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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?

BertieBotts Sat 26-Apr-14 13:41:12

No, a lax atitude to safety is okay with older ones because they've usually worked out themselves via accidents, seeing accidents or knowledge of gravity/common sense/advice they've had from various sources, to keep themselves mostly safe.

But I don't think you can write it off and say "Well it's okay because he's just more suited to looking after older children". I find it piercing and physically painful when DS is screaming in my ear. I still cuddle him if he's screeching in pain - it's just basic human compassion, not even related to parenting. He sounds really un-empathetic.

joanofarchitrave Sat 26-Apr-14 03:45:11

It's not necessarily quite that bad re older ones IMO. Childcare with older children is different and dh is now more patient than me with ds and stresses less about things that I go into a bit of a tizz about. I think the things that made me a good parent of toddler/preschooler ds (though I say so myself) sometimes get in the way of parenting the older child.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 25-Apr-14 16:05:15

He's intolerant of her normal behaviour and unable/ unwilling to meet her needs.
I think it's because he can't see beyond his own needs.

Gen35 Fri 25-Apr-14 15:18:24

It's just immature of him to react like that isn't it, not taking things personally is another sign of being an adult. What you do sounds really sensible of course.

Sampanther Fri 25-Apr-14 14:34:06

Gen because she isn't like that with me he takes it personally. She is very delicate and (for example) terrified of loud traffic so if she hears a noisy truck or ambulance coming she'd start to flap and panic and he'd just tell her not to be silly and refuse to hold her hand or pick her up while it passes, leaving her inconsolable. Whereas I'd tell her it's fine, hold her handaand crouch down to talk to her or pick her up to wave to it and she doesn't shed a tear.

Gen35 Fri 25-Apr-14 14:15:53

Another way he's a total jerk - she's a small child, they're all over the top and incapable of controlling themselves at times. He should know that by now? I hope he gets better for your sake op. His other behaviour re you sounds pretty hard to take too.

Sampanther Fri 25-Apr-14 13:27:55

I think he thinks she's over the top and does get annoyed after a short time of her not responding to him or calming down.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 25-Apr-14 07:31:16

Oh dear. Is it a lack of skill thing?
Or a lack of sympathy/ empathy?
Does he feel sad for her? Or just annoyed?
It sounds as though his attachment isn't good. It's a worry isn't it?

Sampanther Fri 25-Apr-14 07:27:54

Because her screams are piercingly loud and 'it hurts his ears' to be close to her and she thrashes about like a toddler would if having a tantrum - throwing herself back, going stiff, pushing against him etc to get down. I've said he should put her down if she doesn't want to be held but could still try and distract or engage her to cheer her up rather than just ignore her. He just doesn't know how though - so often he just keeps repeating her name expecting her to stop crying and listen or else says that's enough, you're being silly, it wasn't that bad and do on which makes her worse.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 25-Apr-14 07:11:44

Why does he leave her to cry?

Sampanther Thu 24-Apr-14 22:23:34

wilting I have left them alone on numerous occasions. If she starts to cry, he leaves her to do so until I return - he isn't trying to find his own way, he's resigned to her not wanting him. It's not fair on (or safe) to keep leaving her in this situation. Joan I do think he's one of those men who's loads better with older kids - who i've taught to be safety aware, polite, disciplined etc. I just resent that I have to do all the hard bit and he gets to step in in a couple of years as 'fun dad.'

joanofarchitrave Thu 24-Apr-14 20:40:03

It is really tricky when they just don't appear to get safety. As a veteran of this dilemma - while I was on 24/7 childcare duty on a 'holiday' when dh was very depressed, I asked him to take care of ds for an hour while I lay down, he sat down by the pool and went to sleep; ds fell in the pool - ultimately the only answer may be to suck it up until the child is older. And I do know how utterly shit that sounds.

Still wishing Families Need Fathers would do some kind of outreach/intervention service in these situations.

BertieBotts Thu 24-Apr-14 20:07:12

Sounds like he does a lot less than many blokes too Miaow. Just because some are worse doesn't excuse him - if it's not working for you make that clear to him!

TheScience Thu 24-Apr-14 17:28:49

wiltingfast - would you really be willing to leave your small child all day with someone who can't/won't keep them safe? The OP went out for an hour and her toddler got a head injury in an entirely preventable incident and then wasn't even comforted. I would expect next door's 15 year old to do a better job.

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 24-Apr-14 17:24:56

He doesn't actually sounds clueless [if he can do it for the other kids he can do it for her] he actually sounds cruel.

And of course you are there to pick up the pieces when he just can't be arsed. Nice.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Thu 24-Apr-14 16:46:51

You have bigger problems with this man other than his crap parenting, I'm on your other thread in Relationships too.

wiltingfast Thu 24-Apr-14 16:45:24

He's not bonded with her that well it seems to me Sampanther, he certainly has no confidence in dealing with her. I won't keep banging on because in the end, you know the situation best, but there is no easy answer for you in this.

The fundamental point is he will not learn if he does not do it himself.

If you are too big a focus when you are there, then I think you literally need to get out of the house. A whole day minimum, probably longer!

I think shouting etc is just taking all the authority onto yourself which is actually exhausting for you and gives him an excuse for always thinking you know best and so never growing to take proper care himself.

Have you let him bath her since?

All that said, remember, THIS DOES NOT LAST, so if you can't bring yourself to let him go through a learning curve, you will come out the other end eventually.

I do realise this is hard core advice btw but I genuinely think leaving them to cope is what works though they are never as good as you.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 24-Apr-14 16:15:00

You're not over cautious. Who the fuck leaves a toddler alone in a bath? And let's them climb out alone so they suffer a head injury?
How anyone is calling you over cautious or suggesting this is your doing by not "letting" this fuckwit look after your child I do not know. It beggars belief.
No. YANBU to be fed up with having to supervise dickhead's DPs parenting. But it looks like you'll have to keep doing it to have any chance of staying out of A&E.

FengMa Thu 24-Apr-14 15:11:10

I. Would. Be. Apoplectic. Seriously.

With 2DC, 2DSC, a dog and a bump, the last thing you need is a manchild. You need to jointly ensure that history doesn't repeat for your new addition.

I don't think that you sound overcautious.

My poor DH's eyebrows were almost blown off by my fury once when I'd asked him before we left for a day out whether we had everything. Turned out, he hadn't brought a rain cover. (Hardly a hanging offence! I was v overtired and hormonal at the time, poor sod!). We had a LONG discussion about how common sense and responsibilty are not the preserve of she who has breasts.

MiaowTheCat Thu 24-Apr-14 15:01:37

My DH is like this as well - I periodically go nuts on him over it and he pulls his socks up for a little while before slacking off again. We also have the battle of the dog shit - if I let them out I watch them and pick up straight away, he prefers to leave it and do a few poos at once - so I always have to do a sweep of the garden before I let the kids out at all to know they've been picked up for definite. He adores the kids though and does a lot more than many blokes so I grit my teeth through it a bit.

NewNameForSpring Thu 24-Apr-14 14:53:57

Sounds like your DD knows he is shit at looking after her and she can't trust him to do so. Therefore he is not a comforting presence.

Sorry Sampanther but your dp is sounding worse and worse. A serious talk is needed.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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