Thank you Found Soul for your honest input.
I must admit I knew more 2-3 years ago. As they have both become teens, there is a widening communication and relationship gap.
I would love to continue with family night. I would love to sit around the table and play board games or just sit and talk about school, movies, aspirations, etc.
If it were up to me, the kids would not be allowed to take dinner to the rooms to eat. I'm the bad guy when I try to enforce rules or encourage better habits.
Again, my wife allows them to do what they want and argues with me if I try to convince her otherwise.
We dated six months before I met the kids. During the four years we dated before marriage, these issues did not exist. If there were hints, I did not see them because we were not under the same roof.
I know that kids tend to get full of themselves at ages 13-18, and I tried to reach out to others that they might listen to once I discovered that mom was going to be a challenge in the discipline department.
Uncles, cousins, grandma...etc, to no avail.
Yes, I attended all sports and school activities, help with homework, check school-loop for progress reports...I could go on.
I don't know where the whole "military rules" idea comes from, but it's not that way in the least.