Sons From Different Marriages

Dear Sara,

My husband and I have been married for four years and have a three year old son. This is my husband’s second marriage and he and his first wife have a six year old. He has visitation every other weekend and he is parenting this son differently from our three year old. His mother is a lot more lenient than I am and lets their son get away with a lot of disrespect and gives in to him when he whines. I don’t tolerate this in our three year old. My husband however, lets his six year old get away with this at our house and I think that this kid should follow the same rules as our three year old and not be a bad example. How can I convince my husband not to parent his sons differently?


Dear Marty,

Your husband is fearful that his son won’t want to come and see him if he is a strict parent. There is nothing that he can do about his ex-wife’s parenting skills so he is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If your husband’s son is left in your care you can explain to him the rules in your home. You have to remember though that you are not the parent, that your husband is. If you can get your husband to cooperate then try to tighten up the discipline routine. Kids can often accept their role in two different households. He is testing the waters so to speak and may become more cooperative at your house than at his mother’s.

If any change in discipline is going to happen it needs to happen now. As your husband’s son gets older there will be bigger problems later on.


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