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We had a non incident last weekend when we had DSS's (3 and 6) which ex wife is making an incident.
Dss (3) slapped DS (7) in the face pretty hard when we were in the car at the petrol station. DP had gone in. DS was crying, and all I said to DSS was "that's not very nice is it."
As DP was coming back to the car, I left it for him to deal with further. DP told dss off and he apologized, end off.
Follow on to this week she made a comment to DP that I am not to tell her children off, bit annoyed as don't tell them off but ignored it.
This weekend DSS said to me, that "mummy said you and (DS) are not allowed to tell us off and we don't have to listen to you"
We've been together a year and a bit, were planning on ttc soon. Tell me does it get better. Or is the destined for doom?
I’d say to the child “Well we are a family and sometimes I have to be able to tell you not to do things because I care about you and want you to be safe and kind”
Ignore it and her. You and your DP need to do whatever you feel is right in your home.
And no, it doesn’t always get better. I know it’s none of my business but I would hold off TTC. A year is so early in a relationship and you need to take longer to settle things when SCs are involved, or it can end really badly. I mean that as kind advice, not to be patronising. Good luck
@TinaGurner I take it as kind advice, it's been a thought I've had myself lately.
You did absolutely the right thing. Get down to the boy's eye level, give him a big smile and a hug and say to him that you hope you won't have to tell him off again if he is a good boy, but that if he does something to hurt someone, it is right you should remind him that it isn't nice, and that similarly, if your son hurt him, you would tell him off too.
Absolutely what both posters have said. We’ve thankfully never had this issue with DSC mum trying to interfere in discipline but I’d like to think if we had, we’d both have taken the approach outlined. A family unit will only function when everyone’s on the same page. I’ve never had any issues with DSC kicking off when I ask them to do something or tell them to stop beating each other up or playing with their food! What helps is that the ratio of nice things I say to tickings off is far in favour of the former. DH and I are pretty chilled out but agree on priorities and they understand that I think. If they want to stay in pjs all day when we have no plans that’s fine, when one of them wants to smack the other in the face or break something, that’s not.
You did nothing wrong in the incident you describe. Either their mum has no rules at all and would happily let them kill each other. Or she’s being a prick and trying to make your lives difficult. Which is confusing and bad for the DC. Try and explain to them that they’re old enough for different rules in different homes and you don’t try and interfere in mum’s rules.
It doesn't get much easier as pp have said and you might want to postpone ttc til you have settled into a family routine first.
I'd have a chat with your dp about his feelings towards you caring for his children. Which may result in him having a talk with his ex.
No you aren't their parent but you will turn into a co parent of sorts and you have to start laying the ground work early. For example do you believe you will ever be left in charge of the children because of you are then they need to know that you are in charge and they have to listen to you. I spoke about this with my partner as soon as we move in together. I've had my ss on my own and unless I wanted to stay in the house all day I needed to know he would listen to me. I took him to the park and felt comfortable he would do as I say especially when it came to safety.
Right now you couldn't go to the park and if your partner needed to pop back to the car you would all have to go because his children could go to do something dangerous and you couldn't stop them because 'they don't have to listen to you'.
If you plan to be a part of their lives then you need to fix this problem now.
Sorry that was long winded I just couldn't find a way to shorten it.
I think that’s your partners cue to speak to him and say “name is an adult and you have to listen to what she says and do what she says when you’re with her”
As the children are young it’ll be easier if they grow up knowing that they need to listen to you
My step kids are mid and late teens. It gets harder each visit! I wonder if it will ever get better.
DP has spoken to the older one, and he nods that he understands. But I worry that the poor boy is confused, and he obviously (naturally) feels like he is betraying what his mother said. I don't want him feeling like that but also recognize that we're in a situation where he may at some points have to listen to me.
I think you didn't do anything wrong. But I do think that in that sort of situation you should hold your ground and tell child off the same you would to any child that misbehaved in your care.
However it is important that you must not punish as that is your partner's responsibility.
Now your DP has spoken to him maybe just wait and see what happens. Try not to keep going over it unless something else happens.
Maybe have a chat with your DP so you have a plan in place of how he would like you to deal with a similar situation and have an agreed approach. It may make you feel less guilty as you are then supporting your DP rather than telling off your dss.
You did nothing wrong OP. Doesn’t matter if this was my own child, a friends child or a step child I would of handled it the same way (as you).
As for his mum saying you can’t discipline him - tough, what’s goes on in dads time has nothing to do with mum (just like he gets no say in how her, any of her friends or a partner parents). Kids need boundaries. If she thinks this behaviour is ok, she’s creating a rod for her own back.
As for the comment made by the son ‘mummy said you aren’t to tell us off and we don’t have to listen to you’ simply remind him that you’re the adult. What you say goes. Make sure you and his dad back each other up and are on the same page.
Step kids mom has no say in your house. Talk to your SO and make it clear that he needs to talk to the ex and that your house = your rules and the ex needs to respect that, and you.
So you are supposed to stand there if your step child walks towards the road and not tell them off or not to walk into traffic? Good call ex wifey!
Knowing what I know how OP, seek to find someone who will have your back. Step kids are bloody hard work.
I would expect any adult to tell off my dc if needed.
Firstly your DP needs to have a sort out with his EW, he needs to tell her, that when his kids are in his home, it's his rules. Also, as the responsible adults in the house, you will both continue to chastise the DC (age appropriately of course), when they are badly behaved....and slapping another child, is definitely bad behaviour!
Then he needs to explain the situation (again age appropriately) to his DC, and you to yours!
I had an issue with ex I had to raise that he interpreted as me saying his partner couldn't tell dd off - in fact what I was saying was he wasn't to leave ALL the telling off to her! He was abdicating his responsibility as dds father and turning his partner into the bad guy (something he'd tried with me when we were together too).
Of course you need to be able to tell them off if what they're doing is likely to cause them or others harm. Also because you need to build a relationship with them. And boundaries are part of that - not only for respect but so they feel safe with you.
Must admit though I agree on the ttc. More children really puts pressure on a situation like this and a year isn't very long.
No I agree it's best to wait, I don't want to rush in.
Although I understand your point about not doing all the telling off. It's not that she means I'm not to utter a bad word against / to them. Which I wouldn't buy rules are rules. And I tell my DS to not climb on the sofa, I'm not then going to sit by while his children do it.
She's an odd duck, very controlling and everything has to be her terms and way.
She needs to get used to you telling her kids off, but it’s early days so if I were you I’d just make sure you and DP are in agreement. Then as long as you aren’t shouting, overreacting then just be normal in the future.
A nursery has to be able to tell off our kids, anyone who is around and cares for them needs to be able to do it.
EW has no right to send that kind of message via her DC, what kind of ridiculous set up will there be, if she convinces her kids, they can do what they hell they like at daddy's house!
I would hope that your DP explains to his DC, that when they're in their home with the 2 of you, your rules must be followed, exactly as they are in their home with mummy!
Furthermore, your DP should inform his EW, that HIS children will follow HIS rules, when they're at home with HIM!
DSS was a bit younger and got pulled up by his dad for saying "you can't tell me what to do" to me. I don't think there was any malice in it, he was just repeating something he heard on a kids TV show. I think it was in response to me asking him to take his plate to the kitchen, I can't actually remember, but I'd not told him off or anything. DP immediately told him he should never say that, ever.
If an adult is caring for a child, it's perfectly reasonable for them to tell the child when they are doing something dangerous or unkind. Whether that be as a teacher, step parent, guardian or otherwise.
As the adult of the house you can tell off any naughty dc in it imo!!
If no dps are around or if the situation is one only you are in with the dc then you need to manage that situation. Telling tales to the df is hardly gaining respect from a dc. And the exw can stfu.