Author Topic: Step parents  (Read 510 times)

imissdow

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Step parents
« on: July 06, 2017, 08:16:20 AM »
I have been seeing a guy for several months now. The topic of my parenting has come up several times. I have 3 kids 20,18,&11 he has none. So far I have talked to him about situations with my kids, he has offered suggestions. I either take them or discard them and still parent my kids. His role when we are together as a family unit is usually to echo what I've already said or give direction. I am the one who displines or makes decisions, like it should be.  So we have discussed moving forward with our relationship. Spending more time together and what the future holds. He is not moving in nor is marriage a given at this point. So he told me he has some issues with how parent my kids. I in a round about way asked him if he felt he had a right to voice his thoughts being that he isn't a parent. He replied that because of the nature of our relationship he feels like if we do move forward then we should make decisions regarding the kids jointly. I'm trying to figure out if I'm willing to do that and what it might look like. He told me he has issues with my parenting but hasnt mentioned what exactly it is. I suspect he doesn't like that I yell at my kids, I don't like that I yell at my kids, however they drive me batty at times and I don't think I can promise that I won't ever loose it.so is there anyone out there that has navigated this with some success? Any thoughts. Last guy I broke up with had issues with my kids also, wouldnt understand why they didn't love him and told me I needed to say no more often. Meanwhile every time they saw him he felt a need to give them everything they liked, without asking me.

Portside

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Re: Step parents
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2017, 08:32:42 AM »
That is a tough one.

I haven't had to navigate differences of opinion regarding parenting styles or methods. Fortunately for my family, my now wife and I are very much alike with our ideas of what proper (for us) parenting is. Each of us, separately, will discipline, praise, ground, scold, love on, hug or ignore as the situation requires. Each of us feel comfortable enough with it that we rarely clear any decision with the other. We try to treat our kids the same -  there isn't much 'your's' or 'mine'. It's very effective.

I do think it is important that you and your guy come to some common agreement on the 'rules' and what is to be done when followed and when broken. It just makes it easier on everyone. It seems like there should be lots of discussion with your guy in your future on this. It's a good thing!  :D 

Good luck! Mike
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

daysofelijah

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Re: Step parents
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2017, 08:39:20 AM »
My NG is taking on more and more of a step-dad role as time goes on. He shares ideas, discipline strategies, concerns with me about how the kids are parented. I know I need help, I let things slide with my kids for several years and they were very spoiled and undisciplined. I knew that, but didn't know how to fix things. NG has helped immensely. He backs me up when I tell them something, he will call them out when he sees them not respecting rules, etc.

With my boys (12 & 14) he has tried to step in and teach them things I can't (guy stuff). He makes sure they are out helping when things need doing, like chores, yard work, etc. Things that I haven't made them do in the past. They balk sometimes, but 2+ years into our relationship I can see them doing so much better. My oldest actually volunteers to help out on chores and projects now. NG is trying hard to be a good "father" figure for them.

With my girls (5 & 9) he has helped them see what a dad can be. They also have had a hard time with it sometimes, having to share mom, and getting cracked down on as far as the rules.

My youngest had "donuts with dad" day at preschool in May and she was so excited to have NG come as her "dad". It was very sweet.

It's a difficult road to navigate, there are times when I wasn't sure about what role he should take, but we talk about it and discuss how things should be handled with and what role he should/wants to take with my kids. And sometimes I see some inconsistencies with what he thinks should be done, and what he makes his own kids do so that may be an issue in the future, will have to see and address as it comes up, luckily his kids are older so there won't be too much I hope.

I'm sure with your older kids there would be resentment if your NG tried to take some parent role, esp. if you aren't living together or married. So that would be concerning if he feels he has some right to do that. With your youngest I can see him trying to support you, and maybe being a good male role model. It's up to you to decide what feels right for your family and I know it's tough sometimes.
Amy, mom to four (14,13,9,5)

Sugarbell

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Re: Step parents
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2017, 05:57:34 PM »
My oldest son (14) of all people brought it to my attention the differences in our parenting styles. I've always stressed independence/responsibility..at times can be drill sergeant like. I'm loving and supportive of my kids..but never wanted DHs suicide to be an excuse to be entitled and bratty. Some may say I'm too hard core..but it's worked for us.

NG babies his daughter (15) She's a sweet kid, but very immature. He makes her breakfast every morning she's there, packs her lunch..she gets whatever she wants from him. (She has a farm animal for the county fair has one every year..he does all the work..everything she does nothing. My kids are street wise she's naive. That shit would never fly in my house. She has no chores. But she's kind..and I think he babies her due to her crazy mother I dunno.

He has backed me up with my oldest..-and has been teaching him respect of women. (My kids are so used to me being half dude/independence..NG steps in and says "Carry that chair for your Mom" or "Your Mom told you No that's what she means"--He's asked me if that's ok to do..and I actually appreciate and need his support with my strong willed bossy oldest.

We pretty much have agreed that we wouldn't live together or be married until his daughter is out of school (3 more years). His son is also hell on wheels as is his ex. I don't want to take that on nor does he expect me to. Actually we are taking things gradual and slow...we both have so much to learn about all the extended stuff that comes at this stage in life. So it's one day at a time for me.
B.W.H. 9/24/2007

serpico

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Re: Step parents
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 06:13:26 PM »
I have no advice other than to say that probably 80-90% of the conflicts between my new wife and me involve our differing parenting styles and our kids' responses and behaviors.

It's a rough transition.
'I think I got some of your pickle'

Trying

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Re: Step parents
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2017, 11:14:19 AM »
We are having some issues in this area.  My 21 year old son doesn't live at home so no issue there.  My 19 year does live at home and is a total slob and can be inconsiderate.  He makes me crazy, but I'm used to him.  He makes my fiancé insane!  At 19, he is not going to accept any parenting from fiancé but we have agreed he should say something in the moment when it's about being inconsiderate to others in the house (leaving shoes to be tripped on, leaving lights on, blocking parking).  However we still argue about him pretty regularly.  A lot of the things that aggravate him are what I consider typical for his age while the complete sloppiness is beyond normal.  I guess the difference is that he is my son and I have loved him for 19 years so I can see more to him than the negatives.  He and fiancé have not developed a close relationship at this point so fiancé sees him as an annoying border living in our home.  He gets angry, yells at me because he can't yell at son and I get defensive.  Not good.  We have about a year before he can move out and hopefully we can survive until then.

My youngest is 13 and he and fiancé have a nice relationship that is morphing into step dad/ step son gradually and naturally.  I still set the rules and discipline but he has no problem asking him to do chores or giving him advice.

Fiancé boys are younger 6 & 8 and I have stepped into step mother mode as far as house rules, dealing with issues as they arise, reading bed time stories and getting them to school.  I defer to him for bigger issues and decisions still but it's been pretty easy with them accepting me in this role.  There are times I struggle with not having control over some things but it's more about their mother's parenting style being very different than mine, not his.   
You will forever be my always.

TooSoon

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Re: Step parents
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2017, 11:31:42 AM »
For what its worth, I'm really struggling with being a "step parent."  It is not a role I want to play.  As such, I have no advice but a ton of sympathy. 

Lisa

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Re: Step parents
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2017, 06:41:53 PM »
I was the step in my marriage.  We discussed issues but 99.9% of the time he had final say.m
 But he knew where I stood.  l
 Onlyin one serious instance I laid d lown the law. But with my late husband. Not his kid.  I miss him. Solo parenting is hard, but most of the time I am glad I can paren'lt my way now. Sounds cold  but it is the truth.
I would at least discuss what his issues are.
"All the waves must reach the shore before the water calms"-Ray ♡

Bunny

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Re: Step parents
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2017, 02:10:22 PM »
I am childless. So- no firsthand experience but I've been around kids a lot, and had parent friends talk with me about their issues quite a bit, so have made a few observations- but feel free to dismiss me as a clueless one, I promise I won't be offended ;D

I have noticed that in my own childhood it was not unusual at all for an adult to step into the parenting role as needed- the whole 'it takes a village' philosophy. whereas today many parents take great offense at any kind of help whatsoever- it can be perceived as judgment and an over-stepping of boundaries. I see that parenting has become a 'competitive sport' and it makes me sad because parenting seems more like separate tiny islands experience now rather than the village one I remember.

I get that some criticisms are absolute judgment wrapped up as 'concern'- that's super unhelpful and annoying. But sometimes an outsider can offer a clear-eyed perspective because they are not as emotionally attached. It can be a hard thing to put our egos far enough away from a situation to see things in a different light. Add to that the fact that you have been parenting all alone all these years without having to compromise with anyone else- honestly, I could see how that would be annoying to contemplate.

For me, it's been a struggle of liking the extra help around the house but sometimes chaffing under the (very reasonable) expectation that I now have to compromise on stuff that I might not want to. I don't like feeling like someone else is trying to control me or my world. I find myself needing a lot more autonomy now than I did in my marriage. As with most things that require dealing with others, communication is key. Lots of talking and really truly listening to each other- especially when it is way beyond our comfort level. Growth can be painful, sometimes I'm so damn sick of all the growing I'm having to do, but what's the alternative- set in my ways with a closed off mind? So...I'm *trying* to keep pushing my boundaries. It's a balancing act really- what's worth drawing a line in the sand for and what sand castles can we let get washed away with the tide? Or something like that. 
It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.