Struggling to like my relationship with DSD

(27 Posts)
karelomen Thu 24-Apr-14 10:36:39

I am a newish step parent (about a year in)
I love my DSD 7 but sometimes I feel irritable with her, she has a tendency to invade my personal body space, I love her cuddles and snuggles but she sometimes puts her face VERY close to mine she seems to find this amusing, I try to go along with it because she's just playing and I will say that's enough now and generally she stops.

I have quite sticking out front teeth and she often asks to see them which makes me feel really vulnerable and hurt which I know is a childish emotional response, I just say no and feel a bit pissed off.

It annoys me that on a sunny day she would rather watch TV.

Reading this back I can see that she is exactly as I was as a child and I don't want to reject her based on things which irritate me and I don't outwardly but I just avoid her when she's here and get on with my own stuff.

I am so aware that I don't have that parental unconditional love for her.

I get really easily irritated by her, if she forgets to say please or doesn't pick her pyjamas up from th living room floor etc but I know this is her home and she should be able to be relaxed and not picked up on everything she does or doesn't do.

I am a training primary school teacher and have nannied for many years and have loved many children over the years so I'm confused by my feelings with my DSD.

My DP is a great dad and I can't talk to him about it because he can't put himself in my position.

I just feel like I'm struggling to bond/create a positive rl with her. She tends to be quite horrible/rude/aggressive, to other children and seems to lack friends so socially she is not the easiest child to like at times, as much as I love her and would never express this.

I don't know what to do.
Thanks

kinkytoes Thu 24-Apr-14 10:42:39

I'd be pleased she's so interested and wants to be close to you. Better than being ignored and spending time with a sullen child. On sunny days take her out for a walk! She doesn't get to choose the order of play at her age (plus it'll do you all some good to enjoy the sunshine together).

She'll possibly grow out of the unlikeable behaviours but until then you're perfectly entitled to pull her up on things like bad manners while she's in your care. One day she may even thank you for it if she's not getting the guidance at home.

karelomen Thu 24-Apr-14 10:48:18

Thanks, I can't take her for a walk she is very stubborn and would just get into a strop about it and ruin it for everyone.
I speak to her dad and say lets go for a picnic tomorrow I come home after work with a picnic in my hands ready to go and they are in watching dvds. It takes half an hour to coerce her out of the house and I got really annoyed with DP because he's forcing me into a role which is that I'm this bossy adult dragging them out and I don't want two moping kids (dp and dsd) with me I just said don't bother and went into town shopping.
He will hide behind me to make decisions.
I have come to realise from writing this that it is him who needs to promote our relationship by being the adult next to me rather than on her side and me expecting us to do nice things on the weekend rather than just sit around in pyjamas watching tv all day and night.

karelomen Thu 24-Apr-14 10:50:25

The other day we were going on a long car journey and DSD wanted to sit in the front seat with me in the back I was so annoyed with DP for getting her to ask me he should have just said no straight off.
I just find step parenting with DP really annoying because he's trying to please everyone and doesn't seem to always take the adult role. This is not her fault it is his. I do believe children are blameless products of their parenting.

wheresthelight Thu 24-Apr-14 10:59:51

I think you have hit the nail on the end in your second post hun!! Your dp needs to grow a pair and start parenting his daughter instead of pissing about with dvd's!!

Talk to him! Explain how you feel, from your post I assume you live together so as much as it is her home to feel comfortable in it is also yours and you should not have to feel pushed out or forced to leave.

I think her interaction with you is nice (but get the personal space bit) and she clearly likes you so maybe use that to your advantage?! As in "I will play X game with you once you have picked up your clothes off the floor" and be honest about your teeth and tell her you don't like how they look and that it isn't nice to ask to see them. At 7 she is old enough to understand it is rude and improper to ask questions like that.

My dsc's refused to be removed from the tv/Nintendo ds/win/laptop at first. But as I look after them without dp a lot due to his shifts they very quickly learnt that in this house they get them when I say not when they want. They never bring them anymore and although my laptop is often out they never ask to play on it. They actively come for walks (we got them a dog) they play in the garden and go for bike rides with dp. They are brill BUT it took my dp a long time to sing from same hymn sheet and to stop being Disney.

Get your dp om side and half the battle is won! She wants to spend time with you so try doing stuff she likes in a trade off for something else, so you will watch X dvd before bed with her tonight and have popcorn and nice squash but first she has to come shopping with you as you need a new insert item and would love her help choosing it. Or you really fancy a walk so you have room for the popcorn when we watch X dvd later and see how it goes

Good luck!!

karelomen Thu 24-Apr-14 11:16:49

Sounds like you've got this sorted. Thanks so much yes I think I need a chat with DP first and foremost!

wheresthelight Thu 24-Apr-14 11:26:27

Like you said above the failing is his parenting not so much her!

It is hard, no denying it but there are little ways to manipulate coerce her into doing what you want her tobe doing without it ending up as a battle of wills. My dss is a bloody swine for being lazy and not doing homework or anything other than tv but arguing with him along forcing him made it worse and I started to hate the thought of them coming. Change your thinking (and dp's parenting) and it all seems much easier. Make them think it's their idea and all foes a lot better!!

Kaluki Thu 24-Apr-14 12:03:08

Definitely speak to DPabout this. He needs to stand up for you and be a parent not a friend!
I understand the personal space thing. DSD gets a bit much at times too. It's insecurity in her case but it's hard to push a child away when they want a cuddle! I tend to manoeuvre her over to her dad for a cuddle when she gets too much (also in my DSDs case she looks directly at my DS while she's hugging me so there is a bit of marking her territory and making him jealous going on there!)

swissfamily Thu 24-Apr-14 12:20:56

The front of the car thing is totally out of order. They're not supposed to be in the front at 7 anyway are they? Maybe I'm wrong. I don't let my mine unless the back seat is full. Your DP should never have let that happen regardless.

I too understand the personal space issue. My DSD demands cuddles from me like I'm her parent and more often than not, I inwardly cringe. She also does what Kaluki's DSD does - looks straight at my own DC while she's clinging to me. She used to say in this whiny voice "MY Mummy" while she stared at them purely to wind them up but fortunately DH stamped on that quickly.

It is weird, I don't balk at my godchildren / friends' children climbing on my knee uninvited but I don't like my DSD doing it. I don't fully understand it. I think it's a lot of things; struggling to separate her from her mother, struggling with DH's expectation that I should love her like my own, being aware of Mum's negative feelings towards me and feeling disloyal to my own DC if I'm cuddling DSD when they want me amongst other things.

kinkytoes Thu 24-Apr-14 20:22:39

It's in your DP's interests to make things better for you OP. You'll all be far happier for it. She's only 7 and will benefit from your input I'm sure! Good luck.

And yes, you should be in the front seat.

prawnypoos Fri 25-Apr-14 10:25:10

God what is it about men turning a blind eye to disciplining their kids and leaving step mothers to pick up the slack?! We have the same problem but there is no talking to DP as he can't see anything from my prerogative. It's a bit like good cop bad cop in this house but I generally end up being portrayed as bad cop, which is annoying. I know about the personal space thing. It never bothered me before my DD was born but every time I was trying to breast feed DSD was just there, in my face constantly, I tried ignoring it but it didn't make any difference. You just have to ride out the waves with kids and I'm just learning that everything generally passes and they go through a lot of phases. My DSD can be a right pain in the arse the majority of the time, but when she's being good I could happily spend all day with her. I suppose it's the old 'when she was good she was very very good and when she was bad she was horrid' they are only children but they also need to be given boundaries and guidelines as to what is acceptable and what isn't. A lot of people have remarked to me how DP is more like a friend than a parent to DSD and at the same time noted that I am firm but fair with her, so I know I'm not doing the evil step mum routine! She will soon be at an age where you can relate to her more and have 'adult' c

prawnypoos Fri 25-Apr-14 10:26:43

God what is it about men turning a blind eye to disciplining their kids and leaving step mothers to pick up the slack?! We have the same problem but there is no talking to DP as he can't see anything from my prerogative. It's a bit like good cop bad cop in this house but I generally end up being portrayed as bad cop, which is annoying. I know about the personal space thing. It never bothered me before my DD was born but every time I was trying to breast feed DSD was just there, in my face constantly, I tried ignoring it but it didn't make any difference. You just have to ride out the waves with kids and I'm just learning that everything generally passes and they go through a lot of phases. My DSD can be a right pain in the arse the majority of the time, but when she's being good I could happily spend all day with her. I suppose it's the old 'when she was good she was very very good and when she was bad she was horrid' they are only children but they also need to be given boundaries and guidelines as to what is acceptable and what isn't. A lot of people have remarked to me how DP is more like a friend than a parent to DSD and at the same time noted that I am firm but fair with her, so I know I'm not doing the evil step mum routine! She will soon be at an age where you can relate to her more and have 'adult' conversations as may find as she matures you enjoy her company much more (same with me and my SM we have had our battles in the past, I can empathise with both parties) good luck

orangemog Fri 25-Apr-14 11:15:08

My DSD8 and DSS6 are all up in my personal space too, but not in an aggressive way - they just want cuddles and attention. I'm getting used to it now, though it's still a bit suffocating sometimes because they compete with each other for my attention. I don't have any DC myself so it's not a jealousy thing on their part, they just like me more than they like their DF (my DP)!
My 6yo nephew on the other hand is an absolute TERROR - he'll actually stand right up in people's faces and scream, amongst other awful behaviour. I can't stand having him in my house (nor can the rest of the family), and thank the gods my DSC are so lovely (even if they're hard work sometimes).
We also have a hard time getting them out of the house when we have them. At their mum's they don't have any internet or computers, but we have tablets at ours so they're glued to them from the moment they arrive. They're fine once we're actually out, though.

Flexiblefriend Sat 26-Apr-14 13:29:00

I think your feelings for your DSD are completely normal. All children can be irritating at times. The difference is that when they are your own you have that unconditional love for them that makes it easier to put up with. It sounds like you do love her, and want the best for her. I think that is enough. She already presumably has two parents to love her unconditionally.

It sounds like the real issue is definitely your DP, as you have said. He can't expect you to do the parenting for him, that's not fair! Have you had a chat with him? How did it go?

buzzardbuzzard Sat 26-Apr-14 18:34:43

Hi I have NC but its me Karelomen.. Thank you yes I did talk with him yesterday and we agreed to be a team and take the lead as adults. Today we'vebeen at thezoo all day and it's worked much better.
She does have 2 loving parents so I am not needed in that way, DP has been a lot clearer and told her this morning when she asked that she's not sitting in the front becausd we are the adults. He also laid down conputer game related rules before we set off and she responded well. It feels so much better when he is being in charge and not DSD.
I feel today like we have collaborated all through the day.
Thanks so much for your support Im sure I'll be back again!

BuzzardBird Sat 26-Apr-14 21:00:58

OK, so I understand you have nc, but do you mind chosing a name that doesn't make other posters think that you are me? I really don't want to be connected with you or your problems. I have had this name for years.

AmysTiara Sat 26-Apr-14 21:03:40

She can change her name to whatever she wants surely? confused

BuzzardBird Sat 26-Apr-14 21:16:23

Yes, she can. Lets face it there are loads you can chose, not copy someone else's.

kinkytoes Sat 26-Apr-14 21:18:33

Well that's just charming BuzzardBird hmm

OP glad you have made progress! Long may things continue to improve.

BuzzardBird Sat 26-Apr-14 21:26:43

Yes, strange that I should want to disassociate with someone that is irritated by a 7 yr old? Strangely enough, I don't want people to think this is me confused

AmysTiara Sat 26-Apr-14 21:29:48

But why do you think she's deliberately copying you?

There's loads of names here that sound pretty similar. I doubt anyone's going to be connecting you and her tbh.

BuzzardBird Sat 26-Apr-14 21:42:36

Because I already asked her on her first thread about it and there is a problem with this at the moment. I do not want to be associated with any other posters, which is why I chose a random name. I will change if necessary but it would be polite if the new poster did it.

buzzardbuzzard Sat 26-Apr-14 23:21:43

Wow! I will name change as soon as Im on my laptop not my phone because it's a bit fiddly. It was just the first word that popped into my head I xan assure you I've never cone across you before.

brdgrl Sat 26-Apr-14 23:35:46

Oh for god's sake.
It's a big site, and I've never noticed your name before, buzzardbird, you can hardly expect everyone to know who you are and avoid choosing a name 'too similar' to your own...and you've been so rude about asking for the change. You're just one poster on a massive site, get over yourself.

brdgrl Sat 26-Apr-14 23:40:00

Anyway, OP...I just wanted to say that my own DD does the face thing, and it can be soooooo annoying, the funnier she finds it the more irritating. And comments on one's physical appearance can hurt even when made innocently by a kid. (My three year old commented on my "fat bum" the other day and I didn't especially like that!) Don't feel too guilty for being annoyed by these things, is what I am saying - if we're honest, even our own kids can annoy us.

And yes. My DH hides from correcting the kids, and leaves me to do the 'bad cop' thing. Ugh.

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