Step Dads and Teen Step Daughters

Trish - posted on 04/02/2016 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My teenage daughter has never taken to my new partner. My partner moved in with us and were living together for nine months until she left to live with her father recently. Now we have her home for weekends fortnightly and I am still feeling torn when the three of us are together. When it's the two of us (my daughter and I) she is happy. When it's my partner and I, we are happy but when it's the three of us together there is tension. I know my daughter would be happy if I ended my relationship and she has me all to herself but is it really fair to succumb to a child's wishes and put your life on hold until the child decides it's the right time, right partner! I am feeling exhausted and fed up with trying to make it work but I don't think ending the relationship is the right way to go either as much as I feel it would simplify my life. If anyone has experienced this problem, I would love to know how you handled it.

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Jodi - posted on 04/03/2016

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Okay, the problem is that your boyfriend is parenting her. That's not his place. He had been there for 9 months and was parenting her. I'm sorry, but that's your role, and your role only. That doesn't mean she shouldn't have respect for him in your home, but you are the parent, not him.

MaryAnn - posted on 04/03/2016

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I dont know all of the details, but to me it sounds like this is more of a teenage rebellion type thing than a stepdad thing. She is used to getting her own way- and thats typically easier when there is only one adult to appeal to. Now there are two. And I say this because you mention that She chose where to live. It wasnt because of school, or seeing more family, or because she was abused or neglected... It was because she refused to adjust to the very normal progression of your life.
For the record, you seem to have done everything in your power to make those changes gradual and healthy.
It sounds like your daughter may have to just suck it up.

Sarah - posted on 04/06/2016

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Trish, there may be some jealousy at play as well. You do the parenting and let your BF, try to reach out in his own way. She is at an awful age, and it may take some time, but there will come a time when he meets s need for her and the ice will start to crack. hang in there!

Susan - posted on 04/04/2016

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Totally understand where you are coming from. It is difficult for children (be they young or in teens) to share their parent with their parent's significant other. From your post I see you have not remarried, but I am thinking a book on step-parenting might be of help - this one seems pretty good -> The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family http://amzn.to/1XdSLRa.

Raye - posted on 04/04/2016

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Trish, I think you've done a lot to make it a gradual transition to the new situation. I agree with the other moms that you need to be the main disciplinarian, but your BF should be treated with respect and any request from him for her to obey the rules should be treated the same as if it came from you. So being united in parenting and backing each other up is a good thing.

I also agree with the others about it sounding like typical teenage rebellion. Teens want to follow the path of least resistance, and for her that means being with Dad. Keep making her feel wanted and loved in your home when she's there. And stay strong and united with your BF. Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and can get through this.

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Michelle - posted on 04/03/2016

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As children get older they will want to stay with the parent who has less rules. Any child would prefer to do what they want rather than being told what to do. My 2 older children are not quite as bad but I sometimes get attitude from the 14yo that my house is "boring" and he'd prefer to be at Dad's. I know that it's because he has every games consol at his Dad's and not here. His Dad also has less rules but they don't get a choice, we do 50/50 shared care and have done for 11 years.
I agree with Jodi, your boyfriend needs to let you be the parent. His job is to back you up (in that if you say no to something and she goes to him, he has to say no as well). He's not her Step Dad yet and she knows that.
So her attitude is pretty normal, it's just that she has 2 very different houses to choose from. Unfortunately, you can't change the way her Father parents.

Trish - posted on 04/03/2016

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My daughter is 15. I saw her today and She said that she felt there was two against one. My bf and I are parenting her as a biological couple would do, United. Before he came into our life, my daughter did have one one with each parent. Me to herself at home and her Dad to herself every other weekend. Her Dad spoils her and treats her like an adult. He has no idea what parenting or teaching a child is about. He just does what pleases her. It's almost 5 years since her father and I split. I was with my bf for 1 year before he moved in. I dated for 5 months before introducing him to my daughter. I tried to slowly introduce him into our life , with lunches , coffee etc with her to get to know him at the start we thought we had gone through the hard first six months adapting to living together and felt like we had a family unit and then she starting acting out and left. She was having difficulties from some medication and had recently started dating a boy that had issues of his own which tipped her over the edge and the soliton for her was to runaway and avoid her problems rather than face them.

Michelle - posted on 04/03/2016

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How old is your daughter?
Have you asked her what the problem is?
How long is it since you split with her Father?
How long were you with your BF before he moved in?
These are actually all important questions to answer before we can really give you advice.

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