help me to be objective(12 Posts)
so last weekend my boyfriend and I took his children for a meal. his oldest daughter (10) complained she was bored from the minute we got to the restaurant. she wanted to be on her phone. the younger son (8) was running off to look at a machine to win gadgets. he has been diagnosed as autistic. he asks his dad for £1. dad said no sit down. dad asked his daughter to stop looking at her phone. which she ignored as I was sat next to her. his daughter just wanted ribs for tea so her dad asked if they didn't have them what does she want instead. she said nothing. at that point my boyfriend said we are leaving we aren't having a meal. I was relived, as I was embarrased. his son was begging to stay saying he would sit down. my boyfriend said to the kids you will have your tea then your going to your rooms to bed. when we got back to his his kids had their tea. they were then able to do what they wanted. one on the Xbox the other playing in their room. the only people who missed out was me and their dad. we had to make do with a takeaway. I was looking forward to a meal.
their dad mentioned that when he looked around at other families they were all sat nicely enjoying the meal and why couldn't his kids do that. he said wished he could do what I could and leave. I couldn't wait to go home
we can't do the simple of things as his kids play up, they decide what we do or don't do. they decide what we eat, where we go. it is mainly his daughter. he wanted to watch wrestingling one weekend and his daughter took so long to get ready then couldn't walk in her shoes so they didn't go. the only time off my boyfriends gets is the weekends he has his kids so its not like he has other days to do things he wants to do
I told my boyfriend that his kids can be badly behaved quite often and he lets them get away with it. I believe for fear of upsetting them and them threatening not to see him. as well as he thinks they get a tought time at home as they have to look after their younger brother and spend all the time in their rooms. he said I am in the wrong for saying this as I'm slagging off his children. they don't respect adults or anyone for that matter they talk back, shout, argue with the dad. was I wrong to tell my boyfriend his kids are badly behaved and that he can sort it out but doesn't as he doesn't follow through with disciplining them?
You observation is perfectly valid. It won't help, he doesn't mind the behaviour that much. If he did he'd make efforts to change things and actually parent them. This is the type of parent he is. If it drives you bonkers (it would me) then run for the hills now.
Do you want children? If you have them with him, this is how he will parent them.
I think he ignores for an easy life but i know it makes him miserable. since I shared my feelings we have split up. as apparently I am a horrible person for what I said about his family. I did ask him how he would have liked me to say the same thing in a different way but he couldn't answer.
that weekend made me realise I could never live with him and his children. it would eat me up having to stay silent and let him parent his way when I believe it is not making any difference.
his son that same weekend told me his dad only dates women with a house and car. His dad pulled him up on burping loudly in the pictures but not for saying this to me. i find it odd that an 8 year old would say things like this. I have my suspicions it's their mum feeding them with this info. this I will not miss putting up with.
I have never been too sure if I want children.
I am a parent and the situation that you describe would annoy me too.
Children are sometimes badly behaved and a restaurant environment can be overwhelming for someone with autism so I'm not sure whether or not it's reasonable to expect the son to behave well there.
Your ex is Disney parenting. He thinks he's doing the kids a favour by not being hard on them but the kids lose out in the long term. Discipline is part of parenting and you're perfectly reasonable to be annoyed that his kids" behaviour affected you again.
I think their dad thinks I don't like his kids when I have only said I don't like their behaviour. he can't seperate the two. they aren't bad children just their behaviour can be bad at times. the problem is I couldn't have an adult conversation with him about it as his response is I deal with things my way. or he would say he was only doing things to please me and I read that to mean not because he believed it was the right thing to do. if he was making efforts to change their behaviour I would have appreciated that and could have seen a future with him but he never properly addressed it.
his son had a tantrum in a shop as he had picked the wrong toy and he threw himself on the floor bawling his eyes out. he got to swap the toy. I don't know if it's a symptom of autism but i was of the view that he shouldn't have any got any toy for the way he behaved. his autism is mild. and he certainly knows right from wrong as the minute you threaten to take the iPad from him he is as good as gold. maybe my expectations were too high.
when he laid down some rules to his kids when they were staying over at mine they really responded well and said they had had a good weekend. he made them say please and thanks, they helped out with making dinner. whereas before they demanded he make them drinks and food as it was his job too and he did it.
I look after my niece often and I wouldn't accept the same behaviour from her but with her I can step in and tell her off which I do.
How can you say that he isn't disciplining them when he actually punished them by taking them out of the restaurant and they missed on the meal? I think that was the best punishment and form of discipline he could have enforced, so good on him to have gone through with it. It's a pity that you missed out on the meal, but instead of criticising your OH, you could have told him that he did the right thing and that you are right behind him, that it didn't matter that you missed on the meal because there will be other occasions.
You don't say how long you've been together, but if you are going to complain about how his time with his kids is affecting you and he feels that you are slagging his kids, then it doesn't look good for building a future together.
his daughter didn't want to go for a meal in the first place she would have been happy to carry on playing on the streets with her friend. his son asked to stay but never mentioned it again. so it wasn't a punishment at all to them leaving the restaurant. they would rather sit inside on the Xbox and iPad which they got to do in the end. they went without punishment in my view. therefore their behaviour was not addressed or corrected.
we were together a year. since that weekend we are no longer together for this reason amongst others.
We have 7 children between us. I has autism, he has moderate/severe autism and attends a special school. He does not behave in the way described. It would not be tolerated. Autism is not an excuse to permit bad behaviour. It's a condition that requires understanding but not carte Blanche to lie on the floor having a turn. He needs to do specific parenting class to deal with Autism/behaviour. We did, it has never happened in ten years. He does do it at his DMs though because he gets away with it !
As for the other stuff, it's easy to call 'Disney dad' but if you live in constant fear of kids being manipulated by other parent into not visiting, then it's a very hard mode to get out of. Best thing he can do is have a regularised court order. That way, they have to be 'made available ' and this situation with worry about giving in all the time in case they don't come, is removed.
Kids that age not wanting to go out is totally normal. My kids are 'good kids', but at that age, if I suggested going on a walk or to a restaurant that wasn't their favourite, I would have got grumpiness, which would have resulted in me telling them off and then sulking, until they got back, talk to their friends and related how they had a great time!
In the end, I took the approach that if I was going to take them somewhere that was going to cost me money, I would discuss it with them in advance and make sure it was something they wanted to do to. I then balanced that between doing things they really enjoyed, and forcing them to do things they didn't (as cheap as possible!) and having no expectations of them that they would be excited at the idea.
They are now teenagers and that phase is thankfully over. They now enjoy doing the things they rumbled about at that age. They are all the same! Get a 10 yo to walk and you'd think you were expecting them to run a marathon! Then at 14, they suddenly start to go out with their friends and before you know it, they can walk miles to get together!
All kids seem to go through similar stages, and I think parents tend to be more in tune with these so therefore less uptight about them than non-parents. I expect you saw their behaviour as a precursor to them becoming delinquents whereas he saw it as the natural stage of growing up. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be disciplined, but it's not a case of disciplining = perfect behaviour.
I'm sorry it resulted in your separating, but in a way, if this was going to become a serious issue in your relationship, it was highly likely that things would have just got worse for everyone as time progressed and sometimes it is better to get out of it earlier rather than later.
swingofthings I absolutely get what you mean. i just wanted things to go well all the time, in whatever we did. but more often than not it didn't. kids are kids. i was aware that I was more tolerant of my niece than I was of his kids which did worry me.
I also admit it did worry me about the future. if that is what it would always be like all the time. the moodiness, the not being able to do things. I just don't think I could have handled it. it made me question moving in together. i think it's for the best that it ended now rather than if we had made a go of it and lived together.
thanks all for your views
It is tough because the reality is that we never know how our kids are going to turn out and most of the time, we go by our instinct. When my boy was 11, he turned into a moody, grumpy, dirty and solitary boy and frankly, I struggle to enjoy being in his company. Then I got all worried that he was starting to be depressed as there were some issues in the family. By the time I decided that maybe I needed to consider providing him some support for depressive mood before it got worse, he turned around and became a happy socialising teenager! He is now 13 and gone are the mood swing, the sharp responsiveness, the locking himself in his room and only grunting when asked anything but of course, I couldn't see the future then.
Maybe you could have worked it out if you'd made more time for each other. My OH doesn't have children and had no choice but to go through both my kids' moods. He coped because he took a step back and didn't get involved in their every day life much. Now that DD is 16 and a lovely young girl, they get along very well. I expect the same will happen with DS too. In the meantime, we do make a lot of time for just him and I, on Saturdays when they are with their dad, and going away for week-ends twice or three times a year. It helps a lot.
It sounds to me like you fell in the trap of him not giving you enough attention expecting you to just adapt to his family, and you becoming resentful and seeing only the negatives in his kids.
we definitely didn't have time for just us as he worked shifts and the only free days he had off were when he had his kids. so we had to make do with an hour here and there which wasn't enough for me and wasn't gonna get better anytime soon. that's why I wanted our weekends to be amazing, so when they weren't it was harder to accept.
we never had adult conversations about things as our emotions would take over. if we'd had more adult conversations about things we might have worked through things. I guess hind sight is a wonderful thing
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