Not sure if this is a 'AIBU' or step parenting- discipline/telling tales...(9 Posts)
So DP's 11 yr old girl was staying for a long weekend but, DP had to go out unexpectedly on Saturday night leaving her with me.
I usually get on with her fine but this could be because I've never had to tell her off.
1. It started with her throwing my 2 yr old up in the air and catching her- both were enjoying it but I'm a scaredy cat killjoy and feel alarmed at my 2yr old airborne with an 11 year old below.
So I said in what I consider a nice way, "please don't do that (name) I'll end up having the baby!" and she smiled and said "OK, it's just because my Mum lets me" and I said "don't worry about it". I thought it was over.
2. 9:30pm she picks up 2 red bulls and a small tub of Ben & Jerry's. I say 'no, put them back and have some water, juice or milk if you're thirsty.' She says the Red Bulls are hers and her Dad lets her have them. I said I'm not letting her and I'll speak with her Dad when he's back.
3. At this point she obviously thinks I'm out of sight- I'm actually outside looking through the window like a ninja (waiting for dogs to pee). She opens the fridge and takes the 2 Red Bulls. I walk in and she says she doesn't have them- I repeat to put them back and she blushes and concedes giggling.
I told DP about the Red Bull thing and he confirmed that they are not hers and she is not allowed them at all and no ice cream without asking first.
On Sunday her Mum rang DP and was miffed that I said 11 yr old couldn't lift 2 yr old for a cuddle and that I said 'your mum might think it's ok but it's dangerous'. She also thought me saying 'only water at this time' was harsh. I did not say any of those things.
DP told her I wouldn't have said those things. Then he told me of the conversation and suggested I mention to her Mum myself when I see her.
DP doesn't want to rock the boat with his DD- she used to be there with just him and my/our kids- he said she'll have to get used to me.
Is this just 11 yr old girls or is this life for step parents? Surely DP or her Mum should talk to their DD? Also, do I have to tell her Mum that I didn't say those things?
Her mum should be keeping out of it. It's not up to her to make rules or say what can be done at her dads place. She should be encouraging dd to follow the rules and listen to adults looking after her just as she would at 'home' Just my opinion.
Sounds like absolutely typical 11 year old boundary pushing and trying her luck with a different parent in charge. My DD would do all those things if she thought she'd get away with it. Yes she is testing the boundaries as she's not so used to you being in charge. You're doing great, just keep them firm!
But really not on for her DM to get involved - your DP needs to tell her to back off and leave what happens in your house to you and him to sort out. And DSD needs to be told firmly that you and her dad are in charge of your household, and that it's not helpful to be telling tales to her DM. There's no way her DM could have judged whether her DD was being too rough with your 2 year old as she wasn't there. And it's up to you and DP to decide what DD is allowed to drink at 9.30pm (the answer would be water only, and off to bed in our household. Certainly not Red Bull ).
I wouldn't talk to her DM if I were you. I'd push my DP to ask her gently to trust him to look after his DD in a way that works for his household and not to get involved. And point out that he doesn't get involved in what DD is allowed to drink/eat/do at her DM's house.
I think he wants me to talk to her because he likes an easy life and generally wants everyone to get along- I get it.
I just don't think it would help- I might come across defensive or like an idiot. I'd much rather just bump into her naturally and have a normal conversation.
Engineering a chance to bump into her natually and have a friendly conversation might be a good thing - might help her to relax a bit about you looking after her DD and less inclined to believe tales of woe.
Could you drop DD back home some time? Or be the one who's in when she's dropped round?
But I wouldn't go near the specific issues of whether she's too rough with DD or what she's allowed to eat and drink. And if the ex brings it up, I'd brush it off as quickly as you can - saying something that shows you understand her DD's sense of frustration when she's - as she feels - got different rules in different houses, but that you're sure she's quite capable of managing, and that she's at an age when they do push boundaries.
After all, kids manage home rules and school rules quite easily. They don't say to their teachers that they're allowed to go to the toilet without asking or open a packet of crisps whenever they like at home, so they should be allowed to do so at school do they? They're quite aware their teachers would laugh at the suggestion
He needs to tell his ex it's none of her business what happens in your home. You need to tell him not to leave you looking after DSD again if she's going to do that sort of thing.
He needs to tell his daughter that you are in charge and not to try winding you up.
You are blowing the whole thing out of proportion. You decided to apply rules on that night when you were looking after her. That's fine, nothing wrong with it, however, if DD hasn't been used to it, maybe it came to her as a shock, and maybe you were a bit more assertive than you might have intended to be. No big deal.
She told her mum, again, because it was new to her. No big deal. Mum talked about it to dad. Did she call just to complain and say it was outrageous behaviour, or did they talk and she mentioned it, just wanting to hear what he had to say to be reassured that you didn't suddenly turned into an ogre?
Why talk to her? To make a point that you are right all around and that her daughter is a drama queen and a liar? 11yo still have a lot to learn. She faced a new situation and reacted as girls that age do. Don't turn it into a battle. Move on and next time you look after her alone, make it a light joke that she pretended that she hadn't take the drinks. Ideally, try to see if you can use that time to bond too which is often much easier when dad isn't there.
Actually I think you should talk to her mom but maybe in a natural way as others suggested when you drop her off or at pick up.
The only reason is because yes that seems very typical behavior for an 11 YO and my DSD was an absolute bugger for it. She would be fine when dad dropped her home then he would pick up next week and find out a new drama had happened. Seriously everything from she was starving because we hadn't fed her to some massive fall out involving my DS which had never happened, she would lie outright or and exaggerate. We took them on holiday and it was DSS's bday and she hated it because they provided cakes and did up the restaurant and everything for him but when she got home because her mom and decorated the front of the house for his bday she went hysterical saying she hated holiday because all we did was shout at her. She tries to do the same at ours, her mom has told her to moe out, her mom hit her over the head with a hairbrush, her mom did this that and the other.
It got worse and worse because she thought she could play each house off against the other. Now at ours we just say well will discuss it with your mom but our house our rules and that soon puts a stop to it although I have to say she is nearly 15 now so it rarely happens BUT her attitude to her mom at hers moms is still a problem, if it had been nipped in the bud straight away I am sure it would not have caused the arguments it has.
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