Tina - posted on 02/05/2016 ( no moms have responded yet )
I first want to say that I am not here to bash anyone, I am looking for advice on how to handle a difficult stepdaughter and her mom.
My husband and his previous wife have only one child together, a 13 year old girl. they have been divorced since their daughter was two. I have been in his life since their daughter was 4.
I also have 3 older children, all in their late 20's, who had a step mom...so I understand this from both sides. I certainly didn't "like" my kids stepmom, but for their sakes, we all worked our butts off to assure the kids thought we did like each other. at their sporting events, we would sit together, buy each other popcorn and coffee, cheer our brains out together. My ex, his girlfriend and I did not disrespect each other.
Fast forward to my current situation. My husband's ex literally drove over my husbands Harley Davidson in front of their daughter (when she was 12) because she was mad at him for being 10 minutes early for pick up. When I arrived on scene, police were there (only time police have had to be involved...for obvious reasons); the police had to hold her back when i went towards the daughter to console her as she stood alone beside the road and her parents were each talking to a police officer. She screamed "don't you go near her!" and ran at me. Thankfully the officer caught her before she got to me. (freaked me out more than a bit).
They have had joint guardianship and custody always. summer of 2014, he had his daughter for 2 full weeks of summer vacation, and after that for 3 months the mom refused his access. Reason, we were going away on a long weekend trip with the daughter on his time; the mom scheduled her for something during that weekend. (she has been court ordered 3 times to not do that...but doesn't care; example, dad standing beside 4 year old daughter and the mom says, "bring her back a day early, she has a play date at my house." Dad either says ok so that the daughter doesn't hate him for "not allowing a play date" or says no and mom now has a new trick to control dad's time & daughter is mad at dad). The daughter wanted to dictated that we come back from our vacation early with 5 other families so that she could attend something with her mom. My husband said no, we are out of town and can't come back early. this has been booked for several months and the mother knew about it. The daughter tells dad that if he doesn't agree she isn't coming. Dad shows up at meeting point to get daughter; mom and daughter don't show up. then daughter is embarrassed because all her friends who were on the trip with us, were telling her they were sad she didn't come...it was like a massive snowball, the longer she waited the bigger it got. Mom refused to bring her to drop off for 3 months until court ordered her to or a fine. her excuse was simple, she has no control over the daughter. the judge asked her "who's the parent in your house?"
4 months later, My husband, a firefighter, has been changed to a new district. So with a new schedule, he asked her to agree to slightly alter the schedule so that it fit his new schedule. no more time, no less time, just shifted over to fall on his days off. She refuse. So we are in court to have that ordered.The judge gave an interim order to change the schedule as we asked until the court date in June. His words were, "I don't understand why a rational person would not agree to this." keep in mind that 90% of the time the daughter is great with us. we have a fantastic time...but the 10% right after she comes from her moms is like a crazy child. She told the counsellor that when she gets to her moms, the mom asks her "did your dad do anything to upset you or make you mad?" and she keeps the info in a diary that the daughter has full access to. So everytime she doesn't get her way...he's the worst parent ever.
the judge says he will do up the schedule, we will have 2 weeks to all prepare for it to begin and talk to the daughter about it. The judge also agrees with our request for counselling for all the family and orders mom consents to daughter and also that mom attends.
Leave court, mom refuses counselliing, but with court order dad can bring daughter. This "child" believes thoroughly that what she demands, she gets. that's how she lives at her moms and at our house, she says she will not do chores, she will not allow her dad to monitor her internet use, she will do what she wants, when she wants.
What happens is she does chores (simple, like washing dishes and making her lunch for school); she does do what she's told, however disrespectful it is. when she is disrespectful she looses her cell for a day. she screams at her dad and tells him "he can't do that, only my mom can and I don't have to ....etc etc." she has told me i'm "selfish" because i have 3 kids and now can't "give them whatever they want. what sort of mom would do that?" this girl is truly unbelievable.
We actually had to get a court order to allow the girl, at 5 to come to our wedding cause mom said no. the judge was pissed. Then mom also tried to have a court order that said I can't be alone with the daughter until dad and I had been married for 5 years. The judge threw it out and ordered her to pay our legal fees...and was pissed. This same woman wrote my husband a check for $25000 when they first separated and told him he could have it, if he agreed to never see his daughter and he wouldn't have to pay support. he refused. she said she would do anything it takes to make sure he lost his daughter.
the other day, when the interim order began, it now works out that he has his daughter about 3 times every 2 months on the daughter's work day. she cleans cow stalls after school at her mom's vet's farm (she owns horses) for 3 hours. So, rather than have her ahve to carry her stuff each time for work; we went to the store to buy her all the gear and clothes she needs for work. seems logical; she has 100% of all her other needs at our home. Get to walmart to buy boots...the daughter literally stood in the aisle, wouldn't move, crossed her arms, blocked other patrons access and loudly exclaimed, "you can't make me...NO!" we were like, "wft" lol. She stood there ranting for about 3-4 minutes like a 2 year old and refused to move. Her dad said, if you don't stop, you lose your phone. She yelled, "you can't do that, only my mom can." ummm a little embarrassing. my kids, would never, in a million years treat me the way this kid does. she is like dr jeckyl and mr hyde. So we left, went home and she went to her room, texted her mom that she and her dad got in a big fight at walmart (my husband was calm, embarrassed and certainly not "fighting" with her). her dad took her phone away.
later he went and talked to her; she maintains that her work is for her mom to drive her to. he explained that the judge has asked us to give this our best effort and that's what he's going to do and hopes she will too.
after a bit, he brought her to his computer and they looked at old pictures of them while she was growing (we actually have a cluster photo frame in her room of her and mom and maternal grandparents). When she was looking at the pictures she became emotional and went to her room, grabbed the doorframe my husband has tucked away in her closet from when they all lived together; the one her height is marked on from a toddler to teen. She asked her dad to mark her height. she had turned back to the good kid she can be.
my heart breaks for her and dislikes her all al the same time. my husband, her dad, is a good man. he just wants to be a dad and the mom has messed this kid up so much.
sorry this is crazy long. my question is really this: how does my husband (and I) handle a 13 year old having an actual temper tantrum in public. I honestly can't answer him when he asks me cause it's so foreign to me. and he's restricted somewhat because we are truly concerned that if he grabs her arms and hauls her disrespectful butt out of there, she will twist what happens and mom will report abuse.
HELP! (we are keeping a diary of every single thing good and bad for court in June because we did suspect mom and daughter would sabotage the effort)
I know some will say, just give her up to mom. but how does a dad do that. one day this kid will look back and see how horrible he has been treated.