My daughter is rude to my partner(27 Posts)
I have been with my partner for 14 months. We introduced our children quite soon (I have a 6 year old girl and he has a 6 year old girl and 10 year old boy) and within a couple of months were spending the weekends all together. We are now living together and it is, on the whole going well. obviously there are times when his children get jealous about feeling they are sharing their Dad and also I am careful not to discipline his children. The main issue is that my ex partner has told my daughter he doesn't like my partner (he's never met him and refuses to do so), has told her he doesn't like the guy, he's not allowed to shout at her etc. She's taken this as carte blanche to be rude to my partner, tell him she doesn't like him, and respond to simple requests with a "youre not my Dad so you can't tell me what to do". It's quite upsetting as this has all started since her last visit to her Dad . I am nervous about even broaching the subect with him as he is so is so unreasonable/stubborn - that why we're divorced. I've tried to talk to my daughter about her feelings but she just says I should just get back together with her Dad. Has anybody got any advice about how to deal with the situation? I should add my new partner is quite calm about it and also very caring of my daughter. The irony is that my ex has a controlling personality and bad temper (he beat up hs ex wife in front of his other two kids). Although he never abused me, I was a broken woman by the end of our relationship.
It sounds exactly like my relationship with DPs children. His ex told them I wasn't allowed to tell them what to do, they told me
they hated me, kicked me, told lies about what I'd done/said, made nasty comments about my appearance, make constant unreasonable demands. They were always saying to DP about getting back with mummy (she left him), she tried it on with him during changeover of contact. She has played games with control of access amongst others.
It hasn't ended well with us. DP wouldn't discipline them because he was scared of another loss of contact, so it continued more than it should. I now don't see them at all.
The thing that's different is that DP wasn't a resident parent and I was unwilling to put up with the bullshit. Your partner sounds lovely and will have more influence and ability to bond with your DC.
That's a hard one.
I think I would emphasise that daddy has some different rules from mummy in his house and that's fine. But in mummy's house we are polite to everyone and mummy's rules apply. And repeat. When in your house, your rules. She will get it, eventually, particularly if it does not serve her to be rude to him. You might also need to be ready to reward good behaviour, in a non-obvious way.
Your partner sounds understanding, which is exactly what is needed, probably together with a big dose of patience!
Thanks MotherofTwo... & StripeyMonkey yes I think we just need to be consistent and fair. At the moment she's getting away with being extremely rude and it's time to say it's unacceptable behaviour and give consequences - time alone in bedroom/ take away privileges. She doesn't need to like my new partner but rudeness won't be tolerated. At the moment she feels vindicated by what her father's told her and just says I'm stupid / mean for not sticking up for her. I am very lucky to have met somebody who is so gentle and caring and accepts that my daughter comes with the package. I really hope we can overcome this hurdle.
She's only 6. 6 year olds do say hurtful things so I wouldn't worry too much.
My own DC have said "I don't like you" type of things to me. I used to say "oh that's a shame because I love you"
If your partner responds calmly and kindly, she will get the message that he is actually a nice person.
When she says "you're not my dad you can't tell me what to do" what does he say back?
The reply to that nonsense is 'Excuse me, who do you think you are talking to? I'm not your Daddy, but this OUR family house and I am an adult and you are a child. What your Mum & I say are the rules, are the rules. It is not up to anyone else to make rules for OUR house. In OUR house children do not speak like that to adults or each other'.
I also disagree with you not telling each other's children off. They are children in your house, both of you need to treat them all the same, as if they were your joint children.
Thanks everyone some useful feedback. At the moment I am taking any rudeness from his children on the chin and my partner deals with it when he gets home. I just say at the time 'I don't like the way you're speaking to me' but I don't actually ask them to go to their room, apologise etc. My daughter is far more disrespectful to my partner, largely because she has been told by her Dad she can be. I think you're right that there are different rules for different houses and there needs to be consequences. She is a great girl by the way most of the time and has brilliant fun with my partner. I think it will work out long term.
I think it's really important you deal with this (ie not your partner) and now, while she is only little.
I'd have a loving talk,how much you love her etcetc, but say you all live together and you want a happy peaceful house- if she is rude there will be consequences, if she is not rude, for a few weeks, rewards.
Remind her that she doesn't have to like him- like a teacher at school- but she does have to behave.
It must be tough.
Thanks birdy... I tried to have that conversation last night but she just said I was stupid and that I don't care about her. I told her I loved her but any rudeness from now on will have consequences. It's going to be tough but I now need to follow through as she has a very strong personality. I think I need to balance it with lots of fun and praise for good behaviour. Here we go!
I had a very similar situation.
My exh hated (still does) my Dh. When we started living together after 3 years on my own with the kids, exh told me that he was going to 'work on the kids' to make them hate DH.
My DD was 7, and felt very conflicted, and it did make her very unhappy. She was encouraged to be rude and take no notice of DH.
We dealt with it by ignoring the rudeness and rewarding the positive. DH would put films on that she and the other kids liked. Would do fun things with her and the others. She learnt that life was nicer at our house if we all got on. There were rewards., like holidays, days out, meals out etc. DH would be nice if she behaved and if she was rude then the would not do nice stuff for her.
She is now in her teens and has a good relationship with DH, and secretly thinks her DF is a dick.
I think the only way to make a blended family work is to be quite clear that the two adults are a team, and are in charge. Your can't really go on doing parellel parenting when you are separately in charge of your own children, especially when you've got similar aged kids. It just causes conflict. So you and your DP need to both expect to have authority over all the kids in the household, though take the lead in disciplining your own when possible and make it clear that rudeness is not acceptable to anyone (adults or siblings)
And then, as you say, try to have some good times together and do some fun stuff together or let your DP take DD (and his kids of they're around) out for an ice cream or something. My own DC were most enthusiastic about DH when he first gave them some money as an annual treat - he gets a bonus at work once a year and always gave his own kids a bit of it to celebrate. Including my DC made them very happy.
I'd also reiterate to your DD that you and your ex would not be getting back together even if your DP wasn't around. She may take a while to really accept that, but worth chipping away at.
No DD in this house nobody is rude.
DD it is never acceptable to be rude to anyone.
Lots of adults tell you what to do teachers, dinner ladies, doctors etc you are never rude to them.
This is not about your stepdad this is about you being rude to anyone.
I will not tolerate rude behaviour.
I would agree that it would make things easier for you and your DP to agree to both discipline all of your kids the same, by letting them know there are house rules. That will then reinforce to your DD that whatever her dad says, it won't fly with you or your DP.
I have a very similar sounding ex who likes to mouth off about me to our kids regularly. My response is "oh, well that's not very nice. We don't say mean things about people in this house though do we"..
My nine year old was a bit of bugger with my now husband. In the end I told him I loved him and he was a gorgeous boy but talking to people like that wasn't how he had been brought up and it made me sad. I told him I loved him, but I loved my hubby too and I wouldn't let him be mean or rude because it wasn't fair as my husband was so good with him x seemed to work but who knows.... she is only little she may decide that her dad is in the ring and your new man is too lovely to be rude too! X
Thanks for all your supportive advice ladies. It's good to know I'm on the right track. She was sent to bed early tonight for being rude to my partner and subsequently me. Weirdly she seemed quite happy about it...maybe looking for some boundaries. Tomorrow is another day.
Are you sure your dd DF is to blame maybe she has voiced concerns over the situation you've moved fast and introduced her to a new family quickly. Mothers always seem to get the blame on these boards when things don't go the way they expect when they blend families, it's just easy to blame the ex. Do you spend time just you and her?
Well that's a useful contribution moonlight . I'm sure OP does do lots of things with her seeing as she comes across as a very caring mum.
OP you sound like you're doing great. Myself being a parent who puts these systems in practice then forgets about them and lets them slide, my only advice would be to stay strong, be clear about boundaries and remember she's 6 years old. She's not the boss of you!
Hi both UndertheMoonlight & Lessthan.. I think it is a valid point although I have been separated from my ex for 5 years (we split when my daughter was 1) and I have only had one other boyfriend - who I didn't live with - for a brief period. We did not move in straight away, it has been a gradual process and we still have our own home that we sleep at occasionally (shared with my Mum). My mother has also very recently found a new partner st 70 so there's hope for all of us! Sadly my ex husband has been very verbally aggressive to me about my new partner and it follows a similar pattern to when his previous wife moved on. He ended up beating her up in front of his other two kids - long story. I do spend lots of time with my daughter on her own, I think it's just a case of accepting that Mummy has a new partner and she can't understand that as I've been single for so long. I must emphasise that my new partner is fantastic with her and they paint together and she loves playing with him at the swimming pool - it is not all bad!
I wonder whether being kind of between two homes with you could be unsettling your DD? My DD was 6 when I first started introducing her to DP and his DC. There was quite a bit of friction between her and DSS, which got a lot better once we formally moved in and she felt this was her home. I can see your reasons for wanting not to rush moving in, but if you're serious about this relationship and want DD to accept it then maybe being kind of living with DP and kind of still living with your mum could be making her a bit insecure about it. She might not want to get close to DP or accept him in her life if she's not really sure whether he's a permanent fixture. And is she a visitor, or is it her home?
I wasn't being mean op or less it's understandly to a child
To go from you her and her mum to living with another man and his two DC that they're could be genuine feelings or being unsure which is why she could be acting out, maybe her DF isn't helping to ease these feelings but she could be feeling overwhelmed understandably.
Sorry but you can't be as a family and not discipline each other's children. That's ridiculous and is only going to cause more problems
I think it's matter of pure discipline. Regardless of her feelings (she is entitled to wish you and her dad were still together), she owed your partner to be respectful, end of. It would be the same as saying that it is ok to be rude to one particular teacher because she doesn't like them. You don't get to pick, you have to be respectful to all your teachers, whether you life them or not.
Sorry but you can't be as a family and not discipline each other's children. That's ridiculous and is only going to cause more problems
However, totally disagree with this. It was clear from the start that my OH wouldn't be disciplining my kids. I do and he agreed to move in with us because he fully agrees with my way of disciplining them and was fine with their behaviour overall. I wouldn't have moved in with him otherwise.
Of course there are time he brings something up to my attention, and I almost always back him up and act accordingly with the children, but it's worked very well this way. Of course, I'm not saying that he isn't allowed to tell them to keep quiet, I'm talking about the more significant decisions, such as how what time they should go to bed, when they could get a mobile phone, how much TV they can watch etc...
It was clear from the start that my OH wouldn't be disciplining my kids. so you never leave him alone with them? Or you do and they are allowed to do whatever they want? I mean even a babysitter has to keep the kids in check
She may listen to her dad now age 6, but when she hits her mid teens she will definitely form her own opinion based on how he IS and what he DOES, as opposed to what she is told.
That has been my experience with my dd now all grown up and 19, who now loves and cherishes her stepdad as she would have done her dad had he been any kind of parent at all.
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