to be fed up of having to 'supervise' dps parenting?(71 Posts)
Among other children we have a just turned 2 yr old. She's very much a mummys girl because, to be honest, dp hasn't made enough effort with her. When she was a baby and cried he'd say she needed bf-ing and hand her straight over and he's never got out of that habit. I'm almost 3 months pregnant so definitely want and need this to change so I'm not doing everything while he sits twiddling his thumbs.
Yesterday for example, I said I'd clear away after dinner so he could play with dd. Within a minute he came to chat with me in the kitchen and dd wrapped herself round my leg beginning to whine for me so I handed him some leftover grated carrot and said to dd: 'do you want to go and feed this to the rabbits with daddy?' She agreed but seconds later he was back. He'd simply opened the door for her. The back door has a high step off a plastic ledge, I'd been raining so was slippery. We have a dog and there were two poos en route to the rabbit hutch which dd could've stepped in and obviously leaving her unsupervised to feed grated carrot to rabbits would likely result in her getting bitten. I caught her just as she slipped off the step, just about stopping her from banging her head on the corner of the door.
Last week, we were walking the dog and dd was smelling flowers. I kept reminding her some were nettles so to ask before she touched to make sure. Elder dd got something in her shoe so I was helping her and left dp with toddler dd, only to hear dd repeatedly say 'this one?' about six times. I turned and saw dp on his phone oblivious and dd reaching out to nettles. Before he registered what I was shouting over about she'd lunged on her hands and knees into the nettles and was covered in stings
These are just a few of many examples. I was talking about it with my friend today who said I need to 'let him make his own mistakes so he'll learn' but I feel I can't do that when dds safety is at risk. It's like he has no forethought of consequences and I'm tired of always having to be 'on duty' because he's unreliable. Aibu to be fed up of 'supervising' him and want him to take some responsibility in thinking ahead?
He sounds like a lazy fart of a parent
Was he different with the older ones?
Is he still different with the older ones?
I feel your pain as my DH is a bit like this with both of my DC.
If they tell him they're hungry he will chuck them a full size cereal bar (generally keep this in my bag for emergency hunger situations!) or give them a packet of his crisps because he cba to make them a piece of toast or prepare them some fruit.
Sounds like a little thing but it's not when it's all the time.
Hmmm. If you felt you were constantly being supervised and found to be lacking, would you want to put a huge amount of effort in or would you rather hand the reins over to someone who obviously considered themselves more competent.
Just giving you some food for thought.
His dc are 8 and 9 and he's always been super over the top cautious with them because he's terrified of incurring the wrath of his exW if they happened to get hurt on his watch. My dd is almost 7 and regularly goes to a roller disco - he said dsc couldn't go in case they got hurt I think he's over the top with them but it tells me that he is capable of being careful, he just isn't with our dc because he thinks I've always got it covered.
Permanently as yet I haven't mentioned anything. I didn't have a go when she fell in the nettles but he acknowledged it was his fault. Usually I just have to pick up the pieces once she's upset or hurt but haven't yet criticised him, but resentment is building because he hasn't learned from his mistakes
Because you have always got it covered!
If he gets it wrong he's probably worried he'll get the same reaction again (^incur the wrath of his exW^) from you.
I'd imagine he can tell from your reaction, whether or not you've openly criticised him. After all, it sounds like he's already travelled this road once.
Why are you having another child with this man when he can't even be arsed to look after the last one properly?
Why don't you just talk to him about it? You're having another baby with him, you should be able to express your feelings too. He might not be getting the message, especially since it seems you never overtly express it. Yes, he should know better but he will always rely on you if you always watch and then step in.
Clearly not permanently or she wouldn't have been covered from head to toe in nettle stings. He separated from exW when his dc were babies, so no he hasn't been here before.
notmy it was a contraceptive fail, to be completely honest. But he isn't malicious, just apparently clueless.
But Goofy what's the alternative to watching and stepping in? Every time he did something I'd be nagging with instructions: is the step slippery, is there dog poo, you need to supervise her feeding the rabbits, it's not a good idea for her to jump on the bed, if you let her climbout of tthe bath she'll slip, if you tell her something she wants is upstairs she'll start going upstairs to get it, she's putting something small in her mouth and so on and so on.
His Ex is ensuring her children are cared for properly by giving him some wrath. I suggest you stop being so understanding and accomodating and give him some wrath on behalf of your children too!
No it sounds like his ex is ensuring that he is so petrified of doing something wrong that he is too nervous to do anything at all.
Because you always have it covered, on the very few occasions you don't, he doesn't realise that.
Just out of interest, if you're worried about dog poo, bed-jumping and stair-climbing, why don't you pick it up/get a stairgate?
op my dp was the same with dd at the beginning. It was one of the reasons I struggled to continue to breast feed .
Because I had to do all the feeding and was super competent at everything the lazy fucker took a back seat and enjoyed the ride.
When people came around he was a doting father but fairly quickly after he was on his playing on his phone.
Four weeks in when I was nearly blind , deaf and hallucinating for sheer exhaustion, she made one little murmur when he had had hold of her for seconds and passed her to my breast and said "she is hungry "
It was a horrible time for me, I had a bad recovery from ECS and was beyond tired. I stopped breast feeding that day. I also told him to get his bags packed.
I told him he was being a fucking lazy cunt and a shit dad.
He was really shocked and stated crying! Thought I was in control!
He is a million times better now but occasionally he will get a kick up the arse. I did have to go down the route of " watch she doesn't do x,y,z because..ect or don't go to bed and leave the top of the steriliser because they will all have to be done again...
I wasn't prepared to let him bumble through dd baby years being a burden to me- watching him doing the night feeds was pathetic !
I walked past dds room when he went in to feed her and he was on his knees , stark bollocked naked, his head against the rails arm over the top, struggling to stay awake. I stood and watched him finish feeding her to make sure he didn't choke her!
Call him out on it.
You need to just let him at it. Tbh honest, apart from a possibly biting rabbit, none of what you describe is that dangerous. Let him make the mistakes and deal with the teary child etc. If you can't bear watching it, then get out more. Children get stung by nettles, step in poo and bump themselves all the time. If they don't explore their limits, they learn little.
Personally, it's not a break for me oif I have to still keep watch and nag. I don't do it and I don't find much happens really. The house is not as dangerous as you seem to think.
He's definitely overly reliant on you but the only cure for that is backing off and letting them get on with it. For her too, her dad needs to feel competent minding her. Short term pain but long term gain.
Though to be honest, they never mind them like you do yourself. I guess you have to accept that too.
Agree with wiltingfast. He's never going to learn whilst you're there so leave him to it. Children are more resilient than you think.
She isn't usually interested in the stairs at all but because he'd told her something was up there and said 'shall we get it?' she began climbing the stairs. She knows not to without an adult but I guess she assumed he'd follow after suggesting it, but he didn't. The dog belongs to both of us, it shouldn't be my sole responsibility to check for and pick up poo. It was in plain sight. Dd wasn't wearing shoes and is a clean freak so would've been distraught if she'd stepped in. Whatever happens, he doesn't deal with the consequences - he hands her to me.
wilting I'm really not over-cautious, though I appreciate I perhaps sound it. Falling down the big step would've resulted in her cutting her head open on the corner of the door, and possibly the corner of the concrete step, too. I can't just 'let him at it' and let dd get hurt.
You let your dogs shit all over the garden and don't clear it up straight away? That's disgusting.
Just go away for the weekend and leave him to it.
He'll work it out pretty quickly.
And keep doing it.
You wouldn't want him to forget.
If he can do it with his other kids, he can manage with this one. He's just being a lazy shite and you are enabling him.
Back off and let him parent because he has to, not get away with it because you are hovering and telling him what he needs to think next.
Stop infanitlising him. He's an adult. Tell him to buck up. Fast. Then make him.
I'd go with fizzybang's method on this one. Tell him exactly what you think of his shit, lazy, careless parenting and his disregard for DD's safety. It's not rocket science to look at the step and see a 2-year-old could hurt herself. You don't sound overly protective, just normally aware of the dangers in your household for a very young child. He should be aware too.
Tell him to pull himself together and act like a proper parent. If you catch him playing on his phone again while his daughter falls into the nettles, chuck the goddamn phone into a pond.
What's the work situation? Have you been at home with your dd while he worked? Do you work? I think if one parent is at home establishing the child care it could be easy for the other to get into the pattern of thinking theywwill always be 'in charge' of the child.
If the above is possible he may need to know explicitly he is in charge now. Could you discuss with him something he could do with the 2 year old ie play in the garden for 30 mins? Give him some ideas of stuff they could play out there, then once they are out there leave then to it. You could then join then after 30 mins while it's still going well rather than it being you stepping in when it all goes wrong.
I dunno maybe he lacks confidence. Good luck tho.
I think you need to leave them alone together so he knows he's in charge and has to step up- and also there's no chance of you criticising (either overtly or implied criticism). DH used to be like that with DD- she was also breastfed so whenever she wasn't happy he handed her over to me. But when DD was about a year old he got a new job that meant he could watch her in the mornings while I worked. That time alone together really helped them bond and now she's a little daddy's girl and he has a much better understanding of how much time and effort toddlers take up.
My DH is a bit like yours, OP.
With my DH, I think the crux of it is that he always puts his needs first, and he'll always go for the easy/lazy option, even if it is not the safest.
After finding him asleep on a sunbed whilst on holiday in Greece 2 years ago, leaving a 2 year old and a 7 year old playing in the pool, I just don't bother relying on him to keep the kids safe any longer; I do it myself. I know he's their father and he should be able to keep them safe etc etc, but he doesn't, so I do it myself.
I agree with people saying you remove yourself for periods of time and make it very clear that he needs to be vigilant about injuries - give him a checklist of non safe things and let him get in with it. It won't get better unless you stop covering up his rubbish behaviour.
What worked for me was explicitly telling him at certain times that he was in charge. He liked it when we were both in charge because really what that meant was he relaxed and I was the one actually parenting but I told him this and now when we are together we will designate who is in charge at any point and he is much better.
Stop supervising. Leave them alone together so he can find his own way, and maybe carve out a regular slot that is his without you looking over his shoulder. Bedtimes? When our eldest got very clingy to me, H reacted by taking over bedtimes and giving her that one to one every single day. She wasn't keen at first, she wanted me and that was so tough on DH, but he stuck with it and it was great for both of them.
Stuff tends to work better here if there's just one person handling it. When I take the DCs out, I remember suncream. When H takes them, he remembers it. But when we go together, too often it slips down the gap somehow. I can see a nettle incident going the same way.
He's being lazy/ disconnected. It's not because ause you've damaged his confidence. He gets bored (wandering in to talk to you rather than be with her in the garden, on his phone rather than keeping her out of the nettles)
Are you a SAHP?
I bet he just thinks its not his "job"
Maybe he'll be more use when they're older.
I actually have nightmares about the pool scenario myself.
I don't think I'll ever lie down again.
AmandaClarke we're going on holiday in a few weeks' time and I've already said to DH that I won't allow him to supervise the kids around the pool as I don't trust him. I only left him with them for a few minutes whilst I went to the apartment to get something, and when I came back he was fast asleep. His response was "Oh they're ok". He doesn't seem to 'get it'
Oh god no.
You see, you can't let him "practice" with that can you.
I would be tempted to drop something valuable of his in the pool or bath.
Have a nice hols
My god would I unleash hell.
There is no excuse for being so fucking lazy when it comes to safety. I would almost be a LTB, what is the point of having someone to help shoulder the burden when you couldn't ever really feel tgey were safe? Accidents happen if course but ge has to actually be present and anticipate them.
Thanks Amanda. If he sits around on his ipad all day I'll be tempted to drop it into the pool
Bernies, I went nuts at him but he just shrugged and couldn't see why I was so cross. As far as he was concerned they were ok and I was being fussy.
You can get little alarms on a wrist strap that are activated by distance/ water. I know that's no substitute for vigilant supervision but in addition to, I found them reassuring on our last holiday.
And to keep a buoyancy aid on DCs when they're outside.
He fell asleep while they were at the pool? Can you not google newspaper stories about children drowning on holiday and show him - there are plenty. I'm surprised you have tolerated this level of sheer dreadfulness. Dh falls asleep in front of the TV with dd, if he did it by a pool he'd hate himself, I wouldn't even have to say it.
The pool one is shocking a real nightmare moment,my dd slipped under water right Beside me when I was splashed in the eyes by someone I turned round and there she was under the water looking at me,she was 3 then.
I missed what age your dd is but you should make it clear to him that he needs to supervise or shadow your dd at all times and it's not just down to you.some horror stories might buck his ideas up.
Dog poo is dangerous if it gets into your eyes so I would be extra careful to pick the dog poo up,maybe when dogs are out or just coming in someone should go out and see if they have done a poo.
If you're not willing to back off Sampanther, he will not change.
You do sound awfully cautious but obviously not my child or house and you must make your own judgement call. So she might have bumped her head or walked in poo and got upset. Tell him to calm her down. And then let him do that for as long as it takes.
The alternative is to do the hovering and resent him bitterly.
It doesn't last forever as your child will obviously get more compentent as they grow, but a lack of engagement on the part of your partner now is unlikley to change if it doesn't change now.
I urge you to take some time away and leave them to it. It will increase your own confidence in him as well. He IS a grown adult after all with other children of his own.
It might be hard to hear this but there are two of you in this situation and the dynamic is being created by BOTH of you.
wilting she will not settle for him if upset, full stop. I have left them to it and if something happens to dd (last time she tried climbing out of the bath because he left her in there to get his phone while the water was draining and fell and banged her head on the toilet, thenhard floor tiles) she lliterally screams the place down. Because he usually hands her to me, he doesn't know how to settle her so I when I returned home an hour after that incident he'd left her on the sofa screaming and crying and admitted he'd done so after 5 mins because 'she was hurting his ears' and he 'struggles to hold her during a tantrum'
Seems to me that his exw is like she is because he's always been a useless dangerous father. Leaving her alone in the bath is unacceptable.
He didn't see the danger because there was apparently less than an inch of water remaining...
So he leaves her alone in the bath, she falls and smacks her head, and then he just leaves her alone to cry for an hour?
I totally disagree that you have undermined his confidence - he's just lazy and finds childcare boring so doesn't bother.
Mine are older now but I used to tell them to go back to Daddy, wait for Daddy, etc "so he can help you". If he let them walk off alone I'd intervene by telling them what I wanted him to do. That way I wasn't stepping in and taking over so he came to the conclusion that it was easier to do it the first time after a while.
It does still happen occasionally with DD2 who is 11 when he's on the phone to his mates but I just send her to stand next to him and wait until he's off the phone. It doesn't usually take long
I'm astounded by his comment. Didn't you reply "Well I bloody well don't always have it covered!"
I mean, the whole point of him being there is so that you don't always have to have it covered, so that you can attend to another child without worrying about the youngest, so he can, you know, be an EQUAL parent? You didn't just invite him along to have a lovely time, you're supposed to be in this together.
What's his obsession with this phone?!
And no, I think you're right to hover even though you shouldn't have to. I will never ever forget the thread on here where a husband who was "a bit clueless about safety and didn't think" managed to (accidentally of course but preventably ) injure their DD extremely seriously. If you couldn't trust him because you had trust issues or he was unconfident then yes backing off would help but if he's actually putting the DC at potential risk of quite serious harm then no, you don't need to back off, you need to make sure your children are safe however you choose to do that.
Sampanther, my DH's idea of bathing the kids is to run the bath, plonk the kids in it and then go and watch TV or play on his phone and just assume that they will somehow magically appear out of the bath washed, dried and dressed.
I think their bloody phones have a lot to answer for. My DH seems to get totally absorbed in his and is oblivious to anything going on around him.
He didn't see the danger and left a hurt child to cry on her own? I'm in fact not easily outraged but this is really poor. He has to change. If my dh kept defending himself when he'd let dd get hurt through repeated carelessness I'd be considering booting him out, he should be ashamed of himself. I admit, I spend too much time on my phone, but not to the extent someone gets hurt.
That bath thing is shocking OP.
Not only does he sound lazy but also cruel. Leaving her to cry in pain. What a cunt.
How can you stand him?
He thinks she's being dramatic because she goes from happy to awful screaming in ten seconds. If she's upset, whether hurt or for another reason, she'll physically push and stiffen her body so he cant hold her and so hejust puts her down and leaves her to it until I can deal with her. He seems to think I have a magic touch but doesn't realise everyone has to learn how their child is comforted and that his problem is he didn't find out early on and now apparently can't be arsed.
Yep I agree his problem is he hasn't cared enough to find out what works for him. Fwiw, this is a really tough dilemma, it's more serious than you just backing off as you really can't trust him given these examples and his awful refusing to see the issue. A proper chat and an absolute agreement to change from him alongside him 'in charge' while you're there sounds the possible way forward.
Sounds like your DD knows he is shit at looking after her and she can't trust him to do so. Therefore he is not a comforting presence.
Sorry Sampanther but your dp is sounding worse and worse. A serious talk is needed.
My DH is like this as well - I periodically go nuts on him over it and he pulls his socks up for a little while before slacking off again. We also have the battle of the dog shit - if I let them out I watch them and pick up straight away, he prefers to leave it and do a few poos at once - so I always have to do a sweep of the garden before I let the kids out at all to know they've been picked up for definite. He adores the kids though and does a lot more than many blokes so I grit my teeth through it a bit.
I. Would. Be. Apoplectic. Seriously.
With 2DC, 2DSC, a dog and a bump, the last thing you need is a manchild. You need to jointly ensure that history doesn't repeat for your new addition.
I don't think that you sound overcautious.
My poor DH's eyebrows were almost blown off by my fury once when I'd asked him before we left for a day out whether we had everything. Turned out, he hadn't brought a rain cover. (Hardly a hanging offence! I was v overtired and hormonal at the time, poor sod!). We had a LONG discussion about how common sense and responsibilty are not the preserve of she who has breasts.
You're not over cautious. Who the fuck leaves a toddler alone in a bath? And let's them climb out alone so they suffer a head injury?
How anyone is calling you over cautious or suggesting this is your doing by not "letting" this fuckwit look after your child I do not know. It beggars belief.
No. YANBU to be fed up with having to supervise
dickhead's DPs parenting. But it looks like you'll have to keep doing it to have any chance of staying out of A&E.
He's not bonded with her that well it seems to me Sampanther, he certainly has no confidence in dealing with her. I won't keep banging on because in the end, you know the situation best, but there is no easy answer for you in this.
The fundamental point is he will not learn if he does not do it himself.
If you are too big a focus when you are there, then I think you literally need to get out of the house. A whole day minimum, probably longer!
I think shouting etc is just taking all the authority onto yourself which is actually exhausting for you and gives him an excuse for always thinking you know best and so never growing to take proper care himself.
Have you let him bath her since?
All that said, remember, THIS DOES NOT LAST, so if you can't bring yourself to let him go through a learning curve, you will come out the other end eventually.
I do realise this is hard core advice btw but I genuinely think leaving them to cope is what works though they are never as good as you.
You have bigger problems with this man other than his crap parenting, I'm on your other thread in Relationships too.
He doesn't actually sounds clueless [if he can do it for the other kids he can do it for her] he actually sounds cruel.
And of course you are there to pick up the pieces when he just can't be arsed. Nice.
wiltingfast - would you really be willing to leave your small child all day with someone who can't/won't keep them safe? The OP went out for an hour and her toddler got a head injury in an entirely preventable incident and then wasn't even comforted. I would expect next door's 15 year old to do a better job.
Sounds like he does a lot less than many blokes too Miaow. Just because some are worse doesn't excuse him - if it's not working for you make that clear to him!
It is really tricky when they just don't appear to get safety. As a veteran of this dilemma - while I was on 24/7 childcare duty on a 'holiday' when dh was very depressed, I asked him to take care of ds for an hour while I lay down, he sat down by the pool and went to sleep; ds fell in the pool - ultimately the only answer may be to suck it up until the child is older. And I do know how utterly shit that sounds.
Still wishing Families Need Fathers would do some kind of outreach/intervention service in these situations.
wilting I have left them alone on numerous occasions. If she starts to cry, he leaves her to do so until I return - he isn't trying to find his own way, he's resigned to her not wanting him. It's not fair on (or safe) to keep leaving her in this situation. Joan I do think he's one of those men who's loads better with older kids - who i've taught to be safety aware, polite, disciplined etc. I just resent that I have to do all the hard bit and he gets to step in in a couple of years as 'fun dad.'
Why does he leave her to cry?
Because her screams are piercingly loud and 'it hurts his ears' to be close to her and she thrashes about like a toddler would if having a tantrum - throwing herself back, going stiff, pushing against him etc to get down. I've said he should put her down if she doesn't want to be held but could still try and distract or engage her to cheer her up rather than just ignore her. He just doesn't know how though - so often he just keeps repeating her name expecting her to stop crying and listen or else says that's enough, you're being silly, it wasn't that bad and do on which makes her worse.
Oh dear. Is it a lack of skill thing?
Or a lack of sympathy/ empathy?
Does he feel sad for her? Or just annoyed?
It sounds as though his attachment isn't good. It's a worry isn't it?
I think he thinks she's over the top and does get annoyed after a short time of her not responding to him or calming down.
Another way he's a total jerk - she's a small child, they're all over the top and incapable of controlling themselves at times. He should know that by now? I hope he gets better for your sake op. His other behaviour re you sounds pretty hard to take too.
Gen because she isn't like that with me he takes it personally. She is very delicate and (for example) terrified of loud traffic so if she hears a noisy truck or ambulance coming she'd start to flap and panic and he'd just tell her not to be silly and refuse to hold her hand or pick her up while it passes, leaving her inconsolable. Whereas I'd tell her it's fine, hold her handaand crouch down to talk to her or pick her up to wave to it and she doesn't shed a tear.
It's just immature of him to react like that isn't it, not taking things personally is another sign of being an adult. What you do sounds really sensible of course.
He's intolerant of her normal behaviour and unable/ unwilling to meet her needs.
I think it's because he can't see beyond his own needs.
It's not necessarily quite that bad re older ones IMO. Childcare with older children is different and dh is now more patient than me with ds and stresses less about things that I go into a bit of a tizz about. I think the things that made me a good parent of toddler/preschooler ds (though I say so myself) sometimes get in the way of parenting the older child.
No, a lax atitude to safety is okay with older ones because they've usually worked out themselves via accidents, seeing accidents or knowledge of gravity/common sense/advice they've had from various sources, to keep themselves mostly safe.
But I don't think you can write it off and say "Well it's okay because he's just more suited to looking after older children". I find it piercing and physically painful when DS is screaming in my ear. I still cuddle him if he's screeching in pain - it's just basic human compassion, not even related to parenting. He sounds really un-empathetic.
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