As a non-resident parent I find that one of the hardest things is to balance is discipline and enjoying time with my sons.
I want to have fun and maintain the joy we share but I also want them to grow up rounded. I don’t want them to view me as a soft touch and behave in a way I find inappropriate. But how I handle things needs to be commensurate with each of my children.
The general reminder to both of them to put the toilet seat down after using the loo, or wiping If they sprinkle, is often countered by the older one saying “it’s not me it was….” to which I normally reply ”I don’t mind who it is, this is just a reminder”. So the issue is if I don’t know who it is I speak in general terms, not casting any blame … which then causes resentment in the 11 year old.
However it is how they react. When I do discipline them, I am prepared to wait for hours for a child to look me in the eye, and if one doesn’t pay attention or is dismissive they will be told again what is acceptable.
The problem is being consistent with what they do with their mum, I will cook and they will eat what they get no problem, but I feel she has allowed them to develop quirk’s that can cause problems and often are the underlying issues to some of their actions…”Mum does it this way” is an excuse or justification they can wheel out and I can’t address it, without appearing to undermine mum – so I just say “when you are with me, my rules”.