Stepmom advice needed. I am the stepmom to 11 yr old twins, a boy & a girl. My SD lives with me and my fiance full time, and her brother choose to live with his mother and visits us for 3 months in the summer. To start, my SD has been through hell with 2 divorces, and I know its affected her ability to trust women. I also have 5 &7 yr old daughters of my own. My ? Is How do I gain her trust, and try to make her understand there are rules that must be followed. The time between my fiancée's second divorce and us getting together was a 'free' time for her with no rules or any real disapline. I love her as though she is my own child, and I do not treat her any differently from my other 2 kids. Its like I am being held responsible for all the crappy times in her life and she wont even give me a chance. Her behavior is a great concern to me, as I don't put up with disrespectful, mouthy, and dishonest behavior. I also realize that her hormones are going nuts and that doesnt help matters any. I feel bad for my own 2 kids as they simply adore her and refer to her as their sister, but its not healthy for them to witness her tantrums( yes- kicking screaming throwing things) or the way she treats me & her father. We've tried everything, from having heart to heart talks, one on one time, grounding, and taking away of privilages, but all she says is I dont care, nothing you do will affect me. Im really worried about the path this child is heading down and considering therapy for us....any advice?

Jessica - posted on 01/22/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Stepmom advice needed. I am the stepmom to 11 yr old twins, a boy & a girl. My SD lives with me and my fiance full time, and her brother choose to live with his mother and visits us for 3 months in the summer. To start, my SD has been through hell with 2 divorces, and I know its affected her ability to trust women. I also have 5 &7 yr old daughters of my own. My ? Is How do I gain her trust, and try to make her understand there are rules that must be followed. The time between my fiancée's second divorce and us getting together was a 'free' time for her with no rules or any real disapline. I love her as though she is my own child, and I do not treat her any differently from my other 2 kids. Its like I am being held responsible for all the crappy times in her life and she wont even give me a chance. Her behavior is a great concern to me, as I don't put up with disrespectful, mouthy, and dishonest behavior. I also realize that her hormones are going nuts and that doesnt help matters any. I feel bad for my own 2 kids as they simply adore her and refer to her as their sister, but its not healthy for them to witness her tantrums( yes- kicking screaming throwing things) or the way she treats me & her father. We've tried everything, from having heart to heart talks, one on one time, grounding, and taking away of privilages, but all she says is I dont care, nothing you do will affect me. Im really worried about the path this child is heading down and considering therapy for us....any advice?

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Ariana - posted on 01/22/2013

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I agree with everyone elses advice. I would say on top of her getting her own therapy you and your fiancee may want to go into some couples councelling to sort out the parenting issues. You're agreeing on punishments and then he isn't following through out of guilt. He has to figure out a way to get past that.

As much as she needs to learn to control herself and act properly he needs to learn to be consistant with discipline. It isn't doing her any favours to be lax on it and it's making it harder for her to connect with you when you're the parent who's disciplining and not her biological parent. Going to some councelling might help him figure out how to get past his guilt and parent consistantly.

Michelle - posted on 01/22/2013

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I also think family counseling might be in order, I find it very strange that they allowed twins to be seperated this in and of itself could be causing some of her stress especially if her bio mom has the son and nothing to do with her. You unfortunately walked into a household with a whole slew of problems that you cannot fix. Get her into therapy and encourage dad to go with her.

Lacye - posted on 01/22/2013

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I think family counseling would be a great idea for this type of situation. Yes she has trust issues, but as you said later on, there's more to it than that. Your fiance needs to step up and follow through when he starts to punish her. She is playing him like a deck of cards and is taking full advantage of him. The sooner he realizes that, the better off she will be in the future.

Holly - posted on 01/22/2013

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this is what is called guilty dad parenting... yes, it was hard on her to go through that, but he is doing her NO favors by letting her get away with it. the behavior is STILL unacceptable. the behavior STILL needs to be corrected. her behavior will not be acceptable in the real world. and that is what he is supposed to be getting her ready for. but if YOU take it on and try to punish her you will be creating a lot of resentment between you and her and you and her father. She doesn't have to view you as a mother, anymore than you want her to. My kids view my fiancee as their dad since their father isn't in the picture, but that is something they feel comfortable with between each other.

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Jessica - posted on 01/22/2013

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As far as why twins were split up, my fiancée has full custody of them both, but him and their mother let the children decide where they wanted to live, and based on the conversations with my SS, he will soon be moving back home with his father bc his mother continues to treat him as her 'maid', and recently spent $200 of his christmas money we sent him on herself. Might i add that the mother has also lost custody of her 2 other older children for the same reason, they finally realized she was using them. My opinions of this woman are not ok to voice outloud on this thread, so I will leave it at that. I do attempt to get along with her, and have never degraded her in front of her kids.

Jessica - posted on 01/22/2013

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Thanks for the advice, I will stick to my guns on the therapy, as maybe an outside influence will make her realize her behavior is unacceptable. I hate to be the bad guy, but this situation is causing issues already between me and her dad. I just dont want to see her continue down this dead end road. It depresses me and breaks my heart at the same time.

Jessica - posted on 01/22/2013

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Her father and I agree on punishments/privileges, but she always pulls the 'poor me' attitude with him, which inturns makes him feel sorry for her and he doesnt follow through with the whole punishment. He says its his fault for putting her through all of the past bad experiences, but i don't think handing her a so-called 'sympathy crutch' will ever help her realize that her behavior is unacceptable. I let her know frequently that I am here for her, as her friend, if she needs someone to talk to. Also I do not expect her to view me as her mother, Im not her mother, she has a mother...who incidently is completely absent from her life which doesn't help matters any. Im worried that there are mental scars that will cause much bigfer probs in the future. She also has a hard time keeping friends bc of her bad attitude, as some of her past friends have ralked to us about it. She does get excellent grades, and there is zero probs with that.

Holly - posted on 01/22/2013

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the best way to handle this is let her father handle it. I would not come into this situation (with her distrusting you) and come off as this new person coming into my house and making me follow rules that she implemented. it is going to be come across wrong... so NOW you have to find out how to get your husband to start upholding the rules. therapy is a good idea... but i would stay consistent with taking away privileges, and make them for a week at a time, or make her EARN them back with chores... but make sure you pick a privilege that is near and dear to her, phone access, friends over, TV, computer, video games.

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