to send dd to after school club she hates in order to make my point?

(81 Posts)
PuffyPigeon Tue 18-Mar-14 11:40:39

My dd is in her first year at Junior school and just turned 8. She went to after school club briefly last year when my hours changed and hated it. I have been with my dh since dd was a baby, her dad left when I discovered I was pregnant. We've since had two more children age 4 and 2 and dh also has two children from his previous marriage, age 8 and 9. Dd sees her dad once per month only - his choice though he's only twenty minutes away.

ExH hates that dh acts as a father to dd. Dd naturally started calling dh daddy because she heard his children calling him it. She was corrected but now she's older we figure it's her choice what she calls people. ExH has always reiterated to dd that dh loves his own children and not her, that he's not her father in anyway, that only blood family matters and so on.

Combining this with dds age, she's started taking on board what her dad has said and 'testing' dh. Particularly after she's seen her dad or before she is due to she's horrible to dh, ignores him, calls him by his name and encourages the other children to do so too, won't show him any affection or anything. She keeps saying she doesn't have his name, he didn't help make her, he's not her parent and has no rights over her. I know this all comes from her dad (he openly says it to/in front of me) but it's extremely hurtful.

Usually dd adores dh. She asks to visit him at work to take him cakes and pictures or letters at work at weekends, she asks him to attend school and extra-curricular events but doesn't even think to ask her dad as he's never attended, she plays with and is affectionate to him, asks when she can have another sibling and so on.

Talking to her has made no difference. Her dad's nastiness towards dh penetrates all goodness. Aibu if I respond to dd by, when she says: 'dh is nothing to do with me/not a parent/has no rights etc' by saying that fine, he'll act accordingly. Therefore, when I'm working he won't collect her from school like he usually does and take her to the park/tea rooms/soft play, she'll go to the after school club she dislikes. When she's been rude or hurtful, she can expect no help from dh when she then asks and so on.

I'm at the end of my tether because its getting worse as time goes on and I want it nipped in the bud so it doesn't make the teen years even harder.

notthegirlnextdoor Wed 19-Mar-14 08:50:17

Hmmmmm. And what exactly would he know about family or being a father, Mr Once A Month contact? I despise emotionally manipulative parents and he is one of them.

RedFocus Wed 19-Mar-14 07:38:10

My youngest is the same with my husband. It's very hurtful but he just sucks it up. My older 2 appreciate what he does for them. Like taking to guides or taking to the GAME store to get a game they can play together. My youngest has moments were is happy with my dh but as soon as daddy is due in town she hates is all. Would rather be with her Disney dad. It must be so conflicting for young children in this position but I understand that. My dh wouldn't dream of withdrawing from any of them. It's taken years to get here and there is no way he could because he loves them.
Ignore the bad behaviour and praise the good. Make sure there is 1:1 with your dd for both of you and all together. I think your ex needs to be told he is emotionally abusing his daughter by saying what he is saying. The one he is hurting is his own daughter as your dh surely knows she doesn't mean it when she says horrible things. Your ex is the problem here not your dd.

NoodleOodle Wed 19-Mar-14 07:35:17

Agree with the sentiments of - rather than take away what he does do with/for her, remind her of these things and how much they mean to her.

Lazyjaney Wed 19-Mar-14 07:33:15

She needs to see that actions have consequences.

bragmatic Wed 19-Mar-14 07:25:45

Sorry if I've missed it by skimming, but (as above) I think you should also take it up with your ex. I mean, he's obviously an idiot, but me might pull his head in if you explain that he is hurting and affecting his child, not your current partner.

Fusedog Wed 19-Mar-14 07:15:41

Personally op should be taking this up with you ex

I would talk to him once and inform him if this continues you will be getting the relevant people involved and contact may have to be moved to being supervised his choice

But as somone Whois married to a man is not my child's father but raised him I share you pain my ex tried all these tricks whilest being shit himself however my ds saw though it now 14 he knows who he can rely on and true to form ex let him down in a big way while ex remaind constant and sted fast.

Booboostoo Wed 19-Mar-14 06:30:51

Can you sit down with her and talk about the different kinds of parents one can have? Talk to her maybe about adoption, about how some people who cannot have biologically related children still love their children very much. And about different types of families where children have two mummies. And families where grandparents take on the role of parents.

Get her to tell you what makes for a good dad and see if she can tell you why you can't have more than one dad, since there is room to love a lot of people in your life.

Morloth Wed 19-Mar-14 05:55:03

Poor baby girl.

Really don't let her BioDad 'win' this by allowing a wedge between her and your DH.

She doesn't understand what she is saying, she knows she can trust your DH no matter what, she doesn't have to 'earn' his love.

Her BioDad, well his love is conditional isn't it? Don't make her think your DH's love is as well.

What worked for us was DStepdad telling me 'Well that's a shame because I love you' whenever I told him I hated him or didn't love him, and when I would tell him he was nothing to me he would say 'But you're everything to me'. I'm obviously allergic to something or have something in my eye. <sniff>

OP see the above for what a real Dad does. Poor DD is 8, confused, sad, loyal and torn. Boring consistency is what will work. Eventually. Her Dad is a twunt of the first order.

HillyHolbrook Wed 19-Mar-14 01:50:59

Sounds like my dadhmm

V upsetting for my family and v confusing for little me.

What worked for us was DStepdad telling me 'Well that's a shame because I love you' whenever I told him I hated him or didn't love him, and when I would tell him he was nothing to me he would say 'But you're everything to me' and would always say 'These are my girls' when introducing DSis and I to anyone and invited me to play with them and be involved.

It took a long time and a lot of work. DM took dad to court for intentionally damaging me emotionally. The courts decided my dad was unfit to have contact and gave DM full custody. I'm not saying to do the same as it was difficult and upsetting, but what he is doing to your poor DD is emotionally abusing her and is intentionally making her home life upsetting and difficult.

It really helped and as I got older I saw through my dad anyway. I'm now NC with him by choice, and DSD is the one my kids will call grandad and who is walking me down the aislegrin

MiscellaneousAssortment Wed 19-Mar-14 01:20:14

What an unpleasant man this ex is. Bleugh (vomit noise!).

You've made a great start with your chat with her.

Maybe think about it as you and your dh balancing every tiny thing her bio father is trying to teach her, with a positive lesson. It's not fair and you shouldn't have to parent like that, but it's like hes trying to programme her with his own bad messages, and she's coming back home and testing the truths he's programmed her with. so then you have to disprove his 'truths' and reinforce healthy and happy family functions and behaviours... Poor kid, and poor you.

It is a fight for her future well being... What a wanker

missymayhemsmum Tue 18-Mar-14 23:36:00

It sounds as though your dd thinks she has to choose between her bio dad and her stepdad. Can you and your dh keep reinforcing that she has 3 parents and that this is a good thing? And that she doesn't have to choose between them, she has both of them in her life and they both love her? But yes, if she doesn't want to have her stepdad look after her after school, her other practical option is after school club, and she can choose that. So long as you both keep reiterating that you love her and it's ok for her to love both her dad and her stepdad she'll come through it. And maybe the answer to 'he's not my dad so I don't have to do as I'm told' is 'he's chosen to look after you and support you since you were a baby so you will treat him with respect'? (or even 'well I am definitely your mother so you do have to do as he says because I say so too?)
Maybe you even have to say 'Daddy's wrong to say those things about dh, but sometimes people say bad things when they're feeling jealous/angry. It doesn't make the bad things true'.
Poor little love, it sounds like he's really messing with her head. (and maybe a bit that she's pushing the boundaries like 8 year olds do and has worked out where to put the boot in for maximum effect?)

ukatlast Tue 18-Mar-14 23:33:53

PuffyPigeon 'Changing her surname is impossible without exhs consent which will never happen'

Are you sure his consent is needed?

ukatlast Tue 18-Mar-14 23:25:46

YABU what Littlebluedog12 said...you need to reassure her to prove your exH wrong.

Goldmandra Tue 18-Mar-14 23:18:45

She feels safer with you. She knows deep down that she's loved in your home.

She's not sure how much her bio dad loves her and doesn't want to take any risks that might cause him to reject her.

The poor child is probably worried that she'll risk losing her bio dad if she lets herself love your DH too much. What an awful position to be in sad

PuffyPigeon Tue 18-Mar-14 23:04:54

You're right, she is terrified of upsetting her bio dad and excuses all shit behaviour on his part. He promises the world, never delivers and she comes up with an acceptable reason why yet if we ever broke even a tiny promise she'd have no problem letting us know we're inthe wrong!

Goldmandra Tue 18-Mar-14 22:58:12

I guess that's the reason he's your Ex.

It might help to think of it as a backhanded compliment. She's testing your DH, for sure, to see if your Ex is right but she is only able to do it because she feels relatively secure in their relationship in the first place. My guess is that she wouldn't feel confident enough in her relationship with her bio dad to test the boundaries in a similar manner.

Your DH is clearly doing a really good job and she will realise that of her own accord at some point. She'll also cotton on to what her bio dad has done too and it will colour her view of him as she gets older. More fool him.

PuffyPigeon Tue 18-Mar-14 22:52:28

Gold she's already learned to change what she calls him because it gets her shouted at sad I also said about love being expansive and that you can include new people without replacing others and that seemed to reassure her. It's just frustrating that her bio father does nothing to warrant her love or loyalty and dh does everything yet exH can't even be man enough to let dd be happy, he has to try and spoil it. I don't get why bio parents can't just be happy if kids like step parents. It's by far preferable to having a rubbish disinterested one, surely?

Goldmandra Tue 18-Mar-14 22:33:54

She is a child, he is a grown up. What he says goes.

She is also a child who has another grown up deliberately messing with her head and she's trying to work out who really loves her. The root of the problem isn't lack of respect, it's insecurity and confusion. Yes, she needs to know it isn't OK to be rude to him but she also needs them to acknowledge the horrible underlying reasons for her behaviour, the solution for which isn't someone demanding respect.

missymarmite Tue 18-Mar-14 22:26:49

I think it's helpful to make it clear that DD should respect your DH because he is an adult in the household. It doesn't matter what 'title' he has; daddy, dh name, uncle, grandfather whatever. She is a child, he is a grown up. What he says goes. At least that is what we do, and as of yet neither myself nor my DP has had the 'you're not my mum/dad' card thrown at us from our respective kids. Neither of us would tolerate it from our own kids, to do that to our partner is a no no.

Goldmandra Tue 18-Mar-14 22:19:51

That sounds really positive Puffy but I think there are some other things that still need saying, e.g. that you understand how hard it must be if her bio dad makes her feel guilty for loving your DH and that she isn't responsible for his feelings, he is.

I'd also let her know that, if calling your DH Daddy, gets her in strife at ExH's house, she is allowed to choose to call him something else, even if he's still a daddy in her head. It must be her choice.

PuffyPigeon Tue 18-Mar-14 21:53:09

He doesn't give a shiny shit unfortunately hogwash.

I meant in my op that I would have the conversation suggested by some posters - I.e. 'i don't want him to collect me' elicits 'ok, I'll arrange a space for you at after school club.' Not long-term withdrawal of love or affection.

I used a (quite crap sounding - but it worked!) analogy on her today. I told her that, lets call her Matilda, happens to be her class mate. I asked if that therefore makes her her friend? No, replied dd, she isn't kind to me and says mean things so she isn't my friend. So you have to earn the title of being a friend, I said. She agreed. I suggested that she might like to consider that while exH happens to be her father, that it is the way someone treats you that determines what title they deserve. I asked if she thought dh was considerate, kind, responsible etc and she gave examples of how he was those things. So he's earned the title of daddy, right? She ended with smile

deakymom Tue 18-Mar-14 21:41:48

perhaps do it once explain to her that she has upset and hurt dp and he doesn't want to pick her up from school that day she is in a stage where she is not understanding other people's feelings she needs to be aware of this and how unacceptable this is

if she makes bold statements about blood relatives dismiss it my daughter did this i was just ew yuck blood really the wrong time to talk about that far too early

for attempting to turn his own children against him that requires immediate punishment

if she says she hates him and doesn't want him collecting her from school just say okay and send her to the after school club

i understand she is testing you but this is too much

Hogwash Tue 18-Mar-14 20:02:27

I think it is a cruel thing to do - she's only a child and can't process things like an adult yet. It must be really confusing to her to be getting all these conflicting messages.

Your ex, however, sounds like a bellend and if you need to 'punish' anyone, I think you should be punishing him. At least tell him that he will be majorly screwing your daughter up.

scooterland Tue 18-Mar-14 19:20:52

Don't do that. It'll prove to her that your ex is right and reinforce the negative attitude. She sounds like she is unhappy. Maybe you need to go and see someone so she can discuss her feelings. She is only 8, ok teenage years are not that far, but you must also get to the bottom of why she is testing so much at the moment. There might be sth makes her v unhappy and that she cannot really explain. A professional (psychologist, art therapist etc ) might be able to help. Do it now though. Don't delay.

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