Kicking DPs arse into gear(11 Posts)
Contrary to how this may sound, I actually do love and get on with DP's 16 yr old DD. it's not been easy in the past but we are in a really good place now.
I do have a few issues that I blame HIM for allowing but need suggestions on how to get through to him.
His DD completely refuses to help out with anything, from making dinner to helping unload the car of shopping.
She is supposed to work 2hrs a week in her Dad's office but rarely turns up. She is on holiday from school ATM but flat out refuses to work for him at all, which means I have to give up my self employed hrs to help him out. (Despite the fact she has just had a very expensive holiday and received a very expensive birthday present.)
The last straw today, I saw she had scratched her name into the office desk and I'm fuming. Yes, it's old and knackered but that's not the point. He's intending on saying nothing about it. He never confronts her on anything. She is 16, defacing office property is not acceptable.
Tonight he went back to work (instead of last night) as she wanted to come round. Nothing wrong with that at all but I told him yesterday that if he left me tonight to go in to work I'd be mightily pissed off as I'm away till next week from tomorrow.
Not only does he see time with me as less valuable but he won't stop this whole taking the piss attitude of his DD. in all other ways he's a great guy but this nonstop working in the evening time if his DD isn't around whilst rewarding rather bratty behaviour is really annoying me.
Not going to LTB and as I say, I really do care about his DD, but I am very concerned about her behaviour, he's setting her up to fail in life IMO. I'm careful to pick my battles but he needs a wake up call. The one thing he hates most about his DDs mother is her entitled behaviour.
Any tips, please?
Golly...I have to say she sounds a bit of a spoilt pain.
If I can focus on the work issue - does she get paid for the 2 hrs a week? And why is she 'supposed' to work there? Was it her idea to do so or her Dad's? Does he desperately need her 2 hrs per week help - and is she any use when she is there?
I think I would calmly suggest he tell her not to bother any more as he can't depend on her - but that means she doesn't get paid, obviously. I would probably ignore the office furniture because I can't see how productive it would be to have a row about it, TBH.
I would, however, expect her to pull her weight around the house if she is living/staying with you. It would be non negotiable - if you are living in a house with other people then there are jobs that need sharing out. So if one person is cooking, then someone else is clearing up. I think you both need to sit down with her and agree some boundaries, TBH.
I agree with you that he is not helping her towards a happy life of her own - if she expects everyone to do what she wants all the time then she is going to find life hard!
Oh...and perhaps you could point out to him that he clearly has a good work ethic and is a hard worker - does he not think it important to install these values in his daughter?
In the kindest possible way give him some slack/benefit of the doubt. There is so much guilt/worry etc in not providing the 'perfect' family unit, feeling you have put your own needs (I.e you) above dc's (doesn't mean its true, just how it feels) that its like walking a mine field. She does sound a tad spoilt, but it also all sounds pretty normal. Don't let it come between you, you need to work with him in this and however you approach him with it make sure you put her needs (success in life, his good work ethic being her example etc) at the forefront of your argument if you want to get through to him.
Thanks for the replies, actually didn't expect any in the middle of the night (here anyway, I can't sleep.)
She does get paid for the hrs and its really just a tidy up she's expected to do, run the Hoover round, dust etc. I'm not sure who's idea it was but 2hrs on a Saturday surely won't kill her. He is stupidly busy right now but it's so sporadic he can't justify a permanent member of staff. Hence my ad-hoc role.
I have had a sensible discussion with him before about his DD helping out. He tells me just to leave it. She doesn't want to do it and if he says anything we don't see her for a wk. She lives with her mum but sees
us 2-3 times a week.
He is very lax in his parenting tbh, turning a blind eye to smoking and hanging out with older boys in 'unknown' places (by this I mean she arranges a meeting point for collection.) she skips a lot of school but when she does go, he drives her the ten minute walk.
We had an awful time last year, she was pretty nasty about, but not to me. I lost a baby and that was the turning point. She felt very guilty about being so awful. Since then we have become friends. Which makes me unsure about joining in a sit down chat. I'm very clear with DP that I won't take any kind of parenting role.
She's too old for me to be an authority figure. Also, I've had endless shit from the exes family and I'm giving them no ammo!! It's a tricky one but maybe I'm best to keep my gob shut. She will find out in the real world soon enough that its only mum and dad who pander to her wishes!!
I missed a couple of questions, sorry. She's not a huge lot of use there and he did fire her once but then asked if she was coming back.
I did mention his work ethic and also when we watched a documentary involving (amongst other things) kids refusing to work, he went off on a rant. I gently pointed out that if he's not careful somebody else may end up with that attitude.
She really wants to go to uni and I feel this has to be addressed now. School won't refer her with all the bunking off. I'm genuinely concerned about her future. She's very smart and creative. She'd be great at her chosen profession that she's aiming for.
Stop filling in for her and don't help your DP out if his daughter doesn't, then he will have to either tell her to do it or come up with a solution himself.
As for housework, she's old enough to do her own stuff, don't do her laundry or clean up after her.
Ask her to load the dishwasher, lay the table at meal times whilst your getting food ready etc, start expecting everyone to pull their weight and don't step in if they don't.
I did consider that, Fuzzy. I told him on no uncertain terms that he has to make appointments around office closing times (open either am or pm) as I need to focus on my own career. He is supposed to be doing a job for me that is important for my income, so I I just had a go about how it's been 4 wks since I asked for help (specialised, can't do it myself) that I rarely see him in the evenings unless DD is around and that I feel he prioritises me somewhere between taking a shit and putting the bins out.
I told him to have a think about where I lie in his list of priorities while I am away. He's quite annoyed and said it was only an hr and a half. I said the point wasn't the time scale, or that he'd changed his schedule to see DD, but the fact it was that he went at all last night and changed his plans meaning he didn't see me.
I have stopped cooking for both of them and leave dishes on the side now and I never touch her room. I need to go in occasionally for storage items and theres often a mouldy cup or two, which I always leave. We are 'not allowed' (her DM says) to do her laundry.
A few days away is probably what I need tbh.
It sounds frustrating...
If DSD is meant to work 2 hrs a week for her dad, but rarely turns up, I presume he doesn't still pay her? If he does, he is a mug - getting paid a wage for nothing...
I would stop giving up your self employed hours to help him out if I were you. He needs to either get his DD to turn up to do what she's agreed to do, or pay someone else to do it, or do it himself.
As for scratching your name into a desk, that's unacceptable and is vandalism. I would be really cross at this, and would be docking pocket money/fining/getting her to pay for repair. Saying nothing lets her think it's ok.
However, your main problem is getting your DP to see all of this. He's afraid she will just disappear if he pushes any of this. Yes, she might. And the problem you have is that if you raise it, and force him to act, he'll blame you for that when it happens. I'm so sorry, I don't see how you can really deal with this aspect other than how you are - by refusing to pick up the slack.
enjoy your few days away....
I sympathise I really do, in a similar situation with my dp; he wants the friendly chats with son but doesn't want to actually parent him, I think the same as you, it's not good parenting at all and yes they'll soon find out that the world doesn't owe them anything. As long as she is respecting you and your house rules, I'd try and leave the parenting to him, it's his problem not yours - he'll never see things you're way anyway - my dp can't take any constructive criticism at all when it comes to his son and I find it very frustrating but try and remind myself it's not for me to fix him or the situation.
Thank you. As far as I'm aware she get £25 per month pocket money and paid for the hours she works separately. He says he doesn't pay if she doesn't work. I have no idea if that's true.
I am annoyed about the desk, to me it shows a complete lack of respect for her father and his property. I'm just going to have to keep schtum and let them get on with it. He really is doing her no favours though.
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