How do you get your step daughter to respect you when her mom teaches just the opposite?

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Kimi - posted on 04/24/2009

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Just follow through with any thing you say you will do for her. Never stoop down to BM's level and eventually she will realize that her mother is wrong about you. Make sure she understands that even though the rules at dads house are differant from the rules at moms there is still love for her at both.

You and your husband should make a list of rules that she needs to follow and deside as a family what the consequences are for breaking them and put it up so she can be reminded. If she can't read yet find or draw pictures that represent the rules of the house. Kids usually respond better to visuals. You could get pretty creative and she would have fun making up some rules of her own too.

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Time, time and more time. I've been a step mom for 12 years and I have to say that it wasn't until the last maybe 4 or 5 years that our realtionship has blossomed. The child needs to become old enough to look around and add up 2+2 by herself and come to her own conclusions. The loud roar that is mom's negativity will slowly quiet to a whisper as she grows older and things will get better. Just make sure that you are always respectful in the way you treat the kids and lead by example. They pick up more than we think they do. The funny thing is that because mom may be calling so much attention to you with her negative comments, step-kids actually watch their step parents closely to see if it is all true. Be a good parent and give it time. It will get better.

Kelly - posted on 04/23/2009

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I started out really long, but figured might be shorter..and took me a min to figure out what DH meant. haha
either way, if you have any suggestions, please I am all ears.
I have a boy 8 / girl 11 - fiance has 10 girl/ 9 girl/ 7 boy
his 9 yr old we have had our issues and I am sure they are not over yet, but we have been head to head and I got tired of being disrespected, and I won. I still have to use going to see their dad or calling him to get them to stop whining or throwing a fit. but it is getting better with her and his son.
the older girl though, her mama is crazy and she just got a cell phone, does not care about what I say, wont listen to me unless I am at a point of taking things away, like tonight, she called her mom, no answer, I told her she could call once more then put it up, it is bed time. I come in the room an hour later and she is playing on her phone. so I took it away. am I wrong? no, but what is she going to tell her mom? her mom puts guilt trips on them about spending time with her, or DH invites everyone to lunch, warning was walking in, and it is obvious she does not want to be around me, I thankfully have been able to disguise how I feel about her and have been placid and speechless when she is around. or I babble about nothing until she leaves and wonder what just happend.
well i caught her in a lie, was about moving a tshirt from one room to another, I know it was her, couldnt have been anyone else, but she swore she didnt do it. and it made me mad, so I asked my mom what she thought i should do, well I pulled her in the room and told her what situation I saw, and how i knew it wasnt anyone else, asked her if she hated being here, did she have an issue with me or anything. which of course she said the right things, but I got to wondering if that was the right thing to do, what is she gong to tell her mom? or dad? when her dad got back from soccer he was very upset, wouldnt tell me about what, but i am not stupid, i know she said a sob story, and he felt all protective over his baby, so got mad at me, and he will never tell me, bugs me.
i will always be the enemy to his girls, that is how i feel,
so do i keep going on like everything is in wonka world? you have to right?
but it is hard trying to feel love for them when everything i do or say is trash to them. and i hate feeling like this, and they are kids, and I understand they are going through whatever, but it has been 3 years since they have been divorced, i would think they would have gotten used to it by now? and we have been together for about 2 years.
help?

Tanya - posted on 04/21/2009

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What do you and your DH do when she disrespects you? If SD ever disrespects either DH or myself she is called on it and corrected right away. That type of behavior is not acceptable in our home and unless she wants to spend the weekend (or however long she is with you) then she better not listen to mom about disrespecting you at your home.

Jennifer - posted on 04/21/2009

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I agree that bio-dad is the one to step up. You won't get anywhere. In our case, we simply explained early in our marriage that neither of us were trying to replace anyone in our children's lives; however we did expect our children to treat each of us with the same respect they would show any other adult in society. Like a teacher, coach, neighbor, etc. That's helped, but we still deal with BM's continued need to interfear for nearly 7 years now. That's a tough battle because BM coaches & shows approval when the child creates havoc. There have been weekends his children will go all weekend not speaking to me or playing the silent treatment in their room by their own choice. So be it. They are children and will respond to what they're taught. I make efforts to be nice, but I will not cater to negative behavior.

Pamela - posted on 04/21/2009

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Unfortunately YOU cannot make your stepchild respect you. Your husband must be the one to insist that your stepchild treat your respectfully and he must impose consequences for the failure to do so. The child thinks that by treating you that way it makes her mother happy. She must be shown that by doing that she makes her dad unhappy which in turn limits her freedom while she is at dads.



Depending on the age of the child also, part of dad's punishment for treating anyone in his household disrespectfully would be to remove the child from the household and not allow her to visit the household until she is willing to behave herself.

Nicole - posted on 04/21/2009

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I am so w/ya there! My step-daughter will totally ignore me when told to do something, and I am positive she was told she didn't need to listen to me because she told her father that her mom told her that, she will do sweet things for me, but when it comes down to it, she does what she wants, and in her eyes thats final. I'ts scary cause she's only nine , not even a teenager yet! & I've been told how bad teen girls are. Her mom already gets her hair dyed for her, prof. fake nails done, ( she was going to give her hair extensions until the salon told her she wasn't old enough). It's very frustrating and causes alot of arguements. I'm still trying to find a solution myself.

KARINA - posted on 04/21/2009

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How old is your step daughter? I have an eight year old step son, and when he was 3 he was difficult with that. We were at my daughters gymnastics class, and he said in front of all the other parents, "You're not my mom, and you'll never be my mom". So as stunned as I was, because it came out of no where, I calmly said, "Lets go outside, I want to talk to you". So, we went, and I sat him down, and talked with him face to face. I told him that I know he already has a mom, and I'm not trying to be his mom. That I was the mom of my daughters, and he was my STEP son. I told him that his dad was there to do the parenting (because at that point, if my step son didn't want me to mother him, I figured he's not my responsibility, so why should I?), and that I was there as a friend, a buddy-like my daughters were to him. After that, he calmed down, and he did tell me that his mom told him to say that, so he was just really confused. I just told him out right.....I know I'm not you're mom, I am not trying to be your mom! I don't know why that worked, but after that we never had any problems. He always comes to me and askes permission, to talk, etc., and not to his dad......so, ....?

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