My DSD now 11.5 and DSS almost 10 are over every other weekend and most of what they do doesn't bother me except for the constant TV and video games. What does help is usually Dh is playing the video games with them so when he's tired of the games, the kids usually follow suit. There are days that those 2 will just play and play and play them
: But there are weekends when they never even take them out.
What has helped create BALANCE is I have some ground rules that dh agreed with before the kids moved into my house and before we got married.
1) No TVs in the bedrooms including ours. That really limits TV watching and video games.
2) We have some sort of routine which usually does include pizza
I really don't see it as a terribly unhealthy food within normal proportions. We have a family movie night as well, usually following the pizza. If we don't do pizza, we make popcorn on the stove.
3) My dh isn't a couch potato on the weekends which gives the kids a good example to follow. We all participate in chores that are age appropriate.
The older kids are now old enough to watch their younger brother for less than 2 hours at a time so dh and I often have them babysit while we run some errands. It really teaches them how important they are to ds
They are also very involved to spending toddler time with him. They help teach him lots of good and of course bad things... like ds will now sit on the couch and pretend to play video games
Thankfully, its just every other weekend... again balance is the key.
As for discipline, we don't have huge issues about behavior at our house. Mostly, if the kids are out of sorts, its usually because of some good reason and they are acting out. If we find out what's bothering them, they turn their attitudes around and they're normal again.
I did have some issues with backtalk once and dh 'solved' it with spanking which was YEARS ago and that helped set the stage for our NO SPANKING policy. Dh was a spanker and now is just a yeller... so one thing at a time.
Since we pretty much have a routine the kids know what to expect and it keeps some sort of order. Sure I do have to remind the older kids to do their chores before having fun. Sometimes I need dh to back me up on that since he's more laid back about things and doesn't check to see if the kids did their chores... I don't like to nag though so I'm really big on following through. No chores = No video games.