Specific Situations > Young Widowed Parents

Step parents

(1/2) > >>

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.

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

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.

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.

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.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version