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I feel like the children (3 and 6 year old) don’t listen to me and feel like they can run all over me. I’ve been in their lives for almost 3 years now. When should I expect that they will just treat me normally. Does anyone else have this issue?


Posted by emilysanfead, 30th June 2014


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  • Have you asked your husband/partner talk to them about it at all?
    Do they live with their Mum part of the time or see her at all? Is there a possibility that there is some “bad mouthing” coming from somewhere? e.g.
    Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles, Cousins, friends etc. The 3 y.o. may be copying the 6 y.o. or it may just be a stage he/she is going through. “Been there” at about that age. If they ignore you when they are watching TV go and stand in front of it – no cooperation turn it off. If it’s a DVD you can pause it. They may never treat you as a Mum expects, but should treat you with respect. With the 6 year old you don’t know if a teacher or other kid has said something……..I don’t know where you live and if the practice still exists but schools in SA taught two kids at one school that they have rights – if they don’t want to do something their parents ask them to do, they don’t have to – kids have rights….and that was only the beginning of it. It backfired on some of the teachers as some kids figured that Parents are adults, so are teachers….they didn’t have to do what the teachers asked them to do either.

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  • Hope things have improved for you – just saw the date of this story x

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  • exellent super story

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  • I have 4 children and only one (4 years old) is with my now husband so he has 3 step children 18,15 and 14 and he went through the exact same as you feel now we have been married for nearly 9 years together 10 years and the only thing we ever really argue about is the 3 older children.
    It is hard and think it would be even harder being the “step mum” as people always say you will always only have one mum.
    Have you spoken to your partner about how you feel and how the children make you feel as i think thats really important.
    It took about 4 years for my children to actually accept my husband and now they have a great relationship.
    Good luck i really hope things work out for you.

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  • first I take it you are the step Mother in this family unit and your partner should not be allowing this to happen as well you should have had the guide lines and rules in your house laid from the start. I would be getting your partner each time they come to let them know of the rules in your house each time they come and also on how they should speak or treat you as I feel it is his place to put the rules and guide lines in place and make sure they are followed and show you some respect. Remember they have a Mother so your rules should be just like if they went to some one else’s house and how they would treat and respect these people. Find a special name that they can call you but not Mum as you are not their Mother. Explain this to your Husband and respect is a tool they need through out life. If they do not have a Mother I would have suspected you would not be having this problem and it will only work if your Husband sticks to his guns with his rules and does not laps in doing so as constant is what is needed.
    My son’s expartner is about to remarry and when they first broke up it was agreed He has a Daddy and a Mummy and neither would allow the child to call the other by this title so he has His Mother’s partner whom he calls his Jessie and it works well as both parents respect the other’s role in their Son’s life and also the new party’s role. The rules agreed was that Jessie does not have the place to raise a hand nor his voice unless he is in danger to my Grandson Jessie allows his Mother to deal with him. Also if ever my Grandson speaks nasty about Jessie my Son pulls him up and tells him he is not allowed to speak nasty about Jessie and he must show him respect as they all go through the stage where they tell the other parent stories about the others partner as as they think this makes the other parent happy. He tried he failed and if he has said something of concern to my Son he speaks to his Mother without my Grandson present. They show as a united front and he only did this once and found his Daddy will not tolerate disrespect even towards Jessie. They are all happy with this arrangement but most of all my Grandson is happy and well adjusted and is not pulled between the parents and yes Daddy’s house has different rules to Mummy’s and he will get reminded when he forgets he is with Daddy and these are Daddy’s rules in Dad’s house. They are united on the main things as in bed time and such but each household will run on some rules that are not the same in each house.
    Look at all these factors with your partner and you I am afraid should not be included in things that is discussed between the 2 parents of the children but you can ask your partner to she if their Mother will agree to no bad mouthing the other parent and new partner and to pull the children up if or when it is heard at both houses. See if they can lay the same foundation for the children in each house for each house to build on.
    Also do not try and buy the children’s affections or to listen to you as this will not work and they will only see you as a source of getting what they want and nothing else and no respect.
    You and your partner really need to look at things if you have been around almost 3 years and one is 3 and the other is 6 as they would have been young enough to except you from the beginning if things were done right in BOTH homes. Jessie Came along when my Grandson was 3 but he has also seen his Daddy talk laugh and shake hands and smile at each other when they speak. My Son brought this subject up when they broke up as he wanted his Son’s mental well being always looked after as well as the rest of his Son.


    • Yeah I completely agree with what arcticwynta said it’s really important to discuss with your partner about what’s happening and set some firm guidelines and boundaries. Since they are really young I would find it’s more easier for them to learn to respect you where if they were older they would more likely to rebel. It may take some time but the sooner you talk to your partner about this the quicker they’ll learn. Hope it works out

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