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#1 of 10 Old 05-16-2011, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am engaged to a man with three boys; 10, 8, and 8. I have a dd 17, ds 15, and dd 9. My honey is a widower of five years. I am divorced for just over a year. We have different parenting styles, but we are good at talking things out. We also don't live together yet, that is soon coming. My three and I are very close, help me learn what I need to know to show my three new ds all the love they need and work together with my honey to instill a better disipline strategy. The boys will do things that mine wouldn't dream of.

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#2 of 10 Old 05-16-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Annapooh View Post

My three and I are very close, help me learn what I need to know to show my three new ds all the love they need and work together with my honey to instill a better disipline strategy. The boys will do things that mine wouldn't dream of.



This sentiment is REEEEEALLY scary to me.  You are going into this looking to change the behavior of the kids right off the bat, and that just isn't fair to anyone. 

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#3 of 10 Old 05-16-2011, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Fair... I guess I should explain; the boys throw things, yell at their dad and grandma, run away from them in public if they don't get their own way, the tv has been punched, the DS has been thrown.... this is why I am asking because I don't want to be a step monster and I don't intend to measure the boys to my bio children. I just want to find ways to implement some calm for everyone involved. My honey admits to having been in a rut he doesn't want to be in.

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#4 of 10 Old 05-16-2011, 09:03 PM
 
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Can you live with the children as they are now, knowing they will never change?  If the answer is yes, you are in a good place.  If your answer no, perhaps you should really think about moving in with your fiance, 

 

I hold the same sentiment for engaged people.  Your marry the person they are, not what they will become.  Otherwise, your life could be fairly miserable. 

 

I realize you don't plan on holding them to the same standard as your children.  But moving in with their father doesn't make you in charge of them or their behavior.  (Speaking from someone that has a step-parent.)  If your fiance can not make the changes you hope to see in his children, can you be happily married?

 

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#5 of 10 Old 05-17-2011, 09:40 AM
 
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Having recently ended a very special and meaningful relationship with someone I loved very much partly because we couldn't see fitting the two sets of kids together, I wouldn't do it unless I was sure we were on the same page (which we weren't about some pretty important things), aware that it was going to be hard work, and willing to do the hard work. I don't see how the house rules can be radically different for everyone, and unless both adults have buy-in to one set of household expectation, I don't see how their relationship will survive.

 

A couple of books I've read or skimmed lately:

 

Love Him, Love His Kids by Stan Wenck

Stepfamilies by James H Bray <-- really like the research aspect of this one.

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#6 of 10 Old 05-18-2011, 06:51 PM
 
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I'm going to disagree with the general consensus - you don't have a hostile ex-spouse to deal with here, who will undermine you at every turn. You have a single-parent family, and the parent of that family loves YOU and has chosen YOU to be everybody's mom and believes that YOU are doing a good job raising your three kids and trusts YOU to coparent his three boys. This is not a bad starting position!

 

Above all, you and your new husband must have unity of purpose. Talk talk talk talk talk. Make rules about behavior in private, and enforce them impartially in public. Get yourself T-Shirts that say "United Front" if that's what it takes to remember never to second-guess or override each other with the kids. Let your husband correct "your" kids when the occasion calls for it (and make sure to run interference with your ex if he tries to undermine your husband). Correct "his" kids without hesitation when you are the parent-on-scene. If you two are truly a unit, your six kids will treat you as one - and they'll be glad, in the long run, to have two loving and involved parents in their home.

 

(If "your" kids also have a loving and involved biological father who they see regularly, then so much the better - now they'll have THREE adults who are fully invested in their success!) 

 

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#7 of 10 Old 05-19-2011, 06:24 AM
 
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I don't think we disagree. We said the same thing about needing to be on the same page/have unity of purpose.
 

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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

I'm going to disagree with the general consensus - you don't have a hostile ex-spouse to deal with here, who will undermine you at every turn. You have a single-parent family, and the parent of that family loves YOU and has chosen YOU to be everybody's mom and believes that YOU are doing a good job raising your three kids and trusts YOU to coparent his three boys. This is not a bad starting position!

 

Above all, you and your new husband must have unity of purpose. Talk talk talk talk talk. Make rules about behavior in private, and enforce them impartially in public. Get yourself T-Shirts that say "United Front" if that's what it takes to remember never to second-guess or override each other with the kids. Let your husband correct "your" kids when the occasion calls for it (and make sure to run interference with your ex if he tries to undermine your husband). Correct "his" kids without hesitation when you are the parent-on-scene. If you two are truly a unit, your six kids will treat you as one - and they'll be glad, in the long run, to have two loving and involved parents in their home.

 

(If "your" kids also have a loving and involved biological father who they see regularly, then so much the better - now they'll have THREE adults who are fully invested in their success!) 

 



 

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#8 of 10 Old 05-19-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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It sounds like a blender to me. What has he done to help his boys? What research and what work has he done? What is his parenting style??

 

I would be concerned that if he can't handle this on his own, then it will be ON YOU to take care. This doesn't sound like a good situation for you or your children at all.

 

Yes, it is easier in that there isn't tension with an ex which can really mess with step-family dynamics, but this doesn't sound like a good deal to me.

 

Have him sort his kids out first. HE needs to take care of that. If he doesn't or can't, you have a preview of coming attractions.

 

 

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#9 of 10 Old 05-19-2011, 01:40 PM
 
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You said your communication with your partner is good. That's a good sign.I would talk to him openly about your concerns and see if you can get on the same page expectation/discipline-wise. Ultimately, it is going to be your home, too, and things that happen in your home directly affect you--which means you very much have a voice when it comes to your stepchildren and their behavior in your home. Once you come to an agreement on what the rules should be, you'll need to be supportive of one another in front of the children, a united front. 

 

Basically, I think this can be done, but it will take a lot of hard work and communication. Also, one thing I did when my DSD was living with us was draw up a rules/consequences contract that we wrote together as a family. When children agree with and co-create the rules, they are more apt to choose to follow them. One of the good things that DSD learned here is that she has a voice in our home and her feelings matter. Also, regular family meetings (that are at least in part focused on fun (pizza/game or movie night) really helps to bind the family together, as well.

 

Mostly, though, I think if you act and speak from a place of love, the love will be felt by your stepchildren--even at times when they seem to resent you for enforcing rules or what not. My DSD had to return to live with her bio mom because of some pretty severe safety issues with smaller children in our home, and although this was incredibly heartbreaking for all of us, I continue to have a good relationship with my DSD because I handled situations and behaviors lovingly. I was open and honest with her. I allowed her to tell me how she felt about things, including me.

 

(Sorry for the choppy response, but I'm being mauled by my 15 month old.) :-) 

 

Good luck!

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#10 of 10 Old 05-22-2011, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The talking thing we are good at. My SO has been raising his boys with exteme amount of help from his mom the past 5 yrs. She doesn't live with them, but she is there everyday. This will be gradually reduced once we are together. The boys are starting to see me as an authority in their lives. When there is something we see that we don't understand or agree with, we are good at being respectful and trying to come to a consensus.

 

ex: This past weekend, the boys wanted to ride their bikes. They are allowed to ride in a less than one block area up and down the sidewalk. My 9y/o dd has a three block stretch she can go in my neighborhood, and in his, I'd be comfortable with her going around the block. I asked him how we want to address this with summer here. We came to an agreement that will  hopefully work.

 

I think the boys have a growing respect for me as they see me wanting to be involved in their lives. I have brought more "adventures" and more play into their lives. I also expect them to show a higher level of respect to the adults in the house. I don't accept being yelled at and I don't accept them yelling at their grandma.

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