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How can I get my fiance to treat our children the same?

I have a 4 yr old son and my fiance is the only father he has known. Birth father never involved. My fiance has a 7 yr old son from previous marriage who lives several states away. I feel like when it is just my 4 yr old around, he is always criticizing my parenting methods. We agree on standards to set and rules to follow. However, when his son visits for the summer, he gives preferential treatment and strays from what we agreed on. Dad works long hours and I'm stuck dealing with 2 boys. I am not a clinician, but as a psychology student, I suspect my stepson has oppositional defiant disorder. His mother suffers from mood disorders and the divorce has been hard on my ss, who loves his dad. SS is constantly causing problems and causing difficulty in my relationship with his dad. When I point out the difficulties , dad acknowledges but fails to handle the situation. We always end up arguing and fighting about how the boys are treated differently. We agreed to raise my son as his, and I encourage any discipline he hands out. I understand he wants visits with his son to be free from conflict, but he refrains from disciplining his son and storms off when I try to discuss it. His son cusses at adults, has had the police called to our home while I was in the shower and gives trouble at church events and the local rec center. I can handle my son, but I'm not allowed to discipline the stepson the same as mine. I am at a loss and our relationship of several years is going to fail based on his realtionship with his son. please offer any insight!!

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Asked by megamomm at 11:44 PM on Jul. 12, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 3 (13 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • Counseling should give you both insight and should help the situation. The heading of your question indicated the problem was that he doesn't treat your child as well as his own. But it seems the real problem is he doesn't address or discipline your stepson as he should. And he doesn't give you much authority to do so either.

    Answer by keisha613 at 11:55 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • it is tough as the two adjusting to both of our beliefs....however it is because of our beliefs in life and parenting that we fell in love and he asked me to marry him. We have known each other since high school (fast forward 15 years and just over 2 years before we got engaged_)
    just recently he agreed to seek counseling for his son. However the time is almost up for his son to return to the mother. I feel like once my stepson goes back, things will settle down. But this will be a continuous battle every time he comes to stay with us. SS acts different around dad. I agree to handling to each child according to his needs, but basic rules should remain the same. It is obvious my fiance gets hurt at the situation. He wants me to tell him about every situation when he comes home from work. However, I start to feel like a tattle tale when I share with him about the days incidents. He immediately becomes defens

    Comment by megamomm (original poster) at 12:17 AM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • Well you can't discipline your SS as if she was yours like your fiance' does for your child because while your son doesn't have another father in his life, this boy has his mother, so you aren't needed to be the mother figure in his life. On the other hand, a whole summer is a long time to go without discipline. I think you need to keep talking to your finance' and explain that while you are not his parent, you are babysitting him and should have the same rights as any other babysitter (to take away tv time, to put in time out or to send to bed early) if the situation warrants it. Then dad needs to explain to him that while you are not trying to be his mom, you are an adult and while you are there, you have the authority to dish out these punishments. I have a feeling that might change things

    Answer by JLS2388 at 6:52 AM on Jul. 13, 2011

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