Boyfriend/daughter issues

Courtney - posted on 04/23/2015 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My boyfriend and I have been together now for 2 years. I have a 6 year old daughter, he has no kids. My daughters father and I were divorced 3 years ago. Her father and I share 50/50 custody. My boyfriend did not meet my daughter until about 7 months after we started dating. They have always got along just have never had a true bond in my opinion. Since she does go back and forth with her father it is hard for me to set rules and make them stick. About 7 months ago my boyfriend and I bought a house together. Ever since we moved in together it seems things have just got worse and worse in my boyfriend and daughters relationship. I have sat her down numerous time to tell her that she needs to obey what he asks of her and when he tells her to do something she is to listen to him just as she would me. He gets very frustrated because it seems like she doesnt listen to anything he says or asks her to do. They bicker back and forth all the time. I try my best to be a loving caring mom to her but to also see his side of things. She just like any other 6 year old sometimes has issues listening. I just look at is as something normal for someone her age, he looks at it almost like shes just a brat who doesnt listen. This is beginning to cause problems in our relationship which is not something I want. He is a good man, just has never been around children. I try to tell him instead of yelling at her to maybe try a different approach and sit her down and talk to her but he claims that doesnt work either. I try my best to please both parties but it is becoming very difficult and I just am at a loss on what to do next. It seems to me like when she is at our house the only things going on between them two is bickering. They never have good conversation, no how was school today or any small talk. Even before she leaves for the week to go to her dads its just like bye and thats it. I just want them to start getting along better and begin to develop a step dad/daughter relationship. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Ev - posted on 04/23/2015

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I see a lot of red flags here even from the comments the other two posters have added to this posting.

1) SHe is six years old. She understands that the world she used to know is never going to be the same again. She is still adjusting to things with you and dad being divorced and may still hope that you will get back together. She does not understand why you two split and trying to explain it to her is not going to work nor does she need the details. Its enough that she has to change houses ever so often and its hard to do this even if its been three years.

2) I think you should have waited a while longer than 7 months to introduce your BF to her. You, also, without realizing it may still need that time to regroup yourself from your divorce. Maybe though you thought you were ready to get back into dating and finding someone to be with; you were not really ready. You should have given yourself and your daughter more time before dating again.

3) As the others said, the BF has no legal say in what goes on with your daughter. Even discipline should be totally up to you. She should be respectful of all adults in the household but you can not force her to give him respect. He needs to earn it and he should not expect it yet. And I do not know how he or you can expect them to have some sort of relationship if he is acting a lot like a child too.

4) You can not force a bond with anyone. It has to grow on its own. They need time to make this happen. You can not expect it in two years time. This kind of thing takes a life time to grow.

Just a thought for you to think about: Kids hurt more than adults do when relationships end. They have no choice in what their parents decide to do after the fact and have to go along for the ride. They do not ask for this and I know sometimes it happens and even the one partner does not want it to happen but it does. You must think of their peace of mind, well being and so on before your own.

Valeria - posted on 04/23/2015

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If you start forcing a relationship between them than it will never work. I understand you want your daughter to get along with your partner, but sometimes you have to step aside and let her warm up to him on her own. He is the grown up and he is the child, he should not be lowering himself into bickering with a 6 year old. He should be a grown up and take things differently specially if he is the outsider to her. Maybe she wants you to defend her when he says something, she might be feeling like you're taking his side by telling her that she has to listen to what he says. Personally if I was a 6 year old and my mothers boyfriend told me to do just anything I would refuse, simply because he is not my problem, no my father, not family. He has to win her over not the other way around. Maybe try to do activities together where all 3 of you get to share time together, and I do believe if he has a problem with her behavior he should address this to you first before he can say anything to her. You as the mother have to put the rules for both of them. IF he was your husband than yes he is part of you forever, but right now he has no legal rights over her and therefor he cant act and ask much of her when she is not sure if he is staying forever. Try to talk to him and get him to understand that he has to win her over slowly and get her to understand that she has to accept that he is the man you love and she has to put her part in understanding that as well. You need to set the boundaries for both. Hope everything resolves in your favor :)

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Raye - posted on 04/24/2015

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I agree with the other moms. He should not be yelling at a 6 year old.

I am a step-mom, never had any kids of my own. I have learned A LOT over the past couple years. I do not raise my voice to my step kids. I do not do any of the punishments except take things away that they're fighting over, and I do it sternly by quietly. I show them affection and they show me affection. Young kids usually give what they get, so your BF needs to be understanding and caring toward your daughter. If she is acting up, and you are there, then he has the easy job of stepping back and letting you (as the natural parent) take care of it. Not his circus, not his monkey. You two should talk about how the child should be raised and get on the same page. He should feel that he can make suggestions to you and you will listen. You don't have to change to do everything he suggests, but he should be heard and his opinion valued. If you can't seem to get in the same book -let alone on the same page- then maybe this isn't the right relationship for your family.

Dove - posted on 04/23/2015

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She's 6... he's an adult. if he is bickering w/ a SIX year old... this is not a good sign. It sounds like if you stay w/ him you may end up dealing w/ this overgrown child more than your own child.

Sure... she needs to respect him as a member of the household, but SHE is the child... not him. If he can't treat HER w/ respect... she has no reason whatsoever to want to give it to him.

If it's been 7 months and it's only getting worse it looks like you may have a choice to make... you can sit down w/ him and let him know you 3 are going to attend some family counseling to all learn how to work together.. or you can take your daughter and get out now.

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