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 ( 54 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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Dove - posted on 06/18/2012

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Sharon said it beautifully. 'Go ask your father' can be your standard response to anything the kids ask. I would make sure your boyfriend knows that if he is not in your presence... neither are his children because he is the only one in charge of them.

I would think long and hard about staying with a man who does not require his children to respect your presence because how he wants his children to treat you is generally the same as how HE treats you. If he's not willing to change things.... this is how your life will be. If you can live like that, go for it, but if not... it may be time to move on.

[deleted account]

I believe that the approach of "Ask your father." Just simply put would be the best.

When he is at work, let him know that he will require a babysitter for his children because they are not required to respect you. No fight, just a matter-of-fact, "get a babysitter".

He will get the picture that if you are no one to them then they are no one to you. This will only work if you get the respect from them that they would give to any stranger at the circus who told them that they could not have cotton candy because they didn't have money.

If you have to explain things to him, there will be a fight. Better now than later, at least you know where you stand and you can let your BF know where he stands on the same issue.

"I am his father and if I say . . . " leaves me concerned, what happens when he takes on the attitude of "I am the man and you will do as I say" ?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/18/2012

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Stop taking care of them. His kids his rules, his obligation. Especially if he is going to act like that. I would just tell them any time they ask for something "Gee, you should go ask your father for that, or to do that for you." Be nice and caring for them, but make sure he is the one doing everything for them. If he has issues with it, just remind him of what he said.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/18/2012

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Get a new boyfriend. Trust me don't continue with someone who doesn't respect you. You'll regret it in the long run.

Krista - posted on 06/18/2012

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I agree with the others. Just keep saying, "Go ask your father." But I would definitely have second thoughts about this man. What will it be like if those kids start spending more time with you? It'll be hell, that's what it'll be like -- not because of the kids, but because you'll constantly be made to feel like the outsider. Him saying that to you in front of those kids was EXTREMELY disrespectful, and I would definitely have words with him about it.

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Lacye - posted on 07/06/2012

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Then here is how it goes:

1. Since you are not allowed to tell his children no, he is not allowed to do the same with yours. Let him see how it feels for a while.

2. When he goes to work, he can either pay you to babysit, in which case the children will have to listen to you or he can go find a baby sitter.

3. When the children want something, tell them they have to ask their father and when he says yes, he can give it to them as well.

I know it sounds kinda childish in a way but he is severely disrespecting you in a way that you don't deserve. Before you let him know these rules, let him know how hurt you feel about the way he acted towards you when it comes to his kids. and if he is still being a butt about it, let him know that if he can't respect you as a caregiver, which is what you are doing, then he can do it himself.

Maddy - posted on 07/06/2012

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@Jessica

They have been together for a couple of years now. The point is she needs to be respected. So because she isnt the kids biological mother she has to grin and take the disrepect and isnt allowed any respect in her own home? I completely disagree and that isnt fair at all

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/06/2012

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You don't he does. He pays for a sitter for work, and he enforces discipline. And, I'd recommend that you STOP letting him be a disciplinary tool for your child.



You are NOT married to this man. If he were to leave you tomorrow, he wouldn't be responsible for your child, as it's not his. So, it is sending confusing messages to your kid to have him play "daddy" and discipline, unless he's going to actually BE the kid's dad.



Likewise, it is illogical for you to expect children that are not yours, and who's father has no desire to make them your step children to listen, so draw the line. If he says "no dessert", and then backtracks, it's not your problem. You should have been telling them to ask their father from the get go, and he should be telling your kid to look to you.



Once you actually start contemplating a life with this man, you'll need to draw up a chart indicating who is responsible for what. If, at that time, you'd like to share disciplinary tasks, then make sure that they are CLEARLY outlined, both for yourselves and your children, so that all understand.



Edited: Abysmal sentence structure and grammar...that I couldn't ignore! LOL

Maddy - posted on 07/06/2012

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First off i would let your boyfriend know and understand to never speak that way to you in front of the kids ever again. If he isnt going to respect you why would the kids? And once the kids feel as if its ok for their father, your boyfriend to disrespect you they will think it is ok for them to do it as well and it will be so hard to gain respect from them after that. As for the next 7 weeks he needs to start trying to find a babysitter or you need to sit down with him let him know how it is going to be if you are going to be watching the kids. I look at it this way, you dont deserve to be disrespected by anyone, not your boyfriend and not his kids, that is any kids so if any of them disrespect you put each and everyone of them in their place. That is your home and they are going to have to respect it. If they dont like it then too damn bad, they'll get over it. Next time they ask you for something, your response "go ask you father" after awhile he will get tired of it and by then its time to make some changes if not before.

Bobmusicgirl4 - posted on 07/05/2012

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This seems like your boyfriend's problem and his alone. If he accepted your reinforcement then he should respect your authority as well, ESPECIALLY in front of his own kids. This might be the reason why he's a single dad. I just hope that you stand up for yourself and don't allow this type of disrespect because if it continues, his kids will never respect anyone never mind him. I would definitely reconsider your relationship with him if that is the way he treats you. In my book, that is not okay behavior.

Mary - posted on 07/03/2012

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Reconsider this relationship. Talk to your boyfriend and straighten this out pronto. If they do what they want by whining to him while they are small, forget about when they get bigger. If he wants to deal with whining bratty adolecents, he can do it alone. Love isn't about I'm his dad or I'm her mom. It's about sharing and that goes for rules. If it's all about him and his kids, let him deal with it. Love doesn't hurt.

Keri - posted on 06/27/2012

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While they may be his children, if you are in a serious committed relationship(since you're living together, I would assume that is the case) then that makes you a parental figure to these children. He may ultimately have the final say where they are concerned, however, your input should be considered and RESPECTED, and you should NEVER be undermined in front of them. If you are in a serious relationship with their father, and they will be staying in your home during visits, then you will be helping to raise them and your boyfriend needs to understand that the two of you need to show a united front when it comes to dealing with rules, etc. If you disagree on something, do it privately and not where the children will witness it, otherwise they will end up disrespecting BOTH of you.
As for the "Your his girlfriend you don't have authority..." comment, that attitude would only apply if this was a new or casual relationship. You've been together for a couple of years and you are living together. His children are coming into YOUR home, therefore they need to follow the rules of your home. Unless you know that this relationship is going nowhere, you DO have authority, if not, you have no "family" with the children or their father....

Jessica - posted on 06/22/2012

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Post a reply! Your his girlfriend you don't have authority I never let any of my boyfriends tell my son nothing cause his my son and who knows how long you'll be around just keeping it real

Maria - posted on 06/21/2012

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He has the right to flip-flop with his children but he doesn't have the right of disrespect you in front of them. I would wright him a letter about how I feel and ask him to read, think about it and then discuss the issue without harsh words and acusations.
Good luck!

Tassia - posted on 06/21/2012

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It is obvious that your boyfriend does not respect you. But he is correct, they are his children and if he does not respect you they will not respect you either. However, having a power struggle over food is not wise. Give them their meal, if they eat it fine, if not they will be hungry. It is not recommended that you withhold dessert for not finishing dinner. We should choose our battles wisely when dealing with children. You should rethink your relationship with this guy. Just a thought..

"Professor Benton also cautions against restricting foods or offering them as a reward. "Restricting access to particular foods increases preference for that food, rather than decreasing it. On the other hand, don't force your child to eat a food; they will only resist and that will decrease their liking of that food". Furthermore, offering foods as a reward for good behaviour such as eating vegetables may not have the intended consequences. "Offering desserts as a reward for eating greens, or some other 'distasteful' food, makes the reward food more desirable to your child and the food you are trying to encourage them to eat, less desirable. This makes encouraging your child to eat a healthy balanced diet even more difficult".

Check out the link
http://www.eufic.org/page/en/show/latest...

Heather - posted on 06/21/2012

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Talk to your boyfriend, tell him how you feel. Make sure he understands that its your house and your rules. Tell him that if him and his children can't respect you then none of them will be welcome in your home, or around your son. Tell him that you don't want to lose him but that you need respect from him and his children.

I hope this helps.

Laura - posted on 06/21/2012

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Get the boyfriend to see things from your point. Try and ask him how he expects you to act with his kids as the adult. How he expects your kids to act with him as the adult. It needs to be the same for both sides or it will not work for either of you. Talk it out put guidelines in place before the kids get there for the summer/winter. Make a poster of behavior do's and don'ts. Blending families even for a short time is the hardest thing. Work together talk without the kids in the house or go sit in the car with the windows up and don't let the kids yours or his hear what is being said. Talk about expectations and working together not against each-other.

Kristi - posted on 06/20/2012

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I think you should let your boyfriend know that if he isn't able to support you in making reasonable requests of his children (such as the scenario you described), then you do not deem this to be a long-term relationship. You can explain that the sort of disrespect he is setting you up for is not something you are interested in, and that if the relationship is to have a future, his children must be taught to respect your reasonable requests, as well as his. You can let him know that you expect to be a partner in household decision-making should you make a home together. You should take note of the manner in which he teaches others to treat you. Perhaps he doesn't really think much of you. Better to find out now!

Nikki - posted on 06/20/2012

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I have been a stepchild and have been raising a blended family as well for the last 9 yrs-it is difficult at first :) if you feel he is the right "one" you need the have the parenting conversation with him, what are your and his expectations, how will you raise your children, how will you discipline/how will you reward them, what are each of your values and how will you instill these in your kids. This should not be a defensive conversation-use statements like "i feel ---- when i see----" remember you share the common goal-raising kids. Screw those who have said "ask your father-find a sitter" that is not a relationship aka wont be a family! You can also involve kids in making rules. Good luck :)

Juliana - posted on 06/20/2012

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That is so true. You are being disrespected openly. He does not value you. Get out and save yourself more heartaches.

Christina - posted on 06/20/2012

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Hi Roxy. What a tough situation. I would have to say that I agree with the other mom's on many fronts. 1st, remember at some point the lack of respect his children show you will start to be the model of behavior your son will pick up, especially if he likes the kids and is around the same age. 2nd, your bf is showing you "red flags" that were probably present in the past relationship. Depending on your perspective, these behaviors could be deal breakers for you. Parenting is a tough job and when you have other children (that aren't yours) in the picture and if you are expected to provide childcare and basic parenting duties for them, both parents need to be on the same level. Perhaps you could try the tactic mentioned above as in not giving instructions or making parental type decisions with his children while he is around. This does not include safety decision since these are common sense practices and he shouldn't have an issue with you making sure the kids aren't jumping off the roof or something. The tricky part is if you are expected to watch them for an extended amount of time (ie when he's at work). I'd have to say that your word would be marshal law at that point, but expect backlash from the kids, especially the 5 year old. As I ponder this situation while responding, I can't help but to think that this may not get any better, especially if you think his lack of enforcing your bounderies with his children are guilt driven. Two years is a long time, but in the whole scheme of things it's really just a drop in the bucket and your already having to deal with some serious issues. 3rd, remember his kids will be teenagers one day......and if your still with him can you imagine what that would be like if he hasn't changed his perspective? Yikes!! Not knowing the best answer for your and your situation I only can hope that all works out for the best for everyone. Your son needs you to be the best example of a woman and mother as possible so for whatever it's worth I hope you remember that you are just as important as your bf's children. Your son needs you more than your bf or his children need you. I'm sure he has good qualities, but red flags are red flags......from one single mother to another, good luck!! Christina

Danelle - posted on 06/20/2012

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Your boyfriend sounds about as mature as his 5 yr old son. If you have serious plans of having a future and children of your own with this boyfriend, you should consider this a window into your future with him. Dump the chump.

Kat - posted on 06/20/2012

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I think my biggest problem with this whole situation is that it really seems he simply gave in to his son to defy you. He asked his son what you had said and he purposely went against what you said even though you were just backing him up. Had things been reversed and he came downstairs to find his son eating dessert after he specifically said he could not have any, I am pretty sure all hell would have broken loose. This to me is not a parenting issue...although it is pretty apparent that he has those as well...but a power struggle in your relationship and this is just one example of that. What mature adult would disrespect you like that in front of the kids? What was he hoping to prove? It really doesn't matter what your relationship has been like with the kids up to this point...this is about him and how he treats you in front of them. In this case it was directly about them, but what about how he treats you in regards to other situations? If he does not respect you in front of them, they will quickly lose what respect they have for you, and as another poster said, when you throw your son in the mix, he is going to either start acting like them or get very angry that they can do things and act ways that he can't. It isn't right on so many levels, and this is (to me) a larger problem than just who gets to enforce rules with the kids.

Bryndís - posted on 06/20/2012

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Let the father face the consequences when he gets home from work if you don't want to be on his kids case all day :) But you can also talk to him about this, since he has a saying in your sons upbringing when he is staying with you. Anyway, if he doesn't want you to tell his kids what to do, or not, just let him face them when he gets home from work and see how he feels about you being passive :) I agree with everyone, this is so disrespectful to you, but then you can just punch out about his kids and let him answer to everything :) See how he likes it :)

Shelly - posted on 06/20/2012

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Insist that he get some parenting help or get out of this relationship. Make an appoint with a family counselor, and make sure you both go. If he wants to be there for his kids, spoiling them and walking all over you is sure not the way to go. If he's not willing to make some serious changes, then leave. Don't put up with being treated like a door mat.

America3437 - posted on 06/20/2012

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I would refer them to their father every time and as far as what to do when he goes to work....tell him to hire a babysitter! I would have to ask myself if he was even worth the trouble.

Julia - posted on 06/20/2012

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Wow am I evil compared to most responses. lol Have the bf make a list of what he wants his children to do, eat, and so on while he is at work. When there is a problem, have the children call or text him while he is at work. When he is home, always refer them to him for everything. He can cook their meals if needed, bathe them, and my words would be "go ask your father". While I do not have a blended family, my sister does, and everything in their house is equal. No child is treated different from any others, the rules are the rules, and everyone is happy, healthy, and on the honor roll at school.

That is a situation I would not allow myself to be in.

Jill - posted on 06/20/2012

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I know you're thinking this is a kid problem - and it is, in part - but the source of the trouble is your boyfriend.

Your boyfriend is an inconstant parent. If you say something then don't follow through, that teaches kids that you're not really serious. By folding after you had already repeated his words to his son, he has taught his kids that you have no value as an authority figure. They won't listen to you if they can get their dad to do what they want.

The kids won't change or behave until their father does. This is a touchy situation because you're dealing with the parenting of another person's kids. He has to see the problem and want to fix it. Have you talked with your boyfriend about it?

Louise - posted on 06/20/2012

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are you living togather . because if you are . you would have to think were you want the relateshiption to go . the older ther kids get the bigger the prombles you decide what you want or suck it up you deal with your kids and he deal will his but think what you want for your kids and how important it is for them to folow rules live is all about rules

Jenni - posted on 06/20/2012

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If he doesn't expect his children to respect you, then he doesn't have much respect for you. I'm a step mom but I do much of the "mothering" when my step daughter is over. I've been in her life since birth and helped my husband take care of her since she was infant. BUT if he doesn't agree with something I'm doing, he discusses it with me (not in front of the children) and I respect his wishes because he is ultimately her bio father. I do the same with her bio mom. They are the parents. He would never undermine me and fully understands that if he did, she (and even with our bio children) would not respect my words and it would make it very difficult on me to parent our children. It's challenging enough being a step parent.



He doesn't mind when you cook his kids dinner, dress them, entertain them or any other parenting roles you play does he? If you answer is no. Then he is taking advantage of you and when push comes to shove (his kids whine to him) he'll quickly throw you under the bus so he doesn't have to be the 'bad guy' in his kid's eyes. Not the kind of guy I'd be wanting to marry and have future children with.



And there's the next storm I predict brewing... how will you two manage to be on the same page with your own children (if you have them together)? How will you manage when his kids get to rule the roost while your own child(ren) have to obey rules and have boundaries. One of the most important rules to succeed in blended families is for all the children to be treated *equally*. They will have to follow different rules at their mom's than their dad's but that's just part of being in a blended family. If all involved do not remain a united front on this you are headed towards some major issues. Bending over backwards so you are the "fun" parent (like your boyfriend) only hurts the children. Children need consistent boundaries and rules if we want them to grow into functional, respectful, law-abiding citizens. Even if the rules may be different in the other parent's home. We only have control over our own household and how it is run.



Your boyfriend can't have his cake and eat it too. If he expects you to play dutiful wife and step-mother to his children then at the very least he should be respecting you and also demanding respect from his children toward you. What has he said when you told him how this makes you feel and the repercussions of his behaviour? If he seriously doesn't care nor validates your feelings, that should be your answer right there to get out before it's too late! Because you are definitely right to be concerned about this, he is acting incredibly immature and if he can't even acknowledge that, you are in for a future of pain and frustration.

Konstanz29 - posted on 06/20/2012

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I agree with most of what has been said here. I just want to ask a question - If your bf tells his children that they don't have to listen to you what you say - and they don't - what happens when you have children with him? they will also be his children and will they also not be expected to listen to you then or will there be a set of rules for one set of children and another set for another set of children?.

Also note that one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. your child comes in to mix with his, your child maysoon begin to disrespect you too... so if you want to retain your self worth, please have another look at this relationship and see if it is really worth it.

User - posted on 06/20/2012

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How to deal with a child with an attitude

My son came home from school one day, with a smirk upon his face.
He decided he was smart enough to put me in my place.

'Guess what I learned in Civics Two, that's taught by Mr. Wright?
It's all about the laws today, the 'Children's Bill of Rights.'

It says I need not clean my room, don't have to cut my hair
No one can tell me what to think, or speak, or what to wear.

I have freedom from religion, and regardless what you say,
I don't have to bow my head, and I sure don't have to pray.

I can wear earrings if I want, and pierce my tongue & nose.
I can read & watch just what I like, get tattoos from head to toe.

And if you ever spank me, I'll charge you with a crime.
I'll back up all my charges, with the marks on my behind.

Don't you ever touch me, my body's only for my use,
not for your hugs and kisses, that's just more child abuse.

Don't preach about your morals, like your Mama did to you.
That's nothing more than mind control, and it's illegal too!

Mom, I have these children's rights, so you can't influence me,
or I'll call Children's Services Division, better known as 'C.S.D.'


Mom's Reply and Thoughts

Of course my first instinct was to toss him out the door.
But the chance to teach him a lesson made me think a little more.

I mulled it over carefully, I couldn't let this go.
A smile crept upon my face, he's messing with a pro.

Next day I took him shopping at the local Goodwill Store..
I told him, 'Pick out all you want, there's shirts & pants galore.

I've called and checked with C.S.D. who said they didn't care
if I bought you K-Mart shoes instead of Nike Airs.

I've canceled that appointment to take your driver's test.
The C.S.D. is unconcerned so I'll decide what's best.'

I said 'No time to stop and eat, or pick up stuff to munch.
And tomorrow you can start to learn to make your own sack lunch.

Just save the raging appetite, and wait till dinner time.
We're having liver and onions, a favorite dish of mine.'

He asked 'Can I please rent a movie, to watch on my VCR?'
'Sorry, but I sold your TV, for new tires on my car.
I also rented out your room, you'll take the couch instead.
The C.S.D. requires just a roof over your head.

Your clothing won't be trendy now, I'll choose what we eat.
That allowance that you used to get, will buy me something neat.

I'm selling off your jet ski, dirt-bike & roller blades.
Check out the 'Parents Bill of Rights', It's in effect today!

Hey hot shot, are you crying, Why are you on your knees?
Are you asking God to help you out, instead of C.S.D..?'

Tracy - posted on 06/19/2012

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I would have corrected him and said that it was him that said they couldn't have dessert not you but you were simply following his wishes so if he wants to change his mind then he needs to do it himself. I definitely would have made the point in front of his kids that you are not the mean one but it was him that said they couldn't have the ice cream and put it right back in his lap. I think if he has to deal with every little issue including if they want something and he is not home make them wait and ask him. He will get fed up and they will get tired of having to wait for him to find out if they can play outside.

Mom - posted on 06/19/2012

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Your boyfriend absolutely disrespected you. If he expects your child to respect his wishes, then the same should be true for his children with you. If he is unwilling to budge and acts this way, I would seriously consider leaving him. Thank God you're not married! I promise you this will only get worse it will not get better. Like I said, he needs to be consistent and he needs to respect you in front of all the children, otherwise your home will be caos and mayhem.

Kylee - posted on 06/19/2012

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I was in a very similar situation for years. He was so scared of losing them he let them do anything. I tolerated it, for far too long. Suddenly the kids were removed from their mother and given to us with12 hrs notice. Then the excuse was they'd been through traumatic experience, so we can't discipline them. It has been 12 yrs of hell with them, and I wish I'd walked away at the first signs, even though my husband is a wonderful man. Stand up for yourself now!

Simone - posted on 06/19/2012

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This is not a good situation. You should be well respected in your household. Your boyfriend sounds like a very controlling man and that probably shows up in other areas of your relationship as well. For him to undermine you that way was demeaning and you should not put up with that!

Roxy - posted on 06/19/2012

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Thanks again for all the advice and encouragement. I was reading through all the responses and one thing that I wasn't really clear on is that his kids, up to now, have mostly been respectful. I'm not a total tyrant so I expect normal kid behavior from them. I know they are going to test their limits with me and I know that they are going to act like they are allowed to act when they are with their mother. When they do and I am the one that is with them I tell them not to do that and explain to them why (same way I do with my son). For example, last night their father went to the store to get something I needed and they started messing with the cat. My cat is not social, she doesn't like being around a lot of people, doesn't like to be held or cuddled and is not used to having kids around. They were both instigating her and had her backed into a corner and I asked them to leave her alone and told them she doesn't like to be played with or messed with like their dog does and that she was going to scratch them if they didn't leave her alone. They both said ok and left the cat alone for the rest of the night. No problem.
So it's not like they are already disrespectful to me. In fact, I think they are more disrespectful to their father than to me. I guess they haven't gotten all that confident with me yet since I didn't move in with their father until after they left last summer.
In any case. I think I am going to sit him down tonight and just tell him that I didn't appreciate the way he did that the other night. I really just asked because I didn't know and all he needed to say was yes with out the rest his comments and I would have been OK with that. One thing that my mom (who has tons of experience being the "evil stepmom" since she raised her ex's daughters) has told me since I started dating my boyfriend was to just let him parent them the way he wants, back him up in what he says but don't get involved in telling him how he should do it because at the end of the day they don't live with us and in that situation it's just better to keep the peace while they are there.

Pam - posted on 06/19/2012

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I agree wholeheartedly with Sharon, but if you go this route you will have to stand your guns. If he can't or won't make his children show you respect then maybe he isn't the man for you. If you stay with him you are looking at a lot of stressful times when his children are around. He doesn't have to completely let (for lack of a better word) you discipline his children, however in an instance such as this he should give you support. They should be expected to follow the rules when they are at your house just as your son does. If he has an issue with something you have done or said then it should be discussed privately, not in front of the kids. That gives them a lot of power when they see him talking to you this way.

Melanie - posted on 06/19/2012

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Ummmmmmmmmm...get out of there quick. He is letting them disrespect you and he is not only undermining you but contradicting himself. Its a recipe for DISASTER.
I am stepmom to my husband's 2 older kids .They were 5 & 6 1/2 years old when we started dating. While he tried to be supportive about my role with his kids, his mother and ex were not. It was a nightmare. We had many , MANY rough years and the kids are now 19 & 21. The 21 year old is finally at a point were she loves me and respects me ,but its been a very hard time for us all.
Again..........if he is throwing you under the bus now when they are little.....its only going to get worse. He obviously cannot say no to his children and they will become total monsters (of his own creation) when they visit. ~~ Good luck~~

Pamela - posted on 06/19/2012

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Sit down with your boyfriend and have a serious talk about how you felt with that incident. Include that you feel that the children realize you have no authority and that this will not change until he corrects it. Also explain the need to him to be firm with his decisions.

One of the easiest messages that can confuse children later in life is to receive mixed messages....You can't have this unless you do that....and then change and allow it later. It is not a good message to send and shows that the parent is NOT FIRM OR CONSISTENT! Discuss this point with him and how it will play out when they are parents. We learn how to parent from our own parents as they are our only guide in that area. Fluctuating in regards to rules is sending an erroneous message.

If you cannot seem to arrive at a suitable agreement and if he refuses to tell his children that you too have authority in their lives, then reassess the relationship. It may not be worth it and could cause severe problems as they children get older.

Besides, if he is not marriage material these kinds of revelations in his attitude will prove it and you can move on to a better relationship.

Lisa - posted on 06/19/2012

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Janice is right. Sit down calmly after the kids have gone to bed and explain how you've been feeling. You cannot stay with a man who treats you disrespectfully. But give him the chance first to let him know how you feel about his kids and how you feel he's treated you like you are no one. If he can't come around to understanding how you are feeling, then it's time for him to hit the road. Please, please do not stay with him if he doesn't understand how you've been disrespected, because that in itself is disrespectful, and I believe is mental abuse, just the beginning. Once you've gone down that road, well, let me say that it leaves a wound that is difficult to heal.

Janice - posted on 06/19/2012

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I think you should sit down after the kids go to bed and have a talk. tell him how much you love his kids and how you feel about being a parenting team. Explain how hard it would be for you to take care of them if they think they dont have to listen. My husband and I are together and we still don't always agree. We have definitely argued over parenting ideas , sometimes tha'ts just par for the course. When you talk don't make accusations just explain your feelings.

[deleted account]

Atta girl. Keep up the good work.

That was one night and it's wearing him down. Hold out as long as you can and let him be the one to bring it up and discuss it. This will either make or break the relationship all the way around. Either he will talk to the kids about respecting you and will respect you at the same time or he will get worse, either way you will know what your next move is.

Roxy - posted on 06/19/2012

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Thanks everyone. Sometimes I just wonder if I'm being too demanding because I am strict with my son. If I say something to him that's what it is and I don't give in fits and crying. In fact, that would get him in more trouble. I've been a stepchild myself since I was 4 so I'm sensitive to how they may feel about me, I've been in their shoes. But my parents would never have done that and both my mother and father even backed up the spouse of the other parent.
And I also love his kids, especially his daughter because I have always wanted a daughter and she is the closest I have. She is a sweet heart and she has gone through a lot with her mother and things are not right for her at home.
I also know that he had a very difficult childhood and especially with his father and he feels extremely guilty about not being there for his kids and it's like he tries to over compensate and give them everything and make every day like Disney World. That is, until they have been here a couple of weeks and they really start to wear on his nerves.
But last night I just bit my tongue and let him deal with his son throwing a baseball and soccer ball around inside the house and throwing his cleats at his sister. I just walked away and he told me later in the evening that he tried to go grocery shopping with them and they were behaving so bad that he forgot a bunch of things and I just shrugged and said oh well.
I am going to bring it up to him but right now it's too fresh and he would just get defensive.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/19/2012

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I would have to agree with the other ladies about staying in the relationship. I would have to think long and hard to figure out if I wanted to stay with a man that does something like this to me. Hopefully eventually talking it through will help. But man, he was a real ass.

Mia - posted on 06/19/2012

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Get out of this relationship...that may sound extreme but this man does not respect you and doesn't trust you with his kids...that shows how he really feels about you. Maybe try counseling but if he can't be respectful and teach his kids to respect you, you will be miserable.

Cindy - posted on 06/19/2012

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Make them follow your rules for all of the family...regardless of how you bacame a member of this family...you are! The adults need tp work together and let the little ones worry about barbies and boys!!

Jodi - posted on 06/18/2012

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Um, yeah, you don't. Sorry, but that is YOUR house, you are an adult in the home, so the rules in your home are a joint effort and jointly agreed. I'd be out of there in a flash. Believe me, it won't get easier if he is undermining you like this. Totally unacceptable to be treated like that not only in your own home, but by someone who claims he cares about you (which I'd be questioning VERY hard).

Stifler's - posted on 06/18/2012

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Pffft no I'd tell your bf to fuck off. I don't care whose kid it is, my house my rules go!

Kat - posted on 06/18/2012

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This really sounds like it may go beyond the issue of disciplining his kids. It seems he does not have a basic respect for you and that there is a power struggle on his side. I don't think I could remain in a relationship with a person who back peddled on his own rules simply to spite me. This isn't a situation in which you called a shot and he disagreed...you were simply reinforcing what he previously decided and he changed his mind...in front of the kids no less. I would take a long hard look at not only this aspect of your relationship with him, but at other facets of your relationship and how various situations are handled...are things always his way? Does he have to have the final say in things? Can you live like this when it seems your opinion and decisions are not valued? Or do you feel like you can talk to him about this and come to a compromise? Is he approachable on these types of issues?

Barbara - posted on 06/18/2012

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I have a friend who was in the same situation. She has 3 kids, one belonging to her live in boyfriend, and he has another from a previous relationship. He would get that child every other weekend. She makes her kids respect and listen to anything he says because he is the father figure in the house. But he doesn't make his other child respect her. So I told her she needs to put her foot down and say something. She did. He didn't really do anything. So she talked to his kid herself and told her that she will not disrespect her or her other kids anymore. It worked for a while but without him backing it up it's not going to work. They are not together anymore thank God. But she had basically done what Sharon suggested. If he wasn't going to make his daughter respect her, then he needed to find someone else to watch her and deal with her while he was out doing whatever. And her job is an at home babysitter. :)

Gwen - posted on 06/18/2012

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Wow. That's just so wrong on so many levels I can't even think of anything good to say. Maybe someone else will be more helpful!

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