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to be fed up of having to 'supervise' dps parenting?

(71 Posts)
Sampanther Wed 23-Apr-14 22:20:24

Among other children we have a just turned 2 yr old. She's very much a mummys girl because, to be honest, dp hasn't made enough effort with her. When she was a baby and cried he'd say she needed bf-ing and hand her straight over and he's never got out of that habit. I'm almost 3 months pregnant so definitely want and need this to change so I'm not doing everything while he sits twiddling his thumbs.

Yesterday for example, I said I'd clear away after dinner so he could play with dd. Within a minute he came to chat with me in the kitchen and dd wrapped herself round my leg beginning to whine for me so I handed him some leftover grated carrot and said to dd: 'do you want to go and feed this to the rabbits with daddy?' She agreed but seconds later he was back. He'd simply opened the door for her. The back door has a high step off a plastic ledge, I'd been raining so was slippery. We have a dog and there were two poos en route to the rabbit hutch which dd could've stepped in and obviously leaving her unsupervised to feed grated carrot to rabbits would likely result in her getting bitten. I caught her just as she slipped off the step, just about stopping her from banging her head on the corner of the door.

Last week, we were walking the dog and dd was smelling flowers. I kept reminding her some were nettles so to ask before she touched to make sure. Elder dd got something in her shoe so I was helping her and left dp with toddler dd, only to hear dd repeatedly say 'this one?' about six times. I turned and saw dp on his phone oblivious and dd reaching out to nettles. Before he registered what I was shouting over about she'd lunged on her hands and knees into the nettles and was covered in stings sad

These are just a few of many examples. I was talking about it with my friend today who said I need to 'let him make his own mistakes so he'll learn' but I feel I can't do that when dds safety is at risk. It's like he has no forethought of consequences and I'm tired of always having to be 'on duty' because he's unreliable. Aibu to be fed up of 'supervising' him and want him to take some responsibility in thinking ahead?

floraldora Thu 24-Apr-14 09:21:35

My DH is a bit like yours, OP.

With my DH, I think the crux of it is that he always puts his needs first, and he'll always go for the easy/lazy option, even if it is not the safest.

After finding him asleep on a sunbed whilst on holiday in Greece 2 years ago, leaving a 2 year old and a 7 year old playing in the pool, I just don't bother relying on him to keep the kids safe any longer; I do it myself. I know he's their father and he should be able to keep them safe etc etc, but he doesn't, so I do it myself.

Gen35 Thu 24-Apr-14 09:27:43

I agree with people saying you remove yourself for periods of time and make it very clear that he needs to be vigilant about injuries - give him a checklist of non safe things and let him get in with it. It won't get better unless you stop covering up his rubbish behaviour.

theduchesse Thu 24-Apr-14 09:45:36

What worked for me was explicitly telling him at certain times that he was in charge. He liked it when we were both in charge because really what that meant was he relaxed and I was the one actually parenting but I told him this and now when we are together we will designate who is in charge at any point and he is much better.

erin99 Thu 24-Apr-14 10:26:55

Stop supervising. Leave them alone together so he can find his own way, and maybe carve out a regular slot that is his without you looking over his shoulder. Bedtimes? When our eldest got very clingy to me, H reacted by taking over bedtimes and giving her that one to one every single day. She wasn't keen at first, she wanted me and that was so tough on DH, but he stuck with it and it was great for both of them.

Stuff tends to work better here if there's just one person handling it. When I take the DCs out, I remember suncream. When H takes them, he remembers it. But when we go together, too often it slips down the gap somehow. I can see a nettle incident going the same way.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 24-Apr-14 10:36:12

He's being lazy/ disconnected. It's not because ause you've damaged his confidence. He gets bored (wandering in to talk to you rather than be with her in the garden, on his phone rather than keeping her out of the nettles)
Are you a SAHP?
I bet he just thinks its not his "job"
Maybe he'll be more use when they're older.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 24-Apr-14 10:38:15

floraldora shock
I actually have nightmares about the pool scenario myself.
I don't think I'll ever lie down again.

floraldora Thu 24-Apr-14 10:42:10

AmandaClarke we're going on holiday in a few weeks' time and I've already said to DH that I won't allow him to supervise the kids around the pool as I don't trust him. I only left him with them for a few minutes whilst I went to the apartment to get something, and when I came back he was fast asleep. His response was "Oh they're ok". He doesn't seem to 'get it'

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 24-Apr-14 10:47:25

Oh god no.
You see, you can't let him "practice" with that can you.
I would be tempted to drop something valuable of his in the pool or bath.
Have a nice hols grin

BerniesBurneze Thu 24-Apr-14 10:47:41

My god would I unleash hell.

There is no excuse for being so fucking lazy when it comes to safety. I would almost be a LTB, what is the point of having someone to help shoulder the burden when you couldn't ever really feel tgey were safe? Accidents happen if course but ge has to actually be present and anticipate them.

floraldora Thu 24-Apr-14 10:49:12

Thanks Amanda. If he sits around on his ipad all day I'll be tempted to drop it into the pool grin

Bernies, I went nuts at him but he just shrugged and couldn't see why I was so cross. As far as he was concerned they were ok and I was being fussy.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 24-Apr-14 10:55:02

You can get little alarms on a wrist strap that are activated by distance/ water. I know that's no substitute for vigilant supervision but in addition to, I found them reassuring on our last holiday.
And to keep a buoyancy aid on DCs when they're outside.

Gen35 Thu 24-Apr-14 11:02:05

He fell asleep while they were at the pool? Can you not google newspaper stories about children drowning on holiday and show him - there are plenty. I'm surprised you have tolerated this level of sheer dreadfulness. Dh falls asleep in front of the TV with dd, if he did it by a pool he'd hate himself, I wouldn't even have to say it.

IckleBird Thu 24-Apr-14 11:39:04

The pool one is shocking a real nightmare moment,my dd slipped under water right Beside me when I was splashed in the eyes by someone I turned round and there she was under the water looking at me,she was 3 then.

I missed what age your dd is but you should make it clear to him that he needs to supervise or shadow your dd at all times and it's not just down to you.some horror stories might buck his ideas up.
Dog poo is dangerous if it gets into your eyes so I would be extra careful to pick the dog poo up,maybe when dogs are out or just coming in someone should go out and see if they have done a poo.

wiltingfast Thu 24-Apr-14 12:57:26

If you're not willing to back off Sampanther, he will not change.

You do sound awfully cautious but obviously not my child or house and you must make your own judgement call. So she might have bumped her head or walked in poo and got upset. Tell him to calm her down. And then let him do that for as long as it takes.

The alternative is to do the hovering and resent him bitterly.

It doesn't last forever as your child will obviously get more compentent as they grow, but a lack of engagement on the part of your partner now is unlikley to change if it doesn't change now.

I urge you to take some time away and leave them to it. It will increase your own confidence in him as well. He IS a grown adult after all with other children of his own.

It might be hard to hear this but there are two of you in this situation and the dynamic is being created by BOTH of you.

Sampanther Thu 24-Apr-14 13:41:20

wilting she will not settle for him if upset, full stop. I have left them to it and if something happens to dd (last time she tried climbing out of the bath because he left her in there to get his phone while the water was draining and fell and banged her head on the toilet, thenhard floor tiles) she lliterally screams the place down. Because he usually hands her to me, he doesn't know how to settle her so I when I returned home an hour after that incident he'd left her on the sofa screaming and crying and admitted he'd done so after 5 mins because 'she was hurting his ears' and he 'struggles to hold her during a tantrum' confused

Sorelip Thu 24-Apr-14 13:52:09

Seems to me that his exw is like she is because he's always been a useless dangerous father. Leaving her alone in the bath is unacceptable.

Sampanther Thu 24-Apr-14 13:55:12

He didn't see the danger because there was apparently less than an inch of water remaining...

TheScience Thu 24-Apr-14 14:04:24

So he leaves her alone in the bath, she falls and smacks her head, and then he just leaves her alone to cry for an hour?

I totally disagree that you have undermined his confidence - he's just lazy and finds childcare boring so doesn't bother.

Goldmandra Thu 24-Apr-14 14:05:45

Mine are older now but I used to tell them to go back to Daddy, wait for Daddy, etc "so he can help you". If he let them walk off alone I'd intervene by telling them what I wanted him to do. That way I wasn't stepping in and taking over so he came to the conclusion that it was easier to do it the first time after a while.

It does still happen occasionally with DD2 who is 11 when he's on the phone to his mates but I just send her to stand next to him and wait until he's off the phone. It doesn't usually take long smile

BertieBotts Thu 24-Apr-14 14:05:49

I'm astounded by his comment. Didn't you reply "Well I bloody well don't always have it covered!"

I mean, the whole point of him being there is so that you don't always have to have it covered, so that you can attend to another child without worrying about the youngest, so he can, you know, be an EQUAL parent? You didn't just invite him along to have a lovely time, you're supposed to be in this together.

What's his obsession with this phone?!

And no, I think you're right to hover even though you shouldn't have to. I will never ever forget the thread on here where a husband who was "a bit clueless about safety and didn't think" managed to (accidentally of course but preventably sad ) injure their DD extremely seriously. If you couldn't trust him because you had trust issues or he was unconfident then yes backing off would help but if he's actually putting the DC at potential risk of quite serious harm then no, you don't need to back off, you need to make sure your children are safe however you choose to do that.

floraldora Thu 24-Apr-14 14:13:18

Sampanther, my DH's idea of bathing the kids is to run the bath, plonk the kids in it and then go and watch TV or play on his phone and just assume that they will somehow magically appear out of the bath washed, dried and dressed.

I think their bloody phones have a lot to answer for. My DH seems to get totally absorbed in his and is oblivious to anything going on around him.

Gen35 Thu 24-Apr-14 14:21:00

He didn't see the danger and left a hurt child to cry on her own? I'm in fact not easily outraged but this is really poor. He has to change. If my dh kept defending himself when he'd let dd get hurt through repeated carelessness I'd be considering booting him out, he should be ashamed of himself. I admit, I spend too much time on my phone, but not to the extent someone gets hurt.

SocialNeedier Thu 24-Apr-14 14:26:08

That bath thing is shocking OP.

Not only does he sound lazy but also cruel. Leaving her to cry in pain. What a cunt.

How can you stand him?

Sampanther Thu 24-Apr-14 14:32:27

He thinks she's being dramatic because she goes from happy to awful screaming in ten seconds. If she's upset, whether hurt or for another reason, she'll physically push and stiffen her body so he cant hold her and so hejust puts her down and leaves her to it until I can deal with her. He seems to think I have a magic touch but doesn't realise everyone has to learn how their child is comforted and that his problem is he didn't find out early on and now apparently can't be arsed.

Gen35 Thu 24-Apr-14 14:37:33

Yep I agree his problem is he hasn't cared enough to find out what works for him. Fwiw, this is a really tough dilemma, it's more serious than you just backing off as you really can't trust him given these examples and his awful refusing to see the issue. A proper chat and an absolute agreement to change from him alongside him 'in charge' while you're there sounds the possible way forward.

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