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Old 12-04-2011, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all...I don't hardly post, like, ever. THis is my second user account in fact. I have been on MDC for a number of years as a lurker and I am a subscriber of the magazine for nearly a decade. I have a 9 year old. She will be 10 in May. She is starting adolescence all too soon and with it comes the attitude.

 

I am at a loss on how to handle her demands for attention (as in, when she wants something she wants it now!) I give my children the attention they need and sometimes do far too much for them. What I am having trouble with is the attitude of selfishness that is happening now that DD9 is getting closer to double digits.

 

The second issue at hand is that I am with my partner and he has never had children, though we are planning a baby in the coming year. He is essentially step-parent to my three children ages 9,6 and 3. I have troubles because for the almost decade I have been a mother, I have parented alone, partner or not. I've essentially been a single mother. I have raised my children in a very gentle manner, but there are situation that come up that I have trouble with...and I TRY so hard not to get frustrated, but when I am frustrated, it doesn't help matters that my DP chimes in with everything I am doing wrong. It's hard to hear because I have been the only one doing it for so long. 

 

So questions are two fold: How do you handle to attitude shift in your pre-adolescent daughter, and for blended families, how do you co-parent without wanting to just throw your hands in the air.

 

I want to have more babies with this man. I love him more than I've loved any man...I don't want the differences we WILL HAVE and presently have in our ideas of parenting to squash that for us. 

 

My frustrations don't happen often...just when I feel overwhelmed...and the criticism doesn't help.

 

 

Any advice?


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Old 12-05-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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1. There came a point when I needed to separate myself from how my kids were feeling. I had to find my center and stay there. When your DD is acting selfish, it really doesn't have anything to do with you. Learning to stay in your center in spite of her mood swings is easier said that done, but it is a survival skill for puberty.

 

2. Talk to your partner not in front of your kids about how you want to handle this. DH and I don't correct each other in front of the kids. If we want to discuss the other person's parenting, we do it in private. Personally, I think this is better for the kids. For him to override you in front of the kids completely undermines you as a parent. I think that you overriding him in front of the kids is also inappropriate. I wonder if this is a bump you guys need to work through -- him trying to be more of a full parent, and you wanted to stay the real parent. But if he continues to over ride you in front of the kids after you have repeatedly told him why you don't want him to so, it's a control thing and a red flag of relationship problems. 


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Old 12-05-2011, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh it doesn't happen in front of the kids...it's always behind closed doors...but its very critical and stressful for me. He doesn't have his own children yet...it's something we plan on in the coming year...we talked a little about it last night and I pointed a few things out to him that were off base and he was accepting of that.

 

I really just want to be able to co-parent with him without the criticism. Especially because I think I have done a great job by myself. I have never co-parented before...just because I was with men who were children themselves....this relationship is just the opposite. We are very much on the same wavelength in our partnership, but he is a lot critical of my parenting and I find it to be unfair a lot of the time.

 

I like your advice about the first point! That is well taken! Thank you!


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Old 12-05-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseisRose View Post

Oh it doesn't happen in front of the kids...it's always behind closed doors...but its very critical and stressful for me.


 

is it stressful because you aren't used to having conversations with another person about how to parent, or because he doesn't really listen to you and he puts you down?

 

Either way, I really like the book "non-violent communication."  It's a little handbook about how to have a conversation with a person and let them know that you really hear what they are saying -- it would be great for both of you.

 

if that doesn't do the trick,  recommend relationship counseling  BEFORE making another baby.

 

What you describe is really a lack of problem solving skills together. Although it's focused toward your adolescent, it's really a relationship problem.


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Old 12-05-2011, 04:09 PM
 
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Would he be willing to take a parenting class with you? I know that you probably don't need it, but the one time dh and I took a parenting class, it was a great way to open conversations about parenting for us. Also, since your partner doesn't have experience raising kids, it might be eye opening for him to be in a group where other people are describing the same things you are, and he can realize that these behaviors are not simply because you parented 'wrong'.

 

However you do it, you really need to both lay out your parenting philosophies and determine what's OK and what's NOT OK. Criticizing someone else's parenting isn't all that helpful. Giving constructive feedback is.

 

As for the doing too much, I fall into that trap a lot, especially with my older child (age 10). He likes to be served. He WILL step up when I demand it, but I can tell it's going to be hard for me to demand it of him. My younger child demands to do stuff for herself (she helped me hang Christmas lights yesterday because she wanted to; ds never wants to). I keep having to tell myself that there are life skills he needs, and it's none to early for him to learn those!


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Old 12-05-2011, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

Would he be willing to take a parenting class with you? I know that you probably don't need it, but the one time dh and I took a parenting class, it was a great way to open conversations about parenting for us. Also, since your partner doesn't have experience raising kids, it might be eye opening for him to be in a group where other people are describing the same things you are, and he can realize that these behaviors are not simply because you parented 'wrong'.

 

However you do it, you really need to both lay out your parenting philosophies and determine what's OK and what's NOT OK. Criticizing someone else's parenting isn't all that helpful. Giving constructive feedback is.

 

As for the doing too much, I fall into that trap a lot, especially with my older child (age 10). He likes to be served. He WILL step up when I demand it, but I can tell it's going to be hard for me to demand it of him. My younger child demands to do stuff for herself (she helped me hang Christmas lights yesterday because she wanted to; ds never wants to). I keep having to tell myself that there are life skills he needs, and it's none to early for him to learn those!


I like this a lot! Thanks for the suggestion on classes....I know just where to go too for attached parenting type classes too :-) Much thanks!

 


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Old 12-15-2011, 01:13 PM
 
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I'll bet if you raise the expectations for your 9 year old, she'll step it up.  That's my experience anyway.  I have 9-yo twins who will aso be 10 in May. And we have a 5 yo dd.  I think it's natural for kids to think the world revolves around them and that we're there to serve them.  But I try to keep their expectations in check by making sure they all have chores and that the chores get done. (Nothing big-- feeding the dog, putting away their laundry, setting and clearing the table, etc.) The other thing I do with the boys is that when I feel their behavior is out of line, I pull them aside and tell them how the behavior makes me feel and that I need their help in xyz.  I tell them how much I appreciate when they step up and that their contribution is important to the family.  It's really almost impossible for them to get ornery when I lay it out like that, so they usually help out/step up, and they feel good about themselves afterward.  

 

 

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