When a step-child revolts!

Bettie - posted on 02/23/2011 ( 29 moms have responded )

41

45

0

My almost 15 year old step-daughter has decided she doesn't want to see me or talk to me without any definite time line. Without any reason or contact to discuss why, but just sent a message on the computer to her dad. Which is a problem with every other weekend visits (last weekend she decided she didn't want to visit) So I want to know who or how anyone else has dealt with an issue like this. My husband (her dad) thinks she is now old enough to make her own decisions but I believe this isn't the kind of decision a child should make. Yes I say child as this is her attitude lately and she had been diagnosed at age 5 with ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Michelle - posted on 02/25/2011

67

56

4

Your story brings back very vivid and sad memories for me. Long story short, let her be.



I decided at age 13 not to visit my Dad (for various reasons, my realtionship with my step-family was a major factor). He did not pursue me nor did his wife and I did not speak to or hear from him for 11 years. Eventually I wanted to repair my realtionship with him and he willingly accepted me.



It has been over 15 years since we decided to let the past go and I am so thankful that my Daddy loved me enough to let me go when I needed him to. We now have a great realtionship and I love his family as though we all are one. I would not trade him or them for anything!



The greatest thing of all is how when we step back and let God work He will mend all broken hearts!

Bettie - posted on 03/01/2011

41

45

0

Quilty, Sorry I misspelled your name earlier, I and my husband also agrees with her seeing someone, BUT, her mom says she has to pick the person for her to talk to, or it don't happen. We suggested our Pastor, but since her mom doesn't know him, then it won't work. But then she has never really looked for someone either. My feelings are that someone who doesn't know or may be influenced by someone, should be the right person. A professional, not just a friend of the family or of another friend. But it has to go the mother's way or nothing. So we are at a stalemate. Quite possibly the mother doesn't want some things to be told by her daughter, I fortunately have about 16 pages on things that have been happening within the last several years and a few things my husband has told me.

Quilty - posted on 03/01/2011

60

8

5

As the mother of four daughters (all now 18 or older), I can tell you that 15 year old girls are the most vicious creatures on the planet.

They will do whatever it takes to get under your skin, push ALL your buttons, and the next day throw their arms around your neck and declare that they couldn't get along without you.

All those new hormones raging around in her body, and little bits of freedom granted are power surges that start that roller coaster ride of "I love you/I hate you" (from both sides!).

The best thing you can do is keep the rules consistent, do NOT allow her to be disrespectful (one of mine ended up sleeping on just the mattress on the floor in her room, because we removed privileges every time she acted up), and if necessary, GET PROFESSIONAL HELP. Even if your daughter rebels against it, YOU can get some ideas on how to deal with her, and some reassurance that you're NOT insane!

Louise - posted on 02/24/2011

5,429

69

2296

I think that if the girl is coming to your home to visit her dad then she has to accept you to. This is your home and you have every right to be there. What are you expected to do go out every time she comes over? That is not going to work. When she does visit next then all three of you sit around the table and talk this through ask her why she does not want to see you and then listen to her responce. Has she heard something from her mother that has soured her relationship with you. You need to find out what has sparked this and only then can you start to put things right. Good Luck!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

29 Comments

View replies by

Bettie - posted on 03/25/2011

41

45

0

This on-going situation has accumulated to a larger scale. This past weekend my hubby's family had a game day with almost everyone there. This was held in a Family center which was reserved for us. My hubby told his daughter the Wed before about what was going on (seems he can't plan too far in advance with her unless the mother gets wind and makes her own plans to wreck his,) My step-daughter said she wanted to go and see the family and she realized I would be there. We thought all was fine until Fri. he got a message from her asking why I had to be there and he reminded her that he told her what was going on Wed and she was fine with it and he will come to pick her up and if she doesn't want to come then they will have lunch and he will take her back home. Her reply was, "I want to go, I just don't want to see her there." To compromise, he picked her up and I drove a separate vehicle so we wouldn't have to ride together. With gas prices now, that was very unnecessary! While there, I had to keep my distance, avoid any encounter and not say anything to her. later, since it was close to her birthday date, we gave (I was permitted to be in the same room) her gifts to her. Not one word from her as far as thank you towards me, all was directed to her dad. I did all the work and purchased items for her. When we were ready to leave, our two separate vehicles we side each other and since she was outside waiting before her dad came out, I used my remote and unlocked the door (from inside my car), I was given a somewhat dirty look just for doing that
for her. I honestly have probably treated her better than my own sons because I wanted a daughter to do things for and with and my hubby said I was doing more for her in the 2 days we had her every other weekend, than what her mom did with her in the 2 weeks between. Too bad her mom became jealous of my time with my step-daughter and did everything she could to turn her against me.

Bettie - posted on 03/13/2011

41

45

0

She told her dad today on chat, "I told you I didn't want you to BRING HER ALONG" "Why don't you care about my feelings?" you want to know what he told her back? "I am proud of you." She asked way, he said for not saying anything mean and she said she wanted to say a lot of things but didn't. He shows me every chat or message he gets from her or her mom. She also told him her little sister didn't want me either and my hubby isn't even her dad! my hubby won't talk to her like a parent should. the ex has him convinced he will lose his daughter if he says anything to her. Pretty much all he does for his daughter is pay support, drive her around and but her meals on his day with her, no discipline, no anything. She will continue to get worse over time not better.

Olivia - posted on 03/13/2011

3

0

0

Hi Bettie
I think the best way to deal with this is have a chat with her if she doesn't want to chat with you then have her dad talk to her. Making sure that he tells her that you are a major part of his life which means also her also that he respects her wishes but it will be difficult to continue having a relationship when there is friction with you. Let her go don't pursue it one day she will realise she is in the wrong. You know you have done nothing wrong except marry her dad (in her eyes), just accept it and move on Bettie be positive and let her know you accept and respect her decision. One day she will realise she had done wrong not you..Good luck....

Mary - posted on 03/07/2011

5

25

0

From experience I give my oldest son, who has a 16 yr old step-daughter, this advice; recognize that teens are at a stage in their lives where most can't stand their biological parents, much less a step-parent; so don't take things so personally. Second - choose your battles carefully and this is NOT the hill you want to die on.

Consider this; what real choice’s do you have here? She’s a step-daughter that you only see every other weekend. Your husband can’t control his teenage daughters feelings any more than you can. So ….. be pleasant and supportive in your husbands decisions and be pleasant and respectful to your stepdaughter. After this teenage phase is over you'll find your marriage happily in tact and will have a good relationship with your step-daughter. If you’re combative and controlling you’ll likely find your marriage in trouble and will harm your relationship with your step-daughter beyond repair.

Bettie - posted on 03/05/2011

41

45

0

I am really ready to go off the deep end. Today was his Sat. with her and she asked him Thursday on face book (actually told him) she wanted it to be just him and her and without skipping a beat, he sent her back a message, okay. Not even letting me know or telling her he would let her know after we discussed it. So the plan was for him to talk to her on the way to a friends house Sat. So, he gets a message from her Fri. evening from his daughter that her little sister wanted to come along, so again, the same response, sure. I find out Sat morning about all this and i see the messages on his face book and he really didn't have anything to say about it. That he would talk to her today. So with the little sister along, I think just so he couldn't talk to her, he never did say anything. Every time one went to the restroom later at the mall, the other had to go. He never said anything to her about respecting me as a part of the marriage or that it would not go one like this much longer. He just says it won't do any good to talk to the mom cause he knows how she is and it won't make any difference. this has gone on for several years actually. Two weeks before our wedding, he sprung on me that maybe we should wait awhile. I figured out later it was his ex behind that. the day of our wedding rehearsal, he wasn't coming from picking up his daughter and I was getting very worried. The little sister had to come along as well. So his excuse, after getting her 5 minutes before we had to be at the church, was the ex needed to get her feelings about me off her mind. Her needs??? What about mine as his future wife? Our wedding night was just another weekend with the girls. I am afraid to ask if he killed someone and the ex knows where the body is buried and that is the hold she has over him. It is really getting upsetting to us and to me especially. I am on the verge of a total break down about this whole situation. I wrote a letter for the Step-daughter to read about how everyone is raised differently and I know I have made mistakes and am not perfect and I know things have been said about me in the past. My husband had to nerve to ask me this morning if he has to choose between making his daughter happy or me, well that is a change from before, cause it used to be he asked if he had to choose between making his ex happy or me! When everything goes the ex's way, then everything is just fine, but through off her grove and you better watch out cause she will unleash everything she can on a person.

Sandy - posted on 03/05/2011

5

12

0

Bettie I am so sorry that it has come to this or that your husband is making these choices. Kids need to know that the marital unit is strong and that you two will stand together. And for him to say "She'll figure out when she's older that she needs to be clean, etc." She's 15 right?? What the heck?? And from what you said you make sure that your boys respect him but he won't give you the same with his child. To be told to use lotion, perfume, open a window if she comes into your home stinking and that you aren't allowed to tell her anything - this will get worse before it gets better I'm sorry to say. HUGS to you and my thoughts are with you this weekend. Please let us know what's going on....

Bettie - posted on 03/04/2011

41

45

0

There is defiantly a strain on our marriage! my husband and his daughter are going to spend a Saturday just by themselves, her wishes, so he and her can talk things over and hopefully he can find out what the problem is. I am partially against it and part not. I guess I fell that since he has said before that he felt out of the respect he should be getting from my older sons, that he felt he should stay in the trailer instead of in the house with me. I had to make a choice between him or my kids and I choose him, so now it is the same situation and he says I need to stay out of any thing having to do with her life that her mother is in charge and she sets rules. I am not to tell her or her sister if they need a bath or otherwise. He says she will learn herself that being clean is something she should do when she gets older. It isn't my responsibility. In other words, butt out of his daughter. If I have to open a window on the truck or put lotion on with a scent to cover the smell up, then I guess it is what I have to do. he doesn't see that he should say anything either. That since she lives with her mom, that is her place to tell her things. I gave him my opinion that he tells her if she can't give him any reason, that it goes back to three of us again. Well is my thought and he will go with the daughter to keep peace with the mother. I don't see this being resolved any time soon. Thank you all for your help, any thoughts from others who have been in this type of situation has been helpful. I did tell my husband I have been conversing this way with you all and I told him some of the answers and the different ways to look at it. I do know that he has okay-ed the plans to go by themselves before asking my opinion though, so yes, this is straining our marriage. What we go through now will make us stronger in the future.

Kathy - posted on 03/02/2011

37

8

0

Bettie, after reading this conversation again, I see that you have the same issues I do about not getting respect. I now believe that you HAVE TO INSIST on getting respect from the step kids. This cant be optional. You husband is making things a lot worse by protecting his kids. Im sure it strains your marriage too

Quilty - posted on 03/01/2011

60

8

5

What a shame that her mother is adding fuel to this fire.

I wish you the best.

Quilty - posted on 03/01/2011

60

8

5

From what you just said, it sounds like this girl is SCREAMING for SOMEone to set some limits and boundaries for her!

All the more reason to get some professional help, say, a social worker who specializes in teens. Kids seem to be more willing to try to work out rules and regs with a "mediator."

Bettie - posted on 03/01/2011

41

45

0

Thank you Quailty, my husband would never set down with myself to discuss any rules regarding his daughter.his way of taking care of the situations, over the years before we met, were what he used and I had no say about anything, unless I wanted a stern scolding from him for interfering. I was not to scold or discipline in any way for fear it got back to her mom who would use it against me. He never told his daughter to respect my part of the marriage and was just going with the flow and hoping it would all work out fine. As long as thins went smoothly, all questions or reprimands were to be left up to him. This I know, is part of the problem. Neither parent taught her to respect my part in the parenting.

Kathy - posted on 03/01/2011

37

8

0

We all have to ask for help and advice from friends like these sweet ladies and me! I hope this helps you.

Kathy - posted on 03/01/2011

37

8

0

Even further, my husbands first daughter is getting married and didnt invite me. So that has put a huge strain on our marriage. The bottom line is that kids can be very selfish and manipulative, but I heard they grow out of it. As a step mom, we have to try not to get sucked into the drama that they are pouring out and stay controlled

Bettie - posted on 03/01/2011

41

45

0

Kathy, That would be the case if she really had friends, but being home schooled, she only has friends on the computer and her sisters, so it has something to do with others influence. Her mother has sheltered the three daughters and they only are allowed to be out with family or a few neighbors around them in town. I am considered mean for reminding her to make sure she is wearing clean clothes and taking showers before she goes to places where many people will be (she used to only take a bath every other weekend when she stayed with us) and her body oder is very strong at times. Needing to change clothes every day instead of wearing them over and over till they begin to fall apart. I know some kids wear their favorite clothes but this is just neglect on the mother's part for not knowing her children are wearing holey undies and socks that are black on the bottom from not changing them. There are many issues going on in her house that are on the side of abuse in the form of neglect, but that isn't the problem here.

Kathy - posted on 03/01/2011

37

8

0

Hi there. I think that she probably wantst to stay home because of friends or a boyfriend and has made everyone think its you. I have 3 step kids that can be HORRIBLE and I have 4 of my own, so I would not take it personally and just realize she is doing this to stay at home with her friends.

Bettie - posted on 03/01/2011

41

45

0

Thank you everyone, I really appreciate all your replies. I will read over them again and I am sure everyone's advice will come in handy. This is very tough on us right now, Her mother is difficult to work with, I am finding out more and more, she will use anything she can to turn My husband from me. That is what controlling people do. She has already told him he needs to threaten me for treating their daughter like crap, please, pray for her. She is in need of it.

[deleted account]

Lead by example and show her Love, Honor, Courage and Grace. She will come around. But do not compromise yourself. This will send the wrong message to both she and her parents. Be strong and God Bless!

Stephanie - posted on 02/28/2011

9

0

0

I agree that forcing yourself on her isn't a good idea. Kids need to make decisions and deal with natural consequences. She should realize that you'll be in your home when she visits, and she should be polite, but if she doesn't want to be chummy, that's fine too. Kids grow up eventually and realize that the choices they made in their youth aren't always the best. It will be hard for you, but teach her by your actions that you're not going anywhere, that her dad and you are a team, and you accept her on whatever level she's at. Easier said than done, but still possible. Remember what you were like as a teenager. No one wants to be friends with someone who's forced on them. Just be patient... and longsuffering. It will work out.

Carole - posted on 02/28/2011

33

8

0

First of all . . .throw out the label, (ODD)! it is giving her an excuse to misbehave! Secondly, her father needs to take her out and make her talk to him about the real reason she does not want to be around you. It might be simple teenage acting out for attention . . .it might be something more sinister . . .like is she trying to put a wedge between you and your husband? Is she positioning herself to make him choose? If there's been no abuse, if you are kind and respectful to her, if there is no jealousy, (on your part) - and if you accept her as part of your husband's life, then she needs to communicate what her issue is . . .and it needs to be a real issue - however, if she is just being a manipulative teen, then she needs to be made to visit and "tolerate" your presence!

Hayley - posted on 02/27/2011

63

35

0

I can tell you from the OTHER side that it is her age, and a need to rebel for the sake of independence and self-worth. Almost certainly. I LOVED my stepmom until I was that age, and then I just... needed to hate her for a while. I had no reason: she's a total gem. But I just needed to. So I did. I found any excuse, logical or not, to dis her. And she was sad, but just let it go. She was herself, nice, diplomatic (which just infuriated me more at the time but was the right thing to do) and did not sink to my level of behavior or try to stronng-arm me, figuratively or otherwise. She just waited me out. And it worked. I grew up. She's a gem and I knew it and I just let her back in and all was well. Some kids need to demonstrate "I am a person, not a puppet and I am not necessarily who you want me to be but I need you to love me in spite of that." So you treat them in a loving way, but keep your own self respect, stay on the moral high ground. Try reading the book "How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk." Great advice on how to handle a defiant teen respectfully and fairly (fairly to the whole family).

Bettie - posted on 02/27/2011

41

45

0

Thank you for every response. I am 54 and my husband 53. I have three adult male children, two of which have their own children. You can see why this is a strange issue since there is an age difference with my step-daughters mom and my husband. the mother is just a few years older then my oldest son. As far as my husband talking to her and getting her to understand that she is to respect me will never happen. He is so rooted in a fear of upsetting her and then it gets back to him from the mother that these issues just fall by the wayside and hopefully in time will be forgotten. Her little sister has always gone with her on their mid-week times unless she is sick, so talking to her alone probably isn't possible. I can not tell everyone about the neglect and in that form of abuse theses girls have gone through over the years I have known them. You all would be amazed at what has gone on and no one thinks any differently about saying anything to those involved. Nothing that I am aware of as far as I know from any of the boyfriends, but the mother, Still married to the youngest ones dad but separated for 3 years, has had at least 8 boy friends that we have known about, 2 live ins, 4 engagement rings (pawned off for money) Well, not the last one, and still having the nerve to down me about simple issues. When the step daughter was first spending weekends with us, she was trying to look through a small cup of milk, from the bottom up and almost poured it down my computer tower, but I was a bad person for making her use a sip cup and staying at the table till she was finished. That made me a bad person and mean to her daughter...and the list goes on with similar silly things, which she uses to force me out of her daughters life.

Sandy - posted on 02/27/2011

5

12

0

Bettie I feel for you with what you are going through! Being a parent isn't easy - being a step-parent even harder. Reading below it sounds really good that things have been going so well for the last 6 years. I don't happen to agree with your hubby that this girl should be allowed to make this decision. I agree with Louise about sitting down and talking to her. Do you think that it might help for your husband to approach her first and talk to her. Give her a chance to express why she has decided that she wants to cut contact with you. This is a sign of something deeper going on especially since you and she have gotten along so well in the past. Michelle I am glad that things worked out for your situation in the past but I think it's important to at least try to have some understanding of what is going on before simply saying "OK fine, don't come over...". Being a teen is a difficult and confusing time under the best of circumstances and you don't want to have this end up with her feeling like "See, they don't care about me". (no one said teen thinking made sense). I raised two stepdaughters - I was in their lives from the time that they were 13 mos and 4 yrs old (currently they are 25 and 22). I was pretty close with the older daughter until she hit about 18 (a long story) and the relationship with the younger one was always strained. The girls came to live with us when they were 7 & 10 since their mom couldn't provide for them at all. Of course the younger daughter was too young to understand why she had to move in with us and always wanted to move back with her mother (which finally happened when she was 17). It is important for this girl to understand that while she doesn't have to like/love you, she must respect you. And that has to come from her dad - you can't enforce it without his backup. It can't matter what the mom says - if she talks you down, etc. Went through that for years but my stepdaughter finally realized that it goes both ways - I do for her just like a daughter, etc I earn/deserve the same respect a parent gets. Please talk to your husband about this and see if he would be willing to talk to his daughter and try to find out what the issue is. And he needs to let her know that she needs to come to the visitations. If some plans were going on with her friends or an activity she doesn't want to miss that she can't participate from from your house that is different but for her to do it just because send the wrong message. She is not an adult and shouldn't have the control to make these kinds of decisions. Please let us know how things are going okay? You are not alone.....

Bettie - posted on 02/26/2011

41

45

0

Let me go back to the beginning. We have been married almost 6 years, up until a few weeks ago, everything was perfect with my step-daughter. No problems being with me or otherwise. Out of the blue, this has come up. She is going to have a birthday party in March, and I know I will have to be with her, because it will be a family game day as well. I have made her and her sister, costumes, dresses (last year a prom dress for her older sister) and many other things I would not have needed to do but I do it anyway. So we are at a stand still as to what the real problem is. We know what starts the problems, just not why she is allowing this to make her decisions.

Louise - posted on 02/26/2011

5,429

69

2296

Bettie you are battling so many demons here. You are doing the best thing by not reacting to her bad behaviour but I don't think I would put up with this all the time. 6 Years is a long time to put up with this. If I were you I would be sharp with this girl and tell her that talking about or to you like that hurts your feelings. It also sounds to me that your relationship with her father is the only stable relationship she knows. Eventually she will realise what a little madam she has been to you but unfortunately this will be sometime in the future. Stay strong she will need you more than she thinks one day!

Bettie - posted on 02/24/2011

41

45

0

I would very much like to sit down and talk this over with her and her dad, but she most likely won't. She has never been made to answer questions and it's not going to change now. Her mother piratically forced my husband to follow her guidelines in choosing a mate. He had to know for certain this between us was going to be a commitment before he introduced me to his daughter. But, the mother has had a long string of potential mates (at least two live ins) without following the same rules. there is obvious friction between the mother and myself and also between her and my husband. I am certain she makes remarks in front of this (her second of three, three fathered daughters) while we have never made any comments in front of either of them. We will be married 6 years this April and she still runs me down every chance she can, but then turns around and asks me to do her (for the girls mostly) favors. As a Christian, I willingly do them so they can see who is being a better example of how to treat people.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms