To be so irritated by this?(23 Posts)
I've been in a relationship with a great guy for two years. Things are mostly great except for this:
He has a dc from a previous relationship which isn't a problem in itself, and i get on well with the child. The issue is that I get irritated by the way my DP parents. I realise that most of this is none of my business, we don't live together currently although we are planning on doing this in the next couple of years. DP is also very keen to have a child with me in a few years and so I guess I'm paying attention as I realise that he will likely parent our child similarly. I must stress that he's generally a good and responsible parent - regular contact, maintenance, very much loves his child which makes me feel like iabu to feel this way.
For a start, he has a really weird attitude to food. Dc is very very fussy so DP's solution is to take them to fast food places a lot. He has his dc EOW and once during the week and there have been some weeks where they have gone to fast food places 3 or 4 times. I find this grossly excessive but he doesn't seem to think it's an issue at all. DC will eat home cooking but has to be cajoled by DP for what feels like ages and dc openly expressed disgust. I do most of the cooking so it makes meal times awkward. Having said that, DC is the same at restaurants. The only time they'll happily eat is at fast food restaurants.
The next one I feel a bit bad about, but it's a trait I dislike in anyone and I have ditched friends for doing this - competitive parenting. I do think it's nice that dp is so proud of his DC but you'd think they were a child genius the way DP goes on! DP will sometimes wax lyrical about the tiniest achievement. For example, I shit you not, he was actually showing off the other day that his DC will look for a banana that is lying on its own and have it for breakfast because he knows now that DP has put it out specifically for him. Genuinely, he was actually proud of him for this when to my mind, it's a perfectly ordinary thing any child could do and at a much younger age (his DC is 9). Apparently at parents evening, DP was actually told that his DC and another girl are the brightest in the class. I don't want to disbelieve my DP but I was surprised that any teacher would actually use those words. Ime, teachers only ever talk about your child and not in a comparative way. These are just a couple of examples. Whilst I make all the right noises whilst he's telling me this stuff, it is wearing thin hearing about how amazing his child is. I mean, I'm proud of my DC but I don't go on about it because nobody else gives a shit and I understand that.
I think part of the problem is that I feel like he's saying my kids aren't as great by comparison. He's never actually said that but it's what goes through my mind when he's off on one of his show off rants. The other issue is that DP only has one child. I have two so understand better that every child has its unique talents and that nobody is 'better' than the other. I think he's actually a little insecure and this manifests as competitiveness, particularly over his child. I think this links to the fast food thing and generally spoiling his DC with sweets and toys because he thinks his DC deserves it for being so amazing.
Anyway, AIBU to be so irritated by this or would it equally do your head in?
Maybe point out to him the nutritional disadvantages of eating crap all the time and the impact that has on the brain and on the body? And point out that his son is going to be disliked immensely at school if he ever says things that his dad says all the time?
I couldn't be involved with a person who was into competitive parenting in that way, particularly if I had my own children. What's he going to be like if one of your children does better than his? He'll be insufferable if his do better.
It's very lucky you're getting this chance to see how he parents before you make the decision to have a child with him.
It isn't competitive parenting when it's to someone who loves the child as much as you though. Dh and I can go on for hours about how out dc are the best ever, and also fully involve grandparents in this. We have a toned down version for close family and wouldn't dream of inflicting it on anyone else. I thought this was normal he maybe expects the same from you about your dc.
The complication is your own children. If you genuinely think he's putting them down then that's not on.
The food thing is him being useless.
I think it's also because he's completely unrealistic. I could stomach the extreme pride if he didn't also make excuses that mean his child is never at fault. Ever.
Dc had a fight at school once and DP could barely suppress his pride despite the fact that his child had been violent towards another kid. Of course the other child deserved it because they'd been teasing his DC . If our DC argue and his DC is being the wind up merchant, my kids are being too sensitive. If my kids are being the wind up merchants and his DC gets upset or tetaliates, then it's mine in the wrong. That really grates!
Nothing his child ever does is average - it's always super amazing special. It's wearing very thin!
I think this goes beyond competitive parenting. He sees your DC's place as in the wrong, and that is a problem.
And the fast food thing is a truly, truly, shit parent. Sorry, but that's horrendous.
Giving a 9yo fast food 3-4 times over a weekend is, IMO, edging towards child abuse/neglect. I know people get all ansey about calling it that, but I think it is.
He's a shit parent.
I would be rethinking moving in with him and inflicting him on your poor DC.
I agree Aye. The 3 times in a week (could have been 4) was a one off, but still, he takes his DC at least once in the week. And that's every week. He also buys sweets very frequently - every time he has DC, they get sweets. Since we introduced the DC to each ither, mine have been eating a lot more fast foo than they did before (because DP always suggests it) but still no where near on the scale that his does. The other thing is that he doesn't just get one meal - it will be an adult meal or a kids meal with extras like another burger and always always an icecream too. It's too much not to mention the waste of money!
I daren't critisize this behaviour openly as I get the impression that he's very sensitive and wouldn't take it well. I have expressed surprise at some things though and I think he got what I was saying but has carried on regardless. It is getting to th point where I feel like admitting that I'm dubious about having another child unless his attitude changes.
YANBU. That would grate on me too. I wouldn't even bother telling him about the food, you can't be a grown adult and not know that's shit, you obviously just except it's ok to feed your kids shit.
I'd be irritated too. Lucky to have the chance to observe before you have kids with him ....
It's getting to the point?? I think it's way past that point to be honest.
mintoil, he's generally very good with my DC and I don't think they pick up on this competitive thing. Although he did say the other day (not in front of DC) that my youngest had manipulated me to get pudding. Internally I was screaming hypocrite. I have a fairly relaxed attitude to food, I don't expect them to eat everything and they can still have a small pudding like a yoghurt if they haven't finished as I don't want it to become the forbidden fruit. He's more strict in that he forces his DC to finish everything on the plate or no pudding but I don't think this works any better as his DC is very fussy. Plus he doesn't seem to care about the nutritional value - just that it gets eaten. I understand that this boils down to different attitudes though.
I understand what everyone is saying but literally this is the only issue I have with him. We're very well suited in almost every way, I've never been treated as well or had an intellectual and emotional connection as I do with him. It's just the question of whether this is a deal breaker or not.
yes its the only issue you have but its a dealbreaker wouldn't you say? especially if you're planning on having children and coparenting each other's children in the future
It's a huge issue though, isn't it.
If you have a child together, will he be acting like this with your child?
Or will he be comparing his son and the child you have together?
Will he become even more amazed by his son? Because he worries his son will be jealous of the new baby?
Will he still be taking his son out for fast food when your child is older and you will be saying that your son isn't having junk food again this week?
I really think its a massive issue.
It's a big issue for you OP.
You obviously have very fundamental differences.
Your DP sounds really rather nice. You however sound rather idealist where parenting is concerned. Maybe because you dont have any yet.
Op has two children
I don't think nt wanting your child to have junk food 3 times a week is idealist - or if it is, I am
Idealist Pinot? In what way? Because she doesn't/wouldnt want her dc to eat crap?
In a perfect world that would be great.. I however have been there and done that and know balance is the key.
Oh ok then, I only read some of the thread most of the time.
I also don't agree with such rigid perspectives. DS eats crap sometimes and doesnt others. No big deal.
Balance absolutely is key, but a balanced diet doesn't involve sweets and fast food every single week. I have two DC and am in no way an idealist, but there's no way they'd eat junk food to that degree; their bodies are growing and developing and need proper sustenance.
I'm not sure I could compromise on stuff like this; the fact that he sees no fault in his DC will surely make your own DCs lives harder? I don't think I could put the happiness of someone else's DCs before the happiness of my own.
I think if he doesn't really get what he's doing re the competitive parent thing, it's going to cause problems with your two. Is he competitive himself with friends? I only ask because I have a friend who's dc you would think was perfect the way she goes on. But she's actually quite boastful in her own right, sort of bigging up everything she does. I can tolerate it because I only see her every now and then but to live with someone like that would drive me bananas. I tend to think relationships work when you both have similar values, preferences and expectations. That way you're not having to argue because you can be reasonably sure they'd make the same decision you would. I'd think carefully about what you're getting into myself. Sorry.
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