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Pages: Dad issues…(taking it a bit further…) [1]
Author Topic: Dad issues…(taking it a bit further…)
boykins

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2011-01-03 7-16-15-

Dad issues…(taking it a bit further…) Ref. Original Post: As you can see my gears are turning hard on this topic…but open discussion is important. I’m trying to think out of the box. Maybe it will sound like my head is in my ass; but work with me here. I'm trying! I almost feel like the family arrangements should be separate and distinct. My wife with the old family (with the elder daughter); and my wife with new family (me and the little one). Don’t try to mix them. In so far, it hasn’t worked or been all that positive. Maybe we need to setup separate and distinct arrangements. On the weekend; she is with the elder daughter. And on the weekday, my wife comes home to me and the youngest. Keeping it separate clears up a lot of confusion and issues. Think about it: - The eldest does not recognize me or the new family. - The eldest does not respect me. Actively avoids me at all costs.* - The eldest does not entirely accept the little ** *= Do you think it is good for the little to witness firsthand how the elder interacts with me (or rather NOT to interact with me)? What sort of message does that communicate to the little one? That can’t be good. **= It is not fair to the little one, that the elder is allowed to have have at it with the little one; and Mom hold the elder to a lesser standard of conduct with little family respect? I don’t know how to go about doing something like this (arrangement), but it would certainly stop, if not, clear up plenty of issues. Likely cause new ones too (haven’t thought it through entirely). The don’t really need to be together if you think about it. They are entirely different human beings and if the elder could somehow erase the little (and me for that matter) from her life she would. Has anyone ever heard of blended families creating special family arrangements such as this?
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Duquette

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2011-01-03 12-22-44

link doesn't work. It just links back to this same thread. To copy a link to a former post: Open that post, click on the URL at the bottom of your post, THEN copy the web address in your browser. THAT's the link to your post.
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damman

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2011-01-03 14-15-41

Sorry...
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mazzocco

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2011-01-03 15-14-55

Excellent advice... This is straight thinking. I am wondering though, if my wife has somehow conveyed to the elder that she (my wife) thinks of the family relationships as distinct and separate, and thus it is appropriate to act differnetly? Because the elder certainly behaves differently when she is with and around my wife; verses when she is with the new family. With my wife she is way; and when she is to me and the little one, she is another (cunning). Why is this?
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  • Minh-Phuc

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    2011-01-04 16-52-16

    That's typical behavior! She's all sweet peaches-and-cream to her mommy, and evil-witch-in-Sketchers to the intruders into her peaceful fairy-tale life of "Mommy and Me (and no else!)" Typical drama queen, gotta be the center of attention, spoiled BRAT behavior. Also quite typical of 11-yo girls. If you haven't read up on adolescent psychology and "egocentrism", time for you to do a bit of research. Sparks will go off in your head, it will start to make so much sense. Reminds me of an often-repeated Hallmark movie, "Love Comes Softly." In it, a widowed pioneer and his young daughter take in a grieving pregnant young widow who's stranded in their land for the winter. The daughter behaves much like yours does - sulky, snotty, vindictive, hateful, etc. to the woman, but overly sweet and accommodating to her dear Daddy. Over the course of the winter, very slowly, the daughter's barriers break down and she learns to love her new mother-figure. Here's a thought: Rent that movie, and watch it together as a family. It's a soppy chick-flick and tear-jerker, right up the alley of an 11-yo girl. Anyway... I doubt your wife or her ex have put these ideas into their daughter's head. easily come up with these and other grandiose ideas quite well all by themselves. IMHO, this girl is simply living in a fantasy (normal pre-teen behavior again) of wishing her father (whom she adores probably, typical AGAIN of pre-teen girls) and her mother were still together. And if disciplinarian-YOU and hateful-baby weren't in the way, they probably WOULD be together, and then she could have her fantasy in real life. The perfect family - Mommy, Daddy, and the Perfect Daughter whom they both adore and give her anything she wants. Ahhhh. Normal adolescent thinking. She really WOULD benefit from some counseling, to help her work through these issues and get a grip on her place in the family. FWIW, there's not much your wife can do to ease the relationship between you and your SD. That's got to come directly from you. Keep at it until you find a way to bond with her.
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    tholen

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    2011-01-04 17-28-08

    I don't know where you get the idea that this is typical behavior. Maybe where you live. I don't see this behavior where the parents have done a competent job and have set proper boudnaries for behavior, and where the parents model good behavior by treating each other with respect. Where the are raised right, at 11 they have friends and engage in activities. Some of our neighbors' are active in the science clubs, some are active in skiing or skating or soccer, or in the band. Some of the in the neighborhood have been putting on a show they put together to raise money for Haitian orphans. If you're living in Hawaii, the kid is living in paradise, there are a million wonderful outdoor things to do and places to be. If she cannot be happy there amidst all that beauty and perfect weather, she will never be happy anywhere. What does she like? What does she like to do? Encourage that.
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    stuckman

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    2011-01-04 23-48-48

    Have you ever raised or taught teenagers?
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    vanvoorst

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    2011-01-05 12-29-21

    Not being critical, I just really want to know. You've always seemed very knowledgable here, I just want to know where your knowledge of teen behavior comes from - because sometimes the experience itself really IS drastiy different than what professionals teach us.
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  • linsey

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    2011-02-14 5-48-25-

    you and your wife need to get on the same page why are you letting an 11 yr old control your relationship? sure, the older kid will be pissed when you and her mom present a united front, as in: "these are the rules in OUR house. when you are here, we expect you to behave respectfully toward ALL members of the family, just as everyone behaves respectfully toward you." if she continues to be snide and negative, she should have privileges suspended (no more wii, no more cell phone, etc). if she tries to out-diva you all, it's time for a family therapist. why didn't you guys get this issue worked out before you got married and had another kid together?
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    lent

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    2011-04-01 2-53-34-

    Thanks! Up front (when she was x+) the issues didn’t really present themselves as they do now. She was very young at the time; so we thought it was just natural development. And we worked hard on this; making a complete and unified family etc... But now that she is older, the disposition and attitude is distinct. Thanks for the feedback.
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    goldin

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    2011-09-06 4-35-40-

    Look at your choice of words here.. "...family arrangements should be separate..." Can you find the words in the words above that don't fit together? Seriously, come on. You're freaking out. Give it a rest for a minute. The oldest kid hasn't learned - she hasn't been taught - that it's time to change her behavior. It's your job and responsibility as parents to help her learn to change behavior that your family - as a unit - considers unacceptable. If she still doesn't like it when she gets older she can toss it, but you and your wife need to send her the same message - together. You can't separate the girls.
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    girten

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    2011-12-29 21-25-18

    Can you give her away to her biological dad? Then she could make his life miserable instead of trying to destroy your family. I think your instinct is correct not to let the x-year-old witness the nasty behavior of the x-year-old and not to let the xyo be polluted or influenced by the sick family dynamics brought about by the nasty xyo. Humans are an imitative primate and younger siblings will imitate the older ones. You give the xyo too much power if you are thinking of separating your family. What's the idea? That your wife will get an apartment to live in during the days she has custody of the xyo? That is giving in to the kid and letting her be in charge. No. You are the adult, you make the rules and set the terms. Mom is a problem. The xyo would not be a nasty brat if mom had been doing her job. Why is mom a spineless noodle? You and mom need to be on the same page, or the kid will manipulate you against each other. Go get some library books on solving the problems of stepfamilies. I have seen a few methods work with these bratty . x. The Dr. Phil Method. Explain what the rules are in terms of her behavior. When she breaks rules, like by being snide or or disrespectful, you take away her stuff, stuff that's important to her --- TV, cell phone, computer, her favorite clothes. Eventually it gets through her brain that if she wants stuff, she needs to fly right. x. The boot camp programs where you entrust the kid to professionals who use drastic methods to get the kid to understand how the world works. If you can afford it, this may be the easiest way. After a few weeks, the boot camp delivers a well-spoken well-behaved kid back to you. x. Mindfulness training, where the kid is taught to meditate and to watch her own mind, emotions & behavior and learn self-control. In boys, sometimes a good martial arts teacher instills this. seem to be naturals at meditation. x. Change the diet. A lot of poorl-behaved have poor diets, too much junk food, not enough exercise and fitness. If you eat poorly, you feel poorly and can easily become cranky.
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  • estey

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    2012-05-18 14-09-29

    Part x --- I am sure there are other methods as well, hopefully you can discover them. A dog sometimes really helps alienated . It's good for to have a nonparent adult they can talk with, a neighbor or aunt. Sometimes if you act just like they do, which shows them how they appear, they get the idea. I have also found laughter and extreme silliness as a way to break the ice with --- if you are able to make them laugh, there is an inroad. What does the kid find fun? What makes her laugh or throw back her head to laugh in ecstasy? Withthis old, you could almost put it to her directly. Ask: What is the problem? What do you need to make you happy? It's tough. American are so spoiled and ungrateful. This spoiled xyo thinks her life is so hard, she is clueless about how really gret she has it. She ought to see what Haitian have to cope with. Or some barefoot kid who spends his days begging in the market in order to support his sick mom and little sisters. Which reminds me, some friends took their travelling in a couple of Third World countries when they were about x-xish. Those came back with their eyes opened and a whole different tude.
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  • silver

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    2013-03-15 5-44-20-

    Seems to me you're catastrophizing (see definition). Yes, she's difficult, and you probably all need help, but she's not burning down the house, or drinking/taking drugs, or torturing the year-old, she's being rude. Whether or not that's typical behavior for x-year-olds, it certainly falls in the category of common, not-at-all-surprising behavior. Breaking up your household is a pretty extreme reaction to that. Family therapy still strikes me as a good idea. So does taking a break -- with or without the x-year-old -- when you've reached your limit, and letting mom and the x-year-old have some time together (and yes, some outings with you and the x-year-old alone would also be a good idea). You might also want to consider individual therapy to figure out just why her behavior bothers you so much. Yes, it's annoying, but, as is clear from the posts here, there are plenty of adults who can identify annoying behavior by an x-year-old as such, without letting it get to them -- and that attitude is part of what allows them to be effective parents. Maybe it's time to think back, with a therapists' help, to when you were x. You say you grew up in a relatively strict household; maybe part of what's going on is that you're identifying with, then re-repressing, the rebel/smartass you were never allowed to be? Or maybe it's something else; that's what a therapist could help you figure out. Whatever the reason, the fact that this situation is so much of an irritant for you suggests that there's some work of your own to be done before you can truly be, as you need to be, the adult in the situation.
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