Need Advice on Father who does not parent out of guilt


I have been dating a divorced man for 2 years - he has a 10 year old girl. We recently moved into gether and are planning marriage- During the 1st year I did not have any contact with his daughter- we both wanted to make sure this was a serious relationship before introducing her to me so I did not get to see his parenting style. How that we have been together for a year I am not sure I can handle his lack of parenting. Other than this- he is an amazing person. Here is my issue: Example- again remember she is 10, we get her every other weekend- on the weekends that she is with us she has NO bedtime. This Friday she stayed up until 12:30 and then had to be at dance at 10:00am- I told him that she needs her sleep and needs to go to bed at a reasonable hour but he said he is not going to give her a bed time- Saturday night we had out of town guest that stayed in her room so she slept on the sofa- we all watched a movie that ended at 12:00 so I thought after the movie she would lay down and go to sleep but NO he turned on the TV for her and she stayed up until around 1:30 am- the TV stayed on all night- drove me crazy. In the past I have just been quite about it holding in my frustration because he does not want to upset her (he thinks telling her she has a bed time would make her mad or he would be the bad guy) weird to me but he is a dad that feels guilty about not being there for his daughter- I can’t make him understand that what he is doing is not in her best interest. I have been thinking about leaving on at least 1 of the weekends per month and going to visit friends because I can’t take the NO displine rule or lack of rules when it comes to bedtime- MY blessing is that she is a great kid- NO problems at all BUT I need a schedule- does any one have any advice?

Also 90% of the time, she has friends spent the night with us- makes me crazy- she doesn’t even ask, just tells her dad that XYZ is spending the night- which is more cooking and cleaning for me- I have thought that if it continues I would tell him he needs to prepare the meals, clean up, etc… I just don’t know what to do- again he is an amazing man- just a weak man when it comes to his daughter.


There is actually a term for this. It’s called “DisneyLand Dad Syndrome”. You can google it and find a bunch of articles about it. His daughter needs a dad and not a friend. Kids need boundaries and rules and it’s very important. Otherwise they grow up to be brats. :slight_smile:

Do you plan to have children with him? Do you have any children? Often people that are parents don’t want to take advice from people that aren’t if you know what I mean because they figure you don’t know what you are talking about.


No we will not have children- he is 50 and I am 48- I have 3 children, 25, 21, and 17- my 17 year old lives with his dad in FL. I am very understanding but I am at the point where on the weekends that she comes I want to leave because its just a free for all- I keep thinking she will only be with us for a few more years because I know the older they get the less we will see her because of activities, spending the night with friends- etc but I just wish I could open his eyes to this- she does need boundaries and rules but he does not see it or does not want to see it. thanks for your insite- I have been looking for a step parenting group but can not find any in my area.


Are you in the triangle area? I know a few.


yes I am in Kernersville/Winston Salem area- thanks


Read the book, “Stepmonster”. I think you will find it enlightening.