Does Your Love Interest Have A Say In Child-Rearing?

I was having an interesting discussion the other day and thought it might be a great topic for discussion here.  You have a child and you (and perhaps the child’s other parent) is doing all they can to raise the greatest kid that ever lived. Well, since my kids have all tied for the top spot, let’s say the second greatest kids who ever lived!

What happens when you have a love interest? Sure they are your confidante and will listen to you squawk and moan about the “other parent” and how they handle things. But does that person have a seat at the decision table on child rearing?  Or are they merely there in an advisor capacity?

Of course, I would not expect a casual date to have a say, but does the level of seriousness play a role?  Do they have a seat at the table when they have been around for a month, year, or longer? What if they are living with you or are engaged? Does that matter?

My thought is that if there are two parents who are active in the children’s lives, those two should be the only ones to be in on the discussion of raising the kids. Perhaps if one is re-married then the step parent might have a role. A live-in partner might eventually have a role but only if the other parent is not around.

I recall one time , not long after I divorced, my ex and I were at an annual check up for my youngest and the pediatrician asked how the divorce was going. We told her that it was going well. My ex spoke up that she was upset that the kids did not seem to respect her new husband. The doctor said “why should they?”   Her position was that all of a sudden there is a stranger to the kids living in the home. This coupled with the upheaval of the divorce is stressful. She suggested that for 18 months he be treated like a babysitter and that when mom goes out, he is in charge and they are to listen to him. If there were any issues, he should report back to mom and then mom was to mete out any punishments. It was not the answer my ex was looking for, but to me, it did make sense!

What are your thoughts?

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