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jjfoster4

Help My Boyfriends Daughter is tearing our family apart

16 years ago

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 5 years we have two children of our own and expecting in July. He has an almost 6 year old girl who comes on vacations, everyother weekend and holidays. Whether she has been here for 1 hour or 1 week my boyfriend and I are always fighting. It comes to the point where he thinks we should go our separate ways and then 2 days after shes gone everything is fine again. She comes and there is instant frustration, she is disrespectful to everyone including her father, she doesn't share with her sisters, her friends that come over no one and when I get feed up with it he says that i am to hard on her and i treat her badly because I take things away from her such as reading her a bedtime story because she didn't share or listen all day. Our other two children are not aloud to get away with any of the things she does but she comes and walks all over him and now my 2 year old is starting to pick up her bad behaviors and that is not how I want my daughter to behave, but he jsut htinks she should be able to do whatever because she comes from a separated family and I disagree. Please Help I don't think our relatiohnship can survive this.

Comments (50)

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You know, I'm tempted to quote Dr. Phil here, but I'll save you from that ;)

    Anyway, there are a whole of of things that can be said. But the best suggestion I can give is to take parenting classes. I'm not seeing anything that screams out that this kid is truly the one causing all the problems. You and your boyfriend are the grown ups and parents!

    And quite frankly, for you to say the child causes instant frustration says more about you than it does about the child.

    I'm sorry to be harsh, but this is a blended situation family and not only ONE person, let alone a CHILD be the sole one to take the blame for your relationship. You and BF need to look within yourselves. Is it possible that the girl doesn't have enough time with just Dad? Is it possible that you may show your dislike for her and she senses it?

    Additionally, if BF is talking about going separate ways this is NOT the childs fault. This is signaling a break down in the two of you's relationship, not the child.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It sounds like the dad is operating out of guilt because he isn't around the child very much. He doesn't want to say no, or be the mean dad that makes her behave because he doesn't get to spend much time with her and the time he does spend, he doesn't want her mad at him for scolding her. I agree that both of you (and her mom) need parenting classes so the mom & dad can become a united front on her behavior. This child needs to learn that she can't manipulate the situation and get daddy to give in because he feels guilty. She will learn to use that in her favor, if she hasn't already. You have been in her life since she was 1 and there should be some sort of bond/relationship between you. If there isn't, then maybe nivea is right that she senses you don't like her. She may also feel jealous of the children you have because they have their parents together still and they get daddy all the time. Even in intact families, older children sometimes get jealous of a new baby and with every new baby you have, it's one more person that is taking away her daddy's time, attention and affection. She needs to be reassured that he loves her, a lot. But he also has to be firm with her and lay down the law. She may act mad at him at first, but she will respect him for it in the end. As long as she knows he loves her and is disciplining her out of love, she won't hate him. And she should NEVER be treated like an outsider! If she doesn't have a room at your house, she should have her own space set up that she can feel it's her house too. She may live with mom most of the time, but she shouldn't feel like a visitor in your house. She has two homes and should feel welcome in both. Good luck.

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  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    good point. she has two homes even if she lives mostly in one. and yes many men parent out of guilt. so wrong.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You and your boyfriend must sit down when he is not upset...like 2 or 3 days after she leaves and have a serious talk. Parenting classes or just plain counciling will help.
    If you bf gets frustrated just before or the same day she comes over , I can completely understand!!! My husband has two kids from a previous marriage and i notice his behaviour changes. He become irritable, a plain jerk!! and i tell him and i point it out to him. I've told him ' everytime you have to go pick up your kids and for the weekend they are here, you are sooooo pissy!'
    He hates being reminded that he went through a divorce, he hates being reminded that everythign is separate. He feels its not enough time with them but of course, doesn't maek the effort to fight for 50 50 custody....which would be hard cause they do live 2 hours away...so 50 50 is realy not realistic for his reality. Yet my uncle will drive 3 1/2 hours every weekend to ottawa to pick up his daughter from school for the weekend....
    So to each their own. You bf is bothered by his child or the situation....you both have to sit down, acknowledge your feelings about the whole thing. Remind him, nicely, you have 2 kids together already and another one on the way. Does he really want to throw that away for one person in the household who is a visitor??? Yes its his daughter , yes he loves her, but he has 3 kids and a wife as well that is his responsibility. You must sit down and discuss ground rules for all the kids. And punishment for all the kids. She is not special in any way just cause she comes to visit eow.
    I punish my own child for hitting his brother or sister when they come down to visit. I leave punishment for my husbands kids in his hands.
    Be on the same team!!! not against one another. Dont let a fight breakout in front of the kids and if it has broken out in front of his daughter, maybe she does things on purpose as well.
    Help him realize that when she goes to her home, that he settles down and he is not agitated. Help him try to understand why he is liek this. If you can't, a councilor will help.
    Above all, do not make decision when you are angry.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Does he really want to throw that away for one person in the household who is a visitor??? "

    A visitor, possibly I misunderstood, I thought we were talking about a family member.

    In any event, 4 children with the oldest 6 is not easy. As frustated as you feel though, can you imagine how this little one feels.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ima, I didn't see where she has known SD since she was 1.

    The child is not a visitor and has been the BF's family for longer than the poster has.

    Additionally, they aren't even married! So, technically GF is not SM. I think it also says a lot about the situation that the couple has 2 kids with another one on the way and not married. Not that there is anything wrong with not being married, but I believe there is more to this situation.

    Doesn't make sense or add up. It is convienent to blame the SD.

    Just from saying that she doesn't read SD a bedtime story for infractions the SD committed during the day is odd to me. It is basic parenting that you correct behavior right then and there, not HOURS later. No wonder the kid is confused.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Where are all the BM's saying Daddy should be reading to the child not the GF ... and ok granted she is not the SM but she is the child's siblings mother. So in this case I will refer to her as SM(siblings mother).

    If your children said blah blah blah to you how would you respond? that is your answer...

    When you are correcting your 2 yr old say things like... We do not act like that in this house. We do not do that and say the correct way to do things. ALL children need structure and guidance.

    If BF doesn't like how you talk to "his" daughter then he needs to step up and deal with her immediately he should not leave her in your care.

    You are the SM(siblings mother) so say to the child I would not let my children talk to me that way and you will not either.

    She is 6 she's not going to share she has to share everything else in her life ... She is an only child for 10+ days then bam she is the oldest of 2 1/2 children. She doesn't want to hear it. Does she have her own things at your home stuff the younger ones cannot use?

    When she is misbehaving call him to deal with it. If he doesn't like it too bad... you have to get him involved. When he is complaining how much work she is agree and walk away.

    I agree with Maria your priorties are your 3 children. He can't raise one EOW. how do you think he will handle all 4 EOW. But your situation is fixable if you think he can step up. He needs to become an active parent. Like Maria said when you both are not on edge say something like you are not doing her any favors catering to her ... and if you keep it up our younger children will begin to act like that and they don't go home we will have to deal with it 24/7. Is that really how you want to raise your children?

    Easy fixes... be doing something with the younger ones when she walks in the door... you are "busy" daddy's not doing much go and see if he wants some company. Honey can you play a game with daughter while I finish this up.

    When she is asking a zillion questions as 6 yr olds do... say I am not sure ...go ask your dad.

    When she wants a drink ... honey, she wants something to drink make him "appreciate all you do for the child" ... from the mundane stuff to the actual care.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't get why BM should be responsible for SD's behavior at Dads house. It doesn't sound like this is abusive behavior, but more like boundary issues.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Posted by nivea (My Page) on Thu, Feb 21, 08 at 14:27
    "Ima, I didn't see where she has known SD since she was 1."

    Nivea, I just did the math. OP said "My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 5 years we have two children of our own and expecting in July. He has an almost 6 year old girl who comes on vacations, everyother weekend and holidays."

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The problem is that dad is rarely here when sd is and so she is my sole responsiblilty and i do try to deal with the situations when they acure but such things as removing her from that situation and give her a chance to be by herself and think doesn't seem to work so i took soemthing she was looking forward to such as the reading the bedtime story away. And I am 90% of the time the one that puts her to bed and reads the story this was a one time thing.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I agree, Dad should be reading stories etc. If he is working weekends, visitation should be adjusted.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    jjfoster,

    Dad should be taking sole responsibility of SD. Not you. Especially with you feeling this way. Your headline for this posts says a lot. SD is your BF's family, there is no other way to put it.

    Maybe suggesting to BF that both of you attend parenting classes?

    Ima,

    Just because the math says that they've been dating that long doesn't mean she has known SD that long.Regular visitation could be a fairly new thing for them and could be a big reason why so much is happening.

    I, for one, would not let anyone meet my daughter right away. Maybe that's just me though.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "The problem is that dad is rarely here when sd is and so she is my sole responsiblilty and i do try to deal with the situations when they acure but such things as removing her from that situation and give her a chance to be by herself and think doesn't seem to work so i took soemthing she was looking forward to such as the reading the bedtime story away. And I am 90% of the time the one that puts her to bed and reads the story this was a one time thing."

    She is not your sole responsibility, he is placing it on you but he shouldn't. First, if he won't support you and look for a solution to the behavior problems, then if I were you, I would call around and get information on daycares. Give him a list of available daycares and prices. Then he can choose one and take her there when he has to work. I'm a mom and I don't have a problem with someone other than dad reading her a story or even handling discipline in your house while he's at work. The daycare will have rules on behavior so you should too. But, he is the one that is responsible for his child when he is at work. In my opinion, it doesn't matter if you are married to him or not, it's obviously not a situation that you are a girlfriend of a few months, but you have been together years and have a family together. (I really think it matters to get married because it creates a formal commitment that you don't have just living together, but that's a personal choice I guess). and I agree with kkny, if weekend visitation is a problem because of his work schedule, he might change his schedule or change the visitation order. The child isn't really benefiting from visiting while he's at work. and you shouldn't have that responsibility put on you with two small children and being pregnant. Could your pregnancy hormone changes also be making it harder on you? I know that I was more irritable & emotional at times from the hormones.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I did not read all the other posts, so if I am repeating anything then sorry!

    Since you say your boyfriends daughter misbehaves maybe you could get your boyfriend to sit down with you and make household rules and rewards (not consequences). If she follows rules that you chose together then she gets rewards, such as chosing what is for dinner that night, helping cook dinner, picking a board game to play with just her daddy (since she may be acting out to get his attention), etc.

    As for her misbehaving you have to understand that she probably misses her dad and she comes over and competes with you and her siblings to get his attention. She may be acting out just to get attention from him and everyone else.

    Think of some fun things you can all do together, and some fun things to get her interacting positively with her siblings. Give her lots of praise when she does good things and behaves.

    As for your husband telling you that you should divorce when you argue about his daughter, well in his mind he is protecting his child. Let him know how much it hurts you when he says this. And remember that she is only a child, you have to work towards good behavior and a positive relationship. I am sure she senses how you feel about he on some level, and that can not be a good feeling for her.

    I am assuming when you got together with your boyfriend you knew about his daughter, please do everything you can to nurture that relationship. Children deserve their parents. I can not imagine what my life would have been like if my stepmom had disliked me. And you bet I remember the times my stepmom was really mad at me and hurt my feelings unintentionally.
    I know this is a hard situation, but make the best of it.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    i just noticed that apparently dad is not even there when his kid is visiting! this is sooo worng. when SD visits, dad has to be there. who is she really visiting: you? you are not her parent. if dad has to work those days, then visitation time has to be changed. that's why she misbehaves, she visits her dad, but he is not even there. no wonder poor child is confused. Does her BM know that dad is not there? I would be upset knowing that DD goes to see dad, but ends up 24/7 with dad's GF.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Knowing now that dad isn't there when SD comes to visit I can see why she might be acting out. Imagine how hurt and unimportant she must feel - "I don't get to see dad for 2 weeks and then when I do he isn't even around. He replaced me with all these other kids who see him every day. I really don't matter to him." I can't say in her position I would want to share with these kids or be nice to anyone!

    This, of course, doesn't not make her behavior okay. What it makes is a situation her father needs to take care of. She is reacting the only way a 6 year old can. He is the adult - he needs to make the changes needed to make this work for everyone involved.

    I'm not saying you should not care for your her in any way. Before my DH got custody I would keep my SD for half a day or a few hours every now and again if he was working. I would also just take her out for girl time. I'm saying that this is your BF's child, and though it is great to treat her as your own HE needs to do so as well . . . after all, she is!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    jjfoster,
    I'm sure you are frustrated, but please don't stop reading her stories if that is something she enjoys. It's good for your children & for her. Don't use that as punishment. I do believe though that Dad should step up to the plate & be a parent. He should be reading the stories & spending time with her. Where is he that he is gone 90% of the time? I understand how frustrating it is for a child not to have boundaries or be disciplined by the biological father. I don't agree with parenting by guilt. Counseling is much needed. Also, read up on blending families. It might help to give you some guidelines.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I get the feeling that this is just another case of the new wife wanting the former life of her husband to just go away.

    A lot of women, particularly younger ones who are in prime child bearing years of their own, would rather the child from the first marriage not exist. They resent any time, resources, or energy it takes away from their own children with the man, and they wish that the child didnt exist. THey cant bond with the child, because they resent it, consciously or not.

    I suppose its normal to feel that way if you are having children of your own with the father. Territorial instinct is present in most mammals, why should humans be different?

    On another note, I do agree with Nivea...it says something about the relationship that they have two children together, and a third in the oven so to speak, and they arent married. I would bet that the fact that he wont marry her also plays into some of the resentment she feels.

    Its a shame the child is the pawn though.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    jjfoster,

    I know its a frustrating situation but reading your sd a bedtime story is good for her. Yes, its better for dad to do it and i think having a serious talk with you SO is important. He needs to shift his hours around so that he spends more time with her. Wehn my sk come over its to see their dad , not me. BUt now adays i noticed my sd says to her dad that she misses me alot. ( i take her out all the time cause my husband wont!!! and i feel bad that yes, she comes down to see us but her dad doesnt' make the effort to do things. ) so i've taken the initiative. Dont feel jipped about it. I know sometimes the child may not appreciate it or show appreciation to you now. She' sonly 6 but my sd was 5 when i met her and didn't appreciate stuff back then and even told her dad that she sometimes didn't like me. But that was from jealousy with being with her dad. Which is normal! Remember they visit only EOW. Yes they are a family member but they VISIT. A short time....equivalent to a cousin! not a full time child 24/7. So please dont take it as an insult when i use the word Visitor. THis is reality. THey are family visitors who do not live 24/7. Are they important. Yes. They are family but they do not and will not take precedence over the rest of the family who you have to deal with on a 24/7 basis.
    So keep reading to her and speak to your husband to spend more time. Its important for his daughter. And always tell your sd 'daddy loves very much even though he is not around' Tell your SO to plan activities alone with his daughter as well as all of you.
    When my stepkids came eow i would work half days those weekends in order to let them have space with one another and also let them get used to the idea i was in there life but not intruding. I wanted to ease into it and not feel i was stealing their dad away from them. I know, i've been there! I know what they are feeling! And above all i tell them , i'm not here to replace your mom or steal your dad. I'm his wife, his partner and friend. I'm your friend too. If you dont want me, its fine. i'm not forcing. BUt i do ask for respect and i give that respect back to you as well.
    Things have worked fine. We've had bumps in the road but in the long run, you will be fine.
    Keep reading and tellyour SO he must start stepping up to the plate. She wants to see him and visit him and spend time with him eow. How can his daughter do this if he is not around?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "I get the feeling that this is just another case of the new wife wanting the former life of her husband to just go away."

    Have you read the entire thread? The child's father is not home when his child visits and he expects OP to provide 90% of his first child's care when she has her plate full with two small children & being pregnant. And yet you see it as HER fault for being stressed out or frustrated?

    Sorry, I find most of your message insulting. It is a shame that OP is expected to do more for a child that isn't hers while the parent resents her for getting frustrated. She is probably frustrated that he isn't there, he isn't helping, and he isn't supportive of her efforts. It's not HER responsibility, it's HIS. How offensive!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The child is SIX, for God's sake! Not fourteen

    There are no real examples of what this child is supposedly doing that is so horrible that it is tearing the family apart.

    If a six year old is misbehaving, thats one thing. If a six year old is so hard to deal with that "its tearing my family apart" that says to me that the person complaining about it has either very poor parenting skills, unrealistic expectations of what a six year old should be like, OR she resents the fact that the six year old exists.

    Its not all that difficult to change the behaviour of a six year old. They respond very well to positive influence, positive reinforcement, and a person who genuinely cares, and wants the best for that child. Punishing the child for her supposed bad attitude ( again, no real examples given) by denying a bedtime story , which is part of a loving ritual in most families with kids that age...you tell me how that is going to help?

    I dont see anything of that in the OP. All I see is her *itching and moaning about a SIX YEAR OLD CHILD. I stand by my opinion...the woman resents this child's existence, doesnt want to have this child as part of her family, and doesnt want much to do with her, except for her to go away. Notice how OP points out that she is worried about how this supposedly horrible six year old is influencing HER children wrongly. In fact, her main focus in her post is about HER being bothered, and HER kids,,,not in how to help this poor child.

    I would hate to see what happens when this child hits her tweens...if the woman blames the child now, just wait. If, of course, the relationship lasts that long. I wouldnt bet on it.

    As for you being insulted by what my opinion is...well, I am just sure I will cry myself to sleep tonite worrying about it.........sheesh.

    And while I agree that Dad should be there to pick up the slack, for many men, with three and a half children in that age range to provide for, work consists of long hours and as much overtime as they can obtain. Its not cheap to pay for all those mouths to feed. I , for one, would rather hear WHY he isnt there, before I hang him.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Of course he is working and then he should change his visitation schedule so the child is with her mother and not in a home where she isn't the center of attention and competing with babies for attention. She probably wants dad's attention and it's not up to his GF to take away from her own children to make up for dad not being there. and she says "he jsut htinks she should be able to do whatever because she comes from a separated family" and a lot of NCP's feel that way, but if he is going to have that attitude, he should be home taking care of her every whim, not his GF/wife. I see her complaining that he won't do anything about it and that is the bigger problem. Why are you so eager to blame someone just because she's frustrated by a situation HE put her in. He isn't CP where his working, it would be expected that she care for the child, it's EOW and if he can't make time to be a parent, then he should not be putting it on her. She has enough to deal with.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Why are you so eager to blame someone just because she's frustrated by a situation HE put her in."

    Well..maybe because she is blaming a six year old girl.

    If she wants to change her complaint to My Boyfriend is Tearing the Family apart, then I think she has a point. Blaming it on the child is the reason why I hold the opinion I do.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I agree with Kathline.

    The OP came on here screeching that a SIX year old was tearing her family apart. Her second post then stated BF was not even around.

    Most people would realize that this is BF's problem not a SIX year old and not even attempt to blame the SIX year old.

    This says to me a lack of judgement, therefore makes me question what the OP has done in the situation to make things worse. The grown ups are the only ones to facilitate change, by blaming a SIX year old is not the way to get there.

    And just because BF is in the wrong, doesn't mean OP is right. She needs to stand up and say "I can't do this." Not treat a child poorly because she is frustrated.

    If I take my child to daycare, I expect the providers to treat her with respect and care always. That shouldn't change because the care provider is frustrated, tired, pregnant or whatever. Those are poor excuses.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Kathline,

    The OP is asking for help. Whether you feel she is 'blaming' a six year old or I feel she is frustrated with the six year old is irrelevant. I offered her my opinion/advice that dad needs to step up to be the parent, not her and you offer commentary on how this is just another case of SM's not wanting the first kids to exist. I didn't see a shred of advice for her in your post. and that's what she is asking for, not to be judged for how she is feeling.

    I've been in the position of having to deal with a child that comes over every other week and is disrespectful to me and her father. Every week when she would come, there was a tension between everyone in our home (my kids were teens) and it was VERY frustrating. If I hadn't told my DH that something needs to be done and if he hadn't acknowledged that it WAS a problem, then I might have begun to feel like OP. FRUSTRATED. But my DH stepped up and we made changes that have improved the situation, including parenting classes for both of us.

    and nivea,

    nobody is saying it's okay to blame a six year old or that she's right because he's wrong. She asked for advice and help, and all she got from Kathline is judged. It's hard enough sometimes to post on these forums and be honest about our feelings and then to be attacked for it is not fair. She is asking for help to make it better, not asking for anyone to support her in blaming a child. (and she didn't try to use any excuses for how she feels, those things were brought up by others, like me. and I have a lot of compassion for someone that would even entertain the idea of taking care of a six year old that isn't hers, when she has two small babies and is pregnant. I had my third child when my oldest was 3 1/2 and my own kids, as much as I love them, were frustrating and exhausting. I can't imagine taking on an older child that resents me or the situation they are in and this six year old has plenty of reason to resent that she goes to visit dad and he's at work and she has to share the spotlight with two small children.)

    nivea said: "If I take my child to daycare, I expect the providers to treat her with respect and care always."

    and I had said: "First, if he won't support you and look for a solution to the behavior problems, then if I were you, I would call around and get information on daycares. Give him a list of available daycares and prices. Then he can choose one and take her there when he has to work"

    OP is not a daycare, she has two small children and one on the way. Unless she volunteered to 'daycare' for him, then it really is up to the father to make the situation better. If he took his child to a daycare and the child was disrespectful or disobedient or disruptive to the other children, the daycare would ask him to handle it or find another provider. They would not let one person's child have a negative impact on the rest of the children in their care.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    kathline let me guess you have never been in a situation like this before because if you had you would relize that some children no matter how old they are have learned one way or another to manipulate there situation. All i did was ask for help I feel if you aren't going to give any suggestion then maybe you should not reply because your negatviity and judgement of me is not wanted. Thank you for your kind words through my difficult time.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ima,

    I didn't say anybody said it was alright for her to blame a six year old. Where are you getting that?

    Obviously, she is consenting to BF leaving the six year old with her. If she can't handle it, she needs to step up and say she can't handle it. Not blame a six year old and say that the six year old is tearing her family apart. Where is her accountablility for herself?

    I'm not sure why you are quoting to me what you said about daycares, I said what I said too! Should I quote that back to you? Or are you just trying to prove you said something first? In any case, I don't get your point.

    The OP has not posted anything that screams out that this SIX year old is really that bad or is so negative. So, I also don't get your point about daycares kicking other kids out for bad behavior. What is the kid doing that is so bad? Not sharing, okay, then every single kid out the door!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Nivea,

    I don't see where OP is blaming the child. She is voicing her frustrations and includes telling that dad thinks the child should get to do whatever she wants because she's from a broken home. She is describing the child's behavior and that it affects her family when the child is there, including the effect of her children picking up bad habits they see the six year old doing because dad won't discipline her.

    Obviously she is consenting to him leaving her there, that doesn't mean he isn't responsible for making his child behave. She is asking for help from the forum and I think more than one person told her that her BF needs to step up. If you have never had to deal with a difficult child, it would be hard to understand where she is coming from. When someone is stressed out from other things (like pregnancy and two toddlers), they may not have as much patience as you might expect her to. If she comes to a forum to get help and advice, she shouldn't get attacked and judged. That is my point.

    You said that if your child were in daycare, that you would expect the provider to treat her with respect and care. I said that if a child is in daycare and has behavior problems or is disruptive, then the provider would expect the parent to correct it or find another provider. You may not think the child's behavior is bad, but there is no way for you to judge that, you aren't around the child. OP is saying that her other children are picking up bad behaviors, which even if it's throwing tantrums, talking back, etc. may be something she doesn't want her children to do. and the dad is refusing to correct her. She isn't a daycare provider, and perhaps he should find one that doesn't mind he won't discipline his child. I'm sure there is more to it than her not sharing. She is also disrespectful to everyone and won't listen. That's more of a discipline problem that dad needs to address. Why does OP have to be accountable for the situation. She's complaining that she's tolerated it long enough and needs helpful advice on what to do before her relationship is destroyed. Perhaps the title of her post 'blames' the child but she also says that when the child isn't there, things are fine. I'd agree that the title probably isn't the best chosen phrase for her to use, but it's clear that she's just frustrated because this child comes over and there is so much tension and stress that it's affecting her relationship and family. She's invested with three more children and if she weren't, I would tell her to leave. If this guy is not going to be a parent to his first child, she is seeing firsthand how he may be with theirs later on if things don't work out. The problem is clearly with him, not her. (It may be her fault that she hasn't made him take on that responsibility, but it sounds like she has tried and he won't. Then, what is she supposed to do? She has three children with him and if he won't do what he should, her only other option is to leave. It's not exactly the best solution either.)

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I see the BF here who has to spend more time with his daughter. BUt after speaking with my husband he pointed out something very good. HE works. Pays child support and has a 3rd child coming. He needs the money to make ends work and the reality of the situation is that ALL the kids do not have their dad here. Not just the sd. Sd feels it more because she comes to visit him eow. THe other kids are numb to it cause they are use their dad not being there 90%.
    girlfriend / newwife is frustrated with dealing with them all and would like a break! She is speaking from frustration and children at times dont help because they are young and just think of themselves. They do not know the 'real world' Whether its her kids or the sd she is just plain pooped out! She needs a break and is just wishing her SO would be there more for their family and especially his daughter who comes to visit.
    I would suggest a change of schedual once a month, a break from yourself from all the kids. Plus you being pregnant is alot of stress in itself. How far along are you? 2 or 3rd trimester? Do you have any other family members that can help you with the day to day responsibilities of your family?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ima,

    I think OPs title clearly indicates she blames child. I think the parties to be blamed are OP and Dad. Only irresponsible people bring children in the world if they can not care for them. If OP is expecting in July, I think she saw these problems before conception. I think most people agree Dad has to be with SD more. His other children see him during the week after week, SD does not. That is why I suggested changing visitation.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    SO definitely needs to change his schedual to make time for his daughter. I agree strongly.
    I won a small fight today with my husband. He needs to show support mentally for his son. He never goes to his games and he told me this morning that he will go to his sons game next weekend. (its a 3 our drive from our place) I told him last week that he plays hockey 3-4 months out of the year. Save a bit of money on the side for gas and go to at least one game!!!! You complain you dont have a connection with your son but you have to get off your A** sometimes and go to him! he's 9 years old, doesn't have a drivers license and your ex is certainly not going ot do you any favors. So stop complaining and take the reins in your hands and do something!
    Well, he said it. now lets see if he will do it! I hope he goes!.
    I agree with KKNY, he should change his visitation schedual around or maybe go pick her up and take her for dinner to mcdonald's? one on one time!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Unless the father travels all week long and every weekend that his oldest isn't there, they younger children see him far more often than the five year old does - a five year old who has never had a father living with her in her memory. Based on the original post, he must have left when she was less than a year old.

    In my state, it typically takes two years to complete a divorce when there are children. The waiting period alone is 90 days. One has to wonder if the reason they aren't married is that he is still married to his older daughter's mother, especially since the OP referred to the child being from a "separated" family, rather than a divorced family.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I didn't read all of the posts, but wanted to comment on one thing. You should not punish a 6 year old girl by not reading to her. Read to her, tell her that you love her and treat her kindly, that will do more good than punishment. Anger only creates more anger, it's a vicious circle. Kindness will confuse her and will win her over in the long run.

    As far as your kids go, let them know that the way the SD acts is beyond your control, that her Dad lets her be that way. Explain to your children that they are not going to be like she is. Here is a very "old fashioned" opinion, not a moral comment about living together. A woman who lives with a guy is very foolish, it's a day to day way to live, women who do that usually end up with nothing for the years she has invested in the man. Marriage is a contract and protects the woman financially.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ima,

    I'd be inclined to agree with you if OP had said something along the lines of she's pregnant, has two kids, SD comes over EOW/holidays, BF constantly works and she is stressed out/tired and whatever.

    She didn't do that. She stated a paragraph of complaints about SD (with nothing out of the ordinary behavior) and then said "Please Help I don't think our relatiohnship can survive this."

    Not once did she ask for help with SD's behavior, she wants advice for her relationship!

    Yes, I've dealt with difficult children. I raised my stepmother's children for years because of her mental illness. I don't blame them, I blame the grown ups.

    And Maria had a good point as well. With four kids, BF has to work. GF is probably tired of it, but it doesn't give her any excuse to blame a six year old child. You may think she isn't, but I don't see where she or BF are taking any responsibility for the situation.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think plenty of people have advised her that it's the BF's responsibility. If he has to work to support that many kids, he should change his visitation so she isn't having to deal with it. I might assume that she has complained to BF and he expects her to take care of his child. Perhaps she is trying to make him happy but frustrated by the situation. She may feel her relationship is at risk if she makes waves about this to him. Only she can answer that. But, even if her only concern is saving her relationship, it's a valid concern. She has three kids with him and if he has told her to suck it up and deal with it (and there are some guys out there like that), then she's frustrated and has nobody to turn to.

    It's not her responsibility to ask for help for SD's behavior, plenty of people have told her that it's up to the child's father to deal with that. I agree she shouldn't blame a six year old but whether she is or not, she's definitely frustrated. She isn't responsible for the situation with his child, her BF is so why should she take responsibility? Perhaps she shouldn't be having more children, but that's not my place to judge.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ima,

    She is setting herself up for responsibility by watching SD. If she can't handle it, she needs to say so!

    Bottom line, SD is not responsible for OP's relationship with BF. OP needs to step up and take responsibility for her part as well as make clear to BF that it is his responsibility as well. That is what grown ups do, not six year olds.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ima wrote earlier: "Perhaps the title of her post 'blames' the child but she also says that when the child isn't there, things are fine."

    To me it comes off like the child is blamed by both these things OP says. The title and the not-so-indirect statement that the child is the only problem (when shes not around, things are ÂfineÂ.)

    She may or may not have intended to convey that ---and the better part of her might be mortified to put it in those terms--- but this brings an important issue to awareness. ThereÂs such a danger for any of the parties involved in the wide network of a stepfamily (or any family, or any group) to single out one person from the group and scapegoat them. I think if we all look inside ourselves honestly, we will see that we ALL do that to some extent, whether weÂre singling out our SK or SP, the BM or BF, etc.Â. ItÂs easier mentally and emotionally, and thereÂs many reasons we do it, even though IÂd bet 99% of family problems have more to do with *inter*-personal dynamics than just one person being "the problem".

    Example: as much as *I* might think my DadÂs wife is a continually self-perpetuating fountain of bilious bubbling trouble from *her* perspective, IÂm the problem! And I have to acknowledge that my DadÂs acceptance of her b.s., and/or ways he led her on or pi$$ed her off through the years, is just as much of a problem in all this and hurts/upsets me almost as much as she does Then thereÂs my own anger with her & the situation, which I admit I canÂt fully shake and leads to my own occasional inability to hide my irritation/sarcasm, or to feel justified making little omissions such as persisting on thinking of her as "DadÂs GF" even though sheÂs been his legal wife for months. And I realize these arenÂt the most productive or nice reactions on my part either. WeÂre all part of the problem, it wouldnÂt exist if *any* of the three of us were removed from the picture, and likewise we all have our own view of the situation and complicating factors that we bring into it.

    And sometimes ---usually--- it isnÂt even anyone showing unusually outrageous behaviors, itÂs just the situation, i.e. the inherent stress in being left juggling so many kids when somebody has to be off at work all the time in order to be able to bring home the bacon. Not an easy solution to this, at least any thatÂs possible anymore; the kids exist, they are here and need care, no going back and undoing them. ItÂs unfortunate, all around, that most of us have this instinct to pick a lone target for blame. Just seems *especially* heart-breaking and misdirected when the scapegoat is a kid, and I donÂt think any of us if we really thought about it, would want anyone ---especially a CHILD--- to shoulder the entire burden of blame for the familyÂs problems. So all I can say is try your best to avoid doing that, by looking more at the broader situation.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    And maybe the ex ... SD's mom is too bitter and _____ to see that BF is working when he should be visting. So she wont' change the visitation schedule afterall "when GF met him GF knew he had a kid". So why should BM do BF any favors and accomodate his schedule.

    Same situation here visitation was set around ex's work schedule when she got laid off ... hubby asked for a change to suit him a little better ... why should I do you any favors and she knew you had kids and all those lovely catch phrases.

    If parents cannot act civily toward each other how can they expect their children to behave civily.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    That's true Cawfe and it reminds me of when I first met my DH. His ex was always asking him to take his DD on her weekends & never asked to make up time. A couple of times, I got the feeling that she was trying to use her daughter to break us up by sending her over more. (perhaps to spoil our 'courtship') When she saw that I didn't mind having her daughter around (I love kids) and would change our plans (without complaint) and her daughter would go back gushing of how much fun we had, then BM decided to 'stick to the schedule'. She even used her daughter to disrupt our honeymoon. SD was our flower girl so we kept her until the day after the wedding. We were going to drop her off with her mom that morning & leave on our honeymoon. She called DH that morning and told him that he needed to go buy their daughter all her school supplies before we left. and DH was gonna do it until I told him school doesn't start for another week, we can do it when we get back (we were only gonna be gone three days). So, he told BM we'd do it when we got back. Within an hour of us leaving SD with BM, we started getting phone call after phone call from SD to 'talk' to us. She pretty much repeated that she loved us so much and missed us so much on every call. This continued for the entire trip. She called at least once every hour or two. and SD was asking to talk to me too, which surprised me since we'd been having some behavior problems (with her toward me) leading up to the wedding. and coincidentally, after we got back from the honeymoon, SD has NEVER asked to talk to 'me' again when she calls from her mom's house. Obviously, her mom was coaching her and using her to harass me or ruin our honeymoon. It would be very unfortunate for the child in OP's situation if the mom is that way too. As for OP, I think if your BF won't adjust the schedule or do anything about it, then you have the right to set rules & rewards/consequences for her behavior during the day. I think it would benefit you to take a parenting class so you know age appropriate behavior and age appropriate consequences. It would also help you with your children too. If your BF won't or can't go, go alone. Or at least look up information online about parenting skills & styles, discipline methods, etc.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    BM to me ... as she is picking up the children from my wedding (in front of the kids)... Guess my invitation got lost in the mail? (giggling and smiling) ...oldest SS says ... Why didn't you invite my mom? Have a good week kids, I'll see you next Sunday!!! Waving as I turned around to rejoin my reception.

    Every time she called it ended up in a fight ... I finally had it with her and said if you two want to friggin battle over every little thing with the kids then go right ahead but keep me out of it ... set the schedule around the two of you do not ask me to do anything if you need to drop them off then you do it when hubby is here this way the two of you can battle in front of your children so they can see how petty the two of you are being. When he got home I told him the same thing I am tired of playing middle man if you two can't get along then get a mediator because I am sick of being in the middle ... told both of them they are not my kids, and how you raise them is not my business but if you can't see what you are doing to them then its not my problem, and if you two want to bicker for the next ten years instead being civil to each other then have at it ... because it will not be my problem I will not transport your children to and from therapy because their parents can't talk to each other with out fighting.

    That was in October. Just after their last court date. Because she called complaining about something in the new order. Since then there hasn't been any arguing on either side. She has called but not looking for a fight.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    hmmm, I got the question 'why can't my mom come to your wedding?' a few weeks before (just after DH had to tell her she wasn't invited because she invited herself. She told him that she was entitled to go because her daughter was in the wedding.) and that was why there were some behavioral problems between me & SD. She was upset that her mommy couldn't come. I sure didn't want her picking her up at the wedding, I'm pretty sure she would have caused a scene or tried to stay.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    ex-spouses at the wedding? i have never ever heard of anything of the sort.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Cawfe,

    I think you are right in many cases, but not in this OP's.

    In the OP's last post, she is still saying that SD is manipulating the situation instead of acknowledging that the child doesn't even get to see her father during visitation and the possible effects that this would have on a child.

    Additionally, visitation can be excercised and is not court ordered that the NCP has to excercise it. If OP was to say she can't do it anymore, then that makes BF step up to the plate. Whether to go back to court to change the schedule or to change his work schedule. Easy fix, but for some reason OP has stuck to the notion that a SIX year old is manipulating and tearing apart her family with average six year old behavior.

    That says to me that there is a lack of common sense judgement going on or a severe lack in parenting skills. Either way, I can't see that being the case here.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Serenity,

    You say it so much better than I can.

    Whenever I see one person being singled out (no matter which side they are on, Step, Bio or whatever) that raises huge red flags to me.

    Doubly so when it is a child, especially a child that has not even hit puberty.

    Another reason why this post hit so hard for me was because of my past. My stepmother believed and thought the same things about me. When my father wanted a divorce from her, it was because of 8 year old me and that I was "manipulating." Nothing to do with the fact that my father couldn't take living with her anymore and it was her behavior, oh no, it was because I was "manipulating." With no real evidence, but that word was thrown around a lot.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    nivea, I'm sorry you had a bad experience in your life but a child can be (and a lot of them are) manipulative at age 6-8. My SD, when she was 6, came up to me and said 'my daddy was kissing deanna' and stood there waiting for me to react. She has glared at me when he isn't looking. and she would be a totally different child the minute he walked through the door. A lot of this was happening when we were dating and he never saw any of it. He didn't believe me until I pointed it out and he saw it. Perhaps the difference is that I knew what she was doing and I had been through raising several kids before so I knew how to handle it. My DH's ex (whom my SD referred to as 'horrible Elizabeth') probably reacted to it by taking it personally. She was younger & had three small kids and not everyone can rise above it when you are stressed out. That may not be a good reason or excuse to blame them, but humans are not perfect. Anyone that believes children cannot be manipulative has their head stuck in the sand. It is natural for them to angle things so they get their way. My kids do it all the time. (and nivea, is it possible that you behaved normally as a child, which can be seen as manipulative if you didn't like your step mom? Were you happy they broke up?) Some kids just react like normal kids and their actions can seem the are being manipulative, and other kids 'know' they will get a reaction. I think my SD knew that telling me DH 'kissed' his friend would get a reaction. She was only 6 but had already learned how to get rid of daddy's GF's. (the situation was that his friend deanna had given him a ride home after his car broke down and she always gives a hug/kiss on the cheek. I knew about it and wasn't in any way concerned.)

    btw, My son came into my room a couple of days ago and we were talking. He told me 'mom, you just like to argue.' and I said 'no I don't' and he said 'yes you do' so I repeated 'no. I don't.' and he repeated 'yes you do' and then I realized that he was pushing my buttons and it was a game to him, to get me to argue with him. I just said, okay and it took the wind out of his sail, I took the fun out of it by not playing.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ima,

    I agree with your son, I do think you like to argue! LOLOLOL. I've often thought throughout our few exchanges is this woman just trying to have the last say or can't understand what I'm saying and we're kind of saying the same thing or can't understand that I do have a different view point for valid reasons? Seriously and funny, I do think you like to argue or debate, if you will :)

    I am aware of my background. However, I am a reasonable and intelligent person and my background doesn't hinder me from being able to assess a situation reasonably. If my background was an issue, I think I'd be able to say to you "Ima, you're background as a SM that took care of 3 kids with no acknowlegements or thankfulness is hindering you from seeing the situation that this SM is in the wrong." I happen to not think like that of you and hope you do not think like that of me. I would like to hope that you understand that other people have differing viewpoints as you and they do have good reasons for them.

    I happen to think a forum like this is good for stepfamilies. You get all different viewpoints.

    As for my SM and my dad, they separated lots of times but are still married. I take offense that it had anything to do with me and I think the implication of such is irresponsible. Children are not responsible for their parents relationships. If you would like to know, two of the times my father separated from her is because she quit taking birth control and got pregnant on purpose. Before you ask, she did admit to it.

    Did I behave normally as an 8 year old? Uh, no. I took care of her son, cooked for me and her son and cleaned the entire house and put up with a very selfish woman 24/7.

    I agree that there are children that can be manipulative. In this case, I think the SD is confused. She is going to visit her Dad, but not seeing him and putting up with a resentful woman who blames her relationship with SD's father on her. Additionally, the absolute craziness of her post is that SD is only there EOW/holidays. Come on, SD is really "tearing up her family" EOW/holidays?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't disagree that I like to debate/argue. Perhaps it will come in handy if I ever decide to be a lawyer. I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when someone is asking for help and even if they are not doing the right thing out of frustration or ignorance (I don't think she is mean spirited and blaming a child), then she deserves some level of respect. If she were face to face with any of us here, very few people would have the audacity to accuse her of hating the child or wishing the child didn't exist. I would argue that the only thing in my past that would form my opinion of her situation is that I was a bio mom of three small children. When I was 22, I took on an additional three small children that weren't mine. I was lucky that they were well mannered kids and I didn't have a problem with their behavior. They listened and got along with my kids. Had they been problematic (jealous of the other kids, needing all the attention, acting out from the situation they were in), I might have been less willing to stay with their father (we didn't have any kids together) but I see OP as stuck between a rock & hard place. She has three kids with him and he doesn't want to discipline his child. Perhaps he expects her to do it and if she refuses (as many have suggested), he might leave her (or she thinks he will). and I wasn't implying that you were in any way responsible for your step mom's problems, but maybe her perception was that you were difficult, so she felt justified to blame you. She doesn't sound like a nice person at all. I think your viewpoints are good, I just had a problem with Kathline's statement that i saw as coming out of nowhere and being accusatory. She offered nothing but judgments and the next post, you agreed with her.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I do agree with Kathline. Was she very blunt and didn't sugarcoat her opinion? Well, yes. The OP had just posted a thread blaming a six year old child for her problems in a relationship with her BF. That is really going to bother some people. Especially, when the OP posted clarifications that BF is not home and it is still the childs fault. That doesn't sit right with some people.

    Maybe Kathline could have been nicer, but in another way maybe she opened up OP's eyes as to how her situation can be viewed. We may never know, but nontheless she has the right to have her own opinion and I happen to agree with it.

    You and I are going to disagree about the OP blaming or not blaming the child, so I don't think it is productive to get back into that since we both now where we stand. I just wanted to point out when you posted this "and I wasn't implying that you were in any way responsible for your step mom's problems, but maybe her perception was that you were difficult, so she felt justified to blame you." I know you posted this in reference to my situation with my SM, but I feel that it applies to the OP here.

    And thank you, I think you have many good viewpoints and opinions too.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't disagree with anyone that see's OP as blaming the child. I don't think it's that black & white but I can see how it would be seen that way. i don't even have a problem with anyone being blunt. I do have a problem with someone making a generalized statement that the OP sounds like another SM that wishes the first family didn't exist. I think in a perfect world, all women would like to be the first and only wife. all I said was that whether she blames the child or I see her as being frustrated, that one comment was uncalled for. She didn't even offer OP any advice, but if she wants to blame OP, that's her right. I'm not sure how long you have been on this forum, but I've seen it get nasty between SM's & BM's over that issue. If I see a SM say that she hates her SK's or wishes they would just go away, my first thought is 'you knew he had kids' and my second thought is that they have become so frustrated by the problems that can happen in step families that they are at their wits end and take out the anger/resentment on the kids, which I also think is unfair. I don't think that too many people get into a relationship with someone that has kids without good intentions and high hopes for a happy family. I'm sure there are some that do think they can take a man away from his family and hope the first family just goes away. Those ones, I doubt, are going to go to a step family forum and ask for help for anything.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

    I really don't think a child, no matter what their behavior, can tear apart a solid relationship. They can test it and even cause you to question it, but not destroy it. I think adults destroy their relationship by the choices they make surrounding the child. If they are on two different pages and can not communicate effectively they likely grow resentful and further apart, and feel that wedge is caused by the child.

    There are some very manipulative, selfish and difficult children in this world. My SD has exhibited each of these traits multiple times. But my DH and I have an agreed upon method to deal with it so we can squelch the behavior and then gripe to each other about what a pain she was later. He and I do disagree, but we know we have to figure it out. SD can drive me to the brink where I think living as a nun sounds better than living with her, but I know that my DH is as unhappy about her behavior as I. If he wasn't . . . we really would have a problem. But it would be OUR problem.

    Children learn from example. Someone there needs to set the example they want her to follow. Sounds like dad needs to get involved.

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