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Feedback on Step parent using profanity with a child.

I am a single mom of two: a 14 year old son & a 10 year old daughter. Been divorced for 8 years. I am engaged to a great man, & single father to a 16 year old daughter. We've been together for 5.5 years, & he moved to L.A from Arizona a little under 2 years ago, with his daughter, to live with me & my two kids. Though we are not wed, but engaged, we allow the children to refer to us (and to their friends as well), as their "stepmom & stepdad. My two have always appreciated my fiance & cared about him, from the start. Our kids get along, there's mutual co-parenting respect, & for the most part, we've all adjusted to living together under one roof. But again, with a little under two years of cohabitating with one another & the three children under our belts, many situations that pop up require delicate handling.

But then came earlier today, when I'd returned home from running an errand, & my 10 year old daughter daughter informed me that my fiance had gotten cross with her. I wanted details. As there was a family party we were to be attending, my fiance was verifying that all were ready to leave when I returned from my errand. My daughter's feet were bare, & she replied that although her shoes were not on, she'd be ready as soon as I got home. She was also awaiting her cousin to arrive, & my daughter knew that she'd have time to slip on her shoes last minute, if need be.

My daughter's not a "sassy-lassy", yet I feel my fiance interpreted her '10-year-old' excuses, as to why her shoes could wait to be put on, as "back-talk". That's what he told me. The part that I'm most concerned about, is that as she was walking away to her room to get her shoes, quietly uttering (but not with a tone or attitude) that she'd be ready & in the car before anyone else, my fiance said,

"Get your ass back here." In response to feeling, i guess, that she was being sassy with him.

Now, having not been there, but having historically, a daughter who depicts the facts quite accurately & doesn't suppress evidence, nor embellish, I am feeling that the punishment did not fit the crime. I feel it's very inappropriate for a parent ("step" or otherwise, but particularly a "step"), to curse or use profanity when admonishing a child. Saying to my 10 year old to get her "ass" back over to him is crude, harsh & uncalled for.

Let's say my daughter rudely walks out on me as I am talking to or questioning her. I, the BIO-mom, surely would tell her to come "right back this instant", but I'd NEVER tell my own child to get their "ass" back to me.

My fiance admitted he said it, feeling that my daughter had been sassy with him. However, he did not appear to have been regretfull about the manner in which he'd addressed her. I feel very strongly that parents must be firm, but reasonable with children. But step parents especially, must tread lightly when admonishing their partner's children. I am very delicate with his daughter, whom at 16, I've know since she was 10. I've never used profanity with her, even when I've been frustrated as hell. I don't condone the use of cursing when disciplining children. It's not necessary. And in particular, the fragile bond between step-parents & children, is developing & growing for a long time to come, & cannot afford to be undermined by a frustrated moment's lapse in judgment. My daughter was very disturbed by this event today.

Am I seeing things incorrectly here? I need feedback, perspective, any objections, or thoughts. I'm completely open to exploring why this is bothering me so much, & what to do next.

Thank you for taking the time to read.


Answer Question

Asked by mammysooze at 5:29 AM on Apr. 17, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Well regardless of what peopleon here may think of the situation, whats important is it made YOU uncomfortable and your daughter and YOU dont find it acceptable behavior, its not how you parent and you don't parent his children that way either, so I surely think you need to sit down and discuss with your fiance what you find appropriate and inappropriate and that you feel his boundary as a step parent were pushed.


    Answer by Princess_s21 at 6:06 AM on Apr. 17, 2011

  • all I have to say love is be careful. I don't approve of the whole cursing thing either and trust me if you did the same thing to his daughter he probably wouldn't like it either. originally your the mother she's your child you discipline her or let her birth father do so. If you really plan on marrying this man set some ground rules first make sure you both have an understanding on each others kids. Because if he thinks it's ok to curse at her now without any regret or remorse for his actions what do you think will be the case by time your child is his child's age now? be blessed Jesus loves you and I do too.

    Answer by jenkinswife2011 at 7:39 AM on Apr. 17, 2011

  • Ass aside, I kinda agree with stepdad. He asked/told her more than once to put her shoes on NOW. She not only didn't, but told him why she wouldn't, walked away and muttered under her breath. You say quietly uttering but its still muttering. Tone or not, what she did was backtalk and disrespect. She's 10 and a good kid no child is a robot BUT your fiancĂ©e is right in his interpretation. You even said it yourself if your daughter rudely walks away while you're talking/questioning..that's exactly what she did to him. Now for the language..talk to him about it without the kids around. Abd keep in mind it may happen again, he's not perfect and he's been parenting his way for 16 years and adjustment isn't always the easiest thing to accomplish asap.

    Answer by ShamrocksNroll at 9:59 AM on Apr. 17, 2011

  • eyedoleyes, Princess_s21, jenkinswife2011, & ShamrocksNroll,

    Firstly, thank you all so much for taking the time to read my lengthy post. Your responses are all thoughtful & rank merit. With a day of perspective under my belt, I can perceive dimensions in this exchange that maybe I was not open to understanding yesterday. I had to really cross-reference my emotions with objectivity..... never a cake-walk.

    I certainly do not want to lose a wonderful relationship, nor do I want to make more of this than it is. Open communication is key, & my fiance is always available for that. And if we're going to be a family, it's important to conference like one too. I think after us grown-ups talk it out alone, we can include the little one, and get it out once & for all.

    Thank you moms, for your advice & thoughts,

    Comment by mammysooze (original poster) at 8:44 PM on Apr. 17, 2011

  • Good luck!

    Answer by Princess_s21 at 5:52 AM on Apr. 18, 2011

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