Having problems with my 11 yr old daugther and my boyfriend and his kids living together.

Cindy - posted on 03/18/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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A couple of months ago, my boyfriend moved in with me and my kids. I have 18 yr girl, 14 yr son and 11 yr girl. He has 8 yr girl and 5 yr boy. Well, my 11 yr daugther says she is not happy and wants to go live with her dad. She does not like the 8 yr old girl and she says that my boyfriend is mean to her. He has a different kind of humor about him and doesn't always say the right thing when he is joking around. He always apologizes to her and he is not a mean person or trying to hurt her intentionally. We have asked her to come to me or both of us if something is bothering her, but she always goes to her dad which then means he just makes things worse. He has been trying to get her to move in with him for years so he doesn't have to pay child support and he sees this as his perfect opportunity. I don't really care about the support but can't stand the thought of losing my baby girl. I understand that she is feeling a lot of jealousy about the 8 yr old and feels she is taking away mom's attention. I try to be around my daugther the most when she is here and don't even really pay that much attention to the other. I have pretty much given up and told her that she can go live with her dad....I just want her to be happy....I have suggested to her that we do a trial run of her living with her dad. I want her to understand that just because she moves over there...it won't make the situation over here change. She will still be here with us every other weekend. Does anybody have any advice as to how to handle this?

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Tracy - posted on 03/18/2010

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Wow...this is a difficult situation. I have no experience with blended families, but I had a step dad move in when I was 12, and I couldn't stand him. My mom didn't give me any time to get to know him before he was living in "my" house - and they were married. One thing I notice in your post is that it seems more important to you to live with your boyfriend than with your daughter. She's the one who has to move out? Why not ask your boyfriend to move out? Let your daughter (and other kids) get to know your boyfriend better before forcing her to live in the same household. It must seem to her like aliens have invaded your home. Your responsibility is to your daughter and children first and foremost. I'm sorry this isn't the most supportive response, but I can totally relate to your daughter. She might feel that you've chosen your boyfriend over her.

Ange - posted on 12/19/2012

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11 is young and such a hard time for a kid anyway. Just make sure your boyfriend quits his 'joking' with her as she's not having any fun with it. He'll just need to walk on egg shells for a while to build up trust etc... Make sure he's not always home too. She's only 11 and can't just get in her car to get away from the situation. Make sure she has plenty of house time with just you and her siblings. Your boyfriend can use this time to spoil his kids too by treating them to a movie and dinner etc... Make it a date night. Then slowly you can start to merge it into a big family night together if its working. You chose this guy, she didn't, she's only 11 and doesn't get to decide in your future but remember that she's just feeling heartbroken. Try to find a common interest or save up so he can buy her a pony ha ha ha

Amanda - posted on 03/20/2010

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I couldnt disagree more, why does the 11 year old have a choice? She doesnt run this family (at least I hope she doesnt). 11 year olds will always threaten to move in with daddy, boyfriend or not! Personally I would tell your 11 year old she is a part of this family, and she will behave as such, I would not send her to her fathers until she actually gives this family a try. Otherwise you are teaching her its ok to run away from her problems. The only time when a mother should choose a child over a boyfriend/husband is when abuse is going on, never anyother time. Otherwise you are giving a child WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY to much power and control in your life.

Nancy - posted on 12/09/2013

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Really? Wow...What a complete Moron...The 11 year old is still going through so much from the Divorce...Your Children Must Always come first...Not a Boyfriend...It`s called Loving your Child not " WAYYYYYYYYYYY" to much power...Woman Need to focus on their Children and the Mess they Helped create...Regardless of what a Loser their Ex may be...They Still Chose him and Chose to have Children with him...A Mother should choose a oyfriend over their Child? Shame on you...

Stacy - posted on 03/21/2010

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I know this is very hard, I went through something like this 2 years ago. My boyfriend and his 2 kids moved in with me and my daughter and at first it was OK. After awhile things started to change and my daughter said she was very unhappy. I tried EVERYTHING, but when it came down to it I had to make my daughter happy. So after 2 years living together we had to end it. You have to choose your kids first no mather what. I know this sounds hard and mean but trust me if it's not going to work now it will never work. I wish you the best.

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25 Comments

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Laurie - posted on 12/09/2013

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Let her go. If she's not happy with her Dad, assure her she can always go back to you.

Evelyn - posted on 12/30/2012

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What worries me is that the kids are not being considered in this. It is a big decision to make and have kids involved in it. You can not make an instant family by doing this. THe boyfriend needs to move out and work on getting some sore of bond with the kids. Its not like he is the step dad as yet. Besides that all this moving in with boyfriends or girlfriends can cause a lot of confusion for the children in the home. The girl should not have to feel like she has to be the one to leave for this is her home first. Kids have a hard enough time getting used to situations as it is without BF or GF moving in too.

Crystal - posted on 12/16/2012

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well i am crystal and my 23 year old boyfriend just playing with my boobs he is so fucking cute and sooooo nice to me

Sandra - posted on 09/27/2012

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OMG. Did you really just pick your boyfriend over your daughter? If that's the truth, then she is better off going and living with her father. Maybe he will think of his child before himself.

Aimee - posted on 09/01/2012

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Do you already have 50/50 custody? If not, I would suggest that. There are many different types of 50/50 custody, and research says it is better for children to see both parents equally. Maybe alternating weeks between both homes would help her.

Jo - posted on 08/19/2012

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Let her go. If she's not happy with her Dad, assure her she can always go back to you. I don't think there's anything else for you to do. When I divorced, I vowed never to bring a man into my home where my daughters might feel uncomfortable. It's been 26 years and I kept my vow til this day. My home is for my children and my grandchildren and I am available to only them.

Julie - posted on 08/13/2012

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Put the blockers on her going to her dad when it suits her! Or you've no chance thing like a new relationship take time does his kids stay with u? If so make sure he isn't treating them better as your own are you're own who's kids do u favour?; p

Cindy - posted on 03/24/2010

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To Samantha:

The content of the joking around is not sexual or unappropriate for any age. For example, once he was joking around about how fat he was getting living with me and then he compared his stomach to hers meaning that his stomach is so much bigger. She said that he was calling her fat. Yes, he jokes around with his children in the same manner. For example, after his daughter went to great pains to look nice for school....and as they were walking out the door...he said "Is that what you are going to wear!!" Of course, since she is his daughter she knew he was joking. Plus, he is always telling his daughter how beautiful she is...so she has a good self esteem. He also pays compliments to my daughter. There are no changes in the other children. They are fine with him...in fact, my son actually wants to be over at my house more now. And no, his kids get into trouble just as much as my kids. As far as chores go, his daughter actually likes to help with the house work...so she does more of it then anybody else.

"He has really tried to make things work and treated all of the children as equals and no matter what he did the mothers daughter would purposely make things bigger and uglier to her mom so he would look like a monster. She would go and lie to her dad about what was going on at the mothers place and went so far as to tell her teacher that he was hitting her. Only to end up that the boyfriend was attempting to bring structure and healthy discipline to her unruly life. She had gotten away with everything due to the guilt of the parents divorce and never had to follow rules or do chores or work for anything for four years. So when a good man that wanted to bring structure and stability to the ENTIRE house, she railed out against it. So after several months of this and the father realizing that the new boyfriend wasn't a monster and the mother realize the manipulations, all three went to a counselor the work through the problems of the divorce and the new boyfriend.'

This sounds exactly like my situation, so I am getting some counseling for both me and my daughter. Thank you for your help.

Samantha - posted on 03/22/2010

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What is the content of the jokes the boyfriend is saying? Are they appropriate for a 11 yr old girl. Are the jokes told to his kids in the same manner or your other two children? If the answer is no, he is singling her out for a reason. Really evaluate the changes in behavior of all your children since this boyfriend moved in. Are you kids more quiet? do they stay in their rooms more? are they avoiding your boyfriend? Does his kids get away with things that your kids get into trouble for. Are his kids having the same amount of chores as yours. If the kids argue is the blame put on only your children? If you are answering yes to most of these questions (and not excuses to remove responsibility from this boyfriend) then the boyfriend is more than likely establishing dominance over your 11 yr old child and showing her that she is third to him and his children. As for my opinion, no man is worth loosing my child over and any man that is making my child not want to be around me is not a trustworthy person. Talk to your other children and ask them what they have seen while you are gone, as I'm sure this is when all the occurrence happen. Make sure that you reestablish your relationship with the 11 yr old as she more than likely feels that this man is more important to you than she is. Ask her if there is anything she is leaving out, did he say something really scary to her? Has he threatened to hurt her or her brothers or sisters if you told on him.
I know I sound harsh in all these demands but it is for a good reason, I have a girlfriend that has had this very problem in the beginning of her relationship with a new boyfriend that moved in and a blended family was not so blended. Her daughter was molested and the others never told because he stated he would "hurt the mom and make them watch him "do her (the daughter) in" ". His children were treated like royalty while hers were the slaves of the home. Since he was the boyfriend she always wanted the lies he told were believed and the abuse went on for 13 yrs and now we have been fighting him in court for 2 1/2 yrs to separate her and her children she's had with him away from him. Now her oldest daughter has a shopping cart full of emotional problems that could have been avoided if she only listened and stood by her daughter the first time she said she didn't like "mommies new boyfriend".
On the other hand I also have another friend with a truly great boyfriend that has children also. He has really tried to make things work and treated all of the children as equals and no matter what he did the mothers daughter would purposely make things bigger and uglier to her mom so he would look like a monster. She would go and lie to her dad about what was going on at the mothers place and went so far as to tell her teacher that he was hitting her. Only to end up that the boyfriend was attempting to bring structure and healthy discipline to her unruly life. She had gotten away with everything due to the guilt of the parents divorce and never had to follow rules or do chores or work for anything for four years. So when a good man that wanted to bring structure and stability to the ENTIRE house, she railed out against it. So after several months of this and the father realizing that the new boyfriend wasn't a monster and the mother realize the manipulations, all three went to a counselor the work through the problems of the divorce and the new boyfriend.
This is a slippery slop to be on, as any single parent knows and I hope both sides of the coin stories I have witnessed help. I hope that you are able to evaluated the situation and find the truth for you and your relationships between your children and the new boyfriend. The best of luck to you and your family

Amber - posted on 03/22/2010

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I too agree with Amanda. My husband had 2 children. His daughter adored me but his son couldn't stand me. We ended up working it out and I am still close with them 10 years after my husband passed away. 8 years later my boyfriend moved in with myself and my daughter. She was 8 years old. We had a lot of the same type of battles (except her father is deceased and she can't say she wants to go live with him). It took about 2 years for them to settle down with each other. It ended up being that she was afraid that she would let herself love him and he would leave, then she would be hurt. It doesn't matter who it is, we all have to learn to deal with and accept each others personalities and traits. Children have to learn this too. In my experience with my daughter and my step son these are some things that I figured out.

1. Your daughter is probably fighting a battle of loyalty to her father.
2. She is also partly afraid of losing her mothers affection.
3. She is afraid of getting hurt if she gets attached to your boyfriend. (She has already been hurt once in the divorce).
4. She is also afraid of getting close to another child for the same reasons.
5. She is learning manipulation
6. She feels like you're treating her like she's "A KID"
7. She needs to know that you understand her thoughts even though you don't know what they are or she doesn't tell you.

I found it very useful to talk to my daughter about everything. Explain to her that Your boyfriend is staying and so is she. Tell her that you love her and could not love her any less just because there are other children around. Make sure she knows that you are on to her little scam of playing one parent against the other and that it's not ok to do. If you are a religious person you could bring that into the conversation too. Make sure your daughter hears that no one, not even your boyfriend is out to hurt her emotionally. Since he will be leaving for business for periods of time it would be good for him to call and talk to her. Just to say hi and that he will be happy to see her (show her something, take her somewhere, etc.) when he gets back. It will take a lot of work on your part because you will be caught in the middle but it will be worth it in the end. Your daughter will end up having more trust in you because you were truthful and more respect for you because you didn't treat her like she was 8 years old.

Kim - posted on 03/21/2010

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I would just like to suggest something that may be of some help hopefully,, could you go for short break with your eleven year old daughter. Just the two of you it could give you both the time and space to really talk, try get to the bottom of her feelings. Explain to her that she will always be your baby and no matter what you love her. Its a big change in her family and as a foster carer I know all to well how when another child joins the family it can be such a confusing time for your own children. I found that having private conversations and even confiding in your own child about how you feel about the situation can really help. All a child needs sometimes is reassurance that you havnt changed although the family circle may have.

Cindy - posted on 03/21/2010

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Thank you Tracy...I will certainly consider everyone opinion to my post and pray that it doesn't come down to having to choose one over the other. She seems to have settled down somewhat, although we did just have a fight over a shirt that is missing and once again she pulled the "I want to go live with dad" card. Everytime something comes up missing, right away she assumes that his daughter took it and it has never proven to be that way. I try not to get angry when she does this and instead help her find what she is looking for but it is getting real old. Hopefully, with time things will get better. Once again thank you everyone for your help.

Tracy - posted on 03/21/2010

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I'm glad to hear that everything is settling down, and I appreciate the fact that you can see it is out of concern for your daughter that some of the moms, including myself, have voiced opposing opinions to yours. I know that if you didn't want to hear opposing opinions you would not have posted your question, and I appreciate how well you have voiced your own opinion and circumstances in your last post. I can see now that you don't want your daughter to move out...in your first post it seemed like you were in a rush to get rid of her. But I still disagree with the idea of letting her move in with her dad if the new kids get to stay in your home...she will feel unwanted by you even though it's her idea. So what if she's the only one who has a problem with your boyfriend? Does she not count? If she can't work out her feelings fast enough she gets shipped out? I think you're rushing it. I agree with another mom who said to give it some time to let her get used to the idea of a blended family. But, if it comes down to her moving out or the boyfriend, you've got to choose to hang on to your daughter. I fear that by letting her go she will sever ties with you completely. See, I just really understand her mind set from when I was 12, and if my mom had done that to me, that would have been the last straw. Thanks for listening, but the choice is certainly up to you. God bless!

Cindy - posted on 03/20/2010

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First of all, I want to thank everyone for their comments. I appreciate all of them even the ones who tell me that I am not being a responsible adult and telling me that it is more important for me to be living with my boyfriend then with my daughter. I don't understand why anyone has to leave....how is this family going to become blended if one of us doesn't live here? I never WANTED my daughter to move out...this was her idea and of course her dads. He has always been trying to get her over there and he sees this as his perfect opportunity. I just want her to be happy...but I also don't see why I should have to sacrifice my happiness in order to make this happen. She is only 11 and she thinks moving in with her dad will make things better....but like I mentioned before....she will still have to be with us every other weekend and twice during the week. I agree with Amanda that if I tell my boyfriend to move out cause this is what my daugther wants...then she will think that she can do anything she wants cause she has control. I want to explain that I have told my boyfriend to stop teasing her and he has agreed to stop....but my daughter keeps hanging on to the past incidences and not letting go. I also do not completely ignore my boyfriend's little girl. His children are with us every weekend and I spend most of my time with her because she does not get very much attention from her mom (another story). I try to get the girls to do things together with me and then I also make sure that I spend some alone time with my daughter on the weekends that my kids are with us. As for my other two children, my 18 yr old daugther thinks he is cool but she does not like it when he teases her sister and lets him know that which is ok with us and my son thinks he is great also because he will do things with him like play video games and go hunting and fishing with him (unlike his father who doesn't do anything with the children but go to movies). Also, as for rushing into everyone living together and that we have to let her get to know them before that happens....why is she the only one that has a problem with this. His children are not having any issues and also my other two children are OK with this. Admittedly, my daugther tries to play the "moving in with dad" card everytime she has a problem with me disclipining her or anything else that she doesn't like....so I am fed up with it and that is why I told her to try living with her dad for awhile just to see if it is going to be something she likes better. But I did want to let everyone know that since my first posting things seem to be getting better. My boyfriend has taken a new job that will require him to do some traveling a couple of weeks at a time and I have told my daugther this. Hopefully knowing that he wont always be around all the time now will make her change her mind about moving in with her dad. She seems to have relaxed since this news and we have had a very good weekend with everyone together. Thank you everyone for your help.

Steffanie - posted on 03/20/2010

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I moved in with my boyfriend and my eight year old at the time had fantasies about myself and my ex husband getting back together. He didn't give my boyfriend a chance. At first he was resistant, and was acting out. Eventually, after I explained several times that it wasn't going to happen, and both myself and my ex husband still loved him, but didn't love each other, and couldn't live together. He started giving my boyfriend a chance. Now, a year later, my boyfriend is like a surrogate father figure to Dylan because is own father isn't as involved with Dylan as he should be. You are the adult, and it is a big change for your 11 year old. Her hormones are going crazy, she is starting to menstruate, and she is starting to discover who she is. Your boyfriend's children are younger than her, so it is probably difficult for her to relate to them. I would try and spend as much time with her one on one. I don't agree with some people who think that you should just move them out. It takes time to blend two families together, and there is a lot of growing pains that goes with it. Tell her to give it six months with your new family, (and I strongly suggest that you and your boyfriend make it more serious and get married, so she will feel it is more of a permanent situation.) if after that time she is still unhappy, than let her move in with her dad. The grass is always greener on the other side, and kids use moving in with the other parent as a way to manipulate the situation. If she is going to her dad instead of you, she is causing undo drama. Tell your boyfriend not to joke around with her, because obviously she doesn't like it. Try excursions that include the whole family, and treating all the children like your own. If she moves in with her dad, she will discover that she won't be happy their either. I don't think it choosing between your daughter and your boyfriend, it is teaching her to get along with other family members, and dealing with other personalities. She was the baby, and now she isn't anymore. She feels threatened by the younger child. If you and your boyfriend had a child of your own and she was acting this way, would you put the baby up for adoption? The world doesn't revolve around her, and she has to learn to get along, not to be manipulative, like crying to her dad. My own children have used that on me, and I have told them, fine move in with your dad than. Soon, they get over it. Your the adult, and she is the child. Part of growing up is realizing that the world doesn't revolve around them.

Margi - posted on 03/20/2010

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Amanda... it doesn't have anything to do with manipulation. The mum openly admits that she "understand that she is feeling a lot of jealousy about the 8 yr old and feels she is taking away mom's attention. I try to be around my daugther the most when she is here and don't even really pay that much attention to the other." To refer to the 8yr old "daughter" she has just, supposedly, welcomed into her newly blended family as "the other" clearly indicates that she is completely unprepared to parent this new family that she and her boyfriend chose to create. Ultimately the choice is hers and, that being said, she has to live with that choice and not complain about it.

Tracy - posted on 03/20/2010

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How do we know the other two kids don't have a problem with the boyfriend and just haven't vocalized it to their mom - or that Mom just failed to mention it in her post? If the 11 year old has a problem with Mom's boyfriend, and Mom has tried to fix it but it's still happening, that's the BOYFRIEND's fault. 11 year olds are still learning to be good friends with people their own age, much less adult strangers that invade their home. Adults should know how to get along, especially when that adult is wanting to live in his girlfriend's home with her children. You would think he would do everything possible to be accepted by her kids. But no, this guy wants to tease the 11 year old and cause problems. Sounds like HE's the one who wants her to move to the dad's house.



I still think that the boyfriend needs to move out and give the kids (all of them) time to get to know him and his kids. A bond needs to be built between them so that when and if the families are blended by marriage, then it's easier for everyone to accept the others and get along. There will still be fights because no family is perfect, but you can't expect everyone to co-exist happily without a bond holding them together. If the 11 year old is trying to manipulate the situation as it is, I don't blame her. She is crying out for help and feels like nobody is listening. While she isn't allowed to dictate who and when her mom can date, she deserves to be protected and validated by her mother. If there are no marriage plans, then what is the rush to have the boyfriend live in her house and kick out her baby? Couldn't the mom give it some time in deference to her daughter's emotional well-being?

Amanda - posted on 03/20/2010

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I'm sorry 1 out of 3 of her children have a problem with this man, that clearly states that it is the 11 year olds problem and not a problem with this man. The 11 year is just upset because she just realized her parents are never getting back together, and trying everything in her power to fix that. Shockingly, you mothers would allow her to manipulate your lives, because she cant cope with reality.

Theresa - posted on 03/20/2010

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I agree with the first two moms and totally DISAGREE with Amanda. Your children should ALWAYS come before a boyfriend. A husband is different. If the boyfriend should be so importnat why isn't he made a permenant part of the family (get married) before he moves in. That wouldn't neccessarily solve the 11 year olds problems, but it would make things more permenant and stable. Mom, you and boyfriend are the adults here. Your responsibility is to protect, nurture and make your child feel loved, safe and secure. Yes, she may just be acting out with no real reason. But it is your resposibilty to talk things through with her and do whatever needs to be done to keep her secure. That may mean he needs to get his own place for awhile. Then do things all together, with him and his kids going back to their own place EVERY night. After some time talk to your daughter again about the possibility of him coming back. After some time she may come around and accept him and his kids. Plus it doesn't seem fair to his daughter either that you "really don't pay that much attention to the other." I also agree that he needs to stop the teasing that he is doing to her. Appologizing is great, but when the same behavior continues to happen soon the appologies mean nothing. Good luck.

Margi - posted on 03/20/2010

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I so agree with Tracy... My first thought was, Why is the daughter leaving and not the boyfriend. You are a grown up and are more able to understand the delicate balances involved in "blending" your family. All your daughter knows is that she WAS your 'baby' and now she isn't. You can't explain to her that "he was only joking"... you need to explain to him NOT to joke with her because she doesn't get it. You should be protecting your daughters interests NOT yours and perhaps, in a few years, when she is older and knows everyone better (including herself - being a preteen/teenager is hard enough without extra stress), you and your boyfriend could try again.

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