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Joined: Feb 2002
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It's been a while since I posted anything. I've been divorced from cheating ex-wife for 7 years. The problem I have is that our parenting styles are so different. I believe she is so easy on our two kids (12 & 15) because of a guilt complex about her affair. She ended up marrying the guy and she doesn't want the kids to hold any ill feelings towards her for what she did. We split custody evenly so it's difficult to "re-train" the kids every other week after theyed lived with their mother. She gives in all the time and it totally goes against what I am trying to teach my kids along with my new wife of 4 years. My ex is constantly complaining that I won't work with her on parenting issues but I just can't agree with what she is doing. It goes against my principles to give in to the kids for everything. I don't think the kids respect their mother for it either.

Any suggestions to help me deal with the differences?


Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have. Me 38, 2 kids (12 & 9) Married 10 yrs, together 12 yrs D day 12/19/01 Divorced 11/02 2nd Marriage started 12/05 I am the person I need to be and life has a whole new meaning. Thank you Dr. Harley!
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Not sure if this will help or not since it's a slightly different scenario but this is what I did with my mother. I was a single parent for a few years when DS was very young, so frequently my mom would look after him for me. I actually lived with my parents for a few months when I first escaped my XH. Anyway, despite raising me with plenty of rules and discipline, my DS could have and do anything he wanted. She even bought him toys I was vehnemously opposed to and let him watch violent tv, fed him high sugar junk food etc. There was virtually nothing I could do to stop her and I always felt I had to deprogram my kid a day for every hour he spent with her. I was even beginning to question whether I should continue to let her take care of him, but as a single mom I didn't have the money for daycare and I needed to work.

Anyway, when he was old enough to talk and comprehend, I started to teach him that he had to follow the rules of the house, and the rules were set by the boss of the house. So I was the boss in my house and Grandma was the boss in her house. He was not allowed to play with guns at my house so if Grandma bought him toy guns he had to leave them there. He was not allowed pop at my house but if Grandma said ok at her house, then he had it. On the one hand, I had to suck it up and allow him to do these things, but on the other hand, he easily respected my rules at home and the transition from place to place became very smooth. Not only that, but if we went to someone else's house, he would quickly figure out who the boss was and instantly adapt to their rules. It is something he carries with him today as a 21 year old adult - I have always been told how polite he is by others. Part of it is that he knows immediately that different households are going to have different ways of doing things and habits that he's used to at home may not apply.

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Your kids are way old enough for you to be discussing this all logically with them. I raised my D19 on logic, and so far, she has never steered wrong - it simply makes no sense to. My H asked her once why she doesn't get in trouble all the time like her friends (who were always getting grounded for this or that), and she just said 'Why should I? It's stupid to do something you know you'll get punished for. Nothing is that important.'

I 100% believe she is like that because since she was little, I talked to her about everything from a logic standpoint.

If you date that boy who has dumped 3 girls in one month, what do you think is going to happen?
He'll dump me, too?
Probably. Is it that important to say you went out with him, when you're pretty sure you'll break up in a week?
No, not really.

Or...
So it looks like Jennifer has now progressed from pot to pills. And now she's failing math and hanging out with Bill and the other druggies, just like we discussed happens when you start on drugs - the progression. (she tells us all this stuff) What are you going to do about it?
Well, I told her I can't be friends any more if she's going to choose drugs, but that I wish she'd just try to do without them, cos I want to still be friends. She just said too bad.
Does that make you feel bad?
It hurts my feelings, but I'd much rather find a friend who thinks friendships come before crazy stuff like that.

Thing is, kids are sponges. If you talk to them as equals (at your kids' ages), let them know your fears, your experiences, your expectations...they want to hear it all. They want to learn, and their parents are the two people they trust the most to know the 'truth'. So just keep providing it. Basically just start talking out loud, all the time, and invite them to chime in.

One thing that worked the absolute best for me was to take regular walks with D19, when I'd get home for work. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a week. It was a non-threatening way (you're not facing each other, thus no confrontation) to get off your chest your stuff, and listen to what your parent has to say, without it having to be a 'lesson.' And nothing is more uncool than a lesson! wink

We had a dog, so we had an excuse to walk the dog, but after awhile, she just wanted to walk. And boy would she get mad if H called me in the middle of HER time, lol!

Joined: Jun 2002
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Quote:
Any suggestions to help me deal with the differences?


Yeah. Turn it loose. You will have a long hard battle trying to change the way she parents.

My suggestion is to turn your attention to your children. They are old enough to know right from wrong with regards to their behavior. There is no rule to suggest that you can't punish them for misbehavior that occurred while they were with the other parent. You are still their parent, regardless of who they happen to be with at the time.

If you happen to be the disciplinary parent, then embrace it. Let them know that what happens at mom's may have consequences with dad. If they are allowed to feel like they can "get away with stuff" at mom's, then they are playing you like a fiddle.

jmo


ba109

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