child rearing help!!!


10 Years
Aug 17, 2009
Plant City, FL
First off let me say this, I do not have any kids of my own. My DH has 4 from a previous marriage and I think of them as my kids. They come over every other Thursday and stay until Wednesday when my DH takes them to the bus stop.

They are 16 y/o girl, twin 14 y/o girls, and a 6 y/o boy. The twins are not his paternally but since he helped raise them, they are his. The oldest and the youngest respect me. The twins on the other hand are getting more disrespectful as time goes on. They used to be very good but all of a sudden their attitudes have changed so drastically that I want to strangle them.

I try not to reprimand the children, my DH's SIL gave me a lecture how it's his responsibility and not mine. I only get involved in situations when they talk back to their dad (which I can't stand) or when they make comments under their breathe (for some reason I hear those very clearly) or when they are rude to me. My DH's ex-wife had a boyfriend who beat the children.. but yet I am wrong to want to say anything when they talk back to me, and I shouldn't raise a hand to "her" kids.. double standards, don't you love them!

Whenever the kids are rude to me, my DH has stopped saying anything. Well, I don't think he's ever really said anything to defend me. I am not the type to take abuse from anyone and I do have sort of a sarcastic undertone in everything I say. For example: Them- "Megan your hair looks greasy." Me-"Well, it's wet and you would know what wet/clean hair would look like if you showered more often." I can't help myself w/ come backs. That is how I grew up and that's how my family is with each other.

I told my DH that we need to take the internet and the TV away from them when they treat me like this. When you yell at them all they do is laugh and that's not solving the problem. I try to take things away from them but my DH doesn't think I am being fair since they are "only being kids." When I was their age I was doing all my own laundry, doing the dishes every night, and getting straight A's (which isn't that much I realize). All they do is lounge around and eat all the food, hog the TV, and don't even know how to fold socks.

How do you reprimand only 2 children out of 4? Taking the TV away is not fair to the 6 y/o and no internet also hurts the 16 y/o.

Please help if you can!
I would only get involved if they were being disrespectful to you. Dont worry if they are disrespectful to your DH..thats his problem.
IF they are disrespectful to you punish them. They are in your house...they need to respect you or get punished. period. Punish them any way you see fit (besides spanking them..) take away thhings they let them on the computer... dont let them use the phone to call friends...dont let them go anywhere with friends.. but if you punish have to punish them every cant do it one day...and not the next..
Good luck! sounds like DH needs to step up..
Thank you redhen. I really appreciate any help.

I told him he needs to step up but he think he will drive them away if he does anything they don't like too often.

I don't have a problem punishing the every time they do things. I took many behavior based psych. classes in college so I know all about that sorta fun stuff.
Unfortunately, DH thinks it all a load of crap.
I can't get the link to work so here is the web site as it appears in my browser address.
is a long list of exetiquette questions you will just need to scan through them and hopefully you will find something. Check it out. I have read similar things in this column even though I am not a ex but their advice is good for anyone. Hope it helps and you find something.
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Yeah I changed the post I couldn't get the link to work but if I type it into my browser bar it took me right to the site and the page I want you to see.
The problem is not between you and the children. The problem is between you and your DH.

You need to sit down with him and explain that you both must act as a team when providing guidance and discipline to the children. He needs to understand that by undermining you, he's slowly but surely destroying not only your credibility with the children but his relationship with you (which is probably the conscious or unconscious motivation for much of the childrens' recent behavior)

Develop a set of reasonable guidelines for the behavior and discipline of the children, and when the time comes, both of you must act together and in agreement.

If your DH won't take the time to talk to you on this subject, it may be time to see a professional...either a councilor or a lawyer, your choice.
I'd try something different. Coming back to their smart remarks with smart remarks of your own is playing right into their hands.

It's hard, but try to not react and change the topic. You are the adult. Rise above it.

If you have to have the last word, then spin it into something positive, like you didn't understand it was supposed to be an insult.

Can't help you with the fact that they eat everything in sight. That's teenagers.
my dd is from my first marriage and we have problems with this kinda thing too sometimes. my dh is always getting upset with me for not being hard enuf on dd. but i miss her alot and i dont know, i dont think it is bad enuf to yell about all the time, soetimes i put it off to "venting" on her part, so i can kinda relate to what Your dh is having problems with. sometimes , well alot of the time, I think my dh is too hard on her Becuase she doesnt live with us 24/7. But in the same breathe, i NEVER ever let her say ANything disrespectful to her stepdad. she has learned her boundries and Yes she tests them alot, but she Knows them and doesnt get any slack, not Even the first night here after being with her dad for a long time. she knows the rules, theres no "grace period" of adjustment.

anyways i have an idea for getting them to behave without punishing the other 2, send the ones in trouble to bed early. i do this with dd when her attitude starts to stink and she starts up with "i like my dads better" i dont care if it is 5pm and i am making dinner, its get the jamas on now and after dinner, go to sleep. Period. it works and doesnt punish my others. she doesnt start screaming or hollaring or anything anymore, cuz i just go in and take other things away. she starts screaming, i shut her door, which she doesnt like. she starts banging the walls, i take her blankets, after that i ll go make her stand for a while if she keeps it up, it has Never gotten past that tho. when she starts crying about her legs hurting, i just say nice and calm, well if your ready to sleep you can lay down once your done fussing. shes only 10 tho. i figure the bed thing is good for 14yos cuz its kinda treating them like kids, and if theyre teasing and name calling, well thats how Little kids act, so punish accordingly.

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