Different routines/expectations with different parents

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    As I’m sure will be the case with many of you, me and my ex do things differently with the children when they’re at our houses.

    He’ll do things the quick/easy way – as in, him and his partner just do everything for them and have very little in the way of rules – e.g. late bedtimes, not tidying up after themselves etc.

    However, when they’re then with me, they expect to do the same and don’t/won’t tidy up, constantly moan that I’m strict/mean for giving them a bedtime etc. I don’t like having to be the “boring/strict” parent all the time and it makes it very hard to get into a routine with them when it takes a long time to persuade them to do anything – even showering.

    I’d love to hear from other people in a similar situation who have got through this and got theirs following a good routine and being ok with different rules at different parents’ houses… is it possible!?

    #28311 Report



    I had this battle when my eldest two were younger. However, my ex husband and I had to attend a parenting course as part of agreement with courts. I attended this 6 week course. My ex husband did not attend even though we had different venues.

    What I learnt in regard to the problems you’re having is to live your life. However, difficult it is to be seen as the strict, mean parent children do respond better with clear boundaries. Also as they get older they will more likely respect you more for this too.

    Every person I was on the course with had this issue. You’re not alone.

    We all supported each other and main thing was set your boundaries adapt for school hols, wkends etc and show kids your not unreasonable etc and just stick to it.

    Do not get into at dad’s this at dad’s that.

    Just be clear and say for example this is our home and what happenes here is for us to all do our best and what happens at your dad’s is between you and dad. Unless really out there and concerns obvs.

    The less you look / discuss life at their dad’s the better your life becomes.

    It worked for me. I had moments I’d want to ring their dad screaming but I bit my tongue and focused and my time and our space we shared together and let their dad get on with it.


    Good luck 👍

    #28314 Report


    Agree with Rose.

    I’m resident parent to son who’s 11. At mine, he eats 5 a day, I don’t buy sweets much and we tend to cycle quite a bit or swim, play board games, read, watch telly together. No electronic devices in bedrooms.

    At his dad’s they seem to eat no fruit, lots of sweets and son goes to bed with iPad every night.

    I was “mean” according to son, about internet access at night but he’s got over that and accepts that’s the way it is.

    Stay calm and stick to your guns. They won’t hate you for it.

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