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Sleeping Arrangements for Step Kids - Page 2

post #21 of 26

I would be super pissed that he suggested you tell your daughter to go live with dad if she doesn't like it.  That is not okay and is pretty much telling your daughter that you are choosing your fiancé over her. 

 

Is moving in together a done deal? Honestly, if he is unwilling to budge on this one small issue, I would be hesitant to move in together right now.  I get that he is defensive of his children-this is something ex and I struggled with a lot (I felt like he favored his oldest daughter, my stepdaughter because he felt guilty that he didn't see her all the time, so I in turn became defensive of our younger two).  I just think that if he is this defensive about something like this, that might be something you need to work out before you put all the kids together under one roof all the time.

 

If you do move in together, and if your daughter feels that strongly about sharing her room, and the other girls are willing to go with the flow, I would let her keep her own room for now and see what happens.  It's possible that she might realize that a couple days a month feels more like a sleepover than sharing a room.  Or she might relax one she gets used to the new family dynamic and be willing to be flexible.  Or the other girls will decide they hate sharing a room and you'll have to put your foot down with your daughter, but at least it will hopefully be after she's had time to adjust to the new family dynamics. 

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrmEmbar View Post
 

I'm sorry this is so difficult!

 

I wonder if this is more of an issue between you and your partner, and not so much an issue about your children?  Could it be that you have different approaches to parenting in general?  Could it be that he has fears about how this move will affect his children and wants to make sure they are welcomed, but has a rigid idea of how that welcoming should happen?  Does he fear you do not value his children as much as your own?  How does he usually interact/parent your children?  Can you meet together with a therapist about this issue?

 

I see great potential for a lot of fun weekends with the ages of kids that you have!  I would plan some fun activities that include all of you and give time for bonding before moving in together (if you haven't already done that).  

 

We sometimes share "onions and orchids" or "roses and thorns".  It's a sharing where people can say what they want (without name-calling or other attacks) and everyone listens without commenting.  It's just a quick go-round.  This could be a way for both parents and kids to feel heard and to realize the broad spectrum that each of you bring and enrich each other's live with.

 

Another thought: Could you let all the kids write anonymous notes about how each of them would like to see the rooms arranged?

This. I think this is more of a difference in parenting than specifically about your daughter. I have said things similar to my husband regarding his son, that my dh is "letting his son make the rules", and truly, this was the case sometimes. He didn't see it that way, most of the time, because his parenting philosophy was different than mine. I had to make peace with the fact that we had different opinoins, and neither of us was necessarily "right" or "wrong" in most cases, rather, we had different approaches to parenting. 

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mermaid1 View Post
 

Thank you all for your feedback. I tried discussing this again with my fiance, but it didn't go well. He is adamant that my daughter is trying to manipulate the situation to get what she wants and that his kids will feel shunned if she gets her own bedroom. He said that if I talked to his kids, they'd probably do whatever I suggested, but that's because they're kids... that by giving my daughter her own room, I'm giving into her bad behavior. I think it's more complicated than that. I honestly don't know how to come to some resolution with this situation when we're on such different sides of the fence.

Then discuss it without suggesting anything. Present the options and ask what they would prefer, making it clear you want them to feel comfortable and welcome and that your home is their home, instead of suggesting something. There are so many more options than "she bunks with the 9 year old" or "they feel like outsiders", the kids may surprise you!

 

It's really odd to me that he's pushing this so vehemently when he hasn't even made sure it's what his daughters want. It seems very possible to me that his youngest would prefer to stay with her sisters, or that his middle daughter would be most comfortable rooming with your daughter as they're closer in age. If his daughters said this is what they want and what they need to feel comfortable and at home, I would certainly understand his upset, but as it is it seems odd.

post #24 of 26

I think it's unreasonable to expect kids who really don't know much about each other to be forced into a close-quarters situation when they're asking not to be forced and there is an option to avoid it. Your daughter isn't making a request that's going to force the family to move to a new house (like if you had a 2-bedroom house and she didn't want to share, there would be no place for his kids to have a bedroom). Even if the sleeping situation would be very unbalanced (if you had one child in one room, and 8! kids of the "other parent" in the other room) I think it's a reasonable way to start so they have a safe place to retreat as they get to know each other. They'll form their own blended cliques in time.

 

Another option to take a step back even further is to hold a family meeting with everyone present and ask the kids for ideas of what possible sleeping/bedroom arrangements they think there could be. Let them be part of making the suggestions and the discussion of which suggestions are reasonable and/or preferred. Letting it be a little silly--maybe even by contributing a few silly suggestions like everyone sleeps in the little room!--might help get the ideas flowing and keep tensions low.

 

I agree, the response of "if she doesn't like it she can go live with her dad" is a huge red flag. What happens when a true "bad behavior" comes to the surface? He can't just solve all the problems by sending her away (not that any should be solved that way). It speaks very poorly of his value of her in your life and of you in hers. If he's not willing to budge, he can not budge somewhere else. :irked Since you two have already made the step of getting engaged, it's obviously much easier for me to say he's not fit for you and your family than it is for you to end the relationship, so I wish you some peace and clarity in your decision-making, if he continues to refuse to listen to each of your children on what they want.

post #25 of 26
I didn't read all the replies.

It seems to me that if they are sharing a room at his current place they should be fine sharing a room at your house. I vote for letting sleepovers with your daughter happen naturally.
post #26 of 26

is there a way to give the dsd's the largest room possible and giving your dd the smallest room possible, that way your dd is making a compromise as well without giving up her personal space?

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