For those of you who's parenting styles are completely different than BM's
How do you and/or DH handle it? Does it effect your stepkids or your relationship with them?
This is why I ask... In my situation, DH and I are the primary parents. SS13 and SD9 are with us during the week and EOW (sometimes more depending on BM, but that's another story). During the Summer BM gets them during the week and we get them on weekends. Anyways... DH and I and BM are completely different as far as parenting goes. Examples of little things are... they have chores here (feeding the animals and taking out the trash) but they have none at their mom's, they have internet rules here (no internet after 11, 9-9:30 on school nights) but none there, they clean their own rooms here but she does it there (yes we KNOW we've seen it done numerous times), etc. Bigger things are like with my SS... BM knew he had marijuana and let him keep it, we would've made him destroy it or taken it back to school and let the principal know it was being passed around there. BM lets him out of the house at all hours of the night and rarely knows who he is with, DH makes sure he knows where he will be and with who. BM has told us that she wants to be their "friend" and that's exactly what she acts like. She doesn't want them "unhappy with her". DH has told me that her parents were strict and she said that she wouldn't be that "type" of parent with her kids.
We (well I for the most part) have always been the one(s) making rules and enforcing them. We don't tolerate disrespect and don't ask a lot of them, just for them to help out here and there and clean up after themselves. We don't sit back and let them fail school without trying their best or do things that could get them into trouble. They still have friends, get to go do things with them, etc. Well my stepkids prefer to be with their mom most of the time. When we ask them why they usually say "I don't know" or "just because". But we know why. When they are mad they always tell us, "well my Mama lets me XYZ" or "Mama isn't as strict as you" or "Mama doesn't make me XYZ"... We have explained to them over and over that we are not her and we have different ways of doing things. We have tried explaining to them that we want to know where they are and we won't let them go certain places because we want them to stay out of trouble, we want to know where the are because we want them safe, etc. They don't care, they just don't want to be here. We do fun stuff with them when we can afford to and they always have friends over so they do have fun when they're here. But it's never enough. I get so tired of feeling like they don't want to be with us.
If you do or have dealt with this type of situation, how do/did you handle it? I have already backed off a lot and very rarely say anything to them about doing something or not doing something, I let DH handle it as much as possible. I just bite my tongue and keep going. But DH is not going to transform to an "uncaring" parent just to make his kids happy. At the same time I hate it that they don't want to be with their dad much.