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OT-children from previous marraige

Is there some way to handle children from a previous marraige? My bf and I have been together almost 3 years and we have a great relationship. He has custody of his girls (5 and 7) every other weekend. Normally I would see his kids for a short period of time on the weekends he has them. Lately we have been talking more and more about moving in together/marraige. So he has been bringing his kids around more. They have poor manners (don't wash hands after eating, don't say excuse me, jump on furniture, and yell at eachother and fight). He does try to teach them but because he only has them every other weekend they feel like his rules are mean. Also they are far behind in their schooling (can't read, write, do math) but he feels there is nothing he can do about it because he only has them every other weekend. They stay up until midnight and have a hard time going to school the next day and learning.

Has anyone had a similiar situation? How did you handle it? I don't want to sound like I am putting his ex-wife down or their parenting down but the kids need much more structure. I don't know if moving in together or marraige is a good idea because his kids are so out of control.

Sun. Sep 2, 10:57am

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I think the best idea is to just bring this up with your husband. Even begin it with a disclaimer (Look, I don't want to put down your previous marriage or your ex wife, I'm just trying to help) and tell him that if you guys were to move in together, you wouldn't know how to handle it. Possibly suggest that he calls his exwife to speak to her about it (even if they don't get along that well, maybe they can come to an agreement for the sole sake of their children) If all else failts, you might want to suggest asking that he takes sole custody of teh children since his exwife isn't doing anything good for them

I mean, 5 and 7 years old and can't read? That's blatant disregard from the parents. Also, suggest to him that he might want to sit down and talk with his children and explain that you also can set rules when you guys live together, and they have to listen to you.

Those kids need some tough love - lol if only I could fed-ex my own mother to you lol - she puts boot camp to shame and those kids would be straighter than a rod in a day lmao XD

Good luck!

Sunday, September 02, 2007, 1:00 PM

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Please if there is anything I could suggest more it is compassion. These girls did not choose this lifestyle or to be from a broken home. They may not be yours but they deserve as much love and time with their father as possible. Love, understanding and compassion are what is required in this situation. Do what you can to teach and show love without judging and punishing them for the life their parents have chosen for them.

Monday, September 03, 2007, 11:44 AM

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They may not be hers but they need to learn some respect and manners. If they aren't being taught at their mothers house then you BF needs to step up and instill still rules. If you are planning on moving in or marriage you become an instant step mom and there is no reason why these kids should be listening. Fighting between them you probably won't be able to do anything about siblings fight, but the other stuff you can help with. Sit down with your BF and talk to him, find out what he wants your role in his kids lives to be, tell him what you think and discuss the manner issues. You don't want to end up making yourself the bad step mom but you also should have some respect. Why in the hell are these kids up so late on school nights? This your BF needs to address with his ex.

Monday, September 03, 2007, 10:48 PM

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I think that it is important for you to consider that when you move in with (or marry) this guy, you are getting his baggage too. THis includes his ill behaved children (and his ex-wife). Even though he only has custody every other weekend, these children are his, were in his life before you were, and he has a responsibility to be a father and parent 24/7...not just on the weekends when he has physical custody. This is especially important to think about if you want children of your own with him.

I would advise making sure that conversations about his children are a MAJOR focus of your conversations about living together/getting married. I hate to sound unkind, but IMO he has major responsibilities to the children BEFORE putting his interests/life, a new partner, etc. into the mix. He can be more involved and a better father and parent w/out full custody, even with a difficult relationship with his ex. This is the LIFE ALTERING responsibility that comes with the decision to have children. Any excuses from him otherwise are just that, excuses.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007, 10:44 AM

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as i understand it, he is referring his lack of involvement with his children's well-being to his custody arrangement. this shows a real knack for avoiding taking responsibility for his children and blaming other sources: the courts, the ex-wife...but not himself. if he was more concerned about their welfare and not his ego, by way of keeping the children "happy" albeit out-of-control when they visit and not imposing "mean" rules, he could invest some time in providing them with much needed manners to start...for example, you could host a formal-style dinner when they visit and explain the intricacies involved: napkin on lap, proper utesnil use, how to indicate if you don't like something being offered to you politely, how to excuse oneself before leaving table, clearing plates of elders once everyone has finished their meals...then move on to proper etiquette when you are a visitor in someone else's home. have each child pretend to be the hostess. have her explain where things are kept (towles in linen closet, dirty clothes in hamper, comforter in chest, etc.) and also have them detail their expectations regarding who does the dishes after dinner or who vacuums or who makes beds...and you can follow up with asking them about their expectations when they are the guests...what activities would they like to participate in when visiting? what new foods would they like to try to prepare with you and their father? do they want to go to macy's and try on clothes one day? i think by teaching through example and showing interest in their likes and dislikes, you will see more results that have a longer lasting effect than if you try to teach them manners and such in a formal lesson format. and you will learn more about them as individual children rather than just unruly might-become step children who burden you emotionally with their needs that have remained unmet as of now.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007, 12:33 PM

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