Are there any moms dealing with blended families? I make every effort to see that the children have everything they need, are fed,clothed, clean and are happy. My step children were neglected while with their mother who has recently abondoned them. When dad is out of the house my step children will not listen or do anything I ask them to do. They repeatedly leave messes everywhere. I have stopped going into their rooms to clean. I can spend hours cleaning the house and within minutes of them coming home the house is totalled. The disrespect I receive is incredible. Any advice on how to handle the situation?
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In my opinion, it is their dad who first needs to sit them down and talk with them about the expectations. They need clear guidance from HIM on exactly what your role is in their life and what behavior is and is not acceptable from them. Once the expectations for their behavior have been clearly communicated, or if they have been already, there needs to be consistent consequences for not respecting those rules and boundaries. And again this is just my opinion, but disregard for your authority when dad's away from the house should have a set of consequences separate from other offenses. For example-- say the child is supposed to clean up their place after a meal and they don't so you tell them their consequence is that they must wash everyone's dishes at the next meal and they refuse because you're not their mom and dad's not there to make them. When dad comes home he should reinforce the original consequence you set as well as also setting up some other kind of consequence for disrespecting you as the authority figure. I hear so many people say that stepmoms have no place administering discipline, but that's just not practical. ANY adult who is left responsible for a child should be shown respect and have appropriate authority. Most people would agree that kids need to learn to respect authority in many different forms, and well, a stepparent should be no different than being expected to respect a babysitter or a teacher. But the biological parent has to be the one to set the standard from day one for their children and convey to the children what is and isn't acceptable. In my opinion, the problem you have described sounds to me more like a parent problem than a child problem (no offense to your partner, I'm sure it's not intentional). If his kids are out of line, he needs to set them straight and find effective consequences to deliver CONSISTENTLY to teach them that certain things, like disrespecting you and your rules, just will not be tolerated.
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