Large Blended Family struggle

Jen - posted on 11/14/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




I have a fairly new large blended family with 6 kids (5 boys, 1 girl). My fiancee and I have too different parenting styles. Mine is structure and discipline, but not overbearing. His is cream puff oblivious, bury head in sand, be their friend and no responsibility or accountability. Guess who ends up teaching his kids right from wrong, cleaning up all the time and sounding like the "bad guy" and exhausted. Kids naturally don't want rules/responsibility so I have turned into a nag and that it so not like me!:) Any suggestions from a large family who had different parenting styles and how they made it work?


Jodi - posted on 11/14/2012




I think the answer to your questions depends a LOT on the dynamics of the family, such as how old they are, how often they are with you or with their other biological parent, and so on. To a certain degree, you are going to have to compromise a little on your parenting styles. However, I would suggest as a start that you and your fiance need to sit down together and decide on the house rules. There may be some things in this process that you are going to have to let go, but it is really important that you BOTH come to a clear set of your household rules.

From there, you need to then clearly outline these rules to ALL of the children. BOTH of you, not just you. You need to be seen to be presenting a united front, and to make it clear that as adults in the house, you will both be enforcing the rules. It shouldn't be just you enforcing household rules. This is really something you have to embrace together. It won't work if he won't help you, or if the children feel you are being overbearing. And take baby steps. Understand that his kids are not used to your rules. Don't suddenly dump these rules on them all at once and expect them to comply. I don't know how new it is, but it takes time.

To be honest, sometimes it never works. My stepson, every time he is home with us, forgets to put his clothes away in a drawer, and has to be nagged to have a shower, or hang his towels up, even just not to take his food and drink into the lounge room. My husband and I have been together for over 10 years. The trouble is, his mother doesn't have these rules at her house, so he comes here and he has to switch to a whole new set of rules. I don't get frustrated over it - it simply isn't worth it. I just give gentle reminders and leave it at that.

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