Enforcing The Rules With Stepkids

Kaci - posted on 02/25/2010 ( 60 moms have responded )

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I have a three year old and a 7 month old of my own at home. With my three year old, I am already applying rules and things with him. For example, I have him pick up toys, clean his room, and throw his trash away. I also have two stepkids, ages 12 and 14, that are here on weekends. I automatically just pick up after them and let them just do whatever around the house, because I feel like I can't enforce anything on them becasue they don't live here and I am not their mother. But then my three year old see that they don't pick up and he then tells me no when I tell him to pick up something. I don't know what to do. I don't want to make my step-kids mad at me, but I also don't want my own children to grow up and look at me and say why do we have to do certain things when the others don't. What do I do?

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Courtney - posted on 02/26/2010

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Okay so maybe I can give different perspective. I'm a step-child to a very wonderful step-mother. I can honestly say that the rules between the homes of my mother and father were not always the same, but I respected the rules of the house I was in. The same should apply to your step-kids. If they want to be around, they MUST abide by your rules or you will get nothing but hell from your little ones. I don't know how things go around your place but with my family the word step-parent only means applys the step to differentiate the people for the outside world. I treat my step-mom no different than my bio-mom and she treats me and my siblings no different than my little sister. Don't make a difference in them on any level. That will only cause some hate, jealousy, and resentment down the line for either your children or them later on. Trust me.

Sandy - posted on 08/13/2012

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If this is your home and the home of your husband then house rules and expectations of all children should be the same. I have had a somewhat similar situation with my two stepchildren visiting their father bi-monthly from friday night until Sunday evening. There were times when I hesitated to ask them to do things beyond just cleaning up after themselves because I realized that the time they spent with their father was limited and I wanted to be sure they had as many moments of quality time with him as they could. I feel that no matter how often step children are spending time with their biological parents in their parents home that they should be expected to show consideration for others by cleaning up after themselves, keeping their sleeping area clean and not littering the floor or other areas of the house with dirty clothes, empty glasses, candy bar wrappers etc. etc. If other members of the family are expected to show common courtesy by cleaning up after themselves and not leaving messes for other people to pick up then the same expectations and rules should apply to step children.If your children are asked to help clear the table after meals or set the table then your step children should be expected to pitch in and help. To me this is simply teaching them that families work together for the benefit of all and this is just common decency and consideration for others. In my estimation it would not be fair to expect your own children to help out by helping to make the enviornment comfortable for everyone else while your step children sit by idly while they work. This is a basic life lesson that teaches kids how to work cooperatively with others and helps to instill a sense of personal responsibility. If this lesson never gets learned by them they may develop the sense that they are not expected to share responsibility with others because they have gotten the idea that they are somehow "priviledged" to be taken care of by others and don't learn a sense of personal responsibility. Another problem this could cause is difficulties in their relationships with their step siblings because inevitably your children will grow to resent them for not doing their fair share of work. You may find as I did that there are times when your husband would like to share some special quality time with his children since they do not see him on a daily basis and during those times you might want to be sure they clean up after themselves before they become involved with these activities with their dad. If their dad has something special planned for them and it is on a day when your own children typically do extra chores around the house besides just the usual picking up after themselves then you might want to explain to your children that since their step siblings do not have the chance to spend as much time with their father as they do there will be some times when they will need to do this. I don't think it is too much to ask that they recognize the need their step siblings have to spend a little additional quality time with him since they are seperated from him most of the time. You might also want to let them know that when their step siblings are in their own home that they too have some additional chores that they are expected to do and do them before they come to visit their father. That way they will know that they are not the only ones asked to do a few additional chores to help out at the home they live in. Best of luck to you!

Alisha - posted on 08/07/2012

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Well, you need to set rules and explain them every time the other kids come over. It is your house and your rules, the other kids should be used to rules and if they are not picking up after themselves, they don't respect you. Don't treat them like babies, put your foot down! Have your husband help you when you explain all the rules. It is not to treat them as outsiders, it is because your family and home has rules and when they are there, they are family and in your home. Simple as that.

Chaya - posted on 07/10/2012

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You can enforce the rules as you do with your own, otherwise, your children will learn to resent the preferential treatment. Since the step children are considerably older, some rules shouldn't apply. You may put your children to bed at 8, but that's silly for older children. Curfew is at whatever time, but if one of the children were working, babysitting or McDonalds, or whereever, just make sure they're not walking homa alone

Kimberley - posted on 03/05/2012

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The rules you make arent just your sons rules. They are House rules, they apply to everyone in the house. Your children, step children and even friends kids. I would talk to your partner about it but they definately shouldnt be treated differently

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Victoria - posted on 03/11/2014

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rules are rules, whether they are for a 3 year old or the older kids. Have your husband lay down the rules if you're uncomfortable doing it but you will have problems with your younger kids in the future, especially if they think the older kids get "special" treatment.

Melynda - posted on 05/17/2013

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House rules apply to any and everyone who lives or visits the house. Breaking a house rule will be subjected to discipline. Sit down with all the kids and hubby and come up with a list of rules that must be followed. My kids are required to do their daily chores prior to tv or play time. They recive mins for the chores they do and we apply it to how long they can play video games on the computer. Good luck. Just cuz ur step mom doesn't mean that they can walk all over u. Ur still mom

KathieLyn - posted on 05/15/2013

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All kids should have same rules whether your biological or not, now of course age is a factor your little ones may have different rules then an older one..its all based on age and what they understand to do..but when all kids are together you need to balance the rules for the children and all should be treated as your own children I hate step parent term..your a parent you are with your spouse and you are both there to parent together, if there are rules for you and rules for him its too confusing you need to sit together and come up with what rules are needed and you need to back each other up and parent together not seperately..Kids need consistency no matter whether it is a 1 or 2 parent home or if its a 1st or 2nd marriage consistency at all times is the key good luck Kat

Kimiko - posted on 08/02/2012

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Your home, your rules, that goes for ANY child in my home, step children, friend's children, etc. When they know what is expected then there can be no problems. It reinforces the rules, otherwise, your kids will not want to follow the rules if they see visiting or step children not following them. I also keep the rules going even away from home. I had one parent ask me questions when my then 12 yr old daughter spent the night and she cleaned up her dishes, made up the bed she slept in and offered to help with dinner. The parent was surprised and asked me how I got my daughter to do chores around the house as if it were some anomaly or something, I just laughed and told her that all 5 of my kids have chores, do homework and then play. It's the way I was raised as well. I hope this helps you. I have a step daughter and she just blended right in once she learned what was expected of her, no special treatment, I treated her like my own and to me, she is one of my own.

Kimiko

Ana - posted on 08/01/2012

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Have them all do the same things...the step children may take a little longer to adjust, but they will need to learn at your house, these are the rules!

Vivian - posted on 07/30/2012

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i always say pray 1st so pray right be4 they come n ask God to help u n give u strength im a mother of 13 children tht i birth yes n im married i also hve 4 step children tht noe r 14 tht r twins a 13 n9 yr old i told there moms there r 2 tht i will lov ther children n treat them like i treat n raise my own we dndnt get along @ 1st but everything is ok now htts me n there moms so my thing is te rules in my house aplies to everyone tht is here they understnd n follow them wit no problem tret them like u do ur own n it will go fine my step children cll e mom so how u start off u will end up u stat off wit rules n respect they will follow if u dnt they will never respect r follow none of ur rules juz relax n breath my yungest is almost 2 n my oldest juz turned 21 God bless it will b ok juz pray n ask God to lead u

Brittany - posted on 07/13/2012

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Don't worry about making your SK's mad at you! It's your house and your rules. They need to be a PART of your household, not just feeling like a guest. The way your treating them is as if they're just a guest in your home. You NEED consistency or it will make your kids extremely resentful and pretty much do exactly what they're doing. Do what I plan on doing (I've got two step kids age 9 and 7 and my own son on the way). Say that the SK's will get a small allowance for keeping their space cleaned and offer the same for your son once he's a little older and can understand what an allowance is. Make the amount they earn dependent on their age. If the fact that they get a similar allowance for just cleaning on the weekends and not the whole week becomes a problem, pay by the day based on their age. So as a teenager I would say a couple dollars per day (or about $5 a weekend) would be appropriate. And do something similar for your son when he's at least 5 (until then don't mention the word allowance around him- if he just sees the SK's clean and following your rules will be enough to show you're being fair). Kids at your son's age are extremely sensitive to being fair, so you need to respect that. That's just how they see the world right now. You don't have to be the evil SM to get your SK's to follow the rules. Just treat them like a teacher would, or how you would your own kids or else even your SK's could become resentful of you. BUT make sure you don't just SNAP into enforcing rules with your SK's. Have a family meeting and explain to them how your son seems to feel, then tell them in order to be fair they need to follow the house rules, and in exchange they can earn an allowance. And if you're not comfortable offering money, you could set up a point system for cleaning, and once they earn enough points you can do something fun together as a family or let them pick out a toy or something (whatever they seem more excited about. It needs to motivate). Teacher's use reward systems like this all the time, but adapt the reward you choose to your kids and SKs. Also make SURE you run everything by your husband and the SK's mom before you have your family meeting to make sure they're ok with your chosen tactic. I'm sure their mom will understand, you need SOME sort of rules at your house. If anything she will be grateful you're enforcing rules, because your SK's may be saying "but Kaci picks up our toys for us, so why do we need to at home?" to their mom. Communicate with their mom and I'm sure you can figure the right thing out for your situation. Rules are NEVER a bad thing as long as they're fair for everyone. And unless their mom is one of the crazy BMs, she should understand. Good luck!

Chaya - posted on 07/10/2012

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You can enforce the rules as you do with your own, otherwise, your children will learn to resent the preferential treatment. Since the step children are considerably older, some rules shouldn't apply. You may put your children to bed at 8, but that's silly for older children. Curfew is at whatever time, but if one of the children were working, babysitting or McDonalds, or whereever, just make sure they're not walking homa alone

Julie - posted on 07/03/2012

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house rules apply to all children visitors or other wise. step kids and bio kids do not get treated differently. not only will it cause confusion with them all but it will also cause resentment. and why should they be treated any different any way they may be your step kids but they are your partners bio kids and all his / her bio kids are the same none are more special than the other so why treat them as such. you have the right to set rules and have a say at discapline while they are in your home so set your rules and stick to them

Aimee - posted on 10/12/2011

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yes u should set them the same rules they are no diff to your own its your house they come to so they should respect your house and your rules if you dont they will think they can walk all over you and your own children will do the same as they will see your step children walk all over you speak with there father and tell him what u are goin to do and see what he says good luck hope this helps

Adrienne - posted on 05/21/2011

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I know it's tough. My youngest step son's bio-mom has few/no rules and enforces them inconsistently and has no order or routine for him. Here at our house the rules are the same for both him and his little brother. He knows this and actually prefers being here because of it. He knows what he's supposed to do and exactly what will happen when the rules are broken. The same goes with the oldest (22y/o) who lives with us. Although rules aren't as necessary because he's a good, responsible young adult, he does know that he's expected to help with household chores and even watches his baby brother while we're at work. Both you and their dad need to sit down and decide how to go about it, but then rules need to be explained and enforced. The kids are definitely old enough to understand if they are 12 and 14.

Christina - posted on 05/21/2011

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Your house, your rules! If you don't make them listen now, you are screwed when they get older.

Melanie - posted on 05/19/2011

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it doesnt matter that they are step or bio or just neighbor kids, your house - your rules. it works all the way around. its good for you bio kids to see you do it right and set a good example. the step kids may feel less comfy if youre not setting rules for them. i mean the teachers at school expect them to behave. it helps me to post rules in a public area. i expect my kids, and guests, relatives and friends alike.

Megan - posted on 05/17/2011

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yeah i know the feeling and you shouldnt tell them what to do because they do live at their BMs you stated. But your dh should tell them instead, it could cause some resentment later on. it sucks as SMs!

Annmarie - posted on 07/12/2010

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Your house, your rules, make it fun! Play a clean-up song and get everyone involved. What you are doing is showing your step children that you will cater to them and your own child will ask why they get special treatment. You are family so act like a unit!! Don't separate them!

Denise - posted on 07/10/2010

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I went through that and guess what? you will bring resentment into your home if you dont act now. That is your home and they should have to abide by the same rules as your kids. They aren't any more special than yours, and I know you feel strange because the aren't yours, but those kids are going to be in your life so at some point you have to set rules and make them apply to everyone. forget about them being mad, they will get over it. And if they are that mad, let them stay at home.

Misty - posted on 07/08/2010

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yes, you need to enforce the same rules with your biological children as you do your step-children, if you dont there will be jealousy and resentment, and that will make things alot harder on everyone in the long run!!!

Jackie - posted on 07/08/2010

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Yes you should have the same rules and boundaries with your step children. My stepson is forever calling me mean because I make go by my house rules. At his mother's he's the only child and she lets him do what he wants, but I can't maintain a house like so he follows the same rule. But I also do for him the same things I do for my own bio children.

Tee - posted on 05/10/2010

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I wondered the same thing at one point until I realized something..Why would I or should I treat any other child different or better than I treat my own? Once I thought of it that way, all questions went out the window. If you require your own children to pick up their toys, clean their rooms, toss away trash..etc, then your step children should do the same. I dont feel its fair to have two sets of rules. They all have to live in the same house for a time. You dont want this to become routine whenever the time comes that they are with you for more than just weekends. It will cause resentment and jealousy by allowing your step kids to get away with things that your kids who live there all the time cannot. YOURE the parent in that home..you may not be their biological mother but you are the mom nevertheless and compliance is due when you tell them to do something. Dont worry about them being mad at you. All kids are mad at us at some point in time..they will get over it. Nobody really wants to do chores but they have to be done. So bottom line of what to do? When its time to clean up, they ALL clean up. They may give you a hard time for a bit since youve let them slide by for a while..but put your foot down about it and keep on top of them. If they get mad at having to clean and do chores..thats fine..let them be mad while they're cleaning. They'll live.

Kelly-Ann - posted on 05/07/2010

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Hi. We have a rule for the children. Our house- our rules , Biomum's house-her rules (not that she has any) This is necessary or all hell breaks out. He has 3 and I have 2 and 1 together. Rules and structure are necessary. Talk with hubby and make consistant rules for ALL the kids. Otherwise it doesnt work. My Hubbies kids are horrors for their Mum because she has no rules, but here they are well behaved as they know how it works.
Goodluck.

Michelle - posted on 05/04/2010

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Rules and chores apply no matter what ! With our kids we also do small rewards for doing so to enforce positive behaviours .
I have found that charts help as do posted rules . If it is written , then it can't be questioned !!!

Roseanne - posted on 05/04/2010

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Without a doubt children adapt more easily then adults in most situations and your situation Kaci is one of them. The lessons that you are teaching your 3 year old are great lessons for any child and should be something that you share with your step-children, even if they only come on the weekends. When in Rome do as the Romans do ... so when they are at your home, do as your children do. I have 11 children (all of my own), 5 children from my previous relationship and 6 with my current partner ... as far as we are concerned they are one family and so they are treated as one, no special treatment for anyone, regardless of who their Dad is! Have you discussed this with your Husband? It would be a great idea for you to both be on the same page so that he could re-enforce what you are teaching your 3 year old and his children. Step parenting is challenging and there will be times that your step children will be mad with you ... its sometimes the way the cookie crumbles but when they are older and realise what it is you have taught them, the angst will fall to the wayside. If you have good values to impart to your step children, by all means do exactly that, they will be better people for it! www.4my11kids.com

LaShonda - posted on 05/03/2010

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You should have the same rules with both sets of children. That's the step-children's home also and they should be an example to the little kids. You are their step-mother...that's an important role. You should be able to help with the rearing of them as well.

Meghan - posted on 04/28/2010

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it's definitely something you want to discuss with your significant other, but in general, rules of your home are the rules of your home, regardless of who is in it. When the step-kids are in your home, they should be required to follow the same rules.

Charity - posted on 04/28/2010

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All rules need to be the same there is no step when it comes to children. They don't look at it that way they look at it as special treatment to some and not others
Treat kids equally

Chris - posted on 04/25/2010

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Why should one child be treated any different than the other, if you have rules for your children to follow the stepchildren should too. If not eventually your children witll resent them getting away with moue than they do. I make my grandchildren go by the same rules my children did when here even though they don't have to at their homes the older ones know here what they have to do. Your 3 year old is already starting to resent things your doing for the stepchildren that she has to do on her own. Start getting the 7 year old to help, she can even help with little chores while there (picking up toys, giving pets food & water & even ehlping set the table), your 3 year old might also think if she does some of these things she's more grown up. Nothing that would be dangerous to anyone, but the satisfaction of having a pet give them the special look when fed or watered should be inforced if that's one of the things she does, & praise for helping set the table. Any child at any age could do these sinple things

Becky - posted on 04/21/2010

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First of all the world is not going to cater to them and neither should you. At our house I give some leniency to the fact that I have not raised them. However over all they are a part of this family evenif they are only here everyother weekend. In order for everything to run smootly. It is known and understood that I may not be their Mother but I am the Mother of this house and likewise with my husband. This is our home and everyone will have proper respect. My stepsons when we first blended were very hesitant to prompptly obey and would drag their feet about it but with kindness and consistency, and the ocassional reinforcement of Dad, things run smoothly. do expect for them to test you because they will. Don't give up stay consistent. Ask a little at a time they can surely start by picking up after themselves. They should also be able to relax and feel comfortable. Its a struggle but it will be worth it everyone needs to enjoy your time together.

Tanya - posted on 04/20/2010

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Ok, my situation is a little different. My husband and I have one child together (10 months), I have two girls ages 6 and 8 from a previous marriage and he has a 31 year old, a 36 year old and a 39 year old from a previous marriage. Now, he has a 7 year old grandson he is very close to and he likes to have him come over at least once a month for the whole weekend. I have tried to keep an open mind and like him but have you ever met a kid who is just unlikeable? He has ADHD (so does my 6 year old), but his mom uses his diagnosis as an excuse for his behavior. He is extremely rude, obnoxious, and horribly misbehaved. I will give my husband credit, he tries to apply some of the same rules to him as the other girls, but if his grandson gets in a snit, there is just no making him do anything. He won't eat veggies, but I look like the bad person if I try to make him take a bite, But my girls have to always eat what is on their plates. That's just an example. He has terrible manners and If I say anything about how he is behaving, all I hear is "He's just a little boy!" Ok, so what do I do? I know he is my husband's grandson but if he is coming over and playing with my girls shouldn't they all have the same rules? Thanks

Kristina - posted on 04/20/2010

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My thoughts, and even though I have no step kids, I do apply this to EVERY CHILD that comes in to my house (and the adults as well)... it's pretty simple... MY HOUSE, MY RULES... a few people have gotten upset because I wont let their 9 year old eat in my living room, and everyotn (including my 1 year old) cleans their plates from the dinner table... I would rather be respected than liked, and kids respect adults who set consistant boundries... right now your setting yourself up for ALL of the kids testing your limits because you're showing consistancy! I've had to encourage my hubby to feel like he can enforce the rules (all 4 munchkins are his step-children) The first few times they didn't want to listen, I explained ONCE that they needed to listen to him same as they listen to me... they I let him deal with the consiquences of not listening (which will most likely happen at first)... but if I had steped in more, they would have continued to come to me... Anyway, sorry to ramble, my point is consistency is key or your just going to make life really hard and complicated!

Michelle - posted on 04/13/2010

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Most definently! I have a step son who is exactly 1 month younger than my son. When we first met I didn't enforce the rules I gave him some time to warm up to the kids and myself but when I would tell my kids to clean up my husband (boyfriend at the time) would tell him that he needs to help. That was so nice and it made it easier to eventually transition into having him follow all of your household rules. At home he is an only child and his mother doesn't have rules for him she just does everything for him, but at our house he is the second youngest of 4 soon to be 5 kids. He sometimes forgets when he comes over because he is only 3 but he quickly remembers. The only thing different I do with him is I don't do spankings for him where I would with my kids I have a time out corner that I use for both of the 3 year olds and if his father decides he needs a spanking I leave that up to him. But the clean up your mess, eat your food and clear your plate, no running no screaming etc all applies to him as well. Good luck transitioning to enforcing rules it can be tough I started with one and slowly added one at a time.

BJ - posted on 04/12/2010

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I think they should have the same rules. The 12 yr old should already be helping in more ways then the other because of age. Some things to consider are: What rules do their mother have at her house? Their dad's opinion. And when they go to school they have rules to follow there and daycare as well. Hope I gave you some ideas.

Lydia - posted on 04/05/2010

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Honestly, I don't think it is fair to your step-kids. I have two step-sons myself 9 & 11. By including them in the responibilities it makes them a part of the family. Of course it is always made easier if your husband, their father is in support of what standards you set. Make sure you talk about what you want and if it is a problem ask him to back you up and displine them if they don't do what has been ask (I like the extra chores method, I tend to have very clean walls.) Just don't let them see you and their dad disagreeing on what the actually have to do.

Terry - posted on 04/05/2010

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i'm sorry to say this, but you can't apply rules to your kids, and not the step-kids... its not fair to your kids, and they will become upset with the step-kids..

[deleted account]

Absolutely, there is no reason why the rules should not apply to them too. The rules should apply to all of them. It makes it fair to everyone. It's not fair to your kids if they have to follow the rules, but your step kids don't. My step-son lives with us full time, his father has full custody, my daughter lives with us full time, her father is a dead beat...all the rules apply to both kids. It could cause big problems if you don't apply it to all of them. They may sense favoritism...and you definitely do not want that.

[deleted account]

I have been with my hubby for nearly 8yrs we both have 2 children each, they are now all nearly teenagers but right from day 1 there was one set of rules for the household who ever was in it at the time.

Casey - posted on 04/02/2010

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The same rules should apply to all children in the home, age appropriate, of coarse. Double standards will cause tons of resentment between the kids! However, speaking from experience it won'y work if you don't have dad backing you up!

Angie - posted on 04/02/2010

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YES!!! You're already seeing what can happen if you don't. Change your behavior now before it's too late. Your step-kids need to know that they have the same responsibilities your own kids have and your kids need to know that you're going to treat them just as well as you treat your step-kids.

Kids see things MUCH differently than adults do. Right now, your 3 y.o. may look at your actions as if you love your step-kids more than you do him. That's not true, but in his little eyes actions are what proves this. Also, your step-kids WILL use this against you in the future (if they aren't already). They'll know that they can do anything they want to and you won't do a thing to them. They'll walk all over you and laugh when they do it. Forget about making your step-kids mad at you - YOU'RE the adult!! You and your DH need to set the rules of your house, the consequinces for not following them and then follow through. If you don't, you're in for a long, hard road!

Sue - posted on 03/27/2010

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My kids are adults not and I read once that blended families rarely make it. So I am proud to say 28 years later we made it..... So yes in our home we all lived by the same rules.....

Nancy - posted on 03/26/2010

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My step sons have barely any rules at bio moms place. They are on the computer for hours at a time , play video games and watch TV. They don't have to go outside to play (even if they are there for days) . Here they are only allowed so much computer , games and TV. I find I am harder on them then my daughter only because she has been raised with me and she knows what I expect and want. Their dad forgets things easily and lets things go and the boys know it. Before you say I need to talk to their dad, I have lots . I am at the point now that I want nothing to do with their discipline. The oldest boy 15 and youngest 10 , have to have the last word, so when you help with homework or even chores , they seem to argue with me and want the last word. I was raised that kids don't argue and should not have the last word. I understand kids are kids but this is constant and like I said I am not wanting to help with them anymore. Sorry if this sounds mean . I don't want to be but I am an adult and will not argue with kids over silly things.

Danette - posted on 03/26/2010

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Wow! It was nice to get on here and read that people actually have some of the same issues that I do. I have a blended family as well. I have an 11(d) and 8(s) and hubby has 15(d) and 10(d) and we have a 2yr(d) between us. It gets a little crazy sometimes but I do as best as I can to keep the playing field 'even'. We try hard to apply the same rules to all as well as the same rewards. I won't say that it is ever easy, as the girls bio mom parents wayyyyyy different that I do. But, I definitely agree that it is the way that it should be - same should apply to all! My bio kids immeditately question if we slack with the others, and right that they should. I love them all and want them all to grow up right ;)

Amanda - posted on 03/25/2010

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My husband and i have 3 children ages 2, 4 and 6. He, from a previous marriage, has 3 ages 14, 15 and 18 then the marriage before that a 23 year old. Things started out a little rough because i am only 22 and we've been married almost 5 years. In the begining there was no communication between the homes and I was afraid to upset them, it was chaos. Finally the biological mom and i decided if there was going to be any kind of order there had to be cooperation. I now do not treat the kids any different and they know better than to try any of thier little stunts. I guess my point is put your foot down ( well dont be harsh lol) but if you continue to let them run over you if you ever do decide to enforce some rules later on it's going to get ugly. Thier mother calls when anything, good or bad, happens and it is dealt with on both ends. My boys (stepsons) know if they get in trouble they are in TROUBLE cause even a groundation sticks in both homes. We even figured out that the best solution in our home was to bypass dad most things are between me and her. so......COMMUNICATE and just treat them the same cause in the end in most cases thats what they are looking for to be treated like a normal part of the family. good luck

Talitha - posted on 03/23/2010

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I have 3 step children and they have the same rules as my children whom are alot younger than my step children. We all live together but if there were no rules for my step children as for my own there would be a whole lot of kaos in the house. It's only fair that all children are treated equally in a house hold. Also talk with your husband and if possible their mother to see what they do at her house and what their father would expect from them when visiting you and him? Hope this helps.

Judy - posted on 03/22/2010

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Rules should be the same. Look at it from the 'teens point of view....are they part of the family or just vacationing at a hotel. Make sure Dad is in agreement ... to change things your gonna need his support and help. They are 12 and 14. For heavens sake they can clean up after themselves at least.

Beth - posted on 03/14/2010

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that was one of thefirst things me and my non bio babies and i sat down and discussed, mainly because there was a huge difference , the bio mom is a bit slovenly , and i want kids who want thier laundry done to bring it to the laundry room , pick up your own cups , etc . conversely at mom they can free graze in the cupboards all day , and we dont do that ... so yeah you betcha my house my rules , lckily there was enough give , that the few takes didnt seem an issue .

[deleted account]

I think it's very important to have equal rules for the kids! True, the rules might be different in each home. EH, my bio-daughter, age 8, lives with us 100%. MG, my step-daughter, age 9 1/2, comes every other weekend & every Wednesday night. MG's mom doesn't really enforce any rules there - at least that's what MG tells us! If we didn't enforce our house rules, then problems would definitely flare up. And the older they get the tougher it is because they are more aware of the differences. I think it's pretty normal to have kids grumble about doing chores regardless of who they "belong" to - but as they get older they WILL appreciate your efforts.

Angie - posted on 03/11/2010

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Your husband and you seriously need to have a talk. His kids are being treated as spoiled. Both of you have to come to an understanding and agree with rules that apply to everyone in that house. He must enforce the rules to his kids and keep on top of them. You on the other hand must STOP picking up after them. You may not be their mother but they are under your roof, your rules.

Kaci - posted on 03/08/2010

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all these comments are really helpful. about a year ago i did tell my step-kids that wahtever rules i have for my kids will apply to them to and told them it has to be that way because if i treat each child different then problems will arise between them and me. they didn't answer me, they just sat there.

RICHELLE - posted on 03/04/2010

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hello i'm also a step mother one of my step kids live with me and the other one lives with his mom and comes over on the weekend he is 9 yrs old and yes i make him clean up after his self when he is here because he still needs to know that no matter where your at if you make a mess you clean it. it also teaches them when they get older. now your step kids are also old enough to pick up after there self i would just sit them down and tell them that you have set rules at your house and all the kids has to obey them. remember you are the one that runs your home not the kids. that's what me and my husband did and my step son didn't like it but we told him if he can't follow our rules then he can't come over until he can. but you and your husband have to stick together on the rules i know it is very hard being a mixed family but everybody should follow and obey the rules at your house. hope i could help. god bless

Amber - posted on 03/01/2010

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I had different rules at my moms and my dads too and definately took advantage of it as I grew up, I won't lie. BUT I always followed the rules at the house I was at. I do agree that you and the dad need to sit down and decide what should be expected of each child and it should all be the same for the children depending on what they are capable of doing based on maturity and age. Also, the rule in my house is that with my stepdaughter - the dad does the punishment. If I tell my stepdaughter to do something and she doesn't then I will tell her one more time to do it - if still does not then I say lets go talk to your dad because the last thing that needs to happen is the kids going home to mom saying "she did this" and it be taken the wrong way.

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