Babying gone too far? - FamilyEducation
Babying gone too far?
05/02/2008 at 20:47 PM

 My girlfriend and I have been seeing each other for
the past 17 months. We live together along with her
16 year old daughter Alyssa. I have a seven year old
 daughter who lives with us about 3 days a week on
average. My girlfriend and I share allot of the same ideas
and beliefs when it comes to parenting and I consider
her a great mom. We do however bump heads frequently on one issue. Alyssa a sophmore in high school is a good student  and pretty
much a typical teenager. She does not have any chores
 and her room is a constant mess. The issue however
is she constantly asks her mom to do simple everyday
tasks for her such as cutting up her meat on her dinner
plate or getting a bowl of ice cream from the freezer. She
actually said "serve me" one day when dinner was prepared and on the stove.
It has been heating up something in the microwave or
getting her a drink. My girlfriend does whatever she
asks. She says that it is her daughters way of getting
attention. I think she is doing more harm than good by
continuing to baby her in such a way. She adds that I will
 do the same for my daughter when she is older but I
disagree. My seven year old makes her own bed and
consistantly picks up after Alyssa. Is mom doing her a
favor by sending her out into a world where she is not used to doing for herself or is this babying harmless and normal for a
mother-daughter relationship?

If your gf wants to server her daughter then I suppose it's her choice. I would not allow your daughter to sever Alyssa and you should not either. It is normal to feel a bit of jealousy with kids that are not yours. If she had a son, you would like her "babying" even less. It really is her choice how she serves her daughter, but I understand why you would be frustrated with it. Be very careful not to start disliking or resenting her daughter. You are in charge of your daughter and you are doing right by her to allow her to be independent. Keep up the good work!!

I think you need to tread very carefully in this. At 16, her daughter should be a lot more independant and able basically to look after herself. She does not need her mother to do all this for her, and it is not helping her at all. How is she going to fare when she leaves home if she is used to Mum doing everything. You are right to disagree with your daughter doing it too. It sounds like your daughter is more independant than hers already. However, on saying this, I do sometimes do the same for my son who is now 18, but know he is capable of doing it for himself as I often leave him to do. He can cook for himself, can do his own washing and washing-up, and I never enter his bedroom except to put clean washing in. He keeps it tidy and clean though. What about having a family discussion when you can all talk together and air this.

Your g/f may also be having difficulty coming to terms with the fact that her daughter is growing up and will soon be an adult. This babying behavior may be her way of keeping her daughter "a baby" for as long as she can. It does need to stop though and you definately need to tell your own daughter not to pick up after the older girl or have any other part in the babying behavior.