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Help! Blending Families!

Posted by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:01 PM
  • 10 Replies

Hi!  I am new here and have spent the past couple of days reading over the post and soaking in as much as I can.  I am here looking for some advice and tips on how everyone managed to blend their families.

First a little info.  I am 31.  I have a 7 year old son from my previous marriage.  My boyfriend (whom I live with) has a 6 year old son from his previous marriage.  My DS lives here with visitation with his dad (usually 3 weekends a month) Boyfriend shares 50/50 visitation of his son. (who I am going to call SS for sake of ease).

We have all lived together since March.  There has been some learning and changing on my part.  I've had to learn to let go, learn that differing parenting styles are okay, and learn that sometimes, things are just out of my hands.

My main struggle right now is "fairness".  DS is here the majority of the time.  SS is starting to pick up on that and to him it isn't "fair".  My rules are stricter and that's not fair.  You name it, it's not fair.  My exhusband and I agree on parenting, rules and discipline.  Boyfriend and his ex do not.  So therefore the change in rules really get SS going at times.  It causes big fits, that are stressful to deal with.  I'm not willing to compromise on the rules (because we hold both boys to the same standard), but I don't know how to deal with the constant battle from a 6 year old with the rules.

How do you other step moms do it? 

by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:01 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Pero1
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Welcome! It's irrelevant whether or not your SO agrees with BM ... what's relevant is how he handled the situation prior to moving in with you! What were HIS rules?

Annawest
by Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:14 PM

The rules were pretty similar.  BM's house rules have changed.  SS is only 6 but all the other kids in her house are teenagers.  SS seems to be able to do pretty much whatever.  My rules aren't really that strict, IMHO.

Keep your hands to yourself

Treat others with respect (no yelling, arguing, listen when being spoken to, don't lie)

Can't go outside to play without someone being with you

You have to have a "no thank you" bite of everything on your plate then you can turn it down.

That's about it.  And of course, I expect mess-ups.  The boys are only 6 and 7.


Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Oh, this one is all sorts of fun to deal with.

Before DH had custody, SD would come home and we'd have to explain to her that our rules are different than BM's, and that when she's at our house she's expected to follow our rules (BM is MUCH more lenient than DH and I). She used to also complain all the time that it wasn't fair that she had to leave and go back to BM's when her siblings all got to stay here. There were several times when she would beg us to let her brother go with her to BM's house. Obviously that wasn't going to happen, LOL. We just had to keep explaining that BM has rules, and that we (DH and I) have rules, that each adult makes the rules for their house. We also had to explain that because her parents weren't together, that she got to visit with both parents, but because DS's parents were together he didn't have to go to another house to visit both of his parents. We told her that BM would be sad if she never got to see SD, and that we'd  be sad if we never  got to see SD, so to make it "fair", SD got to spend some time with each parent.

SD now lives with us, and we don't have any problems with rules. Both SD and DS (9) both understand why the back and forth is necessary, as SD only spends one weekend a month with BM (by BM's choice, she's supposed to have every other weekend). However, now our younger two DDs (5 and 4) have started asking why big sister has to leave sometimes, so we've started that talk all over again.

I suggest writing down the important rules that you and your boyfriend think are important in your house on a big poster board or something like that. Hang that in the house, when your SS comes home, have your boyfriend walk him over to the rules and read through them together, remind him that his mom makes the rules at her house, but that he and you make the rules at your house, kinda like there are different rules at school and at home. 

needsupport100
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:37 PM

WELCOME!

needsupport100
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:37 PM

something i found easier to deal with, is *I* dicipline my child, HE diciplines his child. it's not a bad thing to teach the kids that LIFE isn't fair

faerie75
by Platinum Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:41 PM

 if you and your bf agree then thats all that needs to be. i taught my kids that life isnt fair. your ss is old enough to learn. but when he gets all into his not fair stage,let your bf handle it. discuss with him separately how he plans on doing that.

Annawest
by Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 4:05 PM


Quoting faerie75:

 if you and your bf agree then thats all that needs to be. i taught my kids that life isnt fair. your ss is old enough to learn. but when he gets all into his not fair stage,let your bf handle it. discuss with him separately how he plans on doing that.

I agree with that.  He does handle the discipline when he is home.  If I get the boys from school and we are home before boyfriend gets off work, then I do send to time outs.  The rest of the disipline comes from him.  It's not lack of disipline from my boyfriend.  It's more how do we (boyfriend and I) make SS realize that the rules at our house are rules and they have to be followed. 

whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 4:21 PM

can you give an example of how the rules for the two kids are different?


packermomof2
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 5:16 PM

You being strict shouldn't matter unless dad is backing you up.  If the changes are that drastic for the kid it doesn't hurt not to have the same exact rules for a kid who is only there half the month.  It hasn't been that long since you moved in and started implementing your rules.  Let dad handle this, decide which rules of yours don't need to apply right now, and let him handle his kids fits.

sassy711
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 10:47 AM

For your sanity...let your boyfriend handle all discipline.  But first you and he need to sit down and decide what the "household" rules that BOTH boys must abide by and what the consequences are.  You hand out punishment to your son and let your BF handle his son.  Since the boys are close in age there are going to be some problems with "fair" and "why doesn't x have to do that?"  Now's the time for you and your BF to discuss and determine how things are going to be done in your home...before the kids get older and their issues get more complicated.  Good luck

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