I'm the stepfather of an 8-year-old child.
He spends every other weekend at his biological father.
Ever since they moved in with me, he's been increasingly reluctant to spend weekends at his father. This has escalated to him being very angry and obtuse when the time is coming near. He's often telling us he doesn't love his father, and doesn't want to go.
And when he returns he's often angry, spends the whole ride over complaining about his father / stepbrother / weekend. Most of the time when I go to pick him up I'm greeted with "what he did wrong this time". Which is usually back-talking or going against what his father told him.
I don't want to interfere in any way that might damage my relationship with him in the future. All I've been doing is telling him that his biological father loves him, and that he'll regret it if he doesn't at least try to keep a relationship with him.
However I'm starting to doubt myself in this. I feel that he is much better off with us, than he is there. And that he's being better taken care off here. But this is an obviously biased point of view.
In fact, I'd wager that when it comes to luxuries / ease of living he has a better time there:
- Gaming consoles
- More free time
- Never any homework when there
- No curfews
- Always easy to prepare / junk food
- A stepbrother of the same age
While with us he has no ready access to games, has to do homework every day, strict bedtimes, and often has to eat food he doesn't like. And he's currently the only child (for the next few months at least).
How could I explain to him that despite how he feels, I can't decide this, and neither can he for now. My apologies for the somewhat disjointed post; this is a hard subject, and it's not entirely straight in my head, as such it doesn't come out straight in writing.