Conflict Between Parenting Styles


(South Dakota)

Me and my spouse, each of us entering into our relationship with four children of our own, definitely have a full house. We have a conflict between parenting styles that is starting to cause problems.


My spouse, is a more passive parent, the "softie" as some say. He is the type of father that avoids conflict, no matter what the case or consequence; this is much easier than making the kids mad. His philosophy, "If no one is argumentative, the house is calm." This is not all in all a bad philosophy...

I on the other hand, I am the "stand your ground" parent. I tell my kids no, it makes them mad. They get over it. But I know I have said no for a specific reason. I have had my 14 year old son tell me before bed, "Mom, I don't really like you right now, but I do still love you." My reply to that was, "I love you too honey, and I don't expect you to like me all the time." I have a good relationship with my children (Ages 18, 16, 14, 12) they talk to me, I talk to them...things are good.

The problem is with the conflicting discipline we have in the house...My children are asked to do simple chores, doing the dishes for instance, not told, they are asked. They also know that dishes are a responsibility of theirs...and if responsibilities are not met, just as in adult life, there are consequences..hence, if you don't do your dishes on your night..count any extra curricular activities out for the next day...plain and simple...the rules are clear cut, the consequences are consistent...and I rarely have a problem.

My spouse on the other hand, when his children (Ages 16, 14, 12 and 5) are asked to do the dishes (of course the 5 year old helps by drying cups and this is because he chooses to and they have something better to do, they are allowed to put off the dishes until either later in the evening or even sometimes as far as a day out.

The conflict between the parenting styles is creating severe conflict between my spouse and I and conflict between the children....Mine wonder why his children don't have to do their chores, while his children think I "graduated from the mean mommy school with honors."

I have talked to my spouse, we have tried both giving a little bit, me not being so strict and him being more strict....it works for a while, but goes back to the same thing repeatedly.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

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Aug 05, 2012
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Women are the better Parent Period
by: Anonymous

I love this thread as it of course lets you see that you are not alone in the world.

The makeup of men like we all know ladies is that they have a hard time seeing the bigger picture.They go only for the here and now.Like asking or expecting them to change the toilet paper roll.Not going to happen.

In my case his daughters got into some trouble,serious trouble and I left.I had enough.
He sent them back to their Mom's and my house has been calm for the last 6 months.

Maybe not everyones way of doing things but I told him I would not live with their drama anymore as was once a happy home turned into too much negativity.

They are fine now and have grown up alot in the last bit.The trouble scared them enough to finally realize where their life was heading and they did not want it to so Kudos to them.

They know they can come and visit any time and that we are always here to talk and yes they can stay here for a few days once in a while but never live here again and that is fine with all of us.

Tough love works my friends and if it does not work for your relationship then maybe you are not meant to be with that person.

Aug 05, 2012
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snap
by: hannah

These described my life for the last 6 years. My husband is so scared of setting boundaries for his eldest son age 14 thru fear he will not visit his dad tho he does discipline his 9 year old. My kids age 8 and 11 have very clear rules and consequences and are far from perfect but do not cause us any real problem. My eldest step son has never done as he is told and chooses to stay with grandparents or his mum instead. My marriage can't cope with This bhaviour and it seems so unfair that 3 of the 4 kids behave and 1 gets to dictate the. Outcome of my marriage. I have begged my husband to seek family counselling so we will see.

Oct 10, 2011
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Step parenting is a world wide problem
by: Anonymous

You can talk to as many female step parents as you can and we all have the same issues. Obviously it is the men with the problems and just shows boys will be boys. There is no easy solution at all.It boils down to your love for your man, commitment and how much patience and love you have.....Each person will handle it all differently and that is the beauty of the world. We are all different but share common ground.

In everything girls, just make sure you take time for you.......Just breathe,chill, relax, go for a walk, read a book and step away from the conflicts. Even if it means leaving your spouse. If they really, really love you then their eyes will finally open up to what is important to them and if it does not then so be it. Might just be a case of good riddance to bad rubbish! Carry On Ladies.

Oct 06, 2011
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Hang In There
by: Anonymous

Hi. I was in the same boat but I snapped one day and left my man.
It was the wake up call him and his girls needed.

Things have been worked out between all parties concerned and my house now runs smoothly.

His daughters decided they did not like the rules, boundaries and curfews,especially after I caught his 14 year old daughter in my bathroom with a 26er of vodka and cups of juice.

My man was not home at the time so I told his daughter there was no way in the world she would be drinking in my house and I confiscated the bottle. Her Dad got home about 5 minutes later and I filled him in on what happened. He did not do much of anything at all so when his daughter started screaming and yelling at me and calling me every name under the sun I stood my ground.
She then decided she was going to move back in with her mother and left.

My man did not talk to me for 2 days as if blaming me for what was happening.
I left him and it finally woke him up to what he was refusing to see in regards to raising his kids.
I know you have to pick your battles but underage drinking for me is one I will fight tooth and nail.

He called me later the next day and asked if we could sit down and talk as a family. I had been asking him to do that when his daughters moved in but he would not hear of it then.
Leaving him for that short of time was the best thing that happened to him and I as a couple and his daughters. Their Dad now lays down the ground rules when they come stay with us on the weekends and life here is a lot smoother.

It works different for every family but I am happy to say this is what worked for me and the man I love as well as his kids.

Oct 06, 2011
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WOW
by: Anonymous

These comments sound as if I posted them myself. I have 4 children and my fiance has 3. When we got together he had no rules whatsoever but I do. Things have def improved but there is still a noticeable difference in our parenting especially when it comes to his daughter who happens to be the only girl. I can handle a little spoiling but he is blind to her manipulation, whining and instigating. The other kids, including his boys, are really starting to resent her and so am I. I dont know what the answer to fixing it is but I've been reading a lot of things on blended families and how to make it work. Unfortunately all of them say to talk to your partner, which i do, but that doesnt seem to make a permanent difference. I dont think as a step mom that we can change it unless the father changes it. So I think it comes down to whether or not I can take it for the next 11 years until shes out of the house because I dont think he will change. I do know that all of the boys will gang up on her if it continues and maybe thats what needs to happen for her father to open his eyes to what is happening. If everyone in the house thinks she gets away with murder how can he ignore it? Although it could create the opposite problem where he feels he needs to protect her even more. UGH I dont know........

Aug 18, 2011
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I have the same problems
by: Anonymous

I happen to be a lesbian, I have a son and my gf has a son. I am more controlled and she's laid back. I try n raise her son like my own but I'm always hitting major conflict when it comes to discipline or guiding her son . When it comes to my son I make sure we work as a team and he respects her. She does not do the same when I try and teach him and help raise him with boundaries and hygiene. She and him fight me on everything. I'm so frustrated. I'm good enough to support him financially but I can't parent him. He plays off of this and it's causing problems in my life with my girlfriend. What can I do?

Aug 17, 2011
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I hear u.
by: Anonymous

I so understand what you are saying.It is so bloody frustrating to watch and feel like an outsider in your own house.I am at the point where I refuse to let his daughter have that kind of power in my home.

I so love her father as he is a wonderful man but like the book says Men are from Mars,women from Venus.

I am going to try counselling in order to save this.I hope it works.

Aug 15, 2011
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Need help myself
by: Anonymous

I read the comment and am in the same boat.
I keep thinking"Why is it always the woman who is the bad guy and the Dad's are the "cool ones' who let kids get away with everything with not much discipline or consequences.

I have been living with my partner for over 4 years,Recently his teenage daughters moved in with us and I am appalled at what they get away with.
He has a huge heart and that is where the problems lie.
He does not know the meaning of the word no or if he does say it aT first he always caves in when they start to whine. They are 18 and 15.

I am starting to resent them and him.
We have discussed it of course and he will try it my way the odd time but of course slips back and lets them walk all over him.
We once had a happy home but now it is not.

I have three kids of my own who were raised with rules, boundaries , consequences and guidelines all dished out with firmness, love and respect and all three blossomed into A/B honour roll students who did not give me one ounces of trouble and have grown up to be polite, well mannered and respectful adults.

I thought it was the man who had the balls but it is actually the women who do. We see the bigger picture down the road while men don't and that is what causes problems with children later on in life when these teens finally realize what life is all about.

I am thinking of leaving him and do not want to but at the moment can not see any other way.

Help!

Feb 15, 2011
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Welcome to my world.
by: Anonymous

This exact thing happens in my house. It has gotten to the point that I am ready to move out because I feel it is so unfair to my children. In addition, I am a stickler for respecting authority and doing well in school. My BF on the other hand does not check report cards, always has an excuse for his children's bad behavior, and ignores things like them being suspended from school. I am losing my mind!

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