All kinds of issues - nutrition, discipline, etc
Struggling with dynamic between myself, partner and two SSs (7,9). One SS has sensory issues, the other ADHD. Both are very needy, very high energy, and obsessed with electronics. They can also both be very creative, artistic, and engaging, but it has to be cultivated.
Issue one: Discipline/ laziness/ yelling. The boys will not listen to us, not do chores, and then back talk will start and the boys will be generally awful ("I hate you! I hate this house!" - they say this to their dad, not me). The youngest can be very helpful, especially in the kitchen, but a live wire and running and screaming in the morning. The oldest is a total pill normally about chores (occasionally he surprises us!) When acting out happens, my partner yells. I understand he is frustrated, and I am too, but I just don't think that screaming is a great way to discipline. I've tried suggesting consequences (like using electronics) and a calm voice instead, but he struggles with doing this, especially when he is tired. It makes our home life miserable and it makes me extremely uncomfortable and anxious to see/hear the yelling, and it makes me feel awful for the boys.
Issue two: Nutrition - BM is a disneyland parent and lets them totally graze, eat crap all the time. We eat a primarily whole foods, vegetarian diet. I don't have any issue with them eating meat in the house (my partner prepares it), but I just want them to get some quality food in, especially food that won't give them sugar highs and lows. Meal time is SO hard, with refusals to eat things that are the same items they may eat out or at home but look slightly different (wouldn't eat fried rice made with same ingredients but slightly different COLOR than grandparent's dish for instance). Partner commiserates, but still buys them chips and crap and is not great at managing the consumption (or super sugary yogurt) then is surprised when they get sugar crashes. Any tips on handling this? I never make 'weird dishes' when they are here - all very basic, spaghetti, rice and veggies, etc - and yet it is still a nightmare at meal times. On top of this, oldest SS is definitely overweight for his age and we are trying to get him to be active with us and he bitches and is awful about it the whole time. His school eval recommended better food and more activity, and his mom runs and seems to try to turn over a healthy leaf, but none of this is translating to home life for them at mom's.
Any advice for dealing with any of this? We only have the boys two weekends a month, but I dread them, because they are chaotic, full of misbehavior, back talk, arguments and my partner yelling. I don't want to tell my partner how to raise his kids, but I feel like I have little voice or influence but it affects my life and it is my home too. I feel bad for the boys because they have great qualities that just need to be nourished but I just want to hide because our time together is so so stressful. On top of it, the boys constantly fight with each other. HELP!