now avoiding dsd

(26 Posts)
lastroseofsummer Tue 26-Mar-13 13:31:55

she is a teenager who is having issues and attending a counsellor for self-harming etc and i have tired to help her in any way, going out just the 2 of us - trying to talk to her and let her know that i am here but I just give up now.

she has caused so many arguments, tears etc, she is mean to my dc, flaunts all our house rules, ie told to be home for 10 - walzing in at 11.30 - no punishment from my dp who is the gold medal winner of disney parenting - my child came to be to ask why she was being so mean!

she was so snappy last nite that I snapped back at her, i then approached my dp to tell him that i am now uncomfortable in my own home - i dread her coming over as we are all on constant egg shells with her.

personally i think my dp is to blame for alot of it as she is still a child but he is so busy trying to keep her happy that he doesnt actually parent her.

any advice?

theredhen Tue 26-Mar-13 14:17:06

It's him you need to change. Her behaviour is upsetting you but really it's only your dp who can change her behaviour with some support from you and others.

lastroseofsummer Tue 26-Mar-13 14:23:15

thanks for the reply - i have tried to explain it to him - he tells me that he is trying to help her and doesnt want to hassle her but its causing damage now to dc and myself/dp. I agree that is him who needs to change

im actually fairly annoyed with him as I feel he doesnt want to parent her more for his own selfish reasons rather than anything to do with her. For example he doesnt attend any school meetings regardin her self-harming, leaves all that to his ex whom he has a very up and down relationship with. they are currently attempting to divorce.

i think im being a bad parent to my own dc as i have allowed dsd behaviour to continue in an effort to keep the peace and try to help her but dp doesnt seem to ever want to confront it.

theredhen Tue 26-Mar-13 15:11:41

I think you're living my life. Feeling that you're walking on eggshells trying to keep everyone happy whilst also knowing that if you do put your foot down, chances are, dp won't back you up.

My dp (like so many) is frightened of upsetting his kids so keeps quiet and naturally I feel I have to follow. You end up in a situation where you feel suffocated by the constant to tongue biting. hmm

Does your dp really know how you feel? Do you think he would go to counselling or parenting classes?

Jan45 Tue 26-Mar-13 15:13:18

He's a lousy parent and he's allowing his child to disrespect you and yours. You need to be telling him, not asking him, either he bucks his ideas up or you're not going to be around when she visits. He sounds a really selfish man, sorry.

Jan45 Tue 26-Mar-13 15:14:18

No offence but what a way to live, walking on egg shells for fear of upsetting a child???

lastroseofsummer Tue 26-Mar-13 15:52:57

the thing is I dont think she is bad underneath, its like she kicks off to get attention or something. I dont think he would back me up, the not respecting curfew time is a really big deal for me, he tells me its not my business etc etc which he may have a point about but what is it saying to my dc when dsd can do as she pleases?

i had a big argument with him about it this morning which resulted in him tellling me that i was a moan and a nag and just lvd arguing!. i think himslef and his ex had a bad relationship and the child was treated nearly like another adult in the house, she is constantly missing time from school ie every month and is sullen and sulky now anytime I have conversation wtih her and ask her about school. its terrible to say it but sometimes I wonder if the self harm etc isnt a sign of unhappiness i think she started it to frighten her parents into letting her do as she please. that i think is a bigger problem. my own dc watch this and its awful as im trying to give them proper values and respect.

im not nagging but i dont think that ignoring the issue is working. I mean he is now annoyed with me as im not making a huge fuss of her with loads of easter eggs etc, i did buy her an easter egg but not more than 1 - i made her up a little hamper last year - the reason im not is that I have recently bought her a few little gifts and havent even recieved a thank you so why would I?

Jan45 Tue 26-Mar-13 16:29:37

So it's thrown back to you as if you are the problem, typical from a man who is a mouse, he needs to grow a pair and so do you. Don't let him treat you like that, how dare he, and why are you the one who has been doing most of the helping with this girl, she is not yours, I assume they has a mother and a father, they should be dealing with it and if they are not well again, not for you to get involved in, believe me, the more you get involved, the more he'll call you a moan etc. I don't see any respect for you coming from him or his daughter, it's about time you laid down the laws to both of them, self harming, or not.

mummytime Tue 26-Mar-13 16:56:01

How long have you and your DP been together? How long have you lived together?
I wonder if you have such different views on child raising, and he is not really into sharing the parenting of children in your house, whether this living together is going to work.

For example, if we had a lodger in our house, I would expect my DC to show them a certain degree of courtesy. Does your DSD show you similar?

3littlefrogs Tue 26-Mar-13 17:01:49

mummytime is spot on.

He is not your DH, she is not your DSD.

He is your (married) boyfriend (for want of a better word). She is his daughter.

Why either of them are in your house is beyond me.

You are making everyone's life more complicated than it needs to be, not least your own children, who deserve a bit of peace and privacy in their own home.

lastroseofsummer Tue 26-Mar-13 17:59:11

actually its a house we share together not mine or his but shared between us, he is presently getting divorced. we have lived together approximately 1 year now. he is very good to my dc, strangely more so than his own as far as I can see! she is courteous to me at times but not always.

I was very direct with her last nite and very direct with him this morning.

3littlefrogs how am I complicating matters, i came on here for support - we are all trying oto do what is right for the kids are we not?

3littlefrogs Tue 26-Mar-13 18:07:23

I thought it was your house. I still think moving in together when he is still married and both of you have children probably makes any difficulties harder to manage. It must be very hard for your DC.

Having your own space and boundaries at least gives people a chance to allow each other a break. It must be very uncomfortable for everyone at the moment. I wonder if DSD and her dad would find it easier if they had their own space? Maybe she just isn't ready to be part of a blended family?

lastroseofsummer Tue 26-Mar-13 18:26:57

actually 3little we live in ROI so that can take years to get divorced here. he is separated and getting divorced so living with him whilst that is happening doesnt bother me. I have 2 friends who have lived together for over 12 years now and neither of them are divorced from their wife/husband. It doesnt make them less committed to each other, they have 3 dc and are happy as larry!

i agree that space is needed, hence me telling him that I am uncomfortable now in our home and would prefer not to be around her. Im not telling him that he shoudnt have her around but he surely can hang out with her in anotehr room, its a large house, plenty of room for everyone.. Strangely though she was fine for the first 6 months, very respectful etc but im wondering if that was a front as she has now become so ignorant. She was really taken aback when I challenged her, dont think she is aware of that.

I am probably providing support to her that I shouldnt be, ie that should be coming from her mother but she is a child coming in and out of my home, the dauhter of my partner (who is, I feel, failing in his role as her dad at present) and I tried to reach out to her as one person to another and offer support.

She clearly doesnt want my support and has made sure that Im reluctant to be around her now because of her behaviour. Im wondering actually why her school has not contacted the authorities as she is definitely displaying anger issues. She may well not be ready to be part of a blended family but the only person really who can do anything about that is her dad. My dc get on with things, happy, friendly, well mannered, albeit with the odd tantrum about what to watch on tv or who ate the last strawberry! Thats why her behaviour stands out so much

I actually feel really shitty saying this stuff as she is struggling but she makes it so difficult to get on with her and now I feel my own dc is impacted. My mum has actually commented that she has passed my dsd on the street, greeted her and she put her head down and walked by, my mum thought she had done something to upset her - i then have to explain to my mum

NotaDisneyMum Tue 26-Mar-13 19:25:27

littlefrogs if couples waited until DCs were 'ready to be part of a blended family' then there would be few, if any, blended families wink

DCs have no more influence over that than they do over whether their parents choose to have another baby, move house, or divorce - and neither should they. Being a member of a blended family is not inherently damaging to a DC - it is the lack of appropriate support for them while blending (which is considered to take at least 6 years) that leads to issues and emotional conflict.

3littlefrogs Tue 26-Mar-13 19:35:21

NotaDisneyMum
I agree totally with the last part of your post. You put it better than me.

Prettyplease21 Wed 27-Mar-13 12:19:01

Lastrose, I kind of sensed you re from ROI, I ve a friend there who just split with her partner of 4 or more years because of his Disney parenting.
The last straw was when he apologised to dd for wanting her to study harder at the private school she chose and he pays for and putting pressure on her to tidy up after herself at my friends house, I.e. saying sorry for being a parent for a change and not piling on presents and hotel stays etc.
Although my situation is not rosy by any means, I'd hate to break up with dh on account of his parenting skills.
Please get your dp to mend his ways for all your sakes, good luck xx

Petal02 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:08:58

if couples waited until children were ‘ready to be part of a blended family’ then there would be few, if any, blended families.

Children have no more influence over that, than they do over whether their parents choose to have another baby, move house, or divorce – and neither should they

Two excellent points. It’s not healthy to give children so much power, when you’re a kid it’s generally the adults that organise your life, not the other way round.

Tubegirl Wed 27-Mar-13 13:29:08

Divide and conquer. Your dp really needs to present a united front to his dd. Currently there are three adults dancing like marionettes all worried about what the others think. Communication between the adults is key. Have you considered mediation for all three of you?

lastroseofsummer Wed 27-Mar-13 13:38:39

I agree with your points pretty and petal. The thing is that i think underneath she does want to be parented. I get the impression that she does things sometimes to get a reaction, ie disappearing off (which worries me sick when she is staying at our house) - its nearly like she does it to get attention.

I have always thought that she was not parented properly, she appears to have had alot of freedom at a young age, her mum is a disaster at times, an example is her leaving her at 13 years of age at home, saying that she would be back in a little while and myself and my partner having to come home from our nite out and pick her up as her mum had not arrived home 3 hours later , drunk - she had driven home by the way. I still sweat when I think of it.

Her mum also has a habit of having mini-breaks and dropping her over to ours to be looked after, never taking her with away with her though. She appears to be too busy doing other things to look after her, ie I went out and bought her underwear as the knickers etc she had were grey with washing and i didnt want her to be uncomfortable getting changed for PE. Again not my place but something I would do for my dc.

What I think needs to happen is for me to back off regarding helping her out so much. I make no difference materially between her and my dc, i cook her favourite food the nite she is over for instance and dc favourite meal another nite etc etc. I feel so crappy about it though, I keep thinking of her as a child who is struggling but

He has come to tell me that he spoke to her about her behaviour and she looked at him puzzled as if "whats ur problem?". He tackled her on it and told her that it wasnt acceptable to behave that way. she is due over tomorrow nite and he has asked if we can go out for a meal as a family. I have declined as I think the point needs to be made to her.
My dc cant understand her behaviour, its causing hurt and upset

thanks so much for all your help and advice.

lastroseofsummer Wed 27-Mar-13 13:42:44

tubegirl i have no dealings with dp ex. She harrassed me for quite a while tbh and I dont want anything to do with her. She has tried to make overtures recently and apologised for her behaviour but I dont trust her and I have my dc to think of. She is slightly unhinged at times I think. I had to get police advice about her behaviour as she had actually done some very disturbing thngs. Ie happened upon me and dp in a restaurant and then passed back info of exactly what I had ordered, how many times I visited the loo etc.

I have never once said anything derogatory to dsd though, im very positive and encouraging of anythign her mum does for her, ie if she takes her to cinema I will say isnt that nice to spend some time just the 2 of you etc etc.

Prettyplease21 Wed 27-Mar-13 15:38:48

Lastrose, my dsd can roll her eyes like nobody's business in the what's up with you dept. just a ploy to push boundaries. But like you say, they do it to receive the parenting they desperately need.
Keep at dp to parent her properly, i.e. go easy on spoiling her.
Dh exw is also unhinged manipulator, and of course I would try to make up for this. But it's not a good idea to be too pushy or protective. She'll hate you for it as its then obvious what she's not getting from mum.
Stay nonchalant when offering anything from underwear to advice. I find its best to let dsd approach me then other way round. Think 'Bambi' and don't scare her off. Xx

Tubegirl Wed 27-Mar-13 20:16:43

Sorry I wasn't very clear was wrestling baby. Post doesn't read like I meant it to. I meant that you and dp and dsd go talk to someone. But if it were that simple I'm sure you would have. You have my sympathy, I have three dsd and their mum is slightly bonkers too.

lastroseofsummer Thu 28-Mar-13 09:34:14

Thanks for all your kind words of advice and support. I will back off from her, if for no other reason than to give myself a break from the stress of it, ie I dont want to get to the stage that i view dealing with her as a chore and a very unpleasant one at that. I have to keep in mind that she is a child still, a very unhappy child at that.

I have been very direct with dp about her and what I consider to be his issues regarding parenting. He is honestly so good with my dc, but then again the hassle factor isnt there - his own dd is a different story. Its like he is afraid of facing that fact that himself and his ex might have had something to do with why his child is acting out. His ex is disturbed in my opinion, I tried for such a long time to not react to anything she did but her behaviour steadily escalated to such a degree that I had to basically refuse any contact with her, she went from being awful about me, ie rumours etc, then she was contacting me (must have gotten my number from her dd phone) when she couldnt contact dp, ie "can you get him to call me, need to discuss dd, thanks so much Lastrose" etc etc. She actually went to anyone who would listen to tell them that I was the reason he left her, I was apparently the ow - which was just untrue, he actually dated a girl before I met him!.

I feel so sorry for my dsd as she is among all this anger and mood swings, its no wonder she is feeling so mixed up its just her behaviour is impacting my dc and I need to take action on that.

Why do some people just refuse to do their job parenting wise, dont they see the damage is causes?

Prettyplease21 Thu 28-Mar-13 10:32:20

Lastrose, I totally feel for you, especially regarding dh role in all this.
I've tried getting advice from the teenager forum, asking what prime resident dads do with their teens, but it seems an sm is not really welcome there.
All the same, some early posts do offer some helpful insight!

lastroseofsummer Thu 28-Mar-13 13:50:51

Im afraid to go near the teenager forum tbh - for some reason if you mention you are a step-mum there you seem to be vilified. What is the story with that? I would be so happy if my ex met someone and that person was good to my dc. I think Im good to my dsd but its not appreciated and much as it pains me to say it - its true.

I think i will step gracefully back and leave it all alone - she isnt my child and no matter how much I care about her i have no rights regarding her. I have been told by my dp that I just love arguing and that im nagging, he is trying to retract that now, saying it was said on the spur of the moment etc etc but I do think he meant it.

He was angry I think that I called him out on his parenting of her - I normally wouldnt be as forceful as that but as I said I have my own dc to consider and what is going on there is not a good example of a healthy parent/child relationship.

I have asked dp to let his ex know that I am far from happy about the atmosphere that is created in our home when dsd visits. That there appears to be alot of resentment coming from her and that perhaps her counsellor should be made aware of what is happening.

I didnt go to dinner with them last nite, I kept my dc with me and we had a nice dvd, slouchy, pj's, chocolate and pizza nite. It was so relaxed and fun and just served to hi-light the issue and how bad it has gotten.

thanks so much for all your kindness and help, its lovely to open this thread and see that someone has replied to me.

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