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At the end of my rope! My partner of 2 years still doesn't like my daughter!

(29 Posts)
anipunkymum Wed 13-Jul-11 15:26:37

hi! I have an 11 year old daughter, and my partner argues constantly with her about everything, even if she takes 5 mins taking a glass or cup into the kitchen! She has to get 2 buses to and from school and she is tired when she gets home and he still argues! He was brought up in a strict house and was hit with a spoon if he did wrong, but i believe in happy parenting with rewards and praise and only restrictions happen if she totally messes up.We argue all the time about it, and i was in tears yesterday in public as i took him out for a meal, and he started on me about caitlin. He said i am not bringing her up 'strict' enough. please help!

GinAndWater Wed 13-Jul-11 15:33:18

Good grief- You've suffered 2 years of that ? Does he live with you ? I feel bad her.

Sorry to be blunt but he doesn't sounds like partner material to me !

GinAndWater Wed 13-Jul-11 15:33:44

I feel bad for her

Kayzr Wed 13-Jul-11 15:35:27

I'm sorry but I would be leaving my partner if he so much as thought of talking to my children like that or telling me how to parent them.

MonkeyJungleConga Wed 13-Jul-11 15:35:38

Wow - I feel for your DD. She's had to put up with this for two years. If any DP of mine criticised or argued with my kids he wouldn't be a DP anymore. Put your child first and get rid of him.

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 13-Jul-11 15:36:22

I would tell him quite forcibly to fuck off.

You rdaughter has evidently been on tenterhooks for 2 years around this man. Your priority is her. I am astonished that you need to ask.

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 13-Jul-11 15:37:00

Any woman who stays with a partner who is cruel to her children doesn't deserve her kids, frankly.

NotaDisneyMum Wed 13-Jul-11 15:48:49

Plenty of bioparents disagree about child rearing - the trick to successful parenting in ANY family is to agree an approach and for both parents to present a united front - even if they discuss some of the finer points away from the DC afterwards.

Could you and your DP attend parenting workshops together? It will get the ball rolling and you'll start to discover what is important to yourselves and each other, and which things you're prepared to negotiate on.

If your DP is not committed to your DD though, and refuses to discuss issues with you, then you all may find it easier if he disengages - 'google' it and there's lots of websites that cover this method of coping.

Blu Wed 13-Jul-11 16:05:55

Your poor DD.
And also you - you are living with a man who has no repsect for your parenting of your own child.

Does he really simply not like her? Is he ever affectionate / friendly / supportive / playful with her? Does he want to do the best for her, does he include her in thinking about future planning - as in 'If Caitlin wants to go to Uni we shoud try and plan a little savings pot for her' or 'Shall we try Bournemouth for a bholiday, loads for C to do'?

Is he jealous of the fact that you love your dd and feel insecure that you don't care for him?

Whatever this is all about, you need to resolve it somehow, either by speedy professional help as NotADisney suggests or by getting him to move out because otherwise your dd could come to hate you for making her have this man in her home, and the damage will be lifelong. Plenty of evidence on MN for that!

Think clearly, act decisevely, and Good luck!

hugeleyoutnumbered Wed 13-Jul-11 16:16:39

your poor daughter, she must feel very unwelcome in her own home, IMO I would put her first tell him to tow the line or ship out. your daughters needs should be your priority.

NicoB Wed 13-Jul-11 19:37:40

I presume he doesn't have any children of his own?

You might want to have a look at a thread I started, as this sounds similar.

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/stepparenting/1241636-Reasonable-or-unreasonable

PeopleCallMeTricky Wed 13-Jul-11 19:43:57

Fuck.

Him.

Off.

lubeybooby Wed 13-Jul-11 19:47:54

Get rid. At your daughters age this will really be affecting her BADLY sad

scottishmummy Wed 13-Jul-11 20:35:45

get shot of him or make changes
and you two get a grip.arguing,strife,mixed messages at home.splitting of adults.none of this adds up to happy environment for adolescent.poor wee girl

Ormirian Wed 13-Jul-11 20:37:49

Poor kid. Tell him to fuck off!

edam Wed 13-Jul-11 20:45:55

Poor lass. It is not fair on her to be made to live with someone who dislikes her and is constantly criticizing her - especially when, from your post, she doesn't seem to be actually doing anything wrong.

Your first loyalty should be to your dd, not your partner. So he has problems stemming from his own childhood, so what? They are not your dd's responsibility. He shouldn't be taking them out on her.

If he doesn't like your dd and can't bring himself to be pleasant and supportive, then show him the door.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 13-Jul-11 20:47:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smum99 Wed 13-Jul-11 21:19:08

So you two have completely different views on parenting and haven't be able to find a middle ground? I think you need to get the issue resolved, by counselling or parenting lessons. If you can't agree the relationship won't be successful. I am making the assumption you are shielding your dd from his criticisms (as a good parent would) as this is critical to her self esteem but if he is displaying an negative attitude it will affect her.

2 years is about the time when the honeymoon period is over - the issue either has to be fixed or you need to walk away. I was in a different position as my DH was a complete Disney dad and was overly positive to his son even when he behaved badly. We had a tough time getting through it and did have counselling (as underlying factor was DH's overly strict upbringing). Thankfully DH agreed to put the work in so all is good now.You can get through it but your DP must recognise it's a problem and agree to work through it.

brdgrl Thu 14-Jul-11 12:24:04

I am going to be a minority voice here!
Is it possible that your DP has a legitimate point, perhaps not very well communcated...?

From your post it is clear that you feel as though he dislikes your daughter and is overly critical, also that his expectations of behaviour and discipline are different from yours. I think this is pretty common, and I have already seen a bit of it on other threads here - but from the other side.

You say that you only believe in restrictions when DD totally messes up - from your DP's side, this might feel like a lack of appropriate discipline (I am NOT saying that it is, I don't think there is enough information in your post to begin to even guess that, and I wouldn't presume to say so anyway - I am just trying to see it from the other side.) You say he dislikes DD because he criticizes and argues with her - he might be surprised by that, and feel like he is just trying to have some rules in the house that everyone can live with.

For instance - My stepkids also take two busses to get home from school - but I still expect them to do their chores when they get in. They don't always want to, and my SS will argue that he is too tired, or has no time to play, etc, etc... (I should point out - the kids have a great deal of leisure time, and their responsibilities are pretty small.)

My DH would be a bit more sympathetic to SS's viewpoint than I would, both because of our own childhood experiences, and because of the 'DisneyDad' syndrome. No matter what, he would have been a more laid-back parent than me, because that is his personality, but because of his feelings of guilt and compensation for the kids, it is exaggerated. I am by no means strict, but I do have more of a belief in rules and consequences when it comes to kids.

I really don't mean to sound as though I am taking your DP's side. I have no idea. But I can see how his view of things might be quite different. A lot of the replies are telling you to get rid of your DP - but honestly, I am not sure how anyone can say that based on the amount of information in your post. I do think some outside help is a good idea. You might also want to talk calmly with your DP about what are fair and appropriate expectations for an 11 year-old. Maybe his are too high, maybe yours are too low, maybe there is a middle ground that would be better for the whole family.

SOrry if I am out of line.

glasscompletelybroken Thu 14-Jul-11 15:24:13

I'm going to be another minority voice! I sometimes hear myself being petty with my DSD's and nagging them about little things and hate myself for it. The thing is that I know why I do that - it's because I know I have no real control over anything in this house and it is so hard to live with that. Because I can't have a say in what they eat between meals, what time they go to bed, helping round the house etc, I end up picking fault with them over really small things in a (pathetic I know) attempt to have my voice heard.

LB1982 Thu 14-Jul-11 17:14:56

glasscompletelybroken I see what you're saying - I see myself doing exactly the same sometimes. It's very hard and I also hate myself for it. We have our own on the way and I hope it makes me more understanding!! I'm very worried it'll make it worse because I won't want their behaviour rubbing off onto our own dc.... help!

brdgrl Thu 14-Jul-11 17:51:22

glasscompletelybroken yes, I agree. I think you have hit on it when you say that it is because you "know" that you don't have any real control over things. Without sounding like a control freak - that isn't right! We should not be feeling we have no control in our homes and lives. Just as we have to become more understanding of the kids, we also need to make sure that we don't allow ourselves to remain powerless and out of control. It si a miserable way to live. I can honestly say that things have gotten much, MUCH better in our family since DH and I decided to make rules together and hold the kids to them. Now I DO have a say in things and even though it is still tough, I don't feel that particular awful feeling of not counting that I used to feel. It also makes it a lot easier to let the other things go.

LB1982, I was (and still am) very concerned about how the 'big kids' behaviours would affect our new DD. I struggle with it a lot...they are far enough apart fortunately that I think we can get away with "two sets of rules" without seeming to be unfair...example, maybe, I intend to be much stricter with DD about table manners. With the stepkids, at first I felt awful because I had no say and I hated mealtimes and there were no commonly held rules and I didn't feel I could say anything at all....

DH and I agreed on some compromise rules, and that's what we stick to with them...now I know I CAN expect them to sit down at the table to eat instead of going off with a plate in front of the TV, but on the other hand it is a compromise so I've given up on wishing they would ask for things to be passed instead of just reaching...and yet I fully intend to teach DD to ask for things to be passed...will just have to get used to hearing "but brother doesn't!" and sticking to my guns...

balia Thu 14-Jul-11 18:02:04

It is a difficult age, so if you'd said they got on together and now he was having problems with her as she becomes a stroppy teenager, I might be sympathetic. My DH had a rough time with my DD when she was a little bit older than your DD, as she went through some issues with her real Dad and general teenage pushing the boundaries. But they had had a lovely relationship prior to that and when he realised he was being overly critical and struggling to maintain a good, positive relationship with her, he got his bum into counselling and got some help.

Having a man around who 'doesn't like' your child is not on.

chelen Fri 15-Jul-11 11:22:50

Hi, I think you have to get to the bottom of whether he doesn't like your daughter or doesn't agree with the rules of the house/some of her behaviour. If he openly says he doesn't like her then I don't see how it can carry on without damaging your child. On the other hand, if this is actually a disagreement about parenting, then it can be sorted. In your post it does sound like perhaps he said he didn't agree with your parenting and you have interpreted it as him not liking your daughter.

I found it really hard settling in to a new home, for a long time I just put up with things then I had a meltdown about rules etc and my OH & I had to work out some agreements. Both of us had to tighten up in some areas, relax in others in order to get a consistent message.

Your post makes it sound like you are comparing being hit with a spoon vs happy parenting - but there is a lot of middle ground between corporal punishment and anything goes!

I don't agree with people who say a step should never express opinions on how to care for/discipline a child, that suggests parents get it right all the time - which they don't (or maybe others do, but I don't - as my kids could tell you :-))

I also don't necessarily think being strict means people don't like kids. Some people think that if you give kids very clear rules and consequences it helps keep them safe and they want to keep them safe because they care.

Hope you manage to work things out.

Petal02 Fri 15-Jul-11 13:05:46

I think GlassCompletelyBroken makes some excellent points. I'd like to add that my DH and I clash over my stepson. I should add that he's a very nice lad, doesn't have a bad bone in his body, BUT ..... I tend to disagree quite strongly with DH's parenting style, and that's what causes the tensions, not the child himself.

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