
There may be other contributing motives - e.g. his relationships and dynamics with the other kids and with the biomother. Might he feel one of your kids is treated as a favorite by one or both of you adults?
I can answer questions about remarriage preparation, stepparenting, stepchild discipline, child visitation, grieving, stepfamily norms and myths, mission statements, stepparent job (role)descriptions, communication skills, loyalty and values conflicts, stepfamily identity problems, common pitfalls, ex mate and relative problems, stepfamily merger and adjustment tasks, name confusions, choosing an effective counselor, resolving money disputes, co-parenting support groups, and the family effects of court (legal) battles. I can`t answer questions about medicine, family law, legal stepchild adoption, or financial planning.
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