stepmum delimma

Neeli - posted on 12/19/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )




Hi, I have been in the role of a step mom since the past 7 months. My step daughter lives with us and is 9 years old. She gets to see her mom once a week under court orders. My step daughter has behavioural problems. At times she gets very violent especially with me. This behaviour is taking a toll on me and my relationship with my husband. Although, I do get support from my husband in disciplining her and I try to leave that up to him, it is still very difficult to ignore her especially when she is trying to wind me up. all it takes for her to start throwing things at me is when i say 'no' to something she asks of me. I now do not feel physically safe with her especially when I am alone and my husband is not at home. I would like to have some advice and tips as to how do I go about trying to make it work. She has a lot of resentment towards me and now I feel resentment towards her as I cannot stand to be physically assaulted regularly.


Sheryll - posted on 12/20/2012




When you get married to someone with children it doesn't mean the children automatically like you...or love you or care because your there. It takes children time to bond to a step parent and they act worse before it gets better and this is for children that don't have any problems. Those with problems are way more easily frustrated and unhappy.
Also children sense fear ... It is a control measure.
If this child has emotional problems the whole family needs counseling including you. You need to learn to set boundaries and be able to enforce them. And if your the care taker discipline which doesn't mean hitting or spanking but to be able to have some control with the child. Teachers discipline without laying a finger on any child. Eye to eye contact at their level makes them also know you mean business don't threaten but follow through when they don't behave. ballet, Girl Scouts, playing outside, watching TV, computer...are a privilege and can and will be taken away in a heart beat. Don't yell or scream but remain calm when dealing with a out of control child. It seems her world has been turned upside down so kindness is really important right now whether you feel like it or not. Put yourself in her position. Also praise for positive behavior and reward her when she does well. Hugs and praise can go a long way.
My daughter had a step father that raised her and it was difficult for the first year. Today he is her Father who loved and cherished her and made her feel safe it took work on everyone's part. He died and I remarried to a man that had a teen age son...he liked me until we married. : ). A year later we became friends. Now after two years I have his respect. My promise to him was never come between him or his father. ( bad mouthing), to never say ugly things about his mother. Or to interfere with his grandparents on his Mothers side. To always be pleasant to anyone one of his family and always be there if he needs me. He told me he wished his family could do that. You have to be on the child's side. And make this transition easy as it can be on them. Good luck be kind.

Dove - posted on 12/19/2012




If she has behavioral problems... I'm assuming she is in counseling...? If not, she needs to be and it would benefit you and your husband to also do family counseling with her. If she is getting violent with you... you need to talk to your husband about a game plan for when he is not home... and follow it.

If one of my older (past preschool... they're easier to handle at that size) children ever dared to get violent with me.... I would tell them to stop and they'd receive whatever punishment was necessary (grounding, taking away prized possessions, etc...), but I'd make them full aware that the next time they laid a hand on me I would call the police. Violence is not tolerated in my home. It needs to stop now while she is 9 and not as capable of doing as much damage as once she's older.

Holly - posted on 12/19/2012




Figure out if you're husband is comfortable with you disciplining her... If not, you do not need to be left alone with her... But more importantly, ifshe is violent,I hope you do not ever plan to have your own children with this man...she might end up killing them


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Pamela - posted on 12/29/2012




The only way to handle this kind of problem arising from disagreements is to remember and understand that disagreements would NOT exist if each of us allowed ourselves to see the problem from the level of consciousness of the other person.

Wear their shoes, walk around the room in them and recognize that their viewpoint has just as much validity as your own.

I notice from your post that you have already stepped into your own "garment of fear" and have zipped it up tight. Declaring your fear of this child puts you in a position of powerful non-compromise!

PLEASE, for the sake of the planet....don't go there. Don't we already have enough drama in the world without adding our own into the fray?!!

Stop and stand in your God/ Higher Self which would not judge, but would always allow for COMPASSION and LOVE to proceed it's words and actions!

Theresa - posted on 12/20/2012




I have always lived by "My house, My rules" Sit down with your husband a establish "house rules" and punishments for breaking the rules. Then sit down with both your step-daughter and your husband to lay these out for. It would be better if your husband does the talking so she can't resent you. Present a united front. My sure the punishments fit the"crime". She may have ideas of her own to add. Listen carefully to her and add these rules or a compromise of these rules to the "house rules". Write them all out and have all three of you sign them. Children need rules and perimeters to live by, it makes them feel safe and cared for. Do not put up with this abusive behavior! This child needs strong adults in her life to keep her from feeling her life is spinning out of control and that she needs to control things. It is time for your husband to put on his "big boy" pants and become an active father and husband! I have been a mom and childcare giver for many years and have always had a "My house, My rules" policy. This means I explain to the children as well as the parents what my rules and expectations are. NEVER have I had an issue because it is all laid out it black and white and the kids respect me for that.(and believe me I've had some real challenging kids, with ADHD, Autism spectrum, and other issues) I have "kids" that are now in their 20's and 30's who have come back to me to tell me how safe and loved they felt in my care! Do this for your family and I fully expect you will see results!

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