Nancy - posted on 09/20/2016 ( 3 moms have responded )
Hi - My fiancé and I have been dating several year, just recently engaged. I've been an active part of his son's life, now 7, for two years. We have a great relationship with his son's mother, and we are all grateful for the mutual support and appreciation.
However - Jack, we'll call him, my fiancé's 7 year old, has a completely different set of rules at his mom's house - meaning, none. He goes to bed whenever he wants to, eats donuts and cookies all day, no "real" food if he doesn't want to...he can be disrespectful, and he basically comes home from school and sits on his tablet, until he goes to bed. We've talked to his mom about values, and discipline; she's said that Jack threatens to run away when she disciplines him, so she doesn't. We really think she just doesn't want to put in the effort. On our end, we've been working with him, to sit with us at the table during meal times, he gets time out if he's disrespectful or intentionally disobeys...we've been limiting screen time and enforcing bedtime and homework, of course.
Well, now he's gotten to where he says he "hates it over here". That there's "nothing to do" and he "just wants the TV and tablet". He won't talk to us or eat with us. It's very difficult, and of course my fiancé is in pain about it. Are we doing the right thing? We don't think it's acceptable for him to be disrespectful, or throw things, and we get down on the floor and play with him instead of screen time, we think that's important for him - but he's so angry. My fiancé is afraid that he's confused - he experiences none of this at his mom's house. Whatever our intentions, are we just teaching him that he deserves to be punished no matter what?
We're struggling! Any advice or lessons learned out there?