12 year old step daughter....just her name makes me cringe

Kerri - posted on 01/25/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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We live 700 miles away from my SD and get her for 5 weeks in the summer. We also drive the 700 miles during the year to visit her and other family as well. When we visit she makes excuses of other things she is doing but when my husband doesn't pick her up she calls her mother and tells her that he doesn't want to see her. My husband also calls her all the time and she doesn't pick up and doesn't return his calls. Of course he persists because this is is daughter after all but I'm tired of her games.



Last summer was the breaking point for me. She came for her normal 5 week stay - all was normal. After the first week I noticed changes. My husband is a firefighter and works 24 hour shifts so I am home alone with her which was fine. I caught her on the phone with her mother telling her that I yell at her and punish her all the time and she can't do anything right. My SD is very well behaved and always does what she is asked, there is no reason why I would have to let alone that I would never yell at her or punish her. Of course my husband gets a phone call from her mother and he lays into me about "not having the right to tell his daughter anything". I was so stunned I couldn't even get into the fact that it was my house too and if she was not following my rules I would speak to her about her behavior (oh my God I've turned into my mother!) or to tell him that it was completely false. Later the next week she started talking about having to leave to go home early because she had something for court but she didn't want to leave because she was afraid she would disappoint my husband...long story short it turned into a big dragged out crying fest for my SD. She had her mother on the phone, my husband in the room, and (if you could believe it) she called my mother in law over to my house too! Everyone was fawning over her and telling her it was OK...I was convinced that there was no court date and she just wanted to leave. I told my husband to just call the court to see if she was on the list - he refused. The whole night ended with SD saying she would let us know what she wanted to do by Friday, Yeah I'll just wait on pins and needles. Well Friday and came and low and behold she was going to stay and nothing was ever mentioned about the court date that originally started the mess. Its like they forgot it existed. Before it was such a priority and she HAD to get home and then all of a sudden she was going to stay and that was it...to me it wasn't right.



Since then I cringe at her name, I dread her visits here and our visits there, and if she calls I get on my phone so that I don't have to talk to her. Now I am expecting our first child and am due in July and apparantly SD can't wait to come "take care of her new brother or sister this summer". I feel like the stress of having a new baby will be enough and can't deal with her nonsense! I know this is her brother or sister but I really do not want her here. On top of that my mother will be here to visit when the baby is born and we only have one guest room so we woldn't have anywhere for her to stay. I do not want to be the evil step mother but I really don't know how to like my step daughter again.

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Shana - posted on 01/25/2009

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It sounds like you are fighting this battle all by yourself. You really need to talk to your husband and express your concerns about how he sides with her always. I have had times with my husband originally believing his kids before me, but he knows that I wouldn't say something unless it was real, and he would get both sides of the story before he makes his decision. There is no way you are going to be able to really build a relationship with your SD if you don't have all lines of communication open with everyone, and everybody is being honest. The games she is playing is sure to form a division between you and your husband, and with a new baby on the way, the last thing you need is for her to start any problems in your household. Ground rules need to be set and followed by everyone.

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Amanda - posted on 02/12/2009

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I have the same problems with my SD.  She is a pathological lier that loves to see her father get upset at me.  But it doesn't stop there.  She tells lies to her mother about her father and vice versa, and when confronted all she has to say is "I think it's funny to watch you all fight."  I'm to the point now that I get physically sick to my stomach when I know it's our weekend with her!  My husband keeps telling me that she just wants my attention, but I refuse to even speak to her because I know no matter what I say to her will be turned into a lie and I'd rather just avoid the whole situation!!  The only time my SD is nice to anybody is when they're doing something for her or buying her something.  It's disgusting!!  I have two small girls of my own, ages 4 and 5, and my four year old is starting in on the lying now as well.  It has gotten to the point that I have MY daughters seeing a therapist so that she can explain to them that my SD has a problem and it's not o.k to do the things that she does!  I guess I'm kinda in the same boat as you.  I don't know how to tolerate my SD let alone like her at this point.  But the only advice that I can give you is to make sure that you take care of your little one the best that you can because in the end, he/she is the only one that you really do have the power to raise better than that.  Best of luck to you.

Sherri - posted on 02/11/2009

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hi Kerri, so sorry to hear your having a tough time.  Been there, done that.  My SD was younger when she pulled the my step mom is so mean to me bit, it got to the point where the bio mom wouldn't let us talk to her or have any contact for a year and everything had to go through a court mediator.  i think the problem is that nothing unites people better than a common enemy - in this case you are the enemy uniting the mom and daughter.  You are a good excuse to whine to mommy about how tough her life is, and bio mom eats it up because it lets her be the protector and the good guy and she doesn't have to compete with you!  My son has a step mom and when he tried pulling this crap I sat down with him and his dad to discuss it all - it the concerns are real then the child has a right to discuss with the parent - however, we decided that unless there were major issues involved (abuse, alcohol, etc.) the child was to go to the bio parent living in the same house as the step parent if there were concerns.    so if my husband is annoying my son he is to talk to me, not his dad.  If the concerns are big enough, then we all need to sit down and discuss it together.  It would really be tough, but a good learning curve for your sd if she had to sit down with you, her dad, and her mother and talk about how mean you are.  it is harder for her to lie if she has to do it in front of your face.  Her dad needs to man up (this was a huge area of concern in my marriage, to the point where I told my husband that there could only be one woman in the house so he'd better choose - sounds mean, but my husband would not talk to me for days if i told his daughter to behaver herself when she was acting like a brat).  I also found that by encouraging my husband to spend more one on one time with his daughter helped us all!  SD got the attention she was craving,, and I got the peace and quiet I was craving.  You have hubby all to yourself except for 5 weeks every year - must be hard for her!  organize activities for you hubby and daughter as often as possible - it will make your sd see you as not being jealous or competitive.  then try to buddy up with your sd, like working together to make a nice meal for her dad when he comes home from work, and she gets all the credit - ask him to take his favorite girls out for lunch or to a movie.  she is obviously needing attention - and that age is tough, they are so dramatic about everything.  It doesn't help that everyone feeds into her emotions.  Best of luck to you.  I can tell you that at 13 (I've know her since she was 6), I love the time I have with my SD - 2 years ago I felt the same way as you describe.  When I changed my approach, everyone else fell in line eventually.  With the bio mom, stroking her ego helps as well.  I would choke on every word, but I would ask bio mom every now and then to help me out with her daughter.  For example, I was concerned about SD and her hygiene, or lack thereof at that age.  I spoke with mom and asked how I could encourage without nagging, etc.  i didn't need the bio moms advice, but it really helped me out in the long run - she felt her say was important and felt less threatened by my role, and she told her daughter a couple of times, in front of me, that sd had better do what I ask her to do or else!



Best of luck.

Michelle - posted on 02/09/2009

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Hi Kerri, i agree with what Shana has said. You have a right to be respected by a child in your home, kids are smart and your sd is playing games with you. Talk to your partner. My sd started with this sort of stuff recently, she basically was making my dp choose between us. I don't have any reason to lie to him what does that achieve? kids will unfortunately sometimes say and do what they have to, just to get what they want.

Just a thought maybe she is jealous of your relationship, if this is so (as was ours) maybe your partner needs to make an extra effort to spend time with her, the same time everyday/week so she knows she has her dads full attention for that time.Then maybe she will feel secure in their relationship again. Just because your here now doesn't mean she will be forgotten, she needs to know that. It might help. And stay strong don't let her see the behavior gets to you and maybe she'll get bored with it.
good luck

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