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to resent DP for being too soft on his DC but hard on ours?

29 replies

AlmondAmy · 21/06/2015 23:51

DSC are 8 and 9. They are lovely and we get on great but they do things that I wouldn't accept from my DC and that DP would tell our kids off for, but he doesn't say a word to DSC. For example - they don't tidy up after themselves, they don't help at all (I.e. Clearing own cups/plates), they do silly things - the latest is drawing on all the apples and grapes in permanent marker - which our DC would've got a massive lecture about wasting food for, they don't sit still at the table, they have no table manners etc. This weekend they wasted about£20 worth of food by ddumping it in sandy water when playing spies. DP merely said to me he'd give me the money to replace it.

DSC have also done more dangeroustthings recently - like putting and leaving our baby on the kitchen table and jumping out in front of a car then back onto the pavement. DP said very little. Our DC look bewildered as to why DSC do not get reprimanded and I can foresee much resentment. DP wworries they'll no longer visit if he tells them off but it's getting ridiculous now - they need some boundaries and responsibilities.

When I've discussed it with DP he says he will tidy up after them/replace damaged things and said he doesn't understand when I say he's missing the point. AIBU to resent him for this?

OP posts:

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant · 22/06/2015 00:02

No yanbu from what you said.
Get some house rules and try to reward the better behaviour.
Would the dsc do these things at their other home?


DonkeyOaty · 22/06/2015 00:05

I think that the safety of the baby needs to come first so from now on the baby comes everywhere with you when the dscs are staying.

Yanbu btw.


Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost · 22/06/2015 00:55

Absolutely it'll bring resentment out in your children. It's bound to.
I get why your husband is reluctant to discapline but that in no way means I think his adversity for maintaining order rules and manners from them are excusable.


Atenco · 22/06/2015 01:08

They sound like they are actually begging for boundaries.

Children feel very unsafe with parents like this.

I really think that too much freedom is very unnerving for children.


HelenaDove · 22/06/2015 01:24

Agree with Ghost It WILL cause resentment in your DC.

He needs to stop playing Disney dad with his DC and parent properly.


Finola1step · 22/06/2015 01:49

Safety of baby absolute priority.

This will build up over the years if he continue in this way. Maybe print off so some MN threads about much older dsc. The current one about the adult step son and his gf (where she stays over 24/7, treats his sm with contempt. Dh never backs up the dw, marriage at risk) would be a good glimpse into the future for your dh.


MrsTerryPratchett · 22/06/2015 02:30

Not saying anything when they put themselves in danger screams, "I don't care about you" to an insecure child. When your kids do unsafe things you freak out because you love them so much you couldn't bear if anything happened to them. That's important for them to know. Ditto putting the baby in danger. Where is the message that the kids are precious, important and irreplaceable? He needs to step up.


SoldierBear · 22/06/2015 05:50

I agree the DSC are crying out for your DH to start acting like an adult, far less a father.
It is his job to set boundaries for their safety and the safety of others too. And to teach them how to behave with consideration for others. He is doing them no favours and being highly hypocritical.


Isetan · 22/06/2015 06:09

How long has this been going on? What is your relationship like with their mother and does she know and condone this behaviour? It could be that he's making her life harder too.

Your partner is being very irresponsible and I would have some serious words, lay down some house rules and not leave the baby alone with the step children.


hesterton · 22/06/2015 06:12

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoreenLethal · 22/06/2015 06:30

Perhas it would be better if they didnt visit, otherwise at this rate, one of yours/your partner's children might end up dead. FFS, why do they do this? It is utterly fucking ridiculous.


Rebecca2014 · 22/06/2015 06:33

Like other posters said, it looks like your dsc are crying out for some boundaries. There is being a Disney dad, then there is letting your kids run riot and do dangerous things and this is the territory he seems to be on.


Rebecca2014 · 22/06/2015 06:34

Doreen, bit extreme. This is not the children fault, they have a father who refuses to discipline them.


MythicalKings · 22/06/2015 06:41

If he can't enforce the house rules then tell him to see the DSCs away from your home until he mans up. Very unfair on your DCs.


BlusteringBlues · 22/06/2015 07:39

Show him that link, ask him if he's happy to be failing the children by not caring enough to give them boundaries.


NRomanoff · 22/06/2015 07:47

Yanbu , but I kind of get his worries. Even though it sounds like the kids need and want boundaries. What is his relationship with his ex like. Can he talk to her and she can support this? So if they go home and moan that he has told them off , she supports having rules at yours and his actions


NorahDentressangle · 22/06/2015 07:50

Post on the step parenting thread for more experience of this.


Imnotbeverley · 22/06/2015 07:51

Not helpful comments from Doreen.

I was the step child in your situation OP and apart from the effect this will have on your shared children, his behaviour will be noticed by his children from another relationship. My dad would wait on us and never disciplined, but I was just jealous of his "real" father/daughter relationship with my step sister. Not good for anyone


WestEast · 22/06/2015 08:05

My DP can sometimes be like this with his DD. We do not have children.

In some ways I think he never got the chance to practice being a hands on dad (him and his ExW split when DD was a baby) and only saw her at arranged contact, so he didn't get the chance to parent fully, as in his ExW did the night waking, the potty training, the hard graft most of the time. So when DP sees his DD he relishes the time together and wants it, in his words, to be 'nice'.

We've spoken about it in depth because I could see, as a third party, that his DD's behaviour was lacking when she came to stay with us, precisely because DP didn't enforce boundaries. Her behaviour at her mums was much better, because her mum enforced boundaries and rules.

So, DP, his DD and me sat down and came up with 'family rules at Daddies & Wests house'. It's given DSD a clear understanding of the boundaries, she was involved in their making and DP knows he has to step up his game. It took a while to see improvement (from both DP and DSD) but it's paying off.

There was no way in hell I was going to sit back and watch DP not be a better parent to his child and I needed him to show me that he could be a better parent before I have children with him.


DonkeysDontRideBicycles · 22/06/2015 08:08

From his pov he just wants a nice relaxed weekend with his DCs and doesn't want to spoil a minute of it by telling them off. At 8 and 9 they are old enough to know about what constitutes reasonable behaviour.

Dad is scared of telling them off? I would take a dim view of that. It will be tougher to start disciplining them when they hit puberty.

Surely you're providing a home from home where they're welcomed into a family setting, not a hotel where they are pampered guests.


popalot · 22/06/2015 08:14

They are noticing they don't have boundaries and are testing how far they can go. This will actually make them feel less settled/loved. If he can't lay down the law, you'll have to - it's your house after all. They'll benefit from it. Then maybe dad will follow suit.


sarascompact · 22/06/2015 08:16

Doreen, your comments are perfectly helpful. I was just coming along to say the same.

There's a pervading attitude on MN that the step children mustn't be upset, even to the detriment of the other children in the family. That view is all wrong.

Why should the OP have her children upset, her long term relationship with them potentially damaged and risk her baby being killed because her partner can't discipline or control his own? He's putting his children first and she has every right to put her own first. He will have to either live with it or change his behaviour if she says it stops now, the stepchildren are a danger to themselves and to the baby and they're going to cause all kinds of problems to the raising and relationship with my own. The ball will be in his court.


DoreenLethal · 22/06/2015 08:51

How is it not helpful to point out that kids leaping in front of cars might injure or kill one of them? He needs to pull his finger out. I never said it was the kids' fault...'why do they do this' refers to the disney daddy being utterly incapable of managing his own kids properly.


Imnotbeverley · 22/06/2015 12:30

Stopping them from visiting is not the answer, it's an extreme and reactionary response. It's also not realistic, hence being unhelpful


DoJo · 22/06/2015 12:36

Stopping them from visiting is not the answer,

I don't think anyone suggested actively preventing them from seeing their father, just that the OP's husband is avoiding imposing boundaries because he fears that they will not want to visit. However, he is mistaken in thinking that sacrificing their safety for being popular is a workable strategy in the long term.

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