Finally cracked with Disney dad and his goody goody son

(185 Posts)
quest12 Tue 19-Feb-13 22:42:09

My husband and I have a dd aged 7 we also have his son my stepson over regularly, now since she was toddling around he has tormented her made her cry but been sly about it as in he does it when we're not in the room then denies it, so I turned detective an started leaving the room but listening in so I cud make sure what my dd was telling me was right, and it was - however if I tell him off he takes his sons side and results in a 3 way argument with dss eventually saying if I'm taking dds side then he's not coming down anymore so my hubby begs me to relent and I do to keep the peace.

However yesterday we were at the local swimming pool me and hubby taking turns to go in steam room, as I'm coming out and hubs is going in I seen him elbow her in the head on purpose - she screamed crying and he stood there laughing in her face, then he looked up seen me and said "we were playing catch and cause she couldn't catch the ball she's crying" now I've been calm for 6 years but I exploded calling him a liar and evil for laughing in her face, hubby seen this an came out took dss to one side then came back saying "we're going now you've just told him off for nothing and he's upset now" in the car on way to drop dss off I told him what I'd seen and dd told her dad what happened but he lied and hubby believes him.

I've told him I'm putting up with it no longer and he says I can't tell dss off as he will stop visiting, but to me the happiness and stability of my dd is most important. I think it's an extreme case of Disney dad and I've had enuf he now thinks he can do what he likes as his dad will always take his side. What can I do ban him from coming? Or leave my hubby?

mumandboys123 Tue 12-Mar-13 22:15:02

allnew what a ridiculous comment. I guess attempting to ridicule is better than attempting to see someone else's point of view, isn't it?

Xalla Wed 13-Mar-13 06:21:23

I also think the teacher analogy is ridiculous. I work in a school, not as a teacher but I still come across very difficult behaviour at times and yes of course, you have to remain professional.
I'm also a stepmother to a little girl who can be very difficultand very jealous at times. I do not feel the need to behave 'professionally' when I am at home. My mantra has been as far as possible to treat her in the exact same way I would treat my own children and I do not treat my own children like I treat my students! If I feel myself getting to the point where I can't discipline my DSD in a reasonable manner, I send her to her room until my DH gets home and leave him to deal with it. Fortunately for me, my DH DOES deal with it. Unfortunately for the OP her DP doesn't deal with it and that leaves her with very few options. I agree; it would take a saint not to explode with frustration.
I can see why a woman who was not a stepmother herself but whose children have a stepmother would liken the stepmother's role to that of a teacher; detached, professional, accountable etc but I certainly don't believe it's a realistic expectation. Not when you have your SC from a very young age, not when you have them very often (at least 50% of the time in my case) and not when you have other children at home of a similar age.

allnewtaketwo Wed 13-Mar-13 06:39:22

Mumandboys your teacher analogy is ridiculous, and when I told you so, you asked me if I would be ok for you to push my child confused. That's not a very mature response to someone who doesn't agree with you.

As a teacher, you do not need to be concerned whether a child's behaviour will adversely impact your own child, physically or emotionally, your marriage or your home. It's a job, for which you are rewarded, and from which you enjoy a significant time away from. So nothing at all like a child of the family, at home, for the rest of your life.

As a teacher, you can garner the support of your head, the union, hopefully both the child's parents where possible to improve the situation. the OP has no such support. She's on her own in this, and its happening in her own home. She can't leave the situation at 3.30, safe in the knowledge her family is unscathed and she has every night, weekends, holidays away from the bullying. She can't go to her boss for support. She can't go to a union if he doesn't get this support. No similarity at all. She has no "authority" over the child. No right to send him out of "class" when he gets unruly. Can't take any time off"work" when she's had enough. Need I go on. It's completely different.

mumandboys123 Wed 13-Mar-13 19:56:40

We will need to agree to disagree. I could counter-argue your last post to the nth degree but it is clearly pointless.

I have simply asked if you consider it appropriate that an adult in a 'parental' position with a child is allowed to shout at a child, call that child 'evil' and do all of that in a public place which will have no doubt proved humilliating for said child. You seem to be suggesting that it is acceptable because of what the OP 'has had to put up with'. I argue it isn't acceptable and that we all have to put up with an awful lot but never behave in that way towards the children in our care.

allnewtaketwo Thu 14-Mar-13 07:27:33

I didn't say it is acceptable at all. You have foisted that opinion in my direction, purely because I disagreed with you that a deep patent position is anything like a teaching position.

Up thread you referred to people being "on the OPs side". This is not the playground. Their are no "sides", merely opinions. And someone having an opinion different to yours does not place said person on the OPs "side".

What I would say, however, is that I am pretty sure a number if parents (non step) have shouted at their own child in public, and on occasion at the end of their tether called them similar, same or worse than the OP is guilty of

RustyBear Thu 14-Mar-13 07:49:27

Allnew, I think you need to re-read mumandboys post - she did not 'ask if it would be OK for her to push your child', she said

"I suppose then it's fine to verbally attack a child in a public place and call him/her names? Would you be happy for me to do that to your child if he/she was caught pushing my child whilst we're out swimming?" (My italics)

allnewtaketwo Thu 14-Mar-13 07:59:10

What's the difference though. The point is she asked me if I would be ok for her to attack (verbally as per the exact words) my child. And she asked the question specifically to me solely on the basis that I disagreed with her teacher analogy. So specific words aside, my point remains

RustyBear Thu 14-Mar-13 10:39:35

No, she asked the question using those specific words because that was the specific situation in the OP.

But I'm off this thread because I don't see the point in wasting time arguing with someone who appears to share Humpty Dumpty's attitude to words....

allnewtaketwo Thu 14-Mar-13 11:22:51

off you go then, byyyeeee

Petal02 Thu 14-Mar-13 21:07:18

I just wish the OP would come back and update us. Quest - are you ok?

quest12 Thu 14-Mar-13 22:49:45

Hi thanks for all the replies I'm overwhelmed at the help and opinions you have all given good or bad I'm happy to hear what you all think as I asked because I wanted different opinions, Thank you to petal02 who has asked how I am personally I appreciate it xxxx sooooo I refused to apologise and dss did not visit, so dh was grumpy all wkend playing the blame card. One thing I did not mention was about a year ago when dss behaviour towards my dd was getting too bad I told him to have a word or see him alone, he assured me he had but on talking to my dd this week she said she hated being alone with dss and dh on her own as she felt left out and if she told dh anything that happened he would take dss side now I know why she's been clinging to me at wkends. My dss is 14 at an age where I'm sure even you haters would agree is old enuf to know right from wrong, Yes I do admit calling him evil may have been a step too far but put yourself in my shoes, I have let my dss away with everything in the past as I didn't want to jeopardise my dh relationship with him. My dd is 7 since she was 2 she's been bullied and tormented and I've been helpless as dh was terrified of dss not visiting. I finally snapped and yes in a public place but I've seen bio parents tell there own child off just as much and if I seen my dd elbow someone in the swimming pool then laugh in their face while they cried you can be sure she would get a gud telling off!

quest12 Thu 14-Mar-13 22:56:58

And pls realise that now my dd has thanked me for sticking up for her how guilty I feel for all the times when in her little head she thought I wasn't.

flurp Fri 15-Mar-13 11:26:14

You could almost understand this situation if your DD wasn't your DH's and he was sticking up for his son but the fact that she is his DD makes the whole situation appalling.
He is a poor excuse for a father - favouring his DS over his DD and they will grow up to hate each other if nothing changes.
She is lucky to have you and if I were you I would have no respect for your 'D'H at all and would seriously be considering leaving.

dignifiedsilence Fri 15-Mar-13 11:38:39

Why does it always kick off on here? confused
Lets look at the bigger picture......DH is not able to parent his son full time and carries around a certain amount of guilt for that (it goes with the territory of being a good dad). DC then allowed to get away with a lot more than any other child because he A. Only sees him once a week, B. He's frightened of telling him off in case he won't want to come anymore. or C. He's frightened of the DC's mother withdrawing contact.......or D. Some other reason.
In any case its a recipe for disaster for everyone else. Whilst I am not condoning calling a child 'evil' I can fully understand the OP's point of view. If you are witnessing 1 child being treated better than another then at some point you are bound to lose it...this IMHO is the OP only mistake. If this child is going through a phase he needs consistent parenting from all sides and that includes consequences when he misbehaves. If his dad doesn't set down some rules and boundaries and stick to them this isn't going to stop.
Just my 2 pennies worth

Jan45 Fri 15-Mar-13 11:56:46

This has got way out of hand, you're angry, hubby's angry and ex is angry, over what really, a little spat between children, all pretty normal in my book. Saying that, the son does need to be told his behaviour is wrong and will not be tolerated. I don't really agree with the poster who says the boy must be angry, confused, bewildered, it's been six years has it not, surely he's over his parents split by then?

The ex expecting you to apologise is an absolute joke, she wasn't even there, does she really think her son is telling her the complete truth, I bet she knows it's not, sounds like she just like stirring trouble for you both.

Tbh, I don't see a bright future for you and your OH-unless you can both agree guidelines, rules, sing from the same sheet, this will be a constant battle that you should not have to be fighting.

You either stand your ground and sort out the issues with OH or accept that this is the way it is and step back and keep out, depends on the kind of person you are really, I couldn't keep out but some folk could.

dignifiedsilence Fri 15-Mar-13 12:02:19

I agree with Jan....I would like to think I am the kind of person who could step back and keep quiet but I can't. It would be the beginning of the end for me and not just for the way he is treating me but the way he seems to have different rules for your daughter x

Jan45 Fri 15-Mar-13 12:10:07

Don't worry about getting angry and calling him evil, we've all done it, every parent loses their rag now and again, you're only human.

Keep us updated but this weekend, be kind to yourself x

Petal02 Fri 15-Mar-13 13:07:52

you could almost understand the situation if your daughter wasn't your husband's child

Absolutely. And even as a non-parent, it really troubles me to think of a little girl who badly wants some support from her Dad, only to find he sticks up with the boy who bullies her. That's really shocked me. I would have been heart broken if my Dad had behaved like that.

Dignified is spot-on with her A/B/C/D reasons about why the OP's DH behaves the way he does. It's Disney in the extreme.

Well done Quest, for sticking to your guns and not apologising. I wonder what will happen next time DSS is supposed to visit though? Will he still be expecting an apology? Perhaps the ex will be so keen for some child free time that she makes him go regardless, which would be no bad thing as then things are back to normal (ish) without you backing down.

Do keep us posted OP.

noam Fri 15-Mar-13 13:50:12

Not quite sure how standing your ground and refusing to apologise has helped here. DSS doesn't see his father or sister. DD doesn't see her brother. DH is angry and OP's marriage is strained.

Why? Because OP won't apologise for what was a horrible thing to say. Yes, all parents lose it with their kids. Course we do. But we blummin well apologise afterwards - or we should! How else do they learn to apologise for what they've done wrong?

And please, whoever is advising OP to walk away from her marriage. Really?? Another child witnessing parents divorce at 7 years old? Another saga of EOW visits and your child hit my child etc. How is that a positive resolution to this?

OP - I sympathise. Really, I do. Step-parenting is a bl**dy nightmare sometimes. But you have to be the bigger person here. Round the table - talk it through - family counselling - whatever. Do something. Explain to everyone how you feel. Lay basic houserules. Drag DH to Relate - by a leash if you have to. But digging your heels in and refusing to say sorry - well, my toddler does that. And even she knows it never ends well.

Petal02 Fri 15-Mar-13 15:17:54

But if the OP had apologised, then nothing is ever going to improve for her 7 yr old daughter. People'seem to forget about the well being of this little girl, and automatically rush to the defence of the step child. Just because this boy has separated parents he should not be "above the law" to the detriment of a young girl.

Also, if the OP were to apologise, then she's bowing down to the ex and her DSS. Not only would this be really unwise, but kids and exes do NOT rule the roost and most of us would rather stick pins in our eyes before apologising under these circumstances.

As I said before, the OP's loss of temper is a symptom of the underlying problem, not the cause if the problem. I totally get this because I had a melt down a few years ago, telling DH a few home truths about his lilly-livered parenting. He could 't cope with the truth, and twisted the situation, saying I needed anger management classes - whereas if he did some proper parenting, there would be no anger to manage.

flurp Fri 15-Mar-13 15:30:21

I would leave my DP if he looked in and did nothing while one of his dc was bullied in her own home.
I think witnessing a break up is better than years of torment from her brother and a father who won't stand up for her.
To me it's about respect.
I couldn't be with a man I didn't respect and I wouldn't respect a man who let this happen.
Each to their own though smile

catsmother Fri 15-Mar-13 16:02:21

Deep breath ..... I'll probably be hung drawn and quartered by the end of this post but ....

.... whilst I agree that calling a child "evil" is far from ideal, I do totally understand why the OP flipped. It's awful to watch a younger child being bullied by an older one and in most cases there's a significant difference in size and strength between a 14 year old boy - a teenager and a 7 year old girl - a primary school child which makes any "normal" sibling "spatting" in this particular case a little bit different to bickering etc when the kids involved are much closer in age to each other. This particular incident was far from a one-off - it's been going on for 5 years IIRC .... and again, I find that especially nasty when you consider a 2 year old DD - a toddler, practically a baby really - being picked on by a much bigger child. My daughter's 9 and I would come down very hard indeed on her were she to be mean or to torment such a young child (or any child for that matter).

So - it's not surprising the OP lost it and all things considered I think SS deserved to have a strip torn off him. Yes - her choice of words was perhaps ill advised because the spoilt brat SS and his pathetic blinkered father have siezed upon the "terrible" thing she called him as opposed to the much worse behaviour and attitude that they both display towards DD. Comparing OP's outburst with SS's bullying and DH's blinkered ignorance/irresponsibility/favouritism I know which one I'd say was the lesser of two evils actually (no pun intended).

Okay .... you now have this stalemate situation and obviously splitting up would be a last resort and far from desirable. But on the other hand, if both SS and DH see nothing wrong in what they've done - for several bloody years - then how on earth is that going to benefit OP and her daughter. Poor kid - not only does she get picked on - but her dad never protects her. I find it very hard to believe that in 5 years he's never witnessed the bullying for himself - and if he has, then his head in the sand dishonesty about it is absolutely disgusting. Even if he's convinced himself he's not seen anything, why, does he always accept his son's word as read ? I remember arguing with my sister like most kids do but when either one of us went moaning to mum and dad if neither of them had seen what had happened they either ignored us both, or punished us both - they never favoured one of us over the other at all.

I don't think the OP should apologise as things stand. The current situation has all been turned around to be all about what she's done - which is far far less important than sorting out what they've done. For this family to be able to go forward, that needs to a) be acknowledged and b) be tackled .... which is going to be a huge ask as it's been going on for so long. Clearly, in order to keep ex and older child "sweet" dad has decided that he'll effectively sacrifice his younger child so he never has to challenge, discipline or heaven forbid punish his nasty brat of an older son. Presumably he's petrified about losing contact - such a ^familiar story - but that's simply not a good enough reason to betray his daughter the way he's been doing. I don't know if he'd be prepared to take that on board or not but yes, family counselling would be a very good idea as a last attempt to have him see sense. There's never any reason for perpetually favouring one child over another, and if he still refused to accept that after counselling, or, argued that he "had to" in order to "keep" SS then OP would have an answer once and for all about what he truly thought of her and their daughter. That is - if he agreed to speak to a 3rd party at all ... I think many of these men know damn well how monstrously unfair they're being but would refuse counselling because in a situation like this there really is only one right answer and that is to treat all your kids fairly. The ideal of course is that DH realises the error of his ways and agrees to impose fair discipline and boundaries with SS going forward in order to preserve his marriage and ensure his daughter is treated equally and fairly compared to SS.

OP - I feel so angry for you ..... yes, it's not unreasonable for your DH to feel desperately frightened about losing his son and he's in an unenviable position with a spiteful ex who has a history of alienating kids against their dad. For that, you have to feel sorry for him but good god, the right way of dealing with that is NOT to shit over your youngest child. What he should have done and believe me, I know first hand this is no easy answer either is to treat both kids the same (obviously age appropriateness notwithstanding) and if that included having to discipline SS every so often (show me a child who doesn't need to be disciplined ever!) then so be it. If the result of that meant loss of contact then DH should have immediately dragged the mother into court rather than rely upon her co-operation. And yes I also know court orders often aren't worth the paper they're written on but that's still the right thing to do when you have a bitter spiteful ex who won't back up the NRP over normal disciplinary issues. The men who choose the "easy" option of tiptoeing round their (invariably) spoilt and bratty kids who hold a totally inappropriate amount of power due to their parents being unable or refusing to co-operate pretty much disgust me whatever sympathy I feel for their fear of "losing" non resident kids .... you simply can't allow one child to take the hit (literally it would seem in this case) because you don't like the idea of the alternative - brat child stropping off. How bloody cowardly is that ?

So ..... OP, you've got this awful situation and in your shoes I'd tell your DH that you both need family counselling urgently to try and find a way forward. And personally speaking, I'd be happy to apologise for my poor choice of vocabulary but only when both DH and SS had offered genuine apologies of their own, together with a promise that things would be different from now on. At 14 SS is well old enough to know how he's behaving is wrong - I'm sure his school has an anti-bullying policy for example and I'm sure it's drummed into them. I wonder how his school would treat him if they found him bullying a Year 6 kid never mind a 7 year old. Yes, you can't say you're totally innocent in what's happened that'd be ridiculous but if you look at this as an overall and longstanding problem - which you should do - your contribution, oh dear, calling SS a nasty name under great provocation amounts to a tiny fraction of the larger issue. And that's why I think it's so important that DH and SS recognise how bloody awful they've been first. Not so you get the pleasure of "winning" or anything like that but because it's vital to the future of your family that they do so. If they can't/won't then I don't really see how you can carry on with DH - all your respect for him would have gone and just as importantly, your daughter's self esteem will be destroyed by not feeling her dad has her best interests at heart and that she's clearly second best.

Petal02 Fri 15-Mar-13 16:23:22

Bravo Catsmother - superb post.

Jan45 Fri 15-Mar-13 16:57:18

Brilliant post Castmother...thanks

dignifiedsilence Fri 15-Mar-13 17:11:31

Yes I'll second that....brilliant post and well balanced opinions xx

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