Am I too strict?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2007
Am I too strict?
27
Sat, 10-23-2010 - 5:22pm

I have left DH to discipline his kids when it doesn't affect me. But both of these things affect me.

1) 13 yo SD doesn't call and say she is going to do something after school. She doesn't show up on the bus. DH assumes she knows he picks up SS at practice at a certain time. We still have to hunt for her. Normally I don't go on the pick up runs but I was with him last week doing other stuff before pick up time. It does irk me that he has all these rules about just that type of thing but he doesn't inforce them. But what it boils down to is it inconveniences me because we have to find her. In the end, her punishment was 1 week of grounding from her computer and from going places. She spends this weekend with her mom so there are no rules and she can do anything she wants (remember, this is party mom who takes her kids drinking). Since it is a 1 week grounding then next weekend she gets to go spend Halloween with a friend. The grounding from her computer only affects her computer. She can and does use anyone else's (except mine because I bite and my DDs because she bites too).

2) All the kids are assigned chores.SK each vacuum and dust one room. They are supposed to do it every weekend. They are supposed to do it before they go do anything else. This weekend SS didn't come home from school and went to a friend's house then to his Mom's (he called in). SD came home but didn't do her chores and then went to her Mom's. The areas were gross and I complained. I was going to do it but DH beat me to it. That is very rare since I usually have to do the missed chores or if I'm really busy my DD does them. He will probably yell at them a bit when they get home but it will all be empty threats like it usually is. Most likely there will be no punishment.

I believe that giving a kid a warning once with no punishment is fine. But when that is ignored the punishment should be severe enough that they remember it and don't want to go there again. SD not calling in repeatedly means not only should all means of communication be shut off (no myspace/computer/phone/visiting) for 2 weeks but that she really shouldn't be allowed to go anywhere unless it is with the family and it's not something particularly fun and exciting. I wouldn't take this opportunity to take her to a movie but I would take her to visit Grandma. Phone would only be used for calling Mom/Grandma and that type of thing. Not to talk to her friends. If she should need an assignment or something like that the call should be made in front of her Dad and be brief.

As for the missing chores, I think that before the kids are allowed to do any fun thing like play on computers, watch tv or go to a friends, they should have to do their chores. If they don't then their chores next week will be doubled. Doubling will continue until the chores are done. Then the counter starts back at the one assigned chore. I am reasonable. If there is something that is out of the kid's control I wouldn't punish them but hanging out with friends or yacking on myspace is within the kid's control.

My husband says I'm unreasonable. That I treat his kids badly because I expect them to follow rules and do their chores. He says that since his daughter came home at 3:30 yesterday and left at 12 today she didn't have enough time to vacuum one room. BTW, I'm the one who had to take her to her Mom's because Mom can't come get her daughter every weekend. Her son finds someone else to take him over there so he can go on Friday. We never know if Mom is going to show up so SD has to wait until Saturday or until we are going that way.

I raised my kids pretty strictly so I'm wondering if maybe I'm not very reasonable. Do you have your kids do chores? Do you punish them if they break rules? What would you do in these situations? If I'm too harsh maybe I need to change my attitude. Maybe I'm not fair for making his kids vacuum once a week.

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Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Sat, 10-23-2010 - 6:33pm

I don't have experience with skids so it might be a disadvantage in that they weren't brought up like your kids, knowing what repurcussions there'd be for not obeying.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 10-23-2010 - 6:41pm

I do NOT believe in "doubling" chores, or making chores punishment.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 10-23-2010 - 8:56pm

This time I completely agree w/ Sabrtooth--just giving you a little kidding here, but what she said makes sense.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Sat, 10-23-2010 - 9:15pm

I agree with sabrtooth also, with one exception.... some of how you set up expectations for your kids has to be based on their innate personalities too.

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Sun, 10-24-2010 - 7:44am

ITA - that worked much better with my son (to do a chore by a given time, which really coincided when it needed to be done vs. just making him jump) who was the type to put things off.

Sue

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 10-24-2010 - 9:49am

Maybe it's because mine were girls, or because they're ADD, but if I told them, do it before next Tuesday, it would be out of their heads before it was all the way out of my mouth.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2007
Sun, 10-24-2010 - 7:04pm
I see what you mean about increasing chores. I just never had to confront this before. My kids were raised by me and knew that there was no play time until things were done. Therefore they might have grumbled but they did it.

I also agree that it takes time to parent children and teach them what they need to do. I can ask my SS to do something like take out the trash and he will usually do it. SD if i ask her to take out the trash she will throw a tantrum for hours and I refuse to deal with it. DH does tell her to do things that I ask her to do but she also throws tantrums like this with him. She has done this for the last 3 years and it happened before we lived together and even before we were together. In fact, everyone tells me she is much better than before, they can actually stand to be around her for more than a minute or two now.

DH is severely ADHD and he can't stay on top of them. When I remind him of something he often gets very defensive so I don't do it very often.

My daughter who still lives at home is older. She helps me out even when it is someone elses chores because she doesn't want me to have to do them myself. I've actually had to tell her not to do things at times.

Yes, my house gets so gross I can't stand it. I had to grit my teeth and leave a piece of rotting fruit in my living room for 3 days before DH would make the kids clean up after themselves. There is often sticky stuff all over the house, food on the floor, dirty dishes all over.

As for SD not telling anyone where she is she has been doing this all the time we were together. He doesn't do anything about it except yell a bit. It continues to happen. I used to worry but just have to stop caring or I'll go crazy.

It would be nice if we could have everyone on the same page but our children were raised very differently and DH is not always very even in his punishment. If my daughter forgets to put up one glass he wants to ground her from the team sports she played in high school. Ironically, his kids would have food rotting in their rooms and dirty dishes under their bed but that was ok. So to keep peace I only expect things that affect me to be dealt with as a family. If chores aren't being done it affects me and my daughter. If his daughter takes off overnight by lying about getting permission my only duty is to tell him what transpired. It isn't any of my business if his daughter steals unless it is from me or my daughter. I only tell him what he may not know and remind him of punishments he handed out (since he forgets as soon as he gives them). It isn't my problem if his kids are flunking or skipping school. I only tell him if he doesn't know and I have found out.

The kids do live with us full time. They have every other weekend and 6 weeks in the summer with their Mom. She is very into herself and is not interested in helping resolve any of these issues. Her 9yo daughter is allowed to go out until 10:30 pm without reporting in so I think that is why SD feels that is ok to just go where ever and do what ever.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 10-24-2010 - 8:54pm

I so feel for you--I was in that kind of blended family situation (except it never really blended) where we both had kids & had diff. ideas about how to raise them.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 10-25-2010 - 12:32am

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 10-25-2010 - 11:36am

I understand where you are coming from but you have never been in a situation where you were divorced & had kids living w/ you.

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