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discipline problems

(13 Posts)
mollyevieem Tue 20-Aug-13 12:47:33

hello, im a mother of 3 children, one of which is with my current partner.
when we got together he took on my other 2 children (who see their dad on a regular basis) from a previous relationship. they all get along ok but some days its like a war zone and i feel stuck in the middle.
my children are like most children with their good days and their bad days but the bad days seem 100 times worse when they start playing up for my partner. they will scream and shout at each other and whenever i intervene i am accused of taking sides. they dont respect my partner or see him as an equal in the family.
my partner struggles to find a common ground with the children and does not know how to discipline them been as though they are not his. i get protective of my children if he shouts at them even if the children are in the wrong and have done something naughty so i know im giving my children mixed messages but im not sure how to correct this.
i want my children and partner to get along but wont allow my partner to be the 'step dad' he wants to be as i get funny with him and tell him he has no right to shout at my children when he does. the children hear this and then keep on disrespecting him and think to themselves they can behave how they like.
its like a never ending circle and i have no one to blame but myself, only problem is now i dont know how to make things better.
any advice would be greatly appreciated
thank you

needaholidaynow Tue 20-Aug-13 13:03:38

I know this isn't really constructive advice, just merely a judgment from the information you've given, but how are your children supposed to respect him as an adult in the household and their mother's partner, if you let them walk all over him? If they are in wrong and he shouts at them, he need to know that you have got his back, or they'll completely shoot him down with you taking the lead.

My DSD once sat on the table in our house, and I told her to get down. i wasnt nasty, i just asked her to sit on a chair. My DP had a go at me, in front of her, so I had it out with him later that day when she was at school.

"Would she do that at her mum's, at school, at her nan's?! How the F is she meant to respect anything in her dad's house if you don't teach her the basic F discipline of respecting the furniture?! Which includes NOT sitting on the tables, and NOT diving all over the sofa! We have a 2 year old who looks up to her, and I DON'T want him to copy her bad habits! Nip it in the bud now (insert DP's name) or I bloody will as the other adult in this household!"

I was fuming at him for not backing me up.

mollyevieem Tue 20-Aug-13 13:14:54

i understand what you are saying and i understand where i am going wrong.
i have tried recently to allow him to tell them whats right and wrong but i fear the damage has already been done and the children wont respect him.
i know i need my partner to know i have got his back but the children have disrespected him for so long now im afraid they wont change their ways and i am so desperate for them to realise that he is only doing whats best for them
i know this is all my doing but have no idea how to change it all and make it right

needaholidaynow Tue 20-Aug-13 13:33:53

Just tell them straight. Sit them down and tell them that from now on they listen to him and if not then they will be punished. Explain to them that he is an adult and that from now on they need to listen to him. I do understand your worries about the damage already being done, but you can only try. How old are your children?

mollyevieem Tue 20-Aug-13 13:35:56

thank you, i appreciate your help :-)
they are 7 and 4 and my youngest (partners child) is 12 and a half weeks old

needaholidaynow Tue 20-Aug-13 13:49:11

aah see they're still very young, it will be far easier for them to learn to respect your DP. It's not like they are rebellious teenagers, or you would have had more of challenge on your hands! smile I wouldn't worry.

mollyevieem Tue 20-Aug-13 13:59:08

thank you, you have really helped :-) i will take your advice and talk to them and see how it goes!

needaholidaynow Tue 20-Aug-13 14:12:54

You're welcome! smile Hope it all goes well for you!

louby44 Tue 20-Aug-13 15:26:27

OP I'm in a similar situation to you. My DP disciplines my boys (10 & 13) which I accept (don't always like) but I understand the need for.

We have been together for nearly 6 years now so the kids are used to him but he is VERY strict. he expects too much from all the kids (he has 2 girls) sometimes.

He recently told them off because there were marks on the walls on the stairs (we had the hall & stairs decorated 2 months ago). I got so angry with him saying that this is a home not a show-home, that of course there will be marks, no one has done it on purpose it's just one of those things.

I never realised that living in a blended family would be so hard. It has tested our relationship many times.

Good luck

UC Tue 20-Aug-13 15:27:28

To add to what needaholiday has said, you must not only tell your children this, you must actually do it. You must actually stand as a team with your partner and back him up in front of them. You have put your partner in an impossible position. Yes, it will be tough but they will get it. when it feels hard, imagine what it will be like if you allow this to continue into their teens. The children will be a nightmare, and if I was your partner, I'd be long gone.

UC Tue 20-Aug-13 15:29:01

Ah Louby, it sounds as though you have a different issue though to the OP - your partner is too strict. However, the difference that you have highlighted is that the argument with your partner needs to be when you are alone. Not in front of the children!

mollyevieem Tue 20-Aug-13 15:39:57

thank you all for the advice, i will talk to my children and show a united front with my partner on matters in the future :-)

Kaluki Tue 20-Aug-13 21:51:53

One if the most important things you will learn as a step parent is to bite your tongue - at least until the kids are out of earshot!!
I am surprised I have a tongue left I have bitten it so much over the years and the hardest bite is when DP tells my baby DS off! Every instinct tells me to defend him but I have to back DP up. (Most of the time he is being quite reasonable though)

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