I’ve lost all respect for DP. Is there any way back?(47 Posts)
I have been in my dsd life for 5 years. She is a challenging child but this is down to the parenting (or lack of!) and I in no way blame her for it. But she is extremely difficult to live with. She is coming up to 10 yo. We have her 2 nights in the week and every other weekend Friday to Sunday evening. My problem is the lack of parenting. I think my DP is what is known as a Disney dad. Unfortunately her dm is a Disney Mum! I have tried to set some boundaries over the years but I don’t get any back up and as a step parent I am limited. I do have a good relationship with dsd. I do crafts with her, take her girly shopping and day trips but it’s getting to the point where I’ve lost all respect for my DP. Every single time she comes over she sits down to eat, says it looks disgusting and gets hysterical. She then flounces out of the room crying and wailing. Ten minutes later she’ll be back and eat everything on the plate. This happens at every meal time. She is generally a cry baby and very attention seeking. Can I say though that the attention is always on her when she comes and she does do father/daughter time on her own with dad too. She also is 3 stone overweight and wets the bed every single night (here and at mums). I told my DP 2 years ago to take her to the Dr, which he did. The Dr ordered blood tests but she is refusing to have them and neither of her parents have made her. Also in the 5 years I’ve known her she has never had a good word to say about anyone. She is nasty to all of us and is always telling us we look old/fat/ugly. But at school she is completely different. Quiet, shy, doesn’t say boo to a goose.
It’s not dsd who is frustrating me though. It’s DP. I’ve tried talking to him about it but he gets so defensive and starts picking holes about my DS (18 yo and off to uni in Sept). I’m ready to walk away from my relationship because of this. Has anyone else been through this and can give me some advice? I feel like I’m treading on egg shells in my own home and that my dsd is either a very unhappy little girl or completely spoilt! But what can I do if neither of her parents will listen?
I think as you say if you can’t deal with it you may have to leave. I have total sympathy for you and for dsd subjected to such awful parenting, but as you say you’ve tried to intervene but what can you do - you can’t force any changes in this situation.
Sounds like the DSD could do with some outside support, counselling or something. I dont' know what's there for DCs that age, but she sounds confused and her behaviour is upsetting, I'm sure for her as much as anyone else. And she isn't going to get help from her parents from the sound of it.
The thing that strikes me about this is she is massively insecure and lacking self confidence. Everything points to this... over-eating/ being overweight, crying over minor things, wetting the bed, putting others down to make herself feel better.
Her parents are failing her by not addressing these issues correctly and helping her. Unfortunately there’s very little you can do if her parents aren’t in agreement with you... she’s their child so they make the decisions.
Your DP sounds like he’s unlikely to change his stance or parenting approach so you either need to step back and let him do it however he wants and not get involved (that includes making sure he cooks all her meals and changes her urine soaked bedding) or you can decide it’s too much for you and walk away from it all
Thank you for your insight. I’ve known her since she was 4 and she’s always been like this. I thought things would improve but they’re not. She’s treated like a toddler so she acts like one. I now have to make a difficult decision.
And she wears nappy pants now as washing was getting too much. But she takes them off in the morning and leaves them on her bedroom floor. If DP forgets they are there all day. You can imagine the smell when I get in from work!
I would honestly walk away. Neither parent is onboard to make her life any better. The fact your partner is needling about your son is truly pathetic. Do yourself a favour and get out of there - you'll feel such relief when you do.
She’s not pissing the bed to spite you. Some kids do bed wet and they never do it on purpose. Remind her to clear her room in the morning if she is leaving wet things in there.
Ugh that last point about the pants is truly vile - just get yourself away from this situation - without the parents' backing this will only get worse. Do you want to be around when she is negligent over her periods? Because that's lined up as a likely prospect. I'm sure you love her, but there's nothing you can do.
Do you pull her up about the personal remarks? What happens then?
I should clarify - I only mean "vile" and "negligent" because the parents are not stepping in to correct this behaviour. She of course is not either of those things
Could she be getting bullied at school? You stated she’s quite and shy at school then getting upset about food throwing an tantrum then coming back and eating everything plus the bed wetting.
I’m the only one who pulls her up on her comments. She then wails and runs from the room. She’s better with us than her mum. She hits and swears at her too. She’s definitely not being bullied at school. I know some of the mums and she’s actually quite popular.
Leaving isn’t so easy. I only work part time and can’t afford to support myself right now. I’m applying for lots of jobs as we speak but my age is against me. (I’m 51). So we aren’t talking young inexperienced parents here. Thank you for your comments though. I appreciate the feedback.
Her parents are failing her and it almost or actually does amount to neglect.
I'd honestly want to escape when she's there.
Has anyone asked why she screams and them returns to eat the food?
She gets away with calling people fat and ugly...because she had no consequences.
This isn't toddler behaviour...it's worse. My 4 year old niece doesn't do any of those things.
It's a serious case of parental neglect. If she behaves at school..then she knows it's wrong.
She can't have sleepovers...how is she going to form a relationship/have a boyfriend when she gets older with this attitude.
Sounds like she needs a referral to a child psychologist.
Blimey that sounds HARD! Poor you. My instinct would be to treat toddlerish diva behaviour with toddler-training responses. Naughty step, time out blahdeblah.
Kids love boundaries, perhaps before the meal is served calmly say something like "you might not think this looks all that special but this is your dinner and I'd like you to try it before you decide it's disgusting without getting cross. If you leave the room I will assume you don't want it, I will throw it away and then there wont be any dinner for you at all. Up to you" tell her your expectation and ask her to manage it, before the usual situation arises. If DP challenges that he can manage the situation himself
She's probably as stuck in the routine as you are, so doing that perhaps gives her a chance to break it without losing face...?.
Sandy you are completely right. I do tend to escape as much as I can because I get so frustrated. Not with her so much but with DP. I have asked her countless times why she does what she does. She will just leave the room without answering. And no there are no consequences to her behaviour. “She’ll grow out of it” is the favourite. Tbh I think she is just so thoroughly spoilt that she knows no other way to behave. Its very very sad.
Hi Viking. Yes I’ve tried that. Unfortunately DP will not let her go without her dinner. Even though when her mum picks her up fm school they go to the shop opposite and she gets sausage rolls and crisps. Every day. I’m fighting a losing battle. I’m really sad of what will become of her if I leave. But I have to look after me too and this along with some other stuff I have going on with my own ds is really dragging me down.
Oh Sammy, it really does sound bldy awful. You say it's too tricky to leave right now but i think you need to talk again, seriously, to your partner. He needs to understand that you can't be around that unless something changes - you're happy to support them to make changes but you can't live like this anymore!
Is it all possible to remove yourself and perhaps your boy too while she is there? Ultimately, DSD is not your responsibility, but you and your DS ARE your responsibility. Either DP needs to take a different tack and you work together to help and support her (she need it by billygoats!) or maybe you leave him to handle it (or not) while she is there, as much as is possible for you to do so... I don't know, perhaps that's escaping but you sound like you need a break and some time to think about you. good luck for you
Thank you Viking. You are very kind. Luckily during the week when we have dsd my ds is with his dad for tea. I pick him up as she is going to bed so he only has to put up with her eow. And as an 18 yo he only comes out of his room for food 😂. I’m desperately seeking a well paid ft job so that I have options if I need them. Not so easy as a 51 year old but I am ever hopeful!
at 51 you have a wealth of brilliant skills and maturity I"m sure will be snapped up! I wish you luck and suggest getting out of the house while your DSD is there and looking at jobs in a very nice local cafe which has wifi.
Its sad indeed. I just see an obese girl..growing into tweens and teens wearing a nappy to bed.
Yet her parents stand by and do nothing. She wouldn't be able to go on overnight school trips or anything.
Holidays as well...with a nappy wearing girl...soon to be in secondary school.!
At the very least she needs to not drink a few hours before bedtime.
It's totally irresponsible parenting and they should be ashamed to not have done anything about this or her behaviour.
I'm not surprised you've lost respect for him.
Fuck off Sandy. Bedwetting isn't a parenting issue, it's a hormone imbalance
You can either be stupid OR judgemental. It's not reasonable to be both, so stop it.
If the only reason you're thinking of leaving DP is because of his inability to parent his child then why don't you try taking a step back whilst she is with you for a while and see how he copes. The nights you have her in the week - can you find a hobby on one of the nights so you only have to suffer one of them. Can you take your DS and perhaps go visit and stay with a relative at the weekend / have a weekend away with him. Go out with friends / weekend away. Or simple book yourself into cheap B&B or Travelodge and have a lovely relaxing evening !!!. If DP questions why you're not around as much simply tell him you cannot tolerate his inability to parent DSD and until he does and makes your home a nicer place to be when she is there you will continue to be absent whilst she is there. It's not like you haven't even tried to help.
Fizzy I have taken a step back in the last couple of months. I do cook for everyone but that’s it. I try and do my own thing as much as I can. DP has the patience of a bloody saint! He seems to think she is a normal 9 year old and she’ll grow out of it. But how will she grow out of it if she’s not taught what behaviour is acceptable and what’s not? Even his mum has told him but he won’t listen! Being a step parent isn’t an easy life is it? I dread to think what will happen when she hits puberty 😖
Qvar ... I know the bed wetting isn’t a parenting issue. But there’s obviously some sort of problem as it’s every night. So as her parents they should surely be looking at what is the problem?
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