How do I deal with his kids when he reminds them they don't have to do what I say?

Roxy - posted on 06/18/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I have been dating my boyfriend for over two years and have known his children since early on in our relationship. They live several states away and he only sees them a couple of times a year so I can appreciate that he wants to do everything to please them and keep them happy while they are here. I also have a son that lives with his father but when he is with me he is expected to respect my boyfriend as the other parent in the household and if my boyfriend tells him to do something or not do something that's what is expected of him, no questions asked. I have never been able to do that with his children, however, and now it feels like it is just getting worse. So I need help and advice on how cope for the few weeks that they are visiting in the summer and winter.
Here is what happened last night that made me want to reach out:
A little background: his children are picky eaters, their mom only feeds them junk food at home and they eat all kinds of candy and junk food and soda at all hours of the day. In our house, we don't eat junk food and rarely even have it in the house.
Last night while we were having dinner, his 5 year old son said he wasn't hungry and he was too full to eat any more food. He had barel touched his food. My boyfriend told him if he didn't finish his dinner he wouldn't be able to have dessert (yogurt). His sister finished her food and my boyfriend said again that she could have dessert because she finished but he wouldn't be able to if he didn't. He didn't finish his food and left the table. A little while later, wen his sister sat down to eat her dessert, he wanted his. So I told him that he couldn't have dessert because he didn't finish his dinner. He got up, went upstairs, and told his father he wanted dessert. I heard my boyfriend ask what I had said and he told him I said no and then I heard his son whine that he wanted it but didn't hear what my boyfriend said. When he came back down he said his father said he could have dessert. So I asked my boyfriend if he had said it was ok and his response was (and he said this infront of his kids): "I am his father and if I say he can have dessert that is what goes. He is my son and I'm the one that says what he can and can't do." Of course both his kids looked at me and smirked like they know they don't have to listen to me. I felt hurt and disrespected. I didn't discipline him (I never would do that to his kids), I wasn't making up my own rules, I was just reiterating what he had said earlier. How do I deal with this for the next 7 weeks? Should I just stay quiet and refer them to their father every time they ask me for something? What about when I have to stay with them while he's at work? Does anyone have any advice or insight they can share?

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Carleta - posted on 06/19/2012

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I have three step-children (17, girl & 13 boy/girl twins). My husband and I have know each other for 10 yrs., we've been married 4 yrs this September. I met the children a yr into the relationship but this was never an issue for me until we moved in together in Year 3 of the relationship. The kids visited every wknd and had issues when I instructed them to do something, so they would tell their dad and he would do the chore or something. At the time it didn't bother me, however we were out at dinner one night and I had a similar incident about finishing dinner and dessert. One of the twins, stated since I wasn't their mother they did not have to listen. After dinner , I had a long talk with my husband ( boyfriend at the time). If we intended on being with each other for the long haul, then some ground rules needed to be established:
1. The children had to respect me (no talking back, listen to what was told, etc.)
2. If my husband disagreed with me, it was done in private not to undermine my authority as the other adult in the home.
3. We had talks together with the children, so they understood it is a team effort. He also would support my decisions.

The children live with us now in addition to my two (4 yr. & 3 mths, boys). I don't think it would have worked if the children didn't respect me or I didn't get the help & respect from my husband.

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Chaya - posted on 07/10/2012

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Tell your boyfriend before the children get there, that the children should do as you say, If he has a problem with it, tell him not to bring the children to you.
That relationship wouldn't work for

Chaya - posted on 07/10/2012

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Tell your boyfriend before the children get there, that the children should do as you say, If he has a problem with it, tell him not to bring the children to you.
That relationship wouldn't work for

Shaye - posted on 07/06/2012

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OH hell no! I have lived with my boyfriend for 2 years. he has full custody of his two boys who were 3 and four when i moved in with them. So they are always here with us rarely ever with there mother. these boys were out of control. angry violent and thinking they could do what ever they wanted...i went through that little phase where they wouldnt listent to me.and i would go and try to discipline them and there father would always come up behind me as if to back me up....which he did... but it was showing the boys that they only had to listen to me when daddy came back and told them exactly what i had just told them... after awhile i just put my foot down. i told him when i go in there and discipline them do not follow me. do not come in and undermind me in that way if i need your help i will come and get you. it took awhile but these boys listen to me now.. sometimes more so then they do there dad. they know i mean business.

Your boyfriend underminding you for telling the boy exactly what he had already told him was so wrong. Underminding you right in front of them letting them know they dont have to listen to you is wrong when i read that i read that the kids were smirking... i wanted to put them in a time out right there. it dont matter if they are only there for two days two weeks or every damn day. the adults in the house are the boss. Period! if that was my boyfriend he would have gotten a long lecture from me. if you two are going to share your life, you have to share everything. You deserve the respect. Demand it. Have a talk with him about it. if he leaves you alone with them while hes at work or something they need to listen to you. your situation is not a fun one... but you need to have a serious talk with him.

User - posted on 06/25/2012

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Your boyfriend just broke the biggest, most important carnal rule in parenting: never undermind each other in front of the children. That was his stupidity not yours.second carnal rule: if you make a rule, you stick with it. You don't change your mind because your child whined. Sorry but your boyfriend needs some parenting 101 if he hasn't figured this out. My guess is he doesn't want to feel like the bad guy and this is the only way he news how to deal with it.
My advice; you can try to reason with him and let him know that by going back on whatever rule HE, not you, has set up, he is creating little monsters. If he does not see the error in his ways and change his parenting' then I'm sorry to tell you but there's nothing else for you to do. He is their father and if HE doesn't teach them to respect you, then the kids will not respect you. And when you have to watch them by yourself it will be a living hell for you.

Chesnie - posted on 06/25/2012

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Well, in our family, before we were married ( and now) he did make sure to tell his 2 boys that I was in charge also and they had to respect me. Ultimately he has final say but I cook and clean after them so I do get say and he also told them I could whip them that I had that authority. It won't work if he won't back you up. Of course me trying to get them to clean is a whole different story. He doesn't back me up there but whatever. Just try telling him if he doesn't agree with your decisions he can cook for them, clean and stay home with them because your obviously not needed...I'm lucky that they are good respectful kids with church background and a good mother n father they respect. I'm sorry you are going through this...it is deffinitly deal breaker in a relationship.

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