SD and DD question:concern

myfampgDecember 13, 2010

When I met DH, DD was 6. Our relationship moved fast but I didn't introduce them right away. So we did good by getting to know each other first before I let them meet. Once they met, they were a perfect match. DH did not have children and had not been married. Over time I realized that DHs parents had made a huge mistake in only having one child bc DH was a little selfish and is VERY spoiled by his parents. They never had a girl so although they treaded lightly with DD, they quickly became #1 fans of American Girl Doll and craft stores. They are amazing to my DD. Love her to pieces. DH loves DD too. He is so attached to her and sees her as his own. All of that great stuff. Well DH and I had a son. Of course in laws are very equal with both kids and they are not the actual issue but DH sort of acts like he is jealous when his parents buy for the kids but don't include him. They will send gifts to the house and put DHs name on the box but then it's just for the kids and he literally acts 'hurt' that they forgot him. Lol I laugh because being the third in my family, I often was forgotten and so seeing this almost 40 yr old man pout cracks me up. Ok so that's not really my problem but I kind of wanted to give some background.

Here is my issue. DD is almost 10 and recently she has become more 'manipulative'' to get what she wants. But in a loving way. If that's at all possible. If she wants to watch tv she will cuddle up to us and love on us and then in her sweetest voice say 'can I watch something''. Well if we aren't watching anything then I say yes. DH says no. Period. His reason is that he bought DH a flat screen bigger than ours for her room(against my better judgement thank you) and she can watch in her room... Well I get that but sometimes she wants to hang out with us so I don't see the problem. He sighs really loud and just goes to his office. I am ok with him going to his office bc I don't have an office and some days I wish I could go to 'my' office. I tell him, well if DD can go to her room you can go to your office.

Second, he isn't soft in his words with her. Sometimes he will tell her to do something and he is harsh. His dad wad his way so I assume he is being like his dad. I am ok with this because his parents raised a very well mannered, law abiding, respectful man and that is how they did it. On the other hand, she is not a boy and I am in complete belief that boys and girls should be treated differently. I think girls hear things differently than boys. Like my son, he doesn't blink when DH tells him pick up toys in the same tone and it doesn't bother me. But when he says it to DD she gets sad and lowers her head like he has hurt her feelings and it hurts mine too. When I talk to him about it, he says she is manipulating me. I don't think every thing DD does is a manipulation. I think sometimes she does but not 100% of the time. (she is 9 1/2 almost 10).

So what do I do? I have read books on raising boys and girls and I think he is doing a fabulous job with our son. But with DD I think he is slowly pushing her away because he is stern with her and not loving enough.

On the other hand, like tonight they cuddled and watched tv together and he told me he just melts when she gives him that kind of attention .. But then and hour later it's bedtime and he isn't sweet an kind he is back to drill Sargent stern. He has never yelled or raised his voice at her but he just uses a tone that I think any girl would feel like he is mad or annoyed. I think annoyed is a better word. So I asked him, is something wrong? He said no I just heard you already once tell her to take a shower and she sat there continuing what she was doing so I backed you up. I said I do appreciate it but can you be nicer? He said I was nice.


So as she is walking from the shower to get dressed, she stops at the tv to see what he was watching and he says go get dressed. She says I am!!! And slams her door. Ugh! I know he is doing the right 'fatherly' things but why does it bother me.

I love their relationship but I am affraid he is going to push her away. He says, I'm not here to be her friend (which I know) but are we really running a boot camp?

I heard him tell our son while getting dressed the other day (who is 3) 'this is not a democracy, this is a dictatorship and no you can not wear batman again today' I laughed so hard bc my son was like huh? I want my batman shirt ... And guess what he wore? Batman!!! Lol

He is such a softy but yet he is not... What do I do? How can I get him to see that girls are different than boys and that she just needs a little more 'caressing' than he needed as a boy? He doesn't seem to get it when I try talking to him. He gets offended and what he hears is, you don't love my DD and that is not at all what I am saying. I just want him to be a little kinder when it's just something little and not just say she is manipulating us bc I really do not think she is doing that 100% of the time.


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I disagree with you that boys and girls should be raised differently, this is gender stereotyping. No one should be spoken harshly to, or sound annoyed for no reason at and everyone requires same affection, both boys and girls, they should not be spoken differently.

I understand that DD's father is barely in the picture(supervised visitations, no overnight etc) so maybe DH is trying to replace her dad but I don't think he needs to be doing bedtime routine or telling her to dress etc Why is he telling her to take a shower? Where are you at the time? I think in this situation boy/girl difference is in play. I don't think your husband needs to regulate your daughter's shower or dress up routine, it is too intimate. I don't find it appropriate. I am not suggesting he is doing something inappropriate but he is overstepping.

I also am not sure about them cuddling. The only men DD cuddled at 10 would be her own father and grandpa, I am not sure I like the idea of your DD and your DH cuddling.

Your DH's speech about dictatorship is disturbing unless it was a joke.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 7:34AM
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If he speaks differently to your son and daughter, won't your son eventually notice the difference and resent that his sister gets a less stern tone? I think that the treatment should be the same.

Either he needs to tone it down to both or keep it the same as he has been.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 7:39AM
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As you were not very clear on the after shower/ back to room to get dressed, I'm going to assume the best and point out the obvious...have daughter begin to take her pjs and fresh underwear to the shower with her. It sounds as if she is either racing back with but a towel or in her days dirty clothing.

I'm not suggesting in any way that any thing is out of line, it's just time to consider modesty and privacy where DD is concerned.

Yeah, my DD has the whole tv/DVD set up in her bedroom too. She still likes to sit out with me. I don't watch much television but she just likes to be out where everybody else is. We have set ups in each bedroom, the main living room and I have a small one in the kitchen (for news), I want each member to be able to have their own privacy space and spaces for everybody together. She's welcome to come sit by me, she's welcome to sit with me and read and snuggle under a throw in same room. We can not usually all sit on same furniture without the cat and dog...gets to be too while we might share the evening together we don't usually do it side by side. There is still though the sense of togetherness and family comfort. I think it's important to have a sense of being a family unit, sometimes the evening is just talking and/or doing something together.

I can't say I ever meant to treat my boys differently than my girls just because boys/girls. I do know that each of my children has seperate and individual personalities. I knew what tones/tactics worked on which child. My boys had ADD...lots of reminders there at times were needed, tones were meaningless. One daughter would sometimes just test and ignore. Then too, the boys also could simply test and ignore when the mood hit them. It all usually depended on the whys and whats of behavior I was getting from each kid. Heaven help me when they all ganged up on me with the 'we don't wanna' attitude. It was not there often, but they're normal kids, they could on occassion be defying and be in plain silly/annoying moods.

No I never used a dicator line method, but I did once remind my oldest daughter that life in our home was not a union job and she had no grievance steps to override the parent (me). It was on an evening where I'd been going over a pile of grievance paperwork and she was whining something or other 'was not fair' ...but she was not 3.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 8:57AM
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"DD is almost 10 and recently she has become more 'manipulative'' to get what she wants. But in a loving way. If that's at all possible. If she wants to watch tv she will cuddle up to us and love on us and then in her sweetest voice say 'can I watch something''. "

Have you tried talking to DH to find out why he views DD's manipulation as a concern? Perhaps he is concerned about a young girl growing up thinking that the way to get what she wants is to cuddle and be sweet? I'll be honest; treating your DD differently because she's a girl, expecting that she be "caressed" and gently reminded to do things will lead to problems later for her, I think.

"But then and hour later it's bedtime and he isn't sweet an kind he is back to drill Sargent stern. He has never yelled or raised his voice at her but he just uses a tone that I think any girl would feel like he is mad or annoyed. I think annoyed is a better word. So I asked him, is something wrong? He said no I just heard you already once tell her to take a shower and she sat there continuing what she was doing so I backed you up. I said I do appreciate it but can you be nicer? He said I was nice. "

So if I get this right, you told DD to take a shower. DD ignored you. DH "sternly" told her to take a shower, as you'd already told her, and you're afraid that DD will realize that he's annoyed? He should be annoyed! Neither one of you should have to gently or otherwise coax or remind a child of that age to follow simple instructions (unless there is some other issue, of course).

My question to you is - how long do you feel this special preferential treatment to girls should continue? Should college professors treat the females differently? Should future employers? If your DD grows up thinking that she is entitled to be treated with kid gloves because she's female, she's going to have a hard time of it as an adult! If she thinks a stern tone of voice from her SF is upsetting, what's going to happen the first time she has a boss who screams obscenities?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 10:44AM
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I miss the point of DD walking out of shower undressed? At 10? Ouch, I hope I misunderstood, hopefully she wearing a robe, just a towel is not appropriate. DD had size B bra at 10. OUCH i remember there was the issue with SM watching DD undress and DD feeling very uncomfortable, even telling her therapist. Is she undressed in front of stepdad, hope not. I hope i misunderstood.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 11:51AM
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Oh goodness. I surely didn't mean to open a can of worms. I did not specify. DD showers and wears a robe with towel on her head from the shower. I normally put her clothes in the bathroom while she is showering so she can dress in the bathroom but last night it was the robe and towel on head. He does not like her wearing a robe through the house or towel. He wants her dressed at the bathroom. And the routine is go straight and brush your teeth. The reason she has to go to another bathroom to brush her teeth is the shower is in my bathroom but her toothbrush and stuff are in her bathroom which is only a bath.
To explain the cuddling. DH and I were on the couch at opposite ends watching tv and she came and got right next to me. She was laying against my butt basically. As my feet were tucked under me. But she went and cuddled up next to him. He was sitting with his feet on the floor and she cuddled up next to him and he just put his arm around her and they watched tv together. I was sitting literally touching both of them. Nothing inappropriate about that.
DH is not trying to replace her father. We encourage her relationship with her dad and talk about him all the time. She feels comfortable to share stories of her dad and DH respects her listens and talks freely with her.

When he tells her to get in the shower I am right there. It's because I tell her and she ignores me and so he says it again ' your
mom told you to do something' sort of thing. He does not initiate bedtime or bath routine, he backs me up when she gives me a hard time. DH rarely does much initiation with her bc I am the one that does all of that for her where he initiates bathtime with our son and I go in and bathe him and get him out. He sits with DS while I finishing up gathering everything from them getting undressed and getting in their bath and shower.

The dictatorship was a joke. That's why I laughed and I said ... Guess what he wore ... The batman shirt bc obviously it's not a dictatorship or DS would have worn what DH had gotten him to wear. DH does not like that I give our 3 yr old a choice of what to wear. We don't 'fight' about it, he just says, it's going to get harder if you keep letting him pick every day. I like letting him choose. He thinks it's fun. For now... It's fun. I am sure I will hate it when it becomes a fight.

The point of my post, which obviously I was not clear on was I do feel that DH oversteps when he tells DD to go get in the shower after I have said it and she ignores me. I agree with him that she needs to do what she is told the first time but she is a kid. Don't most kids try to test and ignore ? But my feelings are, I don't need a parrot I will tell he again, just give me a chance... I think my concern is really non existent at this point bc I don't know how to explain it. I think I am overly sensitive for DD and I just don't like how stern he sounds sometimes. But I don't feel bothered when he gets stern with DS. I just don't know why I guess bc he is ours and she is mine. Although I know she is all of ours.

And to make this clear .. DH has never given DD a bath or helped her change. She is very modest although she is fine walking out in a robe. DH does not like it and that is why he will say, go get dressed. Normally I am right in the kitchen but don't see her walk out first. If I saw her first, I would say the same thing.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 10:21PM
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I personally think your DH is being a little *silly* if DD wearing a robe bothers him.

My DD is 8 and she wears a fluffy robe all the time; I would be bothered if DH said that was inappropriate.

I mean, it's different for all situations and depends on the age of the child, etc---how long SF has been a SF, etc.

My DH is not DD's bio dad but her bio dad has never been in her life; DH has been her *dad* since she was 2, he is the only dad she knows.

It sounds like, given your situation, your DH has been a much more involved step-parent to DD because of your ex's behavior and prolonged court-ordered absence.

I don't know. Coming to defend your DH: your DD lives with you guys pretty much full time, AND you share a son together. I can see how DH would parent more like a PARENT than a step-parent. I think when he reiterates something you have asked DD to do, he probably means well. Would he not do the same thing if it were your DS who was not listening?

But if it bothers you, you should say something to him about it.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 10:59PM
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That does explain the after shower clearer. So maybe it would be easier to take in her toothbrush/paste in when you lay out her clothing in the shower? She would not have to run over to her own and won't be tempted to get distracted.

Guess I don't understand what Dh's problem with a towel wrapped on her head is though. My DD always arrives freshly dressed with towel on head for me to help her get her hair combed out (long, thick and curls).

So it's not really so much the 'tone' as you'd like him to just hush & stand back a bit, let you be Mommy? Yeah, he's trying to back you up and be supportive, but you need to be sure DD listens to you. Give you a chance without just taking over. You don't want her to 'obey' merely because SF jumped in. If that's it, I can understand that. Yep, kids test and ignore on occassion. SF can't be there 24/7 to 'make her listen' for do have to be allowed to show daughter that her mother is very capable of parenting a testing and ignoring child. DD needs to respect her mother and not just because SF says so.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 11:00PM
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Just me too and love Hadley.. You got what I was trying to say the second time around.

I think DHs problem period is he doesn't understand girls. I wrap my head in a towel and wear it for half an hour before it's time to blow dry!! He doesn't understand. He NEVER saw his mother preparing for the day.. She was already dressed and set to go before he was even up every morning. So he is clueless and there is not one girl in his family but his mom, ALL boys(cousins and uncles).. So sometimes I think it's he just does not understand girls.

You are exactly right. For almost three years he has been her *in-home father*. Her dad is not around. He is at the court house once a month for supervised visits and he is at the therapist once a month for visits and half of the time he cancels. He pays his *court ordered* child support which provides after school care for DD. My DH provides financially for DD more than her dad ever has and he still supports their relationship. One day a while back, I said, (in a fit of tears) DD would be better of if BD died or just moved away. He said don't say that, she needs him, you don't want her growing up thinking he rejected her or that she will never see her father again, how awful. I said oh I know I'm sorry, I didn't mean it I am just mad. He is very objectionable when it comes to our situation. He tries to see both sides and then usually shares with me his thoughts.
DD wants to call him daddy bc DS calls him daddy and sometimes DS will copy DD and call him by his first name. This concerns DD so she always says I want to call him daddy. I was so impressed the first time he responded to her, you can call me whatever you want but Daddy is special for your daddy and you need to remember no one can replace him. Wow! I got tears but it was so true and meaningful.
I think I just want a chance to speak sometimes and he doesn't really give me a chance. He was raised, well when your father gets home, he can deal with you ... I was not raised to be 'freightened' by my father.. So I don't really like that. It's like using the other parent to scare the kid...
So I think that is the stance he takes is, listen to your mother, I'm here now and you won't disobey or disrespect when I am here.. He is equal with both kids on that and I don't like it. I am going to talk to him tonight about it. I think that is probably my biggest problem. Has nothing to do with DD. He is equal with them, I am the one apparently wanting him to treat them different.

He is the fulltime parent. He is the one here except those two-four hours a month sometimes 8-10... And having a child together and one of my own is probably a lot harder than I anticipated. Ds is still young and just starting to test boundaries so he is starting to have to tell ds more and more.. Where for 3 yrs he has been the 'baby' now he is getting to be a big boy. Probably why I am noticing it more than I did before.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 11:35PM
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thanks for the explanation, I am glad she wears a robe. Your DH sounds like a very involved parent and a nice person. but still why is it bothering him what she is wearing and how is it his business? I understand it might annoy him but it is not his place to monitor her clothing.

It is nice that he is involved with DD and there are plenty of parental things he could do like reading a book, play games, what she is wearing (as long as she is not undressed) should nto be his business. he is overstepping and it is too intimate of a subject.

DD and SD are both the same age and SO told SD many times in my presence: we have people over and you are wearing pjamas, go change, we are going to black tie event and you are in your running clothes, you have to change. But he would not say it to DD. It is not his business, it is not appropriate for him to even pay such close attention to what girls wear. Robe, dress, pants, not his problem what she is wearing. he is pushing for trouble here. I would ask him to back off.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 6:14AM
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I think poor DH is between a rock and a hard place! If SD were to walk around in a robe and jump up and cuddle with him, and DH said nothing about it, people might say inappropriate with SD. If he does say something it's "not his place".

I suspect that myfampg is right and it's just that he is not accustomed to girls/women getting ready in his childhood home (not having had any sisters). Or it may be that his family was just more modest; my father would have pitched an absolute fit if I'd walked through the house in a robe without jammies on underneath. (He has no sisters either). And my brothers could wear sleeveless shirts in summer but never to the dinner table, even as little boys.

Myfampg, how is/was your relationship with your father? Is it something with that, do you think? I know I can sometimes be overly sensitive to some things if they remind me of my father.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 8:43AM
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LOL on the robe. My dd thinks nothing of peeing with the bathroom door open (which is a straight shot down the hall). She will also come out of the bathroom in A) just a towel or B) with nothing on, holding the towel or C) in just panties.

I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with any of this. I expect her modest button will kick in any day now. She's 8.5.

Mattie, in DD's bio-dad's family men could not wear sleeveless shirts to the dinner table either. In DH's family and in my family it really didn't matter. It's all a matter of personal style.

Since I don't think there's anything wrong with human bodies the whole robe thing is just silly to me, but I understand where he is coming from.

And, I understand your feelings regarding rules and enforcement. I have the same issues, but I'm starting to think they aren't so much STEP issues as differences in opinion when raising kids. In other words, we'd be having these same issues even if our kids were both ours biologically.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 9:34AM
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I think issues are different if kids are in intact family. I think there is a different power struggle and conflict here. I agree that stepparents do have to reinforce the rules (applying commons sense of course) yet it seems to me many stepparents overdoing it, overstepping, pushing and causing trouble.

I also think there is a big difference if dad is reinforcing rules or stepdad (unless he completely replaced her dad).

I think it is unnecessary to walk around undressed but if my dad sees me accidentally in my underwear it is not the end of the world, but I would feel somewhat differently if it was some random guy or my mom's BF (if she had one).

DD is very affectionate as we all are, her dad is also very physically affectionate, hugging, cuddling, kissing (appropriately) is a normal thing for them. I do not imagine DD hugging, kissing, cuddling with some other man that I am dating or married to. Ouch. At any age, even at 22 now it would look weird. But if she did it at 8-10, I don't know how i would feel about it...

Unless of course a man replaced her dad. Like my grandfather is my mother's dad even though he is not biological, but he is the only dad.

I don't know, i give hugs to SDs and so on, yet i would never dream of the same affection as with DD or I cannot imagine cuddling with them, and they we are the same gender. And if they were guys, I doubt I would be cuddling for sure. OK I did nto know them when they were younger.

But let's take my nephew...i love my nephew21, am close to him, give him a kiss and a hug and spend time with him. And my nephew is clearly related to me, he is my only brother's son, yet i never cuddled with him. And we are very affectionate bunch, we are not into proper rules at all.

I understand that when people live together, family is blending and it is not always possible and necessary to have that distinction between bio and stepparent, but I don't think we should neglect the difference...

I also think people are too much into rules, regulations, and reinforcements. Some things are just not that important for a stepparent (and for a parent) to get all wired up about.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 6:44PM
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It sounds as if he is doing what parents are supposed to do. He gets along with her, they cuddle & watch movies, it's all good... UNTIL she starts manipulating. It may not seem like it to the parent, but we develop patterns with our kids from the time they are babies... how we interact. They learn how far they can go, what they can get away with. If your DD has learned to hem & haw to buy herself more time before shower or bed, now your DH looking from the outside in, that SD is doing that & it works. So, he jumps in to help you (sternly gets her attention) but like most kids in that situation, they don't like a new person coming in & ruining the good gig they got going on. (My kids even told me that about DH) and if your DD has sensed that she can get sympathy by getting upset, then I could see how that may be a manipulation. and if he is also spoiled & feels in competition with the child... that adds another dysfunctional factor.

In my opinion, if he is not her father he should back off & leave it up to you. It's one thing to have house rules that you agree on.. and when she breaks the house rule, you should back him 100%. But, it will push her away & create resentment (on both sides) if he pushes toward changing how YOU have raised her all these years, especially if you are resistant. You and your DH need to be on the same page.

I can relate to him being bothered by her ignoring your requests or arguing with you. When DH & I got together, his DD8 would drag out bedtime.. whining, crying fits, can I have a drink of water?, I need to go to the bathroom (even though she just came out of there) & I ignored it until the first time I heard her talking back to him & arguing. I didn't feel that I should have to listen & endure that in my home so I stepped into her room & sternly told her that what happens when I'm not around is not my business, but I will NOT tolerate listening to her talk that way to her father! and since then, she has only done it one other time. Of course, in retrospect it probably has also contributed to her negative feelings toward me... but I can understand the frustration in having to listen to a child talk back, demean or be rude to the person you love, and if it were YOUR child, you would not tolerate it. My son did not like my husband saying anything to him. My daughter gets along great with my husband but it bothers her when he "corrects" her occasionally. I think that's a normal reaction from kids.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 6:52PM
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"Of course, in retrospect it probably has also contributed to her negative feelings toward me... but I can understand the frustration in having to listen to a child talk back, demean or be rude to the person you love, and if it were YOUR child, you would not tolerate it."

I think this is so true and THIS is really what makes stepparenting soooo difficult.

I do empathize with OP's DH because let's not forget, he and OP share a child together. So it's understandable that he would have similar expectations for his own child and DD.

Especially considering that this child (DD) lives with him almost full time. THAT changes things quite a bit IMO.

Again, I do think he should back off a bit with enforcing rules/setting expectations BUT I don't think he's totally out of line for doing so. Given the fact, especially, that both children (his son and SD) are both relatively young.

Trust me, I deal with this stuff all the time as SS's *stepmother.* Yet my own bio DD is the SAME age.

I really have no choice but to step up and act like a full fledged parent with SS---even though I am *just* the SM. I can't very well expect a certain set of behaviors from DD but then tell SS, "Oh, well, you're not my kid, so wait until your father gets home."

I don't know. It's all just hard and I do not think there is ANY easy way to find a balance. You have to figure out what works for YOUR family.

My DH is very supportive of me when it comes to SS listening, taking direction from me, etc. But this is also because I am responsible for him a great deal when he is with us.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 7:02PM
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Ima, you gave me a good laugh, and it is true. "they don't like a new person coming in & ruining the good gig they got going on"

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 7:04PM
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Well he isn't new.. We have a 3 yr old been living together 4 yrs. I have Always had full custody and for the last almost 3 yrs DD has not gone to BDs home for overnight stays, so it's 100% full time. Not almost full time.

DD adores my DH. She runs to him immediately to share whatever she had done. He helps a lot with her math work(although I am the accountant, she wants him to do it) and he praises her everyday for good grades, good behavior, putting her dishes away. I have to say, I often sit back in amazement over their relationship. It's just a few issues that 'bother' me like the robe and towel... What's the big friggen deal?

I think I am overreacting bc I don't want her to ever use the 'your not my dad' card and I wait for it to happen. But so far, she doesn't disrespect him that way. I think the difference is we do have a child together and she sees him as her baby brother's daddy and she treats him the same. She loves her own daddy but he isn't around. Who is at every ballet recital? Who helped her with soccer practice drills? Not BD, he never shows. She asked DH to the father's night out at school and he said don't you want to see if your dad can go first? So she did. He said no. Is DH suppose to reject DD the same as her BD always does just bc he is her *step*dad???that's ridiculous.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 12:01AM
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I think your DH should continue what he is doing in regards to sharing books, discussing idea etc but I would gently ask him to back off when it comes to intimate issues: clothing, bathroom, showers, what she is wearing etc

I don't think DH has to reject her but I don't think he needs to have his nose up to every little thing, clearly girl/female thing. Even bio father shouldn't.

I am very clsoe to my father but don't remember him telling me what to wear or when to take my shower. I am in mid 40s and we are 9intact family, yet I can't think of one time he told em to change what i am wearing.

Your DH is not her dad, knows her only few years (yes he is still new)yet he thinks it is OK to make commenst on what she is wearing or when she takes showers.

If something bothers him in her clothes, he might want to ask you how to handle it, but back off DD.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 9:36AM
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My DD snuggles with DH on the couch. They wrestle. He tells her to take a shower, to brush her teeth, to comb her hair, to put on some more clothes (she's in the habit of running out of her bedroom in her panties).

I don't see anything wrong with any of that. I snuggle with my SD. I've helped her wash in the shower when she was sick. She's slept in bed with DH and I on several occasions.

PO1, dads telling girls to change their clothes is INCREDIBLY common. Especially when they hit their teen years. "Change that shirt" "take off that makeup" "put on some shorts under that skirt" "those heels are too high, who bought you those" are all things I have heard time and again from the fathers of my friends.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 11:28AM
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"My DD snuggles with DH on the couch. They wrestle. He tells her to take a shower, to brush her teeth, to comb her hair, to put on some more clothes (she's in the habit of running out of her bedroom in her panties).
I don't see anything wrong with any of that."

Me either.

My DH is the same with DD. :)And I think it's great.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 11:32AM
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My SO tells SD22 to change her clothes because she is often dressed inappropriately for occasion and my SO is embarrassed. haha My dad would compliment my clothes but would not tell me to change, he knows very little about clothes. My ex constantly made comments about DD's hair style, maybe clothes too, don't know. Everyone has different obsessions with looks of their kids (different from obsessions with stepkids looks I think).

My DD has hideous awful clothes style, half the time i am embarrassed, it looks hideous, terrible, but I don't think it would be appropriate for SO to tell her to change, in fact I don't tell either. SO is probably embarrassed of DD's clothing styles too LOL but oh well, he can pretend he does not know her. haha

Of course if a girl runs around in her underwear, it is understandable stepdad tells her to put clothes on. I would expect someone to tell her. It might be ok to some degree but if a girl goes to school and tells there that she is wearing only underwear or nothing around her stepdad, it could cause problems. So I agree that she needs to be told to cover up. even if it is not a big deal inside the family, it would sound like a big deal for an outsider.

Love, your DH is DD's only dad even if not biological (plus he was there for so many years). Of course it is dad/daughter relationship rather than daughter/mom's husband. Different dynamics.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 12:01PM
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I think somewhere someone misread. My DH doesn't comment at all on DDs clothes. He does have 100% to say about our son's clothes. My DH Is a fashion diva.

The only thing DH says is to 'get dressed' bc DD will leave the shower in her robe with a towel on her head and theb stop and try watching tv on her way to her room. He moves her along by saying 'dd go get clothes on'.

Ok so some of you feel that he is still new bc it's only been a few yrs but I plan on being married to this man, the father of my son until the day I die so DD (if she has issues will have to get over it). Therapist says DD expresses love and affection towards my DH during her sessions and is very comfortable with him. She is only in therapy for supervised visits with her BD who is an absolute deadbeat. Regardless. He is her father and I will never try to take that away from her. Otherwise I would just ignore him and not allow any visits. My DD needs her dad but she also needs the love and support and stability that our family unit provides.

I was raised by my stepfather and the way some of you act towards stepparents and their roles in their children's lives makes me wonder, what kind of person would I have become if my stepfather would have shown distance and boundaries as set out by some of the comments I am reading. Do you not realize what the children are going through by having a wall between you and them? You aren't MINE so sorry I can't speak or sorry I can't help. Wow I am just amazed. I am not going to feel bad.. Now I am so proud of my DH for unconditionally loving my little girl as his own and I think I will get over whatever it was I was concerned about.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 11:50PM
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"My DD needs her dad but she also needs the love and support and stability that our family unit provides."

I think this says it very well. I think your DH is doing a great job; I am not at all of the mindset that he is *just* a SF so he should back off.

I so empathize. Like I said, my two kids (bio DD and SS) are the same age---six weeks apart---and have been raised together since they were not quite two years old.

We have been living together for over four years now, married for over two.

It just would NOT work for me to be one way with DD and one way with SS.

I think your DH is doing a good job and agree with whoever said that these are probably the same parenting *issues* that nuclear, in-tact couples face.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 7:56AM
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"Now I am so proud of my DH for unconditionally loving my little girl as his own and I think I will get over whatever it was I was concerned about."

Amen!! It sounds like their relationship is fine. My DD gets the same "sad" face on when DH asks her to do something or comes down on her. I have the luxury of knowing what she does with her bio-dad too though. With SF she gets sad look, with bio-dad she pouts. And throws a mini-tantrum. And for me? I get a heavy sigh. When she was younger (like 4) she once threw a crying fit with Grandma because she didn't want to get in her carseat and buckle up. I had never had that issue with her. She was testing Grandma. And Grandma asked me what I would have done, and I told her, depending on how tight time was I would either sit there until she got bored and wanted to go, or I would strap her little screaming writhing body in the seat and go.

Kids are smart. They are going to try to work the angles and see what works for them. They test the boundaries. It sounds like you're a little defensive of your daughter (and I KNOW that feeling) and concerned about the difference in parenting between the kids with your DH/SO. I have been too. But I really do think, based on parenting with a bio- and now co-parenting with DD's bio and SD's bio parents.... These are issues everyone faces. Regardless of blood ties.

Differences in parenting strategies. Disagreements in how kids should be raised. Conflict between the adults about the children's behavior and what to do about it.

I get the "manipulation" too. I've said before that kids are manipulative. And it's not inherently bad, it's just them trying to figure out what works. I think the problem is that she's going about asking in a way that he doesn't like. Have you talked to him? Maybe ask if there's a time where you guys can have a family tv time, pop some popcorn and watch a family friendly show. That way she gets her "hanging out" time and he knows to expect it.

I suspect he's not liking the manipulation. My DH hates that too, and I do the same thing "she just wants to be close to us....". But in my case I think he's right. Once I got past my "if she were your daughter...." thoughts I realized there is a more effective way for her to get what she wants, and we're working on teaching her a more honest way of going about things.

Like, "mom, I miss you. Can we spend some time together" rather than "working" us and then dropping the "I want..(whiny bomb).

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 9:50AM
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