reader questions - how do i discipline my fiance's child

Katie G. from Chicago, IL writes: 

Dear Wedding Therapist,
My fiance's son is driving me insane! He doesn't listen to anything I tell him to do and his father doesn't make him behave.  He feels bad disciplining him since we only have his son every other weekend.  I believe in spanking, my fiance doesn't.  I really think the ONLY thing that can help is a swift swat on his behind.  It is starting to get in the middle of my relationship with my fiance. Please help!


First, this is a very common issue amongst engaged couples so you aren't alone.  This is one of those things that you two have to agree upon.  If you believe in spanking and your fiance doesn't, then you can't spank your soon-to-be stepson.  Bottom line.  Clearly, you need to have a conversation with your fiance because this is going to be a point of contention when you decide to have children together. 

I suggest that you come up with a timeout  area.  Kind of like a "naughty corner" that he has to sit in.   Whenever he isn't listening to you, you send him to timeout. Every.Single.Time.  Then you two have to get on the same page about what is a comfortable amount of discipline for both of you.  Bad, undisciplined children are never fun to be around...for ANYONE!  If spanking isn't an option and the naughty corner is too much for your fiance to handle, you might have a bigger issue on your hands than his unruly son. 


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