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to insist that it be the same rules for both sets...

(26 Posts)
spookshowangel Tue 12-Jul-11 09:39:49

of children? dp and i are going to be moving in together soon due to unplanned pregnancy (both happy about). i have 3 child as does he. he has his at the weekends and one evening during the week. i have encouraged him in building a good relationship with my children, which they have. but i have had little to no interaction with his and in discussing his children the other day he said that we would have to treat them differently to how we treat mine. i said that is never going to work in building a nice equal and happy home. treating one set of children different to an other will breed discontent, every one has to feel that they are in the same boat re discipline, and if i am not able to be a strong figure they will never respect me. aibu, anybody gone through a similar thing?

CalamityKate Tue 12-Jul-11 09:44:43

In what way did he mean treat them differently?

itisnearlysummer Tue 12-Jul-11 09:44:54

Not been through a similar thing but how does he mean differently?

I can only see this causing problems.

I think you are right that this will breed discontent. How do you justify decisions and conditions placed on some children and not others. Ridiculous! The rules need to be the same.

worraliberty Tue 12-Jul-11 09:45:09

It's going to take a lot of compromise and if you're insisting both 'sets' are to be treated the same, you'll have to be prepared to start treating yours differently to how you have been all along.

Otherwise what you're saying is, his kids are to be treated exactly the same as 'you treat yours' if you see what I mean.

unclefest Tue 12-Jul-11 09:45:32

what issues does he suggest you treat them differently over? disiplinary issues? I agree with you that lack of consensus will breed discontent, but there might have to be give on both sides to come up with a new set of rules all can follow?

spookshowangel Tue 12-Jul-11 09:51:10

he is basing it on the fact the children are different and that they (his) will go back to his ex with tales of woe about the discipline they may have received from me. btw not talking about beating them with wooden spoon here just if dont do what they are told sent to room etc. my children are very well behaved his are a bit more...characterful. thats not to say that they are satans children or any thing but he has high lighted some respect issues that he has noticed especially since spending time with my children and i have made it clear that i wont tolerate that at all. i think he is worried that i might go all super nanny on their asses grin

spookshowangel Tue 12-Jul-11 09:55:33

i hear what you are saying worra i suppose that is the crutch of it. its deciding what the rules are together and sticking to them. but that means that we both have the authority to meet out discipline when one of the children no matter which one breaks a rule. what he was saying in a round about way was if my kid is doing something wrong we will have to handle it differently. which i didnt like if that makes sense.

unclefest Tue 12-Jul-11 09:55:40

ooh I see. Well, they can understand that at their Mums there is one set of rules, and at yours there is another - how old are they, out of interest? Why not sit down with him and thrash it out issue by issue then talk it through with them when you've reached some kind of consensus? You might have to tolerate a bit more and he might have to accept that you will go a bit supernanny on their asses...it takes a while, so don't panic!

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 12-Jul-11 09:56:40

Surely, if he's decided to move in with you and has seen how you are with your children, he's effectively accepted that he's happy for his children to be treated the same way? Be aware that whichever way you jump on this one, you can't win. Enforce discipline with his 'characterful' offspring and you're the bad-guy. But if you're ultra relaxed with his children in a 'your kids, nothing to do with me' kind of way he would doubtless complain that you're not supporting him.

itisnearlysummer Tue 12-Jul-11 09:58:40

I think you need to discuss this and come up with a whole new set of rules that you all agree on. Whatever happens, the children have to be treated the same, but I agree that that shouldn't necessarily look like his children should be treated the same way as you currently treat yours.

spookshowangel Tue 12-Jul-11 10:03:20

thats the other thing they are only 5, 3 and 2 so i think he is panicking over nothing really and if we keep everything normal and routine as possible then they will settle fine and they will see how we are with my kids and know what to expect in a way. the eldest does shout and scream at her dad and things which to be honest i dont think is acceptable. i have never said anything about it before didnt think it was my place but if we move in together i would discipline her for that if i saw her behaving in that way. but i suppose thats something we would need to discuss.

EverythingInMiniature Tue 12-Jul-11 10:06:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

spookshowangel Tue 12-Jul-11 10:09:45

ok but here is a really potentially nasty question. my children are well adjusted, nice polite and well behaved and his are not so well behaved so i have to ask myself a little bit (totally willing to be flamed here as its not a very nice thought) but why should i have to treat my children more how he treats his and possibly risk them becoming more like his children iyswim? arghhhh wow century family life is messy.

spookshowangel Tue 12-Jul-11 10:13:16

thank you everything and very good point, should point out i am not a ovrly strict mum(at least i dont think so) so dont run round telling my kids off for every little thing, so would imagine i would have to pick my battles with his kids so to speak. but then i wouldnt want my kids to think they were getting away with things i wouldnt let them get away with.

CrystalsandDiamonds Tue 12-Jul-11 10:15:37

then use also need to look at how you will be treating the baby once it is born, will it be the same as his kids or yours, because you need to think about that as well or else the kids that are treated the strictest are going to resent there half sibling for getting relaxed rules while they have to do such and such and the other set of siblings doing as they please with not the same follow through.

lateatwork Tue 12-Jul-11 10:19:10

maybe his children are well behaved and polite too- but just not when they are at their dad's? some father's dont like to discipline their children when they see them as they see them less often, feel guilty about the split and want any time with their children to be amazingly happy- he may also fear that if they arent jolly all the time, their will complain to their mother and she will withhold access. so yeah, its complicated. You need to find out how he wants to handle his children and why... with the idea that together you can come up with some sort of joint parenting plan.

your children probably wont end up like his children in your house... but they may already be like that when they visit their dad....

try also to post in step parent area- you may get a different perspective.

spookshowangel Tue 12-Jul-11 10:22:34

thanks late at work didnt know there was a step parent area and you are right i know the kids are not as well behaved at there dads, but not shouting at him in the street kind of thing. its interesting because he is very worried about what his ex will think and do so maybe i will talk to him about that.

EverythingInMiniature Tue 12-Jul-11 10:23:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cory Tue 12-Jul-11 10:26:17

spook, I hate to say it, but this relationship is not going to work if you can't both listen and give; if you are constantly thinking that your children are a more successful product than his you will end up hurting him

think about it, supposing it was the other way round- you say your children are well behaved, but supposing his were absolutely immaculate

would you then be prepared to tell your children that from now on it is a totally different set of rules because I can see that new-wife's children are so much nicer than you so her methods clearly work better than mine? would you feel at all comfortable in that relationship? if it was your children who were always "not quite good enough"

a relationship isn't just about who is right; it is also about how to make everybody feel at home

lateatwork Tue 12-Jul-11 10:30:43

OP- my DP is the same.super lenient with DSS (7), higher expectations with regard to behaviour with DD (2.5). This year DSS gets to choose who he spends Christmas with- so its kinda akin to a parent popularity contest being run and dictated by a 7 year old. Its nuts. But when a father loves his child to pieces and wants to maintain a close bond, he will do anything to make sure he doesnt lose contact and jeopardise the relationship.

spookshowangel Tue 12-Jul-11 10:31:05

yeah i suppose we both just want to get it all off on the best foot possible, we might well be over thinking the whole thing we both have children with sn so its important to us that the disruption is as minimal as possible. naively i just want us all to get along fabulously all of the time grin i would also like i longer time frame to get to know his kids better but the baby puts a time factor in to it all.

spookshowangel Tue 12-Jul-11 10:40:43

cory your right thats the thing i want to avoid either set of children feeling bad. i suppose right now its easier for me to think in those terms about my own and for him to think about his it wont really become a thing i think about for all of us until we have lived together for a while i think, until i have got use to having them in my life.

EricNorthmansMistressOfPotions Tue 12-Jul-11 11:08:10

You have different parenting styles and his kids will get most of their parenting from their mum. That's the difficult thing when you both have children already - you have both been there and done it and have very strong views about what works. When it's first kid for both of you it's more trial and error and working things out together.

Realistically you can't treat all the kids the same. Sorry smile He will want his kids to be happy when they stay with you, and if you are much more strict than they are used to they may get upset. It might well be pandering to them but he's not going to want them to feel unhappy at yours. I think you are going to have to ease right off and let him discipline his kids at least at first. It's down to him to deal with his DD's rude behaviour - but hopefully living with you will give him the confidence to try different parenting styles, as he sees that your kids are well behaved and don't hate you for being strict!

spookshowangel Tue 12-Jul-11 13:12:27

hmmm would have to disagree there eric dont see how you can treat them differently and hope to have them feel part of a unit when we are together and not cause friction iyswim. agree with the parenting style things though as he has already changed some things he does and asked for my advice on issues which i think is nice and view as a positive, i also look forward to learning things from him and doing things differently with mine in other ways such as he is a very hands on dad always taking them out and doing things with them i am looking forward to family outings something we havent done a whole lot of before.

EricNorthmansMistressOfPotions Tue 12-Jul-11 13:19:35

I don't know qute how it's going to work either smile

Good luck grin

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