ms.girlygirlAugust 22, 2009

I am so frustrated. It is hard to sit by and watch children being raised in such an unstructured environment. I know there are different schools of thought on how to raise children but I guess I'm on the side of structure. I believe that structure and routine are some of the components that bring stability to a child"s life and helps them feel safe and loved. When there is no structure taught at home children have a difficult time assimilating into mainstream culture outside of their household. I think this is doing them a disservice and putting them at a disadvantage when it comes to competing in this world.

Okay so now for the story.....

These children that I love because they are children have no structure. There are three of them. Two boys, one 11, one 5 and one girl who is 9. The little girl is over weight. In my opinion it is because she has been allowed to eat whatever she wants whenever she wants. She eat the same amount as my fiance, literally. Then, an hour later or less she wants ice cream or cool aid or some type of snack. She is a good eater. She eats all the food on her plate, unless it's vegetables.

The 11yo is very angry. He says whatever he wants, talks back and is always saying mean angry things to me. I do not like to be alone with him because he has lied on me before. Unfortunately he is the "man" of the house @ his mother's house and that doesn't fly to well with us, so there's a lot of conflict when dealing with him. His mother continues to spew propaganda about his father and myself and he takes it hook line and sinker, even though he has experienced something different.

The five year old is the sweetest because he still has a little innocence, but I can see the negative influence on him and its sad. No one sits down to eat. They all just take a few bites and just start playing and running around. The TV is always on, from when they wake up till they fall asleep with it at night. He hears inappropriate things and he repeats them. "What the Hell" and "Stupid" are his favorite.

As a soon to be step parent what do you do if the biological parent is not willing to inject some structure into the lives of their children? I am already seen as the "villain" in this situation. How can I enforce rules and structure that even if supported by their dad is seen as being the hateful mean wicked step-mother.

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ohhh hunny!!! i believe the same thing! and i have tried to put rules inplace when my 4 soon to be step kids come down and they tell me they dont have to listen to me. and they say the same to their dad.... but he does punish them. i think all step parents are seen as evil whe the other set of parents let them get away with everything. im in the same boat. my 4 can do whatever they want whe they want when they are with their mother and sicne me and their dad have a chid and one on the way its extra important to have that structure. but they desided im sure with the help and influnce of their mom that they no longer want to come and see us bc they dont want to follow our rules. it sooo hard. and i wish i had words of wisdom but im in the same position.... and would love advise on this also.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 6:22AM
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Dear girly girl,

My advice would be for you and FDH to go to parental cousneling now, discuss in front of counselor, get his/her advice and have him start new parenting plan/style BEFORE you move in together/get married. This should be viewed by the children as DAD working on parenting skills. If Dad will not start coming up with rules, IMHO, you will not be able to enforce.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 10:03AM
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Don't marry him unless the situation is acceptable to you... the only person that can change dad's parenting skills is dad himself. If he isn't willing to do it before you are married, he most likely not going to do it after.. and you will eventually resent him for it. It's HIS job to parent and if he doesn't value structure as much as you do... then you need to think twice about him, especially if you plan to have children with him someday.

I was just reading something one of my friends wrote in a blog:

"About 6 years ago I went on a trip to Reno with my best friend and she brought a book with her about relationships. She read a passage out of it that made so much sense to me that all of a sudden everything about love and dating made sense and it became crystal clear to me wht I had to do to find what I was looking for. It said, "Most women are more particular about the shoes they buy than the men they date. When they try on a shoe they think: This shoe is not comfortable, it doesn't fit me right, it doesn't look the way I want it to look, it doesn't make me feel good, it is going to be difficult to keep nice... and they make an educated decision not to buy them. In contrast, they meet a man and say: We don't really have anything in common, I'm not comfortable around him, he doesn't let me be who I am, he's really not my type, he makes me feel bad about myself, he's hard to get along with... and they make an emotional decision to try to change him into someone he is not hoping that someday everything will be how she wants it to be."

As soon as I read this post, I thought that paragraph fits...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 10:36AM
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I personally would not marry this man unless he firmly puts the rules in place and the kids must abide by them.
My sd is also the boss at her mom's house. It did not sit well with us and we both told her she is not the boss at our house and she is not the boss over any other child under our household. Her mothers rules do not apply and we have our set. Thats it , that's all. If you dont' like it, then its just too bad.
I told her waht my father told me when i was younger when he remarried with his new wife, if you dont like it, then get a job, get your own apartment and you can do what you damn well please. I did it, but at a cost.
And we both explained to her that she is very lucky to have family that loves her, a roof over her head and food on her plate.
Kids are kids, they are at learning levels. The most important thing is to be consistant, persistant , repeat, even though it may drive you insane at times and still to each other as partners. Once the kids know there is no divide and conquer they begin to give up after a while. Dont get me wrong, they will always tests their boundaries as we all have. But yes, rules and regs are important to all kids.
When 'what the hell or stupid is said, a punishment should encour from dad. He must enforce it and keep enforcing structure under the home. That is not up to you. Its bad enough you have to deal with a manipulative insecure exwife, which by the way i've had in my situ, but stay consistant. After the years roll by, the kids realize who's the pin head, who lying, who's not all there.
I do think some counciling will help. but also your husband has to take a firm charge and you have to support him.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 2:16PM
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Thanks for all the advice and comments. I appreciate it. I'll keep you posted.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 3:44AM
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