In defense of stepmom

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013 ( 57 moms have responded )

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unless you are a step mom you will not EVER be able to understand the feeling. The feeling that you are supposed to have this unconditional love for these children and to have NEVER ENDING PATIENCE with these kids. just as a mother is supposed to. but when everything goes to hell in a hand basket YOU get blamed... and when everything is just peachy the mother gets rewarded for teaching them how to be such great kids. The mother threatens who knows what if you attend the piano recital but then bad mouths you for not showing because you must not care enough... tells you that you can not throw a birthday party at your home for her, but are apparently too petty to show up for the one that SHE threw.

you'll NEVER understand the feelings when your 10yo step daughter tells you that your a whore for stealing her daddy and all his love from them (the stepdaughter and mommy) even though you didn't even start dating him until 3 years AFTER the divorce. you haven't been there when your teen stepdaughter will call up her dad to ask to hang out, only to come over borrow money and then 5 minutes later leave.

you haven't been there when your 6yo step kid constantly destroys your own kids personal belongings, or steals their things that their uncle brought them back from the navy simply because she didn't have one.

you haven't been there, so don't judge.

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Jodi - posted on 01/09/2013

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I think that is a harsh and very unfair diagnosis of a 7 year old (8 year old?) unless you have had psychological evaluation.

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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Yes, but that doesn't excuse calling a child names. This "condescending judgment, snide insensitivity, and relentless blame from others" may be less likely to happen if a step parent stopped name calling.

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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"you proved the complete OPPOSITE i was trying to show, you proved that most people here wouldn't be able to understand their feelings"

No, I totally understand. I am trying to make the same point Shawnn is making. You did not prove anything, however.

The fact is, calling a child a brat, and referring to bratty behaviour are different things. As are calling a child a sociopath, and referring to behaviour that is beyond normal are two different things. It all comes down to a choice of words, and then continuing to DEFEND calling a child names. When someone comes and calls a child a brat, of course people are going to be offended. Had the original post to which you referred discussed her stepchildren in a manner that referred to their bratty behaviour rather than being a total brat, I can guarantee the responses would be very different. I know I, for one, react differently to someone calling a child a name, versus referring to their behaviour.

If you read any parenting or psychology book, you will also see that there is a difference. It is a total difference in attitude to a situation. Do you focus on the person, or the behaviour? At this point you are focusing on the person, not the behaviour.

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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It's kind of like me never telling my children THEY are naughty, but rather, that their BEHAVIOUR was naughty. It has a totally different impact on the child, and also focuses the child's attention on the behaviour rather than themselves. It also has the effect of focusing OUR attention on the behaviour rather than negatively towards the CHILD.

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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Actually, I'll be honest Holly, you ARE calling your stepdaughter names and focusing on her person rather than her behaviour. Calling a kid a brat is very different to saying they are BEHAVING LIKE a brat. And yeah, calling a kid a sociopath when said child is 6 years old is a lot on the harsh side. Saying that her behaviour is leaning towards sociopathic has a whole different meaning and gives a different impression. Can you see the difference between labelling the behaviour and labelling the child?

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Holly - posted on 01/09/2013

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this is why i say believe and not definitely has it, but i have done MAJOR research into it, and she has everything it says to look out for... lack of remorse, stealing, destroying property, lying, the only thing she hasn't done is cruelty to animals... that i KNOW of... she will push my dog (i will watch her, while my dog is sitting on the couch, she will be sitting close to her and decide to push her off, and then say she was jumping up on me so i pushed her off of me), & step on her (she will say that she was walking under her feet, when in reality she walked up to my sleeping dog and stepped on her tail), but she hasn't broken my dogs legs or thrown her across the room, mostly because my dog growls at her every time she comes near her now, when she is awake.

Holly - posted on 01/09/2013

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and like i said jodi, i am sorry i said that here... and it was only said to bring light to the situation that perhaps in the heat of someone's feelings that when they are trying to convey how their step children act, that they may call the children this when seeking advice... my saying I think my stepdaughter my have sociopathic disorder was not in heat of expressing my feelings, i do believe that she does indeed have this problem. this is no worse than saying i think my stepchild has autism.... I honestly believe that she has this disorder. I am not saying this out of anger, but i DO try to solicit feelings of remorse out of her.... when she cries, i ask her, why are you crying? she says it is because she doesn't want to write apology notes, or she doesn't like it when her father talks to her like "that" meaning talking to her about her stealing/destroying, and how if she contintues the girls will not want to share toys, because they will be afraid that she will steal/ destroy them every time. she says it makes her feel bad, but then when asked about how SHE thinks it made them feel, she shrugs her shoulders and sometimes will even laugh.

Jodi - posted on 01/09/2013

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I am not suggesting you have, but often even just THINKING things like this can cause focus on the negative. So when you vent or verbalise your frustration, focusing on the behaviour in that situation is also far more constructive than focusing on the child. And I am only suggesting this because from my experience on this forum, it does actually make a difference to the responses that may be received. People who call their child (or step child) brats, or sociopaths, or horrors or the devil incarnate (yes I've seen that), are less likely to elicit positive responses than people who describe their child's behaviour.

Holly - posted on 01/09/2013

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I appreciate your posting this, but as I have pointed out, I have never told my step daughter she is a brat, Andi have never told her that her behavior is bratty... I have only told her that her behavior is not acceptable

Jodi - posted on 01/09/2013

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"While disciplining a child, it is very important to make the child aware that the parent is angry at the child’s behavior, not at the child. The parent must make a clear distinction between the child and the child’s behavior. The child must realize that when the parent dislikes a child’s behavior, it does not mean that the parent dislikes the child. By making this important distinction, the parent is conveying that the child is not essentially a bad person. Rather it is his/her behavior, which the child can be change, that is unacceptable."

http://www.psychalive.org/2009/06/discip...

An interesting read. It might help with understanding what I am trying to point out.

Michelle - posted on 01/09/2013

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I think to generalize is a bit harsh to the bio parents. I'm not a step mother but my husband is a step father and he has every right to discipline the boys how he sees fit if I'm not around. My ex would never dream of questioning what happens at my house (we do 50/50 shared care).

I have never interfered with my ex's girlfriends (the couple he has lived with) and the way they run the house.

I feel the problem you have is really between the bio parents and yourself. The poor child is stuck in the middle but also know that you aren't "allowed" to do a thing about them and the attitude. All of you adults needs to go to mediation/counselling to sort out your crap instead of putting the children in the middle. The children are just responding to all the different messages they are getting fed the whole time.

Jodi - posted on 01/09/2013

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Holly, in every management book, parenting book, psychology book, you name it, the way you resolve issues is by focusing on the behaviour, not the person. Are you getting condemned? No, that is simply your interpretation. Are people advising you that calling a child names (like brat) isn't appropriate, it is their behaviour that is the problem, not the child herself.

No-one suggested you can't talk of YOUR frustration, just that you want to be constructive, focus on the *behaviour* not the *person*. That seems to be the point you are totally missing. If you are misusing words here, or expressing them in a way that some people here find offensive, you don't think that just maybe you might be doing the same towards her? It comes down to that age old "it's not you I don't like, it's that right now, I am not liking your behaviour". Can you see the difference in those two concepts? Well, calling your child a brat and focusing on the fact that the child IS a brat is very different to saying that right now, you are behaving in a bratty way, or in a way that is not ok. I love you, but I do not like the way you {do this, say that, etc}. Even if you are not verbalising this TO the child, it is a negative statement if you are thinking a child is a brat, rather than thinking that the particular behaviour in question is not appropriate.

Edited to add: I do this with my own biological children too. I just simply don't agree with calling a child names/labelling them in this way. Any child. It is the behaviour that is the problem. Keep it that way.

Holly - posted on 01/09/2013

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I have in many times in my life said, ugh, my daughter is being such a brat this morning.... Kind of like she was this morning.... And never have I received such judgment. But but much like YOU have proved, being a stepmother is that much harder, I am expected to put up with her behavior, and never supposed to speak of my frustration, and if I misuse words our express my feelings in a way someone disagrees with I get condemned

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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You were quite clear. Mine is a general point too. In general, people should not call their stepchild names, but rather, refer to the behaviour. This applies to the woman in the other thread to which Holly refers, the examples Holly gives in her OP AND to Holly. Another general point. You will be judged harshly if you call a child names because of their behaviour.

And just for the record, I have never been judged harshly by people who don't know me online about my stepchildren, because I've never called them names or made condescending comments about them. So yes, it does make a difference.

[deleted account]

Again, I was speaking in general terms about the point Holly was making. Not in every situation where a SM receives "condescending judgment, snide insensitivity, and relentless blame from others" is she name-calling. I meant SMs in general very often receive that kind of response, regardless. I meant to make it very clear that I wasn't responding to the personal details of Holly's life, just her general point about how hard it is to get such harsh judgment from people who haven't a clue, but maybe I wasn't that clear...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/08/2013

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And I suppose if you have NEVER been a stepchild you will NEVER understand how that feels.

[deleted account]

Ignoring all the bickering about the personal details of Holly's experience, I'm going to just agree with the GENERAL POINT she was trying to make in this original post that it can be very difficult and at times extremely emotionally painful to be a SM and then on top of that to have people constantly judging your every move, having never experienced what you've gone through. I have seen and experienced first-hand a LOT of double standards from biomoms, biodads, biograndparents, etc. regarding what the SM's role should be. Many of us SMs are in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" type of situation most of the time and it's extremely stressful and frustrating, and instead of finding support and encouragement, we so often are met with condescending judgment, snide insensitivity, and relentless blame from others...even regarding circumstances beyond our control or the actions of OTHERS in the situation rather than our own (i.e. I am often blamed for my DH's lapses in good judgment and even his simple mistakes). To some people, it's always the SM's fault, no matter what.

S. - posted on 01/08/2013

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I don't think you have read what has been said to you! Instead just Been defensive, most people on here have said how we understand and this child's behaviour isn't ok but what did you expect? For people say oh yes what a brat she is! No I for one have seen it from yours, your children and your step child's point of view. I am not sure really what you truly wanted from this post? Do I think step parents have it hard yes, do I think some step kids have it hard yes. No matter how you put it they will always be two sides to any situation.

I'm going to leave this post now because I feel it's pointless saying anything else too, holly I wish you and your step kid well and hope you sort it out eventually.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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layce, i don't know how you think i am treating her, i came here to help open minds, and all i get is negative, people thinking i am treating this girl differently than my own, I don't give her any less hugs than i give my own kids, i don't do any less crafts than i do with my own, i wait for her to do any crafts, because less face it, if i had done a craft with out her her feelings would be hurt... and so i wait, and we all do fun crafts when she comes. I punish my kids the same as i do her, apology letters, talking with, and grounding... no difference... anything that needs to be more firm i leave up to my husband...

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/08/2013

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No, Holly, we're trying to get all parents to realize that what you say and what you mean are two totally different things.

You (as in you, Holly) said the child was a brat. But you don't feel that SHE is a brat. You feel that she is ACTING in a bratty manner. Which are two totally different things. I KNOW you don't think the child's a brat, but that's because I've known you on the boards for awhile, and I know that you do love your SD...because you've said so!

But, some of those other steps out there that you're defending...they truly DON'T love the step kids, and they aren't shy about it. I have been on both ends...both wanting to share more with my SD, and wanting my own step mothers (yes, plural) to like me and want to connect with me. One put up with my issues, and helped me work through them, and I love her like my own mother now. The other determined that my father's biological children were less important than his step children, and treated us like total crap for the first 7 years that they were married. After that, we cut off contact to minimize the damage caused to our children by her spiteful ways.

You're more like my first stepmom than the second...and that's a good thing!

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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ok, for #3 yes, my husband picks her up early from day care everyday, and spends time with her, now maybe i do more of the cooking and crafts with her than her dad does, because he works ALOT, but he does spend one on one time with her anytime it is "his time" to have her.
#4I am sorry for calling her a brat, and no i don't really label her as a brat, but I was more trying to open people's eyes to people who are struggling with these feelings to be more open minded to them, but you proved the complete OPPOSITE i was trying to show, you proved that most people here wouldn't be able to understand their feelings

Lacye - posted on 01/08/2013

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The more I read, the more I feel bad for this child and I mean really and truly sorry for this child. Just because your husband is a NCP does not mean there isn't something he can do for his child. He can take his ex to court and ask for something to be done.

I'll tell you something else, I had a step mother who acted like the same way that you are acting towards this child (and no, I wasn't a destructive child but still treated the same way) and just from what you have said, I can understand why she has no sympathy or remorse towards you and your kids. She is made to feel differently and that is how she treats you and your kids. By her acting out like this, she is showing you how she is feeling.

I'm not going to say anything else because it's obviously a losing battle, but I really do this child gets some kind of help one way or another. Because let's face it, at 6 or 8 or how ever old she is, she is still a child and no child deserves it.

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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That is point 1 and 2. Thank you for clarifying. I understand, but it really is irrelevant anyway.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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jodi i was telling lakota that, she was saying she didn't ask her parents to divorce... they were never married TO divorce, and she cannot recall a time that they were together

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/08/2013

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Holly, I see where you're coming from, I really do.

However, I'm going to agree with most of the other ladies here...it sounds like you're not happy with your relationship with your step daughter, so you're just going to relegate her to the "bratty step kid" column and write her off.

Yep, I'm a step mom as well, and a foster mom to many, and I've found that, even with the kids who act the brattiest, I can reach them with love, and consistent treatment. Even the ones who constantly lie, or steal, or are maliciously destructive. LOVE AND CONSISTENT TREATMENT from one adult in their lives, whether it be a biological parent or not, will make all of the difference!

I'm not saying that you "give in", because that isn't what your step daughter wants. She wants to be noticed, and recognized. She wants to feel like a princess when she's with her daddy. She wants to feel like she's as loved and wanted in BOTH households as she used to be in the one that her parents shared.

I know that you've had your battles, and to be quite honest right up until this post, I was in your corner, but I can't be any more. I didn't have the chance to be in my step daughter's life in the way that her father and I would have liked, because of her mother's issues. However, I know that I would have loved to have been more involved. And, that's why I foster kids now. Because I KNOW that I am making a difference with them.

I also know that you're probably venting, and that you really don't feel that your stepdaughter is a complete brat. I know that you feel that she behaves in a bratty manner, but deep down, you really don't think that she's a brat...

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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"#1 her father and mother were never married."

So what?

"#2 her father and mother were never together when she was born, "

So what?

"#3 we know she is jealous, for no reason, she gets all the fun at her moms (going to concerts, going to disney world) and all the fun of her dads (cruises and the zoo, and the museum) she gets it better than any normal child does"

Has it occurred to you it isn't about the fun? Does she get one on one time with dad? Or is it always just family outings/time? This appears to be a child who wants attention from daddy. It is very well known that girls NEED their daddy in their life to BE a daddy. I am not talking museums and zoos, etc here. I am talking "hanging out" at the park, sitting and doing craft together, or reading together, or even baking a cake or cookies together, those things every normal child does.

"#4 we talk to her and figure all this out and tell her it is unacceptable behavior, but that we are sorry that she feels this way, but STILL she has a better life than any child we know"

Absolutely it is unacceptable behaviour. But #1, how is it a better life than any child you know when she obviously has such emotional issues? And #2 unacceptable behaviour doesn't give you the right to refer to her as a brat and a sociopath (i.e name calling). Bratty behaviour, by all means, but A brat (i.e. a noun), nope.

"#5 I am the one that stopped my husband spanking her (he has spanked her since before i came into the picture, so apparently this is an ongoing problem)"

I commend you on that because that was never going to solve the problem.

I really get the feeling that you are missing the point. No-one is condoning her behaviour. But it doesn't give you the right to label HER.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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#1 her father and mother were never married.
#2 her father and mother were never together when she was born,
#3 we know she is jealous, for no reason, she gets all the fun at her moms (going to concerts, going to disney world) and all the fun of her dads (cruises and the zoo, and the museum) she gets it better than any normal child does
#4 we talk to her and figure all this out and tell her it is unacceptable behavior, but that we are sorry that she feels this way, but STILL she has a better life than any child we know
#5 I am the one that stopped my husband spanking her (he has spanked her since before i came into the picture, so apparently this is an ongoing problem)

Lakota - posted on 01/08/2013

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You don't want to be judged, yet, you are unfairly judging your step-daughter. You posted something on this site sounding very confrontational. I'm assuming since you did so, you wanted someone to give you advice, agree with you, something. After my first post, you judged me, and assumed I meant something I didn't. The second any of us offer you advice or disagree with you, you bring up the "don't judge" crap.

I am floored that two adults - you and this girls father - can't see what's going on, but, can feel sorry for yourselves. This girl is 7 years old. She didn't want her parents to divorce. That was not her fault. It happened. She was expected to deal with it. Now her dad is remarried. She is expected to deal with that, you (who obviously resents her), your kids (who I'm sure knows that you resent her), and her father (who would rather punish her than try to figure out what's going on). This child is pissed off at the world and having a selfish mother is making it worse. She tells your children that her dad is not their dad because she is obviously afraid to lose him. She is jealous of your children because they get to be with her dad all the time. She is jealous of you because you get his attention all of the time. You don't have a freakin clue as to how this child feels because you are too wrapped up in yourself and what is "yours". She isn't going to show remorse for bad behavior, just like you don't show any remorse for calling a 7 year old names. Same damn thing. You have an idea of how she should be and act in your head so you can tolerate her when she visits. She doesn't do that and you and her dad get mad and you can't be the adult and help her or show her patience or love. That is pitiful. This poor child probably feels like she doesn't fit in any where.

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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She's EIGHT. I can tell you now, having had both biological AND step children at that age, remorse is not something that comes easily to ANY child. True remorse comes with maturity. Most young kids are only sorry because they get caught. Referring to a child as a sociopath because they have no remorse is REALLY harsh, if not uncalled for.

And does it occur to you that at her age she is feeling a little JEALOUS of your children that they have more time with HER father than she does? Of course this will cause problems, so maybe daddy needs to give her some one on one time? There are many reasons she is BEHAVING the way she does, but calling her names is not going to help. Focus on the behaviour!!

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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It doesn't matter whether you would TELL your stepdaughter that, but even in your own mind, labelling the child and not the behaviour can change how you will feel about the situation and taint your own behaviour. I know what being a step mum is like. I have been one for 10 years and understand that it isn't easy, and behaviour can be challenging to deal with. I have even had my step son tell his mum I smack him in the face (supposedly) and I've never lifted a finger. I GET it. But I never label the kids. Not ever. It is the behaviour that is the problem. Focus on that.

S. - posted on 01/08/2013

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6 or 8 not much difference IMO, I don't think anyone is judging you but then I don't think you are at all empathetic with this kid, she clearly thinks you and your kids have stolen her daddy and is dealing with her jealousy the only way she knows how. I feel sorry for your kids and I even feel sorry for you because I recognise its a thankless job sometimes but most of all I can't help feeling sorry for this child she's 8 not 18 so I don't think she is at all responsible for acting out but one day she will be 18 and god help you because if she Doesn't get help she will only spiral out of control or at the very least have very little self worth. You chose to be with her father she never chose to be born to a broken home with a mother who can't recognise her kid clearly needs help.

I am sure anyone on this site who even just knows a step parent will feel for them at one point knowing how hard it is, especially with a kid that is hard work.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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i would never tell my stepdaughter (who is not 6, she is almost 8) that she is a brat, and maybe i am being a little harsh on here, but i am telling you that you should not judge someone until you walk in their shoes... but i will let you know that i do know that she has never felt remorse for destroying anything or stealing anything or telling my children that her father is NOT their daddy (which they know this but they think of him as their father, and he thinks of them as his daughters), she has never felt remorse for anything she has said or done to ANY of them/

Lakota - posted on 01/08/2013

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" I do think she is a sociopath that feels no remorse." Wow

Like I said earlier, I don't like my sons' step-mother. But, I sure am glad they don't have to deal with that.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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I agree she needs counseling, but since my husband is only an NCP he has no say in this.things like this are only up to the mother... And according to her, there is nothing wrong with her daughter... Since she is such a good mother, nothing can be wrong with her daughter. I'm sorry, I don't think my step daughter is the devil, and I still show her respect, but I do think she is a sociopath that feels no remorse. But her a brat

Lacye - posted on 01/08/2013

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NOBODY is saying that that type of behavior should go unpunished. But to call a child a brat for doing something that is being taught to them is not ok. The kid doesn't just decide all of a sudden to act this way. This is a learned behavior. And if I had to constantly go to a person's house and they act like I'm not wanted, I would act out too. Nobody wants to be in a place where they are not wanted.

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2013

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"when is the child's behavior their responsibility? "

When they are getting mixed messages from their parents, not at 6.

It also depends, how often do you have her? This often determines the influence a particular household/parent has on a child.

S. - posted on 01/08/2013

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Owning to to their own behaviour is one thing and been the reason they act like it is another, nothing is that black and white. And I think a kid having a sucky life dose give a child the rights to act out because some times they don't know how else to express themselves in any other way. I personally think this kid needs some counselling, she needs some help and personally if you carry on feeling like this your gonna grow to hate her, so maybe some family help is needed, fair enough the mum won't do anything but you can.

Lakota - posted on 01/08/2013

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Then what is he willing to do? It's your house too. That's not fair to you at all. I don't think that you should be put in the situation to discipline her at all. He needs to step up and do more. He needs to have some one and one time with her alone. He needs toalk to her about it. She isn't the devil child (no matter how you may think sometimes). She can be reasoned with and she does understand what she is doing. She obviously has some issues and is angry.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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SJ at what point does the kid own up to his/her behavior? when is the child's behavior their responsibility? yes, we all have sucky lives... but does that give everyone the reason to act out?

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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My husband spanks her, I've spoken to her, we've made her write apology notes, we've grounded her... We've done everything... He is not going to tell her she can't come over

S. - posted on 01/08/2013

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You are talking about a 6 year old right? 6 year olds do not act how they want to act regardless! The kid clearly has problems and your clearly battling with the mother, maybe if you was all on the right page you would get somewhere.
My nephew had massive behaviour problems turns out because his bio father left him at one he grew up angry and feeling rejected and took it out on the people he was close to!
Kids arnt born bad and kids don't ask to be born in to situations. I agree with you your kids shouldn't have there stuff broken and you shouldn't be disrespected but sound like you have a problem step child and apart from walk away your only other choise is to work with her, what else are you going to do?

Lakota - posted on 01/08/2013

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All behavior is learned. Kids may want to act a certain way. But, it is allowed by the adults around them. Period. If your step-daughter disrespects you and others in the house, and the behavior continues, it is because her father has let it continue. Her biomom eggs it on, but, this child knows that she is allowed to do it in your home. I personally would talk to my husband about her not being allowed to come back over until she can be respectful.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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kids act the way kids want to act, regardless of what parents do, we do not ALLOW SD's type of behavior... we've tried EVERYTHING and still are, yet she STILL acts like a brat 90% of the time

Lakota - posted on 01/08/2013

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This is what I posted: "Sounds like the bio mom and dad are the brats of these kids. I am not a step mom, but, my son's have one. I don't like their step mom, but, my boys will be respectful. Kids will get away with what the adults let them get away with."

Where do you get that I said "kids are kids"? The bio parents are brats if they let their kids act any way they want.

You are way to overly defensive.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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lakota, you said the bio parents are the ones that are the brats, that kids are kids and only act how they are allowed to... nothing read into.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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so you are saying that the stepmother should allow a child to disrespect them and their loved ones?? for how long? and how much resentment should we allow build up before we explode?

Lakota - posted on 01/08/2013

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Holly, how did you get that from my post? Don't read things into anything I write. Of course the kids are to blame. But, the parents are too for allowing this behavior to continue.

Lacye - posted on 01/08/2013

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I read the post that you are defending, and I will say this, while it is NOT ok for a child to act like this, from that particular woman's original post, it sounded like all she was doing was throwing a fit about her step kid. She did not say what all the kid was doing until later on after people told her she shouldn't talk about the child that way. If she had stated some of those things sooner, she would have gotten a much different response. Her OP sounded (in my opinion) like she was just plain jealous and tired of the kid.

As for what your step child is doing, since you know the child can and will be destructive, if you or your children have anything nice like that, put it to where she can't get it or isn't supposed to be before she comes to your house. That way, if it comes up missing or destroyed, you can prove that she is the one stealing them and destroying them on purpose because she is going and snooping for them.

I do have a step child. But I refuse to bad mouth her. Even if she turns out (God forbid) just like her mother, I will not bad mouth her. And that is because while I know she will probably act out in my home, I have to keep in mind where she is learning this type of behavior from. I may not know what all is said at her BM's house, but I can have a pretty good guesstamation that her mother bad mouths us to SD. Not all of that is the child's fault. That child is taught to act that way. That child is encouraged to do it at the BD and SM's house. The only way to get around something like this, is to keep trying to be the bigger person in the whole situation. If it gets to where the child is a danger to the other kids, then I would take it to the court and have it mandatory the child be put into some kind of treatment for the sake of the other children in the household. But for minor stuff like being disrespectful, be the adult and let it roll off of you. You can't allow them to push your buttons because then the BM will always win.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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lakota, is this were we blame everyone else EXCEPT the kid? when does the child learn to be responsible for their behavior?

Lakota - posted on 01/08/2013

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Sounds like the bio mom and dad are the brats of these kids. I am not a step mom, but, my son's have one. I don't like their step mom, but, my boys will be respectful. Kids will get away with what the adults let them get away with.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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we have confirmed it is jealousy... but that doesn't make doing these things any less of a HORRIBLE thing... my child was only 7 yo, and this necklace that she has kept safe for 5 yrs is now gone forever. and her notebook is gone forever. both my daughters are on the neighborhood swim team, they keep their swim suit and goggles put up high so that my step daughter can't get to them, the ONE TIME one of them left them out, they were ruined... steo kid cut the goggles and the swim suit, yes because she was jealous, but i can not make her mother sign her up for swim team, we are going to try to get around some of the paperwork and take her to swim practices and meets when WE have her, but nothing in the WORLD can make her mother sign her up for things like that. yet my daughter's have to pay for it. and it isn't anything I can do to change her behavior, her father has tried spanking her, I have tried talking to her, we've tried making her write apology notes and pay for replacement things, she could care less... she will cry and cry and cry, because she has to write the note, or use her money to buy my kids a new what ever.... but she never feels sorry for hurting them, she never feels remorse. she will say it, but there are no feelings behind the words.

S. - posted on 01/08/2013

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Have your children have shared toys and then give them a box / a space where they can keep there chosen special belongings safe when she's there to visit. My oldest daughter has a little hook high up on her bedroom door because her little sisters will go in given half the chance and its her space.
Breaking other people's things and stealing is a clear sign of jealousy so maybe look In to it a bit.

My sister just got married meaning My niece has to share everything now including her room but she has a space that she can keep her stuff in the two step sisters arnt aloud to go in.

I am not a step parent but I am use to looking after other people's children and it is hard because everyone is not brought up the way our children are and act different not always to our liking. Also my husband is a stepfather and a very good one but I often think how it's a harder job then being a bio parent.

Holly - posted on 01/08/2013

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we've done that, but things that my brother buys in dubai are kind of hard to replace. She destroyed a necklace with a special pendant, when i moved out of the apartment I STILL could not find that pendant that she "lost". that's just ONE of the things... there has been MANY... a special notebook that my youngest daughter designed and it took her MONTHS to finish... SD scribbled so DEEP into the cover that it couldn't be erased.... things like these can not be simple replaced.... there is alot of effort that went into these things... my point in the post was for people who bash step mom's for calling the step kids brats was to open their eyes, that step kids can very well BE brats... and until they have been a step mom in a situation like this that they can not ever judge. even after all this i still treat my stepdaughter with respect... but i do still consider her a bully and a brat. things have gotten so bad that my youngest (who has OCD) began getting OCD "tics" from the stress caused by my step kid

Cory - posted on 01/08/2013

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Ok - I got it. Make your stepdaughter earn the money quickly (at an inflated price) for lets say dishes. Then accompany her and your other children to the store and have your stepdaughter buy back that item or another item your children and you agree on - and have her give that item to your kids. If she breaks it, she buys it policy. If that helps?

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