OK, I need help and quick.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Big Bad Kitty, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    So Tink tells me today that I am not so nice. Certainly not as nice as Michelle (my X's current g/f) who told her that one day she "might" get her a cell phone. I just got through telling Tink that A-she is 7 and does not need a cell phone, and B-I do not have a job and cannot afford a cell phone for her. Evidently, Michelle mentioned possibly getting Tink a cell phone "someday" and in her mind that means that she is nicer than I am. Also, Michelle bought her a little makeup thing over the weekend. Tink pointed out that I don't buy her anything anymore.

    Trying not to show the obvious hurt I am feeling, I said " I suppose those Heely's just fell out of the sky" (I picked up off-brand heelys for 12.00 at Christmas and gave them to her on Valentines day). She responds that Michelle gets her stuff even if it is not a special day.

    So, I feel like either defending myself, by reminding her that I am unemployed, or ignoring her all night, and I feel like a freaking 12-year-old for wanting to do either. I got up from the couch to walk over to the computer and Tink asked if she was grounded from playing with me. I told her no, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to play with her. And NOW she is sorry. Trying to hug on me. It killed me, but I peeled her off of me and came into my room so I could type this.

    What should I do? I want to send her a message. I want her to learn a lesson.
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Give her five minutes more, then go back out and tell her that what she said hurt your feelings. Tell her that you understand that she wants things she can't have sometimes. You want things you can't have sometimes. It's only human.

    It's also only human for a 7 year old to pit single unemployed custodial mom against dad's pretty perky new girlfriend. It's not very nice, and you know it doesn't mean that she doesn't love you. That you're hurt doesn't mean that you don't love her. But you would prefer it if the next time she is feeling frustrated about things she can't have, she needs to remember that you are doing your best, you are also doing without, and life will be easier if we don't say things that hurt each other.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm sorry, i know this hurts. I think the best thing you can do, tho, is point out that Michelle's in a different place than you are and you just can't afford some things like that right now because you have to provide things like food and medicine. As much as you want to scream and be mean right back, being the bigger person sets up the role model you want for your daughter. When she's 25, anda working adult, it won't be a makeup kit and a cell phone that made her a responsible citizen - it will be the role model and the help her mother gave her to get her to that point. She'll thank you then. Sorry you have to wait.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Witz said it well. Tell her also that you have done things with her for her entire life and Whosie has only been in her life for how long? A few months? YOU will always be there, so she needs to take extra special good care of YOU.

    Please remember she has no idea about child support that he isn't paying, and shouldn't. It is really hard to remember in this kind of situation.

    Hugs to your poor mommy heart.


    ps. I think you are way nicer than Michelle cause michelle never sends me big ole BBK hugs!! Even if she tried it would just be a lame imitation.
  5. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    Sorry, this must be very hurtful for you!

    Since she's 7, I think I might be tempted to sidestep the whole explanation about money and just state a more general rule. If she says someone else is nicer than you, you could respond (as bored as you can sound): "Tink, if you don't have something nice to say, please don't say anything at all." If she complains that you never buy her anything, you could say, "In this house, we buy what we can afford." This helps move the conversation out of personal terms, and into general ones. It gives you a response that's a little less vulnerable to additional arguments from difficult child.

    If she's anything like my difficult child, she'll want to press the point just to get a reaction from you. My response would be (OK, this is the response my therapist recommends): "You like to argue about things like this." (In a bored voice). If she presses again, you would say, "Yes, you like to argue about things like this." And again and again. This works for me when difficult child is trying to push my buttons. He usually gets frustrated and then drops it.

    Whether she's talking like this to bother you or just because she's stating her 7-year-old tactless opinion, I think it's best to give a minimal response.
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Thanks guys...I knew I could count on you!!
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    First, stop the guilt. What Tink said bothers you so much because it makes you feel inadequate. You are NOT inadequate. She's 7 and at 7 she doesn't understand the way the world works. 7 year olds are into instant gratification and what can you do for me. It's just the way they're wired.

    I wouldn't feed into her 'Michelle's nicer than you are' routine. I would simply state that it was very nice of Michelle to offer to get her a cell phone at some point. And let it go. When she says that you don't do anything for her anymore, I would remind her of what you have done, but I wouldn't make too much of it either. Kids have short memories. If she remembers something nice that Michelle or your X did for her it's because it was such a rare event that it made an impression. You do things for her all the time. They all just blend together.

    I've been there done that so many times with my kids - especially easy child as his dad has always tried to 'buy' his affection. Kids know who really has their best interest at heart.
  8. emma123

    emma123 New Member

  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Could you talk to Michelle or X? Maybe if they understood that their gifts are being used you at home they won't be quite so nice in the future. Tink is playing the divorce card, that's where the kid acts like their affection goes to the highest bidder. Whatever you do you must not fall for this otherwise it could drag on for years.
  10. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Please try and remember that she is 7. In her mind, someday means yes. (heck to my almost 20 year old someday means yes, but I digress!) I would not try to explain this to her. She doesn't understand the complexities of life---and she shouldn't. When she brags about ex's girlfriend doing nice things, go along with it---bite your tongue. One day---in the distant future---she will understand. Your job is to be her mom everyday. Ex's girlfriend's job is to buy things like "make-up." She has to buy your child. You don't. Now go play with her!
  11. emma123

    emma123 New Member

  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Years and years and years ago there was a deoderant commercial that was quite popular. The theme was "Never Let Them See You Sweat!"

    That motto is very important with children. They feel safe when they
    can't push your buttons. That motto is important with straying husbands. They can't be allowed the satisfaction of knowing you are shook up.

    After you are alone, you can scream in the pillow or cry. When you are with someone else...especially a child...NEVER Let Them See You Sweat!
  13. navineja

    navineja New Member

    I would probably go one of two ways:
    1) I would tell Tink that she is very lucky to have so many people that love her and want to do things for her, while getting her to mention some of the nice things that you do for her that she may not even really think about. (Providing food, clothing and shelter as well as toys and fun)
    2) Tell her that if that is the case, then you are so relieved that you don't have to keep on being nice to her and doing nice things for her! I used this with N last week when she said that I "was never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever nice". That response led to a VERY quick turnaround in her attitude!
    Either way, it is not a fun thing to hear from your baby! Hugs to you.
  14. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I'm on the same page with trying to not use money as the issue. Since it is missing the point.
    A) Being nice isn't what a parent is aiming for.
    B) Lots of people do nice things and it's kind for M to offer her things.
    C)This is not a competition. You are the mother and your job is to raise her to be good responsible adult. Sometimes it means not being the nicest in Tink's eyes.

    She shouldn't get into the habit of comparing because it will set up a lot of animosity. If Michelle is a good person, be grateful that she gives Tink attention. It can be a positive influence. Embrace it and help Michelle learn to not over indulge or make offers she may not be able to follow through on. Big item gifts should be used as a reward for a stated goal.
  15. tammyjh

    tammyjh New Member

    I understand how you feel. I had to listen to difficult child talk about how much she liked her stepmom better than me for a few yrs. now. Until....ex and his wife had their baby and she's sleep deprived and told difficult child she was acting like a brat for fighting with her(stepmoms) 8 yr. old son. The love wore off real quick and now, stepmom gets treated like the rest of us:rofl:

    I predict that difficult child's love for girlfriend won't last. girlfriend is probably trying to look good with your ex by sucking up to difficult child.
  16. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Thank you again for all your feedback.

    I have to say, in Michelle's defense, that she does not go buying Tink things all the time. She happened to buy her makeup this past weekend. My assumption is that, that was fresh in Tink's mind. Oh, look at what Michelle did. She also brought up how so and so down the road has a cell phone, and she is only 8, and another so and so just got this and that from her mom, and it was not for a holiday, so why can't I just buy her stuff?

    Oh, and THEN she wanted to know what she was getting for St. Patrick's Day. I told her if she really wanted, I would get my big fat a** up in front of her entire class and riverdance tomorrow.

    On thing I am so glad that I am able to do is to pur things into perspective. I am not jealous of Tink's relationship with Michelle. I actually think it is pretty neat. Michelle is a real girly-girl (I believe that I have referred to her as princess sparkle fanny in one of my less than stellar moments) and I am SO not. She and Tink do makeup and scrapbooks. That suits me just fine. I did take what Tink said at face value, but it stung.

    We did have a rather nice evening, playing school. She also practiced jumping rope for an upcoming jumpathon for the American Heart Association.

    Thank you again for all the kind replies and advice. I appreciate every one of you.
  17. tammyjh

    tammyjh New Member

    I think its great that she's good to your daughter. I guess maybe I was mistaken:redface:

    I "do" like my ex's wife as well...she's good to difficult child for the most part when difficult child visits. I wasn't overly thrilled with the "acting like a brat" comment but can understand it because I've been in so many similar situations with difficult child fighting with my other kids.

    I understand the sting and I think its just a normal "mommy reaction" on your part. I've felt that way lots of times. (((hugs)))
  18. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    What Fran said.
  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    No advice-just a hug coming your way!
  20. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    It does sting when they say things like that. I hope I didn't presume too much, but I know when my kids have said something like that to me it's made me feel inadequate - even if only for a second. A knee-jerk reaction because I can't give my kids everything their hearts could ever possibly desire. Then I remember that even if I could, I wouldn't. And if I did, there would be no living with them. Ugh.

    Maybe Tink is thinking that only parents are supposed to do things like cell phones so if Michelle is willing to do a cell phone and she's not her mom, she must be nicer. Convoluted, 7 year old thinking.

    I really think it comes down to this...what you do is expected because your mom and mom's have to be nice and the Michelle's don't. It'll be a while before she realizes. Maybe a good 20 years or so. :tongue:

    Wynter told me that once...that I have to be nice because I'm the mom. I told her I have to provide food, shelter and clothing. Anything else is a bonus. One of the only times my daughter has been speechless. ;)