Help! My partner won’t discipline!

Adele Cornish, BSW

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A frequent complaint I hear from many stepfathers and stepmoms is their partner will not discipline their own children. If this is an issue in your blended family too, read on…

When you choose a partner who has children of their own, ideally you are choosing to accept that these children will become a significant part of your step family life too (even if it’s by default). I always recommend that as a couple, you decide together on rules and responsibilities within the home and present a united front to children. Here’s how it works for some:

“We have a fairly strong relationship and because we always try to talk about what we do and how we react with his children makes me love him even more. It isn’t easy by any shadow of doubt but we work at it because our relationship is so important to us both.” Kate A

“I love my husband completely, that’s why I am in this relationship and put up with the sometimes difficult times of being a step parent. Sometimes we disagree on how to parent the kids, but we work hard to come to an agreement over issues before addressing the kids.” DGF

Sometimes this approach isn’t possible, particularly if your partner does not welcome your input or want to change the status quo for fear of making their child ‘miserable’. You may be one of the many stepfathers or stepmothers who have discovered that given the choice, you would parent those children very differently to the way your partner (the bio parent) does. You’ve discovered you can’t force your ways upon your partner and his or her children and even raising the topic causes more tension and resentments.

Click here to continue reading Part 2 and discover what others in this position have done