my wife hates when I try and discipline her 3 yr old child

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
My wife has a 3-year old girl. She calls me 'daddy' over he real father and everything, but like any 3-year old, she acts up and gets into trouble. But my wife hates me to try and discipline her. I dont do anything but scolding or corner time. I see the way my wife gets mad at her and i can promise its not a question of HOW she is punished. I feel like this marriage may have been rushed into and things went way too fast. I met my wife during thanksgiving last year. She and I argue over it seems like anything to do with her daughter, but any other times we dont argue. She wants me to adopt her daughter like me being her legal father, but she doesnt want me to discipline her. It makes me crazy and feel more and more angry about it everyday. I love her daughter, but the issue of punishing is just making me crazy. I think at times she compares me to her ex husband. She has even told me i remind her of him.

What do I do? I love her and i dont want her and i arguing and we need to be singing the same song on how to raise her daughter because if im going to be a daddy, then i need to have respect and say-so in how things go. Advice
You are right on target and completely in the right with what you are saying.

As you know, blended families bring their own challenges. This is a very typical one. The birth parent tends to be very defensive about their child, and it comes out in a "don't you talk to her like that!" sort of way. It takes a lot of trust to believe that someone else can raise your child the way you want them to. Talk to your wife about this and ask her if she feels the daycare center has the right to discipline your daughter. Ask if a babysitter has the right to put the child in time-out. Ask then why there's an issue with you doing it. What does she fear?

You need to sit down with your wife sometime when you're not in the heat of a situation. Discuss with her what punishments are appropriate and when they should be applied. Get a commitment from her that you are the father figure in the family and have the authority over your daughter as well. Either that, or turn it into a good cop / bad cop situation, where whenever your daughter messes up, you say, "I'm going to write this down on a list for Mommy to see" and then hand it over to her to handle.

The two things that break apart families are money and children. This is not an unusual situation at all. With work, and perhaps counselling, your relationship will survive because of the love that's evident here.

Good luck!


-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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