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coach28
coach28 asks:
Q:

How can we make our blended family work when we have very different parenting styles?

my significant other and i have children from different relationships.  We both love and care for our kids very much, my kids are in sports and i coach, i try very hard to allow my children to experience things, feelings about life on there own.   she has put her kids now in sports amongst other activities at school and it feels like she is constantly doing things for them.  it has affected our relationship to a point where i see her only maybe 2-3 times a month... if and when we spend time together, the phone is ringing,"when are you coming back"  "what time are you getting home".  she makes to many decisions for her kids, always tells her youngest that is 9 how much to eat and when to stop, say hello, say goodbye,  she complains about what the oldest wears to school but she is the one that buys her the clothes, i personally think that she is trying to make her children and herself fit into i do not know what.  She has her kids everyday and i split my time 50/50,  overall i am just trying to get an answer or help before i make the decision of moving on....i tell her it is going to affect her kids, and definitely us but still nothing. this has been going on for about 2 years and i have been very patient.  i have got to a point where i tell my assistant coaches to cover for me at practice to be together and she feels the need to be at the practice when she is not the coach...... VERY CONFUSED AND BECOMING INPATIENT
In Topics: Blended families
> 60 days ago

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Expert

ShirleyCressDudley
May 3, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

It's tough when parents from blended families parent differently- but usually that's that norm.  It's rare for a couple to marry and discover that their parenting methods are exactly the same.

I hear your frustration, and understand that you want what's best for you, your spouse and your kids.  Remember to keep your marriage at the center of the family.  You and your spouse should always be at the center- not the kids.  Schedule time, each day, to talk, even if it's just for 30 minutes around bed time.  Schedule a date night at least 1-4 times a month.  This is a time for the two of you to spend together and focus on each other, not talk about the kids, but enjoy each other's company.

Set aside a time to discuss what's really important to you related to house rules and parenting.  Set house rules that you both agree to, and adhere to these rules at all times.  If each parent has different rules, the children are confused.

Remember- the key is to spend time with your spouse.  She is the most important part of this relationship, and time with her is the glue that keeps your relationship together.  

For more assistance, check out www.BlendedFamilyAdvice.com

Shirley Cress Dudley

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Additional Answers (2)

Carlab
Carlab writes:
Hmmm...seems like there are a couple of things going on here. It sounds like you and your partner have different parenting styles and it sounds like you don't get enough time together. What to do. What do do. Both are pretty serious issues. As for the parenting part, how are her kids doing? Are they acting out or having other problems? If they are, you can make suggestions a little more easily. If they are doing ok, you could let her know that you disagree with some of her parenting and you are concerned because if you are going to have a future together you need to work together as a parenting team. About the time together, I think you have got to just let her know you need more time together as a couple. This is fair to ask. Let her know that kids are important, but you have to work on the relationship too!
> 60 days ago

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roseleelangham
roseleelang... writes:
I can completely understand where you are coming from and how difficult it can be. However, you should not make this a breaking point in your marriage if you truely love her, and not only that, when you got married, the two of you made a promise to one another for better or for worse. Just give it up to God. When times get rough just pray. Tell her everyday that you love her. The kids want be ther forever. It seems like forever now but they will eventually move out and start their own lives.
> 60 days ago

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