104 Answers

Hi mouth of mums! I was hoping for some advice, I have a three and a half year old. His father and I are no longer together, so he travels between houses. He lives with me and visits dad on the weekend. However recently everything I ask him to do even as little as putting a jumper on I get a five minute tantrum and “I don’t have to do that at daddy’s house” or “I like daddy’s jumpers not yours” I’ve tried explaining to my little boy that daddy’s house has different rules to mummy’s and all that but none of that seems to work! Just wondering if anyone else has been in this situation and have any hints. Thank you.

Posted by anon, 26/06/2013

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  • This is a tough one, and will work best if you and your ex are on the same page. Firstly, as little as possible should be different between the rules at each house – that’s a lot for a youngster to remember. If you and your ex could negotiate an agreed set of rules, even through a third party, and have a print out to refer to, it would help enormously. Second, go through any areas of difference and highlight the benefits – for example, you might have pancakes for breakfast on Sundays. It is not a rule, and therefore not an inconsistency, but it will help him to see ‘what’s in it for him’. Third, you could have a doorway rule change ceremony when he arrives at your house: an item of clothing or a prop is ideal – appeal to his interests (a character he loves on a slapband, or something like that). ‘Welcome home, Sir Knight! Since bedtime is 6:30pm in this realm, would you prefer your dinosaur pajamas or your knight pajamas?’ You are presenting the rule, but distracting with a meaningless choice that gives him a sense of control.

    It’s a hard situation. Good luck!

  • The only advise I can give for that age group is consistency. Be consistent with what you say and don’t waver from it. Continually explain ‘different houses, different rules.’ Wait until the tantrums subside and reinforce you rules again. Hopefully it will eventually sink in. Good luck.

  • No advice sorry but big hugs! It cannot be easy!

  • Maybe have a chat with your ex and explain it to him what is happening so he can take some of the responsibility off you and be a little more helpful in the discipline area. Hopefully it’s just a stage and he will adjust.

  • At 3 yrs old he doesn’t really understand if it is just a 5 min tantrum let him go through it and move on. you stick you your rountine.

  • I think the trick here is to talk to him together u and his dad, ( hopefully you get along) and both explain different thigns at different houses

  • i think daddy might spoil him ..

  • Let your ex know and get him to tell your child he must be good for mum and do as she asks … or get your ex to do what u are doing … communication

  • How is he going now?

  • What a difficult situation. I think you need to stick to your guns and also find positive things that happen at mummy’s house that might not happen at daddys so that you can also respond with that.

  • i hope it has worked out

  • Hope you found the answer you were looking for.

  • You need to just say, daddy has rules and so do I and they sometimes are different but you have to abide by them

  • Hope you found the hints that you needed

  • I agree that as parents try to set the same rules.

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