my step daughter is driving me crazy

Jessy - posted on 03/01/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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She is an only child raised by her Dad never sees her Mom. She is 11, she is rough and tries to bully pushing jumping on me pretending to hit. She also mawls me with hugs and kisses sometimes. I try to be nice to her all the time but lately she is driving me nuts. She sat on me and passed gas burps in my face and deliberately does things I have asked her not to like slop her food in her mouth. Her Dad just gets irritated with me when I talk to him saying we just cant get along I AM TRYING she is not. I am a little flustered at the moment but can and will add any more info for a better piece of advice

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Kristi - posted on 03/02/2013

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Depending on when this behavior started does make a difference, at least imo.

If she started acting this way after you came into the picture then it is fairly obvious that she is confused about how she feels about having a "mom," what she wants from you, what she thinks she "should" feel, etc. She's probably struggling with wanting you all to herself because now she has a mom, she needs to get rid of you because she doesn't want to share her dad with you, she's testing you to see if you'll go away like her real mom did.

If she has behaved this way since you've known them, well then her behavior definitely should have been a topic of discussion before now. Dove's comment, although sad, is absolutely true. I would suggest having a serious sit down with him. Not after an incident, when you're already pissed off or agitated but during some down time when you know you will not be over heard or interrupted. When you talk to him, you have to be careful not to phrase things in a manner that sounds like it is "new wife" vs. "my only child with no mother." You will lose. Right now he's just getting irritated because he doesn't want to act.

I have been a step-mother twice. I don't know how others would view me, but there was no question about whether or not I was going to discipline my step-children. You're under my roof, I am the "alpha-female" ; ), these are the rules, these are the consequences. This behavior is acceptable, this behavior is not. Imo, you don't have to be nice all the time.

Next time she burps in your face, tell her how rude and disgusting it is. Tell her that it is disrespectful and unacceptable behavior. Give her a consequence. 10-15 minute time out, no TV for the evening, no dessert, early bedtime, etc. WHEN she does it again (and believe me, she will) keep up with the consequence, add a little or try a different if you feel like the first one didn't phase her at all. It takes time, patience and perserviance. Bad table manners, one warning reminding of proper table manners, doesn't stop...bye-bye plate and you can excuse yourself from the table now.

My two step-daughters were in 3rd and 1st grade when they came to live with us. Holy lord, talk about poor table manners! The 1st grader was still wetting the bed regularly, she (tried) refused to bathe, she had horrible tantrums...biting, kicking, punching and she was buckwild and strong, they hoarded food. They didn't need me to be nice to them all the time. They needed me to nurture them while providing structure and consistancy. They needed me to teach and to role model appropriate behavior.

At this point, it sounds to me, like your step-daughter is in vital need of a female role model who can teach her social skills, self respect, when it's ok to horseplay/rough house and when it's not, no means no, etc. When you talk to your husband, maybe you could go at it from that perspective...there will always be a time and a place for a good burp or to really gas somebody out but "Suzzie" is going way overboard and she's at an age where this kind of behavior isn't funny and people are well aware that she is old enough to control herself to some degree and it is just not acceptable anymore. Tell him you aren't going to put up with it anymore. Make a list of suggestions on paper so you can stay on track and so he can have something tangible. Obviously ask him for his input. Let him know how important "Suzzie" is to you and you want the best for her. One very important thing for her to know is that we back each other up. We can all be Team Suzzie and we'll talk to her about our new list of expectations (not rules) and consequences (not punishments) and we can get her input on what she might think is fair and/or somethings she'd like us to work on. ie; swearing, working late, better snacks...

We also went to familt counseling but there was a whole lotta "not just a new step-parent thing" going on. It ended up helping the girls, their mom and me. Turned out my ex is a sociopath. How do ya like them apples?! Anyways, sorry for the mega long comment. I hope it ends up being relevant and doing some good. My heart goes out to you!

Michelle - posted on 03/02/2013

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You're welcome to come and have a vent anytime, that's what we are here for.

Don't worry about her not liking you because you are the one to discipline, kids get over that pretty quickly. You've also said you have 3 of your own. They would be building up a resentment if they have rules to follow and she doesn't.

I found the best thing to do with a blended family is for everyone to sit down and draw up the house rules. Get some big pieces of paper and coloured markers and all have some input on what the rules should be. Then have another piece of paper for consequences of not following the rules. What punishments will happen like taking away technology, no tv or even doing extra chores like the dishes or laundry.

Once everyone has helped to make the list put it up where it's seen all the time. Then it's not you being nasty, it's just you enforcing the house rules. It will also give all the children clear boundaries.

Michelle - posted on 03/01/2013

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It sounds like dad has let her do whatever she wants and she knows it. She knows that Dad doesn't have a backbone and won't discipline so she can get away with anything.

It's Dad that needs to change, not your step daughter. HE needs to step up and be a parent. Let him know that if he won't discipline you will and he'll need to back you up. Both of you need to be on the same page but he is going to find it hard since he's let her run the house for so long. She will be completely against any type of discipline from him at all for a while.

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Jessy - posted on 03/02/2013

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I am new to this circle and in one day I must say omg why didn't I find this sooner you ladies are a God sent even just to vent to.

Jessy - posted on 03/02/2013

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wow have you met him lol cause you hit the nail on the head . She owns him like one of her dolls.

Jessy - posted on 03/02/2013

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yes she was like that but she tries being rough and she knows he wont put up with it. I know I need to put my foot down because she is walking on me I just dont want a wall between us. I have 3 kids of my own and their father never sees them either. I need to be more assertive with her and stop worrying that she will hate me for it. She has already called me Mom a few times and says she loves me. She wants ALL my attention but all her Dads aswell.

Dove - posted on 03/01/2013

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Was she like this before you married him? Did you talk about it then? If the two of you are not on the same page.... nothing will ever get better here.

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