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GFs difficult child, throw in the towel or persevere?

(43 Posts)
Tankgirl78 Mon 02-Feb-15 15:24:43

Hiya needing some advice from people who've lived through this experience!
I've been seeing my girlfriend now for seven months, she has a five year old girl and I have a two year old girl. The problem is I'm having real difficulties with her daughter. Now whilst I fully appreciate it is hard for her to adjust to having to share her mum with new people (she's been used to having her to herself for two years now) - her behaviour is becoming intolerable. I need to know a) if it will change b) if so how to change it and c) how much I can/should intervene or d) if I should walk away!
From what I can see my girlfriend has adopted very much a 'guilt' style approach to mothering as she works full time so she has very poor disciplinary techniques (if any), no boundaries, and is totally bossed about by her daughter. Consequently this girl is extremely spoilt, rude, bossy, mean, unkind and selfish. She is almost always horrible to my daughter and it is starting to have an effect on her. I've worked hard to teach my daughter manners, kindness and sharing and it seems to be being reversed now because of the five year olds influence.
It almost goes without saying that she's always rude and difficult towards me and it makes for a really uncomfortable time for all of us.
My girlfriend seems oblivious to the fact that her daughter is like this even though she has to spend a lot of time shouting at her and making ridiculous 'false threats' that she of course never carries out like 'if you don't do this you're not seeing grandpa tomorrow'. All meaningless and useless of course because she never follows through on any of it.
She tends to blame her behaviour almost entirely on this situation but I think a big proportion of it is her parenting. I've gathered that her behaviour was like this before I came along so I know it's not like she was an angel before and is now reacting to me. Do I address this with my GF? So tricky to tell someone their parenting needs improvement but if I don't say anything I can see it will be the death of us.
Please help with constructive comments if you've been though the same thing and something you did worked or didn't work!

Ps I have posted this before but on the wrong thread so got very few responses and none from anyone who had been in this situation.

lunar1 Mon 02-Feb-15 16:41:50

Do you want the way your girlfriends dd is parented to rub off on your dd as she grows up? Because that would be enough to make me walk away.

She is not going to drastically change her parenting because of anything you say so I would base my decision on how things were now. False threats drive me round the bend too!

FlossyMoo Mon 02-Feb-15 18:39:27

I will refrain from agreeing with your verbal bashing of a 5 yo and simply say end your relationship. You clearly have different parenting styles and if you continue with this it will be a shitty life for her DD, you and your DD.

Tankgirl78 Mon 02-Feb-15 20:51:57

Erm yeh I agree that in an ideal beautiful world no one, least of all me, wants to berate a child. But what is the point of this discussion post if you are not allowed to be frank and honest? No one would be able to get anything solved or answered if we just said how wonderful everyone is. It took me ages to build up strength to write all of the down as I don't like having to write that either, but it's the truth and I live in the real world. She IS spoilt, she IS unkind etc. Just because she's five it doesn't mean no one is allowed to be truthful about her and her behaviour. Again, this discussion group would be totally pointless if we weren't allowed to say anything negative for fear of instantly getting rollocked. I'm just trying to find a solution and I'm asking for help.

Frusso Mon 02-Feb-15 20:59:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlpacaMyBags Mon 02-Feb-15 21:02:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IWantDogger Mon 02-Feb-15 21:04:29

Hmm it's a difficult one. Maybe one thing to factor in is that it is normal for 5 year old girls to be egocentric and self centred, that's where they are at developmentally. I'm guessing it might be the first time you've spent such a lot of time in the company of a child that age and they do change a lot between 5 and 2. But, as a couple I don't think the issue of differing parenting styles is going to go away and will probably only become more of an issue as both your girls become older and challenge more.

pictish Mon 02-Feb-15 21:08:18

I'd be out of there. Your parenting styles are poles apart. Your gf will not suddenly see the light and become an effective disciplinarian, so you are going to find it increasingly difficult to be around your gf and her daughter as time goes on.
It certainly wouldn't be for me!

TheEfficiencyMovement Mon 02-Feb-15 21:12:49

It a tricky situation. 5 year olds can be hard work at the best of times and other peoples 5year olds can be really hard work. Are you living with your GF?
Hopefully you are still living seperately - if that's the case maybe you can carry on seeing her but try and keep your own space. Do you have to have the girls spend time together? 7 months is not very long so there is no need to be rushing things. There is no harm in taking things slowly and enjoying the relationship for what it is while you both slowly become more comfortable with each other. You should be able to discuss this type of thing.
I would be very very nervous about moving in with someone when I wasn't fond of their child. I can't see how that could end well. confused. I don't think you have to love them exactly but you should at least like them. The five year old may settle down and become more likely but she might not.
It's obviously not her fault that she is like this - you acknowledge this in your post - but it's also not your fault that you don't warm to her.

I'd wait and see how things develope and if things don't improve I'd consider walking away.

Good luck. I hope you get some more helpful posts. The step parenting forum is very feisty I'm afraid.

TheEfficiencyMovement Mon 02-Feb-15 21:14:58

Sorry for typos

Likeable not likely.

WineWineWine Mon 02-Feb-15 21:22:05

Walk away. There isn't a hope on hell that there is any future in this relationship. No blame, just complete incompatibility

hoobygalooby Tue 03-Feb-15 11:44:04

Well 5 year olds can be spoilt bossy rude mean unkind and selfish if they aren't taught any manners or discipline. My DSD was all these things and more when I met her at 5 years old but now she is a lovely, kind, sweet natured girl who I love to bits.
The reason she has changed is that together DP and I have worked bloody hard to teach her not to be that way.
If your GF won't even acknowledge that there needs to be a change then you are on a hiding to nothing and things will only get worse.

CalicoBlue Tue 03-Feb-15 20:42:02

It will only get worse. My DSS was lovely when he was 5, a fucking nightmare now he is a teen. DH still thinks he is wonderful.

If you find it difficult now, it is time to get out.

bloodygorgeous Tue 03-Feb-15 22:08:32

Definitely end this now. You are unbelievably critical of your girlfriend's parenting style. Ok fair enough that's the way you feel...but it's not fair on her or her daughter is it? And it's just not going to get ironed out. Whether you are 'right' or not about it, it's not going to work. Do all of you a favour and walk.

swingofthings Wed 04-Feb-15 15:53:30

It's difficult to know where the right middle is. It is not uncommon for difficult unpleasant clingy 5 years old to become lovely older children. As a matter of fact, I have seen the children of friends who I judged as future trouble kids turning out to be absolutely lovely as much as perfectly well behaved children turning out demanding teenagers.

The issue though is whether you can live with it without it becoming a real issue between you and your girlfriend. I have to admit that I am not sure I could cope with a child acting this way getting little discipline. This is why my DH wanted to meet my kids very early on the relationship because when he realised that there was potential between us to become serious, he knew that if my kids were not brought up in a similar way to what he considered right, it just wouldn't work long term. You're at the stage when you need to have a talk, not to accuse her of being a bad parent, but how she sees her daughter's behaviour. It might be that she fully agrees with, but is too exhausted to find the energy to discipline her properly.

juneau Wed 04-Feb-15 16:01:57

As I see it you're caught between a rock and a hard place.

Option 1: you talk to your GF and criticse her DD's behaviour and your GF's parenting. This is unlikely to go well unless you are a UN-level diplomat.
Option 2: you break up with her, but still have to mention why this isn't working for you, because I doubt she's going to just say 'yes, okay' without some kind of explanation.

So, rock or hard place? Its your choice.

42isnottheanswer Wed 04-Feb-15 16:23:11

I met DH when DSS was 6. He threw major tantrums, got his own way, ran away in supermarkets from me and generally got away with it due to guilt parenting from both his parents.
I eventually said to DH that if I was going to be around DSS I had to be able to discipline his bad behaviour when it was aimed at me. If DSS was rude, I'd say things like "I don't like to be spoken to like that" or "I don't like the way you speak to DH. It upsets me" I tried to never say "you're bad" more that I didn't like his behaviour.
DH did eventually start to back me up but still let DSS away with much more than I ever would.
We now have our own DD and she is parented very differently, with DH now saying how much he let DSS away with. hmm
My DSS is now 20 and he's turned out ok! We still have the odd set to but most of the time we get on well.

Tryharder Wed 04-Feb-15 17:47:06

I find your character assassination of a 5 year old quite unnerving. Get out now. This 5 year old needs to have someone in her life who likes/loves her and can help her to behave better.

truthwithin Sat 07-Feb-15 05:47:56

My DD is the same age & I know this is when a childs personality really starts to show, especially since school / nursery times will influence them.

If you are teally serious about DP then tell her how you are feeling. Try not to make about Dsd5's behaviour but how you all feel as a family. Ask FP what her values for family life are. Sometimes when we parent by guilt we cannot see beyond childcis happy = great parenting, even if we are doing a dis-service to the child.

If you can't find some common ground on house rules for ALL children, end it now as your own child will feel the odd one out and resent you in the long run.

truthwithin Sat 07-Feb-15 05:52:54

BTW. I know that whiyou describe the way you Dsd5 acts and how much you don't like it. It is really the parenting you can't stand.

It's a shame this board has been taken over by non- steps who assume you must love every child within 2 seconds of meeting them.

truthwithin Sat 07-Feb-15 05:57:37

Have you had a 5 yr old? Or are you just having a guess?

Weebirdie Sat 07-Feb-15 06:01:28

This 5 year old needs to have someone in her life who likes/loves her and can help her to behave better.

It wouldnt appear from the OP that the wee one has a mum who helps her to behave better.

truthwithin Sat 07-Feb-15 06:10:52

weebirdie seriously! We don't know the circumstances of mum beforehand.

I know I've been guilty of 'whatever makes you happy' parenting with Ds16. It was only when DP & I had a discussion about it I realised I was making excuses for his bad grades, rude behaviour etc.

babyiwantabump Sat 07-Feb-15 06:14:02

It is tricky . I have been with DP since his DD was 9 months old . She was a lovely child but due to her mothers way of parenting has now grown up to be a selfish self centred and really quite horrible . She is now 8 .
My situation is difficult as we are not the resident parents and only have her at weekends so are not able to really have an effect on manners etc and the consequences of her mothers guilt parenting.
It has now got to the point where I remove myself and my DD who is 10 and DS who is 13 months from the situation when DSD is there as she has becomes so appalling to them .
I'm hoping it is a phase and she will once again become that lovely child that she once was .
It seems to only be spiralling out of control and got quite a lot worse when we got pregnant with DS .
This was when the threats of killing the baby started .
Her mother whole heartedly supports DSD as she should be able to do and say whatever she wants .

I hate the whole situation and if I knew it would be like this now I think I may have not stayed with DP for so long .

She makes my children and me miserable.

I can't tell you what to do but I can't assure you it will get better as in my situation it is only getting increasingly worse .

Weebirdie Sat 07-Feb-15 06:20:42

Truthwithin, I wasnt judging the mum.

I very badly worded a reply to someone who said This 5 year old needs to have someone in her life who likes/loves her and can help her to behave better.

My point was if that's the answer to the OP then what should be said to the mum who it would 'appear' from the OP doesn't do anything to help the wee one behave better.

In short, it was a daft reply to give the OP.

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