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parenting skills

jd1998's picture

hi everyone. i am a biological mother of a 9yo girl. we have been livign with my partner for 10months now.

my partner is in his 40s, has been married before but never had children. having a little girl live with him was a major adjustment and i think he has done really well. we dont have any major problems- my daughter grew up with a single parent and she is disciplined and respectful.

i have two issues i would like help with- one is that my partner is a terrible tease- he doesnt seem to know when to stop and if i dont stop him he carries on until my girl is a heap of tears. sometimes he gets angry if my girl (lets call her N), cries- tells her to "toughen up" etc.

my other problem is my partner's lack of parenting skills- he doesnt know how to give constructive critisism to a 9yo girl - "you're so messy", "you're clumsy. you wont be good at sports". he'll nag N about how to hold her knife and fork during mealtimes- will go on and on and on throughout the whole meal "you're holding your knife wrong" etc etc in a very impatient tone of voice. last time this hapenned i told him he was nagging and he got angry. its hard to explain this, but he also has a habit of getting into arguments with N- gets her all defensive and tearful.

my partner can be very loving towards N- gives her cuddles and tells her she's wonderful. i'd just like to know how to get him to find the middle ground as he seems to go from one extreme to another. he admitted to me before that he's jealous for my time and attention so gets short when N is around us. we sometimes get into rows over the things he does or says, especially since i discovered how little parenting skills he had and would step in whenever he went out of line.

has anyone had a similar experience? any advise would be welcome.

Mocha2001's picture

The only thing I can say is for you and SO to communicate. Since he doesn't know how to parent, as most childless step parents (me), sometimes we need direction. My DH constantly reminds me that I don't remember what it was like to be a kid. I do the same thing at the dinner table, and I think SO is probably just trying to teach manners. One reason I don't have children of my own is because I don't have patience, and after 1.5 years I still sometimes find myself out of patients. REmember, he doesn't know how to be a parent, so it's your job to show him how. Remind him that your DD is only a child, she's 9yo ... Also maybe a parenting book on raising girls, or an age specific parenting book that you two can read together.

~ Katrina