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One rule for them, another for us

(17 Posts)
nobillsplease Wed 27-Sep-17 12:29:04

Just wanted to see if anyone had the same problem. I have a DS, partner has a DD. We both do the discipline thing if we need, tell them to tidy up, wash themselves etc, the children seem to respect us both so it seems to work.

Trouble is, my partner disciplines my DS for something he leaves messy or something, yet when DSD does something identical and my partner sees it, either they just sort it without telling off or just ignore it.

The double standards are not going unnoticed by my DS who is asking me why DSD gets away with things more. Is this fairly common?

swingofthings Wed 27-Sep-17 13:32:44

Is there a age difference? Personally, I would start keeping a diary then after 10 examples, I would speak with him calmly, and if he denies it all, show him the evidence.

Treaclespongeandcustard Wed 27-Sep-17 13:37:30

This happened a lot when I was growing up. It became a family joke over time but there was definitely one rule for us (DM's kids) and another for my step sister. We called her 'Queen Sister' in the end. She's still more spoiled than us - car insurance paid, tax, petrol, Christmas (and we are all in our 30's). It's weird! I would say something if I was in your position

SusieQwhereareyou Wed 27-Sep-17 13:54:48

I don't know if it is common, but it is certainly familiar to me and efforts to discuss it have failed.

nobillsplease Wed 27-Sep-17 18:33:24

I'm glad I'm not alone, and I'm with Susie in that efforts to discuss it with him he doesn't seem to see it. He feels he treats them equally but reckons my DS is worse behaved generally. I try to be objective about it and I think my conclusion is they are just different - "naughty" in different ways. In quotes because I dont really like calling them naughty, it's not that so much just they need reminders to do things..... most of the time...

DSD also is not around so much for meals and so her behaviour like taking the plates back or being messy etc don't come up because she doesn't eat round ours much, if she did maybe she would be the same as DS?!

Thanks for the support!

MyBrilliantDisguise Wed 27-Sep-17 18:38:35

This sort of thing really troubles me, because I couldn't have a relationship with someone who was picking on my son.

nobillsplease Wed 27-Sep-17 19:31:52

Ha ha this is what I don't like about mumsnet, I start explaining things and it all sounds really bad.... maybe it is !? Eeekk

Is it picking on or just selfishness from my DP?

this happened, both of the kids had made a mess with drinks food and stuff, so I asked both to clean it up. DSD just cleaned up exactly minimum that could be termed as hers, plate, knife fork and cup. There werre jugs of juice, wrappers, all sorts everywhere.

When I told her to come back DP just chuckled and said well it's not her mess. So who ends up cleaning it up? Me and my DS.... Did my DS do all the other mess?? Hardly.....

Magda72 Wed 27-Sep-17 19:40:34

When my kids are together and make a mess I get both of them to clean it up equally & together. Sometimes one will grumble that they didn't make the biggest mess. All I say is that they were both involved so both can clean. Why doesn't the same apply for step siblings?
Op - you totally have my sympathy. But every time I read a post like this I wonder what type of man (or woman) puts spoiling his child before his (or her) relationship???
Maybe I'm naive but if dp had one rule for his youngest & a different one for my youngest whilst we were all sharing the the one living space I'd really be questioning his attitude to me - esp. if he undermined my trying to discipline them fairly.
Am I missing something?

Justoneme Wed 27-Sep-17 21:21:31

Or maybe you DS makes so much mess all over the house and DSD doesn't and you just focus on the food area because that's where you feel your DS pull their weight.

Fishface77 Wed 27-Sep-17 21:23:24

If he's truly treating your child differently why are you still with him?

swingofthings Thu 28-Sep-17 06:02:37

It's very difficult because I think as parents, we can't help but not being totally objectives, so it is easy to fall into the trap of being convinced that it is the other person who is not being fair and naturally acting protectively towards their own children making the situation worse.

I think you also experience this with siblings. How many times have I heard my kids saying 'it's not fair'! Kids will react differently to what they are asked to do, so even when you both ask the same, it can be interpreted as being unfair.

I personally have taught my kids that life is not fair and yes, sometimes, I might ask one to do something and the other to do something else and it is ok because life is not about constantly weighting things to compare if you are better or worse off than your neighbour. It's a concept that didn't buy so much when they were little, but it's now gone in as teenagers and they will both get on with things just because things have to be done without analysing if it's taken one more than 5 minutes to do their chores than the other. I found them more much helpful towards each other with that approach.

NewDaddie Thu 28-Sep-17 06:34:59

Does ds think the teacher picks on him too?

Ofc keep a diary and make sure that your ds isn't being treated unfairly, but bear in mind that some adults choose to correct/discipline patterns of behaviour rather than every single instance.

So if ds is more messy and dsd is more tidy I'd be more inclined to focus on ds for discipline.

Adviceplease360 Thu 28-Sep-17 06:40:20

Why are you with him? I can't understand women who will stay with a man when he clearly is unfair with and mistreats her children.

HeebieJeebies456 Fri 29-Sep-17 08:11:10

When I told her to come back DP just chuckled and said well it's not her mess. So who ends up cleaning it up? Me and my DS.... Did my DS do all the other mess?? Hardly.....

So why didn't you speak up and defend your son?
All you had to say was "well it's not all ds's mess either"

Are you afraid to push the issue in case he gets angry and breaks up with you?

QuiteLikely5 Fri 29-Sep-17 08:17:06

The fact is this is not right and your maternal instinct is creaming at you.

I'm not going to tell you to ltb but protect your son always and tell your dp that you must do the discipline from now on.

You can't continue to allow him to do it as he is t doing it in a way that's fair to your son.

Set ground rules. Let him dis ipline his own daughter - and you back off. It's a small price to pay to protect your son.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 29-Sep-17 08:25:16

Screaming smile

BlueFlowerPot Fri 27-Oct-17 16:53:45

nobillsplease I totally have the same experience! I lived in a blended family environment for 5 years, kids all mixed boys very same age. My partner would always notice every single nonsense my son would do wrong, leave the mess somewhere, it was from picking up the clothes to hanging the towel, cleaning up the plates, leaving the cables around etc. He would criticize his children for half of it. Over the time I came to a conclusion it has a lot to do with the conditional and unconditional love for the kids. He loves his kids unconditionally and overlooks more stuff. He does not love my son the same way, so he pick on more stuff and gets irritated with him more. To be truthful, I feel the same about his kids, but I have enough of the brain to keep quiet and let them to be kids around me that feel loved. I think our partner would have to overcome their ego and have the unconditional love for our kids, not sure if ever gonna happen.

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