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How does your partner treat your children - his/her step children?

(17 Posts)
user1483104950 Wed 04-Jan-17 18:13:51

Just asking really as today has been a bad day for us. Me and dp moving house next week so been packing all day. My dcs don't go back to school until tomorrow. So they've been abit bored but on the whole, I think they've done well. They are 7 and 5.

Dp (my dcs are not his) and me have had a fall out because he's sick of picking things up after my dcs. I don't even know what he's on about to be honest. He says that whenever he packs a box, they un pack it. I've not seen any of this so I totally stood up for my children. And even if they did, so what? They aren't exactly making a mess. I've been so busy I've not had much chance to play with them really so I'm feeling abit guilty but there is so much to do.

Dp took himself upstairs for a couple of hours for a sleep and now has gone off to his mums. We've hardly spoken to each other which is very unlike us.

I'm getting the feeling he's fed up of my dcs. Yes they have been loud, chasing each other round the house etc and generally getting in the way but they haven't for a second been naughty.

Me and dp have very different parenting styles - he has 2 dcs also - and it seems to always come between us.

I am a parent where I am very loving, only tell my children off properly when I really have too. I want to be as close as I can to them. Up until I met my dp it was just us 3 and I refuse to lose the closeness we have.

Dp is much stricter, has set rules etc. He is also loving and lives his dcs very much but the way we are with our children is so different.

I'm writing this and having doubts on even moving into this house together - I miss it being just me and my kids. When we all get on then it's absolutely fine.

My dp just seems to think I need to be stricter with my kids. My kids are happy, usually polite, very affectionate and loving towards me.....I don't think I'm doing anything wrong as a parent.

Does anyone else have this?

Petalbird Wed 04-Jan-17 18:23:32

Sounds like you have different parenting styles. Have you sat down and spoken to him fully about what rules should be regarding the kids? To me though I can see his point trying to pack while kids run around being loud and disruptive would be classified as kids being naughty

user1483104950 Wed 04-Jan-17 18:39:04

We have yeah but he won't listen to my point really. He just says I need to be stricter. I will punish my kids for doing wrong but I do it in a way where I sit down when them and talk to them about it, not shout at his kids like he does.

And yes I supposed it could be classed as being naughty. Maybe I should of been stricter then. The thing is my son has behavioural problems so I have to be very careful on how I do things.

Now I'm just wondering what time he will be back and feeling the need I have to get the kids upstairs and in bed for when he's home. Though then I think I'll just go to bed myself to be honest. It's this part I find hard, I feel I have to keep them out of the way of him sometimes

NotLadyPrickshit Wed 04-Jan-17 18:47:50

I have to say that if I was packing boxes to move & the kids were then taking things back out I'd be annoyed & probably piss off & leave you to get on with it too...

The problem is you & he obviously have very different ideas of what constitutes naughty - running around the house, being loud, chasing each other indoors, getting in the way & unpacking boxes are all classed as naughty in my house but I have friends who allow their kids to run riot.

Do you currently live together or is this the big move in?

MycatsaPirate Wed 04-Jan-17 18:48:54

It does seem to be a difference in parenting and what you perceive to be misbehaviour and what he does.

Honestly, if I was trying to pack up to move house and I had someone pulling stuff out of boxes I'd be pissed off. It's a stressful time without having kids underfoot and maybe you should have looked into either waiting until they were at school or one of you taking the kids out for an hour to burn off some steam and then asking them to play nicely with their xmas toys while you got on with it.

I also wouldn't tolerate endless screaming, shouting and running about the house. It's just me. I know others do put up with this and think it's fine. I also know that stuff gets trashed and broken in those houses and it's not an issue. I personally prefer kids to run about outside instead of indoors.

I do think you should talk to him about what you both find acceptable and what your definitions of 'naughty' is. If he asked them to stop taking things out of boxes and they continued to do so then yes, it's naughty behaviour and I don't blame him for being annoyed.

user1483104950 Wed 04-Jan-17 18:52:59

The thing is, I didn't see them take anything out. If I did then I would of agreed but I didn't see it. This is what's leading me to think they are just pissing him off in general. I think my daughter maybe took her new doll out she got for xmas and that's about it.

When his kids are here, I spent the whole time thinking 'give your kids a break, you hardly see them and when you do you just shout at them'

All other aspects of our relationships are really good apart from this.

And yeah it will be the big move though his kids always stay at mine as my house is better for us all. So yeah it is the big move together officially but we pretty much all live together anyway

NotLadyPrickshit Wed 04-Jan-17 19:32:02

Just because you didn't see them take anything out doesn't mean that they didn't... in effect you've undermined him & basically suggested that he's a liar in front of the children - I'd be completely fucked off at that!

You really need to sit down & have a frank open discussion about a compromise on parenting styles as there is clearly a massive difference & it will only cause more problems as the kids get older - I can just imagine how the teenage years will go!

Lunar1 Wed 04-Jan-17 20:03:13

What you really mean is all aspects of your relationship are really good apart from the fundamental way you plan to raise your children. There couldn't be a bigger gulf if you tried, you will both think you are right and the other is wrong. How do you plan to work through this?

PigletWasPoohsFriend Wed 04-Jan-17 20:09:02

I have to say that if I was packing boxes to move & the kids were then taking things back out I'd be annoyed & probably piss off & leave you to get on with it too

I agree.

If I was packing boxes and they were unpacking boxes I would be pissed off too. Especially if you the undermined me in front of them.

They are old enough to know that chasing each other around the house whilst you are packing up isn't ok!

Bananasinpyjamas1 Wed 04-Jan-17 20:15:47

He says that whenever he packs a box, they un pack it. I've not seen any of this so I totally stood up for my children.

This I think. Why do you need to see something? Why couldn't you just say 'Come on kids, don't unpack the boxes'?

Evergreen777 Thu 05-Jan-17 14:24:54

Moving house is really stressful, and kids running around getting in the way isn't going to help at all. I'd try and go a bit easy on your DP and just keep the kids out of his way if he's getting ratty and stressed by them. Could they watch a DVD, or go and play with a neighbour or something if they're likely to be getting in the way again? It's also quite stressful for kids, so they are likely to be hyper and silly and not have any of their usual surroundings to focus on.

I know what you mean about the closeness you can have as a single parent - and I do think you have to lose a little of that when you move in with a new partner. Like getting them off to bed so you can have some time together - you maybe wouldn't get them off so early, or would spend more time reading to them or whatever if it was just you and them. But a new relationship does take time and energy, and you do need to make a bit of space in your life for it.

Personally, I found the time when me and my DC were around DP's house most of the time but not actually living there was the hardest in many ways - as we didn't have our own space which caused conflict between the kids and I was always in someone else's home. It was better once we were officially living together and had worked out some ground rules making compromises between our parenting styles (neither of us was really stricter overall but we had different things we cared about)

swingofthings Thu 05-Jan-17 17:55:21

The thing is, I didn't see them take anything out. If I did then I would of agreed but I didn't see it.
As it already been said, this is very insulting. Why would your OH make it up? He clearly got fed up, and he would have had a reason for being so.

I expect it is your response to what he said that really got to him more than your kid's behaviour on this occasion and personally, I don't blame him, I too would have been very annoyed to be told that unless witnessed, my words were meaningless.

As to the fact that you have different style of parenting...well, I don't know what to say. I struggle to see how you can have a happy recomposed family when you have very different views on discipline. The only way it can possibly work is if you make it clear that only you discipline your children, but you have to make your children respect his space.

In the end, you (and maybe him) didn't plan the day well if you didn't arrange to make sure that the kids were occupied one way if indeed, there were no alternative to do the packing a day they were not around. I expect he wanted to get on with it as soon as possible, and ended up very stressed doing so with children running around being noisy and then making the whole process longer by undoing his work. If my kids had done that at that age, they certainly would have heard my disapproval and I wouldn't have needed to witness it.

user1483104950 Thu 05-Jan-17 18:45:54

TBH we've spoken since and he's admitted he does struggle with my kids. He admitted they didn't actually take anything out of the boxes - a couple of things as I suspected but I knew it wasn't anymore than that as I was keeping a very close eye on them.

My kids just do his head that's the end of that unfortunately. I bend over backwards for his children but unfortunately it's been a one way street....these last few weeks especially

Beebeeeight Thu 05-Jan-17 18:54:49

You can't move in together.

You are incompatible.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Thu 05-Jan-17 19:10:48

I was keeping a very close eye on them.

Not if they were running about and shouting you weren't.

I agree however you are incompatible. Your parenting styles are too different.

user1483104950 Thu 05-Jan-17 19:46:09


Ffs They were playing a little game that's all. They were happy and having fun. Which let me get on with what I needed to do.

Theres something else on his mind, he's admitted that but he won't tell me what and I can't be doing with playing games

Anyway it's done now so end of.

swingofthings Fri 06-Jan-17 20:40:49

There's no point in defending them. You considered their behaviour acceptable, he didn't. No right or wrong, just different outlooks on upbringing.

I can't stand my neighbours' kids. They are not bad kids (at least I don't think they are), but they shout, scream, fight, and are just noisy all the time and as you say, they do my head in. I would never have tolerated my kids to behave like this, but their parents seem to think that it is ok for them to do so because they are doing no harm (and clearly don't care about the disturbance to the neighbours).

It is always sad when a couple separate because of the children, but it is better to move on in this situation as the longer you live together and try to make it work, the worse it becomes for everyone.

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