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Does "experience" mean one parent is better than the other?

My boyfriend and I recently decided to "blend" our families, and move in together. My three year old and his 15 and 12 year olds. We are constantly having heated discussions, because he says, "I have more experience as a parent." Ok, fair enough, but does that make him the better parent or his parenting style better? His boys have NO CONCEPT of etiquette. My THREE year old, places his napkin in his lap at dinner, says, thank you, please, etc., removes his ball cap at the table, and even places his plate in the sink after dinner. His children constantly have to be reminded to clean up, come to the dinner table without shirts on, place their elbows on the table, and I have yet to hear, thank you or please or any other verbiage that resembles manners. The "I'm more experienced" thing is really beginning to irritate me, considering the differences in mannerisms with the boys. I am offended when I hear, "I am the more experienced parent." Please tell me if I am being unrealistic.

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Asked by SmomCyn at 11:41 AM on Jul. 9, 2008 in About CafeMom

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Answers (6)
  • Experience would mean one is better than the other if every situation and every child were the same. Unfortunately they don't come to us via cookie cutter. While a more experienced parent may have more IDEAS than a new mom or dad, that doesn't make them better. What works for one child won't always work for another, and it doesn't matter how many children you have - that is a tried and true fact. I don't think you're being unrealistic at all. Can you sit down with your boyfriend and just talk to him about things? Let him know you don't appreciate his pompous condescending nature when it comes to parenting. He has more experience but clearly that experience doesn't extend to raising children with manners and etiquette. You don't have to say it quite like that though **giggle**
    Good luck!

    Answer by ilovemyjob at 11:45 AM on Jul. 9, 2008

  • I think you know the answer.. I'm pregnant with my first and have 2 SDs. I can tell you that my husband acknowledges that I have taught him a thing or 2 about how to deal with them.. and I'm certainly a better parent than his ex-wife could ever hope to be.

    Answer by georgeswife5014 at 11:53 AM on Jul. 9, 2008

  • More experience is fine and dandy. But that doesn't make someone a better parent or even a good one. Yes he may have experience with kids but that doesn't mean he knows more than you do. I mean if your 3 year old has better manners than his older kids there is something wrong. lol

    Answer by amethystrse at 12:13 PM on Jul. 9, 2008

  • It sounds like you two need to sit down and hammer out rules and expectations for the kids. Put the house rules in writing. Then you don't have to argue about it each time on a case by case basis.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 12:32 PM on Jul. 9, 2008

  • My mom has been a parent for years, She has lots of experience, but she still is a crappy parent.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:44 PM on Jul. 9, 2008

  • I had two kids when I met my current hubby, a 3 year old and a 6 week old. I DO have more EXPERIENCE them him. BUT he has tuaght me a thing or two and now with my third, his first I will admit, but only here never to him, hehe, that he is a better parent at times! Experience just means he's been doing it longer but has nothing to do with how well he has or is doing it now.

    Answer by mommy_of3boys at 12:52 PM on Jul. 9, 2008

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