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Golden child/black sheep child

(4 Posts)
Pookie100 Tue 28-Mar-17 10:43:33

Sorry if wrong forum wasn't sure whether to post in parenting?

My ex is playing this out right now with my DC.

He is a middle golden child and his sister is an extremely black sheep. He has benefitted from this greatly with his mother, neither have contact with his sister. He and his siblings have no contact with their DF.

I was the black sheep child in my family and my sister the golden with our DF. My mother is weak and easily manipulated. Luckily my sister and I are extremely close and this dynamic from our DF did not break our relationship - we did not believe it to be true of each other and saw his tactics. Over the years DF demeaned and demoralised me and unsurprisingly, I met ex who was similar when I was only 19.

We went on to have a controlling EA relationship and 2 DD's. I left when it started turning physically violent and because I could see him directing some anger onto my youngest DD.

So we are parenting separately and by and large it is civil and unremarkable. He has another baby now.

My eldest is very challenging, I believe because her parenting messages are so confusing. She is badly behaved at school and isn't doing well academically. Ex refuses to tell her off for anything ever and doesn't back me up on issues and frankly, she can get away with anything with him, such as bad behaviour at school which he's not interested in. She's a lovely girl despite being very challenging, but has sadly learnt how to adapt her behaviour to show herself in the best light around him to win his approval. I'm not sure she respects me although I know she loves me obviously, but I can feel that she is contemptuous towards me at times which makes me feel quite sad but I will not give up hope she will come out of the teen years one day and be the person I know she can be.

My 2nd, DD13 refuses to try win his approval. They are constantly in a battle and he is negative and unpleasant towards her at times over absolutely petty trivial shit. She is a very bright able student who is predicted high grades, has perfect school behaviour.

I treat my DC the same as I Possibly can. DD1 who is challenging I am putting through counselling and regular meetings with school to show her the right path in life and hope she takes it. I'm hyper sensitive to not wanting a black sheep/golden child scenario but it's happening and I can't seem to stop it. I am constantly accused of preferring DD2, who is just easier going, but gets way less attention from me. I feel sorry for the way her DF treats her. DD1 is always jealous but can't see that ex treats them so differently and unfairly.

DD2 has considered stopping contact with her DF over this. Whenever I bring it up she back tracks and agrees to visit him but I know she's unhappy. Should I let her stop visiting to protect her from this? Am I doing exactly the same thing as him? I'm so confused. I just want happy children sad

DarklyDreamingDexter Tue 28-Mar-17 17:07:22

At 13 I think she's old enough to express her opinion on this. Why pressure her and make her unhappy, poor kid! Maybe if she stopped contact he'd reassess his shitty behaviour towards her.

splendidglenda Tue 28-Mar-17 21:46:01

I think the very fact that you're so aware of the potential family dynamics, is a huge protective factor for your children.

Pookie100 Tue 28-Mar-17 21:59:20

DD2 is miserable when she returns from visiting him and doesn't want to go to the visit before he arrives, but faced with the option of not going (that I offer to her) she doesn't take it. IMO she is trying to avoid backlash from him. He's so difficult and impossible to talk to that she just ends up going under duress, is miserable the entire time and he pick pick picks at her constantly about the most ridiculous things. Then when I arrive to collect he details a list of all the things he's annoyed with both of us about, in front of her. He has no insight into his behaviour and she is expected to conform and please him, which she refuses to do. DD1 who behaves badly and jealously at home with me, absolutely loves this situation and uses it to get more attention from her father. He lavishes her with all of the praise because she does and says everything he wants. It's so unhealthy and horrible.
I spoke to DD2 again tonight offering her the choice to stop going and she has said with a heavy heart that no it's ok, she will carry on going but hates him. So do I step in and refuse to send her? 13 is a difficult age to know when to step in or not. I hate the idea he's crushing her spirit but she's fighting him back every step of the way, which infuriates him even more!

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