I love my Life - I am the boyfiend

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by daralex, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I am daralex's boyfiend and looking for advice from anyone but mostly other men in my situation. I have found that i love the person that I am living with. And the problems with her difficult child does not give me a reason to discount the aspects of life I love. I am in search of advice/suggestions for dealing with my girlfiend's difficult child so that it suits my lifestyle as well. I am looking to find someone in a simiar situation and how they are dealing with it. I am finding the entire situation very frustrating, not something I 've delt with before and am looking for advice/suggestions as to how others are dealing with a new situation in their lives that includes dealing with a difficult child. I am very frustrated and l am adament in finding a solution to us all living in harmony. You can see by our signature what we are dealing with, but I find difficult child to be very rude and uncaring and am having difficulties in how to deal with difficult child effectively and being able to give proper input so that all will hear my opinions. What do you do do when you feel like your opinions are not being heard?
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Honestly, as the boyfriend I think your opinions should only be heard by Dara. Your role is as her boyfriend/supporter/lover/friend and not as difficult child's parent. Trying to walk into a teeangers life and parent is just going to create conflict and animosity. She will always see you as the adversary. Then anytime you hand down discipline or what have you and Mom backs you up, she will see it as mom taking your side and being against her.

    I think you should get to know difficult child in a non-parenting way. Show interest in her life, friends, interests. Ask about her day, the movie she watched, the music she listens to. Expect to be treated with respect and dignity and treat her the same way.

    I'm not saying this should be an open invitation for difficult child to walk all over you. Just that Mom should lay down the law.

    That's my two cents as a single mom and as a child who had a step-parent come in at age 11 and try to parent without any real parenting skills. At the age of 34, we are just getting to the point where we have any kind of communication. If my mom weren't in the picture, any contact with my step-father would fall off quickly. We never developed any kind of relationship at all.
  3. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    I'm glad you stopped in. I will admit, I'm trying my hardest to read as many posts as I can (now that difficult child shut her eyes) & want to welcome you to the right place. I'm grabbing this post right away (even though it may take me an hour to reply....always something going on here) because you just made me think of something. If I were to ask my husband pretty much what you are asking here "am looking for advice/suggestions as to how others are dealing with a new situation in their lives that includes dealing with a difficult child" & then tell him you are feeling like this " I have found that i love the person that I am living with".....he may ask more questions about the situation to get a little more information. BUT, he would say......when you love someone & know it, you work together to make things the best they can be....always balancing off of each other to make it through. Honestly, I'm not too sure about the harmony part. I guess I have never felt that there would be harmony...24/7, that is....life alone...never perfect. I understand you are looking for ways to help "deal with difficult child" & I think you will get some great advice here. I guess I just wanted to let you know....it's GREAT you love your life & I think it's awesome you are trying to reach out to keep it that way!
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First off welcome!! It's great you decided to post. Dealing with a typical 13 year old is hard enough, add a difficult child into the mix and things get even harder. I know with my own 14 year old who isn't a difficult child (although sometimes I swear she is) they just don't want to hear a parent's opinion unless it's in agreement with them. These days I try to offer my opinions to her and then move on and try not to dwell. I'm trying to let her feel the natural consequences of things like not doing homework, and other things.

    Have you read The Explosive Child? That book has helped me a lot in dealing with my difficult child.
    Glad you joined us!
  5. Sickntired

    Sickntired New Member

    In my humble opinion, the best thing you can do for this difficult child is to be on the same page with her mother. You can still have differences in opinion, but you keep those between the two of you and present a united front. I have a difficult child who has ODD and is a teenager on top of that. I can guaranty you that child will play you, one against the other. In raising our other children, before this grandchild came along to raise, we had a standing joke in our family. I was the peacemaker and my husband was the terminator!!. I never really understood it until having to deal with this child. I am waaaayyyy to lax and he is waaaayyyy to heavy. We have had to come to a happy medium cause our difficult child was eating our lunch. These children, for whatever reason, thrive on everything being in havoc. It makes them feel almost powerful. Mine loves the argument. So, I try my hardest, and I am not always successful, to not argue. He knows our buttons and pushes them and pushes them really hard. There are days that so many problems are caused by this child that it is like a river that has come out of its bank, it floods everything. During those times, we just try to put things in perspective. He has an emotional disability. It's like having diabetes. Sometimes it is controlled, and other times it is not. Even though it seems like they do things on purpose, and sometimes they do just for the shock value, all things are not done on purpose. It's just the symptoms of the disease you are seeing. Hard to deal with? You bet ya. If you are in it for the long haul, put on your hard hat and try to get on the same page with her. Just like an army, there is strength in numbers. There are 2 of you and only 1 of her. Good luck.
  6. PersonalEnigma

    PersonalEnigma New Member

    Welcome! I would suggest setting a time without difficult child to talk with her mom to get on the same page. If you disagree with something she is doing you should voice your opinions, but at the same time respect hers. Once you have a plan that you both agree with you can show difficult child that you are working together in a united front. You should both sit and talk with difficult child and set up a plan so that she knows what to expect. It probably won't solve much, especially right away, but once difficult child knows that you both are on the same page and will support each-other it will get easier. Good luck with it!
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I will try to have my husband get on here tomorrow, but in the meantime, WELCOME!!!

    I would recommend going to www.loveandlogic.com and taking a look around. They have quite a few different things, but all based on the same principle. Some things seem more geared to teachers, but they work at home too. They have a book about using Love and Logic with Special Needs kids. I highly recommend it.

    My husband simply was NOT able to get on the same page with much of any parenting program until he read Love and Logic Parenting. It just seemed to make more sense.

    Now, for the step parent thing, very little 1st hand experience. I did have the , what do you call it? Joy? no. Fun? no. Torture? YES of watching my bro marry a woman with 2 teenage sons. He insisted on being able to discipline them (their mom sure as spit wasn't! and from what they each told me, she never did - daycare raised the oldest and he helped daycare raise the youngest!).

    You don't have to be her friend. She problem won't let you for a long time. But let her know that you will listen. Let her know that you care. Let any and as close to ALL disccipline/consequences come from her mom. It goes against the grain, probably. But it is the ONLY way it will work.

    DO NOT let her triangulate and pit you against her mom. ODD kids, and kids with other issues, find this the most fun thing around.

    Keep coming to spend time with us (hey, does that mean we are the "other" women??? Never got to do that before, LOL!!!)


  8. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Welcome! Be brave and start your own id. It will make it easier for us to know who we're talking to and easier for you to respond as you.

    You've already gotten a lot of good advice. The one thing I can suggest is that you not be a dad, but rather an uncle in her life. I was with a man I adored. I would have married him in a heartbeat had I not had my daughter. I told him repeatedly to not discipline her -- she was my daughter and I would do what was necessary. He could talk to me, make suggestions in private but do little otherwise for now. It was the only way my daughter would ever learn to accept him. He decided he needed to be her dad from day one. It ended our relationship. She hated him and she had to come first at that time.

    Had he been more like an uncle, I think we all could have survived. That is, he could be there to offer her advice and an ear if she asked for it. If she was doing something dangerous to herself or others, he would jump in as my brother would have. He would leave the day-to-day parenting to me. I knew my child best. It also would have given my daughter someone she could sound off to when she needed it, an adult who wasn't a therapist, a teacher or a mentor -- a buddy she could goof off with and just giggle and kid around with.

    For now, fill that role of uncle. As time progresses and your relationship goes even deeper, your role with her daughter will increase and you will be able to be more of a father.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    MB, that is an absolutely WONDERFUL way of putting it. Truly nails it!

  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Great advice!!! It is nice that you care!!! As a young girl I had Stepdad's(adopted) and numerous Stepmom's out of all of them at the time 1 StepMom I was close to... we were friends. Her and I had a bond. My Father was a difficult child though and at the time I did not realise I was BiPolar (BP)... so she helped me deal with a lot of stuff... she was like an Aunt. Her and my Father are not together anymore, yet R and I are still very close. Closer than my Father and I.
    She was easy to talk to, she understood. We fought yet I never felt like she was going to turn on me or away from me. I met her when I was 13.
    It is hard, kids can be put on the defensive quite easily, right or wrong. I would build up that trust. Build the bond between all of you.
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yup, Yup & Yup!

    Great responses! You will NEVER be her father. You may someday be her father figure - likely when she is much older.

    I have a step father. He and my sister did not get along. He was always trying to discipline her. She was a difficult child. I was a easy child and we got along OK, but I was sure to never call him Dad. Even though my Dad was a total loser.

    Today, my sister & I are so thankful that he has been in our lives. As adults we see how he provided for us and made my mom happy. And mostly, how he loved us as his own.

    But, we did not want that at 13.

    Dara's difficult child would be very lucky to have a person in her life that she can talk to and bounce things off now and then. Dara makes the child rules and you support her. Never go against Dara in front of difficult child. Speak privately if you feel Dara was wrong. Dara can go back to her difficult child if she agrees she was wrong.

    It is impressive that you care enough to seek help. I think that is what will make you successful. Seeking advice and help. You will find what works for you.
  12. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Wow! I admire you very much. I don't have any reeeeaaal advise for you except to take the others advice about reading "The Explosive Child".

    There is one way that you can impact her regarding her life. You're showing her exactly what a couple can share together in a loving supportive environment. I certainly don't have experience here (my demons are 9, 7.5 and 6 years old), but I will say that, although I can't support my theory with statistics, a lot of teens don't know what a healthy relationship is.

    You and Dara are demonstrating to her what that is.

    You sound like a really good person, and difficult child or not, stepdad or biodad, uncle, etc. she's 13. She's got "raging hormones coursing through her veins". She's not going to show a lot of acceptance from ANYBODY!!!

    Be there, be supportive, don't bother yelling (it just makes things escalate), hop on here and "blow up" to us about how frustrating things are and love life.

    Welcome to the crowd, don't be surprised when we start seeking out your opinion...a man's perspective always comes in handy!!


  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Even in the 2000's women tend to think of having a Beaver Cleaver family and some men do, too. Second family formations can never be like that....sadly, not many lst family formations were either. :confused:

    My Ex and I divorced due to the stress of difficult child. We were not on the same page or in the same book. As a result I stayed single on purpose to avoid additional stress on the children. I watched friends fall in love again, remarry and then :sad-very: end up unhappy with unhappy kids.

    With no effort made to "find a mate" I met husband who was absolutely, positively, completely sure that my difficult child was not even a difficult child. :tongue: She
    was so cute, so sweet etc etc. He LOVED me and all three of my kids
    and begged me to marry him.

    I agreed with only one stipulation "you won't discipline but you will support me at all times in front of the kids". We've been married over thirty years. Neither of us would want to be married to anyone else (although some days we each would prefer to be single..lol). The kids learned who he was by sharing life with him.

    To use the terrific concept from earlier in the thread, he started out as Moms friend, morphed into a wonderful Uncle and eventually on their own terms became their replacement father. It can be done if the man is not locked into sterotypical roles of Alpha Male behaviors. Good luck.
  14. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    Welcome, you have gotten great advice and I really don't have much to add except I so agree with the others that said something about being on the same page as mom and backing her up. If ever you don't agree with something she says to her difficult child make sure you voice that privately with her mom not in front of difficult child. My hubby and I sometimes have difficulty with this and we are both the natural parents. Sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with the mom and that is great.

    My sister remarried and had 2 pre-teens. The step dad tried to come in and make everyone do a 360 - uh.... do I need to say that so didn't work!

    Good Luck.
  15. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Welcome Dara's boyfriend.

    It's wonderful that you're taking this step, to support Dara and to figure out how best to get along with and help difficult child.You have already received excellent advice from others. I just want to add my perspective as a Step-mom.

    My husband's daughter was already an adult when I came into their lives. And to complicate matters, she's closer to me in age than husband is. So...right off the bat, I realized that she didn't need any parenting from me. I decided to start out by offering friendship, and see where that led. Our relationship is much more like that of sisters, rather than mother-daughter. I know that if I had tried to be "mom" it would have alienated her.

    I took the same approach with my difficult child. I let husband call the shots with regard to discipline. He and I had long talks behind closed doors, and I gave lots of input, but when it was time to lay down the law, husband was the one to do it. Over time, difficult child--who desperately craved a Mommy--decided to accept me. One day he sat next to me and asked if he could call me Mom. My heart just melted and he's been MY boy ever since. However, I think that if I had pushed myself into the mom role, he would have backed away too.

    It's a delicate line to walk, but unless or until Dara's difficult child accepts you, the discipline should come from Dara, with support coming from you.

    All the best,
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    I don't know how long you've been in this child's life, but I do know that my own kids did not like me having a boyfriend and I didn't really introduce my hub to them until we were sure we were going to marry. It was still tough. He tried discipline, but they resented him and would say stuff like "You're not my father" and these weren't even difficult children (although two were teens). Things turned around for the better when he and I decided that only I would discipline, along with phone calls to their father. If he had a complaint he'd tell me, but I dealt with it. I agree with the uncle thing. You did get good advice.
  17. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    This is from an outsiders view of my sis moving in with her SO with her daughter, who was 10 at the time I believe. My niece totally resented her SO, resented sharing her mom and did nothing to get along with him. He tried the discipline her approach and it didn't work, made her resent him more. He backed off some after a couple years, and mostly let my sis handle it, but by then my niece's resistance to him was pretty much mortared in stone from her side. She's now 24 and they finally have made peace and get along very well, but it took until she was about 21. She has a child of her own that "Grandpa" loves and babysits almost every Friday afternoon for her.

    My suggestion is as others have said, let Dara set the rules and do the discipline. You and Dara can discuss what the rules should be together and Dara present them to her with what the consequences should be. Not being disrespectful to you, as someone Dara cares for, should be one of the rules. Then if she's under some punishment for a rule infraction, say grounded from the computer, and you're left alone with her while mom runs to the store, not letting her on the computer is not you disciplining but simply backing Dara up. Do not ever discuss her and anything she's done with Dara in front of her, especially if you're disagreeing in anyway. She'd love to see the conflict, they all do, I think it gives them a feeling of control. As someone else said, try to talk to her about things that interest her, but don't expect much, she is a teenager. At this point, showing that you support Dara is the best you can do.
  18. Lostparent

    Lostparent New Member

    I am a mother of a difficult child and a 13 year old.My husband and I have had many talks about his role in their parenting.In the begining he wasn't allowed to do anything with out my permission.This kept me from losing it on him.He did not know my kids and had no right to step in.We would talk about his opinion and come to an agreement.Now that it has been 10 years he is their dad and he knows who they are.We are now a united front and he has earned my respect as well as theirs.If your relationship is in danger because of difficult child I would suggest what was already mentioned and come up with an agreement as how these outburst will be delt with and leave it to the mother to deliver for quite some time.