Mahalie - posted on 01/05/2016 ( 1 mom has responded )
Hi folks, I would love any advice and especially books or resources around parenting strategies for those partnered with divorced parents.
My story: I'm a 37yo working professional (no choice! part of why I divorced) with equal custody of one 5 1/2 yo girl. My partner is a loving, responsible, fun man who is...just not a parent. He's great, we communicate well in all areas *except* parenting. I don't want more kids, he never wanted kids and jokes that now it's perfect, he gets to experience having a kid without all the hard work.
I'm the mom, but we're both adults and he's allowed some authority tho 98% of parenting is by me. He reminds her to put her shoes away and keep food off his fancy couch but mostly stays out of discipline.
However, socially, he gets very irritated when she doesn't respond the way he hopes / expects. If she comes home and isn't excited to see him he's annoyed and of course she can tell, which feeds the cycle of expectation and disappointment.
He expects her to act like an adult which is just unreasonable. I have a million examples, but just now he went into her room where she was quietly playing and wanted to play, was poking her and tickling and she pulled away not wanting to engage and banged her head and started crying. He was so annoyed with her and saw it as unfair rejection of him, never considers apologizing because he feels he's always right and then stormed out because she wasn't being fun.
I've tried explaining that being so reactive gives her power. He takes things so personally - she's a kid. Yes, she's totally childish sometimes. It really bothers me, I want her time with me to be harmonious. I want him to take the higher road and be an adult she can trust and rely on. She's such a chill, easy kid. So sweet and always trying to please. He's also really sweet, just never had kids and I haven't been able to explain / transmit the perspective of patience, of thinking of their long-term / higher good (not your personal preference), etc.
He's made a lot of progress in the year we've been living together. I don't want to paint him as terrible. He's great. We're just stuck in a rut on this dynamic and I'd like to find some resources - he's an eager partner and loves to "know it all" and will jump on psychology books or parenting articles.