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Parenting Differences...

Forum: Blended Families


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December 10th, 2013, 07:37 PM
MidnightMaiden's Avatar )O( Blessed Be )O(
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C
Posts: 4,101
I need some advice ladies.

The difference in our parenting styles has really come apparent the past couple days. I mean, we always knew we had a difference in parenting, but it's been so much more apparent lately.

My SO is so much more strict and firm than I am. He is quick to discipline/punish and doesn't have a lot of patience. He's super, super hard on his son. It's been an adjustment, but we've managed so far.

I, on the other hand. Am the patient, give lots of chances mommy who has a soft spot for kids. He's helped me firm up with my daughter because she was running rampant and I wasn't being firm enough. But he's so much more strict than I am.

The other night we took both the kids to his son's school dance. My daughter is four, but she totally loved it and ran around the gym dancing and jumping around. His son is five, so it's not like it was an inappropriate dance to have her at

Anyways, when we got home it was past their bed times and DD was extremely tired. She had gotten glow sticks at the dance and asked if she could take them to bed. I didn't see the big deal in her taking them to bed, and said yes.

Well my SO had already said no to DSS and I didn't know he had...

We talked about it the other night and he was upset that I had said yes. I said "Well if you had of told me you said no to Dom, I would have said no to Nevaeh to keep it fair."

He just came back with "I should have had to tell you. She had no reason to take them to bed. Bed is for sleeping. Not playing..."

I didn't know what to say. My daughter has always gone to bed with something and it's never been an issue. I believe in allowing kids to be kids, and if she wants to takes glow sticks to bed, then it's not the end of the world. I pick and choose my battles, and to be frank, glow sticks in bed is cool! I'd sleep with them.

He said he chooses every battle... Which made it seem like I let my kid get away with everything... Which I don't. When I say no, the answer is no, and there's been a few times when she's been sent to her room crying because she didn't get her way. But I firmly believe in letting kids be kids and understand that they're not going to learn the first time, and they need positive reinforcement as well as consistency.

I dunno. It's just to frustrating and our parenting styles are so different we're even reconsidering having our own LO together.

I've been willing to compromise and have recognized my downfalls in my parenting style. Like allowing my daughter to have 15+ warnings before I discipline or not enforcing ALL of her please and thank you's.

But he doesn't seem to be willing to compromise at all. He figures his way of compromising is that he doesn't discipline my daughter. Which we're both ok with since neither one of us is comfortable with it.

Ugh. It gets easier doesn't it ladies?
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December 10th, 2013, 07:45 PM
Stepmom2Be's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,202
I think it does. DH and I still struggle sometimes. I'm bad cop and he's good cop. I hate being bad cop, but he tends to let a lot of smaller stuff go, and I'm working on it.

We agree on the big stuff. Owen recently used our google play account to purchase $90 worth of "gems" for a game he was playing. He knows this is wrong and he knew he'd be in a crap ton of trouble for doing it. We both agreed on his punishment right away. (He's doing chores at a rate of one dollar per chore until his debt to us is paid off.)

But on small stuff, we always disagree. A lot of it is just which parent he happens to go to, because I've said no to thinks I would usually say yes to and vice versa.

Have you sat down with your SO and discussed some general "house rules?" That might be a good idea. Just so you are on the same page. Also, your SO might need to realize that your parenting may not be identical for both kids. My DSS has had to watch his 3 year old cousin eat ice cream at 8:30 at night before, without him being allowed to have any because he had school the next day.

It's a lot of give and take, but I think in time you'll find a balance.
Jennifer - Married to Eric 3.10.13 - Full Time Stepmom to OwenPregnant with our first together <3 Due July 12, 2015
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December 10th, 2013, 10:28 PM
meant2bemommie's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: California
Posts: 24,374
It almost sounds like the roles are reversed in your household. I see why he would say no and honestly I would too, in fact I have said no before and made them put them in the freezer. It is another "night light" and would keep them awake longer. But his comment to you that "he shouldn't have had to tell you" that is just rude.

You guys will likely always have different parenting styles and you will likely always argue about them.

I have an idea. If you decide to sit down and talk to him. Would you consider keeping a journal of the small and bigger issues that you guys disagreed on for a month. After a month take a look and decide which ones were small and which ones were big. Share them with him and have him rate it as well. The ones that you agreed on, set them aside for bit and then talk about the ones that you disagreed on so that you guys can have it right in front of you what you think is small or big and then try to set some compromises. This is just an idea. It also make make you feel better just by expressing yourself for a month.

I do hope that you find clarity and that your future will be brighter and the thought of conceiving a LO together is still something that you will both want.
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December 11th, 2013, 01:44 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,769
DH and I have different parenting styles, I actually knew this before we had our daughter together but it still works out fine, he's the nice one and lets the kids get away with a lot, while I don't and have little patience, we used to argue quite a bit over it, mostly because of his kids. You just have to talk the situations out and figure out as you go. It takes some getting used to, but you'll get there.
my DH is a little more strict(not as much as I want him to be, but oh well) and I've tried to let smaller things slide or let him handle it, it's always going to be a work in progress.

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December 11th, 2013, 12:25 PM
AtomicMama's Avatar CopperBoom!
Join Date: May 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 14,754
DH and I have different parenting styles. Honestly, I think every two humans on the planet do. Of course, so are more extreme, and I think it does become trickier in blended families, especially when each parent has their own child(ren) and has had time to put their parenting style into practice and develop it. That said, I still think it's something all couples have to work through, and at some point you just have to decide if this person is worth compromising with (nothing against your SO or your relationship, just in general

I'm a "pick you battles" kind of parents. I let the kids take books or small toys into their beds. If I felt that the glow sticks would have been an issue and kept my kids awake (which, with my kids, I think they would have), I would have said no. However, if I felt like they would have just been a small comfort item and not a distraction, it's a battle I wouldn't have fought. I figure not fighting them on it probably gets them to sleep quicker. That said, if one parent gives an answer, the other parent follows. Of course, sometimes the kids try to get past us, and they get in more trouble for that

It's taken time. It's gotten a little easier in some ways. It's still a challenge. For us, the key is being open with each other. We are both sure we want more children (thank goodness, as we have one on the way!), so it wasn't really an option. We both will parent and discipline all of our children. In some ways, I'm easier. In other ways, he is. I expect more independence and "chores" than he does. He expets more obedience and can be less lenient than I am. We both disciplined differently. I'm not a big spanker at all. But I can be "meaner" in the consequences I do choose. Last night, DSD hit DS on the head because he was in her way in the hall. DH was going to spank her, but he talked it over with me first. It seems silly, but we do this A LOT, we've learned that it helps us to see different perspectives and talk about what we both think. His mind just goes to spanking. In some cases, I'm not totally against it. However, I like to try different things first. Sometimes, they are more effective, since our kids hate spankings in the moment, but then move past it. Last night, we took away her dessert (we hadn't had dinner yet, but both kids knew they were getting a treat after dinner if they ate well). She had made cupcakes at her mom's house Sunday and brought them home with her. She was devastated she couldn't eat one.

Anyway, that was a lot of rambling. Basically, if you really want to work it out, if you want to be able to co-parent and discipline together, and if having another child is an option you want, communicate. Even see a counselor. It sounds like you are on different pages but could end up balancing each other well.
Amy: Wife to my Handsome Husband Mommy to my superhero, Max (3) and Luckiest Bonus Mama to Sammy (5)

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December 12th, 2013, 01:32 PM
MidnightMaiden's Avatar )O( Blessed Be )O(
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C
Posts: 4,101
Thank you ladies. It certainly makes me feel better knowing that I'm not alone in this situation.

We've talked about it a little since it's happened. Our communication with each other is actually amazing. Communication is definitely not really an issue with us. We don't always talk about issues as quickly as I'd like, but we talk them out eventually, which is much more than my ex and I ever did.

He feels that bed is for sleeping, and that's how he's going to parent his son regardless as to how I want to parent my daughter. I've always let her go to bed with SOMETHING. It doesn't necessarily keep her up. The nights where she's just not tired (I mean it happens, I'm certainly not tired at the same time everyday) she reads or talks to her stuffies. To me it's no big deal. When she was younger she wanted to go to bed with two tooth brushes. They were her friends (she didn't go to daycare until this year and literally had no friends) and it just wasn't worth the fight for me. She literally fell asleep right away with these two tooth brushes.

We both realize that both kids are different, and will require different parenting anyways. I agree that each kid is different. My mother treated my sister and I the EXACT same, even though she was a completely different person and needed a different parenting style and it caused a lot of issues.

I'm sure we'll get it sorted out. It's not like we've had years to figure this out
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January 1st, 2014, 07:34 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 6
My husband and I are polar opposites when it comes to raising our kids and the biggest mistake we made was not discussing how we were going to parent together and because we didn't there have been a lot of arguments between us... My husband is an authoritarian and wants his word to basically be the law of the land in the house... And he forgets that children are not adults and do not think like adults. I am more lenient with the kids. My husband's one exception was his son, the normal house rules did not always apply to his son and would let him get away with murder. In his eyes he didn't want to have to spend his entire visits with his son yelling at him or punishing him. It made for a lot of tense and unhappy moments in our house because the other kids saw this as did my stepson who said more than once "this is my daddy's house I only have to listen to what he says.." Thankfully my husband did come to realize that his son was an equal member of our family and needed to be treated just the same as the other kids. In order to successfully blend a family both parents have to be on the same page when it comes to discipline and raising the kids. Both kids should have the same set of rules to follow and receive the same forms of punishment, otherwise there will be confusion and resentment from the kids.
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January 11th, 2014, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: NL, Canada
Posts: 12
when my SO and I moved in together with his 2 and my 2 we quickly realised our parenting techniques were completely opposite, but our vision of raising children was very similar. I'd be lying if I said this was easy to come to a middle ground! BUT, we have and it's MUCH better.
We sat and talked about ALL of the major rules, we had weekly family meetings for the first 6 months, even with my 4yr old in attendance, now we do them if something big comes up, if it's been a while or if someone requests one.
My SO and I spent many nights talking and yes some of those turned into arguments, but for every point in our debates we would back them up, and talk them through until we came to a resolution that we were both comfortable with.

His kids (forgive me, I swear I'm not a mean mommy) were spoiled little brats, when I came on the scene. Now, they are sweet and polite, caring, not as selfish, and help out. My kids...let me rephrase, My daughter was used to me being overly strict and trying to control almost EVERY aspect of her life, while my son was spoiled in a different way (I basically delayed him "growing up"), he was my "baby" (I can't have anymore children due to a chronic illness).

Anyway, we went to counselling for some of our issues we couldn't resolve, and we set house rules (I didn't care if they were the same as his ex's or not, this was OUR house and it ISN'T confusing to have different rules at each house, many places have different rules than your home), when an issue came up we NEVER fought in front of the children, and with anything we learned to ask the kids if they had already asked the other parent. We showed we were a TEAM, and they couldn't divide and conquer.

I don't know if I would keep a whole month's worth of conflicting decision making/parenting styles to then discuss, he may feel attacked. My SO would always get super defensive when I would bring up something to do with the kids that he did and I disagreed with etc. I would bring them up as they come up, but never in front of the children.
If he isn't willing to compromise or discuss the issues, I would look into counselling or a blended family support group or a blended family parenting group/class (I took one, SUPER helpful!). Then you have a calm environment to discuss the issues and have a third party help you both.

My current relationship is not my first experience with blended families, and I can tell you that if you don't come to a common ground with the kids and parenting it will eventually end.

Keep at it, it's al about give and take.
Good luck
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