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I'm probably being the wicked witch...(51 Posts)
I have an amazing four year old step daughter who I absolutely love to see each weekend and one day mid week.
I've been with my partner for two years and we live together, all very happy and in love. I really try to make an effort with his daughter and I know she loves being around us. I always do activities with her, chill with her and we spend time on our own together also. So, please don't get the wrong end of the stick - I think she's great.
However, she's very bossy and I don't think her dad really sees it and I'm probably being really immature/petty here so I'm prepared for the flaming!
Both myself and my partner drive each other's cars, obviously at weekends we share a car if we're out somewhere altogether... but he always asks her do you want to sit in the front or in the back? And she always picks front, now I have a tiny car and I'm cramped in the back in my own car! When I was growing up, it was the unwritten rule that adults sit in the front (gosh, I sound so petty!) but now it's a tiny three year old in the front seat.
Also, am I being unreasonable in asking her to tidy her bedroom before she goes home? Either myself or DP does it after she's home but I really feel she should help us tidy it?
That should say tiny four year old in the bottom paragraph!
The car - you are not being unreasonable. I suggest if he continue to offer and she picks front, then you choose to drive! See how your partner likes it in the back
And isn’t it a pain in the neck to move her car seat all the time?
Bedroom tidying. My partner’s daughter is almost four and only just starting to be willing to tidy. But she’s not at all dedicated. I don’t feel she’s ever going to be a neat freak!
I won’t rush to force her to tidy her room as a part of leaving as that emphases the transition. I see her getting quiet and thoughtful as it becomes time to go. So based on what I see I would say maybe just focus on her being generally a little more willing to clear up?
I've always experienced a "adults in the front, children in back". That is partly a benefits of age practice but also because it's illegal where I live for children below a certain height to sit in the front. A deployed airbag in the front passenger seat can severely injure or kill a young child as it will hit them in the face instead of the chest.
I'd be a bit at being asked to squish in the back so a tiny child can have the spacious front regardless.
Have you told your partner you don’t like sitting in the back?
I do get what you are saying. When I am in the car with DP and DSD, at first she used to want to sit in the front - it seemed to hold a lot of meaning for her sitting up front with her dad, and to be fair, it didn’t really bother me. One day, she said to me, would you like to sit in the front? And it has been that way ever since at her instigation. She is a bit older, but it felt like there was some sort of acceptance/respect that I had earned in that invitation and I found it very sweet.
You should not be squashed in the back! I second another poster tgat if your DP is giving his DD a choice you should drive and he can sit in the back.
Yes I would have her sit in the back it’s much safer and makes sense, Dad can go too if he likes! You could do the room together, even if it’s only making her bed and putting one or two things away, so she understands she’s responsible in future. You’re setting the ground rules for later on, you’d expect a 10 year old to tidy her room and sit where she’s asked to- you’re not the wicked witch but a very good co-parent! If you were to have your own children you’d need to have the same rules anyway.
I'm going to have the conversation with him about the car situation, he's very precious about her though which makes me a bit anxious to bring it up! He's very good to me though, don't take it the wrong way
I wouldn't expect her to tidy up by herself. I'd definitely encourage her to help us I just didn't know whether she was too young and/or I'm being unfair. I don't have kids of my own, you can probably tell.
She thinks she’s queen bee and is exhurting her position in the pecking order.
Is she an only child (and suffer from as I call it only child syndrome)?
The car situation - she shouldn’t be given a choice. She sits in the back. My DSC given a choice would sit in the front but they aren’t given a choice.
Room tidying - this is a battle for me with the older DSD (12). Younger DSS (9) is really tidy. A few ‘rules’ at our house.... if it’s not in the wash basket it doesn’t get washed (so the 3 new T shits she bought and wore last weekend which have been thrown on the floor can stay there. I’m not their slave and they need to realise that they need to keep their own rooms tidy.
You and your OH need to be on the same page. Sounds like you aren’t (with the car for example). He needs to put the boundaries in place.
Aside from anything I'm pretty sure that having a four year old in the front seat is both illegal & extremely unsafe!! What is he thinking???
In no way should a child be given the right if choice in an adult matter.
Re room - it's good to start early on with a little tidy up but don't expect too much 😊.
Four year olds are usually bossy by nature. They are also quite snall-i'm not sure if you have noticed-so it most likely doesn't occur to her that adults sitting in the back would be an issue. Getting her to help you tidy is a very good thing to do because it will benefit her. Generally try to involve her with household chores so she learns. Fir example my nearly four year old helps by wiping up his messes, dusting, helping to prepare lunch/set the table, help me do laundry (putting clutches in the machine and hands me detergents), tidying away toys, washing up his paint brushes etc.
@magda don't be ridiculous. It's not illegal to have anyone in the front seat so long as they are adequately strapped in/air bag is turned off if necessary.
@DairyisClosed - it is in Ireland. There's a height restriction.
No need to call people ridiculous.
OP I actually laughed out loud to the car thing.
Is he being serious?? How mortifying. YANBU at all.
When you speak to him, maybe frame it in a way that he's not doing her any favours spoiling her like this. No life lessons are being passed on whatsoever by him giving her a choice over something like this, because in life unfortunately sometimes we don't have choices. If she's 4 she'll likely be starting school soon (if not already) and he's not setting her up well.
Also I'm a traffic cop and it's not illegal as a pp said but it is more dangerous as the likelihood of major windscreen collision is higher, even when strapped in.
You drive and they snuggle in the back together.
A four year old sitting in the front seat would only be legal in Australia if all back seats were occupied by children younger than four. So it's not just Ireland.
Extremely unsafe because of airbags etc.
When there are tw adults in the car, children sit in the back, End Of
I've never heard of any adult, whatever their position agreeing to sit in a back seat so that a child could sit in front! What a strange arrangement!
Is she in an appropriate car seat in the front, OP? Not that that’s the point. I agree with everyone saying it shouldn’t happen and is far less safe (this is the angle is emphasise to DP - there’s research online backing this if he chooses not to take your word for it).
More generally, it’s not appropriate and you should drive if he insists on doing it!
My OH and I each have pre-teens who before we each came along in the other ones life were the front seat passengers
Now they are not. My dsd got in the front once and got informed (by her father) that she needed to get in the back.
Op, you have a dp problem. You need to stand up for yourself and say that absolutely no way are you cramming in the back in any car and that dsd is safer in the back at this age.
The both should get in the back!
I’m unsure with the bedroom tidying! I’m a big softy and would probably let it pass as she is only visiting - till she gets a bit older.
Ah, the infamous 'who sits in the front' argument. Only surpassed in our house by the 'whether SS is allowed in our bed' debate. I wish you luck!!
YANBU about the car.
About the tidying thing, I agree, no harm at all in you or your DP asking her to help you tidy up. No need to make a big deal about it - try to make it fun if you can!
It really shouldn't be an argument at all. Child sits in the back.
That being said my SD tried to blackmail her dad to let her sit in the front. She was 15 and told him she won't be coming on a family trip unless she can sit in front and I sit in the back(I was 6months pregnant at the time too). She insisted she was feeling unwell...
He told her that if she is unwell she should stay in bed and that she has 30minutes to make a decision but she will NOT be sitting in front. She reacted with "what the hell!!!!!"....but decided to go with us..sulked the whole way..and ate crisps don't know if she realizes how ridiculous the whole thing was..
Fun times..tried the "unwell" card couple more time always got a firm "no" and that was that..
My DH never even entertained the idea of asking me to sit in the back..If he did I would drive and enjoy looking at him in the front mirror .