My boyfriend doesn't want to help discipline my 6 year old daughter, but complains that she does not respect him. What do I do?

Bridget - posted on 09/01/2014 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My boyfriend and I have been together for 2.5 years, my daughter is now 6. He often complains that he feels she does not respect him, but refuses to discipline her. He says that I need to do it as I am her biological mother. Her bio dad wants no part in her life. She calls my boyfriend "Dad/Daddy/Dada" and we have all been living together for over 1.5 years. How do I get him to understand that if he wants her to respect him like a father, he needs to act like one and not leave all the discipline to me?

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Stacey - posted on 09/01/2014

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when she disrespects him he should discipline then she will understand that no I cant do that anymore to daddy. It does take a little bit of time but once he starts discipiline her when she is disrespectful she will learn and understand that it is not nice at all to do it to her dad

Stacey - posted on 09/01/2014

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You's both need to sick together and both discipline her . After all yous are both the parents doesn't matter if he isn't the bio dad

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Michelle - posted on 09/01/2014

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How is she disrespecting him?
A 6yo doesn't really know what respect is, they see discipline as criticism and being "mean".
If she is actually being naughty and pushing the boundaries then yes, he needs to let her know the rules. What I was getting at is that he needs to follow through with your rules, not be harsher and unfair. A 6yo is a lot different to a teen in how they process getting into trouble.

Dove - posted on 09/01/2014

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Telling her she can't call him dad if she won't respect him is emotional manipulation. Please don't put that on your child.

He does need to step in and let her know that disrespect won't be tolerated, but you can't MAKE him do so. What are the consequences when she disrespects you? The same can be done when she disrespects him. If he doesn't want to be the one to 'do it'... make a chart of the rules and the consequences and if she breaks the rules when you are not home (or even when you are) the parent that 'caught' the behavior can direct her to the chart. That way neither parent is 'punishing' her... she's just receiving the consequences for HER choices.

As for the 'you're not my dad' thing. I don't get that as I am the bio parent and the only parent in the house, but I DO get... I wish I had another mom.. when my son is really angry. Perfectly normal reaction for a child.

Angela - posted on 09/01/2014

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QUOTE (from Michelle Waldbillig)

‘How many times do you hear of kids yelling back at their Step Parent "You're NOT my parent"?’

Strangely enough, kids don’t say this to stepparents when they do them favours! They never say “You’re not my mother!” or “You’re not my father” when they’ve been given a lift somewhere, or had a meal cooked for them or gotten help with their homework!

Discipline, ideally, is TEACHING – and NOT necessarily punishment! So if you’re setting up a star chart or points system for good behaviour, he can take an active part in this. The bottom line is – YOU are going to be giving her discipline for stuff he reports to you. So if she’s going to be resentful, she’ll be just as resentful that YOU punish her for something HE complained about – as she would if he punished directly!

As for the fact that “ She calls my boyfriend "Dad/Daddy/Dada" and we have all been living together for over 1.5 years. Trust me, she’ll identify him as her father and if he was her biological father there would STILL be respect issues. Kids are like that! If their mother is the parent who spends the most time with them, then Dad comes in at second place! He’s a poor substitute for the mother!!

Good luck!

Bridget - posted on 09/01/2014

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If she does say "you're not my dad!", I would like him to reply to her "then why do you call me daddy?". What if I decide to go to the shops for something and I get back and he says she was disrespectful to him? I want him to help guide her to becoming a better person. If he allows her to disrespect him, then she is learning it is ok to disrespect, firstly, and secondly it is ok to be disrespected. I think I should just tell her that if she doesn't want to respect him, like a dad should be respected, then she cannot call him daddy and get the positive love and attention he gives her. What you think?

Michelle - posted on 09/01/2014

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You need to discipline and he needs to back you up. It is your place since she is your child. Soon enough she will learn that he's not Daddy and it will be thrown back at him if he's trying to do the disciplining.
How many times do you hear of kids yelling back at their Step Parent "You're NOT my parent"?

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