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Double step-parenting difficulties
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Blendiful · 16/06/2022 08:59

Hi all,

Not sure if anyone else is in this situation and has any advice. Both me and DP are step parents to each other's DC. We have none together and don't plan to.

Most of the time it works well. We are a blended family to a point but we do also do some bits separately with our kids.

However the issue comes when sometimes My DC need consequences, DP is quite a harsh parent, I am similar but not to the same extent. So we disagree on how to handle things sometimes.

But occasionally he will state a consequences he feels should happen and I just would not ever do. Of course I refuse to do so, I won't be told or made to do anything I don't agree with with my kids. But sometimes it becomes a me vs you that feels like he's asking me to choose my kids, or him (eg he won't do something if they are allowed to behave this way). Obviously I am always going to pick my kids and if he doesn't want to do something that's up to him. But when it becomes bigger stuff that affects the whole family, I am just not sure what to do. It's making me want to separate things off more and I think this is just a slippery slope.

How do the rest of you handle these kind of disagreements?

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BaaCake · 16/06/2022 09:25

You are each in charge of the discipline of your own children

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SpaceshiptoMars · 16/06/2022 09:55

Zero in on why this thing matters so much to him that it has to have such dire consequences. How does it make him feel? What does he think the behaviour will lead to? What longer term consequences is he trying to avoid? Does the behaviour make him afraid? If so, what of?

etc.

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ChowMeinStyle · 16/06/2022 10:53

Do you have an example?

If it's a case of your DC can't behave in a restaurant and you don't discipline them when they misbehave in one so he's not going to come again then I can understand.

What is it he's saying he won't do unless you do X Y or Z?

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Blendiful · 16/06/2022 15:28

Yea I agree with each in charge of. I agree with some of what he says but his parenting is very harsh. But I do think there is a difference in kids also because relationships are different.

I am trying to think of an example that is not the most recent one, as it's a bit outing.

For example with his own child he will say if they misbehave, they don't get any treats at all, once he said for a month (they were being persistently misbehaving but, they at the time were about 5) I knew that was too much and too long, and obviously he didn't stick to it. Whereas I feel if I said that, he would expect me to stick it for the month and consistently say 'you said this'. Whereas I didn't say that when he didn't stick to it as 1. I didn't agree anyway, and 2. It's his issue.

My childrens behvaiour sometimes directly affects him as in I am then spending time dealing with it, making phone calls etc, and may directly affect as in. They don't use manners etc or moan about food cooked that he's cooked. But I will say something and deal with it. And some of it, is just kids I think.

For example a child asks, can I have this? I will ignore and wait or look at them to add 'please'. One child is better than the other at using manners first time. He would expect me to say no you aren't having it, and not remind.

I have a bit of a remind and give a chance to correct then consequences person, he is an immediate action person.

But his and my kids are very different anyway, totally different personalities and temprements and one of mine has additional needs which also contributes.

I feel like he bases his ideas on his eldest who is exceptionally well behaved but always has been and just has that kind of personality, quite quiet, reserved and happy in own company. None of my kids are really like that.

I know exactly why he feels as he does and it affects him but I also don't think his expectations are realistic 50% of the time for the majority of kids.

An example is probably something like, one of mine moaning about going somewhere because they wanted to do something else. And it'll be right I'm not doing that with your kids again, I'll just do it with me and my kid. But IMO that's a bit drastic to expect a child to never moan. I will address it and ensure they don't get their own way for it etc, but it seems to go from 0-60 way too quick.

How do you deal with different parenting styles.

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CornishGem1975 · 16/06/2022 15:38

Me and my DH are step-parents to each other's children, but we also have one of our own. When it comes to discipline, or anything else really, we manage our own children. If there's an issue and I'm not around, DH will handle it diplomatically and have a word with me later so that I can address it and vice versa. I have teenagers, they're never going to take lightly to being disciplined by someone else.

I get you on the different parenting styles - we have TOTALLY different styles. For example, what I see as rude he sees as 'cheeky'. I won't tolerate his children speaking to me in a way that I think is rude and he knows that, so he pulls them up on it himself now.

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Greensleeves · 16/06/2022 15:43

He sounds a bit of a control freak, and quite unrealistic. I think your approach is healthier, personally - I don't think harsh, inflexible parenting serves anybody well and prefer to see children as human beings - but that isn't even the point. He is trampling over your boundaries as a parent, demanding that you adopt his approach rather than parenting as you see fit - I wouldn't tolerate that, and if he can't accept that your children are your responsibility, then he'd be out. They only have one childhood and I wouldn't let him ruin it.

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MintJulia · 16/06/2022 15:58

That level of inflexibility is never going to work with small children. He's setting himself up for constant conflict.

I'd keep to each only managing your own children.

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Blendiful · 16/06/2022 16:15

They aren't small (not mine anyway). But they aren't awful children either.

I do feel it's a bit 'my way or the highway' sometimes and seems to have been worse recently. I do stick to my guns and say I'm not doing that. But I just feel like it causes tension that's unnecessary sometimes. I also think basing it on one child who is more naturally placid doesn't work to apply that logic to other kids who aren't.

I'm also very for making sure my kids have a voice and know how to use it, and stick up for themselves and be different not just lay down and obey 'because someone says so'. I expect good behaviour but I also expect them to challenge things that seem unjustified or unrealistic. I do this and have a responsible job but I feel this is important trait to have in life to be able to say when something is not ok.

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justamushypea · 16/06/2022 16:21

I think you need to be on the same page really which may mean compromises on both sides. My DH was very much a disney dad when we met and I was stricter. We both had to agree on the way forward and we decided to introduce pocket money which would be lost for bad behaviour.
It ended up with DH being the strict one and me being more lenient but there was a balance.
I think in a blended family the same rules should apply to all the kids, but there should be reasonable and fair consequences too.

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Petronus · 16/06/2022 16:26

Honestly, he sounds like a bit of a dick. Authoritarian, unnecessarily long punishments. You can do better by your kids than this.

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KylieKoKo · 16/06/2022 16:33

I think in a blended family the same rules should apply to all the kids
This can only work if both parents are broadly in agreement though. If there are two radically different opinions I don't see how this could work in practice.



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Blendiful · 16/06/2022 16:38

Yeah I wouldn't say we are radically different and I will be interested to see how this works in practice with his other child when they are older as they are not the same personality as the first and he will have to implement much more I think. But my kids are at that point now and I'm only going to do what I'm happy with.

It's almost like a 'I wouldn't accept this from (his kid)' but in reality his kid would never do or say it because he's a totally different person, so it's almost a moot point that means nothing because actually he has no idea how he would react if that was his kid. If that makes sense

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BaaCake · 16/06/2022 16:40

They can be disaplined differently. Just be honest and say it's because you choose to parent differently if the kids complain.

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Blendiful · 16/06/2022 16:41

I think we have the same expectations but a different way of implementing them. And that's the issue. My kids are different as I said but also much more emotional and sensitive. And I don't want them to lose that, so deal with situations differently than he would.

He definitely favours harsh reality shocks and I just think, they are kids and need a bit more than just that. I'm not a push over and sometimes I can be lapse but not drastically so, and not unusual to any other parent.

And sometimes I just think you wouldn't actually follow that through with your kid. The most recent suggestion is not to take one child somewhere big due to behaviour that in my opinion would only be warranted if they had been arrested or in prison or something. Not just being a bit defiant of rules (and not even that bad!)

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justamushypea · 16/06/2022 17:04

KylieKoKo · 16/06/2022 16:33

I think in a blended family the same rules should apply to all the kids
This can only work if both parents are broadly in agreement though. If there are two radically different opinions I don't see how this could work in practice.



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I can't see how different rules work either though.
The kids would surely resent each other if they have different rules

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Blendiful · 16/06/2022 21:21

Yea definitely not different rules. Same expectation. Just different way of implementing them. And the difference in personalities shows a lot.

But I do think the kids are expected to be practically perfect and my kids are just never going to be like that, nor do I expect them to be. I like who they are as people. And I don't want to basically nag that out of them which is how it feels sometimes. They aren't badly behaved in general at all.

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