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Old July 31st, 2013, 05:14 PM
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Ben Evolent Ben Evolent is offline
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Attila vs Gandhi

Kia ora,
My partner and I are wanting to live together. I have 2 boys aged 8 and 12 whose mother I share week about care. My partner has 4 children - 22b, 19g, 17g and 9b. Her 22 year old boards at her rented house and her 19 year old lives with boyfriend and new baby nearby. The 17 and 9 year olds, who my partner has full custody, live with her at the rented property. We have been slowly increasing the nights at hers when my boys are with me.
One of the house rules laid down early in our relationship was that kids, under no circumstances at any time, are permitted in the master bedroom we share. It's not a rule at my own place nor has it ever been. This was a rule my partner had implemented as a solo parent because her bedroom became her only retreat. I can respect that and learnt the hard way it was a firm rule as my boys and I were evicted one evening when she found my youngest had come in for a kiss and hug goodnight when I was in there reading.
Moving on a few months I recently learned that her youngest shared her bed, on a night I was at my place with my own kids, because he had nightmares the previous evening. I raised the issue as inconsistent and it has created an argument. I feel she rules with an iron fist where my kids are concerned but with kid gloves in terms of her 9 year old. Of course my argument is that this inconsistency will not work living together. I felt that out of respect for the rule, me, and my boys, that she should have dealt with her son's discalm in his own room.

Am I being unreasonable?
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Old July 31st, 2013, 05:50 PM
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Re: Attila vs Gandhi

is this the only instance where it seems unfair or are there other examples



have your boys followed the rules/still learning?

did she bring her DS into the room or did he come in on his own (& is there an allowence for extenuating circumstances)
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Old July 31st, 2013, 06:37 PM
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Re: Attila vs Gandhi

If one child cannot enter the room to give his parent a kiss goodnight, then the other child should not have been given permission to sleep in the room in spite of the nightmare. You are right; the child should have been soothed in his own bed for consistency's sake.

And you are wise to address this now.
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Old July 31st, 2013, 06:40 PM
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Ben Evolent Ben Evolent is offline
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Re: Attila vs Gandhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by snafu View Post
is this the only instance where it seems unfair or are there other examples
There's more however this is the most recent and clear cut in my view.


Quote:
Originally Posted by snafu View Post
have your boys followed the rules/still learning?
There are other rules and I feel my boys are coping with change well. I also feel her kids are adapting well also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snafu View Post
did she bring her DS into the room or did he come in on his own (& is there an allowence for extenuating circumstances)
He made the appeal and she submitted. I consider a mitigating factor the light bulb in his room was blown. But that should not negate her going to his room as a better option.

I am mindful of laying it on the line here as I have spoilt my own boys to a degree following my marriage break up.

A few facts about her DS -
he has never known his parents together,
he slept in his mums bed until he started school,
he will not walk alone the short distance to his school which you can see from the balcony,
he will tell you his mum is his best friend and never mentions or brings friends from school,
he has an irrational fear of planes, trains, insects and having his head under water,
he plays no sports and will not get mud on his feet,
he has an accute sense of fairness,
he loves it when my boys come over and they squabble no more or less than I would expect.
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Old July 31st, 2013, 07:09 PM
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Re: Attila vs Gandhi

there are books with advice about how to blend families

recommendations

-both of you have one-on-one time with each of the kids (yeah - I know, but it doesn't have to be every time you get together ... one time you could take one kid to play at an archade, two weeks later she could take a different kid to play put put golf)

- do some family things together (zoo, beach, camping, water park .... lazy river might work for her youngest)



IMHO you should try to find some &/or get family/couples counciling ... because 2 different sets of rules for the kids not going to work (if her youngest has some sensory/attachment issues that may need to be delt with too)
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Old August 1st, 2013, 09:59 AM
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Re: Attila vs Gandhi

I looked thru my books - two I'd recommend are

The smart step-family (there is a whole series of books..the smart step-____)

I know you're not married, but the book "Saving your second marriage" might help too


Just remember, you both won't be "on the same page" at the same time
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 06:36 AM
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Re: Attila vs Gandhi

I don't understand the concept of the rule.

Quote:
...that kids, under no circumstances at any time, are permitted in the master bedroom...
Quote:
...her bedroom became her only retreat.
No doubt life is stressful but to make a solid core rule like that... I just don't get it.

Personally, I think that rule's going to fizzle out in time.

If my wife made a rule like that I would let her be the enforcer and I would blow it off and make it a simple "common sense" rule... Like: Kids don't need to be snooping in the nightstands, using the bed as a trampoline, climbing on dressers. A kid coming in to give a parent a kiss, or a kid having a bad dream and coming in during the middle of the night... kids are kids...

Quote:
A few facts about her DS -
he has never known his parents together,
he slept in his mums bed until he started school,
he will not walk alone the short distance to his school which you can see from the balcony,
he will tell you his mum is his best friend and never mentions or brings friends from school,
he has an irrational fear of planes, trains, insects and having his head under water,
he plays no sports and will not get mud on his feet,
he has an accute sense of fairness,
he loves it when my boys come over and they squabble no more or less than I would expect
<shrug> I don't see anything wrong with him. Children look for guidance and build their self-confidence with encouragement. My older grandson has been in swimming lessons for four years now. The first day of the first class he was afraid to get in the water so he sat on the edge of the pool. No amount of coaxing or encouragement to get him in the water worked. So there he sat. The second week he finally got in the water. As time passed, he felt more comfortable and confident. Four years later he's swimming laps in the big pool. I never discouraged him. I did my best to build him up from whatever accomplishment he did - no matter how small or insignificant it may have been to me. To him... it was big.

Be patient with the little ones. You'll never regret it.
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Old November 21st, 2013, 08:48 AM
asnoraford asnoraford is offline
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Re: Attila vs Gandhi

You are being quite reasonable. However, what you might need to change is the way you approach the conversation. People can quickly feel like they are being attacked leaving them to jump to the defensive very quickly depending on the way the issue is brought to their attention.

You are right that consistency is the key. You might try letting her know that any inconsistencies between the kids or between the two of you will lead to bigger issues down the road. In light of that, you simply want to make sure that you are both on the same page, so that none of the kids can use the inconsistencies to drive a wedge between the two of you - your relationship means to much to you. In the end, this could be a good entry point for the larger conversation about house rules in general. They will need to encompass both your needs and hers. If it is not a need, it should be put in the compromise category. The key is to work all these issues out ahead of time and away from the kids so that they only thing they see is the consistency and routine of the household.

All the best,
A.S. Noraford
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