Should I tell DP and if so how should I word it?

(25 Posts)
madonnawhore Mon 10-Jun-13 17:12:10

We were at a massive extended family do this weekend. Where basically we knew about five people there and all the rest were random family we'd never met before.

DSD was with us. She's a good kid, does well at school, etc. but her manners have been getting worse and worse recently. She back chats me and her dad. She never says please or thank you to anyone despite constant reminders from me and her father. If someone's speaking to her and she's not interested she'll either point blank ignore them or walk off halfway through. I find it really embarrassing and to be honest she's difficult to like sometimes.

I was making polite small talk with some distant relative I didn't know and she pointed to my DSD, not realising she was anything to do with me, and referred to her as 'that bad mannered little girl' 'impolite' and 'wild'.

It really pulled me up to see DSD through this stranger's eyes. I was so embarrassed I just mumbled something about being her step mum and must make more of an effort with her or something. I just wanted to get away from the conversation really.

After that I was a bit more vigilant about DSD's behaviour compared to the other kids of similar age that were there and DSD did stand out a bit as being rude and bossy. By the end of the day none of the other kids wanted to play with her. And when we came to say goodbye she was so rude in front of our host. Wouldn't say thank you, just walked off and said 'bye' with her back to everyone and gave a dismissive hand wave. I was mortified.

I haven't mentioned what this lady said to DP yet though. Would you? How would you put it?

madonnawhore Mon 10-Jun-13 17:17:07

She's six btw.

NotSoNervous Mon 10-Jun-13 17:19:37

O difficult and awkward.

I think you should mention it to him. Surely he has noticed how badly behaved she is?

madonnawhore Mon 10-Jun-13 17:21:30

Yeah we have rows with her all the time about her behaviour. Have tried a lot if different discipline approaches but nothing seems to have stuck. Possibly because DP is a bit of a pushover and crap at being consistent. Will do something for about a week and then it just falls by the wayside.

How should I bring it up? I can't imagine it'll be pleasant for him to hear.

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 10-Jun-13 17:23:03

Does she do it to show off/think it's funny? I know dd went through a phase thinking she was a grown up (well she still does just not rude now) and I still have to remind her every time we go somewhere to tone it down. Although not how you describe dsd.

madonnawhore Mon 10-Jun-13 17:25:28

I think there is an element of showing off. And sometimes it seems as if she's aping some obnoxious character she's seen on a kid's programme.

(Another bone of contention in our house is that I think she watches far too much crap. I'd happily throw the bloody TV in a skip tbh.)

I think she thinks it's cute. It's not.

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 17:27:44

She's 6?!

I presumed you were talking about an 11 or 12 year old grin

I'm not sure you should mention it.

The woman spoke out of turn because she didn't know you were with your DSD.

It wasn't a kind comment, or one that needs to be repeated.

I think you should definitely tell your DP about what you noticed about her behaviour at the party.

I would never let my 5 year old behave like that.

And I don't have particularly high standards.

NatashaBee Mon 10-Jun-13 17:32:00

I would mention the fact she didn't say thankyou, and focus on that, since your DP (hopefully) will at least realize that is unacceptable, and say you think that you need to reinforce that with her. I wouldn't mention the other part at this point, it could be taken the wrong way (even though your assessment sounds like it could be right).

madonnawhore Mon 10-Jun-13 17:33:43

I'm the bad guy in our house. I have a really low tolerance for that kind of behaviour. DP will back me up but like I said, he's not consistent. So whatever course of action we agree on starts to slide after the first week or so and I struggle to keep it up on my own.

Also, she's with her mum half the time so god knows what she gets taught there. Her mum is very spoilt and selfish and when DSD comes back to us after a period of time with her mum I can definitely detect the influence.

I suppose I'm saying there's on,y so much I can do on my own and what little I can do, I'm already doing!

It's pretty bad behaviour though. I dislike it intensely.

AdoraBell Mon 10-Jun-13 17:35:26

I thought you were going to say she's 15!

Yes, DP needs to realise how other people view her behavior, and yes it probably is at least partly to do with him being inconsistent. Why does she watch more TV than you'd like? And is it only when she's at your's? You didn't mention her mother, is there tension between the two parents, disagreement in terms of discipline?

Does he normally take things as criticism when you talk about important issues?

I'm not sure how you should tell him because it does rather depend on him and how he is likely to view things.

NotSoNervous Mon 10-Jun-13 17:37:37

I don't think your DP will like what you have to say but maybe being told straight what people are saying/thinking about DSD behind your backs it might shock/embarrass him into doing something and continuing with it

madonnawhore Mon 10-Jun-13 17:39:37

He knows her manners are atrocious. And he does pull her up on it but inconsistently. So for example he didn't say anything when she was rude in front of our host yesterday and I thought he should've done.

It's not so much TV actually as the bloody iPad. DP let's her have free reign with it and she watches all sorts of kids shit he's downloaded off the internet for her. Dumb games etc

nkf Mon 10-Jun-13 17:44:27

I don't think I'd say anything. I take full responsibility for teaching ny own children.how to.behave but it stops there. I wouldn't have anything to do with an incompetent.parent. What's the matter with the man?

AThingInYourLife Mon 10-Jun-13 17:51:40

Yes, I can see the argument for telling him if you are the only one who recognises a problem.

How about telling him about this woman and how rude she was (and she was - that was a horrible thing to say about a child, particularly now I know how small she is).

But also pointing out how unfair it would be to your DSD to allow her to grow up as the kind of person that elicits that kind of reaction?

She's only 6. She can't judge what kind of behaviour she can get away with.

She relies on the adults in her life (and really her parents most if all) to make sure she knows how to behave.

He is being really unkind in not being consistent.

carabossse Mon 10-Jun-13 19:25:24

Do you think DP will be defensive if he hears that someone made a comment about his daughter's behavior, or that he'll be concerned / mortified? I imagine it'd be hard to mention the comment without starting who said it, which could cause family issues and be a distraction from the real issue. Could you talk about her behavior in terms of the other children not wanting to play with her , does that happen in other groups too? Maybe it'd be easier for him to hear that and it'd be a conversation about what you both could do etc, rather than him deciding extended family members are being rude and ignoring the core issue.

MatersMate Mon 10-Jun-13 19:31:21

Is she embarrassed and over compensating? Is she alright with you two at home?

I ask because my 5 year old can act a bit rude when he's overcome with shyness/awkwardness, he just can't seem to handle the intensity of meeting new people and them focusing on him.

I would be wondering if she's alright.

lunar1 Mon 10-Jun-13 20:38:30

I would tell him what she said, I really feel for you as I can't abide bad manners in children. I would be careful about being the bad guy though with your dsd, if her parents arnt going to deal with it you will never win.

My bigger worry would be for the future if you plan to have children together, both your dp and dsd will influence them and you sound like you have very different values. (not that it's relevant but I prefer yours!)

RandomMess Mon 10-Jun-13 21:34:36

Make sure that you and dp model very good manners and attitudes at all times actually saying please and thank you rather than relying on tone of voice etc. Could you also do some role play games with her? I would ascertaining if she actually does know how to handle this situations rather than assuming she is being deliberately rude (she may be of course, I certainly banned "tracy beaker" until my dds were old enough to understand her behaviour was because she was unhappy)

Rightsaiddeb Tue 11-Jun-13 07:51:06

How about asking for help from other relatives, like her GPS?
We had this problem with both dsc, 12 and 9, when we met. They were spoiled and selfish and acted just like this 6 year old, including the dismissive hand wave. That really got my blood boiling. Dh did nothing much, after all he was one of the parents that always told them how special they were... My mil was a godsend! She'd stay for a fortnight once or twice a year and totally backed me up regarding teaching them basic manners. Their behaviour really annoyed her too,but as she lives abroad she did not have to deal with them a lot. With her moral support we put up house rules, including points on manners. Things improved rapidly and although dh and I will always agree to differ (his dc are superior in every way not) we have established a lot of common ground.

Cravingdairy Tue 11-Jun-13 08:04:38

I agree with Matersmate

Kaluki Tue 11-Jun-13 13:04:54

Absolutely you should tell him. She is his dd and the responsibility for her behaviour stops with him when she is in his care. Maybe it will be a wake up call to hear what others think of her.
I used to refuse to take my DSC to family gatherings or for meals out because I was so ashamed of their appalling manners. My closest friends stopped coming over because DSCs awful behaviour was rubbing off on their dc. I told DP straight and also told him that they were well on the way to becoming unpleasant unlikeable adults if he didn't change things.
This shocked him and thankfully he stepped up - with a lot of help from his Mum and his sister (who had also been staying away because of their effect on her dc) and now they are a LOT better. I am actually quite proud of them now considering how far they have come.

THERhubarb Tue 11-Jun-13 13:12:50

6?

She's 6????

I also read that thinking she was a teenager!

Firstly, children are not born ill-mannered and rude, they are made that way. At the age of 6 she has not made a conscious decision to behave like this to spite you all, this is a habit she has either lapsed into or she's copying behaviour from elsewhere.

What is she like at school? Is she happy there? Are there any bullying issues? You need to speak to the school before you do anything else because that could be the root of the problem. If she is being bullied then she may copy that behaviour at home.

Secondly, make some rules such as always saying 'please' and 'thank you', greeting people properly and saying goodbye and enforce them. If she does not then you call her back and you stand there until she does so, otherwise tell her that you'll take her back home and mean it. She'll push you so you will have to go through with it but you'll probably only need to do this once.

At the age of 6 her behaviour is a symptom of a deeper problem. She might be bullied, she might only get attention if she's behaving badly, she might have picked up on your negativity towards her, etc. Get to the root of the real problem and you will go a long way towards solving the issue.

Kaluki Tue 11-Jun-13 17:58:39

I'm not sure about that Rhubarb. I think that with no discipline or boundaries children are bad mannered and spoilt. It's our job as parents to instill the social skills into them.
They learn manners and behaviour from those around them but bad habits can be unlearnt - it just takes time and can't be done by just a SM alone if the other parents won't co-operate.

babyhmummy01 Tue 11-Jun-13 19:29:47

madonna ohh i could have written that recently about my DSS (9) and DSD (7) - their manners are appalling and i have a VERY low tolerance for rudeness especially from such young children!

Does your DSD live with you? has anything been discussed with her mum so that a consistent approach can be followed in both homes?

I do find that if i sit quietly with my DP's 2 and explain that they need to be on their best behaviour etc then they are a bit better, but not by much.

I perhaps wouldn't mention what was said by the relative, but maybe approach it via the what you observed route as it is less likely to cause animosity.

I am afraid the only key is persistence and consistency. I am sure it takes longer to train the Dad to pull them up and be consistent than it does to get the kids to adhere to polite behaviour!

Ultimately this behaviour could be the result of something deeper like bullying, but IME it is more to do with poor parenting about how they are expected to behave in social situations (please don't flame me!!!)

brdgrl Tue 11-Jun-13 21:44:20

I had to tell my now-DH this about his children. They were older (10 and 13), but the gist of it was the same. He was losing friends and not being invited back places, because he would insist on taking the kids and they would act really badly. At first I tried to be very subtle, softly-softly about it...about nine months into our relationship, though, a good friend of mine took me aside, very upset, and told me that she was sorry, but she and her DP just couldn't ask us around anymore, because the kids had been so unbearable the last time (DSD pushy and attention-seeking; DSS throwing a temper tantrum and kicking their walls). I had to tell him. It was tough, but it was necessary, and actually, it made things easier once he opened up his eyes a bit.

A few years on now, I make sure to tell him when people mention (as they so often do!) how nicely the kids are behaving now, or how much better behaved they are.

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