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(14 Posts)
northstar Tue 18-Jan-05 10:39:48

Ds(2.9) is result of 1ns and sees his dd one weekday evening and one weekend day a week with an overnight every 2nd wkend. He is turning my lovely well mannered ds into a monster and i can only see it getting worse.
I spend the next 24hrs after a visit dealing with tantrums and demands that never occur otherwise. His dd is spoiling him with treats and all I hear is my daddy getting me presents my daddy getting me a surprise my daddy getting me a motorbike........ i want i want i want.......
I am happy for ds to see his dd and i dont want to start a fight but can anyone advise me on this? Do i just let it go and try to counteract his effect?

aloha Tue 18-Jan-05 10:47:56

Well, it's lovely that your ds loves his daddy so much and has formed a great relationship with him despite the potentially unpromising start (no offence meant at all by that!) and I think you deserve a lot of credit for that. Your son's dad also clearly loves his son, but is perhaps rather clumsy about the way he shows it. I'm sure he really enjoys buying him presents and loves the way his son's face lights up and I would guess has absolutely no idea that it causes problems for you. Are you on good enough terms to just speak to him calmly to say how much your ds loves him and wants to see him, but you worry that all the presents overwhelm him a bit and it makes problems for you in that he expects you to be the same. Maybe suggest your son's father comes up with a compromise idea - maybe more treats that aren't actually presents - likea trip to a kid's museum or a special park or even to the theatre - and also to buy him things he needs - eg a warm coat or new shoes rather than just toys. Or even just to take him for a haircut - bonding experiences as well as spending ones! BTW I don't think he is turning him into a monster. I think often children find it hard to make the transition from one home to the other as they love both their parents and that can manifest itself in tears and erratic behaviour, regardless of toys and treats. My husband never spoils his daughter (she's 13 now!) and has always made her very aware of the value of money as we have a lot less than her stepfather, but she would still be upset when she went back to her mother sometimes.

Blu Tue 18-Jan-05 10:51:41

How v annoying. Don't know your circumstances, northstar, but do you think that his DD is acting like this out of ignorance or as a delibrate ploy?
If it's ignorance - and many men new to parenthood seem to have no idea how to be a daddy without this kind of behaviour, even when they are living together - are you friendly enough to have an evening's discussion about bringing DD up and consistency - i.e make him MORE of a part of his upbringing? Is he feeling, perhaps, a bit left out or at sea?
If it's deliberate, I don't know what to suggest.
Does he even know or realise that his behaviour is actually causing his DS to have a difficult time in adjusting all the time?

dinosaur Tue 18-Jan-05 11:02:47

I don't have any directly comparable experience, northstar. But my older DSs, especially DS2, are quite hard work when they return home from a visit to my parents, so it may be that your DS's reaction is a pretty typical one, rather than anything your ex is doing deliberately, iyswim?

On the whole I think I'd be tempted not to rock the boat too much, as the benefits of a continuing relationship with his father will be enormous for DS. As Aloha suggests, a gentle suggestion about other treats that don't cost money might be the best approach.

I got you CAT, and sent you an email - did you get it?

Caligula Tue 18-Jan-05 11:10:46

I think you just need to re-emphasise the boundaries between your home and Daddy's home. "You're allowed to do that at Daddy's, darling, but you're not allowed to do it here" soon does become something they understand. ATM he's testing to see if he can get a better deal at yours, and you've just got to be very determined that he understands your way is different from Daddy's.

I have my kids brainwashed into thinking that it's physically impossible for me to buy sweets in a supermarket "because that's Nanny's job, isn't it? Mummy doesn't do that". I've been so determined that that's the message they get (nagging Nanny for sweets works, nagging Mummy doesn't), that amazingly, it seems to have worked!

Above all, don't worry or feel insecure that DS will start loving his DF more than you - he may love all the treats, but kids always like real life best.

SuzySox Tue 18-Jan-05 11:28:27

HI northstar, my dd is 2.6 and I am having exactly the same problems. I have also started getting "I want my daddy" screamed at me as soon as she gets upset or I say no to something!

I am just biting my tongue in the hope it's a phase. If you fancy a chat/bitch about this then you're more than welcome to CAT me!

northstar Tue 18-Jan-05 12:09:41

Wow, great words of wisdom, thank you for taking the time to answer!
Blu - i think his behaviour is 50%ignorance and 50%on purpose iykwim, we had a VERY rocky start when ds was born as far as parental roles, and it took 2yrs of negotiating and fighting and 2 visits to family law court to reach a compromise. I wont rock the boat over this this time.
Caligula - have you hit the nail on the head? Is this a case of me feeling sick at the thought of ds saying "i want daddy" or loving him more than me OMG it would kill me.
Dinosaur - no i dont think i got your cat but havent checked for a few days, i will look today thanx.

northstar Tue 18-Jan-05 12:26:14

dinosaur i have just emailed you

Casmie Tue 18-Jan-05 12:29:45

I know it's not really comparable, but I thought I'd mention that ds1 (3yrs 8mths) plays off parents very well (and we are together!) and anyone else he can bring into the mix. For a good year now if he gets told off he says "I want Daddy" or Nana or Grandma... depending on who isn't there. Or will go into a sulk and then say it's because he's missing Nana or Daddy etc.

I personally think a lot of it is an age related thing where they work out that they can get emotional mileage by rejecting you and embracing someone that isn't actually available at that moment. So it may not be just the issues of separate rules in different houses, iyswim?

northstar Tue 18-Jan-05 12:39:47

yes you are probably right, its just more of an issue for me at the moment i guess. i genuinely think that if his df knew what he was doing he would do it MORE, so i will say nothing at the moment

Caligula Tue 18-Jan-05 19:49:31

Northstar, honestly, I want to back up what Casmie's saying, they really do play these very unsophisticated manipulative games. When I had an au-pair and told off DD, she used to yell for him. Then got another one, started yelling for him. When either of them told her off, she'd yell for me.

Now they've left, she yells for Nanny. If there's anyone else in the house, she'll yell for them. Just anyone except Mummy when Mummy's not doing what she wants!

And Daddy of course, is the ultimate weapon because child can see how upset Mummy is by it - so whatever you do, don't let child see it's your Achilles Heel!

SofiaAmes Tue 18-Jan-05 21:49:47

Yes don't let him see how it upsets you. Also, it is perfectly ok (and easy to understand) for kids to have different rules in different houses. Or for that matter, different rules in the same house with each parent. My ds (4) and dd (2) know perfectly well that mummy doesn't buy sweets and that daddy does. They don't even ask me any more!!! And I've made a deal with dh (who is sure that his children will not love him if he doesn't buy them!), that he can buy them sweets as long as it's after a meal and not every day.
Getting back to your ds...he is at an age where he is pushing boundaries and trying to figure out the rules. He is trying to see if he can get the sweets and treats out of you that he gets out of daddy. I suspect that it won't take more than a month or so to get to the point where he understands that temper tantrums might work with daddy, but they don't work with mummy. AND you get to feel smug in the thought that daddy has made his own nail bed to lie in as ds will continue to assault him with temper tantrums as long as he gets something out of it.

northstar Wed 19-Jan-05 14:19:52

Last night ds had a mini-tantrum during his dinner looking for an icepop. I stuck to my guns and smiled and agreed that he could have one AFTER his dinner, he cried/shouted/stormed for about 15 mins, then climbed up onto his chair and finished his dinner - then he had his icepop. A few minutes later he thought about a second tantrum for a second icepop. It lasted less than a minute, then he said "no, mummy i have one after my dinner tomorrow"
Daddy will have to feed him on nothing but icepops if he doesnt get a grip and HOW STUPID IS HE GOING TO LOOK THEN!
Thanx for your support girls

dinosaur Thu 20-Jan-05 12:21:20

tee-hee, eh?

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