Pre-teen Daughter vs. My Husband
I have a 12 yr old daughter from previous marriage. I have been remarried for 2 years, having been with my current husband for 7 years total. My ex is in our lives daily, so my husband does not need to be my daughter's dad. My ex and I decide our daughter's major decisions and punishments.
My current husband and my exes current wife are there to offer minor discipline, love, etc, but they don't have as much say over our daughter. Now, my daughter is very good, so far, but lately we are caught off guard with some eye rolling, foot stomping, loud sighing, etc. She isn't very mouthy or sassy...yet.
I have always approached her patiently and try to be very understanding and nurturing. Her dad is very impatient and just starts shouting and never listens. Her step mom is similar.
I don't normally let her step dad have much say. I take his thoughts, opinions and feelings into consideration, but he is not her disciplinarian.
Lately, I have been getting frustrated with her behavior and needing my own "time out" to calm down and figure out the best approach. Last night, while I was napping, my husband went in to my daughter's room and told her she should probably get off the phone soon and think about our argument from earlier.
She said okay. Kind of in one ear and out the other. He went back in a bit later because she was still on phone (during her allowed phone time) and told her she needed to get off the phone and she rolled her eyes at him and said FINE!
This totally pissed him off. He then told her to give him the phone and remote and shut her TV off and took them.
She was already emotionally drained and upset from our argument. Now she was even more frustrated. She was crying and stomping around and it woke me up.
Once I found out what had happened, I was immediately furious. My husband had no right to do anything he did or said. The argument was between my daughter and I. He had no right to take away her phone privileges or TV.
I tried explaining to him how this appears to a 12 year old girl.
She is thinking, if my mom is OK with me on the phone, why aren't you? Plus it caught her off guard. I would've rolled my eyes too. I tried explaining to him that I was totally
put in the middle of something and it wasn't fair of him. I have to stand behind his decision, because I don't want my daughter thinking she doesn't have to listen to him, but at the same time, I totally didn't agree with him.
He has little patience and feels all children MUST give respect to adults. I do not expect anything of my child if I can't do it myself. Obviously, we adults couldn't control our frustration, so how should a 12 year old be expected too?
I chose to leave the earlier argument and told her we would discuss it later. He chose to get involved in it, while I was unaware, escalating it.
I am LIVID with him, for putting me in this position. I want my daughter to listen to him, without getting an attitude, but I didn't agree with what he said to her. He had no right to say anything to her or take anything away from her.
He rolls his eyes or sighs when he doesn't like something, so how can he expect my daughter to be more mature then "we" adults are?
So, now he doesn't feel like I support him, but my daughter will always come first and unfortunately, she is my responsibility...not his.
I don't want to be selfish, but I don't know where to draw his limits. I want both of them to be comfortable, happy and loved...but I can't be stuck in the middle. My daughter is very loving and agreeable, so we don't have much discord.
My husband gets on these kicks, where we are the adults, children must do what they are told thing. He needs to understand they learn from watching us, not from what we tell them.
I don't expect my daughter to respect him, if he doesn't respect her. He must understand her feelings, or attempt to understand where her behavior and actions come from. My husband and ex think I'm too lenient.
You know what...I choose my battles. I don't sweat the small stuff. I don't want to control every aspect of her life, I want to nurture her, love her and communicate with her. I don't want to be shut out. I don't want to cause a rift between any of us.
I feel really angry and want to alienate my husband. I won't deny that I tend to get very defensive where my daughter is concerned, but I try to keep it in check and remain fair. HELP!