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What do you do(16 Posts)
I live with my DH and my two children from previous marriage. He has 3 children 2 only come in holidays due to location his 3rd EOW and time in holidays due to his working patterns.
On the whole he is a good man however we tend to argue regarding the DC particularly when his children stay. I don’t think he’s very good with them he’s very reluctant to tell them off and I have rules for my DC like help lay table must eat dinner or no pudding ect. He doesn’t seem to think the rules apply to his DC and I don’t think it’s fair hence the arguments. He lets his DCs get away with things that my two are not allowed. I’m finding it all frustrating and now just thinking I might as well keep my mouth shut. I feel I can’t say anything regarding his DC he just gets so defensive and switches it around. What do you all do and how do you manage to keep the peace and harmony. We love each other very much and he is a hard working man so I don’t really want to leave he isn’t abusive in anyway to me or my children.
Probably feeling a lot of parental guilt for not seeing them that often that he wants them to enjoy the little time he has with them.
Tbh he doesnt seem them that often I dont think its necessary for them to do chores.
The problem is you probably talk about it at times of tensions, you probably are both acting defensive.
In the end, either he is full of guilt for not seeing them more, especially if he is the one who moved, and therefore doesn't want to make the few times a year he sees them a conflicting time, which in a way, he does have a point.
Or, he has different views on how to discipline kids as you do and think you are too strict, too much on their back etc... If that is the case, there really is no wrong or right, or either you agree to each bring your kids up as you see fit, although it isn't great for the family environment, or you find a way to compromise, or you agree that it isn't going to work, leaving you all frustrated and in conflict and agree that the relationship isn't right.
I wouldn’t mind at all if he didn’t pull me up on things that he lets his DC do only minor things but if my Dd has been on his PlayStation for a hour or two he comments but his DD 8 sits I’m on the iPad All day every day when she comes EOW. His other 2DCs only come in holiday as they live 400 miles away so I don’t expect them to do much when they come however he doesn’t like my DCs taking food and drink in bedrooms his DCs are allowed and that is what I find so frustrating. Should I just bite my tongue?
His ExW left him and with his 2DC his third was a internet date and she said she could have children so was surprised when she got pregnant. (She told me that) and he has never been in a relationship with her mother
I think you need to pick a time when it's just the two of you, to sit down and talk about it properly.
You obviously have very different ideas about what parenting is about: he thinks you let children do whatever they like and you think it's about preparing children for life and giving them opportunities to succeed and build self-esteem.
Some people parent in structured ways, some people leave children mostly to their own devices. I personally think children do better with structure but if you truly do love each other and want to stay together, you must find a way to parent together too.
I think it's reasonable for you to both take your own approach with your own kids given how different your roles in their lives are (especially the ones he doesn't even see EOW - he is treating them like guests rather than his own children that need discipline, which is of course what yours are to you). But it definitely isn't right that he pulls you up on things his kids get away with. If you are expected to let him get on with it then he should be doing the same in reverse and he ought to recognise the double standard. I wouldn't bite my tongue, I would be having a conversation with him about how he views the situation and why he thinks the two are different.
Thank you everyone for your replies yes a talk is needed and maybe I need to back off a little. I’m not strict with my two DC but do like them to help lay table and clear plates away and put washing in washing basket if it needs washing. I also think his DD 8 who comes EOW should also help lay table and he should make sure her clothes are put in basket If needs washing but he doesn’t. I think like you all day a talk is needed otherwise our relationship probably won’t last and I don’t want to start dreading his children coming.
I had exactly the same and it took us sitting and talking at a neutral time when neither of us was in the height of tension. I laid it out that I understood why he was more relaxed with boundaries with his kids but that as his and mine were in the same household and to stop resentment on either side he had to make the decision of either his kids go by the same rules as mine when here or he lacks up on mine. In the end weve worked hard to find a middle ground. Of course there are still times we both can get snappy when we dont agree but on a whole it's far more harmonious.
I think a general conversation about who is stricter or whose kids play on computers too much doesn't tend to get you very far. What worked better for us was writing down a list of all the rules and routines that were different between my kids and DP's kids and talking through each of them. We wrote our new joint house rules up on the fridge and they covered food, computer time, bedtimes, etc. We both had to make compromises and probably erred towards being slacker parents because it's harder to start enforcing new rules than it is to relax them.
A child that comes EOW ought to be treated as a child of the household (ie on the same basis as your own kids) imo. We did make a few compromises on junk food items though (which DP permitted more than me) as being declared to be "weekend foods" which allowed his kids to go on eating them but mine at least not munching them every day.
Greendayz that’s a really good idea and something I’m going to take on board and have a chat to him about. I agree with his Dc that comes EOW should be treated the same as the others. His DC that only come a few times a year I agree shouldn’t do the same. We had a incident where my DC was playing with a ball in the lounge and a very cheap vase got broke and he got severely told off by DH. A few months later his DC that only comes in holidays was kicking ball in lounge a lamp got broke his DC didn’t get told off and was told it’s ok it was a accident. That really upset me and to this day I struggle with it.
Agree on house rules. All the children sit down with the adults and a collective set of rules is drawn up. I did this with my children when they were younger.
The stand out one was my exh and I both being told by the DC’s that there should be device free time. Including time for board games and at mealtimes.
There were collective rules agreed around everyone making their bed and helping set / clear a table and putting dirty washing in the linen basket. These are really basic chores that my lot have been doing since well before the age of 8.
In the start we had a reward chart to enforce the behaviours and the funny thing is the chart is long gone but the rules remain. No devices (now to the chagrin of children who have them) are ever allowed at the table for mealtimes.
None of this is rocket science and I am always stunned at the amount of Disney parenting I see on this board. Irrespective of how little you see your children, it takes 30 seconds to make a bed, 30 seconds to pick your plate up and take it to the sink...and this is reaching basic manners to your children. If they go and stay somewhere (sleepover), they should be making the bed and helping the host clear the table...manners.
I should add. My DP’s DC are much younger and whenever they are at mine, they actively help setting a table. They clear their plates to the sink. And when I say to my lot, go make beds, open curtains and get out of pyjamas, the younger DC also run upstairs to do theirs.
If they didn’t. I wouldn’t say a word but I equally wouldn’t make their beds, pick up their dirty clothes or clear their plates. Their father can do that, I’m no ones maid.
How much are you expecting an 8 year old to do? I thought she was older from your first post.
If he has an issue with them on his playstation, get them their own and monitor the usage.
Also, if he never had a relationship with her mum, he hasn't lived with the child for any length of time...how much does he really know her...with EOW visits? He probably doesn't know what she can or can't do... he doesn't know her mum really..so doesn't know what skills she will have taught her.
Having a child with a virtual stranger will likely cause these kind of issues.
He lived with her for a year when she was first born but not in a relationship with mum. I only would like her to help at dinner with plates nothing major oh and not throw her coat on the Kitchen floor when she come in. I have pegs at her level in the hallway. My DH seems reluctant to guide her in anything just wants the fun and games.
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