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Should I say anything to my dad, REALLY carefully worded, or will it probably just backfire if I say something to my dad?

My dad has always been one of "those" parents who are never satisfied with what his kids are doing. He has done it so much with my brother, my brother doesn't even want to talk to him.

Anyway, it's always some complaint about my cleaning/cooking/decorating/appearance/parenting. Usually it irritates me a little but I just try to let it slide because my mom says he "does it when he's nervous" and worries and frets later that he's offended me, so I feel bad that I somehow make him nervous. And my son loves him, he plays with him.

Last year, though, he pretty much ruined my oldest child's 3rd birthday party for ME, luckily not for my son.. with whining, complaints, bringing food that I didn't need or want and getting downright indignant when I didn't immediately cut up and put the food he brought out for people to eat, trying to clean stuff that I didn't want cleaned, insulting my appearance and insulting my cleaning, demanding we open presents where he wanted us to do it not where I set up to do so and literally moving all the gifts, making fun of me recycling, offering to take photos but then put down the camera and complained about not getting to enjoy himself like the other guests....

I have a new baby so I'm buying vs making food this year and he commented that it "doesnt sound like much of a party". My mom told me he's already planning on bringing a whole bunch of meats and cheese to supplement my "poor party planning" (!!!!), no doubt he'll want me to spend an hour getting it all out, perhaps even cutting it, arranging it.. No one would do that? He would! Last year he brought tons of UNCUT fruit and then literally demanded that I fix it for people. My mom saved the day by volunteering to do so and apologized to me because she thought the fruit was a gift for us. Good grief, right?

I don't even really want to invite him. But, obviously he thinks he is invited since he's already planning on bringing meat and cheese.
 And my kid wants him there and it is his party so... he's invited.

I have this fear that if I say anything to him, as nicely as I can, about the food please please being "ready to consume" that he's going to have a hissy fit and say things he doesn't mean to but will say them and then won't back down.. like say he won't come, or say my aunt can't use his car to come up and watch the kids every couple weeks for me so I can deep clean the house. Sigh. I wish he'd just come up, hands empty besides if he prefers to bring one a gift, and just hush.. but obviously I can't say that particular series of words to him.

Is there a way to get through to someone like this, a way to word it, that won't cause him to throw an adult-style tantrum, or.. well.. not ?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:56 PM on Feb. 20, 2013 in Relationships

Answers (14)
  • Honestly, I'd say not. He sounds very controlling, and nothing you say will change him.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:02 PM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • feralxat

    Answer by feralxat at 2:05 PM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • Sounds like you need to tell him to shut the hell up. If he's always been this way and has already alienated other family members, it's a problem! No one has the balls to put him in his place when he is being a rude and thoughtless guest.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 2:06 PM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • Write a letter say
    "Dear Daddy,
    I want you to know that even though i understand that all parents want whats best for their kids and they constantly critize them to pusht hem to be better without thinking that they give them a feeling that arent ever good enough.I understand.No matter how bossy,snapy and demanding you are good enough for me,always have been.You are always welcome at my house don't ever forget that,because you are so helpful in ways you may think go unnotice,such as letting aunt barrow your car to help me.Always bringging extra food to my parties because you still have that great provider feeling as a father.I want you to enjoy yourself this year,bring nothing but mom with you.Let me treat you for once.Let me show you that youve raised a wonderfulunperfect daughter.See you at my sons party and don't forget that my son expects you there,you know how much he loves you."

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:14 PM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • Oo I like the idea of thanking him in note form and suggesting he bring nothing so he can just have a good time. TY Anon.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:20 PM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • just say all the food was pre approved with the other kids moms and there cant be more because of severe allergies

    Or just talk to your mom and have him deal with him. she's married to the guy.

    Answer by staciandababy at 2:41 PM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • Do you really believe it's a "does it when he's nervous" thing? Personally, I'm not convinced. I think he's a controlling jerk. Anyway, I suggest you learn to say "no" to him, gently, but firmly. Tell him not to bring food, and if he does anyway, you send it back home with him. The only way to get him to stop this behavior is by not letting him get away with it.

    Answer by SWasson at 3:52 PM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • Sorry to say this, but your father sounds like a Self Centered JERK. It is like, my way or the Highway. I would like to know who died and left him in charge. This is your life, kids, and your well being. If he can't compromise on your terms, and whats best for you and your family. OH! WELL.. I was going to say I feel sorry for him , because he don't know the meaning of RESPECT, and mind your own business. I DON'T.

    Answer by Babycakes490 at 5:15 PM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • I like Stacia's idea. I also am curious to know if this is how he has ALWAYS been, or if it's developed over time? Has your mom discussed it with Dad's doctor?

    My dad was also a critical person, not quite to the extent you describe but pretty darned close. And much of it happened after his second triple bypass. We learned that major surgery like that can have an impact on a person's brain and personality. His doctor put him on Paxil and it made an enormous difference for him.

    Answer by gdiamante at 12:06 AM on Feb. 21, 2013

  • First off since you have not planned on him bringing anything before he mentioned it, if he doesn't come or doesn't bring his stuff it won't create a problem at the party. I would have no problem saying, I appreciate you planning on bringing something but my schedule will be tight so it would be helpful if you make sure it's all ready to serve before you get here. Tell him the same thing you'd tell a friend or neighbor who was bringing something. Boundaries and instructions are great for any hostess who has helpers who need instructions! Dads are no different. If he gets his panties in a twist then it's his issue. Don't make it into yours.

    Answer by admckenzie at 7:16 AM on Feb. 21, 2013

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