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Klan Do Attitude

I’m in a relationship with a man I love and want to spend my life with, but I can't stand his 6-year-old daughter. She's obnoxious, has a smart mouth, and is being taught some wicked racism by her mother and her mother’s family. I’ve never tolerated bigotry, and I don't intend to start. This kid is also being brought up to believe she’s the center of the universe. I become a second-class citizen when she’s around (she can do no wrong, and I’m “picking on her”). I’ve tried explaining that going along with how she’s being raised goes against my values, and is very troubling to me. Her father just gets angry, accusing me of being jealous (partially true) and “not trying.” He says since he only sees her every so often, he will not spend their time together correcting her bad behavior. More and more, I despise and resent this child for screwing up what could have been a wonderful relationship. Is this doomed?

--The Devil Wears Disney

Is this doomed? No, I can just see you 10 years from now helping her cut the eye holes in the sheet and glue the sparkles on the swastika for her Sweet Sixteen.

Where you go wrong is in hating on the kid for screwing up your relationship. Sure, she’s a princess, and worse yet, a little Eva Braun-in-training. Still, it’s unlikely she popped out of the womb in a tiara, or rolled over in her crib and said, “Ma-ma, Da-da,” and then, out of nowhere, raised a tiny fist and shouted, “White Power!”

Strip away the racism, and what you’re going through is a variation on suffering some loud brat in some fine dining environment, and flashing on the idea that they should allow golden retrievers in restaurants and tie naughty children to parking meters outside. Of course, it’s not the source of the disturbance but the parents who are to blame. And yes, that’s parents, plural. In this case, it isn’t just the mother’s doing that this kid is being home-schooled in entitlement and hate. Daddy Do-Nothing wants to be liked so badly that he’s willing to let his daughter grow up a hate-spewing bigot. Can you really love and respect a guy who’s less a father than a sperm donor with a popularity complex?

Every relationship has its unresolvable issues: Mr. Introvert loves a party girl, and one’s for Ron Paul, the other’s for RuPaul. If they want to be together badly enough, she goes to parties, he stays home with his robot vacuum cleaner, and they both shake their heads a lot on election day. But, these are relationship speed bumps while you’ve got the Hoover Dam coming between the two of you. What are you going to do, learn to giggle girlishly when your boyfriend says “Pass the milk” in response to a 6-year-old channeling a drunk Mel “the Jews made me do it!” Gibson?

Don’t count on teaching the kid the words to “Kumbaya” anytime soon. But, instead of despising and resenting her, maybe you should be thanking her for showing you what her daddy’s made of. Stick around a little longer, and your anger and resentment might find its way to the proper target. And no, I don’t mean the family member in need of some Dr. Seuss -- Sneetches with stars learning not to snob on those with “none upon thars” -- to compete with her collection of Heinrich Himmler coloring books.

Posted by aalkon at February 13, 2008 1:28 AM


I think that she said it all when she quoted the boyfriend saying "he will not spend their time together correcting her (the kid's) bad behavior".

That says a lot to me. First off, he's not willing to take part in anything dealing with his kid besides just "visiting", and secondly, he won't have anyone else be involved, as if he was in the first place.

Some folks take part and help and do, and some folks sit around and simply observe, and this person needs to figure out that she hooked up with a person who just observes. So, she can forget any idea of working with anything because on her side no work can be done.

I would advise she run in the other direction as soon and as fast as she can.

And I am usually the PollyAnna that thinks all things can be fixed if you work hard enough, but this one makes me want to run away real fast if I was in involved.

Posted by: Ang at February 12, 2008 11:44 PM

So the father's child is being raised by racists as a racist, and he doesn't care? The letter writer can't grasp the amoral character of this man?

Mr. Amoral Father, meet Ms. Street Curb. Have a nice life together.

Posted by: Jeff at February 13, 2008 12:50 AM

And this is why, my friends, we don't get involved with people who have children. All other social interactions take a back seat to the little prince or princess. And if you dare to correct the little shit's misbehavior? Well, you're just eeeeeevil.

Find a guy without the six year old walking baggage.

Posted by: brian [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2008 4:19 AM

Well, excuse me, Brian! My little princesses are just perfect and don't need correction!

There, got that off my chest. NOW, big boy, there is a huge difference between doing nothing about one's own child's behaviour, and calling out someone else who does as being eeeeeeeeevil! I will, in a friggin' heartbeat, call out my children for bad behaviour before anyone else even gets a chance! Which is what this sorry excuse for a father is NOT doing. Which is what my daughters' sorry excuse for a father doesn't do either, and it falls to my BF and I to be the heavies, and it's not a fun position to be in, but it does NOT excuse the father in any way! The LW needs to recognize that she really can't do anything at this point to change the behaviour of either one, and to decide if she even wants to try, or to walk. Me, I'd walk. YMMV

Posted by: Flynne at February 13, 2008 6:30 AM

Amy hit the ball out of the park with this one. The mom may be a horrible excuse for a human being, but the dad is a pretty lousy father. It takes WORK to be a good parent. That means boundaries for your kids, rules with consequences, and teaching them that the only people worth hating are assholes, and they come in all colors. I've got kids and you can bet your ass that they would NEVER even THINK of acting like this anywhere I was around, and neither would their friends because house rules in this house extend to all within its walls, not just the people I gave birth to. And Brian, don't swear off people with kids, some of them do do a good job (though I'm starting to feel that's a rarity). As for the LW - his butt, your foot, the door.

Posted by: Angela [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2008 6:49 AM

So I see where this is going. Mom might be trying to turn the girl against Dad, but Dad's reaction is entirely inappropriate. He's trying to buy the girl's love by being her "pal", being permissive, and probably buying her a lot of gifts. But in doing so, he's playing Mom's game. It's a tug-of-war between the parents, with the little girl in the middle. I've been the rope in that contest. It's not pleasant.

So this should tell the LW where she stands. Mom and Dad are still in a relationship -- it's a relationship of animosity rather than love, but it's a relationship nonetheless. The little girl is the weapon of choice. LW is not even second fiddle; she's third fiddle at best.

Posted by: Cousin Dave [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2008 7:16 AM

My philosophy when dating is: never date someone whose kids or pets you don't like. Because in either case, it reflects poorly on the personality of the parent/owner. That said, as much as the LW should flee from this man, this man should flee from the letter writer, because: never date someone who is jealous of your kid. That is not a mature, adult way to behave towards a child. The racism issue is a non-issue. That is, while racism is to be condemned, the LW's focus on it is deflecting attention away from the real issue, which is the conflict among all of the adults involved. We can all feel superior for condemning the racism, but the racism isn't really the main reason the LW is troubled--it's just the reason that she has singled out as being the most likely to win other people's sympathy for her plight. But if she's jealous of the kid, despite the fact that the kid only spends time "every so often" with her father, then the jealously will be present regardless of the personality of the child. And, right on, Amy--don't hate a 6-year-old for views that she's only parroting. THAT kind of problem could be easily corrected. The more challenging problems derive from neither parent caring enough about this child to truly parent her, instead of using her as a pawn.

Also, I've lost count of the number of divorced people I know who pronounce their first spouse "crazy," then go on to marry a new person who is in essence the same person in a new body. So, the LW might be different from wife #1 in that she's not racist, but the obnoxiousness, entitlement, and immaturity that the daughter gets from the mother seem to also be hinted at in the LW.

Posted by: Quizzical1 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2008 7:29 AM

Eject! EJECT! E-J-E-C-T!!! N-O-W!!!!!

If you have a brain, get OUT of that d-e-a-d end relationship NOW!

They're a package, woman. It's "loser take-all".

Put on your boots and WALK.

Posted by: Snoop-Diggity-DANG-Dawg at February 13, 2008 7:33 AM

Count the dating cliches:

1. Woman overlooking flashing red lights because she MUST be in a relationship - "but really, I want to spend the rest of my life with him!"

2. Absent father - "No really. There is absolutely NOTHING I could do to see my daughter more often. Seriously. There are no jobs in other parts of the country. Her mother makes it hard on me. Lawyer fucked me. I can only leave the house at night. NOT MY FAULT."

3. Resentful girlfirend - "Me and Biff were going to live happily ever after . . . but only if we ignore his child."

Seriously, the child's racism-by-osmosis is the least offensive part of LW's situation.

Posted by: snakeman99 at February 13, 2008 7:47 AM

Here is why I am not an advice collumnist:
(besides not knowing how to spell it on the first try.)

Question:..."Is this doomed?"
Answer: Yes. Next.

The nature of this venue is that we don't get to see certain details that Amy is privy to but let's all put down our pitchforks for a second and think about this. Isn't LW the new prospective member of this family? (Such as it is.) She would need to influence an untenable circle of people in order to even begin to see her own values reflected in the people she'd be nesting with. If this were dental hygiene we were talking about, the answer would be the same: You think flossing is important, your boyfriend's ex doesn't and BF claims not to care. You can try to set a good example but that's about all. You have little traction on the issue.

The fact that LW finds the child's racial attitudes out of compliance doesn't change the equation at all. Even if this child is being subjected to some kind of hate filled agenda that would warrant a visit from social services, it's not likely LW's relationship with BF would survive that strategy.

What do you do when you test drive a car you really thought you’d like but, after a few miles, you decide you don’t like it? Ask the salesman to change the parts you don’t like? Ridiculous, right? What if the thing you don't like is a genuine design flaw with safety and liability implications? The steering wheel comes off when you turn on the wipers?

You MIGHT get a medal for bringing it to someone's attention but you still buy a different car.

And FWIW, I have to say that being a conservative in deep blue territory has given me experience in being labeled a "hater" because I don't know all the words to "Kumbaya." Few people are as "tolerant" as they think they are.

Posted by: martin [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2008 8:02 AM

If he raises this child this way it is probably indicative of how he will raise children you two have together.

Posted by: Dale at February 13, 2008 8:10 AM

"More and more, I despise and resent this child for screwing up what could have been a wonderful relationship"

Wow. What a mature, intelligent statement. It's not the child fucking up the relationship. I would even go so far as to say it's a not a relationship at all. If you can't say to your BF that racism (or anything for that matter) makes you uncomfortable, and have him be responsive, then I don't see how you could consider yourself partners at all.

As for the BF, I can't see him wanting to be with someone that is so insecure that they are jealous of his child.

LW shouldn't date someone with kids if she is not willing to relinquish the princess position. Or not date altogether, until she figures out that the only person who is supposed to put her needs first is herself.

Someone should also enlighten BF that a child thrives when there is structure and boundaries. They will love you more. It makes their lives easier when the consequences for choices they make are clear.

Posted by: dena at February 13, 2008 8:35 AM

"More and more, I despise and resent this child for screwing up what could have been a wonderful relationship."

It is easy to despise an obnoxious, smart-mouthed brat who thinks she's the center of the universe and thinks any attempt at correcting her awful behavior is "picking on her." But it's not the child screwing up the relationship, it's the boyfriend, when he "says since he only sees her every so often, he will not spend their time together correcting her bad behavior."

The kid is only six, and the reason she acts like a brat is because her parents are inept boobs who are using her as a pawn in their little games of revenge. I can't stand bratty kids either, and I'd probably be ready to stuff this little princess into a bag and drown her. But I kind of feel sorry for her, too. If the boyfriend would grow a set of balls and act like a proper father, which means raising his child to be an independent, sensible adult, I'd tell the LW to be his partner in this and try to help. But since he is such a spineless weenie, I'd say dump him.

In fact, why does the LW want to "spend her life with" a guy like that? He's totally weak! He might be fun to spend time with when the kid's not around, but the way he handles this situation says a lot about him. He keeps looking for the easy way out and won't take any active responsibility for parenting his kid. His way of dealing with a problem is to simply not deal with it. You never want to be in a situation where you have to rely on someone like that. What a pussy.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at February 13, 2008 8:43 AM

It sounds to me like the kid knows exactly what she's doing with her acting out like that. She's probably trying to get daddy's new girlfriend to go away so that her mommy and daddy can love each other and become one big happy family again. That happens a lot with little kids that have divorced parents. And from what I see, it's working... at least the driving away part.

In any case, everyone's spot on... the relationship's beyond doomed, it's more of a zombified corpse. There's no way for LW to "win" here short of only coming around when the kid isn't there.

Posted by: Bad Kitty at February 13, 2008 9:29 AM

Disney Dads are a nightmare for their girlfriends, their kids and society. I find it often has little to do with some game they are playing with their exes, and a whole lot more to do with guilt! Guilt for leaving the kid(s) with Mom, guilt for not being there, guilt for "ruining" the kids' childhood, etc. So they don't want to make this perceived horrible childhood any worse and they won't punish the kid.

This is the part where they forget they are abdicating all responsibility as a parent and are actually indulging themselves as much as the child.

NEVER hitch yourself to a guy like this. Because it doesn't end at 18, it doesn't end after he's paid his life savings for her graduate studies or her $50K wedding, or her down-payment for the first house. It just goes on and on with some of these guys. He is teaching his child to use him and he is getting used. I would not want to marry that kind of a man. You are below second fiddle - you are the occasional distraction from his ongoing psychosis.

I am a stepmother, and thankfully, my husband doesn't do this. But I have seen a lot of other fathers who do behave this way and it is UGLY. Marriages fail over this kind of thing. Dreams die, new babies are affected. It's best to move on if he won't hear he's got a problem. Find someone who's got it together and not living under a shadow of "what if she doesn't love me??" (and he's not talking about you, dear).

Posted by: jennifers at February 13, 2008 9:54 AM

Assuming the behavior exhibited by Princess White Power is truly racist not politically-correct hyperbole....

If he won't spend the small amount of time he has with her daughter correcting her racist behavior and teaching her proper way to interact with others, then how is the time she spends with him any better than the time she spends with her racist mother? Of what use is he as a parent?

This clown may have contributed genetic material, but he is not a father. If the LW ever wants to have kids, is this sack of wet noodles that she wants teaching them values?

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian at February 13, 2008 10:08 AM

The column posted right before Valentine's Day:

LW: "My BF's child is Satan. I hate her for ruining the relationship."

Response: "The child isn't ruining the relationship, your BF's lack of parental responsibility is. Thank Satan, and take a walk."

Probably not intentional irony on your part. I've been reading this blog long enough to notice you'd prefer to just ignore Feb 14th anyhow, as those who place such value on it tend to be assholes the rest of the year.

My personal contribution to the ruination of this "holiday" was suggesting that people use evil and demented ways to wrap their gifts.

Just like nothing says "cute" like a small child chanting racist slogans - nothing says you "care" more than prank gift wrap.

Posted by: Jamie [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2008 10:18 AM

Jamie, that was fabulous! I'm so going to do that for BF's next birthday, thanks for the tip!

Posted by: Flynne [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2008 10:44 AM

" Is this doomed?" I'm not sure which of all this is the worst. The white power midget (child), the sloppy dish towel father, or the LW that has to ask this question.
No the relationship is not doomed all you need to do is acknowledge that white is right and you are her servant and all should be good. Wow the sarcasm really does make you feel better.

"I despise and resent this child for screwing up what could have been a wonderful relationship." No you despise the child for showing you reality. All she's doing is showing all the aspects of your "love" and now you don't like it, you'd prefer the ignorant bliss.

Posted by: vlad [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2008 11:26 AM

While the racism of the child isn't the primary issue here in my opinion (and there are numerous issues), what if this is being looked at the wrong way by LW?

Maybe the father doesn't want to condone the behavior and the attitudes because he feels that they are okay. How well does she really know him? It's clear that there's a lack of disciplining on his part, but what if it's only spotlighted by the issue of racism to the LW who as far as we can tell hasn't mentioned any other examples where he falters (only going so far as to tell readers that he only spends a little time with her and doesn't want to ruin it by being mean). What if her perceptions about the situation are entirely inaccurate?

Posted by: Angela at February 13, 2008 12:03 PM


Unfortunately, with advice columns you're somewhat limited to what one person's claiming. Even those who can ferret out all sorts of good information like Amy can, isn't likely to get the other guy's side, let alone an objective third party observation. And to theorize too much beyond that is just creating fiction to suit your own impressions.

Does it really matter if the skewed perspective is on LW's end or the BF's end. She could be the Political Correctness police. He could be such a bigot he's Archie Bunker without the funny. The point would still be "leave and find someone you're actually compatible with...good luck."

When you're in a relationship with someone and it's clear that there are significant differences in how you and your S.O. view fundamental issues (such as child issues, racial perspectives, etc), you're in a situation that's frequently irreconcilable. Time to look at it objectively - rather than - "but I love him, he'll change if he loves me" - and leave if you can't accept those differences.

Posted by: Jamie [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2008 12:58 PM

Maybe the father doesn't want to condone the behavior and the attitudes because he feels that they are okay.

I don't care why he lets it fly, a good parent loves their kid enough to not be popular with them -- to do the right thing. I recently commended the grandfather of a girl whose mother recently died for being tough on her. I know it's much easier to just let stuff slide. But, he loves her enough not to be popular. I wrote to her to remind her that that's why he's being a hard-ass -- that he loves her. She gets it, luckily.

And I get much more info that appears in the questions. Sometimes there is an extended e-mail exchange between the letter writer and me, with me asking them more and more questions.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 13, 2008 2:22 PM

"Maybe the father doesn't want to condone the behavior and the attitudes because he feels that they are okay."

Er... wouldn't that be "condemn?"

Posted by: EvyMJ at February 13, 2008 7:00 PM

Yep, it sure would. I noticed that too, but it seems nobody else did. Hear that, Conan? Where are you when we need you??

Posted by: Pussnboots [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 13, 2008 9:45 PM

"And I get much more info that appears in the questions. Sometimes there is an extended e-mail exchange between the letter writer and me, with me asking them more and more questions."
What? You're not at least partially omniscient? I thought that was a requirement for goddesses? (sigh) Yet another mythology dashed upon the rocks of cruel reality.

Oh well, I'm over it already, thanks for the additional info.

Posted by: Jamie [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 14, 2008 4:45 AM

Wow. What everyone here said and then some. Have to agree with Amy that it doesn't really matter -- run for you life.

But not only is Dad majorly flawed. LW herself is. Even if he were as near perfect a Dad (and I concur that's hardly the case) as is humanly possible, there's this from her: "I become a second-class citizen when she’s around" ??? Well, of freaking course, hon. If someone has a child, they should put that child first. And not just when she's around. The six year old princess should come before the grown-up princess.

Posted by: Donna at February 14, 2008 5:11 AM

I lay you 8 to 5 that the father is just as much of a bigot, but he's using the " I don't want to correct her, she's just visiting" cover.

Posted by: Brian at February 14, 2008 5:53 AM

" 'I become a second-class citizen when she’s around' ??? Well, of freaking course, hon.If someone has a child, they should put that child first. "

Of course, a child's needs should take priority, but not necessarily all of her wants. Sometimes the best thing for a child is for her to learn that the world doesn't revolve around her.

If the mother and father were still together, would it be appropriate to treat your spouse as a 'second-class citizen'?

Posted by: Steamer at February 14, 2008 6:13 AM

The LW should just be glad she can get out. The dad is linked forever with the monster he and his ex have created. And he will never know the love of a decent woman as long as his little Princess of Darkness is in his life.

It's too bad for everyone involved, but the LW still has a chance to find a good relationship -- she should take it.

Posted by: Pussnboots [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 14, 2008 8:28 AM

[i]Er... wouldn't that be "condemn?"[/i]

Used in that context, yes.

[i]Conan? Where are you when we need you??[/i]

I got a little busy. Life in these illiterate times is pretty hectic for a simple Grammarian.

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian at February 14, 2008 9:14 AM

"If the mother and father were still together, would it be appropriate to treat your spouse as a 'second-class citizen'?"

Absolutely, yes. And in fact, it happens all the time but is never remarked upon because the other parent almost never minds, they being just as invested as the other parent in the well-being of the child. Example: kid has a meltdown in a restaurant. Parent 1 deals with it, while parent 2 takes care of the other kid, or all of them go home. Parents are disappointed at their meal being ruined, but don't resent and despise the kid for... acting like a kid. They're more likely to worry about how to solve the kid's emotional issues, and not so much distressed at their night out being ruined for one evening. But put a girlfriend in there instead of a mom, and suddenly the kid's a brat who they're jealous of and resent for their ill behavior and ruining their nice evening. So if a parent has to ignore the needs of the other parent in order to focus on the child, they do (in healthy relationships). As it is with this LW, it's not the girlfriend's appropriate role to discipline or criticize the child--especially since, by her own admission, she hates the child, and clearly wants her gone, and doesn't see anything wrong with having that attitude--instead, she blames the child for it and is mainly concerned about her relationship (i.e."I despise and resent this child for screwing up what could have been a wonderful relationship."). Don't you think the kid, and the father, pick up on that? Is it just an amazing injustice and completely unfair comment that the boyfriend told the LW to stop "picking on [the child]"?

Posted by: Quizzical1 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 14, 2008 11:48 AM

The child obviously represents the ex-wife in this LW's mind and she is projecting her lack of control over the situation on the child. There is no such thing as a 6-year-old bigot, and for the LW to use any behavior of a 6 year old as a moral judgment against her mother and the mothers family is a HUGE red flag that this man needs to pay attention to.

He should dump her pronto. I don't believe a word she says about the kid. She's LOOKING for reasons to turn her boyfriend against his own daughter, and she is bad news. I feel very sorry for his daughter if he keeps her around. I don't care how often he gets to see her, a 6 year old should not have to made to feel like the enemy when she's with her father.

Posted by: Jaynie59 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 14, 2008 8:30 PM


I understand -- these are tough times for us nitpickers. Not that there's a dearth of nits to pick, just that nobody seems to care any more!

Glad to see you're still paying attention, though.


Posted by: Pussnboots [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 14, 2008 9:21 PM

Jaynie, I'm reminded of my late friend Cathy Seipp's comment when people accuse her of "making value judgments": "I have values, therefore I make judgments."

I couldn't stand to be around a guy for five minutes if he let racist claptrap fly from his kid's mouth.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 14, 2008 11:41 PM

I agree that the father is at fault for letting the racist shit fly without correcting it. I'm not taking Brian's bet because his odds look about right on the money. If Dad wasn't at least somewhat racist, he couldn't stand hearing his darling speak like that without correcting her.

However, LW is displaying the attitude of a grown up princess who is only still in this relationship because she wants Daddy to acknowledge her superiority over that of his darling daughter. Something's definitely fucked up in any case to be laying all this on a six-year-old and her mother. Dad's only fault, in her estimation, seems to be that he's catering to his child over LW. That's truly fucked up.

Once again, I come to the conclusion that both of them should run not walk to the nearest exit. Admit they're mismatched and move on.

Posted by: Donna at February 15, 2008 4:22 AM

I totally agree, Donna. Also, I'd add that if Dad wasn't at least somewhat racist, he wouldn't have married wife #1 to begin with! That's not one of the things you just overlook; it's a dealbreaker.

Posted by: Quizzical1 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2008 7:56 AM

Amy said: I couldn't stand to be around a guy for five minutes if he let racist claptrap fly from his kid's mouth.

Again right on and out of the park! My son, at the age of 4, let loose a racial slur while we were watching a basketball game. I about fell over from shock, and I was sitting down! The TV was immediately turned off, and a serious talk was had (as serious as you can have with a 4-year-old) to find out first, where he'd heard that word (I immediately thought father-in-law but it was a kid at daycare) and then to explain why it's offensive and that judging people by anything other than their character is just flat-out wrong. Thankfully he had no idea that he'd been saying something so insulting, he was just parroting what he'd heard from someone else, and now, at 13, he's the kind of kid that calls others on their bigoted behavior. But if I'd let that little instance slide, who knows how many more racist slurs would have found their way into his vocabulary? Good parenting requires PAYING ATTENTION to your kid and acting when necessary to curb bad behaviors before they become bad habits!

Posted by: Angela [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2008 8:51 AM

Oof, one commenter wrote about having to be the heavies in the divorced relationship - that is the worst situation to be in. When your values differ so radically from your ex's that you're constantly being undermined in your approach to the kids, it's the worst. And the only solution is to not have kids with someone when you're that incompatible, which is sadly too late by the time most people realize the full implications. Bummer that people don't stop and think about this kind of thing before they spawn.

Posted by: Jennifer at February 15, 2008 9:08 AM

of, one commenter wrote about having to be the heavies in the divorced relationship - that is the worst situation to be in. When your values differ so radically from your ex's that you're constantly being undermined in your approach to the kids, it's the worst.
Yeah. It's an impossible situation for a child to be in. In many cases I've seen, the parents are basically using the child as a toll to express their feelings about the spouse--like a husband who was criticized by the wife because of drinking too much, so he encouraged their son drink too much too, to show that there was nothing wrong with it. Yes, I know it makes no sense. I also know someone whose ex-wife was little better than a crack whore, and who had custody of their daughter. He had to fight for a really long time to get custody of her, and now that he has her, she's all messed up (after mom was arrested for possession of cocaine, custody battle was vastly simplified). And the mother has her emotional claws in the girl, and is highly competent at manipulating the girl to convince her that she's the cool, long-suffering mom, and the dad is the bad guy who is no fun.

Posted by: Quizzical1 at February 16, 2008 9:19 AM

She should offer the little girl a cigarette and a shot of tequila -- in front of the dad -- just to give her disastrous pre-teen years a running start.

Posted by: Gog_Magog_Carpet_Reclaimers at February 17, 2008 8:30 PM

The LW is missing a golden opportunity for some classic yucks. The child needs to be taught to parrot things like "black is beautiful" and "homey don't play that". A gauranteed good time for all!

Posted by: To Err is Herman at February 19, 2008 7:08 AM

"...instead of despising and resenting her, maybe you should be thanking her for showing you what her daddy’s made of."

Amy has it dead-on. A father who won't "waste his time" teaching his child proper values is probably also a boyfriend who isn't going to "waste his time" being supportive when his girlfriend is having a rough time at work, or has a parent die, or what have you.

Posted by: Grouchy Woman at February 19, 2008 1:32 PM

Oy, you guys! Any man accused of such a terrible thing must be at least a little bit guilty, of at least something.

Posted by: martin [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2008 2:04 PM

Martin, I think that pool is shallow at both ends.

Posted by: Cousin Dave [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2008 3:24 PM

Cousin Dave, that's a really cute expression, but I just don't get it -- in that context, anyway. Could you paraphrase it for me? Many thanx -- Pussnboots

Posted by: Pussnboots [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 23, 2008 5:44 PM

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