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  5. How to manage rules with step children??? HELP!!!!

How to manage rules with step children??? HELP!!!! Lock Rss

I am a mum of two gorgeous children a boy 25 months and a girl 11 weeks ... my problem is that I also have 3 step daughters almost 12, almost 10 and 4 years old and tey don't have rules at home, the 4 year old does not have a bed time and is allowed to eat and drink crap al day, she drinks coke all the time apart from at our house and at pre school ... my problem is that my partner as much as he hates her having coke and hates that she doesn't sleep properly feels that we shouldnot put rules on her at our place because she doesn't like coming as it is (they stay every second week-end) ... I stood firm and refuse to let her have soft drink but the sleeping thing is hard, they all sleep in the 2nd lounge room and I put a movie on for them to go to sleep, but she just will not go to bed at a reasonable hour and I feel like I a not allowed to just tell her it is bedtime and not to get back out of bed. If I give in and let her do as she wants, just like she does at home, how do I do it without my son thinking she is special and gets to do what she wants, he is growing up and is not stupid ... when they aren't there he goes to bed at 5:30pm and sleeps through and when they are thereit is no later than 7pm ... hardly seems fair when she gets to stay up? What can I do? Better still, what would you do?

Lisa - Tyler (06/05), Emily (05/07)


Its a tough one when their mum's values are SO different to yours but I think you should have your own rules and make them stick to them. They might arc up initially but I think they will respect you in the long run and you will also feel at ease as you will be doing what feels best for you not going along with the chaos to keep them happy.

Just because their mother thinks this is acceptable doesnt mean you have to. Kids want your approval and love and they will follow your rules provided they are clear and consistent. In an ideal world you would be able to talk to their mum (or at least your partner would given they are his children) so that you are both on the same page because its not helping the kids out at all having such confusion in their lives with no boundaries at one home and you wanting some at your home... but doesnt sound like that would happen so the kids will just have to learn that its one way at mums and another at Dads. They learn pretty quick what will and wont be tolerated, my DH's brother is divorced and similar situation - mum has no rules but Dad has plenty and they follow them!

I think its really important you establish rules you are comfortable with, especially given you have your own children who will have a different set of rules cause like you say they will be onto the fact that these kids do what they want and so why cant they.

Its also got to come from their Dad as he is their father but they should also know that he will back you up and that they should respect you and your wishes.

All the best, its a very difficult situation you are in.
I have always said, "My house, My rules".
Thats goes for visitors' kids, nephews and neices, friends, and if there were step kids involved I guess it would include them too.

If I have to tell soneome off (ie for jumping on my garden!!) I say "My House, my rules" out loud, so everybody knows the score.

jeez that's makes me sound like a bitch doesn't it, but really the kids accept it quickly.

I mean, it is YOUR house, and if you want it run a certain way, then your step kids have to abide by that.

3 girls under 3

I have a step-daughter (10) who spends wek about with her mum and with us. In the begining (prior to our own children) we were very lenient, but as the family has grown, so have the rules. Dont get me wrong, I have gone thru many years of being the baddie, and my way of explaining myself is to say "I wont be letting DD do that when she is older either." They do get used to the differnet rules, but you need to be consistent for them to work. And I feel for you having them only every second weekend. At least having 50 % of care, we have a decent amount of time to instill our rules.
I am also a big fan of family meetings. (I know....its sounds tacky) but having everyone sit around the table and discuss the rules and why they are important was a huge turning point for us, especially having DH there with us to stand behind me (most of the time hehe. He wasnt too keen on eating tea at the table instead of in front of the tv.). It also lets everyone have a say and even make some rules and everyone knows where they stand.
This worked great for us, hope it helps you some.

Mabel 4 and Gus 3

My step-son came to live with us about 6 months ago following the death of his mother. We've had a really hard time with him- especially me, i think it was the whole 'you're not my mother' thing.

Anyway because of the fabulous court system the poor thing has to spend time shared between four party's which means four sets of rules etc.

He always tries to pull the "but nanna doesn't make me..." or "But so and so lets me..." and we just stick by the "In this house we do it this way" "While you're here with us you have to..." Its taken a while but its starting to work.

Also (similar to the family meeting thing) if we make a new rule then we make sure everyone knows ie DP will call me into the room and say "I'm saying this in front of Sarahjane so that we all know that from now on blah blah blah..."

Good luck with it. Being a step-parent is so much harder that being a parent. I never imagined it would be so hard. So pats on the back for all the step parents out there!
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