How much authority do/should I have?

My boyfriend and I have been together for 8 years (since beginning of HS).

We live together. Everyone knows we're getting married eventually, it's just a matter of time and financial stability (we're almost there lol)

Anyway, my boyfriend was kind of an oops baby. He has two older sisters. The sister closest to his age is 9 years older than him. And the oldest is 12 years older.

His eldest sister and her husband have a 7 year old daughter.

His sister and brother in law have been going through some stuff with his side of the family. No fear of divorce or anything, but they just thought it'd be best if their daughter wasn't there for a few days so they could work out some stuff with his family... something about a brother-in-law or cousin and legal stuff and money or whatever, I tried not to get too many details.

Anyway... my boyfriend and I offered to take his niece for the next 3-10 days depending on how long they need us to.

We have no children of our own and have an extra bedroom that she's slept in before. She's visited us in the past.

So to today... my boyfriend was at work and today is my day off so I am staying home with her. Right now she's watching a movie.

But she has like no respect for me. Which is weird because she thought I was just the greatest thing on the planet in the past. I've been here since she was born. I was at the hospital when she was born, all the birthdays, Christmas parties, etc.

Maybe it's her age now, but she's developed this idea that since I'm neither her mother nor her "actual" family, she doesn't need to listen to me.

Now, obviously she does need to listen to me lol and I'm not about to stoop to the level of a 7 year old, but I don't have a kid of my own (none planned for a while lmao) and it's been a couple years since I've been around young kids for any extended period of time...

She tells my boyfriend that since he's not her dad she doesn't need to listen, but he wins out on the whole uncle thing. Me, not so much.

I don't want to overstep any boundaries since she's right, I technically am not her relation in any way, but she IS in my house now and it IS my job to make sure she's looked after...

But I am in charge and I don't want to be mean about it but I am the authority figure at this point. I have no issue with being that mean person but I'd like to avoid it because at 7 she is old enough to remember this weekend and I want her to like me... but I also want her to respect me, you know?


Most Helpful Guy

  • You are the head of the household (together with your boyfriend) and you get to make the rules. She must obey you or she must leave. Your boyfriend must support you on this. This provides you with a good "trial run" for how things will work after you are married.

    • Oh he does support me. We're very united on this. But neither of us have been parents and we kind of just jumped in with both feet and it's a little overwhelming haha.

      She was always so sweet and polite when she visited with her parents and when she'd stay on weekends... but I think she can sense that this is a long term thing and maybe her real personality is coming out... hmm... He's done with work at 4 so maybe when he gets back we can do something to start fresh with her... take her to Chuck E Cheese or something but then enforce dinner behavior and bedtime after. Gonna be a good New Years *sigh* lol

    • Good luck. Above all else, make sure that you and your boyfriend present a united front.

      Happy New Year!

Most Helpful Girl

  • Your house your rules, that's what authority you have.


Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 2

  • Try this, "as this is my house, you must obey my rules" Make it more about your house, and the fact that she has to be there, and you are the authority in your own home.

  • You currently have all the disciplinary authority of her parents. She doesn't realize that. She is trying to test her boundaries. As far as her not listening to you just tell her that her parents left her to your care


What Girls Said 2

  • Tell her she should listen because you are almost married to her family member and tell her you will treat her better if she listens and worse if she doesn't.

  • Put her ass in time out when she does that, it's a good punishment that doesn't involve spanking or something that make make the parents mad. No movie, no tv, no toys until she respects and listens to you.