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My Dad is driving me mad with his criticism of my boys/my parenting of them

(5 Posts)
sameagain Wed 07-Jan-09 21:35:49

I've always been pretty close to my Dad. We're not a touchy feely emotional type of family, but we got along reasonably well when I was young, even when I was a teenager and have common interests in engineering and sport. My sister was/is much closer to my Mum and is often (unfairly imo) critical of the father Dad was to us.

I am very lucky with both my parents, they live only a few doors away, have my DC 2 days PW while I work and are keen to have them overnight and generally be involved in their childhoods. It's like and old fashioned extended family, without the trauma of sharing a house. e.g we often get a call to say Dad is about to mow grass/wash car and would DSs like to help?

My sister lives 100+ miles away and also has 2 boys, younger than mine at only 1 & 2 yo. Our parents see them about once a month when either they stay with sis or she comes here. After each visit Dad gets really critical either of my boy's behaviour and by implication the way I discipline them (they can be boisterous, but really not that bad. No complaints at school and friends happy to have them etc) or of the way I feed them (mixed diet healthy meals, some treats , whereas sis is still at the absolutely no salt, sugar, juice stage)

I know I'm being ungrateful and I really do appreciate the help I get. I also know sis has always felt she can get nothing right for him, but this is really getting to me now.

I hate to admit it but a large part of everything I do has been for my Dad's approval. e.g when I finally got round to doing a degree aged 34, I kidded myself it as for work, but was really to finally do what dad wanted me to do when I was 18 blush If I get promoted at work, I want Dad's congrats more than I want DH's.....

Lizzylou Thu 08-Jan-09 09:15:10

I know what you mean, I was always a Daddy's girl, always wanted to please him.

I have 2 DS's and they are very boisterous and full of beans, try not to worry about it, it may be that you are reading things into what your Father says.

How old are your DS's? At 1 and 2yrs you are just waiting for the "fun" to start, mine changed overnight at about 2ish!

littleboyblue Thu 08-Jan-09 09:27:38

I'm really close with my dad too, always have been. Since ds was born, my mum has taken the approach of active,y not interferring, she won't even pick ds up without me telling her she can (she won't ask either), this annoys me a bit coz I feel sometimes she isn't getting the full enjoyment of being a grandparent and if she ever does ask if she can bath him or take him out, I feel obliged to say yes as don't want to upset her, even though she works really hard and has back issues so shouldn't really be bending over the bath etc.
With my dad, when we are all together, I don't get a look in with ds, dad thinks he knows best on all accounts! I ahve had to say on 1 or 2 occasions that I am capable of making sensible decisions where my ds is concerned. He doesn't mean to be offensive or anything and I don't even think he realises he does it half the time. For example, the other day we were at his house, ds woke from his nap screaming (he usually does) so I give him a drink and a little snack and read him his book (which luckily I know word for word now) so dad told me not to calm him with food and so on.........And when I strted reciting story and ds stopped crying, dad told me to stop being silly hmm
He's also a few times slipped up and called himself dad to ds which I just laugh at.
he tried to explain once that the love he has for gc is so diffierent from that of his own dc's.
I'm sure like mine, your dad doesn't mean to/even realise he makes you feel like this.

LittleBella Thu 08-Jan-09 09:30:25

Why do you want your father's approval so much?

Is it because he has always been stingy with it?

MadMarg Thu 08-Jan-09 09:57:33

This is probably going to sound more harsh than it is mean to, but here goes:

If you don't 'grow up' and put your relationship with your dad on a more adult level then this is going to continue. You sound as though in many ways you want to relate to him as his 'little girl' but then you get upset when he treats you like a little girl in relation to your boys. You can't have it both ways. You will NEVER get unconditional approval from someone for everything you do. There is always something that they will do differently to you. (And for what it's worth, if your father has never had a son, he probably doesn't get how much noisier they usually are compared to girls - my nephews overall are MUCH noisier and boisterous than my nieces, even with very similar upbringings).

I hope this desire to get approval from your father doesn't adversely affect your relationship with your DH.

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