I need serious assistance.....re: daughter and husband (and me)
As I've posted, DD1 (9 years old) is not my husband's biological daughter but has been "Daddy" since she was about 2.5 - 3 years old. Her bio dad is not in her life, doesn't see him, and maybe talks to him on the phone a couple of times a year.
He has been great in raising her like his own but I have also seen him be harder on her than our twins. He will talk harder at her at times even though one of the other girls did the exact same thing. There are times that I have literally stepped in the bathroom to suddenly hear them two argue. It's like he waits until I'm not there to address her about something. Yes, my 9 year old does talk back and mostly to him (don't know a lot of 9 year olds that don't try to talk back). I can get her to stop fairly easily. She loves him and doesn't know anything different but she reacts to him in a not-so-nice way sometimes......as he does to her. I feel like her reaction to him is a mirror reflection of how he treats her when they spat. As a result, she is basically tattling and tells me "Daddy did ......". 99% of the time I don't do anything but when I feel it's pretty legit, I approach him separately which then causes bigger problems between us because he says I'm "training" them or whatever.
I asked my daughter why she doesn't talk back to me but she does with him and she replies, "because I feel like I can talk to you."
Now, I know what she means because that is a big cause of our marriage problems. He says things harshly and often without tact and he feels that just because he doesn't raise his voice he isn't being negative. He isn't that approachable either.
I guess my problems are a few:
1. How can I make sure they each feel heard but are not arguing with each other? I tell him to not engage but if I'm the one to recommend it, I obviously don't know what i'm talking about.
2. What should I do when she comes to me about how daddy treated her or what she says?
3. Just, in general, how can I make this better? Is it even in my control?