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Tween Titans Tween Titans

I need serious assistance.....re: daughter and husband (and me)

Posted by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 4:42 PM
  • 7 Replies

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?

by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 4:42 PM
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Replies (1-7):
PinkButterfly66
by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 4:49 PM

I think if you are up to it, have a family meeting where the two of them can talk about it while you moderate and bring up observations, otherwise family counseling.  It could be that he thinks she's more stubborn or hard headed.  Or she just pisses him off and makes him come down harder on her when she talks back.  It's definately something we have to work at in our house, cause our 15 y/o does talk back, we end up grounding her for it though.

M4LG5
by Valeri on Feb. 13, 2013 at 5:02 PM


Quoting PinkButterfly66:

I think if you are up to it, have a family meeting where the two of them can talk about it while you moderate and bring up observations, otherwise family counseling.  It could be that he thinks she's more stubborn or hard headed.  Or she just pisses him off and makes him come down harder on her when she talks back.  It's definately something we have to work at in our house, cause our 15 y/o does talk back, we end up grounding her for it though.

The way I stop her from talking back is that I talk it out with her.  I ask her things like "is that necessary to say it that way?  how else can you say it?  Tell me what you want specifically." 

My husband speaks and acts very irrationally (outside of parenting).  He often says and does things without thinking.  This is something that many people have told me that they notice about him.  Even when addressing someone because of a problem, I have to remind him several times to please think thoroughly about what he wants to say first because he will say something that is hurtful or mean.

I am talking to my daughter tonight to help her with how she talks to him and remind her that even if she does have something to say, there is a way to say it.

wolfgirlbec
by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 9:54 PM

I agree.A family meeting is one option & if not,perhaps family counselling? Keep us posted on what happens & good luck to you mama! hugs

Morrigan333
by Bronze Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Is your husband a Sagittarius? We are KNOWN to have ZERO tact. We tellit like it is no holds barred. gets us all in trouble usually. I'm in trouble with my dd'sschool because i really can't control my mouth(er..fingers-emails)..I tell them they suck at their jobs, and they COULD do smething for dd(who has an iep they're not following) but that they just don't want tospend the federal money..I'm banned from the school. LOL

psych_mom
by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 7:44 AM

It sounds as if several things could be going on here. First off, your husband isn't really listening to your daughter- he hears her words, but much like kids, they are "going in one ear and out the other". He needs to learn to listen to what she is saying and really take it to heart, not just jump to the conclusion that she is back talking. It also sounds like he is expecting respect from her but has none for her in return. A lot of adults believe kids should automatically respect them, but the thing is, respect is a two-way street and children do desreve it as much as adults do. You can't show them disrespect and expect respect in return.

It could also be that he feels like he has to prove himself in some way with her, especially since she is not his daughter biologically. He needs to realize that he has nothing to prove, that he is a good father and if he eases up on her that it will actually benefit them both in the long run. 

I do agree that a family meeting is in order. It would be great if there were a way to have a counselor or someone like that to facilitate it, that way no one feels like anyone is trying to take sides or anythings, but if that can't happen a good approach would be to tell them that you want to help them both get along better and that you want to help them talk this through. Let him know in front of her how she feels about him not listening to her and her not being able to talk to him, and let her know how he feels about her tone of voice and things like that and how if they both change these things it will help their relationship and your marriage. Let them both know how much you love them both and that you want to see this get worked through so that you can all move past this together.

In  the future when she comes to you about how he has treated her, tell her that she needs to write it down and then let him see on paper how she is feeling. Often times, when we read something, it has a bigger impact than when we are told something. Hopefully this will help him see that he is pushing her away and she actually wants a healthy father/daughter relationship. You could even have her do this before the family meeting as well and let him read it.

M4LG5
by Valeri on Feb. 14, 2013 at 1:24 PM


Quoting psych_mom:

It sounds as if several things could be going on here. First off, your husband isn't really listening to your daughter- he hears her words, but much like kids, they are "going in one ear and out the other". He needs to learn to listen to what she is saying and really take it to heart, not just jump to the conclusion that she is back talking. It also sounds like he is expecting respect from her but has none for her in return. A lot of adults believe kids should automatically respect them, but the thing is, respect is a two-way street and children do desreve it as much as adults do. You can't show them disrespect and expect respect in return. You are so right!  That is a big problem in our house.  She was saying one thing but he thinks she was talking back...well, she is but not rudely...just explaining herself. 

It could also be that he feels like he has to prove himself in some way with her, especially since she is not his daughter biologically. He needs to realize that he has nothing to prove, that he is a good father and if he eases up on her that it will actually benefit them both in the long run. Last weekend, she stayed with her grandparents from her bio dad's side.  It was the first time in a long time.  Every time we bring up them, he gets irritated.  I do remind him that even THEY know the situation and support him as her father.  They even said that I and her dad (my husband....not their son) are doing a great job with her. 

I do agree that a family meeting is in order. It would be great if there were a way to have a counselor or someone like that to facilitate it, that way no one feels like anyone is trying to take sides or anythings, but if that can't happen a good approach would be to tell them that you want to help them both get along better and that you want to help them talk this through. Let him know in front of her how she feels about him not listening to her and her not being able to talk to him, and let her know how he feels about her tone of voice and things like that and how if they both change these things it will help their relationship and your marriage. Let them both know how much you love them both and that you want to see this get worked through so that you can all move past this together. I will definitely consider this.  I doubt counseling will happen.  It was hard enough to get him to marriage counseling.  

In  the future when she comes to you about how he has treated her, tell her that she needs to write it down and then let him see on paper how she is feeling. Often times, when we read something, it has a bigger impact than when we are told something. Hopefully this will help him see that he is pushing her away and she actually wants a healthy father/daughter relationship. You could even have her do this before the family meeting as well and let him read it. Great idea!  Thank you so much!


psych_mom
by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 3:06 PM
You're welcome. I do hope this get worked out before it's too late.

Quoting M4LG5:


Quoting psych_mom:

It sounds as if several things could be going on here. First off, your husband isn't really listening to your daughter- he hears her words, but much like kids, they are "going in one ear and out the other". He needs to learn to listen to what she is saying and really take it to heart, not just jump to the conclusion that she is back talking. It also sounds like he is expecting respect from her but has none for her in return. A lot of adults believe kids should automatically respect them, but the thing is, respect is a two-way street and children do desreve it as much as adults do. You can't show them disrespect and expect respect in return. You are so right!  That is a big problem in our house.  She was saying one thing but he thinks she was talking back...well, she is but not rudely...just explaining herself. 

It could also be that he feels like he has to prove himself in some way with her, especially since she is not his daughter biologically. He needs to realize that he has nothing to prove, that he is a good father and if he eases up on her that it will actually benefit them both in the long run. Last weekend, she stayed with her grandparents from her bio dad's side.  It was the first time in a long time.  Every time we bring up them, he gets irritated.  I do remind him that even THEY know the situation and support him as her father.  They even said that I and her dad (my husband....not their son) are doing a great job with her. 

I do agree that a family meeting is in order. It would be great if there were a way to have a counselor or someone like that to facilitate it, that way no one feels like anyone is trying to take sides or anythings, but if that can't happen a good approach would be to tell them that you want to help them both get along better and that you want to help them talk this through. Let him know in front of her how she feels about him not listening to her and her not being able to talk to him, and let her know how he feels about her tone of voice and things like that and how if they both change these things it will help their relationship and your marriage. Let them both know how much you love them both and that you want to see this get worked through so that you can all move past this together. I will definitely consider this.  I doubt counseling will happen.  It was hard enough to get him to marriage counseling.  

In  the future when she comes to you about how he has treated her, tell her that she needs to write it down and then let him see on paper how she is feeling. Often times, when we read something, it has a bigger impact than when we are told something. Hopefully this will help him see that he is pushing her away and she actually wants a healthy father/daughter relationship. You could even have her do this before the family meeting as well and let him read it. Great idea!  Thank you so much!


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