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My fiance and her two daughters (8 years old and 4 years old) live with me and my two sons (7 years old and 10 years old). 6 people is quite a houseful :) The girls father sees them once a week for a couple of hours. When they are with him, they get everything they want and when they get home I usually hear "That's not fair" from my two boys. I am not able to buy the boys whatever they want, whenever they want it, not that I would if I could afford it.

Just last week the girls wanted to get American Girl dolls. So they call their father up and get him to order them some online. They know that if they want something, they only have to ask their father.

How do I explain to my sons that there is nothing I can do about the girls father buying them things all the time? It's not that I want to "compete" with him, but he makes life for me pretty difficult at home each time he buys the girls something.

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Can you and your fiancée sit down and talk about this with the father? It sounds like an obvious first step, but perhaps there are reasons preventing this. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Sep 15 '11 at 19:52
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1 Answer 1

I might say it depends on how much it's affecting your kids, and I would be more worried about the girls than the boys. Your sons probably feel slighted, but your (soon-to-be?) daughters are getting constant affirmation of "You can have anything you want, whenever you want it." At 4 and 8, this is will spoil them quickly.

If it were a grandparent or uncle giving so many gifts, then sitting down with them and politely asking them to stop would be the right solution. And since the step father only sees the girls for a short period of time, I think that places him in the "relative" category, as opposed to the "parent" category.

I imagine talking to the step father is difficult (or you would probably have talked to him instead of posting this question). It might be easier if you wait until you and your fiancee are married, so you can talk to him from more of an official parent position.

How does your fiancee feel about this?

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