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flmomma08's picture

Hi all. It's been a while since I posted here. I've been divorced over a year now (separated longer). We have 2 kids - 5 and 1. I started dating a new guy about 6 months ago. I actually grew up with the guy but we never dated before. I introduced him to my kids fairly early on because 1. I've known him since we were kids and felt comfortable doing so and 2. I have my kids 100% of the time so it was getting hard to see him without having him around my kids. 


Anyway, since this is my first relationship since my divorce and you all are experts in this area, I have a few questions... 


My bf is amazing with my 1 year old son. They took to each other pretty much instantly. My 5 year old daughter, on the other hand, not so much. She misses her dad (he is not in their lives due to his drug addiction - he is currently incarcerated and I have sole custody of the kids) and feels my bf is hard on her. My bf has his own 13 year old daughter who is very well-behaved so he thinks he knows what to do with my daughter and says he wants to help.


I have expressed to him that disciplining my kids is not something I want help with. I just want him to be there and have a positive relationship with them. At this point, my bf is almost always at my house so is it unrealistic that he would not be part of parenting her? I feel it's early on for that. He has never laid a hand on my kids and I would never allow him to. When I say discipline, I mean taking her things when she backtalks and things like that. But I feel like he is constantly on her about things she is doing that I don't think are a big deal - like jumping on the couch or getting out of the chair the wrong way or forgetting to pick up her things - she's 5!! 


Am I crazy? What do you think my bf's role with my kids should be at this point in our relationship and how do I make him understand what I want?

MaryBethC's picture

First, she might only be 5 but she should not be jumping on the couch. That is a no-no at any age. Second, sounds like you two are moving way too fast. You need to sit down and have a talk about what role he is going to play as an adult figure once you guys have had time to figure out if this is even going to last long term.


And by BF being and having a positive relationship what does that mean? If you want to make this last and someday become a blended family you have to understand what your expectations are when it comes to parenting and what his are. If you are both not on the same page there is going to be problems and unhappiness on both sides.

flmomma08's picture

I don't disagree about the couch, I just feel like he's constantly saying things to her all day long. 


By positive relationship, I mean I want my daughter to want him there. Right now she feels like he is constantly saying things to her (which he is) and she doesn't want him there. It's not her choice but still, I want my daughter to be comfortable with the person I bring into our lives. 


We definitely are not on the same page regarding parenting. Although his daughter is well-behaved, I think he is way too hard on her but I don't say anything because I don't think it is my place. 

SteppedOut's picture

Why do you feel like it's not ok to say things about the way he parents, yet he is comfortable chastising your daughter all day?

Bouncing on the couch should be a no - but it should come from you instead of him. 

Do you think you might be something of a disney mom... just with all that has happened - perhaps you have let some things go? I mean that in the nicest way possible.... I recall your story. I truly hope you and your children are doing ok. 

flmomma08's picture

I don't spend as much time with his daughter since he doesn't have her full time so I don't know her as well as he knows my kids. 

I correct my daughter when she is doing something that is not ok but for some reason he still feels he needs to say something. 

I don't know, I have definitely wondered if its me and I am overreacting but its odd that I have only gotten good reports about her behavior from everyone else in her life. I see the way he parents his daughter. He's military and that's how he parents. I don't want my kids to be afraid to speak or put their feet up in their own home. I want them to be comfortable. I don't want them to be scared of me. I think we are just not compatible in that aspect. He even talks about how his daughter's mother is more of a friend than a parent to her and how it drives him crazy. 

Thank you for the well wishes, we are doing okay given everything that has happened!

ESMOD's picture

I agree that it is a pretty quick moving scenario when you have only been dating 6 months and he is living in the home with you and your kids.

Ideally, you and he would be dating.  And if he was not living with your 5 yo.. it would not be as apparently necessary for him to be involved in disciplining her.  

It sounds like the things he is interested in her learning are things that are well within the capabilities of a 5 year old.  Whether his methods are too harsh... etc?  we aren't there to see it.  If he is also having positive interactions.. it may not be wrong for him to be doing this.. other than the fact that you have asked him not to discipline if I am reading this correctly.

But.. here is the issue.. if he can't correct her .. does he have to just let her do things that are wrong?  Maybe he thinks you are being too lax with her.. and you need to be more on the same page for expectations.

I think that the ideal solution would be for you to not live together until you have a more solid relationship and your kids have both adjusted to him more.  She is likely having issues due to missing her dad.. but also this new person dropped suddenly into her life.

flmomma08's picture

I think you both are right. Maybe I should talk to him about how fast things are moving. We didn't intend to live together, and he still has his own place, its just that with me having my kids 100% the only way I can really see him is for them to be there too. But I can definitely see my daughter is having issues so maybe I need to pull back a little bit. 


I think he does mean well, its just that he came into her life suddenly and is picking on all these things she does that no one has ever said anything to her before. 


He definitely thinks I am too lax with her but on the other hand I think he is way too hard on his daughter. Its just different parenting styles I think. No one else has ever said a word about my daughter being badly behaved or anything along those lines. She has never had a single issue in school or anywhere else. I don't know. Maybe I am being overprotective. 

ESMOD's picture

There is nothing wrong with being cautious about people you let around your kids.  I think he should respect your authority as your children's parent.  If you ask him to not discipline... he should not be doing that.  If he wants to come to you with behavior issues he thinks are a problem... then that is fine.  I do think the jumping on furniture is an issue she needs to learn to not do.. maybe some of the other things too. But, just because things worked with his daughter.. doesn't mean it's all good with your kids.  And.. there is a difference because he ISN"T her bio father.. and while he may be well meaning.. they don't have that natural connection/love that can underpin what he is trying to do.

Ultimately, if he doesn't agree with your parenting style.. with your kids.  He needs to decide what that means for him.  On this site.. we see lots of kids out of control.. but also many cases where the kids are fairly normal and the step parent is overly critical... in the latter cases.. I don't think it's fair that their parents put having a relationship in front of the child having an emotionally safe and stable home.

flmomma08's picture

I think maybe since I have been a SM before, I am just trying to avoid issues. My ex DH and I almost split up because of issues just like this. Except in that case, I was the strict one and he was the lax one (which seems to be the pattern with the bio being more lax).

My family even questioned me about it because we were at a dinner not long ago and my daughter was doing something my bf didn't like at the table and he made a comment to her. My family didn't think what my daughter did was a big deal and also didn't think it was my bf's place to say something. 

futurobrillante99's picture

We bio parents have to pick our battles with our own kids on a daily basis. If your boyfriend is on your daughter's case about stuff you don't think is a big deal then you have a lot to think about. Do you AGREE with him that what she's doing deserves constant correction? Have others spoken to you about your child's "wild behavior"? Or is she a free spirit and you encourage it.

What is it to him if your daughter is jumping on YOUR furniture and you don't mind? He should stifle or go stay elsewhere. I would not be okay if my own kids were jumping on my furniture, but that's me. If you don't mind you have to decide if this relationship and his parenting ideals are aligned with yours.

I would NOT stay with a man, no matter how wonderful, if he was riding my child's case on the daily.

flmomma08's picture

I feel like he's just on her case. I don't think she's wild at all and no one has ever said anything to make me think she was badly behaved when she wasn't with me either. I have only gotten good behavior reports from daycare and school. My bf is military and he is super strict with his daughter. I am not military and that is not my parenting style. It doesn't seem like we are ever going to be in agreement on this. 

Tried out's picture

How does one get out of the chair the wrong way?

failuretolaunch's picture

I've not read the other comments so I'm just going to give my opinion from my own perspective.

My partner has a sister whos husband was a drug addict, she kept getting back with him on and off for 10 years because she wanted a dad and a man in her sons life. I seem to remember her saying that she just didn't want a man in her life anymore.

10+ years later having been a step dad I think to myself that if I had children with another woman and we split up, I would NOT want another woman in my life, I would not want to put another woman through having to raise another persons children. My opinion and thoughts are it just doesn't work. I've been a step dad for 10+ years, I have tried my best. I am sure there are realy good stories out there, but my story is.....No!

You want to raise your kids your way and the other person who has no say in the matter will want to raise them his way and it will always come down to....'They are my children, don't tell me what to do.' -----'What, are you saying I'm a bad mother?'

So my point is this and I truly believe this....Raise your child on your own, have relationships, but do not get involved or have somebody else come in to the situation. Until your child grows up and leaves, keep everything seperate. As I said, every situation is different, but my feeling is that adding another man into the situation will TRULY FU$k up that child's life, especially if they are a boy. The psycological situation that occurs, especially when they reach teen years is something that no other man needs to deal with. It is hard enough when it is your own child. When it is somebody else's the shit is about to hit the fan.

When children get to a point where the undertand more, question more, all hell is going to break loose and what I mean by that is....They will question everything, they will question why every other friend still has parents that are still together, they will question why their mum and dad are not together, they will question why, they will question why didn't they stay together for me for us. It's a bloody minefield of emotions that another man should not have to deal with.

Gimlet's picture

I agree with the others that slower is better.

You've been through the wringer with your ex, and now you are a single parent who is 100% responsible for two young children, one of whom seems to be suffering some effects from her father's departure.  Dealing with someone as profoundly addicted and dysfunctional as your ex had to be a tough experience. 

I think allowing yourself some time to heal and breathe would be a good choice.  I know you've already known your BF for a while, but that might be adding to a sense of longevity with the relationship that really isn't a part of the romantic aspect of it.  Slow things down, continue to date and maybe spend a bit less time together.  You need time to settle in as the new family unit that you are (you and your kids). 

Do you have any family who could watch the kids while you go on dates so that you aren't always all together?  You will need to talk about parenting styles, of course, but this feels really early and fast for him to be that involved with your kids.  I'd also use this time to examine your own choices and feelings about partners, and what you expect and need from a healthy relationship. 

Good luck, OP.

flmomma08's picture

Thank you! I've been on the other side of it before too, so I am trying to see things from both sides. When my ex and I were together, I was SM to his daughter from the time she was 2 - 12. We had so many arguments about parenting her and we almost split up because of it years before the drugs came into play. 


I do not have family to watch my kids but I definitely think I am going to have a chat with him later about slowing down. I agree that since I have known him so long, that is probably why things have moved faster than they would have if we had just met. I don't think I could let someone I just met into my house with my kids like that. 

ndc's picture

It sounds to me like he is too involved in disciplining your daughter.  This is not to say that he shouldn't ever discipline her.  If she is rude to him, does something dangerous, gets into his stuff and things like that, he should feel free to correct her.  By correct I mean tell her rudeness or touching someone else's things is unacceptable, or physically stopping her from doing a dangerous thing.  He shouldn't be issuing punishments, like taking away her toys or anything like that, if you're there.  He really shouldn't be correcting her at all for things that don't directly involve him/his possessions if you're present.  If she's jumping on your couch and you're right there watching it, that's something he should address with you, not her.  OTOH, if you're at his apartment and she's jumping on his couch and you say nothing, he should feel free to correct her.  When I was dating my DH, before we lived together, I limited my disciplining of his kids to what I would say to a friend's kids if they were doing the same thing.  Now, if he is alone with the kids, or watching them for you, that's a whole different set of rules, and then he should be able to discipline the same way a babysitter would.  You can't have responsibility without authority.

Is your 5 year old in therapy to deal with the divorce and her father's absence?  It might help her deal with the situation she's in, including your new boyfriend.  You should also take a close look at her behavior.  Just make sure you're not letting her get away with too much.  It could be that your boyfriend is overly strict, but it could be that you're overly lax.  Or it could be that he's just on the strict side of normal and you're on the lax side, and then you have to figure out if the two of you can compromise.  In any event, you probably want to take things slow.  Your 5 year old has been through a lot.

flmomma08's picture

That's kind of how I feel. When my ex husband and I got together, his daughter was 2 and we got into so many arguments about parenting issues. I finally ended up disengaging years later and we were so much better off. I was not involved in my SD's discipline whatsoever and I felt so free and so much happier. With that though, I would not watch her for my DH. If I could not discipline, I could not babysit. Can't have it both ways. 


I have never left my kids with my bf and I don't plan to for a long time unless there is an emergency or something. 


My daughter is not in therapy at the moment since everywhere around us is still doing video things but I have been looking for somewhere to take her in person. 

Rags's picture

If you lived together then he should be an equity parent to any children in the relationship home, just as you would be. Regardless of kid biology.

I am also team the more strict parent in the home trumps the more lenient parent.

However, as early in this relationship as you are.... and considering that you do not live together I would say that your BF should not be disciplining your 5yo.  So, this lands firmly on you to parent your 5yo in a way that puts your BF at ease.... or.... end the relationship.

IMHO of course.

flmomma08's picture

I agree with that. I just have never had any behavior issues with my daughter and she hasn't had issues in school or anywhere else so I do feel he is being overly critical of her. Since we have never had issues, I don't think I would want to change things to appease someone else. I understand the other side because I have been a SM in my previous marriage, but this is how I am feeling now as the bio parent. 

Rags's picture

His bond with your 1yo son compared to his lack of bond with your 5yo daughter likely is related to his belief that he is experienced at raising girls. 

You control his access to your daughter.  How this turns out is on you.   Set the boundaries, enforce the boundaries.

Good luck.

flmomma08's picture

That could be. It hurts when my daughter says my bf likes my son more than her and things like that. 

Rags's picture

His bond with your 1yo son compared to his lack of bond with your 5yo daughter likely is related to his belief that he is experienced at raising girls. 

You control his access to your daughter.  How this turns out is on you.   Set the boundaries, enforce the boundaries.

Good luck.

advice.only2's picture

It sounds like he has issues accepting your boundaries...I would be curious to see what that looks like in other aspects of your relationship. Just because you knew him in school and feel like you have known him forever, doesn't mean he's a good fit for you and your children.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

is what I came to say. Familiarity doesn't mean it's meant to be.

We regularly get posts from people in problematic relationships where they knew each other back in high school/were friends/have known each other since childhood, etc. Because the OP knew the person on a superficial level before, they skip crucial steps in the vetting process and run into problems later on.

You need to assume you know nothing about this guy, and evaluate him soley on his current behavior. would you out up with anyone else behaving this way to your daughter?

fakemommy's picture

I parent similarly to you and am not super strict. My kids do infact do handstands on our couches and we just don't have a coffee table because it is safer. In public, they behave completely appropriately, but I want them to be exactly who they are and I don't want to stifle their personalities with arbitrary rules in their home. I'm married to their father, and we agree on parenting choices with them and skids. I would be upset if my theoretical boyfriend over-disciplined my kids. I think getting on the same page before living together would have been a good move. Maybe family or couples therapy would help.

flmomma08's picture

That's definitely me. I don't know. My daughter does gymnastics and she is usually practicing what she has learned and I love it. Doesn't bother me one bit. I did the same when I was a kid. It irks me when he says things to her about doing things in my house that don't bother me at all. Now if she runs into the street without looking or kicks the dog, yes say something. But these little comments all day long are really getting to me!

Floral_SM's picture

I parent similarly to you and am not super strict. My kids do infact do handstands on our couches and we just don't have a coffee table because it is safer. In public, they behave completely appropriately, but I want them to be exactly who they are and I don't want to stifle their personalities with arbitrary rules in their home. 

Wow. We bought an ottoman coffee table, as bubs is learning to crawl.. but I definitely can't deal with the ratty kid hour in my living space. I definitely would refuse to get rid of furniture completely to encourage that sort of ratty behaviour. I just tell the kids to go outside and jump on the $300 trampoline we bought them if they want to do that, not our couch. It's healthy for kids to have a respect for furniture. But each to their own on how people want to parent their kids I guess. 

Rags's picture

Nothing a solid stone slab coffee table won't  fix.  A nose dive off of the sofa face first into the corner of a live edge slab of rock followed by a firm "I told you that the furniture is not for climbing and jumping on." Wil take care of the problem.

I have had to fire a number of these "I don't want to dampen their spirit" run amok children over the years when they show up demanding their signing bonus and assigned parking spot straight out of engineering school,  don't know an Allen wrench form a box end and could not troubleshoot their way out of a wet paper sack.

When they come in late for weeks and whine and bitch about having to work rather than playing with cool shit in the school lab.

I actually enjoy it when they sue for wrongful  termination and make hostile work environment claims.


Roll out their employee records, the gate/badge logs, and signed offer letter clearly showing they did not receive a signing bonus or assigned parking.  The look on the Judge's face when they start whining about their class mate who got a $50K signing bonus, etc.... at their company is always worth a laugh.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I think you should take a few steps back and just work on building your relationship with this man. Your kids have already had enough dealing with Thier absence of their father.

You should wait until your kids have a sense of security before bringing someone else into their lives full time. 

Once you have established your relationship and what your future with this man is going to look like them you can discuss parenting and what that will look like.

Because some day dad will be back and that will be a whole other set of issues.

flmomma08's picture

I agree with you but just to clarify I haven't been with their father in 2 years. So they are used to him not being physically here in our house, but my daughter is having a hard time understanding why she doesn't see him anymore (he's in jail and I have not told her). 

bananaseedo's picture

Just throwing it out there, but have you checked with a therapist yourself to see if maybe visiting him would be a good idea? I know that many parents don't want that at all, and others rather continue the bond and seeing their parent. How long before he is out?  If he's there for many more years you may want to consider visits so they can have some sort of relationship.  

As to the guy, he's a douche.  No guy at 6 months should be angling at over-correcting his gfriends kids.  I had a friend once whose boyfriend was like that.  He ended up being a total controlling ahole.  If he doesn't respect your boundaries I'd caution you to look at the relationship clearly.  It's a little too much too fast.  I would cut back how much you see him and how much time he's with your daughter honestly.  Or realize now that you two aren't very compatible and end things before it's more serious. 


flmomma08's picture

I haven't talked to a therapist yet but that's a great idea. He is supposed to be there for another year. I haven't even told her where he is because I am trying to keep her innocent as long as possible but I don't know that she believes my story that he is always working. 

I am definitely going to cut back on my time spent with him. Good thing is he works a different schedule than I do so my kids and I still have a lot of alone time but I agree its moving too fast. 

ndc's picture

I would definitely get advice on what to tell her about dad.  I would not be at all comfortable telling her he's always working.  That will make her feel abandoned and unimportant,  plus she's likely to find out the truth at some point and know you deliberately lied to her.  

flmomma08's picture

That's true. I also don't want her to think I'm just not letting her see or talk to him. Even after I got sole custody, I still let them see him regularly as long as he was sober at the time and they could speak on the phone anytime they wanted. I definitely don't want her to think I have anything to do with this. 

hereiam's picture

 its just that he came into her life suddenly and is picking on all these things she does that no one has ever said anything to her before

Nobody would be coming into MY home and telling my kids what is what (especially only 6 months in).

But I feel like he is constantly on her about things she is doing that I don't think are a big deal - like jumping on the couch or getting out of the chair the wrong way or forgetting to pick up her things - she's 5!! 

If you don't mind that she jumps on your couch, what business is it of his? Did he buy it?

Agree that you are moving too fast and need to slow down. Does he come over everyday?


Floral_SM's picture

Agreed that only 6 months into a relationship is a bit much to be hard on parenting a 5 year old. But, he sounds a bit like me and has low  tolerance to put up with it. He should be explaining this to Op and consider moving out, instead of coming down with punishments onto the 5 year old. Sounds like there needs more communication on what they need to agree on parenting wise before they move back in together. 

flmomma08's picture

I don't know why he cares about a lot of the things he comments on. I wasn't raised with my parents getting on me about every little thing and I don't raise my kids that way. He's not here every day but gradually it's been more and more. He works a later schedule than I do though and some weekends so my kids and I still have our time alone in the evening and a lot of weekends. Usually when he does come over my kids are in bed or getting ready for bed. 

bananaseedo's picture

So the little time he is with them he spends correcting and disciplining her?  That's a red flag.

flmomma08's picture

Yes, that is how I feel too. If he was living here and was with them every night and all weekend maybe I could understand. But he sees them for MAYBE an hour at night if they aren't already in bed when he gets off of work, and usually he is off one weekend day. 

Seriously7's picture

Yes, it is unrealistic to expect a fellow adult to be around your kids so much and not be able to have a say in their behavior. Why would anyone want to hang out with poorly behaved kids? I'm not saying they are poorly behaved, I don't know, but it is highly likely they are not perfect angels 24/7. Sidenote - jumping on the sofa is not acceptable in my house, regardless of age. If you want a future with him you have to allow him to be a part of your children's life in a parental way. It's not fair to expect someone to just step aside and allow what they see as irritating, rude behavior. If you don't trust him to be an adult around your kids, you shouldn't be with him. Seeing he has a daughter, it should be the same with you.

flmomma08's picture

He would probably have a fit if I said anything to his daughter like he says to mine. I've never had a single person comment on their behavior before, in fact I've only been told my daughters behavior is great in school and daycare. No they aren't angels of course but they are just normal kids. As for the jjumping on the couch example, it's not like she's using it as a trampoline. I was just using it as an example of something I find to be extremely minor that he comments on. The other night we were eating dinner OUTSIDE on the porch, and he commented about her getting out of the chair from the side instead of pushing the chair back. The chair is too heavy for her to push back and who even cares about stuff like that?? I don't know. He doesn't have his daughter all the time like I have my kids so I think that's another thing. If they are doing something dangerous or rude that's one thing but generally I like to have peaceful smooth days and I don't want to be getting on them about every little thing all day long. 

bananaseedo's picture

So he nitpicks at will make her life very tough to have an overly critical male figure in her life, where nothing she does is good enough.  I have no doubt he would start doing the same to you. I see red flags, way too many.

flmomma08's picture

That's exactly it, he nitpicks. It seems like the entire time he is with her he is nitpicking.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I have found that it is easier to overlook behaviors in your own kids that would annoy you coming from anyone else's. Early after my divorce i tended to be pretty permissive with my kids, and i dated a man who was like a drill sergeant with his. He was constantly annoyed with mine. Looking back, he was right about some things, but at that time i wasn't willing to compromise. I was still figuring out how to be a single parent and i wasn't ready to change the way i did things as much as it would have taken to stay with him.

It may be an issue of timing. You have a 1-year-old and you have been with this guy 6 months. Maybe you just need to be alone with your kids for a while. Enjoy your time with them, enjoy letting them be a little wild for a while if that's what you want. Take some time to figure out what you want for them and what you are willing to do to get there. Then maybe you will be better able to identify whether your parenting style is compatible with someone else's in the future.

It may also be that the guy you are with has a teen and is "done" with the little kid stuff, and just doesn't realize it. He might get annoyed with any childish behavior. You shouldn't let that take away from your enjoyment of the little kid years. 

bananaseedo's picture

This is very good advice.  OP, you're just learning HOW to be a single parent and what behaviors you are ok/not with.  I think it's wise to have some time for yourselves and your little family of 3 before thinking of involving someone else..a blended family is particularly hard. I divorced when my sons were 2 and 4....and I gladly stayed single (though dated or had casual relationships) that didn't involved the kids.  I have one serious relationship about 5 years after my divorce whome the kids met a couple times...too many flags.  Then I met DH and we dated casually over a year before getting more serious.  About that time the kids all met.  I enjoyed learning on my own what I wanted for my family before involving someone else.  

It's important to learn/grow as a parent-especially now that you have two, and two IS different then one.  Take your time, maybe date him on rare ocassion.  Find a no strings attached relationship if that works for you- but try to find a trusted sitter. I think that will be super important for will need them in time of emergencies or personal appointments, all aside from dating. You need your village first.  

bananaseedo's picture

Too many to list, but here's some, some trivial, some big:

He cried more then I do-for small things too

He had less body hair then I do -and I'm not that hairy lol.  He groomed way too much for my taste

He lied about his finacial situation

He was upset I had a dildo because of some history with his wife (who rejected sex w/him but was taking care of her needs) he acted like it was wrong...when I called him on it hard, he backpedalled.

He backpedaled a LOT. He would say things and then say 'that's not what I meant' he would assign motive/feeling to things I said when I would have to over-explain myself

He wouldn't respect my request for space and take things more slow-he wanted us to get engaged 4-5 months in! And we were long distance!

Wanted me to leave my career at that point of 15 plus years and my support system (extended family friends) and move to his small beach town where I had no job, no opportunities and stay home to watch all kids (mine and his girls)

He trash talked his ex wife a lot and did things to purposely inconvenience her custody time wise which I found wrong. I told him that too...he was still 'punishing' her for the divorce.  

He was wanting to make ME mom of the girls and wanted to go for custody as soon as we married

I could go on for days....but that's the bulk of it lol

flmomma08's picture

That's a good point. I have noticed he talks to her in ways that are way over her head. Like she is looking at him like she has no clue what he is talking about. I realize he is talking to her like he talks to his daughter who is 8 years older than my daughter and I have to constantly remind him she is only 5. I don't want to have someone around who is annoyed with my kids. I would much rather be single. 

ESMOD's picture

I do think it's not a bad idea for OP to do some reflection.  I know in my case, my SD's were 5 and 9 when I met them... and they had had a fair amount of turmoil.. living with grandparents for a time.. with mom.. with their dad too.  It wasn't pure dysfunction as much as it was my DH worked as a captain and literally could not be home full time.. and his EX needed to get her own feet under her.. the grandparents stepped up to keep the kids some of the time.  But, I do think they were raised a bit feral before I got to meet them.

I was not as militant on things with the kids.. honestly, I didn't have much real expectation or experience parenting when I met them... I knew how "I" was raised and had seen some other people parent... but not as the authority figure.. and since these were not my kids, I didn't intend to full on parent them anyway.. they HAD two parents!

But, when they were in my home.. I did have a say in how they behaved.. and I wasn't a huge stickler on playing inside.  What I did insist on was more along the lines of politeness and respect level of things.. and not acting feral... there is a difference between playing inside and being so reckless that you damage things.  Of course, I wasn't one to have many fragile items in my home.. so there wasn't much for them to really hurt.

Once my YSD was maybe 7 and piled all the pillows from the couch and chair up and climbed up on top of them... we were cooking dinner in the next room.. we hear a crash.. then a weak "I'm ok.. I'm ok".. we turn the corner to see her in the pile of cushions.. and she was admonished that she didn't think through her pillow pile very well.  Kids making pillow forts in the living room.. shouldn't be a big issue.  She used to want to do hand stands and would practice constantly.. inside.. but she was warned to be careful of where she could land.. so she was.  So, jumping on furniture may or may not be the end of the world.. growing up, we had a "playroom" where we could do more active play.. but the formal living room? no.

megansider's picture

Please don't hate me for saying this however I think 6 months is way too soon for him to be moving in and disciplining your daughter. If your daughter had been around him for years and gotten to know him for a longer period of time then I would understand but this is way too much too soon. On top of that he moved in so quickly and is trying to play dad to her. I can only imagine how she is feeling. This is so sad. Imagine being in her shoes and mom's boyfriend who you have never known suddenly moves in and starts taking over. It is not a healthy situation. To add he also seems to have fogotten how to parent children her age as he seems to be talking to her and treating her as if she is a teenager which is very odd since she is 5.

flmomma08's picture

I definitely agree. I don't want her to feel uncomfortable in her own home. My kids come before any man. That's why I came here to make sure I wasn't overreacting because I have been in the gf then SM role before too and so I do see both sides. We don't officially live together but he is here frequently and maybe too much for her. 

crystaloo's picture

If I am going to give you honest advice I would suggest being single for awhile and focusing on your career and children. I would not tolerate a man trying to discipline my kids who has moved in after only 6 months of dating. Your kids barely know him. Dating and relationships can wait. Your kids need you now. They are so young. If money is an issue there are other ways to address the situation without involving a man that your kids barely know.

flmomma08's picture

It stinks because I thought I had waited a while (1.5 years) before getting into another relationship but I guess not long enough considering how young they are. My ex DH and I separated while I was still pregnant with my youngest due to his drug use. Money isn't an issue. My bf does not pay bills here. He has his own house and his own bills. Thank God I don't have that to worry about. 

Beenall3kindsofmom's picture

Have you considered what an adjustment it must be for your daughter to have another man show up and start acting as "Dad"? I imagine, since she has no knowledge as to where her BD has gone,this just might be strange and scary for a 5 yr old. When my DH and I decided to marry, we began slowly bringing our children into our relationship. We both agreed that for starters, we would just try to let the kids set the tone in the beginning. I got to know my DSS's as the little people they were and my DH did the same for my DS and DD. By the time we married, we were a family unit. The funniest DDand DS always went to my DH with any family problems while my DSS's came to me! Your daughter deserves a chance to get to know this man before he has any place disciplining her. JMHO.

flmomma08's picture

Definitely. I think about it every day. I mean he didn't start staying here immediately but it was fairly quick. I would say a month or so into dating he met my kids and spent short periods of time with them. It wasn't really until the last couple of months that he has been spending a lot of time here. I agree he has no place disciplining her right now. I wanted to come here and make sure I wasn't being crazy before addressing it with him again. Every time I have talked to him about it before, he has said he's just trying to help, etc. but I flat out told him I don't want his help with that. I will have to end things with him if he can't understand this. 

flmomma08's picture

Ok so I spoke to bf AGAIN about the issue and he gave me the speech about how he's just trying to help. He says (which he told me before) when he was little, his stepdad came into his life and did the same thing and he loves and respects him for it. He said he doesn't mind being the bad guy! I told him (again) that is NOT the relationship I want him to have with my kids. I do not want him to be the bad guy. I want my kids to want him around. I feel like I'm going to have to end things with him. 

SteppedOut's picture

I agree with your feelings of ending things. You have very clearly told him the same thing...more than once. He just doesn't agree and seems like he is trying to make you see it his wearing you down about it?

Winterglow's picture

You've been very clear you don't want his "help" and her persists? What part of "no thanks" does he not understand? Have you told him to watch your lips as you say it? Heck, he's only a flippin' guest in your home and has no right whatsoever to interfere in your parenting! 

Do what you think you need to, but get your (and your daughter's) peace and serenity back.


Beenall3kindsofmom's picture

I am afraid this doesn't bode well for any continued relationship with your BF. He obviously doesn't care how you feel about this, he thinks he should run the show. Sounds like he has some serious control issues. So sorry this isn't working, but don't give up hope. There are many good, kind men who will respect both you and your children, in the meantime just be with your kidlets and be your own family.  Best of luck.

Harry's picture

I can not see how anyone can live in a home, with kids. No matter who's kids they are.  And  being the adult. And not being able to say anything to the kids.   Like no jumping on the couch.   Then if child either backs talks or just doesn't listen. That  must be handle someway. 
No, I am going to tell your mother. And go through two hours of discussion.

When you go into a new relationship, things will not be all your way. And you will not see eye to eye. As in with your ex.

Adults have to be in control. When kids grow up move out then they can be in control.  It's unrealistic to think your BF will accept second class status.  Nothing is making you stay in this relationship.  But any new ones most likely will have the same problem 

flmomma08's picture

I get that, I have been on the other side as a SM in my previous marriage. But my bf doesn't live here so I think it is different in this situation. I wouldn't expect him to live with kids and not be able to say anything. But he's new. My kids don't know him that well yet. And he does not live here.  

flmomma08's picture

Ok final straw! Tonight around bedtime, my 1 year old son was getting tired and crying for something on the table. Bf snaps at him saying to stop crying for things and use your words. He's 1 YEAR OLD. He doesn't have that many words to use! Crying is how they communicate! Well my 5 year old who is super protective of her little brother says to my bf that he's just a baby and bf then snaps at her telling her not to correct him and he's "not going to tell her again." Ruined our entire night with his bs! 

IDontCare3117's picture

I hope you immediately corrected him about snapping at your kids, then escorted him to the door.  

Gimlet's picture


It is a huge red flag that he yelled at a one year old for crying.  And then threatened your 5 year old??

Please, end this now before he does damage to your kids.  You children should not have to walk on eggshells for this man, they are still adjusting to their dad being gone (at least the 5 year old).

I would have lost the farm with someone talking to my kids like this.

flmomma08's picture

I got the kids ready for bed so they wouldn't see us arguing. He agreed he shouldn't have said something to my 1 year old but maintains it's not my 5 year old's place to correct him. I said maybe not, but she was right. He is a baby and babies cry. He goes on to basically make me sound like the worst mother in the world for not saying anything about my daughter correcting him, among other things he drug into it. Said my daughter is disrespectful and runs the house. All kinds of crap. 

He finally apologizes. Says he's not their father and it's not his place (duh). Says it won't happen again. Problem is, this isn't the first time we've had this conversation. 

I ended up telling him he needs a break from my kids. 

Rags's picture

End this. Now.

Stop torturing yourself and your children.  

While lippy 5yos certainly are not my favorite things on the planet, this guy is an overbearing juvenile prick.

End it. Now.

IDontCare3117's picture

You know a situation is serious when I actually agree with Rags.  

hereiam's picture

He needs more than a break from your kids, I hope you end it with him.

It will happen again. If he acts like this, now, can you imagine how he will be if you get more serious and he does move in?

IDontCare3117's picture

So quit having the conversation, and stop seeing him.  You've told him more than once you don't need his "help", and he doesn't listen.  This guy sounds like a controlling a$$hole.  He's being disrespectful to you by continuing to do things you've asked him to stop, and he's being disrespectful to your daughter for threatening her in her own home.  

You and your kids need a break from HIM.  A permanent one.  

Gimlet's picture

No, he doesn't need a break from your kids.  He needs to be gone.

Do not allow this man to bully, gaslight, or berate you for sticking up for your children.   He sounds like a controlling, insecure ass.  He yelled at a BABY for crying, OP.  Let that sink in.  Do you think he's going to get nicer to your kids? 

It's one thing to disagree with your daughter jumping on the couch (not something I would have allowed) but another to ride her all the time and to get angry that she has more maturity than he does, because clearly the 5 year old knows that you shouldn't yell at a baby for crying, but this grown ass man does not.

I'm going to be blunt with you.  Your picker is broken and you need to spend some time with yourself, and preferably a therapist, to figure out why you aren't choosing healthy men. 

"It won't happen again" when it has happened before and you know it will happen again is just an attempt to keep you in this relationship.

End. It.

flmomma08's picture

I told him I'm not going to have someone here who treats my kids this way. I don't care how he parents his daughter - that's his business - but these are MY kids and I'm the only one who is going to be parenting them at this point in our lives. I told him I'm not military (he is), I'm not a military parent, and I'm never going to be. We are obviously never going to be on the same page with this. 

This was the first time he's yelled at my son. He was actually the one I wasn't concerned about at all because they seemed to have such a great relationship. So it seems to have escalated.