I am a 25 year old woman and am in a completely new to me situation. I am in a relationship with and living with an older man who is a part time dad of 2 girls, ages 5 and 6. They only stay with us every other weekend. I donít mind the fact that he had two kids at all, and like the fact that his relationship with the ex is civil. The problem I am facing revolves around their behavior which I believe is stemming from how they live with her.
I grew up in a very strict house hold. There were rules. There were chores. There were consequences. I have been trying to teach the girls the same general concepts that I believe are not unreasonable. There are 5 rules that I keep trying to get them to live by: No running. No fighting. No yelling. Treat things (like furniture) with respect. No whining (the concept of manners). I have been finding it very difficult to get them to abide by these rules due to the fact that we have such a short time with them and Iím coming to the conclusion that they donít have rules at home.
I have asked them each certain questions that have lead me to this conclusion. I have asked if anyone has taught them what manners are. Their response Ė no. I have asked them what rules they have at home. Their response Ė we don't have any, followed by Ė we run and jump on our beds all the time.
I donít believe their mom is working with them on how to be people and am finding myself drained at the end of the weekends they are with us. It is a constant battle to get them to behave, or for them to use a fork at dinner, or for them to ask for something nicely instead of whine for it. I have not had a conversation with their mom about this because I donít believe it to be my place. My boyfriend only says something to her when I ask, but itís via text message and never in a face to face conversation because he doesn't want to create conflict.
Am I being unreasonable? How to I fix this situation? Is it even my place?
I want to spend the rest of my life with this man, but these children put a strain on the relationship.