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I am new to the Just Mommies board, I've been lurking on the Blended Families forum. It's been great to read from other families experiencing the same challenges we are. My Boyfriend has two children early elementary age who spend about 50% of their time with each parent.
I was wondering if anyone has any guidance on the "behavior and manner's hell" we experience each time the kids return to our home. Is this complete lack of remembering the expectations, acting out, demanding normal for the transition from one home to another?
When we picked the kids up this weekend we had whining, hitting, argumentative children. By Sunday evening we had cooperative, sharing, well mannered, polite children then within 30 seconds of walking into mom's house were back to the same behaviors as when we picked them up. This change in behaviors is causing a problem between the two homes since we are willing and want to take the children different places since they listen, are responsive, respectful and cooperative with us but BF's ex is putting her foot down that the kids do not listen and do not exhibit the behavior required for the trips we want to take and therefore we can not take them.
Any guidance, support and encouragement is greatly appreciated!
Hi & welcome, glad you decided to post. I am step & bio-mom, have it good on some levels on each side & bad on levels on each side.
One thing kids will do is challenge a parent when it comes to discipline, this is to see what they can & cannot get away with. Importantly is to remain consistent when it comes to disciplining the children. Ultimately, the discipline "should" come from dad, but sometimes you'll obviously have to step in, which is normal. I suggest talking to dad & see where you BOTH stand on things. IF there is something you are unsure of, before giving a child an answer, just sit on that issue, talk w/ your DH/SO & see where you both stand. Make sure the child never sees that you & their father are divided on an issue. If they see that, they will play that card. That's a hard thing to do.
Also, sometimes kids just have a loyalty to the parents & think in their heads that you are trying to take over. Even if you are not, it's something that they feel, loyalty speaking. Just remember, they are children, they are confused & want to know that there is stability in everything. So remaining on the same page is a plus.
If my DS comes home from his dad's house & says " dad lets me do this & that...." I just respond, I am not dad, we have 2 houses & 2 set of rules. These are the rules here. And that's that, I don't go into any more explanation or let them ask "why" or "how come"...they don't deserve that answer, they just need to know that these are the rules in YOUR house, that's all.
I also feel your pain w/ having a lot of issues at the beginning of the weekend & by the end all is well. That happens because in the beginning they are fighting you, by the end, they forget that they were/are fighting you & begin to enjoy everything. It's a loyalty thing on their part. They are afraid to be relaxed & have fun when mom isn't around. They have guilt.
Are the kids or you & therapy at all? Sometimes that can help. It certainly cannot hurt. How about your relationship w/ bio-mom? Do you have an amicable one? How is the co-parenting w/ the dad & bi-mom? This all makes a world of difference. Hopefully you can work out. Sounds like your trying. Keep us posted & please let us know if we can help.