Dsc's and my sister's wedding

(74 Posts)
babyhmummy01 Wed 17-Jul-13 22:16:10

My younger sister gets married later this year and asked me if I thought dsd and dss would like to.be flower girl/page boy. Dss is a typical 9 yo and not fussed, doesn't want to stand in front of ppl he dpesnt know etc which is fine. My sister suggested they hire him a suit and he could decide on the day which is fine. Dsd (7) was very excited and we managed to get her a dress that matched the existing bridesmaids.

However, we have been having issues with her wetting herself which I have posted about previously. We have literally tried everything. Dr confirms no physical issue, this is happening at mum's, grandma's, ours and school. When asked calmly she tells the same story to everyone, she was busy and forgot to go to the loo. Mum insists she is just being lazy and whilst I suspect there is part of it that is about attention seeking (dss is very much pfb of mum) there is a part of me that suspects there is some of it that is just laziness as sometimes she is brill and we have no issues and others we have it 4-5 times in a weekend.

We resorted to using the wedding as bribery to try and encourage her to think more. She has had several "last chances" due to dp and Disney issues but after doing it at a christening a few weeks ago dp told her it was last chance salon, once more and no wedding which means dss can't go either.

Today she has done it again. I have washed and changed her, told her she knew what it meant and she needed to explain to daddy. Dp wants to give her yet another last chance but she has had at least 3 already. I don't think its fair on my sister who has spent a lot on her much awaited wedding to have it spoilt by dsd...

DP doesn't like to see his daughter upset and neither do I, but this is my sister's big day and I don't want it ruined because we have to leave to deal with dsd.

Am I being the step mum from hell or am I right to make dp stand by his statement that this was her last chance?

ItStartedInRome Wed 17-Jul-13 22:36:56

Why don't you just put her in a nappy for big events such as the wedding so you can all relax and enjoy the day? I wouldn't punish her for wetting herself. I would give rewards each time she makes it to the loo and encourage her to be accident free that way. IMO not allowing a little girl who is excited about being a bridesmaid to go to the wedding because she wets herself is mean and I would bet leads to more accidents. I bet on her wedding day your sister won't care less if your dsd wets herself as she'll be too busy enjoying herself.

babyhmummy01 Wed 17-Jul-13 22:45:42

Tried the nappy option we get full blown paddy melt downs and she then just goes in the nappy rather than use the loo at all.

We have tried the rewards thing but makes no difference. Up to the last few weeks the bribery was working, but as dp has told her the consequences of carrying on wetting is no wedding I feel he needs to follow through sesp as he has extended "last chance" on several occassions

NatashaBee Wed 17-Jul-13 22:53:31

If the rewards work the rest of the time then I assume she is capable if she wants to be. Not sure I'd use something like a wedding as leverage though, i don't like the idea of excluding them from a family event. Maybe something like a star chart would be better with a reward/ pocket money at the end of each week. I can see that your DH's 'just one more chance' thing is a bit silly though, if he gives her an ultimatum he needs to stick to it.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Wed 17-Jul-13 22:57:24

This is the problem with using a big thing, which impacts on other people, as the focus for an ultimatum like this. Why not reverse it from now, and say she can earn back going to the wedding if she stays dry for the next week? Though I do tend to agree with Rome above that it's a bit mean to hold the opportunity to be bridesmaid over her in this way.

babyhmummy01 Wed 17-Jul-13 22:58:31

natashabee I think this is why part of me thinks her mum.is right in that there is some element of laziness about it. And I agree the wedding as leverage in hindsight was dumb but its been done and I think he needs to stick to it.

Have had issues this weekend with him setting rules and then not wanting to enforce them cos it doesn't suit him. He is trying to not be a Disney dad but his ex never let him be involved so he is finding my boot up his arse to man up and parent his kids a big shock to the system.

purpleroses Wed 17-Jul-13 23:00:15

I don't think that threatening her with losing the right to be a bridesmaid on a big important day is the way to stop her wetting herself. Best thing would be to just remind her to go to the loo regularly during the day, and yes, use a nappy as well if she's OK about that. If she uses it so what as a one off?

My DD used to wet her self until about 7 or 8 quite regularly by just forgetting or not bothering to go to the toilet until she was absolutely desperate, and then not getting there in time. She got better in her own time, and with lots of praise of every time she had "nice dry pants" at the end of the day. I did used to wave them at her nose every day to remind her of her success (or lack of...) but in a lighthearted manner.

If you really want to use threats with her, you need to make them small things that you'll readily enforce - eg she gets 10p a day, and loses 1p each time she wets herself. Not something big like a wedding which will just stress her out, and you'll be letting other people down too if you were actually to enforce it (eg your DSis)

ItStartedInRome Wed 17-Jul-13 23:03:42

No reason she can't just go to the loo in the nappy to cover the wedding ceremony. Then your concern about wedding being ruined is averted. Of course you should usually see through any threats made, but given it is a family event,your sister has been so kind, the dress is already purchased I think it's disproportionate to not allow her to go to the wedding. In a moment of irritation we can easily say something we don't mean such as no wedding, but after reflection surely you and DP can see that is too severe for a bit of wee?

parachutesarefab Wed 17-Jul-13 23:06:15

Your sister would like DSD to be her flower girl, and DSD would love to be one - yet you and DH are going to say she can't because of problems with wetting herself??

I wouldn't be impressed if I was your sister, and it seems harsh on DSD.

Extending the last chances won't work. She's learning that you don't carry things through, which will give you discipline problems, and she'll probably wet herself again before the big day, putting you in this position again.

Personally, I think she should get to go to the wedding. And be taken to the toilet every 20 minutes if necessary. And have a couple of backup outfits, just in case.

This is less harmful than many last chances, as long as you explain that you've thought about it, and have changed your minds, that you've decided she should go to the wedding, even if she has accidents. Grownups are allowed to decide they've made a mistake, and do something about it.

If you don't want to do that, then no, she's run out of chances, and doesn't get to go. But expect fallout, from DSD and your sister.

holidaysarenice Wed 17-Jul-13 23:06:17

If you can be certain there is no physical issue, then yes I would agreee about carrying throu.

Perhaps dp shudnt have suggested the wedding but now he has, I would carry thro. But I wudnt make other dc suffer.

ItStartedInRome Wed 17-Jul-13 23:06:41

What is a Disney Dad?

RinseAndRepeat Wed 17-Jul-13 23:13:35

Now that he's said it he needs to follow it through. Otherwise she'll just learn that all threats are empty and she can keep on doing it without consequences.

Whoever suggested reversing it has given you a good out. Tell her being a bridesmaid is definitely not going to happen. But she can earn it back if she stays dry for a week.

If it really is laziness and not physical, failing to enforce consequences is actually just going to enable her.

babyhmummy01 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:44:29

My sister is aware of the situation. She hadn't met themwhen she asked just thought it would be nice to include them. I paid for the dress so she isn't out of pocket.

It's not something either of us are happy about but it now needs following thru.

As for rewards etc we have tried and whilst it worked for a while it has stopped and as I posted above nappies is a nightmare, she throws the most almighty giddy fits about it and it does nothing except enable her to carry on.

Her mum has taken her to doc and nothing physically wrong.

I am not trying to be a bitch but we have run out of ideas. Dsd needs to learn that actions have consequences.

babyhmummy01 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:45:56

rome Disney dad is one who wants everything to be nice and fun all the time and ignores the bad behaviours because they don't want to be the bad guy

JumpingJackSprat Thu 18-Jul-13 00:50:16

I think you need to back off a little. maybe shes wetting hersf through anxiety and putting so much pressure on her isnt going to help. how much time do you and your dp spend with the dsc?

Redorwhitejusthaveboth Thu 18-Jul-13 00:59:21

Using the wedding as a punishment for her wetting herself is cruel and unnecessary and will have massive emotional fallout if you go ahead with stopping her going. Take the pressure off - nappy, frequent toilet visits, change of clothes in a bag, remove any sense that it is a punishment... Enjoy your sisters big day as a family.
Check out www.eric.co.uk and ask for a referral to a continence nurse specialist - you may find this easy to access via the school nurse. As the gp has said - no physical reason- which means her wetting is tied up in her emotions. Heavy handed punishments and a sense of blame from you will make the situation worse not better.

Barbarashop Thu 18-Jul-13 01:09:33

As frustrating as the situation may be, I find it cruel at worst and misguided at best to use this wedding as a reason for her to stop wetting. I think your sister made a lovely gesture in including two children she had never met in her big day as a way of welcoming them into the family and by stopping dsd from taking part you are sending out an unpleasant message.
I think we have probably all at some point threatened a punishment which, in hindsight, wasn't wise. Sometimes we carry it out regardless but other times I don't think it is losing face to admit we made a bad call and to choose another path.
I would weigh up the potential implications of both:
1. You stick to it and have a very upset little girl who may well have physical/emotional issues which are causing her to wet and this may exacerbate them, your sister's lovely inclusive gesture is wasted, you feel guilty on the day and dsd is upset, spoiling the wedding for both of you.
2. You give in and dsd thinks she can 'get away' with 'bad' behaviour (if you consider it bad) so you have to set very clear boundaries going forward and stick to realistic,positive reinforcement for 'good' behaviour, your dsd wets herself at the wedding, you have a spare set of party clothes and you take 10 minutes out of your day to help her change then you all go on to enjoy the wedding.
I know which I prefer...
Ps. Not sure if my tone is sharp, I don't intend it to be. I speak as both a step-mother and a step-daughter. I'm sure you mean well but i personally think that sometimes admitting you were wrong is the best sort of parenting.

NoComet Thu 18-Jul-13 01:28:15

Personally I think you have baked yourselves into a corner and now you have to be the grown ups, back down and admit that using the wedding as a carrot was a step too far.

You need to say that you would like DSD to do her best to stay dry, but you understand it's difficult for her.

Then you just ignore it, clean her up if necessary and say absolutely nothing.

She will grow out of it, the less fuss you make the quicker that will be.

I suspect it's a mixture of stress and miss placed attention seeking and far from wholly conscious.

I used to do brownies and the difference in maturity and understanding of adult reactions between the 7y and the older 8-10y was massive.

What a tough situation. I have an ex who is a Disney dad and it does send quite the wrong message to the DC. But in this case your sister has been so lovely to include your DSC in her big day that I think it would be quite rotten to exclude them now. There have been some great suggestions above so I wont add any more.

But no-one has talked about school. You said there had been wetting issues there too. My DS has access to a school counsellor where he can talk in confidence about what is bothering him. As physical issues have been discounted by GP, it may be emotional. Age 7 - year 2/3? That's been a tough year for the girls in my DS class - in and out of friendships all year, some bullying.

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 02:01:15

Mum has ruled out emotional issues (don't know how) but from my understanding she has been doing this on and off for a couple of years. As I have said above I am inclined to think there is more to it but am bring over ruled so not much more I can do.

Having talked to dp we are going to tell her that the wedding is off, but privately we will monitor things over the next few weeks and decide nearer the time.

FWIW her mum agreed with the methods we have used and is far harder on her than we are about it.

Could you try setting an hourly alarm. Ehen she hears it she goes to the toilet. Kind of getting her in a routine of thinking about it.

For the wedding I'd just take her to the toilet every hour, you'll have to be vigilant to help her through the day without wetting.

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 05:40:59

Tried reminding her regularly and she refuses to go. Take her to the loo and we get melt downs.

We really have tried all the suggestions here and nothing works

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 18-Jul-13 06:18:03

I wouldn't tell her the wedding is off...as doubtless you will go anyway; and it's very cruel to take away the excitement for her.

I think you need to back down over the wedding threat and concentrate on other ways of dealing with it.

A wedding is a lovely occasion, and being over shadowed by this - it's crazy, sorry.

Inertia Thu 18-Jul-13 06:31:32

Sounds to me as though the tantrums and meltdowns are likely to prove more disruptive to the wedding than the wetting. I think I would consider focusing on treating the tantrums as the big problem, rather than the wetting , and make it clear to dsd that you will not punish her for wetting, and you will allow her to go to the wedding as long as she wears a nappy ( or whatever is most suitable). However , if she has a strop about it then she will not go, and you will take dss only.

Jaynebxl Thu 18-Jul-13 06:37:33

Mum has ruled out emotional issues? Sorry but that's rubbish. Evidently they are from a split family which can have a huge emotional impact so I would suspect mum is saying that to make herself feel better. You can never rule out emotional issues because you never know what is going on under the surface with a child.

I would get DP to explain to her that he was a bit OTT to say she couldn't go to the wedding but that he would be finding other consequences.

I would take her and just take spare clothes and not make a big deal out of it if she does wet herself. It isn't the end of the world and it wouldn't spoil the big day.

Finally I think rather than punishing her for wetting you need to do as suggested further up thread and keep reminding her to go to the loo.

IsabelleRinging Thu 18-Jul-13 06:47:08

I don't think any 7 year old girl would wet themselves purposefully or through laziness without some underlying issues.

Using such an important event as a threat is bound to backfire, I would forget it and think of another way to deal with the wetting as it can only cause stress for everyone involved. Let her be bridesmaid and if she wets then change her.

Robotindisguise Thu 18-Jul-13 06:54:53

Telling her she can't be a bridesmaid is really mean though - especially when the obvious third way is to say if she doesn't get a handle on it she'll have to wear a pull-up at the wedding? It may lead to a meltdown but so would not being a bridesmaid I'd imagine!

3MonthMaid Thu 18-Jul-13 06:55:52

Could you stick a tena thingy in her pants for the ceremony?

I would also be marching her to the toilet religiously every 20 minutes every time she is with you. I would hope that it gets so annoying that she starts going herself. Tell her that when she has had dry pants for a month you will stop forcing her to use the toilet.

Do also like the idea of "earning" the wedding back. Problem is that it might not work and you'll be back to square 1.

What is she like at school?

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 07:26:19

As I have said several times we have tried and.reminding her and taking her doesn't work she just refuses to go.

Mum keeps saying she doesn't do it st school but I collect her every week and know she had on a few occasions.

Using the wedding as bribery was a complete last resort as nothing else has worked. And this was working until the last week or so.

She genuinely can do it when she thinks about it but she is s stubborn little thing and if there is something more interesting on ie computer, playing with her brother, watching a tv program she just doesn't bother. She holds it til its just too late.

There really isn't anything else to it

Selks Thu 18-Jul-13 07:28:40

Is she getting any help for the wetting? If not take her to the GP and request some support for how to deal with it.
If there is no physical issue then it is an emotional issue. I feel sorry for the child.

Squooodle Thu 18-Jul-13 07:40:24

God you really need some expert help here - sounds like there is a psychological element to it whether she's doing it deliberately or can't help it. It's been handled badly and you are just tying yourself in knots now. Go and talk to school and get a referral to a school/continence nurse for some considered advice. And just leave any decisions about the wedding to one side. Good luck... Step parenting is so hard!!

PrettyPaperweight Thu 18-Jul-13 07:48:05

I also feel sorry for the OP - I know how awful it is when a DsC who is regularly in your care clearly needs professional intervention but neither parent is willing to seek it.

I think you've had a hard time on this thread, OP, you can't change the behaviour of your DP or his ex, can't intervene and seek the help your DSD needs - but it is your life, and that of your extended family, which is disrupted. I'd be worried about my wedding day if my 7 yr old bridesmaid regularly wet herself and had meltdowns when adults tried to support her!

I suggest you get the wedding out of the way and then disengage - leave your DP to clean, clear, launder etc and refuse to be responsible for your DSD until her parents resolve her problems. It's too big an ask to expect you to meet her needs when they refuse to support her to resolve things.

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 07:49:30

Dr was not interested after ruling out physical issues and because its not a massively regular issue at school they arent interested either. I spoke to mum last night about talking to the school and basically got told she is lazy and to keep my nose out. So what more can I do? DP understandably won't go behind his exw back cos he doesn't want to cause issues and have her get pissy about contact etc esp while she is still living in his house and their financial settlement isn't finalised.

Am truly stuck in the world's worst position ever. If mum won't consider emotional issues then I can only play within the lazy rules

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 07:51:50

Thanks prettypaperweight its nice to have someone try and see my side cos am struggling to get dp to!

wickeddevil Thu 18-Jul-13 07:58:45

I feel very very sorry for your DSD

She is excited about the wedding no?

Yet you, your DP and her mum are putting a lot of pressure on her to be dry. In circumstances that you, yes you, are making an unnecessary mountain out of.

Please heed the very good advice you have been given here.

Your priority should be to support and help your DSD to become dry. You need to delink the issue from the wedding NOW. And please stop punishing her. This isn't about following through. When there is an issue about her behaviour that would be a good time to show her about consequences and following through. This is not a behavioural issue, and it isn't the time.

I do not use Mumsnet to flame people, but your behaviour makes me very sad.

PrettyPaperweight Thu 18-Jul-13 08:04:28

wicked how do you suggest the OP influences her DP and his ex to see your POV?

This is a nightmare scenario for stepparents; absolutely no influence, even when a DSC is being neglected/abused, there is rarely anything we can do.

AnneElliott Thu 18-Jul-13 08:07:05

My DS had this problem and he would also refuse to foot the toilet when asked, even when jiggling around! I don't think the wedding is the right thing to hold over her. However I stopped DS going out to stuff like soft play and swimming as he wasn't dry and wouldn't let me tell him to go. I refused to take extra clothes out as he wasn't a baby and backed off telling him to use the loo but said he had to have a dry week before he could go out to places he wanted to go.
Also big praise for dry pants every evening. DS got bored of staying in and once I'd backed off and let him decide when he wanted to go, he started doing it. Took 2 weeks and he was fine.

cornyblend37 Thu 18-Jul-13 08:08:08

my ds wet himself up till about 8. School didn't notice as he'd just sit in it and would come home wet (or dry if he'd been sat in it all day). He didn't smell as he was washed regularly.
It was usually when he was totally absorbed in something and just didn't notice the signals until it was too late. He wasn't being lazy or attention seeking. It definitely happened more at home where he was more relaxed though.

I absolutely understand your frustration but making threats like missing the wedding is highly unlikely to 'cure' her and could have the potential to make things worse.

I would let her go to the wedding. It doesn't have to spoil things for your dsis if dsd wets herself - just deal with it calmly and no-one will notice in all probability.
She'll probably be so proud of her dress that she makes an extra effort to stay dry anyway. In that way it could be a really positive experience for dsd.

PrettyPaperweight Thu 18-Jul-13 08:08:35

Or, put the OP in a different context:

My 7 yr old niece was going to be a bridesmaid at my wedding and is really excited, but my sister/BIL have told her she can't be because she keeps wetting herself. I think my DN needs support and help but DSis says she's just lazy and needs punishing. What can I do?

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 08:11:16

I am getting really fed up with the accusations from most of you that I have created this issue. It was dp's punishment not mine and I am stuck in the middle of a situation I never asked to be put in.

How the hell am I supposed to support a child when herown mother refuses to admit there may be an issue that her affair and subsequent destruction of the child's family has caused?!

I have pushed already for everything on this thread and basically been told she isn't my child and to mind my own business

If I was posting that I was planning to undermine the parents I would guess you would all be flaming me for that too and reminding me that as a step its not my place to parent.

So what more do u want from me?! My question had nothing to.do with was the wedding right or wrong it was should I let dp continue to be Disney and forgo following through threats for her behaviour which for the most part has been ignored.

I shall remember in future not to bother coming for support from other step parents as clearly you are bot interested in anything other than flaming each other

purpleroses Thu 18-Jul-13 08:15:25

You could make the wedding conditional on an agreement that she does on that day go to the toilet every hour when you remind her.

That would be fair enough.

PrettyPaperweight Thu 18-Jul-13 08:37:28

If I was posting that I was planning to undermine the parents I would guess you would all be flaming me for that too and reminding me that as a step its not my place to parent.

I was just going to post the same thing! The irony is incredible!

The problem is that all the while you support your DH, he has no motivation to change things. You say he won't 'go behind his ex's back' and yet he is an equal parent - if he believes his DD needs support, be it medical or psychological, then he should move heaven and hell to get it and deal with the consequences if they arise.

It's not your job to support your DH regardless; if you don't agree or feel you are being taken advantage of, then step back and let your DsD parents deal with the issue - including refusal to be sole carer if necessary.

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 08:51:04

Dp wants to sort it but for a variety of reasons his hands are tied. He has told exw that if she carries on he will take dd to the Dr but the fallout from that conversation has been a nightmare.

She really is complete unreasonable because in her eyes their ss is just being lazy

Robotindisguise Thu 18-Jul-13 09:07:24

I'm sorry you have been given such a hard time.

I think there are two separate issues here. 1 - what can you do to help your DSD become dry and 2. What can you do about the wedding. Why do you think she has such a negative reaction to pull-ups? Have they been portrayed as a punishment / the worst thing ever? Perhaps they need de-demonising if the wedding is to be a goer. They used to do revolting Disney princess ones - perhaps you could get some and say they're for the wedding? Just have them in the house so she can get used to them - somewhere visible - and say they're just part of the wedding, it's hard to get to the toilet when you're a bridesmaid, it's just the way it is.

Separate to that, perhaps a sticker chart for when she's with you? Some informal advice from your local GP or health visitor? Explain to the HV that you're in an awkward position and want "off the record" advice. Would your local HV also be DSD's HV? Because I think seeing DSD's HV would be crossing a line, but seeing another HV and keeping quiet about it (but employing their suggested strategies) might not.

PrettyPaperweight Thu 18-Jul-13 09:10:02

He has told exw that if she carries on he will take dd to the Dr but the fallout from that conversation has been a nightmare.

Why did he tell her? Does she tell him when she takes the DCs to the Dr?
If he doesn't want drama then don't attract it; he can be a parent if he wants to be - right down to seeking a specific issue order if she refuses to engage in the treatment fir DSD recommended by professionals.
A parents hands are never tied when it comes to the welfare of their DCs.

Trifle Thu 18-Jul-13 09:14:19

You should leave it up yo your dp to sort his daughter out every time she wets herself. This is not your responsibility. Same if she does it at the wedding, it is him that will be inconvenienced, not you. If you step back from taking over and dealing with it then it will force him to be less accommodating.

SidneyBristow Thu 18-Jul-13 09:19:18

OP you've gotten a hard time on this thread and I don't blame you for being fed up. This is your sister's occasion and you're right, you couldn't be in a worse position if you tried - your family occasion has been used by your naive DH as an incentive to solve a problem that nobody else is much interested in. It was a terrible idea of his to engineer this situation. Anyone could've seen it coming a mile away.

FWIW both of my stepchildren have had bathroom issues. I think it has less to do with a family breakup than it does with just that ages 7-9 are tough on kids; they're kind of lazy but yet have a lot more expected of them than in ages 6 or less, and so they take a long time to figure out how to cope. You are not the only one who feels like she's banging her head against a wall.

I think the only thing you can do to salvage this is to tell DH that you're handling it from here forwards. Tell your SD that you still want her to participate in the wedding, but only if she can show you she can handle it. I disagree with the posters who imply it wouldn't be a big deal if she wet herself at the wedding, or if you had to take her to the loo every 20 min - it's your sister's wedding. You should be able to enjoy it. Your SD's forgetfulness shouldn't trump your desire to enjoy a major family event.

Tell her very calmly that you're willing to still allow her to be in the wedding, but she will be wearing a pull-up during it, unless she is dry for the most part til then. Any strops about it will mean she can't participate. Reward her like mad for dry days, make her cooperate in the cleanup if she does wet (ie take her away from playing or whatever it was she was absorbed in leading to her forgetting to go to the loo, and have her assist you/dh in laundry, or something else equally as boring, so she learns going to the loo is easier/quicker than forgetting) all with the understanding that her body & brain will take a while to catch up to what she knows she needs to do (stay dry), and the pull-up will be there only as a safety net.

I would think it would be mortifying to her to have wet herself in front of loads of people at a wedding. A pull-up is definitely preferable to that, or to missing out altogether. Would she understand it if you put it to her this way?

Ashoething Thu 18-Jul-13 09:20:06

A child has urinary issues and you are punishing her for that? Are you actually being fucking serious?

My 10 year old ds still wets the bed but do I punish him? Do I heck as like because you know what-he cant bloody help it!

If this wee girl is having problems in this area then something is going on-I doubt very much she is doing it for fun or lazinesshmm

If you punish her by not allowing her to be a bridesmaid then you are making yourself look like the nasty stepmother imo. Are you?

SJisontheway Thu 18-Jul-13 09:31:32

Its a really tough situation. Sorry you're getting a hard time op. I can see you are desperately trying to do the right thing.
I general, I'm all for following through, but in this instance the wedding should never have been used as a threat and you need to back down. Take it off the table altogether and come up with another strategy. Being bridesmaid is a dream come true for a lot of little girls. I think removing that privilege is something that could stick with her for a very long time and ultimately backfire.
Good luck with handling this tricky situation

wickeddevil Thu 18-Jul-13 09:49:58

Ok. Let me try again.

This is not about parenting or step parenting or any other combination.

This is about a child who has continence issues and is being punished. WTAF?

OP you said you had put pressure on your DP to stop being a Disney dad. Can you not see that this situation would benefit from a Disney dad?

Don't punish, don't reward, clean her up kindly, but with minimal fuss and give her the opportunity to grow out of it in her own time. If this doesn't work she should have professional help.

When children behave badly you are right that you should follow through with consequences. But this isn't about her behaviour.

Most posters here have recommended that you don't use the wedding as a hold over your DSD, and yet you say you have decided that she isn't going. That makes me sad for your DSD.

Why did you ask for advice?

PrettyPaperweight Thu 18-Jul-13 09:57:39

Most posters here have recommended that you don't use the wedding as a hold over your DSD, and yet you say you have decided that she isn't going

The OP hasn't decided that, her DP - the DCs Dad has.

The idea that a stepparent could unilaterally decide what their DSC are, or are not, doing is laughable!

This DC is being let down by the adults in her life - but the stepparent has two choices; go along with the parents decision, or disengage.
Clearly, neither are acceptable to some people who expect a stepparent to wade in and compensate for the parents inadequancies.

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 10:03:31

He doesn't want to have a row with his exw which is what it will lead to and as she has already tried using the kids in the divorce I can understand why he is reluctant to steam in. We have contact row and one night in week but his shifts mean they are often with just me. His exw is a complete nut job and control freak. She has belittled him so much over the years and still does as I have witnessed at pick up and drop off that he has no confidence to parent. Exw also has a poor record at discipline as she doesn't believe you should.say no to a child or tell them off for anything and as a result we have real issues.

My hv will be diff as we live in a totally different town so may just see if I can.have an.informal chat but still can't do anything from that as mum refuses to shift.

If it is attention seeking I can't see how me disengaging will help, surely if the one person who is consistent and supportive washes their hands of it she will get worse?

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 10:03:49

He doesn't want to have a row with his exw which is what it will lead to and as she has already tried using the kids in the divorce I can understand why he is reluctant to steam in. We have contact row and one night in week but his shifts mean they are often with just me. His exw is a complete nut job and control freak. She has belittled him so much over the years and still does as I have witnessed at pick up and drop off that he has no confidence to parent. Exw also has a poor record at discipline as she doesn't believe you should.say no to a child or tell them off for anything and as a result we have real issues.

My hv will be diff as we live in a totally different town so may just see if I can.have an.informal chat but still can't do anything from that as mum refuses to shift.

If it is attention seeking I can't see how me disengaging will help, surely if the one person who is consistent and supportive washes their hands of it she will get worse?

wickeddevil Thu 18-Jul-13 10:05:23

Pretty paperweight. I read OPs thread from 02.01

It says we decided. Not DP decided.

Like I said this isn't about step parenting.

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 10:07:54

We = his decision that I have to abide by as they arent my fucking kids

wickeddevil Thu 18-Jul-13 10:29:13

Babyhmummy. Earlier you implied that you were pushing your DP to follow through on his threats. Now you are saying we = his decision.

I am actually trying to help. I would like you to understand that this doesn't sound like a discipline problem with your DSD, and so if you have a different view of discipline to the child's DM and DD, in this circumstance it doesn't matter. (Though I can see you are up against it when there is a genuine behavioural issue).

Is that the problem?

Is this about your frustration with other issues, and how your DP and his ex deal with them? If so it is a shame that your DSD's continence problem has led you to focus on the wider relationships.

Can you separate out the other issues and accept that this isn't about DSDs behaviour. Punishing really won't help her, and is quite likely to make things worse.

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 10:52:03

I think if dp makes a threat he should follow thru irrespective of what it relates to

wickeddevil Thu 18-Jul-13 11:09:09

But you shouldn't make a threat when a child is incontinent.

SJisontheway Thu 18-Jul-13 11:13:54

Generally speaking, yes. But not when the punishment is beyond cruel. I would back down and make sure your dh learns not to make idle threats in the future. And as others have suggested encourage your dh to stop using punishments altogether for issues relating to her continence. That's my advice. I know others disagree, but to have this opportunity removed is something that will stick with her for a long time, and is unlikely to solve the underlying issue.

UC Thu 18-Jul-13 12:13:12

I have only skimmed the thread.

I agree with SJ above. I think refusing to allow DSD to go to the wedding over this issue is something that she will remember and hold against you and your DP for many years.

If she is using the incontinence to get attention, then any attention, even bad attention i.e. punishment, will be the reward. I would try to go with rewards for continence, and ignoring for incontinence - obviously help her to dry up and change her clothes etc., but no more punishment for it. If there is no medical problem behind this, then it sounds to me as though all the adults in DSD's life are giving this issue masses of negative attention.

I would also back down over the wedding, and I would actually tell DSD that I am aware I am backing down - because this is an important occasion. Although it is important to stick to threats, it is also important that we teach our children that when we make a mistake, we rectify it.

BTW, I think it is lovely of your DSIS to want to include your DSCs in this way.

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 12:58:08

I never asked for your opinions on what we chose as punishment only on whether dp should follow through so I am not interested in your accusations of me being cruel and evil frankly

ItStartedInRome Thu 18-Jul-13 13:02:27

OP, I am sorry you feel people's replies (no doubt including mine) are unpalatable. I have read the entire thread, and even those that disagree with my view point, all seem to have something in common - they all appear to be written with sincerity and based on the experience of the poster. IMO a partner with child(ren) all come together as part of the package. If you feel you can't parent this child, your opinion isn't valid, or you feel DP doesn't listen to you I would seriously think about what the future holds. Kids can be very difficult and you still have the teenage years to come. I hope the poor child gets to go to the wedding. I KNOW she'll grow out of this wetting phase. I am fairly sure she'll always remember not being allowed to the wedding if that's what is decided and as it's your sister she'll 100% blame you as step-parent not your DP.

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 13:07:39

rome its not about can't but as a step parent its not my job. Read the board here. We are constantly told ts nothing to.do with us

brdgrl Thu 18-Jul-13 13:48:50

I think you really need to treat the wedding as a stand-alone.

I fully understand about the 'can't win' status of the stepmum, and having married a Disney Dad, you will often see me on here making a vigorous defense of consistency and limits in parenting!!!

BUT. I truly don't think this is the occasion to put your foot down. Manage the wedding by telling her that, because she has trouble staying dry, she will have to wear a pull-up. Take (no, have your DP take!) a change of clothing. The actual ceremony will not be that long, will it, and after that she can be changed. On the day, it should be your DP's job to help her get changed should she need it; he ought to be able to do this discreetly enough that no one is even aware that there has been an issue. It does not have to be a big thing that has potential to "ruin the day".

I totally understand why you want your DP to stick to his word. I think, though, that it is too late - it is too big an event for DSD and it involves other people as well. You and DPO don't have to appear weak or uncommitted - you can reverse the decision without appearing to 'give in' - and I agree that is important.

And after the wedding, definitely time to come up with a new and more consistent approach, one that is led by DP. Good luck.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 18-Jul-13 13:55:53

No OP, your DP should not follow through on his threat regarding the wedding. It would be a horrible thing to do to a child.

Are you going to tell him that?

UC Thu 18-Jul-13 18:31:49

In that case then OP, no, on this occasion, I don't think your DP should follow through with this threat. For the reasons I outlined above.

RinseAndRepeat Thu 18-Jul-13 19:05:02

To be fair this isn't your problem to solve OP. Her parents need to sort it out. And if her mum is being an ostrich then your DH needs to man up and start tackling this himself.

He has parental responsibility. He can take his DD to the docs whenever he feels it's necessary. He's being a coward and letting you deal with all the shit work from his and his ex's inaction.

RinseAndRepeat Thu 18-Jul-13 19:11:32

Rome how is it the OP's fault if her DP dismisses her opinion as invalid and doesn't listen to her?

It sound like she does a huge amount for this child already.

You seem to be attacking OP for 'not parenting' her DSD. If you're concerned the child isn't being parented then you need to direct your anger towards the child's actual <parents>. Whose job it actually is.

ItStartedInRome Thu 18-Jul-13 20:10:09

Rinse I think, much like OP, you are seeing the negative in everyone's comments rather than thinking these people have the benefit of being a distance away from the problem, and can offer a more objective view. I haven't attacked anyone. I simply said if OP feels she is unable to parent the child (as you and OP keep saying that is not the job of a step-parent) then she should think about how this will work out long term as there will be many more challenges involving the kids to come. I know you don't agree with me, but my view (which I always try to express calmly and politely on MN) is that when you meet a DP with kids you take on those kids too and you do your best to love and parent them. If you can't then you shouldn't be in that relationship.

brdgrl Thu 18-Jul-13 20:26:00

Rome, I have been parenting my stepkids for three years, and I don't agree with any one who makes a one size fits all pronouncement that it is not the job of stepparents to parent.

However, I can't agree with this, either: when you meet a DP with kids you take on those kids too and you do your best to love and parent them. If you can't then you shouldn't be in that relationship. The truth is that a parenting role is not always the appropriate one. There are too many variables for a blanket statement like yours to make any sense whatsoever.

Even if it were always the right approach, where both the child's parents act to prevent the stepmother to take on an effective parenting role, it is very difficult for her to do so.

PrettyPaperweight Thu 18-Jul-13 21:35:54

when you meet a DP with kids you take on those kids too and you do your best to love and parent them. If you can't then you shouldn't be in that relationship.

Even if that isn't what my DSC's parents want?

I should establish myself into the DSC lives, insist on fulfilling a parental role, pick up the slack and fill the gaps that their own parents leave, gain their trust, love and co-operation regardless of whether their own parents (either my DP or their Mum) are comfortable with that?

Are you a parent, Rome? What would you do if someone else, who you didn't know (a teacher, childcarer, neighbour or other trusted adult in their life), began to parent your DC? Took them to dental checkups without you being aware during school time, for instance? Sought non-urgent medical care and made decisions relating to that care? Took your DC to have their ears/bellybutton/nose pierced? Dissuaded them from pursuing a particular career path? Went to school open evenings with them?

Why does a DC need a step-parent to "parent" them anyway? Are all separated parents so incompetent that they need a "step-parent" to do the job that they are failing to do?

SpockSmashesScissors Thu 18-Jul-13 22:18:56

No your DH shouldn't follow through, in this case he has got it wrong and needs to admit that.

Tell her that she can be a bridesmaid, let her look forward to it and enjoy it, all it can do is good, your sister sounds lovely.

Take a few other pretty dresses for her to change into if needed and some wipes etc, it really isn't a big deal at all, people won't even notice if you don't make a fuss and if they do see, well they are all family & friends so they are hardly going to point and laugh are they.

Please stand up for this little girl she is having some problems and has a lot going on in her life by the sounds of it but just wants to have a chance to be princess for a day, you can make that dream come true for her.

mikulkin Sat 20-Jul-13 22:55:20

You are not in an army, if your DP made a mistake he shouldn't follow through on it. You asked whether he should and 95% of people here said to you he shouldn't, so why don't you tell him that instead of continuing to insist that he should?
Poor dsd - I feel sorry for her, her dad made a silly threat and now feels sorry about it, hence trying to extend chances but no, you don't give him such chance...
And well said, StarBallBunny
"Personally I think you have baked yourselves into a corner and now you have to be the grown ups, back down and admit that using the wedding as a carrot was a step too far"

Fairy130389 Sun 21-Jul-13 17:17:53

Sorry babyh but I agree with posts above. I understand your concerns but stopping her going to the wedding because of wetting could have enormous emotional impact. It may make problem worse. I agree completely to not punish wetting, but make it clear that tantrums will not be tolerated and she must wear a nappy or similar. Also, I have found that family events such as these have helped mould our family together as it makes dscs feel included in the wider family, you don't want to jeopardise that.

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