I went thru a very similar situation when my kids were young. The oldest handled things better. The youngest was around 6 or 7 when her Dad remarried and the new wife had 2 boys, ages 8 and 10. There were no enforced rules, only alot of yelling and screaming at the kids by the new wife and a lot of running wild. The kids had no structure at his house, just playing and doing anything they wanted. I had known her for years so I was not surprised by this. Her family was very wealthy and her kids were spoiled rotten by her parents. When my youngest would get home from visitation, she was very moody both at home and at school. I talked with the teacher and we worked out a solution. We found that if we left her alone and let her destress, by day 2 or 3 of being back in a home with rules and structure, she would be back to her normal sweet self. I would let the teacher know which weekends she went to her dads, which was usually every other weekend. The teacher would not call on her in class the first couple of days and this worked really well.

At home, I had their chores posted and what would happen if the chore was not done in a timely matter. This left no room for arguments and I followed thru with the rules.

My 2 girls have grown into fine young ladies with a good responsible head on their shoulders. My oldest is now 32, been married to her same husband for 11 years with 2 great kids ages 6 & 3. My younest is 24 and dating a very nice young man. She has been paying her own way since she got out of school.
They are both well rounded and responsible women who have respect for others because they were taught right from wrong with at least one steady influence in their life.

Their Dad’s stepsons are both irresponsible and can not hold down a job but a few weeks at the time because of drug habits and bad temper and attitudes.

YOU can make a difference with your kids and keeping your values true will help to accomplish this. They will respect you and see that just having fun and games at their dad’s is not the real world.

Hang in there and believe me, I can tell you some horror stories from being in the picture to my significant other’s kids. That is a whole different story in reverse. Him doing the discipline scene and his STBX letting them run wild. But, They are now all over 18 and what a relief!!!


YOU can make a difference with your kids and keeping your values true will help to accomplish this. They will respect you and see that just having fun and games at their dad's is not the real world.

Thank you for your encouraging response. I feel that way too that I can make a difference, but it is soooo hard at this moment. I will stick to my guns no matter how frustrating it seems at that moment.



We are in the opposite situation. His ex doesn’t pay any attention to the kids and they have no supervision at her house. We have them every other weekend and have to try to teach them responsibility and social skills in that short time. We want to get them more, but she won’t let us. Now we are going to have to go through the courts. Wish us luck.


We too are in this same situation. Two boys, one 8 the other 11 with joint 50/50 custody with his ex. We try to teach them responsibility and they are disciplined at our house. But they are also starting to see the boundaries that all children need to know exist and they know they are loved. They are even starting to understand that we only have rules and disciplin because we care about them.
At their mother’s house it is always play time, but then she yells, screams and cusses them when they mess up. They have no chores and no rules and she waits on them hand and foot. I don’t understand this at all. I thought for a long time while I was growing up that my parents only had me and my sister so that we could do the chores and fetch things for them.[;)] We lived with my Dad and Stepmom and I know now that they were teaching me to be responsible and helpful. I respect my Stepmom so much more because she is the one who taught me right from wrong and responsibility for my own actions. Children need to know who the parents are in the house.


I am soooooo frustrated to no end. Although my divorce will be non contested, I am soo tired of dealing with my ex regarding our kids. Everytime my daughter comes home its one tantrum after another. My son seems to have adjusted to the separation, or he is holding things in.

When I talk to my ex for support with the tantrums, he says…well she doesn’t do that with me, it must be you. Yeah, its me. I make her do her homework, chores and don’t allow her to talk back to me. I don’t have a tv in my home anymore, instead we have a radio and board games. (He has a gaming place he owns and operates so when they are with him its always them on the computer or playing xbox)

Anyway, some helpful support will be appreciated.