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All over the place

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All over the place



I am very new to parenting someone else's children.  I had a toxic marriage of my own in which I ended up single parenting my four children.  I have recently made the move to live with another man who has twin girls aged 7.  Their mother left them and moved interstate when they were only three.  They have had only one face to face visit with her since she left and she calls them every few weeks for about 3 mins until something else is more important or she's had enough.  Their mother has two other children to another man. It's sad because they live for the moments when she calls.


The girls crave love from me and I am happy to give it although my partner's parenting style and mine are very different.  I am far more strict then he is and offer consequences where I find he says one thing and does another or renegs on it ie "No you cant" and then later says they can.  It is driving me crazy and he says it's ok that I parent different to him but I told him that's not going to set a good example to the girls.  They need reinforced boundaries.  Although he never contradicts my parenting with them on the few occasions it has happened.  I find the girls to be sweet, kind and loving despite the hardships they have known but also very entitled and spoiled. Is it normal for 7-8yr old to ask a lot of questions?  these girls never stop and they cant hold their tongue or mind their own business.  Most kids, from what I remember of my own, were never that interested in what the parent was doing, only where they were going.  These kids are the nosiest kids I have ever met.


I'm incredibly frustrated and bordering hostile or shutting down and locking myself away so I dont have to deal with them.  We live together so its kind of hard to get away from them. 


I am also wondering how other step parents feel they fit into the heirarchy in the beginning?  Do they come second to the partner's children or equal first with them?  I dont know what to do or think  about any of this.  Sorry for the long spiel, i just needed to talk.  Thank you



Re: All over the place

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Hello @JulieM , just thought I would pop in and offer some advice whilst waiting for some support from other members. It sounds like you are in quite a tough situation at the moment. Conflicting parenting styles can be so hard to manage as I am sure there are both pros and cons to each style. I can understand your concern about giving the girls reinforced boundaries as consistency is important. It sounds like you have already had some discussion with your partner about this, but you might find having another discussion to be helpful. Being on the same page with parenting and boundaries is a really important aspect for the children to experience. I can hear that you have some concerns regarding your role as a step parent, we have some articles about blended families that you might find to be useful. Here is a link to one that discusses setting rules in a blended family. It mentions having a discussion with the children with yourself and your partner leading the meeting, so it might be useful to have a read of that article before chatting with your partner to try and get on the same page. If you are looking for further support, we also offer free parenting support from a professional through a collaboration between ReachOut Australia and The Benevolent Society. Through this you can talk to skilled family professionals who will work with you to find effective parenting tools and strategies to suit your child’s particular needs and your unique family situation. I have attached a link here if you are interested and want to learn more. Hope this helps!