Therese - posted on 09/14/2015 ( no moms have responded yet )
HELP! I am in a quandary--I am the step-mother & I wish to give my wonderful kind & loving husband some suggestions on how to deal with this issue. My step-daughter has not had much guidance or boundaries growing up. She is a good girl, no drugs, alcohol, very spiritual, etc yet shows no motivation for much--least of all academia. She hasn't shown much effort in work, hobbies, etc. Just basically floating along seeing what happens and relying on Dad for most everything to bail her out. Recently she moved in with her mother. Dad has supplied a car and mom decided to pay car insurance. Not much for the young lady to pay for other than gas, personal expenses, etc.
Just this week, we found out that she keeps running out of gas, no food to eat in the fridge & the announcement that she has spent thousands of $$(perhaps 3-4K) on a vacation over the summer. A trip that she surprised us all with & planned with 2 friends. She stayed with family friends throughout her visit yet somehow she has spent all her financial aid money that was supposed to go for books, gas, food, etc.
Obviously, I am not the biological parent and my husband believes I am too rigid when it comes to rules, expectations & requiring accountability from her. She complains to him about everything including her mother but I strongly believe that she plays one parent over the other and quietly gets what she needs from each one. She is rarely appreciative & shows no interest in a relationship with me (a whole other topic), shows little appreciation towards her father who worships her as she is his only child.
She refuses to be consistent with a part time job, always has a reason why things didn't work out & convinces he dad of her next big plan--which never materializes. I have tried helping her with looking for 4 jobs, college matters, life matters--to no avail. She does whatever she deems best & cries about it later.
She does not like to be held responsible for things & typically says she did not know or mean to do what she did--but somehow we keep discussing the same issues again & again.
I am spent mentally & emotionally. I don't enjoy being the bad guy always suggesting solutions, yet I am being asked: well what should I do?
I was raised differently & I think most parents of teenagers now would agree that teens & young adults should be held up to standards & accept that to each action there is a reaction.
I truly look forward to your suggestions. This does affect our marriage & family life so I want to help anyway I can.