'IT'S NOT FAIR'(11 Posts)
right, DP and I and our respective DCs (one each, same age, girls) share a household, we have met in the middle on some things - but our children have been brought up quite differently by two very different sets of parents.
My child has more restrictions/boundaries than my partner's child. Mainly on bedtimes and screen time. DPs ethos is very child led, she more or less choses for herself when to go to bed, watch TV etc.
My child at times protests about this to the extent that DPs child gets upset / worried about making my DC cross, and won't do things that my DC isn't allowed to. Then my DP worries about the impact on his DC, which creates yet more tension.
How do others manage this? I maintain they are different people, with different needs, so need to do some things differently.
But my DC says it's not fair and gets quite hostile with me at times about it. I've explained fair doesn't mean equal. Also that she has more freedoms now than she had when it was just me and her Dad living with her. But I sort of get how an 11 year old might see it this way.
Any one advise other tactics for not getting sucked into a round of resentment and 'not fairing' or just anyone else who feels my pain?
I don't have any magic solutions to your problem but it speaks volumes that your DP's child has more awareness of the impact her dads parenting has on your DD than he does. Have you highlighted that to your DP? What does he say? I think there's nothing wrong with having house rules which apply to both DC but the barrier to that seems to be your DP. It seems that your SD would more than likely go along with 'house rules' if she is already self limiting what she does/doesn't do by showing 'solidarity' with your DD.
Sorry, meant to add, whenever my DD throws that at me, about what other people let their DC do etc. I just repeat that I'm not their parent & those DC's parents decide what's appropriate for them & I decide what's appropriate for her. I usually throw in a bit about me weighing up pros/cons with decisions & then making a decision but she's usually stuck in the 'it's not faaaaaaiiir' mode at that point
Is it possible for you to relax the rules a tiny bit and for your DH to tighten his rules up too? Then the girls would see things are more equal and there'd be less tension. House rules rather than individual ones.
I think your rules need to meet in the middle somewhere rather than different rules for each child, since they're the same age. I can only see this getting worse as they get older - are they going to have different curfews/ different phone rules/ different rules about dating? Are they both with you full time? How much time does each spend with their other parent?
They both live Half and half with each parent...and yes we have met in the middle on a lot of things...but they are very different children and we have different philosophies about parenting..I didn't realise how different until we lived together...and bedtime is non negotiable, my DD needs earlier nights than his...we tried meeting in the middle on that but it just didn't work. Screen time, we have kind of met in the middle actually..but my DD does more activities so has less time for TV.
DP already thinks my parenting of my DD hampers his DDs freedom...this causes him anxiety..he sees her not wanting to upset my DD as being out of fear of her reaction (my DD is outspoken and we do argue at times, whilst his DD is very conflict avoidant, and gentle..just wants to keep the peace) We've had some heated debates about this as you can imagine!
Interestingly when I went up to say goodnight, my DD had calmed down and was happy to have a bedtime snuggle with me. I reminded her how much more freedom she has now..she objected to that being 'just for DSSs benefit' but it was a token objection...all good for now! Thanks for the support people, much appreciated.
I can't see how different rules for the same age girls would ever work! I know they're individuals with their own needs, preferences etc, and you have different parenting ideas.....but this will eventually become a problem if you can't meet somewhere in the middle!
It seems that your DSS is trying to contribute to the harmony of the house, which is to be commended. I would tell your DD that she has an impact too on the overall harmony of your household, she can choose to continually fight with you and resent DSS, or cooperate with you on this. I had similar, I explained to my son that not all rules were going to be the same, I was stricter with him, and as his parent we would get a bit freer to even out with step siblings, but that some things, like bedtimes in the week would remain the same as there was a good reason for that.
Thanks Bananas that's a useful conversation to have, I'll try it.
my DD needs earlier nights than his.
So really it comes down to this rather than fairness. One child needs more sleep than the other and that's what it should be all about. What are the consequences of your DD not getting enough sleep? I think this should be resolve with you discussing it with DD and make her realise why it is important for her to go to sleep early.
My children don't have set times, however, DS will always go to bed earlier than his sister (and when she did at the same age) because he himself is aware that he needs more sleep (he's 13) than her. Maybe because I never made a big deal of it and never made it that bedtime was a punishment, he isn't bothered.
DSD sounds lovely to be considering you DD.
Why don't you have a week where they both follow your rules and s week where they both follow his and then a genuine, honest discussion as a family about what works and what doesn't. You and DP are still the parents and will make the final decisions in your daughters best interests, but will take their thoughts into consideration if they are sensible and mature about it (so no 2am bedtimes and chocolate for breakfast)
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