Up in arms

Jocelynn - posted on 07/03/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi there! I've been part of this community for quite awhile "lurking" and reading everyones post which has helped me to know that everyone has issues with a Skid. But I was wondering if I could get some advice. Family dymanics are I have been married to Dh for a little over 2 years, he brings a now 16yr old BD and I have 3 BB's from previous marriages also. My 2 youngest lives with me and DH full-time, SD alternates one week on and one week off. When me and DH first got married, she used to get away with everything, which I didn't agree with because I have different expectations with my BBs. But everytime I mentioned something DH used to get very defensive like I was just trying to find things that were wrong about his parenting skills. (which was never the case at all) He always felt guilty for not being there completely for SD and then when the divorce between DH and BM was being finalized SD told DH that she hated him because BM told SD things about DH that were not so good and blamed him for the divorce. So I'm completely sure he was trying to overcompensate and be SD's friend and not expect anything because "she had a hard childhood" and she's not with us full-time. I was very frustrated with entire situation, my BBs always asked why SD didn't have to do anything around the house and would get whatever SD wanted. Fast forward to present time.

DH finally realized that SD was a manipulator and realized his mistakes for not expecting more from SD. And SD has absolutely no respect for anyone, she cusses to everyone including her parents and complains that she is "suffering"and that she is being punished. Well we set up alot of rules and she just ignores them, we even set up restrictions for the internet which she hates! DH decided that enough was enough and no more freebies or free rides. We suspected that SD has been stealing from the Mall and whatever store she goes to. Last week DH got a call from BM saying that SD was caught stealing at a grocery store. SD has a court date and BM said that she will pay the fines for SD. The thing is that even though DH says that SD's freedom will decrease because she has been acting like a spoiled little girl and that SD doesn't take responsibility for herself. DH said that it's all on BM for punishing her, but BM is such a push-over that she even gives SD money to do whatever to this day! Well now she is with us and DH might talk the talk but sometimes he never follows through and despite her behavior she is out with friends to a concert tonight! I am so frustrated, I want to say something to DH but I'm afraid that he will get defensive again and think that I am saying he is failing as a parent. In my world SD would have everything taken away and punish her, I even told DH that SD is glad that Im not her BM. If my kids did something like that, they would have nothing but a book to read and be grounded for at least a few weeks. What do I do? Do I just let things go the way they are, I know when SD moves out and awakens to the "real" world and blaming other people for her actions doesn't go far she will blame her BPs again for "screwing up her life". I think that SD needs to be taught about how her actions are inappropriate and plain defiant. But DH just says that it's BM problem if SD misbehaves over at her house. I'm afraid that I just don't have that kind of weight when it comes to diciplining SD. It's just very maddening to watch everything and I've had enough! Me and SD used to talk to each other and do things, but after SD screaming at me and her BPs and pretty much saying in her own words that she hates me and my boys. So I'm not quick to open up again with SD because she hasn't even apologized to anyone, like we are supposed to take it because "she's mad". UGH! How do you handle something like this? Am I just supposed to take this and ignore it? I'm sorry so long, but to be honest this is the short version, alot more has been happening for these past couple of years with SD and her unacceptable behavior and attitude. I will not let a "kid" ruin my marriage but I'm not sure how much more I can take. Please help me. :-(

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Tara Lee - posted on 07/08/2010

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I know it can be very hard at times, and you NEED your hubby's help and support. Otherwise, what are you even trying for? I know I went through the whole "what am I doing?" stage, and I thought about giving up, but I love my husband and even with the frustrations I love my SKs, and I'd be damned if I let a child (teenager when the troubles started) rune my happiness. One of the things that got me through was remembering that they(SKs) wouldn't be 'kids' forever and as they 'grew up' it did get better. My SS actually pulled me aside later (about age 19-20) and thanked me for being the 'mean one', the one who didn't give in and stood up to his behavior and problem, the one who said NO. He said he was sorry for all the things he said to me (and about me) and that even when he was saying them he really didn't mean them and than he told me he loved me and gave me a big hug. Well, do I have to tell you, I cried like a baby. It didn't erase the past, but I knew then that I made the right choices. And I love my family very much, and I know they love me right back.

As for you being the bigger person and letting her in, that's something you need to figure out how to do if you want a relationship with her. It is hard and can be heart breaking. You just need to figure out if you believe it's worth it, and if you really want it. No one can make you love someone else. It would also help if you had a friend that is neutral that you can talk to about your feelings both good and bad. It really helps to vent. Good Luck!

Jocelynn - posted on 07/07/2010

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Thank you Tara for the advice, it was helpful. Me and DH definitely need to sit down and review the rules and chores for all of the kids and then talk with them. Especially with school starting in Aug so everyone knows what to expect and there is no miscommunication on the expections. I'll have to work on the smothering part, it's very hard for me to let my guard down even a little bit since in the past when I did do things with her and took her places just me and her she didn't seem too appreciative and then that outburst of hers. I know I shouldn't hold on to a grudge and be the "bigger person" since I am the adult but she just keeps disrespecting me and disregarding me like I have no say in anything and my hubby makes all the rules so I am not too quick to do anything for her. So I'll have to work on that. :-)

Tara Lee - posted on 07/07/2010

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Unfortunately, even with her 'problems', it sounds like some of it is being a typical teenage girl. The way I see it, you can go in different directions.



ONE: Smother her with love and kindness. Doesn't matter that she ignores you, just keep it coming. Don't quit. Be strong. Show her what a 'healthy' family is suppose to be like. And that she can be apart of it...IS a part of it. That the only thing stopping her is HER.



TWO: Lay down the law. Sit her down, lay out the rules and consequences. And follow through. You'll need your DH co-operation. (In the extreme: I would stop doing things for her-she can make her own food and clean up, do her own laundry...if she doesn't want to be part of the family, then she doesn't get to be.)



THREE: I'm sure there is a 'happy medium' between one and two, but with her attitude, I think it would be hard to find the 'right' balance for her situation. But if you can, it would be the best option.

And no matter what you decide to do, the one thing I would definitely do, is to limit her time on the computer/phone when visiting. She's there to VISIT.



I don't know how much I have helped, if at all, but Good Luck!

Jocelynn - posted on 07/05/2010

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My SD actually did go to counseling on and off for the past 4 years at first to help "deal" with the dirvorce of BPs and then a ED was discovered during one of the sessions. So BPs have been trying to get SD for help with that as well since the counselor stated that the ED manifested from a rocky childhood.Which I know is one of the reason why SD BPs are afraid to say something in fear of "shaming" SD because she has a lot of other things to deal with. Even with more intensive counseling for recovery SD still blames parents for her issues and in a way SD shoves that she is not completely recovered and doesn't want to when she does stuff that is in the ED right in front of everyone. Do teenage girls nowadays want to be the 'torchered soul" and act damaged? It's just kind of fishy to me on the behaviors and the reasons behind them. I hate to say that, considering me and SD used to talk until SD blasted me and the BP's on a website and screamed at me and DH about not "choosing" this new life, which I have some walls up when it comes to emotions and trust and I let them down with her and I felt like it was thrown back in my face so yeah I got hurt. Things between SD are very strained she doesn't go out of the way to say Hi or bye or even acknowledge I am in the same room. I'm not sure what the right answer is for that. But me and hubby did talk a little last night and when SD asked for something at the store DH did say no and we didn't go, so that was a step in the right direction. Thank you for responding to me, I really appreciate it. I just feel like every time she is here drama always comes up and some tension. Even my two youngest BBs try to talk to SD but she doesn't seem too interested to talk. SD is on the computer from the time she comes in our door until she leaves to BMs house. I don't know this is all too new for me. My BBs ages run from 11 to 15 and since they are boys, teenage girls are a whole different ballgame.

Tara Lee - posted on 07/04/2010

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oh, I sort of agree with your hubby, that, if SD misbehaves at BM house than that's up to her to address, HOWEVER, in situations were the law is involved or there is a danger to someone, then it's up to BOTH(all, including you) parents to address. And if BM wont, than DH, better. For the sake of the child.

Megan - posted on 07/03/2010

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My husband and I have had similar issues regarding discipline. We saw a marriage counselor and a lot of things have been working better. In theory my husband agrees with my take on discipline, but in practice he doesn't know how to follow through. This is exactly what the counseling helped with. It sounds like your SD would also benefit from some counseling herself, if that is possible. If neither of her parents hold her accountable for her actions she may feel some insecurity due to lack of boundaries (which she, of course, would never admit to her parents but a therapist would recognize.)

I sort of agree that you cannot punish SD for what happens at mom's house. It may be best if you and your husband can agree on how to address issues in your home and thereby demonstrate to SD what a stable and secure home looks like, and that necessarily includes boundaries. Best of luck.

Tara Lee - posted on 07/03/2010

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I had a similar situation when I first got together with my DH...we would get his kids about once a month(they lived 5 hours away)...he would allow them to do anything, stay up late, not have to do anything...luckily, they were pretty good kids though...anyway, as they got older and moved back into our area, and we got to see them almost daily(they lived down the street), they still expected to be treated the same and that was NOT going to happen...I know it is hard, but you have to sit down with your hubby and have a long discussion about the situation...tell him how you're feeling, tell him it's not his parenting you're having a problem with, it's her(SD) behavior...let him know you don't think it's fair that the other kids in the house have rules and consequences but she doesn't...and if she(SD) is 'suffering' that much , or 'had a tough childhood', then maybe it's time to get her some help, like a counselor of some kind...see if you can get him to see that she needs help, rules and stability , because the way things are now, are not doing her any good...try and be calm and choose your words carefully so that he doesn't go all defencive on you...we all know that once men get defencive, it doesn't matter how right you are they will argue anyway...good luck, and I hope things get better...

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