need advice - dating a person with children

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from backbaybabe. Show backbaybabe's posts

    need advice - dating a person with children

    hey kiddies

    what is the protocol of dating a man with children?

    stay out of family issues entirely as they're NOT my children?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from bzorn22. Show bzorn22's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    Depends on how far the realtionship is going along. If you are questioning something he is doing with his kids I would tread very carefully there. If you marry or move in with this man you will be the stepmom and that is fraught with land mines. My advice would be to look upon yourself as a somewhat indulgent aunt.

    If you just need to talk about it to your BF then do it conversationaly rather than confrontationaly. Try to find out why he is interacting with them in the way that he is.

    Be careful here. Blood is thicker than mud.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from jkjband. Show jkjband's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    Depends on a lot of factors

    Is the kid doing harm to their selves or others you should

    Do you think the parent is making a mistake,  you would probably be shooting yourself in the foot ( many parents get very pissy when it involves their kid and someone else telling them what to do). 

    The length of how long you have been dating could make a difference. 

    Your in a no win situation that I think would be best if you stayed out of unless ,like I said above, it is life of death (or something close)
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from backbaybabe. Show backbaybabe's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    thank Bzorn

    we're living together and not with the children. i have been supportive of his relationship with the children and how he handles them, UP UNTIL RECENTLY. right before xmas to be exact.

    they treat him horribly, and he just takes it. he's not disciplining them and they treat him like utter garbage. they sass him and show him NO RESPECT whatsoever. he's basically an ATM to them...  ive offered my eye witness advice, but within the past weekend and yest, i find myself being confrontational and NOT supportive, as i hate to see him treated sooooo badly...i know he was brought up similiarly to how i was brought up, and his parents wouldnt never have taken it, and i hate to see him take it...

    should i just keep my mouth shut going forward? or offer "how is see it" advice?

    seriously, we had a huge blow up this morning(our first fight in 9 months) about how he should deal with the kids as i think he sould be instilling more discipline and he doesnt out of guilt from the divorce(btw, he asked for it as his wife cheated on him)

    oh and also, the children and i get along wonderfully, and they treat me with respect, so i know they know right from wrong. they're jsut pushing the envelope with dad to see how far they can get.


     
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  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from backbaybabe. Show backbaybabe's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    thanks guys... lils i do offer my opnion/advice... and its always just between us... but he's sooo frazzled at how they're treating him that it frazzles me...

    jk, thanks, i do know im in a no win situation and this could break our relationship as im soooo passionate and protective of my loved ones that i absolutely abhor when i see people being taken advantage of or abused or just plain disrespected.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from backbaybabe. Show backbaybabe's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    CHC - college guy has been out of the house for 3 yrs if not longer.. i thin closer to 4 or 5
    theyve been divorced for almost 4 seprateed for 6
     
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  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Jim-in-Littleton. Show Jim-in-Littleton's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    In Response to Re: need advice - dating a person with children:
    thank Bzorn we're living together and not with the children. i have been supportive of his relationship with the children and how he handles them, UP UNTIL RECENTLY. right before xmas to be exact. they treat him horribly, and he just takes it. he's not disciplining them and they treat him like utter garbage. they sass him and show him NO RESPECT whatsoever. he's basically an ATM to them...  ive offered my eye witness advice, but within the past weekend and yest, i find myself being confrontational and NOT supportive, as i hate to see him treated sooooo badly...i know he was brought up similiarly to how i was brought up, and his parents wouldnt never have taken it, and i hate to see him take it... should i just keep my mouth shut going forward? or offer "how is see it" advice? seriously, we had a huge blow up this morning(our first fight in 9 months) about how he should deal with the kids as i think he sould be instilling more discipline and he doesnt out of guilt from the divorce(btw, he asked for it as his wife cheated on him) oh and also, the children and i get along wonderfully, and they treat me with respect, so i know they know right from wrong. they're jsut pushing the envelope with dad to see how far they can get.
    Posted by backbaybabe


    IMO, you just need to keep in mind that while you can give all sorts of advice, you can't change the situation.  You can certianly outline ground rules if the kids are doing something destructive to the house (since it is a shared household) but you are sitting on the sideline as far as his relationship with his children goes.

    I'm in a somewhat similar situation (although we don't live together) and it isn't easy having to bite my lip when her child acts up and disrespects her but at the same time,  I don't see that I have any position to say anything to the child (who, in my case, is in her late teens).

    I do offer her advice/suggestions if she asks but, IMO, it is always her choice to follow up on that advice or not.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from jkjband. Show jkjband's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    There sound like there is a boatload of dynamics being played out and it  doesn't sound like all that much fun... good luck, I feel for you
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from backbaybabe. Show backbaybabe's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    ahhh jim, thanks

    he is living with me in my apartment, and the children rarely come into town, but when they do, they're always fine and well behaved.
    like i said, we all get along fabulously. its just when they interact with dad, they sass him sooooo badly, it makes me cringe...

    i am sitting on the sidelines, and realize my place. but what bothers me, as i stated earlier, is that when i see someone i love being hurt, it then HURTS me.
    and up until this past weekend, i was supportive, but now i have broken through to being honestly just plain old mad that he takes this carp...

    i would never in a million years say anything to the kids. i bite my lip, turn around, look the other way, look at my iphone, etcetc and just witness the abuse. and yes, it is verbal abuse. maybe not swears but lip that shouldnt be coming from someone younger when addressing an adult...


    we then discuss it later and all he says is"what am i supposed to do? im like not allowing the childrento treat you that way. plain and simple.... but its a merry go round conversation..


    question to you kiddies.... could kids ruin a relationship? i guess i could answer that myself. it could if i allow it, right?
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheRealJBar. Show TheRealJBar's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    Tricky one here BBB.  How old are the kids?  One approach you could take with him is that he is setting a bad example for them. By allowing them to abuse him, he's telling them that this is acceptable behavior toward adult and authority figures.  That's a big disservice to them.  Boundaries should be set by the parents, not by the children.

    All that being said though, they are his kids. And it's his dynamic to work out.  When Mr. JBar and I first got together his kids were great to him and dismissive of me.  One was out and out rude.  To me, in my own home.  They were 17, 19, 20 and 21 YO at the time.  I took it for one weekend for Mr. JBar's sake but the next time the 20 YO tried mouthing off I told her to take a frikking Midol and get off my back.  I'm now incredibly close with all of them and honestly the "troublemaker" is the one I closest to!  She was testing me to see what I'd put up with.  Your man's kids are testing him.  He owes them a reality slap. 
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from EnjoyEverySandwich. Show EnjoyEverySandwich's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    bbb:

    I think there is a lot going on here, and it's hard to give good advice without having been in the room with you when it happens.  Part of what's going on could be normal teen behavior.  Teenagers can be pains, there's no doubt about it!

    Maybe what you need to talk to your BF about is what are the rules?  What can you all (the kids too) agree is way over the line.  Maybe saying "NO, I don't wanna do that," is okay, because it's just a kid trying to exert some control over their lives.  But maybe anything that smacks of name calling is totally off-limits.

    The other thing -- and I say this as a stepparent myself -- is that while you cannot react as if you are these kids' mother, you  can react as one person to another.  Imagine that you are with a couple of friends and one of them says something insulting to the other.  It wouldn't be okay to scream at the offender, but it would be okay to gently say "Wow, that was a kinda mean thing to say, don't you think?"  Imagine you are their aunty -- you wouldn't jump in and send them to their room, but a well-placed and gentle admonishion can work wonders.  The key is for it to be gentle and not-too-frequent.

    The other possibilty would be to talk to them -- or to one of them at a time -- when you have them alone, along the lines of "I know you love your dad -- and boy does he love you! -- but it really bothers me when I hear you say "_____" to him."  Couch it totally in terms of how the behavior (not the person) makes you feel.  Maybe, "When I was a teen, I would never have dreamed of doing X to my dad, so I'm wondering what's going on here, because I don't really understand it."  You know, like you are just trying to get to know them better.  It gives them a chance to see how an outsider sees the situation, and maybe step outside their self-absorbed teenage mode for a minute.

    You're not going to win every battle, but perhaps if you and your BF could pick the ones that are most important, you'd have more success and the tension level could go down a bit.

    Hope some of this is helpful.  Like I said above, not knowing the situation in person, you'd have to take my advice like any other from a total stranger -- with a large dose of salt!  Good luck to you!

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from JeepersCripes. Show JeepersCripes's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    In the same boat bbbz-

    I think it happens in stages.

    #1 first dating, you can listen, but thats about it
    #2 more dating, you can listen and maybe even offer an opinion
    #3 once you are living together, you can have more say, remembering that you are not their mother, but that there are rules in your home. And there are rules of respect.

    Once you are at the stages of living together, you are assuming some sort of responsibility for the children and their upbringing. While I wouldnt go so far as diciplining (goodness help the woman that would a. end up with my ex, and b. attempt to dicipline jeepsjr), they also need to understand respect for their father and in turn you. And by disrespecting their father, they are disrespecting you.

    I think as long as you and CG are on the same page regarding parenting, then you will be ok. Talk to CG, ask him how he would feel if you pointed out to the kids their disprectful behavior and told them that it was unacceptable. Not only to their father, but to anyone. It gets very tricky and I am sure there will be mistakes made, boundries overstepped at times, but you are in it together and sounds like maybe he needs your help with this.

    I actually deal with this every time jeepsjr is here because his father basically has no rules and treats jeepjr like his friend yet when he is with me, there are definitely rules. He knows this, and of course tries to push them, but I have to stand my ground.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from backbaybabe. Show backbaybabe's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    you all aresooo awesome... thank you

    the kids are 19,17,13 and 11.

    i dont think the wife is bashing our situation at all as she hates him and has for a long time, hence the affair.
    she could care less. they dont even talk. 99% of parental communication is via texting(sooo mature of those two, NOT)

    i do realize that teenagers will be teenagers, but of course i was raised with learning how to respect my parents, otherwise id get a hand upside the head...
    nowadays, it seems like kids just pushing the envelope with their parents and the parents take it...
    i like Jbars approach.... which i will chat with college guy tonight about...

    we had a humungous fight over this this morning. so i need to address this now or it will just fester.

    i hate that our first fight in 9 months and its about the children... i feel horrible.

    but it really boils down to respect, which my parents sledge-hammered that into us and i hate to see anyone dis-respected...

    oh tonight's discussion will not be fun... we both left in a tizzy this morning

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    BBB - I think JBar & Lily make excellent points that their behavior might be age-related and that they may grow out of it.  Also, in a weird way, they're treating him this way because they love him and know he loves them, so it's safe.  He's familiar and will always be there for them.

    Also, even though it's been several years since the separation and divorce, the kids are probably STILL angry.  Sad to say, but it could take a long time for that anger to go away.  My guess is they won't be able to fully forgive their parents for the divorce until the kids are adults themselves and capable of seeing their parents both as parents and as adults who are flawed.  Basically, they will probably still be angry about the divorce until they get to a point in their lives that they realize the divorce and everything that followed wasn't about them.

    Other than that I think all you can do at this point is to let him know that it really bothers you to see them treat him badly, and that while unfortunate, divorce happens and sometimes it really is for the better.  And, no matter what, he will always be their father.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    {{BBB}}  I hate having big blow out arguments.  I spend the whole day just feeling tense and anxious, and all with that sinking feeling in my stomach.  I'm sure the two of you will be able to work something out.

    I had the respect thing hammered into me, too, and I hardly ever back talked my parents.  When I see kids in the store being total brats to their parents I am horrified.  I was at a conference once and I saw a teenager being smart alecky with an older woman and I wanted to scold him.  I didn't, since I, um, don't have much experience dealing with teens and I probably would have lost the fight, but if I wanted to smack the kid for mouthing off to an acquaintance I can't even begin to fathom how I'd feel if it was Mr. Cent.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from backbaybabe. Show backbaybabe's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    wow, you all are offering such wonderful advice. and advice that i have actually already have thought of. i was just wondering where my boundires lie...

    but to EES, i actually did have a moment this weekend with the 13yo where we were buying a pretty expensive piece of athletic wear, and the kid makes a snide remark to his father, so un-characterisitcally of me, i blurt out" bobby, be nice to your father, he's buying you an awefully expensive so-so"
    i then apologized in front of the kids and CG said, no BBB you're right... but i, for that moment had enough sass/snark for one day and just blurted that out... but it was in a nice tone. i just think i should have kept my mouth shut...but i know when things get to a boiling point for me, and i just sit back and watch someone being taken advantage of or sassed at, i then open up my trap....

    Jeeps, thanks. im going to have a chat tonight and will bring up all the points you have all offered me...

    thanks kiddies...
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from TwoCentDonation. Show TwoCentDonation's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    In Response to Re: need advice - dating a person with children:
    The kids are teenagers.  The ex wife hates him.  The kids hear that.  You're naive if you think she isn't talking trash.  They are stuck in the middle.Posted by Lily87


    AGREE!!!

    She may not be telling them to be mean to their dad, but I'm sure they are picking up on her feelings towards him.  It wouldn't take much - a look of disdain here, a snide remark there - add that to normal teenage rebellion and you've some major backtalk brewing.

    Man, I really hope my parents appreciate just how good they had it with me...
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from backbaybabe. Show backbaybabe's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    In Response to Re: need advice - dating a person with children:
    the kids are 19,17,13 and 11. i dont think the wife is bashing our situation at all as she hates him and has for a long time, hence the affair. BBB - All the info you need is right there. The kids are teenagers.  The ex wife hates him.  The kids hear that.  You're naive if you think she isn't talking trash.  They are stuck in the middle.  I suggest giving them some (unstated) understanding around this.  Reinforce positive like "hey your Dad is having such a great time with you guys here today" etc etc. It's hard because you love CG so much.  But please try.
    Posted by Lily87


    thanks Lils

    i always reinforce positive affirmation around the kids regarding their father. been doingthat from the get go...
    but you are probably right about ex bashing him at home...
    i know for one he doesnt do it re: her in front of the kids... he swore to himself that he never would, and at least in my presence, has kept that promise to never bash the ex.

    even though she's worth every bashing she gets.... one thing is, i didnt like her in college and i most certainly dont like her now.... the old goat didnt change one iota....
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from JeepersCripes. Show JeepersCripes's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    I have no doubt you two will figure it out.....it really comes down to less about discipline and more about what is acceptable and unacceptable. You guys live together now, you do have some say in how the kids behave in your home and when you guys are together. I dont think you piping in with that comment was inappropriate at all. I am sure if it were a nephew or a close friends child, you may have done the same thing.

    The line I use with jeepsjr that always stops him short is, " Jeepsjr, when you do/or say that, it really disappoints me."

    Understanding too, it has to be hard for the kids, different homes, different set of rules :) Kids use a lot of patience, hang in there, you guys will get through it just fine!
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from jkjband. Show jkjband's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    I have 2 kids in that age group and that is the way they are.  When I get them alone they are much better.  When they are with each other or with their friends it becomes show time let's see how we can push mom and dad to show who's really in charge.  I think your best bet is try taking them on one at a time (talk to their dad first and tell him what you intend to do, and make sure he's ok with it) and tell them that it upsets you that they are acting like brats.   You'll probably get 2 - 3days till they start acting like jerks again.... Don't get pissed it's the age.  did I mention that my hair is going gray.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from backbaybabe. Show backbaybabe's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    OMG, you all have so much excellent advice... thank you!!!! really, i mean that... its been bothering me all day. i knew i could count on you all!!!
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from EnjoyEverySandwich. Show EnjoyEverySandwich's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    bbb:

    I had (at least one!) moment where I lost it with my stepdaughter.  At the moment I felt pretty good about it, because I felt like I was finally saying something, but my DH was not pleased.

    On the plus side, in the long run, it was not that big a deal -- what I mean is that my daughter and I are on very good terms now, so what seemed like a huge stressful moment at the time (and it was huge and stressful) is all water under the bridge now.

    In hindsight though, it would have been better if I'd stated my point just a smidgeon more calmly.  ;)  Which is why I recommend thinking it out and actually having a conversation with them during a calm moment along the lines of "It bothers me when...."

    But as others have said teens will be teens, and envelope pushing is what they do, so celebrate the little victories when you get 'em.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from backbaybabe. Show backbaybabe's posts

    Re: need advice - dating a person with children

    EES, oh soo true.... little victories each time...and seeing that this is still in the infancy stage of our relationship, i guess i'll be having all sorts of little victories along the way. as long as i play MY cards right..

    its funny, but it seems like i was never a tween or teen as i cant remember how i acted up...
    maybe because my brother and i didnt as we knew mom would use the couch swatter above the oven or dad would ground us for what seemed like eternity...
    dont get me wrong, we both tested their limits, but never did we ever show them any dis-respect verbally.
     
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