Famliy Arguing about kids - HELP
History: I am a divorced father and remarried. I have full custody of my two boys (age 7 & 10 – older son has ADHD) from my first marriage. The ex-wife see’s the boys every other weekend (we live 90 miles apart). I just had a baby girl (2 month old) with my new wife (married 2 years).
Currently we are having issues at home arguing mostly about the kids (my two boys). My wife is a full-time step-mom, which is fairly uncommon and you can’t find too much advice on that. The arguing comes from my kids not doing what they are told from time to time. My wife asks them to do things, they don’t do them and then she tells me and I talk to them about it. My wife does not know how to handle them when they don’t listen to her as they are not her biological kids and she doesn’t understand them. When she gets upset at them and punishes them I get on the defensive. This causes issues as she thinks I am undermining her authority. That is not the case at all.
Other issues are my wife kind of tattling on the kids. Coming to me and saying the kids are doing this, he has been in the shower too long, the kids aren’t picking up their shoes and so on. She could just talk to them about most of these things but instead insist to tell me what they are doing wrong. I agree that the kids need to take care of these things but the way in which she tells me sounds like she it tattling on them. It bothers me.
The last major issue is my older son’s ADHD. It is hard enough to have a child with ADHD in a normal marriage but having one with a blended family (full-time step-mom) is very difficult. He is on meds and it is not too severe but it is hard for him to stay on track with things and we have to tell him multiple times to do things. We may tell him things and then he goes and does them anyway. My wife may tell him multiple times not to take something to school and then he does it and lies about it. We find out and he gets in trouble. When he lies to my wife (step-mom) she can’t handle it or anyone that lies. I explain to her that he is only 10 and she doesn’t care. If we tell him not to do someting, then he shouldn’t do it and he should not lie. We then argue about this as I say it is his ADHD and get on the defensive. She says that isn’t it and he shouldn't be lying at all when we tell him something. She is always worried that if we don't take care of this now it is going to get worse in the future. It is usually small things like taking his DS to school or buying something at school when we told him not to. He then gets put to bed early, put in a corner, DS taking away or one of the many other punishments. However, the issue keeps coming back up. I completely agree he shouldn't be lying but she needs to handle it better, right?
So, as you can see this is not making for a very happy family. Don’t get me wrong, we all do have a great time together most of the time, have family dinners and do stuff together. But in the normal daily routine between school, work, kid’s sports, cleaning, homework, etc, the happy family gets lost and we end up arguing about things. Of course we all know where this leads too. Both me and the wife don’t end up talking for the rest of the night or next day. She says you can take care of your kids then (I then go the extra mile to do so). And then maybe we make up somehow the next day. It always somehow works it way out and we both know our relationship is a lot of work. It just gets lost sometimes when we have these disagreements and it blows up out of proportion. I am thinking about finding a Family Marriage Counselor for all of us to go to in order to discuss this. Any thoughts on this???
Please provide any feed back you have on this. I love my wife and my family. I just want it to be a happier environment for all of us.