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Summer Visit Rules?
June 29, 2014 at 12:11 PM
My older two kids, 12 yo girl and 10 yo boy, opted to live FT w dad and visit me and my husband for the summer. We live in Texas and he lives in Maryland so this arrangement works best for all of us and the kids enjoy the break.

My question-how do I deal with the "But in Maryland that's not how we did it!" response to our rules and expectations.
The rules in our home are slightly more strict and restrictive but it's how we do things. We also have an 8 year old boy and 4 year old girl that are required to abide by our rules. I believe they are fair and have mostly to do with the use of electronics. We highly limit the iPad and Wii time and the older two do not like it. We also require that permission be asked before changing activities so that we know where everyone is and ensure that play areas, etc. are clean. It's a way we have found of preventing messes and making sure everyone gets fair time to play.

I've heard the "But in Maryland.." excuse far too many times already. Multiple times a day.

I understand it is a difficult adjustment but I don't know how else to explain that these are just the rules here. Period. I've been cried at and told that Maryland is better and preferred over here. My 12 yo girl is the one that is very angry at me.

Suggestions? I don't want the next 7 weeks to be a struggle for us. I want everyone to have fun and be happy. I don't want my kids to hate me.


  • thenameshailie
    June 29, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    I would ust say "Well this isnt Maryland."

  • erinsmom1964
    June 29, 2014 at 1:11 PM
    They are old enough to know better than to use that lame excuse. Pick a few key rules and sit them down and go over them and the consequences of failing to follow them. I am assuming you don't have a long list of differences as you agreed to the arrangement so he must be doing a fine job with the rules he has.
  • frndlyfn
    June 29, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    I agree with the others.   You just say, this is not maryland and not your fathers house.   We have different rules everyone in household must follow.  They are both in the pre teen stage so testing you to see how far they can get away with things.

  • LaniMammi
    June 29, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    At 10 and 12, they should know better than to whine and say hurtful things about how they prefer their dad's house- point out how mean and selfish they are being, they did come to visit family not spend all day in front of a screen!  Stay firm- maybe plan some alternative activities so they won't miss the electronics. Or declare a screen free summer for everyone- they'll live I promise, it'll force them to spend more family time together.  As for the cleaning up and letting someone know where you are, that should be common sense at their ages.  Lay the guilt on if need be.

    I'd also talk to their dad and see what his rules are for them...they may be playing you by saying it's different in Maryland, kids can be devious :)

  • atlmom2
    by atlmom2
    June 29, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Maybe some sort of small compromise.  NOT as strict but not as lenient as Maryland.  It is summer.  How strict are you on electronics?  Also later on at 13 and 14 its not gonna get any better. 

  • mingalou
    June 30, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    Quoting atlmom2:

    Maybe some sort of small compromise.  NOT as strict but not as lenient as Maryland.  It is summer.  How strict are you on electronics?  Also later on at 13 and 14 its not gonna get any better. 

    We limit the amount of time spent playing on electronics to 2 hours total.  We also don't allow any personal electronics until after noon so we can spend the morning doing all of our morning tasks and breakfast.

    From what I can tell and from talking to their dad, they did spend a lot of time on their tablets/DS because they were home alone a bit--before school and after school because both their dad and step-mother work.  

    Here in Texas, my husband is a SAHD and I work and go to school full-time so I'm concerned that 1-they are trying to take advantage of their stepdad and 2-they just are not used to being monitored. 

    After talking things over with my husband, I think I jumped the gun on being concerned about how they are reacting.  Only having them for the summer is a huge adjustment for me and them--I just want them to have fun and I feel guilty for making them follow rules they are not used to, but they are the rules and I have to stick to them...

  • AbbeysMom2013
    June 30, 2014 at 9:58 AM
    Just be consistent. The sooner they decide to follow your rules the happier they will be :) if you aren't having the older kids follow the house rules, you will send mixed messages to the younger kids. It will take time for everyone to adjust.
  • a_and_j_momma
    June 30, 2014 at 10:22 AM
    They are old enough to understand "my house, my rules." That's what I tell my kids and the youngest is 5. I never cave and always give the same answer so it never goes past there
  • SamMom912
    June 30, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    I think you need to compromise more.. they are older.. they are use to things being a certain way... and I dont think its worth it to make mountains over molehills... on BIG issues, explain the rule and why.. on small issues compromise. I wouldnt ever want my kids hating spending only7 weeks with me... they can hate me 52.. but if we were only together for 7 weeks, Id want them happy, wanting to come back.. It doesnt sound like youre getting or gicing respect.. it sounds as if your making them resent you more.. and you cant have a great relationship if there is all this struggle and strife.. Be more like a jury then a judge.. hear them out.. weigh the options... keep a bit of peace.. they arent young.. they are old enough to have bit differnt rules then little ones...

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