I tend to agree that you need to pick a man with a backbone to marry. Then you don’t have the problem of him later not having a backbone. It’s easy to tell if people have backbones or not, and whether they do or not translates to every situation. It’s a matter of character, which defines behavior, not having some crystal ball about how a person will parent.
This has nothing to do with the gender of the children involved. People spoil their kids or they don’t, regardless of gender. “Daddy’s princess” is just what people call it when a man spoils his girls and won’t stand up to them. Notice how once a woman is grown, “princess” has a negative connotation? That’s cuz no one wants to be around people who never learned any boundaries.
My husband has three daughters. He also has two sons. They are young enough that he is not really any different with the girls as opposed to the boys. I am sure that will change, but the fact is, you have to establish boundaries and respect when they are little. If you don’t do that, you can’t do it when they are rebellious teens!
This father has established the worst of all patterns…saying no then giving in under nagging and pressure. That teaches the kids that if you just bug, bug, bug him enough, you will get what you want. That is a recipe for annoying, disrespectful children who will not accept their parents’ authority. The parent has taught the child that there IS no authority, if they just bug, bug, bug the parent enough.
People have backbones, or they don’t. I don’t believe this is any kind of shock to the OP. It’s just that now, it’s annoying so she wants it fixed. This should have been fixed years ago. Since it wasn’t, I doubt it can be repaired now. You can’t start disciplining teenagers who didn’t learn discipline as children.
You could ask a family counselor or someone experienced with tough love for advice, but the father in this family will have to learn new patterns of behavior, as will the mother. She allowed this terrible pattern of disrespect to exist for years, supporting it by not demanding it change. The whole family is together in not being very functional in this aspect, and will have to change the paradigm together.