Mr. Manners

Children in Jerusalem.

"Don't fart in front of that guy, he'll get pissed..."

Derrick wrote:

Sean,

I’ve been dating a woman for the past three months and things were great.  She has a child whom I recently was introduced to (she found it important to wait a bit and I can respect that), but that child is an absolute monster.  He is 6 and has no manners,  still throws tantrums, leaves messes, sasses back to his mother, and pretty much does what he wants.  The worst part is that his mother lets him do it.  On the past two occasions with the two of them, she’s made no real attempt to stop his behavior (other than yelling at him from across the room) and she simply told me, “He’s just a little wild.  I can’t really do anything about that.”  This is a HUGE issue for me because I’d like to think if we eventually had children that she would be doing a better job at parenting than this, so I am wondering how to talk to her about this.  Do I just lay it out there and let her know her current style is a deal breaker?

Derrick

Derrick,

Yes, I’d just lay it out there, but also take some time to explain how it can be fixed.  It’s one thing to let her know of an issue, but it’ll be better for the both of you if you have some ideas as to how to fix things.  Don’t be demanding, jut offer some suggestions and explain your point of view.  Explain to her that your parenting style is different and ask how she developed hers.  Try to understand before offering your viewpoints.

I think in the grand scheme of things my daughter is as well behaved as they come and it’s because of my parenting style, but I’ve dated a few women with kids that seem to feel they have no control over them and it’s really sad.  One woman let her child eat Doritos and have Coke as a before bed snack (then he’d go to bed without brushing his teeth because she said he “didn’t like doing that”), one woman let her child sneak out of bed and stay up until midnight, and another one would let her child be disrespectful and stay up until midnight.  It’s stressful enough dating someone with children (I’ve been on  both sides), but to be dating someone with no parenting skills is even more stressful.  Good luck with your conversation.

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