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About my DH's attitude and behaviour to our DD?

(17 Posts)
MixedUpMuddledUp Mon 03-Mar-14 13:15:05

The bottom line is, he just doesn't seem to like her very much sad.

She's 11 and like most kids her age she can be a bit gobby and a bit lazy. She is getting quite into her appearance and spends more time than either of us would like on the PC/her phone. But generally she behaves well, works hard at school and is a good kid. I find her good company - DH just seems to find her an irritation.

He's not an openly affectionate person - well he is quite cuddly and touchy with me - but he never hugs her or shows her any genuine sign of affection. At night she just says 'see you in the morning' and if she's lucky he might give her a pat on the head confused. The other day her tooth was coming out and it was quite painful - I am a bit squeamish about teeth so asked him to help her out but he was so unsympathetic and did nothing to make her feel better.

He rarely praises her or shows interest in what she's doing and is often quite negative about her friends or interests. I can be a bit like this too but do my best to balance it with more positive stuff.

He is conscientious about things like driving her to classes or taking her to appointments and if I am away he looks after her well. But he doesn't do anything above what's necessary - I am the one who helps with homework, sorts out school stuff, reads to her, makes time to play with her and worries about her - we both have the same amount of free time but he cow;don't even find and download some antivirus software for her PC the other day, I had to do it. He would rarely think to suggest doing an activity with her but moans about what she does spend her time on.

He was a bit better when she was younger but now she's older they have very little in common and I know he feels a bit awkward around her as she's physically changing as well as not being very tolerant of her growing personality. TBH I feel as though he's jealous of her and how close we are. Our relationship (him and me) is a bit up and down and I'm sure he blames her for this in part - in turn I would feel a lot warmer to him if he was ever affectionate to our DD. She's our only child and in 10 years time will probably have left home. He doesn't seem to realise how precious this family time is - not in a sickly way, just that I feel we should make the most of it.

She and I are pretty close and I come from a close openly affectionate family so it's hard to be objective about this - maybe my way is over the top and DH is like most Dads? Maybe many Dads have a hard time finding common ground as their daughters grow up? But in my experience most Dads think the world of their daughters and would do anything for them. I'm not sure if DH does feel this but finds it hard to show - if I raise it he just says she's too cheeky, too lazy or whatever sad.

Really grateful for any advice or just to hear what sort of relationships other girls this age have with their Dads and whether I am expecting too much.

losenotloose Mon 03-Mar-14 13:23:11

I have two boys so maybe it's different, and they are a bit younger but dh is as hands on as me. we take it in turns to take them to bed, dh is affectionate and regularly tells them he loves them, spends 'quality' time with them, helps with their homework. we're interchangeable to be honest.

I know of lots of dads that aren't quite as involved as dh, but it sounds like your dh could make more effort. it's fine to find your kids irritating etc, but as the adult you have to try to hide it. have you spoken to him about making more effort? joining in with her hobbies?

5Foot5 Mon 03-Mar-14 13:33:56

We have only one DD and I have to say I think your DHs behaviour is odd and your approach much more normal and reasonable. Do they have no interests in common? No books or TV programmes that they could share?

We have both tried to make sure there are things we all enjoy doing together.

You are right about precious family time. Our DD is 18 now and will be going to Uni this year and I am very concious that before long we will be seeing less and less of her. End of an era. If you can't get your DH to see that then sod him but make sure you don't miss out yourself.

lainiekazan Mon 03-Mar-14 13:49:18

I was devoted to my father, but I think that during my tweenage/teenage years we grew apart a bit. Although I was back to being Daddy's girl by university age!

Boys, make-up, pop bands, clothes... those are subjects that are more mum-friendly, really, and if someone doesn't have any other interests (which lots of girls don't) it's hard to find common ground.

My dd is 10 and there is a bit of friction between dh and her. Dh does not want to endlessly discuss Taylor Swift and is finding it a bit difficult to move on from Sylvanian Families and Barbies, which he quite enjoyed playing.

MixedUpMuddledUp Mon 03-Mar-14 14:31:35

I have spoken to him about this several times but he just gets defensive and says I'm accusing him unfairly <sigh>.

He and DD have very little in common - they watch the odd TV show together and in the summer they both like bike riding but pretty much everything else they do doesn't work - e.g. he has tried taking her swimming but doesn't get that she might like to play, he just expects her to swim, as if that is fun for an 11 year old!

TBH I would be more understanding if he ever had played Barbies or Sylvanians with her - I appreciate it's hard for men as their daughters get older - but he's never been that sort of Dad. I'm not great at imaginative play either but I do try because it's important to DD and I also do other stuff with her.

MixedUpMuddledUp Tue 04-Mar-14 10:30:22

Just bumping in case anyone else can advise, really not sure what to do sad

Troglodad Tue 04-Mar-14 10:34:53

Quality time, I suppose.

losenotloose Tue 04-Mar-14 10:40:32

maybe have an honest conversation with him explaining that if he doesn't make an effort with her now, she'll leave home and there relationship may be permanently damaged. she'll pick up on how he feels about her. he doesn't have to enjoy her hobbies, but he should pretend to. if they genuinely have nothing in common, fake it. he can't expect her to.

does he care about his relationship with her? if not, there's probably not a lot you can do about it, just make sure your bond with her remains good.

MyBodyIsAtemplate Tue 04-Mar-14 10:53:21

my lads are older now and it's the turn of our dds to be teens.

last night dh helped dd 14 with her art homework and then helped dd 15 brush and restyle her hair extensions.

your dh needs to step it up. so what if he's not interested in her interests, he could still listen, smile, tell him to just ask her one question about her interests and watch her blossom.

I had to bone up in football and cricket to get any conversation with my dss.

his job is being a parent. you need to kick his arse op.

myroomisatip Tue 04-Mar-14 10:54:03

I feel that my Ex was jealous of my relationship with our daughter, however, he blatantly favoured our son. I had no problem that they were close and IMO think that father and son would have more in common and equally so would mother and daughter.

Unfortunately, the effect on our daughter was very damaging and she has low self esteem and seems to seek approval from other male figures in her life which results in bad relationships.

All round we had a very unhealthy family dynamic. sad

There was something I read on here which roughly means...

'It is easier to protect the child than to fix a damaged adult.'

Not saying things are that bad between your DH and DD but it may have the potential to worsen.

I hope that you can all find a way to improve things.

pudding25 Tue 04-Mar-14 11:01:06

What a shame for you all and your DH is missing out on so much. My DD is only 6 but me DH adores her and plays with her every spare minute he has. I am a teacher so usually deal with school stuff and homework but he will get involved in anything to do with her. He loves spending time with her more than anything.
I adore spending time with DD too but do have to fake enthusiasm for some of the games that she likes playing. Isn't that part of being a parent?
As someone else suggested, I think you need to have a very serious chat with your DH about how he is behaving and the detrimental effect it must be having on your DD. I am sure that she will be picking up on the fact thet her dad doesn't want to spend time with her.
Can they find something that they both like e.g. could he take her to the cinema? Sit with her and watch TV? Even find a computer game/Wii game they both enjoy playing.
Good luck.

wigglesrock Tue 04-Mar-14 11:01:34

We have 3 daughters (8, 6, 3) & my husband does homework, helps with projects, takes them to the cinema, swimming, parties, shopping. Dd1 and him are a bloody nightmare let loose in H&M. She likes to talk to me re getting new underwear, puberty, crushes, any questions she has re sex, periods etc but the day to day stuff we pretty much share.

I come from a family of girls & my dad did all that kind of stuff with me & my husband comes from a family of boys & his mum did all that kind of stuff with him.

My husband is probably more patient & accommodating with our daughters that I can be sometimes.

MixedUpMuddledUp Tue 04-Mar-14 13:15:06

It makes me so sad to hear about Dads who genuinely enjoy spending time doing things with their daughters - even if it's not the stuff they'd choose themselves. Some of my friends' husbands are like this but unfortunately not mine sad.

I don't know why DH can't see it, he doesn't think he's doing anything wrong. DD must feel so hurt and left out and I need to be careful not to become some horrible smothering mother if I try to compensate for his lack of affection and interest.

grumpalumpgrumped Tue 04-Mar-14 13:48:18

DH is very much like this with DS1, so not sure its a girl/man thing.

AllergyMums Tue 04-Mar-14 13:50:15

That sounds tough. Maybe ask him what he'd like to share with her; find a new 'thing' for them to do? Even if it's just going to the movies where they don't have to talk much? Your daughter will see that he's different from other Dads and it does matter.

Wonder if there's some underlying reason for it that needs dealing with? (grasping at straws) He can't just 'blame' her for his distance.

Sorry but you aren't expecting too much. My DH took up ice skating at 50 so he could skate with DD...said he didn't want to be on the sidelines watching us skate (now...if he'd known how much a cracked rib hurts he may have not bothered)...

JufusMum Tue 04-Mar-14 14:31:06

Lol at the Taylor Swift comment, lainiekazan my DH took DD (11) and a friend to see Taylor Swift last month for a late Xmas gift.

He's into indie music but jumped at the chance - I wonder why? hmm

lainiekazan Tue 04-Mar-14 14:36:38

Ha! Dh took dd to see Taylor Swift too! He really enjoyed it.

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