Having a hard time dealing with step child.

Jessica - posted on 02/06/2012 ( 128 moms have responded )

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I'm 24 years old. Me and My boyfriend have been together now 4 years. I've been a caregiver for his biological child since we've been together. But I don't get credit for what I do, instead I'm downed by step child & the biological mother - who in my opinion isn't a mother she was just who gave birth to her and she's an occasional baby sitter. When my boyfriend and his ex wife got a divorce there was a court order that claims that the birth mother is to get the child every other weekend from Friday at 6 o'clock till Sunday at 6 o'clock. And you would think if you were a biological mother and you cared about your child you would do ANYTHING to spend those 6 days out of a month with your child. But no on Friday's when its the bio mothers turn to see her child she has her sister pick her up on Friday afternoon and she doesn't arrive to spend time with her child until sometime Saturday.... Then on Sunday by 2:00 o'clock the child is back at our home. But she's not brought home by the mother instead she's brought home by the aunt of the child. The child is starting to miss her mother and has said that she never gets alone time with her mother. She says that she is always having to spend time with her mother and someone else - and I see it hurts the child more and more in her eyes it's like her biological mother doesn't care for her. And that breaks my heart more than anything. The biological mother has said things to the extent that I'm childish? How am I childish when I'm the one that takes care of your child. Gives her the things that she needs etc. That just makes me ANGRY!



Anyway on to my dealing with the child. I'm pretty much the primary caretaker of the child. My boyfriend works 40 hours a week and gets home about 6:00 o'clock every night (In time for supper and about 30 minutes with his child before bedtime at 8:00 o'clock) I get child ready for school, fix her lunch, fix her breakfast, get her ready for school, do homework with her, bathe her, take her to and from school, fix her supper, get her ready for bed. Basically without me, she wouldn't have anyone that does anything for her. Yes her father works and brings home the bacon so to say and everything else is left up to me. Doctors appointments, Teachers Conferences etc. And needless to say The Biological Mother has never even been to any of these. The child's teacher at school has NEVER seen the biological mother. Anywho me and my boyfriends child don't particularly get along. She doesn't follow directions, She can't remember anything so I'm constantly correcting the things that she does wrong. And she is the type of child that takes criticism as NEGATIVE and she always says that I'm Mean because I'm constantly having to remind her of things and keep her on track. She treats me like crap most of the time. When she gets home from school she comes home and goes in her room and never once talks to me until she wants something like a snack or going outside. She doesn't listen to the instructions I give her. She calls me SHE instead of by my name ALL THE TIME. It's just hectic around this house, and I feel like I'm drowning and there is no one here to save me. Boyfriend doesn't see the way she acts because like I said he's never really here until weekends then he gets a taste of what I constantly deal with through the week and he's frustrated... HELP? Need suggestion on what to do.

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Barb - posted on 02/09/2012

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Step situations are difficult, no doubt. It could be that you won't feel appreciated any time soon... not until she matures! It's possible her dad can help by mentioning how much you care about her, and how hard you work for her. It may or may not have an impact.

I agree with those who've said you should do fun things with her. Try to foster a more intimate relationship with her. As someone said you mentioned discipline but not those other things. A wise person once said, "Rules without Relationship Equals Rebellion." I realize in your situation you're the one in charge of her, discipline and all, but encouraging her dad to get more involved may help. No matter how much you love her, I think it's hard for step kids to FEEL loved. You may feel you're showing her love, but in her mind you may not be. (?) She has to feel bad w the situation w her mom, but may also feel bad that her dad isn't more involved in her life. That could cause her to resent you. Eventually she'll understand and feel differently but it may not be for some time. Sorry. Hang in there --- you're doing good work even tho it may not feel like it!

Patricia - posted on 02/08/2012

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Grab a step ladder and get out of there! You deserve better. Why are you tølerating this kind of life? The abuse will only get worse over time.

Alexandra - posted on 02/08/2012

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This may seem very harsh and unheartful but here is my suggestion: leave. You are 24 years old, you don't need this life. I am sorry, I have to be truthful to my heart.

Jo Ann - posted on 02/08/2012

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Wow! Being a step parent is a thankless job, I know bc I am one. However my stepson is now 24. I'm so glad that I stayed with my husband through it all, bc we almost split up bc of all that was going on. We were dealing w/a pain in the butt ex wife, an older son that had a drug problem, and his younger son, who was mama's boy. The older son, we went through hell and back with trying to get him off drugs, but he eventually OD'ed and passed away at age 22. Very sad. His younger son is going to college and works full time and is quite a fine young man. My husband and I have a 10 year old daughter. Anyways, i read the other's comments, and there's a lot of great advice. I really like the one that said to try to do things with her. What I believe that children really want is our time and attention. Try maybe doing and art/craft together, make cookies, whatever it is, so you can bond with her. Since she seems to be a difficult child, you may be surprised at how well she will respond to the orders you have given if you give her time, love, and some positive attention. Also, the mother is in contempt for not following what the court set up for your arrangements. I totally understand your frustration, but you have to feel sorry for this young lady who is being rejected by her own mom. hope this helps, I'll keep you in prayer. HUGS!!!

Stephanie - posted on 02/08/2012

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I agree with leah, I am a step child myself in a similar situation and I remember being mean, and moody, and angry. Try not to point out all you do for her, just do it as a mom would, and never talk bad about the other mom. She will appriciate you when she is old enough to realize what you did, every mom experiences that, not just"stand in" moms. A special 'you and her' date might be the perfect idea! And as far as her adhd or whatever, if she only acts that way sometimes, then it's probably just acting out. Frustrations can make you antsy, irritable, forgetful.. I think she sounds normal and I would give her time and love :)

Carolyn Marie - posted on 02/08/2012

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This child needs counseling, pronto. She is being rejected by her bio mom and she resents you for doing "her" job. Logical, but hard to deal with when you're a child.

Wendy - posted on 02/08/2012

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My son can't seem to remember anything he does in school either! Maybe its not so much that she doesn't remember what happened, just that she doesn't want to be bothered talking about it. Maybe she is bored in school- is there a possibility she is academically gifted?



Maybe you, her, and her dad could all sit down together and come up with a list of basic house rules and consequences (no back talking, etc). Let her have a say in the rules as well as the punishment. Make it a contract that all of you sign, then post it in plain sight. Stick to this, and maybe the structure will help.

Marquita - posted on 02/08/2012

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I myself am a step mother and have had many problems with Bio mom and step daughter. The way I have solved my problem is through love. From reading your post there is a lot of disiclpining and correcting going on but you never once spoke of the Love you show her. Of course you love her because you have taken care of her and you make sure her needs are met however, with children whe they have experienced something so traumatizing they often need alot more love and affection. I know things must be crazy with you having to bare the blunt of the harsh behavior and still be caretaker for the home and child. However, for every action there is a reaction and the child should know that. So for every bad action there comes discipline and for every good act there comes a reward. Try spending more one on one time with her just really talking to her getting to know her feelings and what makes her do the things she does. As far as her calling you SHE, i had the same problem. I solved that by having my step daughter call me S-Mama. which in short terms means Step-mama. It works for me because I am old fashion and so first names are a no-no when talking to adults. But because she is your child but your not the BIO I dont see a problem with a simple form of a way to call you mom also but I made sure that my step daughter knew that in no way was I trying to replace her mom but that God had blessed her to have two. It's going to take some time to make things work but the best method i found was lost of love and acknowledgement when she does something right. Best of Luck

[deleted account]

For the custodial stepmamas:



Here's a link to a support group on FB - https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/307021629324421/ (you may have to copy and paste the link in a new browser window to get it to work properly. If it still doesn't then search Custodial Stepmoms in the FB search bar).



It's a great support group and everyone there understands what a huge difference it is to be custodial :)



::HUGS::

Leah - posted on 02/08/2012

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You can't take it personally. Feel glad that the child feels comfortable enough with you to be able to get upset with you/treat you badly at times. What that shows me is that this little girl knows that you love her and that you are not going anywhere. After basically being abandoned by her own loser birth "mom", I'm sure she has anxiety that you will do the same one day, or that maybe her dad will. Also, she might psychologically blame you (without realizing it) for the fact that she doesn't see her mom. Even though that's untrue and seems crazy, her young brain can't rationalize as well as an adult can, and maybe it's easier to pretend that you're the bad guy than to accept the fact that her own mom doesn't love her. I hope you don't guilt trip her/constantly remind her of all that you do for her. That would breed resentment from her because it's not her fault she's in this situation. I feel bad for the kid. She doesn't have it easy, she's been let down hard by the person who was supposed to love her the most.. I suggest spending some actual FUN time alone with her, maybe get a hotel room and swim together for a day at the hotel pool. Something special to show her that you love her and you care. That's the only way that I think her behavior will change. She needs to learn to trust you. You need to remember that she isn't an adult, she's just a kid, and a kid who has been through a lot of shit. Sad, sad, sad.

Adrienne - posted on 02/08/2012

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I have the exact situation with my step daughter we have had custody of her since she was 2 and shes now 9. my husband has had talks with his ex about how she misses her mom and wants to spend time with her but she acts like cares for all of 1 month and then things go back to normal so now I dont even bother with it because now that she is 9 she sees more that we are the ones who takes care of her and that her mom will always be her mom but she is not a reliable person and she turns to us for support not her. Not only that but now that she has more friends and a lil more freedom like she can go to her friends more and parties and sleep overs she doesnt really want to go when shes supposed to do. It will get easier but dont stress yourself out over it. In the end the child will figure it out. We usually just try to distract her with other things to do so she doesnt feel that void so much, walks bike rides, movie nights, fame night something.

Heather - posted on 02/07/2012

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If she does have ADHD try giving her a cup of coffee in the morning, or Mountain Dew. My friend does it with his son and hes alot calmer and able to listen better, my father who has ADHD has been doing it since he was a child and it helps him alot to. give it a go and see how it how it works for her.



I know in Cali. some people get prescriptions for medical marinara for ADHD.

LuzMaria - posted on 02/07/2012

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i have 2 step children, a daughter and a son. i also have 3 boys of my own. their ages range from 11-3. the children live supposedly primarily with their mother. but when you break down the schedule we have them more throughout the year. its pretty much 3 1/2 days out of the week, and by my calculations that is half a week. but we still pay child support. he has shared parenting. i dont understand this? also, the daughter is so stubborn, that she will refuse to eat and go all day w/o eating. we've learned not to bend or break down on what we say. or she wins whatever game she is playing at. example=friday she wanted a chicken strip lunchable, i told her the chicken would be cold she said ok i want it cold. i said ok. everyone was eating but her. we said y. her response was that she didnt want the chicken. she wanted the pizza. then she changed it to she wanted the chicken hot not cold. then it was she wasnt hungry. so she sat at the table till we were all done and then she got up and never at. we told her if she became hungry to let us know. her chicken was waiting for her. she never ate it.

then the son he could look at me and kill me if looks could kill. I would seriously be dead 20 times by now. he plays mind games, and tries to manipulate the system. ive talked to my husband, and the wonderful thing about him is that he listens and we work through things together.

it's just their mother is aa real piece of you know what. she is remarried, and does nothing with these kids. her husband wants nothing to do with them. the little boy had a high fever i wanted to take him to the doctor, but he didnt have one. she has taken the kids to almost all the pediatricians in the area, ran up bills and left the practices. she refuses to pay any of the bills, wont give us any of the bills so we can pay our percentage, and wont give us the names of the doctors offices so we can do it on our own. she just got the 5 year old up to date on his shots.

how do you get custody from a mother who is only gonna fight for them because she wants the money, and she can get an attorney and we cant.

how do we prove her unfit.

and why dont we as stepmothers get the credit we deserve. her son wouldnt know half of what he does if it wsnt for me. he doesnt know his colors, numbers, alphabet. he didnt even know what letters his name started with until i came into the picture on a regular basis. and she has him in a preschool.

i need advice on how to get custody of step children.... they need to be with us on a more consistent basis. i fear for their health.

Katie - posted on 02/07/2012

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Omg I'm sat here crying reading this, I'm going throug the same i can't give u advice because I need it myself!!! Keep up the good work xxxx

Maren - posted on 02/07/2012

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1- I would sugest family counseling with the BF. He needs to learn how to be a parent, which includes the good and the bad.

2- Plan a girls weekend when dad would be alone with his daughter without you so he can get a better idea of what you go through, and also so he dosn't have you to fall back on.

You need to get him on yourside, it will be eaiser to deal with the step- daughter issue. It needs to be parents against child, not having one parent against the other.

Gwen - posted on 02/07/2012

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Also, as hard as it may be, instead of the constant reminders/criticism/correction, try noticing when she is doing something good. A little praise and encouragement can go a long way. I remember telling my mom that as a kid: "How come you never notice any of the GOOD things I do? You always yell at me for what I did wrong!" I think you and dad need to sit down together w/ the counselor and get on the same page about discipline, etc. It is not fair to you OR your step-daughter. You have no support and she is getting mixed messages.

Bridgett - posted on 02/07/2012

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You could have the child's thyroid and adrenals checked, among other vitamins.such as vitamin d, b12, and potassium,..my sister had symptoms of ODD all her life until she was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder in her teenage years...It messes with your hormones and can cause you to be angry and outraged as well as being depressed and forgetfull and a whole slew of other annoying things...I am 32 and just found out about my thyroid condition...mine was undiagnosed for so long that it her a tumor on it and I just had it surgically removed last week..for years I have been having symptoms and I can hardly remember anything and get angry at the blink of an eye...I also am very defensive and argue about the littlest.things...hoping my thyroid will level out soon



I do wish that step moms would also look at the biological parents view point as well, which is sometimes hard to do if the bio parent already made negative statements about them...the thing is communication between the females...I communicate with my hubbies ex wife and I communicate with my daughters step mother and it has gotten better day by day since we keep each other on our toes to make sure the kids get what they need in a timely matter...



Also if this child's mother has issues, is she getting care for them at all? If not, it may make since to go back to court to modify the visitation order, especially if the mother is not fulfilling her visitation schedule and not pertaining to the structure of it.



Also are the child and bio mother both going to counseling together or is it the daughter on her own with the stepmother and bio father?



I am also wondering how old is the child, is the bio mom being invited in advance notice to the Dr. appointments and teacher conferences and within her work schedule to attend? Also wondering if this bio mom has other children she cares for?

Michelle - posted on 02/06/2012

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not a problem I love my son dearly but can honestly tell you off his meds we fight all the time he is calmer and thinks before he speaks and is quite the little gentlemen when he takes them.

Jenni - posted on 02/06/2012

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Michelle thank you for the link to that article! I cried reading it. My son completely fits the criteria for ODD. I thought I was crazy. He does so well in school and comes home and is a whole different person. The teacher just says he has problems focusing, and talking to much. His daycare says he is an angel. I have tried EVERYTHING! I really thought it was something I was doing wrong. He is defiant for my boyfriend (not his father), and even worse for me. It's a battle to get him to do anything. I will definitely be getting him checked out for this. I can't thank you enough for the reassurance that I am not crazy and other people have this same issue. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Michelle - posted on 02/06/2012

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Perhaps family counseling might be a good idea even if it is just for you and the little girl. She needs to accept the fact that you are with dad and he is not going back to her mom.

Michelle - posted on 02/06/2012

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Maybe you need to be talking to the counselor and her dad about removing mom from the equation. Children tend to play one parent off the other if they can my son does not take his meds at his fathers so is basically a little holy terror when he gets home but he knows that when he walks through that door we have expectations of his behavior and he has to abide by them. I think your first step is to sit the bf down and explain to him that if his daughter had adhd even if it is mild she will need everything to be consistent so the two of you need to come together to create an parenting plan for your house that way when she comes home you can say this behavior may be acceptable at your moms house but it will not be tolerated here.

Jessica - posted on 02/06/2012

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The psychologist told me the other day that I needed to get a support group that would help me deal with all the bottled up anger that I've grown to have over the last 4 years about my step daughter. I try to treat her like I would my own child - but still get treated like crap not only from her but her mother. I've thought about going in to see the psychologist myself just so that I would have someone to talk too. I mean of course I've got my boyfriend but its hard to talk to him about stuff like this because well it's his daughter & and I'm afraid that if I say something wrong then he'll get mad...

Jessica - posted on 02/06/2012

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My step daughter is VERY smart she's at the top of her class in most things... She's in program challenge but she come out this last quarter with a C... I've gotten to the point where I absolutely HATE when school is out. Because the peace and quiet ends. My step daughter use to live with her grandmother and she got everything she asked for. Her mother when she is with her doesn't make her mind so when step daughter returns home she's tries to continue acting the way that grandmother or mother allowed her to act and it's so hard getting her back into the routine. I can honestly say - that I do ENJOY the time she's away at her mothers. I have a sense of relief and my weekends aren't as stressful.

Michelle - posted on 02/06/2012

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if she does meet the criteria go in prepared with her father to say hey we have a problem and we need to find a solution that will work best for our daughter as she is your daughter good or bad even if you didn't give birth to her.

Michelle - posted on 02/06/2012

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your daughter sounds exactly like my son, first off ask your pediatrician to refer you to a child psychiatrist who deals specifically with ADHD and ODD as two often go hand in hand. My son was diagnosed at the age of 4 with both and because of how extreme it was he was put on meds when he went into Kindergarten or else he would still be in K now and is 11. He also goes back and forth to his dads and does not always enjoy the time there often comes home and tells me he wishes he didn't have to go anymore. He refers to my significant other by his first name always has and truly would like him to be his dad. Now before the meds my SO and my sons would butt heads and they had little to no relationship as my son didn't want anyone taking up moms time except for him. Also I want you to read over this article on ODD and see if your step daughter meets any of those criteria. http://www.klis.com/chandler/pamphlet/od...

Jessica - posted on 02/06/2012

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Michelle: Yes we've took her to counseling she's been going now for about 2 months I would say. But it just doesn't seem like we are getting anywhere. The psychologist is starting to make us feel out papers about her behavior along with her teachers to check for ADHD. She tends to forget what she does during the day, when she gets home if you ask her what she did in school she'll tell you that she forgot. The only things she'll tell you will be I went to lunch, went outside - the typical things. She talks a LOT and interrupts in conversations. She can't sit still when she's needed to and she fidgets all the time. To me the signs of ADHD she's got but when she goes to her psychologist - she doesn't act the way that she does at home. So the psychologist pretty much thinks we're crazy! It's just real stressful my boyfriend doesn't discipline her like he should because he always says that he doesn't want to be too hard on her. But I always tell him that he's there to be her parent not her best friend. So when he gets home I'm still the one that does the punishing because he doesnt want to be to hard on her. So at the end of the day she ALWAYS see's me as the bad person. There isn't really anything that I can do about it though, it's not like I could pick up and leave and stop doing the things that I'm doing because he works all the time, and there wouldn't be anyone to care for the child if I wasn't here. It's just so tiresome I've thought many times that I should just leave but I love my boyfriend... And don't want the fact that his last divorce & his daughters behavior towards her mother to tear us apart.

Michelle - posted on 02/06/2012

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Here are a couple of suggestions, first off I believe the child is taking her anger and frustration out on you because she knows and can trust that you will be there for her no matter what, she is angry with her mom but cannot tell her for fear that what little time she is given will be taken away as well. I would strongly suggest that you take her in for some counseling to deal with her anger and help her get through those unresolved issues with her bio mom. Second based on what you are saying she has a hard time remembering and concentrating has she ever been tested for a learning disability, a lot of kids in split families can develop something called ODD which may be what you are dealing with right now. I would have her tested they will either find something or they won't but you will never know if you don't try. and lastly you need to sit down and have a heart to heart with the girl no pressure tell her that you understand that she is angry and maybe it is time you guys talked about it to see if you as her primary care giver can help make things better. She may surprise you and want to talk.

Jessica - posted on 02/06/2012

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Why can't biological mothers see what a step mother does? Especially the one's that don't do anything for their child... In some cases without the step mothers their child wouldn't have anyone there for them...

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