I need help to get rid of the dreaded feeling when the step kids come for the weekend

Sarah - posted on 01/13/2015 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have been with my partner for 6 years and we have lived together for 4. We brought our first home together last year. He has a daughter of 12 who I have not been able to get on with and a son of 10 who I have a very strong relationship with. I get a sense of dread every time the daughter is coming because the household changes every time. I have tried everything from working so I am not around to making the effort and always have it thrown in my face. She will be good as gold while I'm out and as soon as I sit down its prating about on the sofa, antagonising her brother and general irritating behaviour. I asked her five times last time she was there to stop humming as we were watching a film, all I get is a glare and smirk!! I know I should ignore it as I'm fuelling the fire but I find it so hard!! I am now at the stage where it's Wednesday and their due on Friday and I am having nightmares literally about her coming and wake up stressed as though the argument has really happened. Am I going mad??? I don't want to recluse into my bedroom as I had before when it was his flat as this is now my home but I don't know what else to do as just being in the same room as her can wind me up!! I am at my wits end and want to be able to get through her visits without the rows with my partner. Please advise????? I am not leaving him so failure is not an option lol!!!

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Raye - posted on 01/14/2015

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Sarah,
I feel your pain. My step kids are generally good kids, but there are times that they get on my very last nerve and their dad doesn't always make them stop. I have been becoming more comfortable getting them to behave (I told my husband to tell me if he feels I'm overstepping my bounds) because I feel that they need to respect me and listen to what I say, also. But, I still let my husband deal out the punishments. Our home is their primary residence, so that's a little different situation than yours. But you should not have to go hide from your partner's daughter, even for a short time.

Generally you can tell if the kid is doing the behavior on purpose, or if they just forgot or didn't realize they were doing it again. The other day, I told my step-son more than a dozen times not to stand in front of the TV. He kept doing it, not to upset me, but because it's hard for him to sit still and he was walking around and kept ending up standing directly in front of the TV. He would sit down when I asked him to, but when his sister asked him to move so she could see, then you could tell he stayed in her way on purpose. But that's just kids being kids.

It sounds like your partner's daughter was acting out on purpose, and your partner should not allow that behavior to continue. Both kids should respect you and mind you. You are an adult, and the mother-figure in that household. I think you may also need to learn to let some things go. Kids will be kids, and push boundaries and argue with each other.

If you show you're upset by her behavior, she will keep antagonizing you. Kill her with kindness, and outfox the fox. Example: Tell her that it's a very nice song she's humming, and you'd like her to wait until after the movie to finish it so you can listen to her without the distraction of the TV. If she keeps humming, (especially if you're watching a DVD or something you can pause) then pause or turn down the sound and say you can tell it's very important to her to finish the song, so please continue and we'll resume watching the movie afterward. Turn it around so that she's the one that's uncomfortable. A couple times of doing that should either get her to reconsider that behavior or indicate to your husband to make her stop, especially if he wants to watch the movie.

Sarah - posted on 01/13/2015

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I agree dad needs to lay down the law. I know you get along well with the boy but try not to collude with him about his sister. He loves you and I am sure he loves his sister and eventually it will put him in a tough spot. For sure she is doing it on purpose, partly the age and she knows it bugs you. With dad on board, this shouldn't be too hard to nip. If she is humming during a movie, ask her one time to stop, if she does not stop, have dad excuse her to her room. When she ends up isolated from the group, she'll clue in.

Michelle - posted on 01/13/2015

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Your partner needs to be telling her to stop and then giving her consequences if she doesn't. He also needs to follow through.
He's the one that needs to show her that her behviour isn't acceptable and she needs to get rid of the attitude. Like you said, when you tell her she just smirks, she needs to be told that she will have to go to her room, lose privileges or something and it needs to be done, not just talked about.
She's getting away with it and it's now a game, but because you aren't her parent she will keep going. Dad needs to discipline.

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Sarah - posted on 01/15/2015

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Raye that's great advice I know I need to be the adult here and I am going to try out the tips you have given me because I will be able to kill her with kindness lol xx

Sarah - posted on 01/14/2015

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Thanks everyone its really nice to have someone to talk to, its hard to express myself sometimes. We will see how the weekend goes and then put a plan into action. xx

Sarah - posted on 01/13/2015

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Also, this is your home, you can have rules for the kids when dad is not around. Whether or not you are their parent, you are a grown up, and you deserve to be treated with respect in your home.

Sarah - posted on 01/13/2015

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Thanks Michelle, I am really going to try this weekend and hopefully she will show her true colours to him. Dads and their rose tinted glasses!! lol

Sarah - posted on 01/13/2015

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He does support me bless him and I feel bad when I know I should just ignore it all. I am planning to remove myself from the room when she is doing these things and I have asked him to see if there is a change in her. I need to know if she is doing this deliberately or if I need to learn to ignore the phase!! The saddest bit is her brother knows me so well that he comes and talks to me about her and says he wishes we could get on. Its the lies and ear wigging that I cant handle!!

Monina - posted on 01/13/2015

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Tell your partner about the behaviour of his daughter. Ask him to back you up when its time to straight up her bad attitude. Dont put everything in your shoulder where your partner is a big help in times of getting along with his kids.

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