Home > Mom's Life > Marriage and Divorce > Dealing With Divorce > My Boyfriend Is Trying to Parent My Kids
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

My Boyfriend Is Trying to Parent My Kids

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: I have been dating a man for a year and a half. He has never been married and doesn't have any kids. My girls are 6 and 14. He feels he should be able to interact and have decisions in their lives. He even feels that if I don't agree with the "rule" he believes in and knows is "right," I should still follow his thought and discipline accordingly. We have discussed marriage, but we are not engaged and we do not live together. My question: How much involvement should he have with my kids?

A: You are your children's parent and it is your right and obligation to establish your family's values, rules and discipline without being badgered by your boyfriend to do these things his way. Any positive, supportive and caring interaction with your kids on the part of your boyfriend is a plus, as long as it complements how you are parenting your children. But it appears that this man's philosophy is "it's my way or the highway" when it comes to parenting decisions.

Your kids should not be subjected to this man's orders, discipline or negative comments about them or their behavior. You will not be able to change his ways by marrying him. There will only be more of this behavior in the future, especially if you marry. You are your children's champion and advocate and their well-being is your top priority. I suggest that you strongly reconsider maintaining a relationship with a man who bullies you about discipline issues.

More on: Expert Advice

Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.