Don't know what to do - FamilyEducation
Don't know what to do
12/12/2007 at 19:21 PM

This will probably be very long so please bear with me. I am lost and don't know what to do. I have moved in with a man whom I love very much and plan to marry as soon as my divorce is final. Problems seem to arise with kids. His and mine. My kids blame him or me and their daddy not being together, and their daddy is not helping by telling them they don't have to do what J says. There are times when I have tried to go back to school and have a part time job that J has to watch them. They terrorize him. Talk back and simply do not listen to what he says. My kids had behavior problems before mine and his divorce even started. I don't know what to do. I do time outs and it doesn't work, i have spanked and it doesn't work either. I feel lost. Now the kids have decided everyone wants to move in with their dad since he just bought a bigger house than what I have. Thats not gonna work for much longer. Ex cannot take care o kids properly. He was gonna send 3 yr old to school with dirty shirt on. So for now I watch them at night there so that I won't have to pay child support as I have no job. Its putting a terrible strain on mine and J's relationship as we never see each other since I'm over here every night. What I need is advice on how to get them to be better behaved not so rowdy and less mouthy to adults. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Mom of 5

I know this is going to sound harsh and judgmental.  Your kids aren't showing respect for the authority of a man who their mom is living with before she is divorced from their dad. 

What do you show respect for?


I guess that I might deserve that. I had no choice but to let him move in or the kids would not have had a roof over their head. Their dad walked out. I have never worked until now. I'm sorry when I chose to have have five kids I thought I would be married forever, never the single mom. It was always decided that I would be mom first. I was lost and didn't know what what to do. I had no one to depend on after hubby left. But thanks for making me feel even worse...Its like I can't go any lower as a mom or a person. oh well, thats what I get or asking or advice...

Do you have siblings, parents, or church people who could help you?  It takes a while to get wages garnished/etc when a divorce is taking place, but daddy just bought a house so there have to be some resources you could access.  I have a hard time believing that things at daddy's house really are worse for the kids than putting them in a situation with a new lover--how long have you known him?  He also has little value for marriage, as evidenced by him hooking up with a woman who is legally married.  That is questionable behavior.  I hope you deserve better.


Okay well i know that this might seem alittle mean but.... What i think about this is you should get a job of some kind and put them in school (preschool) for free! Also think about the respect no child is going to be perfect nobody is. So if they really disrespect you all i say you should punish them and not your boyfriend because you got to understand were the father is coming from i mean would you want some other lady besides your family beat on them? So you shouldn't really be to mad at the father because you have to understand. I know how it is I had to take care  of my brother and sister. How old are all of your children? 


Misty, I feel for you on this. Behavioral problems coupled with the stress of divorce is not easy.

First I will address J. J has a lot to deal with. J will have to earn the respect of the children. In any household the parents should demand respect. Relationships between parent and child require less work. The parent child relationship is one of unconditional love. J first has to win the children over. If J starts out trying to be a disciplinarian, he has already lost. Gaining the trust of the children, as well as their respect, will work wonders. J needs to try some alone time with one or two kids at a time. To have all the kids at once puts J in the position as the overseer, rather than allowing him to interact with the kids in a positive manner. To have 5 children together against one person, who they have no respect for, can turn in to a game to the children. They feed off of each others negative energy. Have J get out the fishing poles and take one or two kids fishing with him, throw a ball back and forth, go feed the ducks (every city has ducks somewhere). Anything that he can do with one or two kids at a time will work wonders. This will open dialogue between J and the kids and after some time they will begin to trust him. J needs to present himself to the children as open, caring, and available, but with definite boundaries. I always say that parents need to be parents first, and friends second. With a stepparent I think it is the opposite, they need to make friends first.

How can a new relationship work when you are not there? If your final parenting plan says that the kids will live with you, why are they living with Dad? If this is the scenario that is being played out it is a sign of why the children have discipline problems. The adults are to say where the kids will go and with whom they will stay. This is not a decision for kids to make. Why have you allowed the kids make this decision? No wonder these kids feel that they run the show; it’s because they do. Now your ex has the kids with him, and is still controlling you at the same time. You stay there as a way to not pay child support. Let me guess, while you ex is gone do you clean the house for him? Your ex has the best of both worlds, free daycare, and he still controls you. You need to break this unhealthy cycle before he has enough to prove to the court that you are unfit to take care of the kids on your own. These kids need a stable environment with rules and boundaries. These kids need to know that they are not in charge. I wish you and your kids the best of luck.


I don't know what to do I am kind of in a bad spot I live with my fiance and I have 2 kids with him 2 years ols and 4 months old. I also have a 8 year old by another father. My fiance takes care of all of us well, but my oldest daughter and him have a lot of propblems. We have been together since she was four, but he treats her different then his own. I guess I wouldn't mind if he didn't make it so obvious but he does. She has become very depressed and lazy the last year or so. I am supposed to get married in July but I am scared only because I don't want to damage my daughters life even more. I just need to know what I should do or say to my 8 year to make her feel more loved or something. If you have any advise please let me know.


Get professional help for your daughter and family. It is NOT good for your 8 y/o to be depressed. Go to the school or your local child mental health service as quickly as possible. Good luck!