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(21 Posts)
user1486036034 Thu 02-Feb-17 12:24:35

I am hoping that someone might be able to give some advice, I don't have any children of my own and have recently met a man with 2 (8 & 12), who now stay at our house during the week/every other weekend, although they are nice children and really do not mind having them at all, especially as I know how hard it has been for my partner not to see them everyday, I don't really know where to start, as I say they are nice kids but seems to have no boundaries set, they come and do as they please at the house (which I am pleased they feel comfortable to do) but no respect for anything including their own stuff, have the table manners of...they don't have any and to top it off speak to my partner like dirt most of the time, the younger one frequently calls him an idiot etc the older one just sits on her phone (which I know is the "thing" these days) but even when her dad tells her to put it away for a bit she just ignores him, she says she would like to live with dad as mum takes her phone off her for and hour and a half a day!! I did speak to my partner at the weekend in a round about way, he says he finds having the kids stressful as I go quiet at certain times (not intentionally but better than shouting at them all) I explained I hate the way they speak to him, their lack of respect for anything etc and that he seems oblivious to their behaviour, he says he is not oblivious but they take him saying anything as being told off and they wouldn't want to come, I know he lets them do what they do because he feels guilty, last night after the conversation the kids were there and absolutely nothing changed resulting in me being cross with him. I don't feel it is my place to tell them especially as I don't want to be the reason they don't want to come (the mother would love that!)....sorry for the ramble but really looking for advice on how to deal with this as it is all new to me, I have come to the conclusion that id have been an awful mother!! sad

SingingInTheRainstorm Thu 02-Feb-17 12:32:33

How long have you been together? How long has he & ex been split?

The problem is its early days, but if they're at your house it should be your rules. If you're hoping that this is going to be long term the children need to show you respect.

I totally understand if you backed OH up, you'd most likely get you're Dads new GF you can't tell me anything. So you need to tell OH to grow some balls of these kids will walk all over him, you don't feel like it's your place to say anything. Never mind the guilt, unless he wants 2 teenagers from hell they need to be told.

I can't see why he wouldn't discipline them just because he's not with their Mum. Chances are she could be egging them on as she knows it'll drive you mad and OH won't do anything.

wine for when you finish work

SingingInTheRainstorm Thu 02-Feb-17 12:33:39

That being said if it's stuff of yours not being respected, you have every right to say excuse me, now clean that up, don't do that, etc.

Somerville Thu 02-Feb-17 12:35:55

So he didn't have a home for his children so has decided to use yours? Has he moved in full time and does he pay half of everything if so?

user1486036034 Thu 02-Feb-17 12:38:34

We have been together since May, I first met the kids in September (but did all the things you're supposed to, kept it short, left them to spend some time with their dad etc) we moved in together in October which is when the kids started staying, He hadn't long been split up when he met me, I feel like a snob for wanting his children to eat with a knife and fork (the oldest was very proud of herself for managing to eat scampi & chips in a café without using her knife and fork!)
I think wine is the way forward!!

Somerville Thu 02-Feb-17 12:54:17

Is he paying half the rent and bills?
If not, then he needs to. Now.

There are lots of books on step-parenting. Before my (now) DH moved in we read those together and talked through lots of different things that were raised as potential issues in them. A big one was that families often have unwritten rules and that it is a good idea for the parent and children to think through what these are and write them down. (And in a positive way, so not... "Do not swear" - instead "We speak to each other kindly and with respect".)
Having a list of house rules means that everyone has clear expectations before the final decision is made about a step-parent moving in (or moving in with a new partner, as in your case.)
Personally I think you need to write house rules together, with you having an equal say since it is your home. And this needs to start with you and your boyfriend - he needs to tell you how he parents, what things he might need help with and what he has covered, and the like. And you need to tell him how you want the house treated and that he needs to pay his way, etc... Then you involve the kids so it is a collaborative process rather than a list of do's and don'ts.

This worked really well for us, alongside a holiday together to practise our house rules and see what amendments we needed to make. I think it will be much harder to make changes like these now that they're already there and think the rules are that there are no rules. But I personally would not like to live like you currently are, and would insist on their father committing to parenting them properly and paying his way.

CockacidalManiac Thu 02-Feb-17 12:56:48

You met the kids in September, then they moved in during October?!

CockacidalManiac Thu 02-Feb-17 12:57:40

Ah, I see. They don't live there, they stay there.

knackeredinyorkshire Thu 02-Feb-17 13:01:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

user1486036034 Thu 02-Feb-17 13:02:17

He does pay half the rent/bills etc.

Whydidwedoit4times Thu 02-Feb-17 13:02:31

It must be so bloody hard being a step parent. I see friends kids who appear to me to be rude and spoilt but they probably felt that way about my kids.

You love your own kids so much that it's different and I can't imagine suddenly having s friends kids move in with me and live together.

Hats off to you op.

ItsSoUnfairSoItIs Thu 02-Feb-17 13:03:42

All I can say is good luck, I would feel awkward telling them off, but I would nudge DP hard and glare if needed so he got the message. It's a shame they're acting up when you are being so nice.

PenguinsandPebbles Thu 02-Feb-17 13:06:17

Sometimes in AIBU, stepmums get a hard time, if that happens, pop over to the step-parenting part of MN and your get lots of help and support.

He sounds like he is Disney Parenting, and it's going to get a whole lot worse for everyone (including DC) if he doesn't get his arse in gear and start parenting them when he is with them.

My situation is different as DP is the RP, so kids and him have always been a "package deal" I think it's much easier (although being a stepmum is incredibly difficult no matter what type you are) but being a step of an NRP is harder from what I can see.

Unless he steps up and takes control, this isn't going to be easy for any of you. Stepmonster is a good book for you to read, and you need to take things very very slowly where the DC are concerned, but you can only make this work if their father steps up by parenting them and supporting you 100%.

user1486036034 Thu 02-Feb-17 13:08:01

I don't feel it is down to me to correct his children, I have had words with him about it, managing to be pleasant not arguing about it, it is early days for us too and don't want them to come between us, OH is very laid back and any form of confrontation is a silent treatment from him!! he thinks I should be more laid back/easy going/stop overthinking etc.

user892 Thu 02-Feb-17 13:08:11

What a shock for everyone to have this all happen so quickly... He will have to discipline them or he risks losing you.

misshelena Thu 02-Feb-17 13:08:29

Your partner needs to step up. He needs to align with the mom re. disciplining the kids. If he is not on best terms with the mom, he needs to suck it up and fix that right away for the sake of his kids.

Those kids are getting away with such behavior because they know they can play their parents against each other. If both parents agree on what constitute proper behavior and support each other when kids are being punished by either, then the kids will have no choice but behave.

He has roughly 1 year to fix those kids' bad attitude. If they are still disrespecting and dismissing him by the time they hit 14 when they'll be getting into alcohol, drugs and sex, then he'll have lost any chance of guiding them through those most treacherous teen years, when they need him the most.

user892 Thu 02-Feb-17 13:10:17

OH is very laid back and any form of confrontation is a silent treatment from him

Well that's emotional abuse. You're not overthinking anything - you're being perfectly reasonable. What are his good points?

misshelena Thu 02-Feb-17 13:15:00

agree with you -- not your place to discipline his kids.

Somerville Thu 02-Feb-17 13:18:58

What are you getting from this relationship, OP?

user1486036034 Thu 02-Feb-17 13:26:18

We have a great time most of the time, and his kids are not a nightmare all the time

user892 Thu 02-Feb-17 13:57:39

It's not a partnership if he won't communicate about it with you, is it? He is perfectly happy as long as he thinks the kids don't hate him and you just shut up about it?

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