how to effectively discipline without stepkids calling foul
My partner and I have been together for 4 years. We have 7 children combined, one together. 2 of his come to our home on a regular basis, the other decided she wouldn't, in a rather dramatic fashion. Their mother has been found by at least one psychiatrist to be in need of counselling for some major issues, with the children being placed with their father, but that has not been enforced. She easily manipulates the children and my partner and I try very hard to be honest and expect honesty and respect from our children, but that is difficult to come by. Since I have summers off, I have had my partner's children (tween aged) here most of the summer, as their mother finds excuses not to have them when she doesn't want them. When it comes to discipline, they are volatile, especially if it is me who is doing the disciplining. They seem to think that my children don't ever get in trouble, which, believe me, they do and his kids have been here when they do. The girl is sneaky, has stolen money and other items from people in the family but will not admit it. the boy is very outwardly disobedient with most people in his life that have rules for him to follow, yet he is a perfectly nice boy if he is getting his way(and things have to be his way). The simple act of washing their hands after using the bathroom or being outside becomes a fight with them. I am so frustrated and nothing seems to work. My children don't enjoy being here when these kids are here and my biggest concern is that our child together will observe this behavior and grow up acting out as well. I feel at war in my own home and I just want peace. Please help!
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