My Daughter wants to play softball however my Step Daughter doesn't want her to

Katie - posted on 01/26/2015 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I have a son (14) and daughter (12) and step daughter (11). My husband and I have been together for 4 years now. Our girls share a room, are both in the 6th grade this year with the same homeroom teacher. We are on similar custody schedule, not exact, but we do have the kids on the same weekends.

My daughter, who currently takes TaeKwonDo mentioned last evening that she is interested in playing softball this year. My step daugther was not in favor of this and was quite rude about expressing her feelings. To the point where she said with disgusting look upon her face, I don't want her to play softball. In which we asked why, and her response was, "cause I don't want to have to be on the same team as her, be in her class and share a room with her too."

My daughter was offended, however doesn't want my Step daughter to quit softball just because she intends on playing, nor does she want to sit and watch her play, if she could be playing too.

The issue is, 1. it was a rude comment and my Husband called her out on it. 2. My step daughter doesn't always finish things she starts, gymnastics, swimming, girls on the run etc. and we want to prevent this from happening. 3. How do we appease everyone?

Thank you for your input.

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Michelle - posted on 01/26/2015

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Now that you have told us more the advice is very different.
Your husband needs to actually be a parent. He needs to discipline, not just yell for a bit.
This should have been addressed well before now though. She now 11 and knows that Dad will just yell for a bit then she can carry on with what she wants. It's going to take a lot before she stops with the attitude.
I understand that when you first got together you were all giving her some leeway because she was an only child but that was the first mistake and it has now escalated to a full on attitude.
Maybe sit the whole family down and draw up some house rules with consequences and get all 3 children to sign that they understand them. That way everyone knows what is expected and you aren't singling out 1 child.
The consequences need to be followed through though!

Raye - posted on 01/26/2015

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Katie,
You're correct, the rudeness and lying should be addressed by her father. The sibling rivalry is normal, and may continue no matter how you try to appease everyone. But she can learn to stop the attitude. Let her know that you will listen to her concerns when she can speak respectfully.

Ledia - posted on 01/26/2015

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In my opinion, even if you put the girls on the same soft ball team, they are not going to be "United on a team", they are still going to be locked in competition, but now that competition will be hurting the whole team, not just your family.

The girls are 11 and 12. There is really no reason you need to be at every game or practice with them. If they play on different teams within the same league, you can arrange car pool plans with teammates when you need to attend one or the other. You'll have to agree that you will alternate who's game you attend. It's really no different than having them in two different activities that might have games, practices, or competitions at the same time.

Alternatively, if you are really set on having them on the same team, you can sit them down and tell them that you will not prevent anyone from playing any sport they want. If your daughter wants to play softball, she can, and if your step daughter wants to, she can as well--The step daughter will have to decide whether it is more important for her to play softball, or to maintain this one last part of her life that she has to herself.

She really does deserve to have one thing to herself. If it can't be softball, try to find another sport that she will like just as much.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/26/2015

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Plus, she needs to learn that not everything goes her way, either. She doesn't get to dictate terms for everything.

Raye - posted on 01/26/2015

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Your husband needs to man-up and be a father... and sometimes that means being the bad guy. Kids need boundaries. Your SD is one of those kids that grow to adulthood getting everything handed to them, so when they're rejected for their first job they break down into hysterical fits. Nobody told them no before, so they don't know how to deal with disappointment. Life is hard. Your SD needs to learn how to function in the really-real world. Not some make-believe fantasy land where daddy gets to be the nice guy.

Katie - posted on 01/26/2015

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He absolutely does not discipline her when she is disrespectful and doesn't follow rules. He yells for a little, but it means nothing and she is completely aware that there are no repercussions for her actions. He has told me on numerous occasions that she treats him like his Ex used to treat him.

She has been in counseling for a while, and I truly believe she is just telling the Doctor what she wants to hear depending on the parent who takes her. For example, two years ago right before Christmas she didn't want to continue with Gymnastics and my husband told her she had to finish the season... she told her Mom that she was going to kill herself if she had to come back over to our home ... the Mom told her Counselor and called an emergency hearing to prevent my husband from seeing her. Once the judge spoke to her she changed her story completely and everything remained status quo. Last year she claimed that we don't allow her to eat or force her on a diet. Well, it turns out that she likes fast food and we don't eat fast food due to my son's heart condition. Just recently she told the kids at school that I force my daughter to make her bed and clean her room and if she doesn't I beat my Daughter. Several kids told my daughter this and me... she completely denied it and got away with it because he doesn't want to be the bad guy.
As for getting the mother involved, she is no better that a larger version of my SD.

There is only so much people are expected to endure before the start giving it back. I am trying to prevent a war and still support everyone.

Katie - posted on 01/26/2015

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I don't think it would be very fair to take away a privilege from your daughter just because your step daughter doesn't want her to play. This is one of the hard situations that you will face being a parent. I know you are trying to please everyone at the same time in this situation but sometimes that isn't really possible. I really believe you should let your daughter play softball who knows maybe she will love it. My daughter plays softball and she plays first and third base and she absolutely loves it. Anyways I know if you fallow my advice there may be a little difficulty trying to keep the girls from arguing but sometimes you have to let them go and if it gets to out of hand you can discipline your children by taking away privileges and such or how ever you like. I hope this helps you honey good luck.

Raye - posted on 01/26/2015

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Does your husband discipline (take away privileges, grounding, etc.) when she misbehaves? If there is no punishment for smart-mouthing, then of course she has no incentive to stop. If there is punishment but she still won't behave, then maybe your husband needs to get his ex involved to tell her that the behavior is not going to be tolerated. Maybe you all need to sit down together and work out consistent rules in both households.

Katie - posted on 01/26/2015

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My husband won't move... we live in the district in which the children attend school. His ex will not agree to changing to a school district in an area in which I would prefer to live, with much higher school ratings and less crime rate. So that being said, in our home the girls must share a room.

I would gather my D will not actually join the team in order to appease my SD and prevent her from acting out any further, however that doesn't change or improve the rude behaviors. And while your suggestions to have my husband address them are all well and good... she is equally as rude and disrespectful to him.

Ledia - posted on 01/26/2015

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I agree that the rudeness needs to be addressed. You didn't mention what her exact words were, other than that she didn't want to be on the same team as your daughter, be in her class, and share a room with her too....which, in my opinion is pretty understandable, and not really rude at all.

Address the rudeness by explaining to her how she could have more politely expressed her ideas, but keep in mind that the rudeness with which she expressed the idea, and the idea itself, are two totally separate issues. The point she was making is valid, she just needs to be taught a better way to express that point.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/26/2015

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Rudeness needs to be addressed, but she's got a valid point.

Keep them on separate teams (organizers are usually pretty good about honoring those types of requests), and husband may need to re-organize his work schedule so that he can see his daughter play.

Not to mention, but they may be needing their own spaces about now as well. This was about the age that we split our boys from sharing a room to each having their own.

Katie - posted on 01/26/2015

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What I don't like is the rude comments. My daughter took dance for a while and has been taking TKD for 3+ years now and has signed up for an additional three. She plays the clarinet and was considering doing softball. It doesn't really matter to her if she plays or not and will concede to not play if my SD threatens to quit, however this is not about the sport, this is about the bigger picture. Rude behavior.

When we first got together, I expressed to my D that she had to give her some liberties to adjust from being an only child into a family with multiple children environment. Four years later she is still enduring rude comments and bold lies that come from my SD with regards to my D at home and school.

I understand my SD need individualism and we all support her in all that she does, however always giving in to her antics does raise a well rounded child. You end up raising an adult who doesn't adjust well to not getting their way and believes that she can speak to others any way she sees fit.

Katie - posted on 01/26/2015

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I agree and it must be difficult for her to accept us in her life what must seem like every minute of everyday... the problem with them being on different teams or leagues is timing. My Husband works on the weekends and I can't be in two different places at one time. Also then there is a clear competition, rather than united in one team.

I know this is something my daughter wants to do, however if my step daughter makes a too much of fuss, my daughter also knows that my SD will want to quit or not even sign up... and she doesn't want to prevent her from having fun.

It is such a sticky situation as I want to encourage both of them to have fun, be active, and finish what you start with out being rude to someone or being a pushover to appease someone.

Raye - posted on 01/26/2015

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I was in the shadow of my older sister all the time growing up. We shared a room all our childhood, we went to the same schools up until high school. I did not want to be "her little sister" all my life, so I was lucky enough to go to a different high school and it helped me a lot.

I think it's normal for siblings, natural or otherwise, to want to have their own identity. If softball is going to be your step-daughter's thing, then it's understandable that she wouldn't want your daughter to join her in that sport. Yes, kids will be rude about expressing these things. But that's just kids. Her feelings are valid.

If there's some other activity that your daughter can be involved in so that she doesn't have to sit through your SD's ball games, then try to do that instead of encroaching on your SD's activity. Each child should feel special for doing their own thing. Maybe you and your husband could alternate taking each of the girls to their activities, so it doesn't feel like your blended family is divided.

As far as your SD not finishing what she starts, she's young and probably hasn't found the thing that she likes to do or feels like she can do well enough to continue. For Softball, let her know that she is part of a team, that the team counts on her being there, and she's not going to let the team down by starting the season and not finishing. Let her know that her commitments must be honored.

Ledia - posted on 01/26/2015

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I can sort of see the step daughter's point of view. Yes, the comment was rude, and she should have found a better way to express herself, but she does have a point. She is sort of losing her own identity right now because your daughter is a part of every important aspect of her life right now--I know, doesn't seem like much to us as adults, but as a young teen, school, teams, and having a place to call your own at home are very big deals, and she is probably feeling like she doesn't have anything to herself right now. Furthermore, teammates often form really close friendships--that's one of the reasons team sports are so important--and your step daughter might be afraid of losing some of her friends to your daughter. Also, if she ever vents to them about family life (and all kids vent about their families to their friends) and those kids become friends with your daughter too, she might lose her confidants.

Maybe allow your daughter to play softball, but make sure she is on a different team or in a different league?

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