Forums » Parenting / Fertility

How to bring up the issue of different parenting styles

    • 38 posts
    November 7, 2011 10:14 PM GMT

    I am engaged to an amazing woman, and we live together for half the year (the other half I am in Australia – it’s complicated!). Anyway, she has a nine year old son who I love, and he has accepted me really well and is mostly okay with me being a woman.


    I am just having issues with his behaviour, he sometimes gives a fair bit of attitude, and doesn’t give me any respect – he does the same to his mother and grandparents, although not as much, but doesn’t really get punished for it. He usually says 'just kidding' or stuff and gets away with a fair bit. I was brought up to be polite, always use manners etc and even though I know he is a nine year old boy, I still struggle a little with his attitude.


    I want to talk to my fiancee about it, butI feel like she sometimes tends to take his side, or when I get frustrated with his behaviour she takes it to think I don't like him, which is totally not true, I do love him as if he were my own son. He once wanted a new toy and the three of us agreed on guidelines (he had to keep his room tidy, clean up after his meals, not needing reminders etc) but she never really stuck to them and when I tried, I end up as the bad guy.


    It worries me about what it will be like when we are married, and living together 24/7. We plan on having another two kids together, and I do feel confident that we can get our parenting styles to meld then, it's more now with her 9 year old son.


    I don't know how to bring this up to my fiancee without it seeming like I don't like her son, and I don't want her to think that I am criticizing her parenting either - she is a great mom, we are just different in how we discipline.


    Any advice would be hugely appreciated!

    • 759 posts
    November 9, 2011 5:38 PM GMT
    Hey lovely,

    I went out with a woman who had 2 young children.

    I was lucky because on the whole we shared ideas on discipline, acceptable behaviour etc.

    I think if I were in your position I would try to talk to her as tactfully as possible and with lots of positives added in but really would try to get across how I felt.

    Now is the time rather than when you're living together full time.

    Good luck - am sure it's the right thing to do.

    Jane. x
    • 38 posts
    December 1, 2011 2:12 AM GMT
    Thanks for the response Jane :)

    I ended up kinda skating around the issue a bit, and then a week later I flew back to Australia for the next five months.

    But I have been doing some research into parenting, and second parent discipline and all that fun stuff, and I am determined to be a lot more firm next year, when I get back there in May. We will only be living together for five months, then hopefully my last return to Australia for another 6 months, so I can practice before it comes permanant.

    But if anyone else has ideas, feel free to offer some advice! :) x