Supporting BF as a parent w/o crossing the line
Sometimes when I am with BF and his DD10 and DD6 I start wondering about how best to support him as he parents them, especially when they act up. They are really well-behaved but every once in a while one of them will mouth off or get in a snit about something, and I feel kind of like whatever I do it would not be the right thing. (Let me also mention that I do not have my own children.)
For example, if one of them mouths off to him it makes me annoyed on the inside, because I don't want anyone to treat him with less than the respect he deserves. But if I say something, I am intruding on their relationship - I should not be defending him to them. Or, if one of them smarts off and he does not respond the way I think he should (i.e. if it is one of those fairly rare times where he is inconsistent with boundaries or when he just does not interpret the disrespect the same way that I do, from my "outside" perspective), when I am silent and have to sit there I feel like I am complacent with what is going on. Sometimes we're in the car and I can't just say to myself, ok, I think I'll go do something else for a while!
Recently we spent several days together on a visit to their hometown where they live with BM and SF and I definitely felt like the whole goal was to have as much fun with them and spend as much quality time with them as possible. But there were a few times I wanted to yell, "Do you guys think this is fun for me, not getting a thank you or listening to you bicker about nothing? GROW UP!" Luckily, I did not lose my mind, LOL, and had a good time. But sometimes I am at a loss - I don't want to act like the parent telling anyone what to do, but I don't like sitting there silently while they mouth off like I am the kid to the side who just happens to not be involved with the conversation. Sometimes the worst thing is that I feel I even play off of being the novelty, the cool young non-parent and somehow by not "disciplining" them that I am somehow going against his efforts, and that hurts me. Thoughts? Strategies?