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How do you handle the situation when your husband does not back you up when discipline his kids?

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I am a new stepmom of 2 months now, I tend not to try to discipline my husbands kids, I want to be the "nice guy" not their mother, they have one already.  But when something is important to me, I will put my 2 cents in and voice my opinion.  (I feel if I said everything I thought, they would hate me) so I tend to keep to myself on a lot of things.  If I do say something to them (2 girls), tell them to change their clothes, because the pants they are wearing are too short, or comb your hair or brush your teeth.. little things like that, I would like my husband to back me up.    That happened this weekend, and when the one daughter said no I am not changing I said yes, she said no, I said ok then I will tell your father, she said go ahead, he said for her to listen to me, but still she did not change her pants and he did not make her.  He then told me to choose my battles and that was the end of the story.  I am very frustrated, if I am going to say something, he needs to back me up.. big or little issues!

by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Replies (21-30):
by Ruby Member on Feb. 18, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Quoting sandeeyo:

The skids were sitting in their bedroom with their electronics with the door closed and the window blinds shut...smelled like fried farts up there when I went to chase them downstairs...BLEAH!!!

Quoting Tigress22304:

if they wanna run around looking like street urchins and be filthy-let it go.

Obviously Dad doesn't care.

Remember-not my child, not my problem.

I tell my skids ONCE. If it doesn't get done-I'll let dad handle it. The only time I will press the issue is when it's been several days since they bathed and my house smells like pits and raw ass. That's when I break out the febreeze and fumigate everything.

LOL-that's SD11 at times. I just run the fans and open up the house to clear the air!!! I dont need to be gagging on gassy ass!

by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 2:29 PM
1 mom liked this
I just typed, then deleted an entire paragraph. Then I thought, two months? Why are you telling these girls anything? Way to soon! Trust me, if you dive in too quickly, they will hate you and that is going to make your marriage very difficult. This is already causing issues in your relationship, slow down.
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by Ruby Member on Feb. 18, 2013 at 2:34 PM
Pants are not a big deal. I basically let dad deal w discipline. If I don't like something and he's around I refer them to him.
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by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 3:36 PM

 i like the saying and believe it...parents,step parents,grandparents, teachers, therapists, etc DO help in the raising of our kids...

Quoting mom2boys664:

Cracking me up, lol.  I hate that saying :) 

The ratio of normal villagers to village idiots is too high for my liking.

by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 3:59 PM

 Tell him to handle it

by Bronze Member on Feb. 18, 2013 at 4:52 PM
You might want to believe you have authority because it is your house, but the truth is that the girls are the only ones who decide who they obey. They have not given you authority in their lives, so there's no point to you telling them anything. In fact, the more unenforceable orders you try to give, the less likely it is that you will ever earn any type of authority with the girls, especially since their father seems to be loosing it by superficial attempts to enforce your whims.
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by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 5:08 PM

I completely agree with you. Very well said. 

Quoting shoptravellove:

I agree with you to a point where the parent is certainly the one to make the rules or determine what they are okay with, although I do not think it is a good idea to diagree with the SM right in front of the kids.  

However, I am also of the belief, that if it is a house that I own/co-own/pay rent, whatever, no matter if the parent is there or not, I have a say of what goes on in that house.   Now, something like clothes are not that big of a deal, but just as an example of where I am coming from....say if the parent says the kids are allowed to eat food in their room, or sit on top of the kitchen counter whereas the rule in the house is that food is only eaten in the kitchen and you do not sit on anything that is not a chair, the parent should not go behind the SMs back and allow it.   It really doesnt matter if it is a skid or even a friend's kid that visits, if there are rules in my house that are not being followed then yes, as the owner of that house and an adult, I have every right to have a say on how people act when they are visiting, no matter who they are or who is present.  All kids should actually be taught to obey adults, whether they are a parent, stepparent, police officer, teacher, boss, etc.  If not, then when they do get older they are of the belief themselves that "I dont have to listen to you (teacher, boss, parent of a friend, etc.) because you aren't my mom/dad".   

What was that old adage "It takes a village to raise a child"?

Quoting packermomof2:

Quoting shoptravellove:

  You and DH should also present a united front in this situtation so the kids do not learn to manipulate one or the other.   How about the nonparent get on the parents page and they present a united front that way instead of expecting the parent to get on the nonparents page so the nonparent feels they are presenting a united front?

Yes, adults run the house, not the kids.  But when the kids aren't yours and there is a parent present and the parent is fine with something, that is who the kid is going to listen to.  Because most kids are taught to listen to their parents and if their parents say yes or no to something that is that.  So, dad didn't fight it, kid wore the pants.  If dad wants to engage in that battle, fine, but it is his to engage in, not his wife's when dad is right there.

by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 6:00 PM

This isn't a kid issue, it's a DH/BF one.  

Time to have a chat with him about his parenting style, expectations, etc.  You can voice concerns to him, but ultimately, they're his kids.  So as long as they're not in danger, you probably won't get any backup unless it's something he's agreed to in advance.

Further, most of the blended family books I've read make a point at some time or another that Dad needs to sit the kiddos down and explain your role in the household.

There are some hills you don't want to die on, though because they're small, they seem like good ways to test our "authority" as SMs.  They're not.  They really aren't.  Figure out what your big 3 items are, and talk with Dad about that.  Else, observe and figure out where you fit in to all of this family stuff.

For some SMs, it means a general hands off approach.  I think that works better for NCSMs than CSMs or 50/50SMs.  But to each their own.

The "rule" I set for myself was that if it didn't affect me directly, wasn't against the house/school rules, or wasn't going to put the kids at a safety risk, I wasn't going to worry about it.

So on a weekend?  Short shorts?  Fine.  On a school day when I knew full well she'd be sent to the office and then sent home as had happened before and Dad was already gone for the day?  Not fine.

But you see, those weren't MY evil SM rules.  Those were school rules that I was enforcing.

You need to know what the rules really are.  You can modify them via DH, but you really can't expect much buy in if you do it unilaterally.

by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 6:12 PM
DH I form a united front so we both get on skid about teeth cleaning, changing clothes etc. I cannot abide long filthy (shudder!) Fingernails so I tell my skid to clean and cut his nails. If he tries to argue or disobey, dh tells him he has to listen to me and go do what I said.

I guess I'm super lucky. If dh was not on the same page as me, I wouldn't get on ski d about hygiene etc.

I care about skid cleaning his teeth and whatnot for his own health.
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by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 10:28 PM
I would tell him to find daycare other than me and quit saying anything to the kids except for simple conversation
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