MY thirteen year old stepdaughter has only one friend

Amanda - posted on 05/23/2013 ( 24 moms have responded )

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My stepdaughter only has one friend her Mother is a very controlling and only wants her to do things with her even when shes with her Dad and I her mom is always texting her wanting to no everything shes doing every minute of the day can anyone Help,

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Jill - posted on 05/28/2013

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I have a problem w/ the mom wanting to know what she is doing even when she is w/ her dad. It is none of her business what they are doing it is their time together. Does dad have to know everything that they are doing? Can't mom ask her once she gets home what they did? I am a stepmom myself and I have told my step kids to tell their mom to stop and can find out later what we did vs interrupting the time we have together. We don't bother her so she should not bother us. If there is something important that needs to be said she can call her dad to relay the message. I also find it rude when kids feel they have to be on their phone at all times.

Tracy - posted on 11/04/2013

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Do you have any cousins or nieces or nephews you could have hang around or do things with when your step daughter is around? I personally have found that relation is relation so they don't have to be "friends" but it would still be some acquaintances her own age to pal around with to watch a movie with or go to the mall with. I always felt obligated to hang with the relations or kids of my parent's friends. They may not become best friends but it may give her someone her own age to talk to. You can't make friends for her but you can provide her the opportunity to have some companionship so she won't be lonely.

Jill - posted on 06/10/2013

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Follow your heart and don't let anything that Jenny said get in the way. Seems like she has some issues of her own that she needs to work thru, like most of us. Never have seem a post go on that long.

Jenny - posted on 06/02/2013

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Why are all the posts instalty biased against the mother? is it because you're all the step mothers with a mother who's been a pain in the #$%#?

I had 10 years of a nightmare mother, she was always accusing me of things, always stopping the visitation and phone calls, we had to go to court several times because she was being such a arrogant, evil witch. She wouldn't even allow a phone call that wasn't a time she demanded and she ignored orders when ever she pleased, even tried to break me and the father up numerous times over the 10 years.

However every mother is different. I am a mother, I also have to share visitation with a father and his wife, and our relationship between, me, her and the father is excellent, they get to see our child when ever they want, The step mother is important in this trio and she has a lot of say of what happens with our child. So I am and have sat on both sides of this fence.

Not every mother mean to do mean things simply against the step mother. Some mothers actually have their own emotional problems and have a very loving close relationship with their child.

Step mothers stay in a certain disposition of if the mother isn't freely letting go then she's jealous or out to cause problems.

Some mothers do have anxiety about not being there to protect their child at every moment, and calling, texting and wanting to do something with their daughter is NOT wrong or evil,. It just means the mother has some attachment and detachment issues concerning her child. Maybe she fears she isn't good enough because she is down on herself and she is scared her daughter will tell her she's not coming home, and is that being mean? No. That is a mother scared she's not good enough, which should be a compliment to the step mother not a insult.

The world is not perfect, people aren't perfect. Just because there is a automatic expectation of mothers being horrible to the step mothers it doesn't make it real.

I did have that problem with my childs step mother to begin with, she automatically thought I would cause problems between her and her husband, she thought I would not want her near my child, she thought I would cause mayhem and so did my childs father, over 8 months I proved in exaggerated ways to show that she to be was respected, thought highly and was very much involved in my childs welfare, She was also made aware through 8 months that SHE had a right to decide what would and would not happen, or what could help our child when my child is in their care, and that she personally could come alone and pick up the child and talk to me about any problems she sees. We aren't friends but we will spend at least 15 minutes talking about the past week and our lives before she leaves with my child. It was constant work for me to do to make her understand not all mothers are witches.

I think people need to step back from this automatic opinion before they take their sides, i see a lot of "I had problems with my step childs mother" which shows automatic bias, every situation is different and until the mother actually does something like cause actual trouble between two parents, or stop the child seeing the other side then there shouldn't be any problems.

The step mother here, hasn't stated that the mother is stopping contact, she has just pretty much stated from my perspective a worrisome mother who adores her daughter. That's a lucky daughter. There is countless "evil" mothers in custody battles who spend NO time with their kids and just try and prevent the children seeing the other parent. How is she being horrible? She has a love for her daughter and it just looks like jealousy from the step mother than the bond the mother and daughter has, she can not gain with the step daughter and feels the mother is over stepping boundaries. The mother has a right to speak to her daughter when ever and the step mother has no right to prevent that or to even think it's wrong. It's the same the other way around, if my childs step mother called every day to speak to my child, I would have no problem with it. The more the child is shown love, is shown they matter and shown that they are thought about, the better the child feels.

Jenny - posted on 06/02/2013

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You're making the problems.

It sounds like you're interfering. Your step daughter may not seem normal from your perspective simply because she isn't out there yelling, calling friends and being extraverted, but she is being a normal introverted person. They don't wear their feelings and confidence on their sleeve, or push people around, or put too many tickets on themselves. Introverts are quiet thinkers, they are zapped of energy with large amounts of people or socializing and will often retreat to their rooms for some quiet alone time. It's NORMAL. You can not change it because it is not what you personally like. It's tough. You're her step mother, not her mother and it seems you are trying to put yourself in the position where you can control her and make her do what you want to see her doing. Her mother may be worried about her, she may be missing her, she may have anxiety issues and all of them things are NOT wrong and to make them into bad things doing make the situation different. It causes conflict, it makes the situation uncomfortable and tense. You should stop forcing your perspective of what's normal and what's not and come to grips with the fact not everyone will be as you expect them to be. You might want to gain some education by researching personality types maybe even help by looking at JUNG typology types it might open your eyes to reality of people and just how NORMAL everyone is given their personality type. To try and push her to change who she is, you are going to make her ashamed of how she is, if she is an introvert you're going to make her feel more alien, ashamed and cause self loathing because she will feel she is not normal because of your forcing of your perspective of how she should be.

My eldest daughter is an introvert, I am an introvert, My youngest two children are extroverts, compared to them my daughter and I look like we lack confidence, but we don't we just have an Internal self confidence we trust what we believe and think, more than what we do outside of our minds, we are awkward around people where as my youngest two are fluent with people and can fit in with everyone and what's going on, they are always wanting to do social things where as me and my eldest wish to be in quiet places not around people, we don't like shopping, my youngest two love shopping, they love parties, we don't like parties, they like having people stay, we have problems having constant people around us and breathe a sigh of relief when the people leave. I felt alien growing up because people did not understand me, I thought I was wrong because I wasn't like my peers, my parents forced me into social situations and I would cry because I couldn't take it and they made me feel like I was wrong and not normal It took me until my early 20's to understand and accept who I was. I am an INFJ which my psychologist did the test and explained to me it means I am INTERNAL and love knowledge and makes me happy where as shopping for the popular fashions, going to parties, chatting drains me and depresses me and I become detached. I have a high self esteem and I high standard in my values but socially I'm NOT confident and never will be. I explain this simply to SHOW some light on a different personality that extroverts mainly do not understand and lack understanding simply because it's not the way they see the world.

Introverts are shy,
Some will cry when there is too much going on, it's a reaction to being put in that situation, they will retreat to a place ALONE, they will be silent and barely talk, they will enjoy reading books, or talking about something that's "irrelevant" to people who aren't introverted. They will not care about the latest fashions, or how parties or having many friends. They do feel lonely not because they want many friends but because real connections is what introverts want and they are hard to make. They are normal people/children and should not be forced into something against their personality because it does cause self esteem problems, self negative core beliefs/self talk and it causes them to shrivel like a flower that's not been taken care of properly and then they become emotionally unbalanced in their adult life.

Before subjected your step daughter to your values and beliefs and preferences you need to become really attuned to her and understand her, even take the quick internet version of the jung personality and see if she is an I rather than an E, basically leave her alone to be who she is meant to be. Stop harming her with your beliefs! You have NO right to do this to her, it's not your role, and in this case. Stop trying to make her love you, and be like you, if you love this girl You will accept her for everything she is and not force her to change and until her mother starts interfering in your relationship with the father, and stops contact and argue with you all the time. Leave her alone. She is the childs mother and has a right to have contact with her even when she's with you! I'm thankful for the step mother I have for my eldest because she and my childs father allows me to contact my child and my child to contact me when ever as they understand that is can be difficult having a child away from you. I do not know if you have your own Biological child but if you don't then I guess it would be impossible for you to understand the connection when you give birth to the child and have to let them go and be away from you, the amount of scenarios that can run through your head, "what if something terrible happens and she dies and i'm not there to prevent it!?" "What if i never see her again?" yeah it happens alot especially with people with depression and/or anxiety, they worry about things that aren't likely but to people depressed or anxious it becomes a big possibility! she could be keeping in contact as a way to know she is alive and healthy! or to make sure she's happy and want to let her know she is there if she needs her. You don't know what is happening and you have turned her into a monster. Shame on you for twisting this so it gives you a ego boost and a pat on the back!

You asked for help in this situation and I've given you some food for thought. Another perspective to chew over. I wonder if it's really help you want, or if you want a band of women to agree with you? As I stated I have been on both sides of the coin, A step mother with a mother who caused so much strife it made me cry MANY times over the decade and I'm a mother who WITHOUT ORDERS OF ANY KIND who says goodbye to her eldest daughter every weekend so she can be with her father and step mother. You can research or you can just take the victim position and do more harm to your step daughter than any kind of good, and cause conflict where conflict isn't necessary. You also should do some reflection on yourself and ask what your problem really is. Are your jealous that your partner was with this woman before you and they share a child? or are you jealous of the connection between mother and child which you can't seem to have with the child? or are you threatened only for the history of the your partner and his ex? You have made a mountain out of a molehill and there is some something inside you that's decided to look at it this way, and self reflection and asking and answering those questions internally might help you. Or you could speak with the mother but I would suggest not because it's not your place to tell her what she can and can't do concerning her child. She is the rightful mother biologically and she is the one who took care of the child primarily, you do not have the right to tell her she can't or can and demand a reason for it. .

24 Comments

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Ali - posted on 12/10/2013

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As a divorced parent our shared parentling agreement included limits on contact with the child when with the other parent . Once per day would be more than adequate for your daughter to have contact with her mom and allow time for her to foster a relationship with you and spend time with her dad. An attorney may be needed to enforce this, the bio mom is causing a problem , we also have limites during vacation of twice per week so that each " family" can be a normal " unit during that special time, without interruption from the other parent. Texting is hard to control
though..........

LalaBoom - posted on 12/05/2013

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Jenny is projecting and making assumptions based on her own logic/experience. It seems your post hit a nerve with her and that's just a knee-jerk response. Ironic because its the very thing she is subtly and not-so-subtly accusing you of.


I don't see anything wrong with stepdaughter having just one friend- lots of kids are like that. I was extremely shy and had NO friends, but it never bothered me, really. Unless stepdaughter takes issue with this, I suggest you drop it because stepdaughter will look at you as if you're forcing her into being something she is not.

As for the constant texting during visits- THAT is problematic. It's getting in the way of your husband or you developing a relationship if she is constantly having to "check-in" and "report" to mom.

I suggest you have a talk with hubby and find a way to limit contact during visits. I assume stepdaughter is not in your home longer than 3days, surely mom can control her alleged "anxiety" and "close bond" (as Jenny suggested). Limit the texting to when family isn't doing something together, etc.

good luck hun!

Jeanine - posted on 11/01/2013

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Darling, just make the environment at your house as warm and loving as possible for this child. Her mother is narcissistic and Mom's like that tend to create a lot of tension and seek to be the constant center of attention. The more you play into her game the more joy she gets. Don't even respond to all of the text messages. When she realizes she is not disturbing you she will try another angle but at least this angle will be null and void.

Amanda - posted on 06/03/2013

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Let me tell you something Jenny there is nothing wrong with her Mom checking up on her child When you're divorced you're suppose to let you're child enjoy her time with the other parent,Maybe I should give you a little history on Erin's Mom, this is a person that put a very healthy Dog down just to get back at her husband, this is a person who was 6 months pregnant with a little boy was bleeding and never went to the doctor or tell anyone, The baby died, so please don't tell me that she cares about Erin, all I want is to give Erin the strength two be a independent child have friends and make her own choices,

Amanda - posted on 06/03/2013

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I'm totally not jealous of my stepdaughter far from it I have a 27 year old daughter and a grandson, I have nener met a Mom who doesn't open her arms to her daughter when she goes back to be with her I love Erin,and yet I just wanted some advice in how to talk to Erin about that she doesn't have to tex her Mom all day,her Mom doesn't ask her daughter how she is felling or is she having a good time, her mother doesn't want her to have any friends, her Mother doesn't want Erin to go to a good school Erin in not comfortable in telling her Mom of what she wants or think, Erin nows if she tells her Mom then Mom will let her no how disappointed she is with Erin, In sis years I've never seen Erin's Mom give her a hug there is no emotional bond that I can see thanks four youre advice but I'm not jealous I just think that making you're child fell like she only has to have her Mom as a friend and not a Mother is wrong every kid needs to have friends

Jenny - posted on 06/02/2013

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I personally do not see the problem, other than a step-mother looking at this from a certain perspective. Some mothers feel they have a close bond with their children, especially the daughter, she might be missing her, worrying about her, Often we see things from the outside perspective and we do not know how the person feels or thinks outwardly. She might have anxiety issues, she might worry that something bad could happen if her daughter isn't there, and if she isn't there, she can't control/prevent bad things happening.

The way you have approached this, suggests that you're connecting and attaching a negativity to her actions rather than looking at it in a non bias perspective. There is countless innocent reasons she could be like this with her daughter.

The one friend thing could be the daughters choice. My own daughter has only one friend who she has been friends with since she was in kindy, I have had countless girls from her school staying over but it hasn't changed the situation. Your step daughter could just be an introvert and find it hard in large groups and prefers one on one friendships. Nothing wrong with that, just as there is girls who are extroverts who enjoy having many friends, a large social network, there is also introverted girls who prefer closer and smaller amount of friends. There is a fundamental difference and it won't change. Extroverted people gain energy by being around people. Introverts drain of energy from being around people and often have the need to be alone in their room to regain energy.

I think you're generating a biased account of the situation which will gain you the comments you desire to back you up.

I use to be a step mother, and the mother was extremley rude, arrogant and did anything she could to stop her children being around their father and me, If your situation was the only problem we had, I would have been happy and stress free.

Give the woman a break and maybe even try and ask her questions to better understand her mentality and her emotions on this issue rather than just make it out to be something sinister. She enjoys spending time with her daughter there is nothing criminal or immoral about that. That is the relationship between a mother and daughter, the same with Fathers and sons.

Also it seems like you're jealous of their relationship.

Jill - posted on 06/01/2013

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I have been a stepmom for 9 years and still battle with the mom over issues. The oldest step child just turned 19 and is pregnant and due in July. She moved out of our house 3 yrs ago and just moved back in with us about a month ago. The 3 other children are now all living with her and that is why the daughter is living with us because there is not enough room in her house. She had kicked out her daughter and once she found out that she was going to live with us mom changed her mind. The last thing she wanted was for her to come to our house. Mom tries to keep the kids away from their dad because we make the kids live in reality with punishment, chores etc. She wants to be more of a friend then a parent. I want to give you hope that it will get better. Your stepdaughter needs to stand her ground with her mom if this really bothers her. If she doesn't stand up now it will only get worse the older she gets. I understand you don't want to get in the middle, it is very hard not to do. Just reassure Erin that regardless of her mom that you still love her.

Amanda - posted on 06/01/2013

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I've been her stepmom four 6 years I'm only trying to help her get new friends, her reall mom only seems to care about herself, her Dad has fifty percent custody we try to encourage her to have friends over we got her involved in pathfinders, but her mother finds fault in everything that we try to do four Erin, her mother is very dismissive when Erin tells her that's she's having a great time at Dads, her mom is constantly texting her wanting to no everything that she's doing all the thime, if Erin doesn't repply back to mom, then mom will tex her and tell her everything that she's doing four example, I'm in the car, I'm at the mall, going four a walk, having supper,etc, I just want Erin to have the comfadense in her self to be able to make friends, and be a normal 13 year old kid.

Nicola - posted on 05/29/2013

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Maybe try to rise above things that are said or done.

You both have power. Your a step mum, she's a mum.
You pretty much have access to her little one, while she she may feel that she may not know you well enough.
You may have had to accept your loved ones child as your own in order to take on a future with him.

She may feel threatened by you and you may feel she's coming in between the relationship you have with your step child's father.

Working against eachother?

Who feels hurt..? All of you. You sound like you care which is awesome!

At the end of the day, everyone goes to bed sad, tossing and turning with worry about one thing or another.

Why not end the day feeling that you may have sucked it in for a bigger reason.

This little one will grow, she will become aware of whatever the real bigger picture is.

Maybe mum is over protective but cares, maybe you as her loving step mum loves her just as much, and dad is her loving dad. It all sounds really positive !

Hang in there, maybe by sucking it in and letting the mum have some control, it may give her the peace she needs to let go a little bit. :)
Give her a chance, you could end up getting along and she may be comfortable enough to find a new man and a new life as a result.

Food for thought. Think of the bigger picture, not just the here and now. None of us have a manual for raising our loved ones x

JPatrick - posted on 05/28/2013

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Here is a repost of the original post, with correct spelling and punctuation (I found it easier to read than a single run-on sentence):

"My stepdaugher has only one friend. Her mother is very controlling and only wants her to do things with her, even when she's with her dad and me. Her mom is always texting her wanting to know everything she's doing every minute of the day. Can anyone help?"

To me, it seems normal that her mom would want to keep tabs on her while she's with others, even with her Dad, especially if she's with Mom most of the time. Is there an issue with telling the Mom about what your plans are, where the 3 of you are going (if you go out) while SD is with you? The more you inform Mom of what's going on and put her at ease, she may feel less of a need to keep tabs on SD. Of course, that is Dad's job to communicate. Also it is hard to know what to say not knowing if either the Dad or SD thinks there is a problem with Mom's behavior. If Dad feels it is interfering with his quality time w/SD, he can raise that issue and try to set limits as others have suggested, but if neither has an issue, I don't see that there is really a problem at all.

Lee - posted on 05/27/2013

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I think you should have your step daughter invite her friend over to your house and have her invite a few other kids from school too. Show her there is a place where she can have some freedom. With boundaries of course...take her shopping, but make sure it's tasteful. Go get a Mani pedi. Be a good example as a woman and she will appreciate it later. Obviously she's upset or you wouldn't be posting. It's your house not her mothers and as long as you and your husband have discussed the rules of house and the daughter knows she isn't "getting away" with something- she will naturally feel more comfortable. I'm guessing there are certain behaviors the SD has as I had a controlling parent as well.
I'm a step mom but have her 47 weeks out of the year.... It's different because I have taken on the role of mom plus have another child. It's a tough road but it sounds like you care about this girl. It will workbout

Dove - posted on 05/26/2013

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What is wrong with only having one friend?

If your husband has a problem with the mother texting all the time while the SD is with you... he needs to bring that up to her and perhaps they can limit the texting to only a few times/day. Is your SD ok with her mother texting her though? The good thing about texting is that if it is bothering HER... she can ignore the texts or turn off her phone.

If it's bothering your SD or your husband... they are the ones who need to be making the changes. If it's not bothering them... let it be.

Theresa - posted on 05/26/2013

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Unfortunately you can't replace her real mom because you are her step mom and only know her threw marriage from your husband and she isn't your real daughter but you can talk to her about how she feels and let her know you are willing to be a friend at this point because she is 13 now and you can only give advice and slight guidance by that advice. She's at that age where she will use anything and everything to hurt a persons feelings and understands more and prolly misses her mother. She will make friends so give her sometime to adjust to you and her new life. Put yourself in her shoes for a min and see how you would feel having someone be another mother figure. It's not fun and I personally know how it feels. She will always be in contact with her mother because that's her mom. You can't involve yourself that way. Unfortunately that's wrong and she will attack back if you try to currupt her and her mothers relationship. Just support her and be a friend at this point but mature enough to understand her boundries and where you are in her life at this point.

Trisha - posted on 05/25/2013

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No disrespect intended but, you are the step mom not the mom so do not put yourself in their relationship. It is good she cares and at least she is not hurting her child. You do not have to agree with how she raises her child. If her father has an issue with it then he can take it to her .

Staci - posted on 05/25/2013

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Mom sounds like she's the one who needs friends. She needs to get a grip. Ignore her. Depending on how old your step daughter is, she'll eventually say something. Also if her father isn't complaining, most men don't when it comes to the children's mother ( especially if they had problems while together), just let it roll off your back.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/23/2013

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Yes, your husband, SD and ex need to communicate on this issue. If it isn't bothering your SD, then don't let it bother you.

If it isn't concerning your husband, then you need to take your cue from him.

If SD is commenting/complaining to you, bring it up to your hubby and let him handle it. If he appears to be avoiding, remind him.

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