Q:

My partner deals with the kids harshly

My partner and I had a large blended family. Not once did I feel like I was abusive, however our fights were over the children, which often led to awful criticism of each other and the kids.

I always felt I needed to fix her parenting and intercede... it never ended well.

There were good times and it still feels like love but our actions were not a reflection of love in our arguments about parenting.

The children were naughty often and my partner dealt with them very harshly, lashing out profanities, grabbing or shoving aggressively, occasionally hitting.

I became super-anxious about my role as a father and father figure. 

I felt my personal judgements on chastising the kids being affected by the last argument with their mother over what the children had done previously.

More than that, I received constant blame for things that my partner had done but in the sense that my involvement was the contributor to the situation.

It has all gone downhill from there. 

No one believes a male. 

Since then I have been accused of all the things my partner has done to the children, including, verbal, physical and emotional abuse against my partner and the children.

I want help - help to learn how to pause and think and respond with my heartfelt love. 

Not to make angry decisions in the heat of the moment.

 


A:

Hallo, thank you for taking the time to write in.

It always amazes me these new labels ‘blended family'. Must be just me ole skool, cos I believe, when you enter into a relationship and that partner has children, then you take on that responsibility as a partner and as a parent and that the parenting skills you bring with you have to be extended, expanded and increased to meet the needs of the "blended' family.

If you think you had patience before you really need it now and more.

If you had parenting skills before, well you need more tools and skills now as the levels to be a partner and parenting in this blended family has gone up by the number of new people in the family.

You hear what I'm saying?

How have you and your partner come to an agreement on how this new family is to operate and cooperate? You have to have that meeting and agreement.

What agreements have you made on disciplining, bed times, chores etc?

Do to spend quality time with the kids, individually and together?

Do you both have timeout together and individually?

There is so, so, much on the blended family check list.

IF you cannot make these agreements on your own, then get a person to facilitate the process.
My friend YOU cannot ‘fix' another person and especially when it comes to parenting skills.
You can and do have the ability and power to fix YOU.

YOU go back to school my friend and learn all about parenting so that you can be proud that you are the best possible parent that you can be.

You have both taken on the responsibilities for your blended family NOW both of you take the responsibility to raise them well.

‘Not once did I feel like I was abusive'

I hear you my friend. BIG PAT ON THE BACK!

Now get skilled up on your parenting skills and hopefully this will make a difference with the kids and your partner will notice. Be ideal if you can get the learning together, agree on disciplining and put it into practice together. You need to stop focusing on the negative things that's going on and start doing positive things.

Too often we as men can see that there is an issue/problem in the family, we know that something has to be done and changed but that is as far as we go. Be a true man, man up and be the male role model and parent to the kids on what a real man is all about.

Do this and people will not be able to blame you for anything negative that is going on. This is the best and only way to stop them ‘blaming' you for the bad things that's happening.

Be good if the both of you could sit down, make a plan on just about all things pertaining to raising the kids, which seems to be the centre of the problems you are facing.

It's got to be about delivering the best possible parenting to those little people that you can.

NOW

If you can't make agreements together ring our information line on 0800 456 450 and get the local contact details for a parenting course.

This would be the first contact you need to make. Also get the contact details for the local stopping violence programme. It would be so good if you can get the awareness on what family violence is and whether it has been happening in the family and what impact that it has had on you, your partner and the family.

This is a good opportunity to get as much help as possible to enhance the relationship, the love between the two of you and with the kids.

I hope this is enough info to help.

Vic

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