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by Abigail Van Buren

Boyfriend Fails to Make Connection With Woman's Young Son

DEAR ABBY: I have a 6-year-old son, "Tyler," from a previous relationship. I have been dating a man I'll call Chad for almost four years.

My problem is, Chad can't seem to have any kind of relationship or interaction with Tyler. Chad isn't abusive, but he constantly ignores my boy and gives him no attention. I thought after all this time Chad would be used to my son, but it hasn't happened. Sometimes he seems annoyed when Tyler is in the same room. I'm not sure if I should end the relationship or stick around. Any advice would be helpful. -- LOSING HOPE

DEAR LOSING HOPE: Your first responsibility is to your son. The way Chad treats Tyler will eventually damage the boy's self-esteem if it hasn't already. Children are perceptive. When they are ignored, they know something is wrong and think it's their fault -- that there's something wrong with them and that they don't measure up. My advice is to tell Chad the romance is over and why. Frankly, you should have done it years ago.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Family & Parenting