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Different Rules(17 Posts)
I have been with my partner for 6 months, and we have children the same age. They haven’t met yet, nor have either of us met the others’ child/children, but it is becoming more and more apparent how differently our children are parented.
An example of this is that I am very strict with my kids diet having been overweight myself as a child. His daughter is very picky, eats the same meals every day, has sugary snacks for breakfast, is fed pudding even if she doesn’t touch her dinner etc.
Does anyone have any experience of similar and how it worked when they met?
But there is a school of thought that not making a fuss about pudding stops the sweet food from being something to be coveted or special in some way. Personally, I allow my children whatever pudding was going to be whether they’ve eaten the first part or not and I work on the basis that it’s less food in them overall if they don’t eat the first part therefore what’s the problem?
Massive parenting differences are difficult to overcome.
Massive parenting differences are difficult to overcome
I agree with this. It will be massively frustrating all round. Especially when the kids are the same age.
After only 6 months I might be tempted to cut my losses, but I appreciate that’s easy for me to say when I’m not the one in the relationship!
I’m a SM, have no kids of my own.
Met my OH’s kids after 6 months, we now live together.
Kids are 10 & 13. One will eat everything. The other is extremely fussy (i’ll give you an example - we went to Portugal last week in a 7 day holiday, she ate plain omelet and chips everyday for dinner because their isn’t one thing on the entire menu of 7 different restaurants that she will eat or even try).
Food has been the biggest node of contention for me & my OH and I got quite stressed about this (i’m a pretty adventurous scratch cook).
I cook one dinner (child appropriate) and nothing else (their mum who is the RP asks them what they want and cooks 3 different meals). They only eat oven food at mums. I don’t cook any oven or convienence food. If she won’t eat or try then my OH can pander to her. I don’t cook anything else and if hungry there’s a full fruit bowl on offer.
Personally I don’t think anyone is doing this girl any favours (which after last weeks holiday my OH is realising). You’re the adult - it’s our responsibility to cook and provide for them. Their responsibility to eat it. If they choose not to then that’s tough (IMO).
NorthernSpirit i guess that also shows that there can be a massive difference in biological siblings too (although I certainly know that with mine) and it just takes finding that middle ground that works for ‘us’
Thank you all for your opinions, the food thing was just an example I could put my hands on at the time, his child is disciplined completely different to mine etc.
It’s going to be tough, I know this
We have had similar issues. Both have kids but none together. There was a world of difference in how our children were brought up when we first met. Have lived together now for over a year and we talk alot input the rules in our house and how they apply to all the kids. My SC seem to have very little discipline at home but I have had to accept I can't control that, I can only influence what happens at my house. Not gonna lie, it's hard work but if you and your other half are on the same page about discipline it does help
Bottom line, if you're not on the same page, it's not going to work. The good news is, you CAN get on the same page but it requires commitment from both of you to work out what you can let slide/compromise on, and what will drive you insane/is non-negiotable.
When DH and I first got together he remarked that my parenting style was draconian. I retorted that it wasn't draconian, I just expected the kids to do what they were told, when they were told. Over the years I've had to learn to step back/let stuff slide, he's had to learn to step up and take a much firmer line.
I'd also say beware the "don't you talk to my child like that" trap. Many a time he'd say something that I was thinking about bad behaviour, but because he said it to my child (as opposed to me saying it), my hackles would rise and I'd be all defensive.
So long as you both treat each other's kids the way you want yours to be treated, you can't go too far wrong.
Northernspirit - that actually upset me to read.
Would you eat something you really didnt like? The little girl is not being pandered too, some people are more fussy than others and as a previous fussy eater, I had horrific anxiety over food when something was served I knew I wouldn't like. It was a knot in my stomach id get being at a height and physical repulsion that made me gag.
Its not fun being fussy - its stressful. Its not for attention. It seems your stepdaughters parents are doing the right thing by making sure she's fed something she wants to eat - what right do you have to try and convince her father otherwise?
As a step-parent and a mother your post really upset me. I hope my exP doesn't meet someone like you so DS doesn'thave a random womans opinions affecting how his parents want to raise him with love and kindness.
@Mumsypig - we obviously differ.
The fussy eating is now becoming a big problem for my DSD because (IMO) she’s been pandered to.
Do you think it’s right that a child will only eat a plain omelet, chips or a margarita pizza when she’s out? Or won’t eat a school dinner so gets chips ever day?
Personally I think most fussy eating is nurture rather than nature. Her mum is a fussy eater - in this case it’s nurture and she chooses to be fussy.
It’s our responsibility as parents to provide food (and I always make it child appropriate), a child’s decision whether to eat it.
Personally I don’t have any foods I won’t eat (yes, I prefer some things over others). Because I wasn’t pandered to as a child or given the run of what ever snacks I wanted.
Oh and i’m not some random women - i’m A qualified food scientist. I think it’s you and your fussy eating are projecting here.
I’m sorry Northern, do your qualifications don’t actually qualify you to understand what may or may not go through someone’s head when it comes to different foods and the wider psychological issues someone may face? Many, many people have issues with food that they grow out of without the adults in their lives having to make some kind of stand. I eat everything but I sure as hell didn’t as a child and yes, that was pandered to by ignoring it. Thousands of young people will only eat plain food from a conservative selection of plain foods.
Or are you suggesting we are all shite parents?
@ohreallyohreallyoh - 4 years of studying the science and psychology of food gives me some insight. And no, I haven’t said you are all shit parents (you’ve concluded that yourself).
The are 2 types of fussy eaters:
Neophobia - refusal to eat
Fussiness- unwillingness to try
My DSD is the 2nd.
Fussiness emerges during toddlerhood, diminishes during childhood and occasionally persists.
Omnivores are capable of consuming a wide variety of foods.
Genes + environment play a part, but the environment is well proven to be more important.
Influences in early life - in uteri affects fussiness (what the mother eats when pregnant(.
The importance of variety for acceptance during weaning is well documented to be critical.
Influences in childhood - exposure to foods is well proven.
The role of parents - feeding practices are considered the most important reason for children being fussy.
Modelling eating - children learn through observation and imitation.
So children do inherit a pre - disposition to be fussy, but parents have the power to minimise fussiness.
I do ignore my DSD’s fussiness. But i’m not a short order cook and running a restaurant. I model good, healthy eating behaviour. Completely upto her what she was eats.
Yesterday (we were out for the day). She refused to eat anything remotely healthy (her choice). She ate 2 chocolate muffins for breakfast, a bottle of full sugar Fanta and a packet of crisps for lunch, a bottle of full sugar Tango, a slice of cake. When she got home to mum she had a MacDonalds. If you think that’s acceptable for a 13 year old girl to eat, that’s your perigrative. Personally I don’t.
People are not textbooks, are they?
A full day of sugar isn't acceptable in my book either. And I say that as the parent of a child with sensory issues who cannot stomach chewy or fatty food
It’s entirely possible to date someone and never have anything to do with their children or to involve them with yours. Clearly you parnetbevey differently and that would be a problem for you. Make the decision now not to involve your children in your love life.
Thank you all! Lots of food for thought here, I’m glad I posted
You don’t say whether you see yourself moving in with him OP but that’s when it wouldn’t obviously be an issue. Perhaps when you are ready to all meet you can all go out together or have the kids over at yours and see how it goes over one with the kids as you would need to have a joint approach to parenting IMO which would mean changes for both sets of children. But I think if u do it very slowly and gradually then it’s possible.
Massive parenting differences are difficult to overcome
This is true. In my last relationship, my DP had 2 children - I thought his parenting style was truly awful - pandered to absolutely every whim/total Disney Dad in every way. Fed them junk all the time because 'it's OK their Mum makes sure they eat well when they're with her'. They barely had any table manners, would just chuck food on the floor if they didn't like it. But they weren't my kids - and as I didn't have kids he would tell me I just 'didn't understand' so I couldn't say anything.
No, but I was brought up to be polite, well behaved, do what I was told and not scream the place down because I wasn't allowed a 3rd ice-cream of the day! Totally lost all respect for him as a result.