i need to fix my relationship with my step daughter

Krissy - posted on 04/29/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I've been with my partner for 7 and a half years, when we got together his son was 3 and his daughter was 2, I met my partner because I'm good friends with his sister so I already knew the kids and we got on great, their mum was finding it difficult being a single mother so even though we had the kids at the weekend i'd help out with my step daughter during the week. We were so close and she went everywhere with me. When the kids were 4 and 5 my partner got custody of them so i became full time mum to the kids as he worked nights. A year after they came to live with us i fell pregnant with my daughter and when she was 6 months old i fell pregnant with my son. Things continued going great until recently, the kids are now 2, 4, 9 and 11 and my relationship with my step daughter has gone downhill fast in the last 6 months and i feel like i can't cope with her, she's moody, aggressive and bullies the younger children, she shouts at me a lot and cries lots too. I would really like to get back to how we used to be because I feel as though my family is falling apart, some people have said its her age or its just sibling rivalry but i can't help feeling that I've done something wrong or that she thinks that I love my own kids more than her, is any one in a similar situation or has any one got any suggestions on how to divide my time better between everyone?

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Brandi - posted on 04/29/2010

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I like the suggestion that Louise made about doing something together without the other kids. I have a step son and our relationship has been rocky at best but the suggestions above really do help. The only other thing I can think of is that when you are both calm, sit down away from the other kids and have a real heartfelt talk. Tell her that you feel like you guys are growing apart and that you miss the time that you used to spend together. Assure her that she is still very important in your life and allow her to talk about how she feels too by letting her know that no matter what she says, you won't get mad. Have her help you make a plan for how the two of you can get some time together and maybe even write it on the calendar for everyone to see. Just whatever you do, don't break the "date" with her to do something else.

Louise - posted on 04/29/2010

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First of all this sounds pretty normal for your step daughters age. She is about to embark on the journey to woman hood and she will need you more than ever. Try and have set days for her where you and her do something nice together like have your hair done. I know this means finding a baby sitter but get your fella to help out. She probably is thinking that she is very alone in the world at the moment and does not know where to turn so make time to chat on neutral territory and see if you can get passed the frightened angry little girl, to find her real feelings. If she opens up to you, you will be surprised what she tells you. As for the bullying bit, this seems to me to be attention seeking so the days out should help so she can get everything off her chest. Put dates on a calander for her so that she knows that she will have your undivided attention again, it may take a few trips to gain her trust but it will be worth it.

Iridescent - posted on 04/29/2010

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Oh man, it sounds like she's hitting puberty! Be patient and make individual time for her. Encourage her to start journaling so she can express her feelings on paper and write letters when she's too emotional to speak. It will help a lot as it gets worse, and give you both a way to communicate without getting angry.

Jaime - posted on 04/29/2010

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My daughter is also 9. I understand the problems. I am not going to say what you want to hear. Most likely you didn't do anything wrong. My daughter acts almost the exact same way. I know that she gets a bit upset that we expect a bit more of her than of the younger ones. She acts out but having a bad attitude, and crying. She only wants to play with our 20 month old when we want her to leave him alone. As soon as we ask her to do anything at all, we ALWAYS make her do everything.

The best way to devide time, is to help with home work, teach her to cook, read to all the kids at the same time, watch a family movie and let the older ones sit right next to you. It may not always be easy, and if she is anything like mine, she gets upset that you can't spend time with her, but runs off to her friends the first chance she gets. Don't worry about it to much. Time will help a lot.

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Kristin - posted on 05/02/2010

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Just be consistent with her. She's about to have her world rocked and you get to be the anchor for her. As long as she knows that you love her and will be there for her, she will come back around. Girls her age and older will say horrible things to anyone just to feel a sense of power in their life. Obviously, the rules can't go out the window. That structure is going to be even more important as she finds her way.

You probably won't get back what you had, but what you do end up will be different and possibly better.

Krissy - posted on 05/02/2010

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will do amy its so nice to be able to talk to people about it, i've been going out of my mind, i feel like a wicked step mother lol ;D

Iridescent - posted on 05/02/2010

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That is excellent! Yes, things will go back to "normal" at home for a while, just give it LOTS of time. :)

Krissy - posted on 05/02/2010

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we went out for the day together yesterday just the 2 of us, we went to a castle which is quite local and there was story telling and a re enactment then anna got to do some archery and a sword fighting practice which she loved! afterwards we went into town and i took her shopping for shoes which she absolutely adores. we had a fab time but when we got home things went back to normal almost straight away!! i'm not giving up though :)

Jenn - posted on 04/29/2010

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I'm going to have to say - hormones! It's the start of puberty and it will only get worse LOL! Sorry, probably not what you want to hear, but I just know how I was with my own Mum - yelling, moody, jealousy, crying for no reason. *sigh* Oh the things I have to look forward to with my own girls :(

Krissy - posted on 04/29/2010

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thanks everyone for the support and great ideas I feel like a weights been lifted and I'm gonna put some of the ideas into practice this weekend, my brother is taking my stepson to a football match so I'm gonna ask my partner to watch the little ones whilst me and my step daughter cook a meal together and bake :) xxxx

Krissy - posted on 04/29/2010

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thank you so much its good to know I'm not alone and you've made some really good suggestions :)

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