Help-- Conflict with raising a child

@KrisNY (7591)
United States
January 31, 2007 12:15pm CST
OK so it seems that I am having some conflict with my fiance over raising my daughter- She is not his child but has been with us since she was 3-- She is 10 now. It seems like every week- I hear from him-- You let her run your life.. This isn't true-- She is not spoiled but is sometimes difficult with him. We were brought up differently also-- Me in a more loving family- Him by his dad. How do I get him to stop being so hard on her? How much should I let him decide on how to raise her? Anyone else have this same thing going on?? Don't get me wrong - He is usually great with her- But sometimes they butt heads-- and I think alot of it is him trying to show her who's boss-- I find myself alot of times sticking up for her- Help!
17 people like this
61 responses
@caper111 (163)
• Canada
31 Jan 07
I have the exact same problem. My daughter is 5 and I have been with my husband since she was 3. At first he was great with her and he still usually is, but since we have had a baby together I find he is harder on my older child. He always tells me that I am too easy on her and that I spoil her. And they are constantly at each other, sometimes I want to slam their heads together. We were at a restaurant one day and I actually got up and walked out because they were arguing. And my family is really close so I always tell my children everyday that I love them and he isn't like that and sometimes won't respond when she says it to him. Or he says that he is not like that and she knows he loves her and he doesn't have to say it all the time. Most of the time when he comes home he is tired from work and I understand that, but he picks on her and then I end up fighting with him. And then I find I am cranky with the kids because I am mad at him. He has helped me too though. He showed me that I had t let her do things on her own before I jump in to help. Did you try sitting down and talking to him about how you feel? Sorry, I know I haven't helped, it's just you are having the exact same problem that I am having. I am going to keep my eye on this discussion. Maybe someone has some advice for the both of us.
@KrisNY (7591)
• United States
31 Jan 07
That is exactly it-- I'm so glad to know there are others going through this- I feel like banging their heads together too- But its not always this way- Most of the times they get along so well-- Too well.. My daughter takes his side on everything- LOL thanks for your comment!
2 people like this
31 Jan 07
I think you need to have a long talk about the things you don't agree on and work out a compromise that works for both of you. Otherwise your daughter is going to start playing you off against each other and it will make your relationship weaker.
3 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
She is coming close to being a teenager. If their is conflict in their relationship now there will be more when she is a teen. My husband is the same way when it comes to my kids and my kids are adults. My husband is a hard knock and I am a softie. But, this softie can stand up for her beliefs too. If there is a disagreement about what your daughter is doing, etc., you and your fiance should sit down and discuss the matter before confronting your daughter with it. It is better to come to an agreement before addressing a problem. Your daughter will better accept your decision if you are both standing behind the idea.
@simplysue (631)
• United States
31 Jan 07
Hmmmmmm. This is a tough situation. I wonder if she is difficult with him because you have been together for so long but you haven't made anything permanent yet. Kids get insecure about a lot of things that we don't consider. She may be rebelling against him because she feels he may leave someday. As far as him showing her who's boss......he isn't even her stepfather much less her father so who does he dream he is to act like your daughter's boss? She may very well resent him for that. In your position, I would let him know that if he wants to play the father role, he has to be a permanent part of your lives, not just the fiance. After all, men come and go but our children are ours forever.
• United States
1 Feb 07
I agree, he most likely feels like her father, but doesn't feel he has the normal rights. Marriage will solve this, but it could also bring on other problems. Make sure it's right first.
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
31 Jan 07
It sounds like a hard situation. You love them both and I'm sure it's fighting match from time to time. As she gets older, it might get worse between them both, unless they fix the problem now. Maybe just the two of them should make a day just for them to do something together. They will learn more about one another and it could fix a lot of problems between them. Let them work it out. I would suggest to them about taking a day or two a month together to spend some alone time together. Maybe do something that she likes and then one day do something that he likes. It's a bonding thing. He oculd take her to the movies and watch something she wants to watch, even if he doesn't like and then she could do the same. They could also do lunch or something together. What could it hurt? I mean he is your fiance and soon will be your husband. They need to bond and get to know one another. Try it out. Good luck.
• Canada
1 Feb 07
I think that you need to really define his role - between the two of you I mean. You need to discuss things and clearly define if he is or isnt a parent. At her age, and as long as he's knownher, I'd say he is like a parent already. So then, you need to define between yourselves how you want to approach parenting. My husband and I area always talking about paretning issues we deal with - we are like passing ships with work, so are almost never both home at once. So we have to talk all the time baout how we appraoche certain situatsions. Sometimes I am being too strict, and hubby can point that out to me, and sometimes it is vice cersa. But we never talk about it in front of the kids - because that undermines each other's authority.
@jenalyn (675)
• United States
1 Feb 07
Well the good news is that if you use your instincts the outcome will be good. I am in the same situation, but I am 3 years ahead of you. My daughter is about to be 13 and we have been in the same living situation for 10 years. I went through this and sometimes still do. I think that even if he was her biological father, we would still have the same issues, and I would still want to stick up for her when he goes over the top with his expectations. I found that separate discussions with each of them when I don't agree with what he says or does, helps a lot. It doesn't cause fights either. They get to understand each others side from my point of view which seems to leave the power struggle out. I have never underminded his parenting, and I haven't enforced something I could not agree with. It is very tricky but I have been able to keep peace in my home for the past 2 years with this method. They are not at each other's throats and I am not being driven crazy, or forced to take sides. I didn't force their relationship or interfere with it's growth and part of it is them learning the parent/child relationship. When I don't agree with him, I dicuss it with him much later when he is cooled off. They actually get along a whole lot better now then they did when she was 10.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Feb 07
You should not stop defending your daughter but you need to also support your future husband. The parenting should be both of you deciding on how to raise "your" child. I also meet my husband when my daughter was 3 and had much of the same feelings as you did. Now that she is 14 she has no respect for me because I let things slide or defended her when I knew that I should have been a parent to her instead of a friend or sister type. Always remeber that he does it out of love for her and that he is trying to make her a strong person. If you keep stopping it, it will only get worse for all three of you. I hope that this helped.
1 person likes this
@reinydawn (11649)
• United States
1 Feb 07
Even parents who are still together have these kinds of problems - it's not only "step" parents. Although I was a single mom for most of my kids life and their father didn't have a lot to do with them, I have seen my kids act the same towards us as other kids do towards their parents. It's a part of growning up, they will test your limits. Since you and your fiance are commited, you need to try to present a united front with your daughter - just as if you were both her biological parents. Best of luck to you!
1 person likes this
@MrsAdvice (623)
• United States
1 Feb 07
It is absolutely positively imparative that you do not stick up for her! You must be a united front. If your child finds out what things bug him but don't bug you she will use those things as a weapon against him and it will create a power struggle between them. I know, I am living this situation as well as you may find by my discussions. It is extremely important that you discuss what you agree and disagree on privately and stick together in front of the child no matter what. He may be right, a lot of people think they are being loving to a kid when they let a kid be a kid but it is your responsibility to raise an adult, not a kid. There are too many adult children running around in this world as it is. My husband is one of them and as much as I love him he is trying to raise a spoiled kid who is just like him!
@XxAngelxX (2831)
• Canada
1 Feb 07
The important thing is for you two to show unity when you are disciplining her. Don't allow her to see that you disagree with him or she will begin to take advantage of this. And just keep at him when you two are alone letting him know your thoughts on how you want her raised.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Jan 07
I'm going to be blunt here, because I think that is the only way I can get my point across here... so here goes... First of all, the two of you should sit down and make the rules and consequences for breaking those rules together. I believe that if he is a part of your life, a serious part, then he is also a part of hers, and she has to learn to deal with him. If you keep coming in between them and sticking up for her you are doing 2 things instantly: 1- you are telling her that she doesn't have to listen to him, and that you will save her from him. 2- you are telling him that you don't trust his decisions. Neither of these is a good thing. I know it is hard, but there are times that you have to just stand aside and let THEM work it out. Because honestly, what are you protecting her from? Is he abusive? Do you honestly believe him to be unfair, or are you simply sticking up for her because you think you should? Do you think that she will be mad at you if you don't? Because from experience I can tell you that when you truly step back, and watch, you might be surprised at what you see. And if he is "trying to show her who is boss," it could be simply that the issues have made him feel like the two of you are ganging up on him and he is reaching for control... Sit down and talk to him, try to figure out how you can compromise, and work together. You must be a united front... the two of you are a team, and if you are going to be together, you will have to decide how to get things right so that she respects BOTH of you and is not walking all over either of you! Good luck to you!
@34momma (13893)
• United States
31 Jan 07
As a woman in such a relationship. I have two boys from another relationship and my fiance and i have a little girl together. my fiance is not allow to declipine my boys. why? because they have parents. I am not saying that if she throws something on the floor and he is standing there that he should not say pick that up. but when it comes to when she does something wrong you are the only one who should handle that. it works out great for me and i hope it helps you
• United States
31 Jan 07
I am responding to this through personal experience. My mom married my dad when I was a baby, and he adopted me when I was around four or five. About the time I turned three they started to have other children, and from then on out, I felt as though he treated me differently. As you note here with your daughter and your fiance, my dad and I butted heads like you would not believe. Everything between us was a power struggle. I am almost thirty-two now, and I'm grateful that I had a man in my life that despite our difference in genes, wanted to be my father. Maybe his methods weren't always up to my mother's code, or even my own, but he loved me, and I think a lot of the reason he was so hard on me was because he loved me. I think that the three of you need to sit down and talk together about your relationship. I'm not sure if your daughter sees her biological father, but even so this man has been a part of her life for over seven years, in the role of a father figure. While he's not her father, his rights in that role have been established by your relationship and your choice to marry him. If he is going to be constantly reminded that he's not her father, it's going to hurt him, and perhaps provoke more struggle and hardship between them. The bond and boundary need to be established right now. Who is she going to turn to for the next eight years, beyond that, when she's a grown woman?
• Canada
31 Jan 07
I think you probably find your self sticking up for her because she is your daughter. i think that is just the motherly instinct to protect our kids no matter how old they are. my advice is to sit down and talk to him and tell him what issues you feel the 2 of you are having when it comes to your daughter. let him know that you like the fact he is involved in raising her but maybe bring up your concerns with him as to some comments he makes sometimes. the best way to solve problems is to communicate. gl :)
1 person likes this
• Dallas, Texas
1 Feb 07
I think the best way to handle this is much more simple than people make it. 1. First you need to sit down with your husband and figure out what he expects and what you expect. That is easier said than don but that is the first step - you and him must be on the same page. 2. Then both of you need to sit down with her and explain to her what is going down! She needs to understand that when he tells her something that she needs to listen and obey. Since this is something that you and he have already talked about - there will not be any misunderstanding. 3. Then you need to be consistent on what you have told her. This is why I say this - I went through the same thing as a child except I was raised by my father. I treated my step mother very wrong when she tried to make me do something I did not want to do you tried to scold me. Therefore I tried to play my father against my mother and vice versa - what ever the situation called for - to get what I wanted in the end. Once my father sat me down and told me that I BETTER respect my step mother and if she tells me something I need to do it or there will be repercussions - I knew I could not play the in between game any more. As long as you are consistent - eventually things will get better. Its like this - Your husband is the man of the house and he needs to feel like he is being respected (we need that!) You may get upset because he is getting on to her but he is just trying to keep everything in order. As long as you are on the same page with him and you have explained to him what you will tolerate and what you will not tolerate - you all should be all good. Its like this .... I get mad at my children's mother because she is being to nice and letting my kids get away with things I feel they should not. On the other hand - She gets mad at me because she thinks I am to hard at times. The truth is that the kids need both - They need to understand that there is a cause and effect for everything that you do and if you do not do what you are told there will be consequences! On the other hand when they need a shoulder to cry on and want compassion - they should be able to do that as well. That is why it is best for the kids to grow up in a 2 parent home. That is just the difference of the roll the man and the woman play in the relationship (sometimes the rolls are reversed and the woman is the disciplinarian). But like I said - your daughter does not need to see that you and your husband are not on the same page or she will use it to her advantage. You and your husband need to be on the same page and sit her down and let her know how things will be handled and let her know that you will not step in and defend her and you have to be consistent! COMMUNICATION BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND IS THE KEY!!!
• United States
1 Feb 07
I have to agree with you 100%. This pretty much what I was going to say. So to add just a small bit I will say this. Never be afraid or ashamed to seek councel from a professional or even your church. Having a blended family like yours is very difficult on everyone, but it can work.
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
1 Feb 07
Sometimes you just have to face the facts - some people just don't get along. I'm guessing you already talked to him about this. If not you need to. Also may have a "family" talk and include your daughter - what problems are they having with each other. More than likely it's a matter of 2 people who love you competing for your attention. You also need to decide for yourself just what part he will have in her life - will he be the father figure? If so then she needs to learn this, he is the boss.
• United States
1 Feb 07
I have this same problem, we have been together for 8 years. He has one child and I have three children. We used to head butt over everything, now I raise my children and he is struggling to keep his out of trouble. What can I say? I tried to give it my best and was told I was not his mother, so... I only worry about mine. Good Luck.
@sandaday (59)
• India
1 Feb 07
Its difficult sometimes when the childs father who loves his daughter tend to forget that she is growing and changing , with her, he too has to change, it might look too soon but he has to be prepared, a girls dad must realise this and has to change his wway of handling the girl child, or leave it to his wife to deal with the daughter till both know and learn to get along with each other, its nothing but soft way of dealing both of them, that could give u good results and better relationship too.
• United States
1 Feb 07
This seems to be fairly common when there is a child involved that only belongs to one biologically. My oldest son is not my husbands child and we had this problem through the years of raising him. I met my husband when my son was four, he is now 16. It seemed that no matter what I did it was not the way that my husband thought it should of been handled and I always thought that my husband was to hard on my son. I spoke to my mom about this and she suggested that from now on when my son was in trouble or it was just an issue that needed to be dealt with, my husband and I should go to another room and discuss it and come to a decission on how we were going to handle it before confronting my son. This did help a lot as I knew exactly how things were going to go and it was not just what my husband wanted. Your daughter is becoming a teen and I can only recommend that the two of you come to an agreement now with your daughter as it will only get more difficult. I have to say that my husband and son are the greatest friends now so don't get discourgaed and it is perfectly normal for children to butt heads with one or the other. Since he has been there since she was 3 she sees him as her father and this is normal. It will get better once you and him come to an agreement on discussing issues as they come up.