You are here

Different parenting

Krista777's picture

My boyfriend of two and a half years just got his children half the time(toddlers). So they are living with us one week and then the other week with their mother. Anyways, we've had some rough bumps during this journey. It seems like we are on two separate parenting tracks, if his kids misbehave he rarely takes action. He just says don't do it again, or he laughs about it so they think it's okay. Then there's me that will put them in time out. He's often snuck behind my back to help them out, meaning.. one time at dinner we had asked them to finish their dinner before playing and having an after meal snack, they complained and didn't want to. He then went in the kitchen when I wasn't in there and decided to tell one of them to finish the one piece and he tossed the others in the garbage and I busted him and said what are you doing. He made up a quick fib but he's a bad liar so I said what's the in the garbage and then he did admit to tossing it out after I said NO. Another time was that we don't give them liquids an hour before bed because they pee the bed often and I read that's a start on stopping pee accidents. They kids know this rule. Anywho, he was upstairs reading them a book to bed and one of them legit runs past him to go to the washroom to fill up an water bottle not sure how it got there but anyways filled it up and drank water I heard the tap running from upstairs and I look up the stairs and his kid is drinking water after we established that rule together as a family??? I said wtf, you just let her do that and his excuse was "she ran right past me, I didn't even see her cause I was reading a book" um okay. He's been driving me absolutely NUTS. He says he'll change but he hasn't. He can't be going behind my back and we have to be on the same page because they will think I'm the worst mean person ever and he's okay? I hate this. I'm so drained. Why am I the only one being the parent who disciplines. Also I should add that they do love me maybe a bit too much I'm the one they go to for EVERYTHING. I'm tired. He needs to step up. Help!!!!! 

Krista777's picture

Another thing happening is that, I asked the kids to stop playing with the couch cushions and told them the couch is for sitting on and not playing on so I put the cushions back on the couch and went upstairs to do something and then I came back down and one of them were sitting on a coushion on the floor after I just told them that and put them back? While he was LAYING there on the other couch. I said really? I was gone for like ten minutes are you kidding me. And he smiles, it's not funny. Why am I parenting two kids and a man child. UGH.

SteppedOut's picture

This will not change wthout drastic action toward your boyfriend. Even then, it may not change. 

Think about how you want to spend the rest of your life. 

Krista777's picture

I want to be with him for the rest of my life we have a great relationship but just disagree to a lot when it comes to parenting he thinks sometimes that we are being mean but in reality I am not. It's basic parenting and discipline to better their lives. I'm wondering if maybe because he just got them he's worried too much of what they will think of him.

SteppedOut's picture

Different parenting styles is HUGE and will affect lots and lots of things.

Lack of parenting or "disney" parenting will make for some terrible tweens and teens and adults. 

Winterglow's picture

How about suggesting some parenting classes together (he'll never go for it if he thinks he's the only one who needs them)? Tell him it's to help both of you adapt to coping with the major change you've just had in your lives and to help you avoid making common mistakes.

Dogmom1321's picture

Sounds like things have changed A LOT since you first started dating. If he just received 50/50 custody, his life is going to be drasticly different. He is going to learn how to be a parent... whether you are up for the ride is totally up to you. Honestly, I would reevaluate. 


Do you see yourself help raising them until they are 18? Do you see yourself being dragged into any custody or issues he has with BM? Parenting styles alone would have me seriously rethinking. I'm assuming you live together?

Krista777's picture

I knew he had kids when I first started dating him so I knew what I was getting into when I met him. But I don't really look into the future so much. I never had. I do want to spend the rest of my life with him and if we overcame fights before I hope we can overcome this. I'm tired of repeating myself. And to answer your question yes we live together.

Krista777's picture

I knew he had kids when I first started dating him so I knew what I was getting into when I met him. But I don't really look into the future so much. I never had. I do want to spend the rest of my life with him and if we overcame fights before I hope we can overcome this. I'm tired of repeating myself. And to answer your question yes we live together.

Thumper's picture

Are you able to sit back and let the chips fall where they fall? Let dad do it all.

  • I know you want to help---but, remember he is the parent. He takes care of everything. From washing the linen to buying new furniture IF necessary.
  • Can you let gooooooo of all this regarding his lack of correction with his kids?

Krista777's picture

I've tried to say to myself that I'm not going to do a a single thing the next day but I can't help myself, they girls come to me when they want something or need something so it's hard to just try to let him do everything. Also, if I let him just take the wheel fully everything would be a disaster I feel like and he'd let them get away with toys everywhere and messy rooms, also probably let them do some bad habits we've been trying to get them out of like whipping boogers on walls, or one of them sucks their fingers still. Stuff like that would be left unnoticed he needs like reminders.

Dogmom1321's picture

I'm part of another forum too. It's called Second Wives Cafe. Members only too! They have a bunch of articles on there about detachment. I will link some others i found on the internet here too.  ** Great one!


P.S. - I used to feel like what I was doing wasn't "enough." The truth is, just being YOU is a huge contribution! Showing SK a positive role model (ex. having a career, being independent, modeling healthy relationships). These are all things you are "teaching" them, you just don't know it! For SK these things are vital. For ex, my SD10 had no clue what healthy disagreements looked like between parents. She had no idea what it looked like for a woman to be independent with their OWN career. You are not giving yourself enough credit and putting too much on yourself. One of the great things about detaching is that your eyes are open and you are more objective. Hope this helps! Reach out if you need anything else. 

Also, it has taken us FIVE years to get to where we are now! It has been a long process, but everyone in our family learns more a little each day. We still have our setbacks sometimes, but we also have small little "victories" or break throughs too. Smile

tog redux's picture

Why would you want to work so hard to parent someone else's children? He's like a third toddler for you to manage.

This will not work out well.

Krista777's picture

Is this even a serious question? All four of us live under a roof together week on week off and you think I'm just going to sit here and not help parent these kids considering we are in a relationship and living together. 

tog redux's picture

Yes, it's a serious question. Why do you want to parent someone's else's children? It's not your job. It's his job to handle the heavy lifting and he's acting like another child instead of like a father. Just because he had kids and you live with them, doesn't make you the parent.

Krista777's picture

This is super hard because they come to me for everything, if they want a snack, if they want a drink, if they want to go outside to play, if their hungry. Everything pretty much. So it's hard to ignore and say no. 

Winterglow's picture

Well, that's just it, you don't ignore their requests, you tell them to ask their father. Every.single.time.

tog redux's picture

Yes, point them to their father. Let your SO know you are no longer willing to be the primary parent and will be telling the kids to go to him. Don't intervene when he allows them to act out or pee the bed, or whatever, just tell him what happened and that he needs to go deal with it. 

Act like you are the aunt, and your sibling is in the home, too.  If a niece or nephew came to you, you'd say, "Go ask Mommy if you can have a snack," right? Same thing.

My guess is he wants you to be the parent, but it's a direct road to resentment for you.

justmakingthebest's picture

Yes- I think you should stop parenting the kids that you aren't the parent of. I think that you are making yourself the bad guy. 

Step back. Be the fun aunt. Don't to the disciplining, don't do the chores, don't do the babysitting, don't do anything really but the fun stuff. Your BF is the parent. If he can't figure out how to be an actual parent of kids he already has- why would you want to spend your life with him? Do you want to have MORE kids one day with someone who can't even follow through with the basics to stop kids from peeing the bed? 

You really need to ask yourself if you can step back and let him parent and just focus on you being his GF- not another mother. 

Aunt Agatha's picture

Parenting as the step only opens the door for crazy to come in.  The kids,BM and your SO will only come to resent you.

Spend some time on this board.  Stories here will show you your future.  If you have a weak SO in terms of parenting, it will not make for a happy life for you.

Im here because of a grade A nutter of a BM.  While there were some dubious parenting decisions early on with my SO, he quickly learned not to be a Disney dad.  After 10 years, I only now finally agreed to marry him (currently on hold due. To the pandemic).  

But trust me: unless he is willing to 100% take on parenting, your life will be a long slog.  Toddlers become children who become teens then adults, and you can find out on this site the fresh new hell that can be unleashed at each stage.  

If you aren't happy now, odds are good it will only get worse unless your SO can pull it together quickly.

Dogmom1321's picture

I was also told "I knew what I was getting into." FALSE. My DH had full custody when we met, were dating AND when we got married. I was used to making decisions WITH DH. SD10... she was 5 at the time... only saw her BM in the summer. WE were doing great. A couple of months after we got married, custody changed. We went from that to 50/50. BM was now involved in our lives... permanently. SD10 started having issues much more frequently that were never there before. We started having issues as a couple because now BM was invloved in every aspect of her life. 

Honestly if "I knew what I was getting myself into" I would have WAITED to get married for sure. Sad to say, but true. 


The different parenting styles just ring so true with myself. I completely disagree with how DH and BM parent. I feel like I used to have a say, but now, not so much. It sounds like we are BOTH neat freaks and the same things drive us crazy. Leaving clothes on the ground, not cleaning up after eating, throwing backpack down anywhere, not keeping toys in room/playroom, sneaking behind MY back only to go to Dad, the list goes on. I would STRONGLY suggest reading articles on detachment and disengaging. At first, I had the VERY same thoughts you did. Of course I couldn't sit back and not do anything? How could I NOT parent? She was of course MY child too? Detachment has helped myself, my relationship with my SD, and my marriage SO much. I can't recommend enough honestly. It's not how I thought it would be being in a blended family. 


Krista777's picture

Love this comment! Seems like we can relate so much. Is there any links you can post, to help me better find these articles or books you've read to help you? 

Rags's picture

Your SO's complete lack of testicular fortitude and zero evidence of brain activity in his parenting of his toddler aged spawn is definately a hill that I would die on if I were you.

Move on, leave this failed parent to live the hell that he is creating and get on with your life.

Rescue projects are rarely successful and this guy is not worth rescuing.  His toddlers are not your problem.

hereiam's picture

He says he'll change but he hasn't.

Because he doesn't want to and doesn't feel the need. He even goes behind your back when YOU try to parent them.

we have a great relationship but just disagree to a lot when it comes to parenting

Kids and finances are two of the top reasons relationships that involve step kids don't work out, so it's important. Who he is as a father does relate to who he is as a partner (he already disrespects you and your attempt at parenting his kids).

These kids are HIS responsibility and you shouldn't have to parent them. But if you choose to and he doesn't have your back, how do you see that playing out over the many years ahead? You will resent them and you will resent him, so yes, it matters. This is not just another fight to overcome.


SMto3's picture

My H is a great catch. Smart, witty, handsome, loves to work, cooks, cleans, not an abuser. But he SUCKS as a parent. If I were to be honest with myself, I may have known this from the beginning when SS12 store from my purse 3 times and H believed him until the 3rd time when I told him this wouldn't work and he forced it out of SS12. We were together less than a month. Then he changed his work schedule 2 years later to where we all rarely saw him save for the weekends and that was when I really got to see how much he stepped back. It didn't happen suddenly of course, I saw it in bits and pieces. Here we are 8 years later, with a beautiful DD5 and I am willing to walk away from it all....why you might ask? Parenting differences. Kids who lack good parenting turn out to be teens who lacked good parenting then adults without good parenting. The parenting part is not up to you, and believe when I tell you that when those girls grow older they will remind you themselves. You have a huge problem on your hands if your bf doesn't step up. You're already asking for help, and he's the only one who will be able to help your situation by becoming a dad. You remind me of a lot of us on here at first. We feel guilty, we want to help, we don't want Bf to become resentful if we disengage and years later we end up doing what we should have done initially. All of your signs are there, it's up to you to heed.