Gentle Step Parenting?
I recently married a man who has 3 daughters (ages 6, 9 and 12). They have been parented very differently from my four (ages 22, 18, 16 and 11). Their father (my husband) is a gentle soul, but sort of a jelly-fish parent, and their mother is compulsively controlling, and authoritative, as well as angry, sarcastic and LOUD. To say she's a yeller is quite the understatement! I know I can't re-parent these three girls, but I sure would love to hear suggestions for how to guide them a bit toward a more peaceful, less caustic way of life. Their interactions with me and with one another are stressful for me, but really it's the effect it has on my youngest son that worries me. The other night the 6 year old threw a giant tantrum because she wasn't winning a family board game, complete with screaming, throwing things, telling everyone she hated them, crying and hitting. I withdrew myself from the game, leaving her with her father. A few moments later my son joined me on my bed, and curled into me, burying his head. He's just not used to that sort of loud angry behavior. A few minutes after that, the other two girls wound up in my bed, too, and my husband pointed out later that they ALL wanted to be in the peaceful bedroom with me, rather than endure the 6 year old's tirade. He asked for help dealing with her, and I offered a few suggestions. However, I don't want to seem critical of his parenting. I think mostly it's their mother who has set the tone for their family. So....help?! Thanks!