I am having such a difficult time after reading some of these posts I do feel alittle better. I have a maternal son who is now 24 years old. I was single for the past 12 years , I met someone special 3 years ago, he has two young daughters from previous relationships. the youngest is 10 going on 11. I consider myself someone who likes children in small increments. PLay and then return them. Hence why I had only one. It took me 3 years to commit to buying a home with my now recent husband and to get married. The stahl was the young daughter. She is the most hyper attention seeking chatty child I have ever met. She is also extremely sweet. I knew this was a huge step and it would be an adjustment , Meagan stays with us all summer and two weekends of each month. 6 days afer closing on our home it was decided thru mediation her parents had that in addition to that time we would also have her Wendsdays after school and everyother school recess she has. Since I was not asked before this decision was made , you can imagine i was upset. Meagan and I were never in the same home ( i lived seperately) from her until her father and I got married -I wanted to be a good role model by doing things that way. The unfortunate reality is now I feel trapped in a situation i am completely unhappy. This child follows me around from room to room , follows me to the bathroom , a closet ANYWHERE and everywhere I go , she will be there. When I am on a phone call or the computer she is what I call my third butt cheek! Its driving me crazy . I dont want to go home when she is over, the fact that she is not my biological child I really think adds to the inpatience I am feeling. We bought her all kinds of crafts for xmas in hopes she will begin to entertain herself , but no she will only do them if we do them with her. My husband never saw this as a issue , its only my relayed frustration that has made him take a closer look. He now admitted last night (after I came home from hiding all day) that when I am not there she shadows him! I witnessed her crying hystericaly when her dad placed all her borad games within her reach so she could pick one

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Eileen - posted on 01/15/2013

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Alot of what you said about possibly missing real love and attention when she is with her mom has entered my mind many times. My heart hurts to think that is what is going on -though honestly I would hope thats not the case, Since this did happen with your biological children as well and they were provided affection and attention on a daily basis there is a possibility Meaghan just will continue wanting to be close for how ever long she wants to. I TOTALLY AGREE there will be too many days,nights,hours, weeks when I mill miss her being a child and all the fun times . Just as I did as my son grew and became more and more of his own. I do get that . The day will come when I will very much miss her little voice, and even the times when I had wished for 5 minutes of alone time will be replaced with "if only I could do it all again". However I also need some space and time for myself, this is a big adjustment for me as well and though I know she is excited and happy in my company there is a( maybe even an hour ) where I have to hear my thoughts in my own head .

I dont blame Meaghan for this, I dont blame anyone( mom or dad). I am just trying to understand if she does have a deficiency as you suggested of love and attention or if this is just simply who she is. To me in my opinion, and of course im only human I will be able to cope and continue to help to make her grow into a healthy ,happy young lady if I can understand her.When I mentioned "mental state " that was not a good choice of words, I really meant her emotional state."Is she doing ok" Having been a result myself of a broken home and tossed around eventually onto a grandmother who made it clear i was not wanted there that is the last feeling I would ever want any child to feel .She is an amazing little girl ! I was a different child though and Im sure its because I knew I wasnt wanted. I kept away from the adults as much as I could since being around was never a good thing. Thats not the case here.I enjoy her time with me , we have fun and she makes me smile - Regardless of the reason why- I only want to make it a good life for her. Dad is loving and patient but has trouble communicating , there isnt much of a chance he will be able to find out what (if anything) if going on at home with mom, school etc.
I am very confident she will open up to me in time but its too soon and she will have to take her time and realize she can trust me. Her mom is not the most cooperative with her dad and basically its a toss up how she would react if dad brought up any concerns, She has a tendency to yell and curse at him which obviously is a problem. I have already given real consideration to going to a counselor, As you said above and I agree it will help us all .Im not a very good communicator myself and that would greatly benefit everyone . There are no quick fixes in most situations but hard work and dedication do pay off. Thank you Shawnn for your advice , it does help :-)


































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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/16/2013

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Eileen,

I understand! And I'm glad that I was able to clarify a little and help. I'm just an extremely blunt person!

I can tell you love this child! Which is awesome. Some kids are just naturally more clingy than others, but I would have to say that she's probably reacting to her situation as well. And if mom yells at dad constantly, then I doubt that she treats the kids any better, unfortunately.

Keep with the limits. The oven timer idea is a good one. I did that with my kids. Basically just had to say "look, kids, I need 15 minutes to myself, ok? If you can play quietly for 15 minutes, then I'll be ready to _______ (fix lunch, play a game, etc)

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/15/2013

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Oh, no, I AM a stepmother, who was denied the very same opportunity that you have, to spend time with and love my stepdaughter, and now my grandchildren.

But, you're blaming the child! Have you ever stopped to think (put yourself in her shoes) about this? Perhaps her mother brushes her off constantly, or spends most of her time with the other child. Perhaps she's told "not now, Meaghan" far too many times in her mother's home. You have shown her that you love her, and she's clinging to that love. If she does the same to her father (as you say), then there's an underlying reason! And I seriously doubt it's mental! She is exhibiting all of the signs that she NEEDS TO RECEIVE LOVE AND ATTENTION. That means that she's getting a deficiency of that in other areas of her life (at mom's house)

I get it, I really do. But my BIOLOGICAL kids did the same things! Not because they were not feeling love, in our case, but because they simply enjoyed being with their parents all the time, and yes, at times it could have driven me to distraction, and probably should have. The way that I dealt with that was to remember that they weren't always going to want that closeness, and I reveled in every single second of it!

I'm not saying not to set limits, and as I said, Ariana's suggestions would be exactly what I would do in that case. However, your OP did sound like you didn't expect to actually parent that child, and that she's in the way all of the time. To be fair, you did NOT say that you spend x amount of time before it gets on your nerves. You simply said that "The unfortunate reality is now I feel trapped in a situation i am completely unhappy", that "Its driving me crazy . I dont want to go home when she is over" and "after I came home from hiding all day"

You make it sound like she's the plague.

I do give you props on not moving in with her dad till you married, though! I think that your choice to try to be a good role model was the right one. But she WANTS to to be her role model for more than just chastity. I'm not saying that you're "wrong" necessarily, but that you seem to blame her. You seem to think it's all her fault that you're unhappy now. Please see a counselor. For you, for your family, and for her.

Eileen - posted on 01/15/2013

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Shawnn let me set this straight , perhaps you can not read that well, perhaps my words were not relayed properly in my post. I AM AN ADULT< I AM HAVING PROBLEMS WITH ADJUSTING> WHAT DOES NO GOOD IS FOR SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT PROVIDE POSITIVE SUGGESTIONS BUT INSTEAD THROWS ARROWS. If you actually can reread my post you will notice I have a child who is now 24 years old who i raised on my own , who owns a business and has turned into a very respectable human being.for I knew when I married I would have a responsible role in my step daughters lives and I felt I was ready. This is a CONCERN for her mental state as well as mine. I fear the behavior is abnormal. ITS EXCESSIVE<

First of all if you think I have a "5 minute " span of time where i say thats it small incrument im done, than you are completely wrong, Ispend several hours playing and talking to Meaghan every day she is with us. I LOVE HER< I LOVE THE FACT THAT SHE LOVES ME, She does want to be around us and it makes me smile each day to know that! again she is absolutely sweet. It's the amount of time she wants from me, she craves the constant contact.She has no interest in being in her room playing pretend or reading crafts etc. Whether you didnt realize it or not from my post -this is very unhealthy for her and makes me wonder why ? I actually care !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After awhile I need to BE an ADULT and do responsibilities that I have . ie shopping, bills , cleaning , possibly talkinG WITH A FRIEND. SPENDING TIME WITH MY SON. If that is something you consider too much to expect than maybe youre right to say what you said . Before you rip apart someone think !!!!!
and I also imagine you are not a stepmother?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/15/2013

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Simple answer here.

The child is seeking positive attention, and she actually LIKES her step mother and wants to spend time around her! Sounds like she also wants more time with her dad if she shadows him when you're not there.

You need to either get some counseling to be able to lovingly accept your stepdaughter, or do her and your husband a favor and end the relationship. This child LOOKS UP TO YOU. She WANTS TO BE in your life.

Not to be bitchy, but you KNEW ABOUT THE CHILD prior to the marriage, so if you were "uncomfortable" with the thought of possibly raising another child, because you admittedly only like children in "small doses" you should have never made the commitment that you made.

As far as the decision for her to spend more time with her father...he's her dad, for crying out loud! Why should she NOT spend as much time as she can with him?

ETA: I'm not saying you don't deserve a break, but hiding out? Seriously? Be an adult. Ariana has good ideas, but it's not going to work out for you if you have the "limited exposure to children" issue.

Ariana - posted on 01/14/2013

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Yeah it's harder when they're already older, and she probably just doesn't have much to do (or feels that way). She's probably old enough to explain to that sometimes people need to have space, and you'll do special things with her specifically to hang out, and other times you need to just be on your own, read a book or something of the like.

Just work on getting her involved in her own things for short periods of time, and take her out to the park or around areas where there might be kids in the area she can hang around. But give her some slack, she's only there every other weekend and Wednesdays (etc.), she probably really wants to spend special time with all of you.

Eileen - posted on 01/14/2013

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Thank you for the tips, I know this sounds wrong to moms with young children- but I never expected to have to train an 11 year old child. That's something I did with my own child as he grew - way before he turned 11. I don't think she should be bored she has many activities in our house to do. Possibly not enough of an effort or desire to do them on her own without constant adult contact. Which is why I am concerned. I really do think she probably doesn't have the opportunity to see her " friends " outside of the classroom. I think if she saw young girls her age who entertain themselves it may help. As far as finding friends where we live - she comes one day during the school week and every other weekend and we live 20 miles away from where she goes to school. Being that we just bought the house this past November there hasn't been many opportunities yet to find girls her she that she might learn from.

Ariana - posted on 01/14/2013

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If you want to get her to stop shadowing you constantly you have to train her, like any child. Basically you give her some special attention (where you do something she likes to do) and then when you need a break you set up an activity she can do on her own and start her off (get her doing one of the crafts etc.), then once she's interested tell her you're going to go do ______ for 10 minutes, if she starts to get upset put on a timer. Come back once the 10 minutes is up. Either play with her again or allow her to follow you around, do this multiple times in the day for a couple of weeks, try to wait at least half an hour inbetween your 10 minute breaks or more at the start.

Eventually start to get it where she's doing an activity and you have 15 minutes, 20, 30. Don't try to do longer than this. Just get her used to doing activities on her own slowly and be consistant in coming back when you say you will.

She's probably bored and doesn't have much else to do, plus she must be very friendly and want to hang out. Are there other children around where you live or a park to go to? You might try finding someone you know, or go to the park, and meet someone who's your step-daughters age who can come over and play with her every once in a while.

And really it might be really annoying now, but when she's 13/14 acting sullen and hiding in her room not wanting to talk to any of you you'll wish for the days she followed you around.

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