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Old 09-16-2005, 03:08 PM
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Jeannie Jeannie is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: In the piney woods of Texas
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Where does it say because you are a step child, that you get to ignore house rules, leave a mess and do as you please and that there are no consequences?

First let me address the step parent... YOU picked HIM and his kids when you married him. These are issues that should have been settled before you got married. Since you didn't do that, now is the time to have a heart to heart with your husband. If he refuses to set rules, make it clear, that any mess, toys etc that are not put in their place, will be swooped into a trash bag and put out with the rest of the garbage. Perhaps it would be good to go out when they are there.... shopping, visit a friend, go to dinner and a movie with your kids, etc. once in a while. There is nothing like the non custodial parent spending a good long time with THEIR kids for them to see just what they are all about. And, in all truth, they are supposed to be spending time with them, not palm them off on you. You can also say, if they aren't going to clean up after themselves, well then he can do it....

There's another alternative, that you all sit down and go over the rules, and both express, especially parent, that these rules must be followed. If they are followed, then there is more time to do fun things. You, as the step parent do not have to participate in EVERYTHING the parent does with their children. If you stay strong, but take a bit of a back step, the children won't feel everything is ruled by you. Fairness is the operative word. Put yourself in the kids' place.

Children learn very early on how to play adults against each other. Both you and your partner must be adults, set down rules and see that they are followed. That is the best way to show kids you love them and prepare them for a world that doesn't think that they are owed anything just because they are your kids. What you teach them, how you teach them to adjust to the little adversities in life now, will prepare them for adulthood.

I'm going to post again with a very interesting observation.

Children, whether natural or add ons, all need to learn that life isn't a fairytale. That consequences follow misbehavior, that rewards are given for good behavior and that we love them and we are teaching them to deal with the real world.
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