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Dreading dinner

(6 Posts)
KMAC99 Fri 24-Jun-11 09:35:52

I have been going for dinner at my BF house and his daughter (12) puts on quite a show. He will make a fuss making dinner exactly to their specification and then when he alls them to the table, they just ignore him. The little boy (10) usually relents and goes and is well enough mannerd (though doesn;t eat much), but the daughter will either sit ther for a few minutes then get up and say she isn;t hungry, or will take the dinner away and sit on the sofa with it. Last week she took the dinner away and got her own little table set up, then complained that the sausages weren;t well enough cooked (they were fine).
I find it very disrespectful when she does this, and I am going around for dinner tomorrow ever, what a dread. I mentined this to my BF and he says he just ignores her as she is looking for a reaction. However i feel it is just downright rude, and really have to bite my tongue.

What does anyone advise? Many thanks.

nenevomito Fri 24-Jun-11 09:44:39

Ahhhh, KMAC99. How I have been there. My advice is to take very good note as if he doesn't do anything about discipline now, imagine how you will feel if you ever start living together and he carries on exactly the same. Because he will.

It is rude, but if he's not prepared to do anything about it, be prepared for a lot of tongue biting. The next stage on from that is where he makes her do it, but makes sure she knows that its only because you are making him make her behave and then you have a whole other load of crap to deal with.

My DH used to let DSD leave her rubbish all over the floor as "She's only here for a few days and I don't want to spoil it". Of course, because putting crisp and sweet packets in the bin would ruin the occasion totally. hmm.

Only advice is as follows, calmly talk about how it looks from the outside - don't criticise his daughter, just talk about what he does. If you criticise her then he will go immediately on the defensive. If he still doesn't do anything, your options are to carry on as now, but biting your tongue OR not go round for dinner.

KMAC99 Fri 24-Jun-11 09:57:14

Ah many thanks babyheave for the good advice.

I did mention to him that from an 'outside' point of view, it was very poor manners. He said that she tries any way to get a reaction and cause upset and he has learnt that they only way is to ignore her and not give her the reaction she wants. He just tells her that is fine her dinner will get cold. I kinna see where he is coming from but I pointed out that she was being disrespectful to him (and me). Apparently she will go into a 'tantrum' if he tells her off (she is 12!!) so he doesn;t allow it to get to this. We just sit there and have a pleasant conversation between ouselves and with the boy about football or something but you can see he is uncomfortable. Usually after dinner she then reverts into 'hugging' mode and wants him to carry her around! She basically alternated from rude to clingy.

I am soooo very close to saying something to her tomorrow evening, and I feel that she doesn;t want me to come, so if I don;t go she 'wins.' I try to act as nonchalent as possible which is difficult. I would be more than happy to talk to her and ask her about her hobbies etc but I barely get a 'hello'.

I will talk to him again as per your advice.

Does this ever change? !

nenevomito Fri 24-Jun-11 12:07:18

It can get better. My DSD is an older teen so many of the problems you're having now, I've lived through and got to the other side.

She probably is playing up because you are there and how your boyfriend handles it now can save so many problems down the line. If he speaks to her before you arrive and before the touch paper moment of what happens at dinner about how she behaves and comes across, he would have a better chance of dealing with it, rather than ignoring it at that point so it doesn't kick off.

I wouldn't say anything negative to her as she will be looking for a reason not to like you or challenge her dad by putting him into a position where he has to back either her up or you up. I will warn you now that he will back her up (unless he is unlike any other dad I've met) and then dinners will only be worse.

The best advice I can give you when getting into a relationship with someone who already has children is "detach, detach, detach." You can't make someone else parent their child better or get them to behave better for you, not in his house anyway. Be serene and if all else fails buy a punch bag for when you get home!

brdgrl Fri 24-Jun-11 14:06:00

Been there!

You might be able to convince him that eating meals together with some set guidelines is better for the kids ANYWAY. But really, your powers in this area may be pretty limited as you are the guest. Down the road, if it becomes a shared household, you have a better chance at developing some rules around dinner time.

You haven't said how long this has been going on for?

KMAC99 Fri 24-Jun-11 23:29:03

Good advice, thanks so much. I can bet though that if he asks her to sit at the table before I arrive, she will just do the same show, but I agree some boundaries need to be set. I will probably be here tomorrow evening ranting about it lol.
I will just give the air that I don;t care and ignore her, and come home with a slightly bitten tongue smile
I just remember when I was a kid I just wouldn;t have DARED act in such a way when a guest was there, but I suppose there wasn;t the step relationship, although I still can't imagine having such bad manners.
Re how long it has been going on - anytime we have had dinner really, 3 or 4 times. There are many other incidenets - there was a swimming pool incident where she wouldn;t get into the water because it was 'too cold' (i.e. I was in it!), but that is a whole other story smile, there are many other incidents!

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