Fun Parent....Strict parent?

Jacqui - posted on 08/05/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )




Hello everyone,

I have a 4yr old daughter. The problem is that we have a split family, when she is at home with me, she has Religion and Rules that ARE to be followed. At her Fathers, ther is no Religion or Rules and she can do whatever she wants. I am not trying to "knock" her Father in anyway, so please don't get me wrong. I am finding that when she visits her Dad for the weekend she comes back swearing, wetting the bed, (she has been potty trained for a few years now), Telling me "NO, that she doesn't have to listen to me" throwing tantrums exct. you get the drift. This is NOT like her, she is a VERY well mannered for a 4yr old. I am finding it harder and harder for her to adjust to my semi-strict rules. I feel as if I have became the dreaded "strict parent". Now her Dad is the "fun one". I don't want her to dread comming home. My house isn't a prison camp or anything... hahaha! But I do lay down the law. I just want her to grow up with Christian Values, Respect and Manners, I want what is BEST for her. I guess I am just looking for help in the situation. Any advise anyone? Thank you for taking the time to read this. God Bless***


Miangelbug - posted on 08/08/2009




I grew up in the situation you are talking about (my dads was strict and my moms was not). I would advice you to stick it out and do the right thing even if you don't gain brownie points with her right now. I respect my dad and step mom far greater than I do my mom (but I missed out on growing up in church-I wish my parents would have done the right thing). Keep her well grounded in the Word of God and pray for her daily. Once she gets saved, talk to her about the difference about you and her dad. Just say YOU decided to follow what the Lord tells you to do as a parent (don't bash him in any way-be an example of turning the cheek). If she asks why he doesn't, encourage her to ask him that question. Sometimes people take blunt questions like that better from children than adults. Remember to do fun things with her. Maybe start a reward chart or a jar of play money that she can trade in for "fun activities with Mommy". This will encourage her to obey and make her realize that her actions produce either punishment or fun activities from Mommy. Whatever you do, don't yell at her for what she did at her dads (I hated being drilled about slacking on brushing teeth and such while at my mom's). Maybe make a game of it when she comes home to you-"shed" the Dad's house image and "put" on the Mom's house image. Talk to her about how people act different at a library (like Mommy's house) to a play ground/park (like Daddy's house). Both places can be fun but we just have to ACT different at the two different places (use whatever places you want as long as they are easy for her to understand). Post your house rules near the door when she comes home and remind her of the MOMMY house rules (ex. no swearing, going potty like a big girl, etc.). Make sure she takes a shower/bath when she comes home, this will make her "feel" like a new person and give her the chance to think about the transition. Even though you are tough on her, still make sure she knows she is special. Make sure you are doing her favorite activities with her and compliment her on her personality when she is being well mannered. I remember feeling in the middle and that the fighting was always about my parents opinions. Make sure you make it about Her and about raising her to be the best she can be. May the Lord be with you Always!

Cheryl - posted on 08/06/2009




that is a tough one. teach your daughter to fear the LORD first, then you. that is the most effective with my 4 yr. old. pray for your daughter and her father..... GOD will help you out with that...

Kitty - posted on 08/06/2009




This is definitely a tough, but all too common problem. Of course, if you and her father could get on the same page about discipline and rules, it'd be great, but that's very rarely the case. I am in the same situation, and all I can say is, KEEP IT UP! When my step son comes home dirty and not minding it (went without a shower for 3 days there), being rude, giving attitude and not helping out around the house, I have to lay down the law a little bit harder that first day back. It reminds him very quickly what is expected of him in our household. Yes, we are the "strict" parent, but you know what? They still cuddle with you and tell you they love you, that helps take the sting out of it. And you know in your heart you're doing the best you can, and hopefully, your daughter will learn these morals and keep them up at her father's when she's older. Example: My step son knows we don't allow him to see PG-13 movies. His mother wanted to take him to see Transformers 2 and he told her "I can't see it. I'm not allowed. It's inappropriate for me." I was SOOOO proud of him for trying to stick to the rules even in a different environment. Never mind that she let him see it anyway. He was able to see the difference in our parenting, and I think he even appreciated it. He's almost 9, so you have a ways to go before she understands your reasoning, but she will. And she'll love you even more for it. Good luck and God bless!


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Lisa - posted on 09/10/2012




Explain to her father what she is doing and have good communication between both of you. Never fight in front of her or talk bad about him to her. Nothing wrong with letting your daughter know that don't fly at your house. She will learn to respect you as she ages. Sometimes it sucks but for her best interest, you don't always get to be the fun parent when it comes to scolding her or correcting her. It's part of your job. A lot of times the parent that only gets them on weekends get to "be the fun one". That's because they only have them 6-8 days of the month. So having them daily is different. Your the caretaker.

Keep doing what you are doing and just pray about it and ask God to give you the wisdom to communicate effectively to her father.

Angela - posted on 09/09/2012




I'm racking my brains for ideas to help you - but the main stumbling block here is your child is only 4!!

My idea was for you to become a more "fun" parent yourself ..... When I was a child there were always other kids I knew that had great hobbies and activities that I would loved to have tried. I was going to suggest that you introduced something like this to your daughter's life - but with the proviso that she earns the treats through good behaviour, avoiding being defiant with you, swearing etc .... Now this is difficult when she's only 4 so I'm unsure of activities that would appeal to a child so young yet still be enjoyed as she gets older.

As for bedwetting, that's a different issue altogether - you can't put it in the same bracket as defiance and swearing. It's the most uncomfortable feeling to wake up in a urine-soaked bed - NO child would do this on purpose! This might be linked to a physical or psychological problem.

Are you on reasonably good terms with your ex-partner? Have a chat with him outlining your concerns and see what he has to suggest. Be polite and friendly - don't be accusing or angry. A united front from the 2 of you will have results. OK, you ex partner may not be a Christian, but we're talking about simple good manners here and acceptable behaviour! He should be committed to making your little girl a nicer, well-adjusted child for her own sake - she's his daughter too!

Good luck!

Esther - posted on 09/08/2012




your daughter at this time is 4 year old, as she gets older espically in her teen years you two will have even more dis-agreements and arguments then ever. And if you think nows hard there many be times when she wants to live with the father later on but honestly stay the way you are. Tell her how things should be at your place, but don`t be to strict. A 4 year old should not be swearing and i wouldn`t think your ex-husband would like it when your daughter wets the bed either. But just tell her that at your place she can`t be doing those things and get her to compromise with you. Don`t always yell, even now and espically later on yelling won`t do much. It sets a limit and she`ll just want to push it and rebel against it. Listen to how she feels, ask her why she swears and wets her bed. Then get her to understand why she shouldn`t and show her that you can also be the fun parent. Sometimes let her stay up, be active, do things she likes, talk to her and try not to fight her but understand her at all times. it may be hard and sometimes you have to put your thoughts behind and just trust her.

Carla - posted on 08/20/2010




This is a very common occurrence among divorced parents. They want the child to 'like them better', so they are the fun parent. It makes it very difficult for the one who has primary care, but you absolutely can't ease up on her! You can tell her something like 'you may do this at your dad's house, but I love you and want you to be the best little girl you can, so you cannot do it at our house'.

You can talk to your ex, but I wouldn't hold my breath (lol). Just run your household the way God tells you, and she will be fine.

God bless, honey!

Jessica - posted on 08/17/2009




You need to speak to her dad. If the situation is going to truely work then the key word is consistentsy. You obviously want to stop your daughter from being unsettled and so you need to work with her dad on this one. No matter what styles of parenting you both have, if you both have the same goal does this really matter? Also don't belittle her dad or his opinions in front of her and make sure he doesn't either. If she is being raised in the church then he should back that up. It may take a while but there is no reason why this cannot be resolved. And prayer is not a last resort, should be the first!

Laura - posted on 08/07/2009




I would suggest sitting down and discussing it with her dad. My parents were divorced when I was 15. There were rules but no religion at my dads, and there was religion but no rules at my moms. I respect my dad more than my mother. Before my parents got divorced there was both rules and religion, but only my dad actually followed through with the rules.

My kids are both very mannered as well for a 5 year old and a 19 month old. The dad and I are still together. But we both do carry out rules and punishments, but we feel that raising kids in a religion is making the decision for them. You can have respect and manners without being raised in a religion. My husband has been very respectful towards me since we've been together, and wasn't raised into any religion or went to church like I did. I'm not knocking you by any means so don't take offense. I do know quite a few christian parents that do take their kids to church but make it very known that whatever their child chooses as a religion is fine. The thing that I most like about them is the fact that their children are well mannered and very respectful. So just talk to him about how she treats you and how she acts when she gets back home, and how disrespectful she can be. Hope this helps.

Nicole - posted on 08/06/2009




I think that maybe you and her father should discuss what is going on. My you both will have to compromise but in the end it just might work. He may have to put down the law a little more and you may have to give her room to make more of her own decisions. But i think the best think is to try to talk with him about the situation. Good Luck!

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