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DP insisting he be allowed at DD's next parents evening

(289 Posts)
TheForgetfulDengineer Tue 13-Aug-19 06:49:07

Been with DP five years and he, DD and I have lived together for 3. They have a great relationship and are very close.

DD who is 8 also has a great relationship with her dad. She sees him 3 or 4 times a week including 2 overnights. ExH and I coparent well, it took a few years to settle after we split but we are now pretty amicable although we do still disagree on the ocassion.

The main bone of contention over the years has been DP. Exh didnt take it all well when I began a new relationship after a year of us separating. It took a long time for him to get used to the idea of us moving in. He was terrified of being replaced in DD's eyes.

However now, they rub along OK. They'll never be best mates but they say hello and pass small talk at drop off etc.

DP attends DD's performances at school or dance, birthday parties, Christmas fares etc.

He's never been to parents evening though. It's always just been me and XH. TBH it had never occurred to me it should be otherwise.

He's mentioned in conversation a couple of times recently that 'that is going to change' and he's going to insist he goes to the next one and ex will have to suck it up.

I know this will cause problems and if I felt strongly about it I would deal with the fallout. For example, DD really wanted him to go to her first nativity a few years ago so I told exH, DP was going as it was important to DD. He wasn't happy but it happened and now DP goes to all performances and it's normal.

The problem is this time, I don't think I completely agree. He's a massive part in DD's life and I love how they are close, I know he loves her and I appreciate it can be frustrating and thankless sometimes being a step parent. But, I feel its a 'parents' evening. She has two very involved parents and it isn't necessary or worth the fallout.

I also don't really like the insistence. Like it's a right if that makes sense although I could possibly be being over sensitive here. But I've always been very aware and advised DP over the years not to try and 'parent' too much but to just focus on building a good relationship with her.

Am I being unreasonable?

flowery Tue 13-Aug-19 06:51:05

YANBU. He doesn’t get to insist. He can ask. But he doesn’t get to insist.

Musti Tue 13-Aug-19 06:52:59

Insisting isn't good. Ask him why he wants to go?

whatwouldbigfatfannydo Tue 13-Aug-19 06:53:32

YANBU, it's not his call

VivaLeBeaver Tue 13-Aug-19 06:53:55

Gosh, why does he want to be so difficult about it and make a point when he knows it will cause problems? I mean he doesn't need to go because obviously you go and will rely any info to him.

I mean it's nice that he has a good relationship and wants to support her but he can do that without attending parents evening. You've already stood up for him regarding plays which I can understand why he would want to see them. Someone telling you about it isn't the same. But this is silly, to want to cause such an issue over something which lets face it is quite a dull (but important) evening.

You need to have a calm talk and explain how you're feeling.

KatherineJaneway Tue 13-Aug-19 06:55:32

He's mentioned in conversation a couple of times recently that 'that is going to change' and he's going to insist he goes to the next one and ex will have to suck it up.

I don’t like his attitude on this. Why does he want to go?

Lenny1987 Tue 13-Aug-19 06:55:59

As a teacher, I often have 4 parents sitting in front of me at parents evening, with both step parents being included. I have to say these are much better than the evenings where I have to meet each parent separately because they dont get on. I think the most important bit here is what is best for your dd. So if it's important to her, as the nativity was, or possibly will become important to her, then your dp should attend. If she will feel uncomfortable then he shouldn't force it. And ultimately if she is not fussed at this point it should be down to her parents, you dont seem keen and it appears her dad wouldn't be either. Its tricky, he lives with her so inevitably some of the day to day roles of a parent will fall to him naturally even if he tries not to parent her. And if you stay together long term the chances are this will be even more the case, especially as he has been in her life since such a young age.

HappyParent2000 Tue 13-Aug-19 06:56:09

The people who currently parent the child the most should go, they need the information.

This can be passed on to others as needed.

Mistressiggi Tue 13-Aug-19 06:56:41

Well he's not doing it for his step daughter is he, he's doing it to assert his own place in front of your ex. If ex wasn't going I would say it's fine for him, but an appointment with three adults there is highly unusual and I would struggle to know who to address my comments to! Tension between adults has bugger all to do with your dd's performance at school and if he cares he shouldn't push this. There are lots of ways his importance in her life can be shown, if his self esteem is low (tiny violin). Parents evening is not some kind of spectator sport.

franke Tue 13-Aug-19 06:57:43

Why does he feel the need to be present at a parents' evening when you could just report back to him? DH and I split parents evenings between us and do just that. It seems this is all about his ego rather than concern for what is beneficial for your daughter.

Robin2323 Tue 13-Aug-19 06:59:10

What does dd want?
My dp/dh always went.
But then ex didn't.

ArtyFartyQueen Tue 13-Aug-19 06:59:35

Definitely not unreasonable! My DH has stepped up and has attended DS16’s parents evenings but that’s because DS’s dad has always opted out to attend/support!

MsMarvellous Tue 13-Aug-19 07:00:18

Him "insisting" on this stuff will ruin their relationship. It's not his place to 'insist' on going to parent stuff however well they get on. My mum's husband after dad was like this. I hated him. His entitlement to involvement in my life was unbearable.

Knitclubchatter Tue 13-Aug-19 07:01:03

He does play an ongoing role in her education (listening to reading, assisting with homework, driving to exhibits related to the curriculum etc.) so if this is the case it’s reasonable for him to be aware as to how she’s doing. After attending a few meetings he may find them rather uninteresting and uninformative or he may have great questions and great ideas.

TheForgetfulDengineer Tue 13-Aug-19 07:01:15

@musti he feels he should be acknowledged as a step parent and he shouldn't have to miss out on it every year.

I think he assumed I would agree with him

IfIShouldFallFromGraceWithGod Tue 13-Aug-19 07:01:29

I think he ibu and it is about trying to replace your ex
As the non resident parent your ex is in a tough place. He obviously wants to parent his daughter and that should be respected. Your new partner needs to know his place

Chitarra Tue 13-Aug-19 07:02:05

I agree with you, OP.

DH and I rarely both go to our DC's parents evenings - usually one of us is at home looking after the DC, and the other goes and tells them about it. Whereas we would always both go to their performances.

It's completely different from a school performance, firstly because it's not really possible to just tell him what the performance was like - you have to be there - whereas it's straightforward to summarise for him everything that is said at parents' evening. And secondly because in the case of the performance he was clearly acting in DD's best interests (she wanted him there), whereas in this example it feels like he may be doing it to 'make a point' and piss off your exH. Is that possible?

I think you need to tell DP that you don't think this is appropriate or necessary. Don't lay the blame on your exH - tell him that this is what you think.

IfIShouldFallFromGraceWithGod Tue 13-Aug-19 07:02:33

It's his language that is the give away. He has no right to insist

user1493413286 Tue 13-Aug-19 07:03:16

He shouldn’t insist; I’m a step parent and I wouldn’t expect to go to parents evening.

ChristmasFluff Tue 13-Aug-19 07:04:27

You are not being over-sensitive. This would make me worried about how your partner may be either trying to use your daughter to control you, or to score points over your exH. I don't like the way he says he'll have to just suck it up.

As you say, she has 2 very involved parents and it is a parents evening. So no, you aren't being unreasonable.

I'd be asking him exactly why he thinks this is appropriate. He is not in a position to be making decisions over your DDs future so it is nothing to do with him.

mysteryfairy Tue 13-Aug-19 07:04:43

OP have you disagreed with him? It's not uncommon for step parents to attend parents evenings, even when both a child's parents are involved. Unless you have said to him what you have put down here perhaps he genuinely doesn't realise the other perspective.

GotToGoMyOwnWay Tue 13-Aug-19 07:05:44

Insist?? He’s being a peacock. He’s trying to muscle out your dds dad. Not acceptable.

If he’d said he’d would quite like to go & ask nicely - maybe.

SummerInTheVillage Tue 13-Aug-19 07:06:18

You have to make it clear now that it isn't going to happen. Not now, not ever.

He isn't her father. This would be a deal breaker for me, is he always this controlling?

jackstini Tue 13-Aug-19 07:07:54

It's the stroppy 'insist' that would bother me. His interest is great, attitude not so much

Has he said why he wants to go?

Most importantly, what does your dd want?

Spanielmadness Tue 13-Aug-19 07:08:52

When SM’s want to attend along with both biological parents, they are always told it’s not their place. Interesting to see more of a mixed response with it being a Step Dad in this case........
Personally, given his wording, I feel his main aim is to assert his presence, rather than to support his SD. Not appropriate in this situation.

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