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Is this behaviour normal?

(41 Posts)
TristanLea13 Mon 20-Feb-17 10:23:47

Hi. I'm a parent to my 5 year old daughter with whom I separated from her mum last year. Since then I've found another partner who has a 2 year old girl. To cut to the chase it's been difficult merging discipline "routines" as I know I'm more lenient. Last week we had a bit of a difference off opinion when her daughter sneezed and a LOT of snot came out and my daughter was a bit upset and "grossed" out by it. My partner got annoyed when I didn't stop her from crying immediately and started to console her instead of being firm. There's been other things too when my daughter doesn't say thank you/please all the time. I think something's are her just being 5 but my partner doesn't see it and expects too much in my opinion.

Yours struggling Dad. confused

ProudBadMum Mon 20-Feb-17 10:25:53

Your daughter cried because some sneezed and you comforted her?


She's 5 and kids are weird but things like manners need reminding.

TristanLea13 Mon 20-Feb-17 10:29:15

Yeah I know it's not "normal" but she's quite sensitive (things making her jump, grossing her out etc)especially after breaking up. She only sees me every fortnight at the weekend.

Yep manners etc are reminded but my partners annoyed my daughter doesn't always say it and needs reminding.

Dizzywizz Mon 20-Feb-17 10:31:32

Nothing wrong with consoling someone who's upset, even if you don't find it upsetting. But yes, she should be reminded to say please and thank you.

ProudBadMum Mon 20-Feb-17 10:31:47

You can't stop a child from crying. She has a 2 year old so has no idea what weird creatures 5 year olds are.

She will eventually. As long as you keep reminding your daughter about please and thank you'd and not pandering to her every whim things will eventually run smoother

Somerville Mon 20-Feb-17 10:38:24

It's very natural that your daughter will be sensitive when she only sees you one weekend a fortnight and then has to share you with a new partner and a younger child. If your partner can't be sympathetic to that then I think you should see your daughter mainly on your own. You don't get much time together and whilst enforcing boundaries and teaching good behaviour is important, it is just as important that your child feels safe and loved.
I really think that consoling her when she cries is more important than being firm (about what? confused) as your partner suggests.

TristanLea13 Mon 20-Feb-17 10:49:24

She was annoyed that she thinks she shouldn't get freaked out by that sort of thing as she doesn't want her daughter to be the same. 😢

gandalf456 Mon 20-Feb-17 10:54:43

I think she's overreacting and I think you do too. It's normal to have to remind about please and thank you too.

I'm afraid in your shoes it would drive me mad. I would maybe try to give her less attention when she cries over silly things to discourage it but someone getting uppity would stress me and make me question whom I'm parenting for

Somerville Mon 20-Feb-17 10:55:01

Right. Well children all have different sensitivities because they have different personalities. If she doesn't understand that then you have a problem.

Are you living together already?

xStefx Mon 20-Feb-17 10:57:44

Can I ask, does your daughter and girlfriend get on? Is your girlfriend nice to her / does she make an effort with her? Keep a mental note of the times she criticises her and what its about?
My step mother used to act all nice in front of my dad, but would make the teeniest subtlest remarks to me, always criticising anything I did and it made me so paranoid when I went there. " Cant you brush your teeth properly, Cant you tie your shoes, Cant you dress yourself" - but I never heard " well done you did well " (I never heard that off her)
I would have laughed at a 5 year old being grossed out by a lot of Snot from a 2 year old, that should have been a funny moment instead of your G/F turning it into a time to have a go at you or your dd. If this isn't the case I apologise, just giving my own view that's all x

TristanLea13 Mon 20-Feb-17 11:09:43

Thanks for the advice so far. Yes we've been together coming up for a year and both girls get on great and both adore each other. My GF is great with both of them but just seems harsh sometimes especially when it's concerning "fussiness" as she doesn't want her daughter to be the same. It does seem like this is normal behaviour for a 5YO but she doesn't see it.

Somerville Mon 20-Feb-17 11:17:31

The thing with getting together quickly (and I'm not bashing you for that - I've done the same) when kids are involved is that your communication as a couple needs to be excellent, and can't be allowed to slip. Or the kids suffer. So you need to keep talking about this problem - ideally at times your DD isn't with you. Getting some books on parenting and step-parenting would be good, as well. You can read them together.

And while your daughter is feeling so sensitive I think it's really important that you're spending one on one time with her for part of each weekend. Also waiting a fortnight to see you is a long time for a 5 year old; would her mother be up for letting you take her out for tea after school one day a week? Or pick her up in the morning and take her to school one day a week?

xStefx Mon 20-Feb-17 11:19:21

is she just as fussy with her own child or is it just your child she picks faults with?
It is normal behaviour for a 5 year old, she wouldn't know that.
Could you spend alone with with your dd without your Girlfriend having to be there or do you live with her ?

TristanLea13 Mon 20-Feb-17 11:45:44

Yeah we talk about things like this a lot and come to a conclusion but something happens again and the process starts again. I would love to see her more but she lives quite far away and my work hours are long. I live with my GF and the whole process has ended the best way it can. I live with someone that loves me and the girls get on very well. Just occasions when she thinks I'm not disciplining enough as much as she would for her daughter. As she finds some things I do for my daughter as fussy 😰

TristanLea13 Mon 20-Feb-17 11:46:27

I try and explain some of her behaviour for a 5YO is normal but my GF doesn't see it.

xStefx Mon 20-Feb-17 11:57:13

She only gets to see you once a fortnight and your GF wants you to spend that time disciplining her? I bet you don't tell her how to discipline her child? Its not as if her 2 year old will pick up much off a 5 year old she only sees twice a month, more chance of picking up bad habits at nursery/ playgroup.
I would tell your GF to stick to disciplining her kid and you'll stick to yours or its going to cause a problem. All well and good your GF living you, your daughter is a part of you that needs her dad and not someone picking at her personality.

TristanLea13 Mon 20-Feb-17 12:13:17

I don't mind disciplining even for the short time I see her I know it's something that all children need. It's just I'm not as firm. I do discipline her daughter in the way she wants her to. My GF has mentioned I am too firm with her daughter than mine and I admit this has happened but it's been difficult merging the too different styles together. I admit that her daughter is a star at even two years old. She can hold a proper little conversation and does as she's told and doesn't forgot her P & Q as much as mine. I think that's where the difficulty lies.

MrsDustyBusty Mon 20-Feb-17 12:20:01

Do you and your ex agree on how to discipline your daughter and where her boundaries lie?

TristanLea13 Mon 20-Feb-17 12:27:53

We do disagree at times yes. We seem to get it sorted but then something else happens.

MrsDustyBusty Mon 20-Feb-17 12:32:17

Would your ex see things similarly to your partner? I'm really only wondering how many different standards of expected behaviour are flying around...

Somerville Mon 20-Feb-17 12:34:30

I think this excellent book would be helpful for you and your girlfriend to read together.

Also a book on step-parenting - this is our favourite of those we've read together so far.

Your daughter already has to contend with the fact that you've chosen to live with her step-sister rather then near her. (Even if this isn't how it appears to you, it is how it is quite likely to feel to her.) plus the fact that her step-sister sounds like a naturally compliant child. It's unfair to have the same expectations for both of them - they are different people, with different experiences.

TristanLea13 Mon 20-Feb-17 12:44:00

No I'm confident my ex wouldn't see things the same. Thanks for the info on the books. I think they'll be helpful. Well actually the mum was the one to move out and away up to be near her family. We jointly sold the house and now live with my partner even closer to what I would have been on my own. Although I appreciate my daughter wouldn't know the difference in distances. That's what I've said with the fact everyone's different into how their past shapes who they are but my GF doesn't see it. My GF dad had problems when his relationship fell apart and the same problems with his new partners children. Probably on the understanding of disciplining

xStefx Mon 20-Feb-17 13:10:22

The books are a great idea. Hope you manage to work it out OP. Good Luck :-)

CMamaof4 Mon 20-Feb-17 14:18:44

I can see it from your gfs point of view about the crying over silly things, I am a stepmum and have known my stepchild since 20months old, I came into the relationship having two dc myself of similar ages to my step child, My stepchild was really fussy and used to cry alot to which my partner would fuss over him alot which made it worse, Where as with my children instead I would laugh it off or gently encourage my children that they were ok if something minor happened, I let my partner get on with fussing over his son but I did say to him you will make step child worse as he wasnt giving his child the ability to learn thats its ok if minor things happen that he doesnt need to work himself up so much into a state. It went on for a good few years until one day my partner realised that I was infact right, as his child would cry over anything and be generally hardwork compared to my children. I think its good to give your kids the opportunity to self soothe in certain situations its a good ability to learn how to be strong inside.
My stepchild does still cry but as my husbands attitude to it is different now as he is alot older he doesnt cry for literally no reason anymore and for less longer.

TristanLea13 Mon 20-Feb-17 15:15:50

But surely it's just natural to not cry about "silly" situations when your older. But when younger I think it's just children especially for a 5 year old.

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