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Step children lying... Modern Family difficulties(140 Posts)
My fiancée and I had a devastating row ruining what would otherwise was a great Xmas. We live together with her daughter (my stepdaughter) full time. She is 7. My daughter lives with her mother (8yrs old) and is with us most weekends and half of all holidays. My relationship with my stepdaughter is great. Very proud that she feels she can call me daddy. its not always easy of course but my fiancee and i have done our best to understand things as we have gone along and work together to ensure a happy loving home. We still have the odd disagreement over rolls and responsibilities etc. and mistakes have been made. neither of us sure sometimes of the best way to act.
Back to my Fiancée, she has worked very hard over the Xmas holidays to ensure that neither of our daughters feels outdone by the other (a common balancing act). In fact she is always conscious that the two feel equally loved. She often feels that this love is not reciprocated by my daughter in the someway I am loved by hers. My daughter was given a mobile phone as a gift. My fiancée was horrified to find a string of text messages on it to her maternal mother that were essentially lies indicating that she was having a terrible time for one reason and the next. It instantly broke my Fiancées heart. It's not the first time we have encountered this and my Fiancée feels gutted by this following all of the efforts made to ensure a special Xmas period. We both work very hard in our careers and work very hard at maintaining our "modern day" family. Heart breaking. I strongly told my daughter off ending by telling her I was extremely disappointed with her and that lies are never acceptable etc. I left her to sleep crying without even saying good night (this now breaks my heart as I think that this was a terrible way for me to react). Not knowing what to do or say about the situation to get under the skin of it all. I let my emotions rule my head. Now I'm completely distraught as I feel my whole family slipping away...
She's telling her mother what she thinks her mother wants to hear ie no other woman will replace her (mum) as a mum in her affections.
However, snooping, not giving someone privacy, you will find things you don't like. The old saying "eavesdroppers never hear good about themselves" is very true.
You are not the RP, she sees you however-often, there is another little girl living with her Daddy.
Cut her some slack she is 7 years old.
O/T, a mobile, for a 7yo? just why?
I don't have your family complications but would just say you should speak to DD to get to the bottom of why she is writing the lies, possibly pressure from her DM or DD feels somehow obliged to not be happy at your home to appease her DM or something. Not in an angry way but in a kind understanding way which might take time. DD sounds a bit mixed up.
It's not unreasonable of you to get angry with DD, or for Fiancee to, but as adults you need to mend the bridges.
well it really depends if what she was saying was lies or if it was her feelings that she just wasn't enjoying herself? it's quite possible that she just wasn't having a good xmas for whatever reason. she was away from her 'main' home and as a person who is very much a home comforts type i can see how she may have just felt uncomfortable the whole time. some children just dont relax in other homes and are glad to be back home after it's all done. there's also the idea that she may have been trying to protect her mother's feelings by saying that she was having a bad time so her mother didn't feel hurt. not that she should have to be responsible for her mother's feelings in this case but some chidlren do feel they should be.
Is your Fiancee on another thread?
You should talk to your dd again. As you know, it was very wrong to leave her to cry herself to sleep. Tell her how sorry you are.
She's only 7 and she's pulled in two directions. Of course it's hurtful to have her pretending to her mother, but the step-parent just has to suck it up a bit. It's not about hurting you & your fiancee, she's just telling her mum what she thinks she wants to hear.
The other thread was an old one, HarrisD was advised to start another to get more replies.
Thanks all. Mayisout: hi, I don't believe that she is on another thread... Is there something very similar being discussed I could read?
A lot of children are very melodramatic when they try to express themselves - saying things like 'you're not my real parents', fantasise about really being the child of famous parents, and so on. Very upsetting for the parents, but it doesn't necessarily mean an awful lot.
Do you think that your daughter is just doing this kind of play acting in her texts?
Sorry, I have no real advice, but there's a specific Step-parenting topic, which might be more useful because other step-parents must at some point experience something similar. They will probably be able to advise you.
From my limited knowledge, I'd say 8 is young, and an age when they are easily pressured. They can also still believe that their mum and dad will get together again- she probably wants that. If you've already told her you're getting married soon/are engaged (congratulations) then this might be her trying to stop it going ahead in an attempt to get her non-step parents (you and her mother) back together. Alternatively, she feels she can't say she's happy or enjoying herself to her mother because it feels like she's betraying her mother by acknowledging that you both can make her happy and that she loves you, because it feels like she's being a traitor to her maternal mother. I'm guessing that will be more likely if it's a particularly heated and venomous divorce.
Well done for you and your fiancee for trying to be fair to your daughter as well as your step-daughter, and I can see how hard it must be, for your fiancee and for you.
Try and show that you 'forgive' her, but talk to her alone (in her bedroom or somewhere private) about how your fiancee is heartbroken about it and thought she was happy. Don't go on about how your fiancee treats her like a daughter and loves her (I'm sure she does, but this will sound more like a lecture than a conversation, and will make her defensive).
Ask her what she doesn't like about the Christmas you had, what changes she wanted to make, why she didn't like it, other things she doesn't like etc; Even though they might be groundless/reasonless/not really possible, try and show you are listening to her.
Ask your fiancee if she can come in and talk to her at that point after you've discussed it (I think the first part should be private as its discussing problems and your daughter will feel better about it) but don't get your daughter to apologise as such. Make sure you make no mention of being cross with her or punishing her or anything- this will make her dislike your fiancee more (she'll probably feel embarrassed about it, which might come across as defensiveness, agression or anger as well, and see your fiancee witnessing it and dislike her for it), but make sure to talk to your daughter.
Sorry for being a bit useless!
I know your post is a snapshot, but "maternal mother"? REALLY? Not maternal mother at all - her MOTHER!!!
And your partner feeling that her stepdaughter doesn't love her as Much as her daughter (your stepdaughter) lived you?
Well - tough shit.
She sounds like she's tried hard, that's lovely - but she DOESN'T equal the girls own mother. End of. It sounds suffocating. As an adult, I feel really uncomfortable at the "maternal mother" phrase -wonder how your poor daughter feels?
Your daughter sent those texts for a reason - either to placate her mother, or because she was unhappy at your house. Or both. You need to TALK to her about it.
And your partner who is not her mother needs to grow up and can her own feelings whilst you do.
It's sounding like she doesn't want her maternal mother to know she has a good time when with us. I know her mother struggles financially, doesn't drive and perhaps my daughter is protecting her mothers feelings? I have heard in the past though from her mother that she doesn't always want to come here?
Turn the phone off. This is exactly the kind of thing that puts adult pressure on little children . Why has she got a phone at seven being used in your time with her round your house ? The child can't relax .
Also I put 'forgive' like that, because it's important not to make it seem wrong. It depends on the nature of the texts, was it a more-
'I hate this Xmas and I hate my step-mother.' or
'My step-mother was shouting at me the whole of Xmas and I hated it. They ignored everything I said and they gave a lot more presents to my step-sister.'
Lies or emotions?
Either way, make it seem like you are listening- as you should be. Tell her that what she feels is how she feels, and although you love her, you understand she won't always like things or places and that she sees things differently. Tell her that your fiancee didn't think she was doing anything (of the things which were mentioned in the text if anything was mentioned which didn't happen) but you and her are both sorry you think it went like that. Don't say that she's wrong, or in the wrong, or lying.
Firstly why have you and your dp had a devastating argument. She told you the situation you handled it. So why did you end up falling out?
Secondly why was your do going through your dds phone?
Thirdly cut the child some slack. Her daddy now lives full time with another woman and dd, who has started calling her dad 'daddy'. Your dd must be feeling lots emotions and is confused.
She doesn't want her mum to think she likes going to yours more, probably feels sorry for her mum when she is at yours, sad because you and her mum no longer live together, sad because she doesn't get to live with you, confused because she doesn't want to live with you and leave her mum but misses you, jealous because you have a 'new family'.
There is so much going on for your dd. Remember she is a child and these feelings may not be rational to you. But that doesn't make them any less real.
Leaving her to cry, as you know, is awful. And will only compound her feelings.
Your do is an adult and try to understand her add feelings better. I understand it was hurtful, but she needs to understand how hard it is for her dsd.
harrisd - stop with the 'maternal mother' thing - she is the childs mother. We can discern between the mother and a step parent.
You don't seem to be acknowledging anyones posts either.
I don't think the OP has implied once that his fiancé is trying to be her mother, just that she doesn't have as great a relationship with her SD as the OP has with his SD. I think it's great you are both trying to include both daughters, and you obviously both care that neither feels left out.
cabrintha you sound like you have a chip on your shoulder, they are trying to make sure everyone in the family feels included, the daughter and the fiancé, what's wrong with that? It's not just about the fiance's feelings. Not everything has to be a war.
How long have you known and lived with your 'Fiancee'? Did you at one time live with your daughter's 'maternal mother', and were you married to her?
Maybe she doesn't always want to visit - it might be she feels bad about leaving her mum or that she finds the transition between homes difficult. What you need to do is talk to her and listen.
" I have heard in the past though from her mother that she doesn't always want to come here? "
why is that a question? none of us can tell you if this is true or not. you need to be talking to your DD and finding out what she needs you to do to make her feel more at home when she is with you.
Sorry but I agree with cab. What does 'maternal mother mean'.
She is the only mother the girl has.
i agree that maternal mother is a rubbish term. it doesn't even mean what you are using it for. i think you mean biological. but even then i'd still wonder why you just don't say 'mother' because we would know who you mean, her having only one mother and all that!
In fact she is always conscious that the two feel equally loved. She often feels that this love is not reciprocated by my daughter in the someway I am loved by hers.
In summary - your current partner has a child that calls you daddy, this implying her natural father isn't around. Because of this are we to assume your current partner thinks that your daughter should be calling her mummy, all in the name of equality?
Isn't going to happen - your daughter has a mother, whereas your SD quite probably doesn't have a relationship with her natural father.
Sorry HollyBerryBush... New to this. Am grateful for the feedback from all.
She was given a Blackberry as she specifically wanted it. Yes I'm regretting that move. The content of her texts were that she did not have much for Xmas, she couldn't wait to go home, and another saying her sister (my stepdaughter) had punched her in the heart and she was finding it hard to breath. All of this untrue, hurtful and potentially very provoking for her mother who thankfully explained to me that she "took the MSG with a pinch if salt."
Hmmm why do you refer to your partners dd as your dds sister.
She isn't. I mention this because you seem to have thrown yourself into your new family (which is great) that you have forgotten your dd may need more time. She may be struggling to be as happy as you to have a new signing that gets more of her dads time than she does.
Yes izzy I lived with my daughters mother but left when she was about 1yr old (7 years ago now). I have been with my Fiancée aprox 5 yrs. we got engaged this year. The girls have grown up together and consider each other sisters.
I think you're trying to force it. Your dd's aren't sisters, your ex-wife isn't a maternal mother, she is her mum. It's niceif your step-dd wants to call you daddy, but your dd needs to be allowed her own feelings and to find her own way.
"she couldn't wait to go home,"
how do you know this is untrue? these are feelings. you cant know how she is feeling. as i said she may just be teh sort of person who isn't relaxed untless she is at home. as a child i spent many of my weekends with my aunt and cousin. i loved it there, we had so much freedom to play out and were always spoiled, i was never told off or anything but i was still glad to be at home on sunday evening and be back in my own bed. i'm sure if i'd told my aunt i couldn't wait to be home she would be heartbroken that she hadn't given me a good time at her house but it really was just me needing to be in my own space.
Your fiancé was completely out of order for going through her phone and reading her texts. How dare she?
How does this build up a relationship of trust?
Also the querying on the measure of love children should show? Does she feel there should be a chart then, that your dd should try and work towards acceptable levels?? My ds might seem quite cold compared to other children who seem to tell people they love them after 3 minutes. He's not touchy feely, but rather a more private boy.
If your dd is telling her mum that she doesn't want to come, then listen to her issues and sort it out with her mother first. Not your fiancé.
I hope she feels better today, poor little thing. All that pressure to perform. She probably just wants her bedroom and a cuddle with her mum.
If they are struggling financially, why don't you help your dd more?
just because you're her father, it doesn't make your house her home.
Your ex sounds a remarkable woman in her restraint, because I'd have been hopping mad if anyone had bought my 8 year old a blackberry and then invaded her privacy........but I wonder was that partially the rationale for such an inappropriate present?
Given that your ex sounds eminently reasonable, it's unlikely your daughter feels she has to pretend she doesn't enjoy your new family's company, so I'd take her views seriously. Maybe she simply doesn't enjoy being with you all and would prefer to be at home? She's entitled to her feelings and with some of the stuff you've been saying and doing, I can't honestly say I blame her.
op don't pm me with answers to questions. Just answer them here.
you have written this thread in a way that sounds like you are forcing your do and her dd on your child.
You make a point of calling her mum the maternal mother, she has not other mother. Why are you referring to her as that?
You made a point of call your dsd her sister then clarifying you were talking about your dsd. It all smacks of trying to hard and forcing something.
Your dd is either unhappy or doesn't want to hurt her mother. Since her mother seems reasonsable I would say its the former.
if she is unhappy, you need to find out why and change it.
One key thing she has said to me in private more than once is "when I'm with you daddy I want to be with my mummy and when I'm with my mummy I want to be with my daddy." Something she has completely come out with from the blue.
Definitely sounds torn...
As for some other previous comments I am sure that she loves how our new family has developed. We have a family holiday away each year which she talks about all year long in eager anticipation. She has grown up for the most part alongside her half sister and is genuinely happy to introduce her as her sister. Something they have worked out for themselves. With technology these days I think it vital to police what children do on their smartphones as well as in front of a computer.
It is important to police the phone. But your partner did not need to read the messages. She could see they were to her mum and did not need to go further.
You seem very unwilling to answer questions. Like why did you and your dp fall out?
Why did she feel it was her place to read the messages she sent to her mum? Do you think your dd will feel happier knowing there is not privacy and she can't contact her mother without your dp reading the message?
She shouldn't have a smartphone at 8 years old!! If you intended to 'police' her then you should have told her that was the deal. Instead, you let her think her messages were private and your fiancee snooped on her.
Of course she's torn.
It's possible she doesn't like your fiancee as much as you think she does and wishes you and her mum could be together instead. Perfectly normal in those circumstances.
Completely natural for her to feel torn.
I hope you have talked to her and made her feel better since last night. Don't make too much of it.
She's 7. I don't want to be rude but you and fiancée need to get a grip pronto. You sound like a pair of drama queens. She is a CHILD! I would have laughed it off and said to you "what a drama llama, have a chat with her will you and make sure there's no truth in it, can't stand to think she's unhappy". I have a 6 year old dd and it would not occur to me to be hurt by her saying something like this.
I think you sound a bit clueless about even basic child psychology and it amazes me that your fiancee who has a 7-year old ever sanctioned buying a child of a similar age a smart-phone.
Unless it was to snoop on her.
NOT that I'd have been snooping in the first place. That's YOUR job Dad!
Your step daughter sees you every day.
Your DD sees your fiancee two days out of seven at weekends and half of holidays. She hasn't spent anywhere near the same time with your fiancee that your step daughter has with you. Add to that your DD is a completely different person to your step daughter.
She is not going to necessarily ever feel the same way about your fiancee as your step daughter does about you.
Does your DD ever get any time alone with you or does she have to share all the time?
As for she asked for a Blackberry so she got one! At eight!?!?!
Why do you say half sister? I thought there was no blood relation between them?
I'm with cab too.
The problem here would seem to be your 'Fiancee' who, by virtue of the fact that she is not as yet married to you, is not your child's 'stepmother' any more than you are her dd's father, despite the fact that the child calls you 'daddy'.
What mission was your Fiancee on when she went through your dd's mobile phone, and what kind of callous arse are you to leave your dd crying herself to sleep after taking her to task because your Fiancee didn't like what she read
At 8yo your dd is no longer engaged in magical thinking. She is beginning to have a wider understanding about the world around her and she may be questioning situations she has previously taken for granted.
Have you stopped to think how your dd may feel about hearing another child call you daddy? Or how she feels about having to play the role of dd 'most weekends' and 'half of the holidays' to a woman who is not her mother?
How often does your dd get to spend quality time alone with you?
It could be that perhaps if you moved out when she was such a young age, then you don't really have as much of an inclusive family life for her as your DSD.
She turns up and plays a part time part in your full time family life IYSWIM.
Her family life might very different and then she's out of her comfort zone.
I'd hate to think of a 7 yr old girl lying awake at night feeling devastated for having emotions that she wanted to express.
What are you doing today to make it up to her op?
I found my old blackberry in s draw earlier today. Dd (8) asked if she could have it. I said no.
She has a basic mobile. That she carries with her when playing out with her friends or in their houses (neighbours) houses.
Yes i check messages occasionally. I see that the only person she has text is my mum, which tallys with how much i have put on the phone, so i know she is not deleting anything.
But she knew i would be checking her phone occasionally when i gave she got it. Its mums old phone. This was part of the agreement. As time goes on i check less often to show i trust her.
8 year old dd, sorry.
You poor dd, I have been in her situations. She is a child she should be thinking about parties and toys.
Instead because you and her MUM have split up her family and she now has to worry about adult issues and emotions that she is too young to deal with.
It is good that you and her mum are now happy on your relationships but try to understand the impact it has on your child. Maybe she was miserable and wanted her mum, maybe she was trying to keep her mum happy only your dd knows.
Try to be a parent to your dd and address her needs rather than expecting her to fit into your idea of a perfect family.
As for leaving her to sleep crying, words fail me, that was a truly nasty thing to do and believe me she will never forgive or forget.
Sorry my point was that she at 8 I don't see the need for a smartphone. But that your decision. Your decision was to give her it.
Its not her fault for asking.
Something about this thread doesn't sit right. You and your dp seem to understand very little about children and seem a bit wrapped up in how wonderful your new family is.
i am sorry you are finding this difficult but I can't get over what you did to your dd because your dp snooped then didn't like what she read.
I also feel you are blaming your dd for ruining Christmas. Which she didn't. It was on incident, which was actually cause and blown out of proportion by you and your dp. It didn't ruin all Christmas. Also you say your 'whole family is slipping away'.
Your 'family' isn't very Sta le if this could cause it to split.
Its very, very common for children to lie to their mum / dad about having a good time with their other family.
They worry about whether it will upset their mum to know they're having a good time without her. They think they are reassuring them that the only way they could have a good time is if they were with them.
Children do it for the best intentions, but there are times when it can back-fire, such as their mum getting cross that their child isn't being treated properly and in extreme cases it goes back to family court where it all comes out that there's been no mistreatment at all.
The children aren't really to blame though. They want to remain loyal to both of their parents, but lack the maturity to know that both parents want them to be happy.
Cut your DD some slack as she's very young. Talk to her about why she sent the texts and whether she did have a bad time or just didn't want to make her mum feel bad.
If you have a good relationship with your ex, speak to her about it as having her Mum reassure her that she is allowed to enjoy her time with you and doesn't need to tell her that its awful, it can save a lot of stress and heartache later.
We fell out because my DP fell out with my mother some time ago following some lies my dd had told their. My mother then called my dd mother leaving my partner feeling like everyone was against her. This was the last time we encountered the lying. My Fiancée was very distressed by it all then ( think it was early part of this year). We were both astounded to see a repeat. I reacted badly which put me in a really bad state of mind. My fiancée was very upset. Instead of leaving it alone I essentially launched an offensive about why she was ignoring me ( she was simply trying to chill) and didn't let it go. That then sparked off conversation about the previous episode etc and "everything/anything else" in our lives that isn't up to scratch. Snowball effect!
I guess after the impact of the last time she felt the need to check the phone just in case as well as making sure we know who she is texting with (she keeps an eye on her dd phone as well).
Yes, I think she finds it stressful having separated parents. I do strongly believe she is happy with her other life with me. She is happy that she has a much larger family that it brings e.g. Many more cousins, another grandma and grandad ( who she loves to visit) etc.
By the way, I do pay my way with regard to maintenance. In excess of the standard rate ( someone kindly mentioned that somewhere here). Not why I had posted this discussion though...
I think it sounds like your dd isn't toeing The Perfect Blended Family line that you and fiancée are striving for. I tell you now if you left MY dd crying herself to sleep over something as petty as this, Father or not I would have some pretty strong words on the matter. I am quite at this thread actually.
As for some of the posts on here - step-mums really can't win can they?
If they do their best to treat a step-child like their own then they are getting above themselves and trying to take over their mum's role. If they don't do their best to treat a step child as their own, they are rejecting their step child and behaving badly against them.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I am eternally grateful that my DSD is now an adult, so I don't have to deal with these blatant double standards any more. They help no one.
In light of your most recent post I stand by my opinion of you two being a pair of Drama Queens.
I also think your fiancée sounds quite manipulative actually.
guess after the impact of the last time she felt the need to check the phone just in case as well as making sure we know who she is texting with
So your intention when giving her the phone was to able to see if she was lying? You set her up?
Your dd did not cause the argument with your mother. You, your dp and mother could have all acted like adults.
there is so much drama here its unreal. Without bring rude, your dp needs to get a grip.
Also ignoring someone isn't chilling out. Saying 'pleadse can we leave the situation for now and discuss it later, so I can chill out.' is chilling out.
The overall impression your thread gives is that your dps emotions rule the house and you react to her, giving her priority. That's not how it should be
It was me. You mentioned that her mother struggles financially, and I asked if there was anything more you could do to support her.
I wasn't asking for financial details of your parental payments.
But perhaps it makes her feel even more imbalanced between families to see another girl not even related to you, calling you daddy and living in relative comfort comparatively.
keema I don't believe the SM is doing everything she can.
I believe the op thinks she is. But his posts reveal something different. IMO
I'm getting the impression that the OP's fiancée is very clever; far cleverer than the OP.
That poor little girl.
The 7 year old has got a phone as well?
I don't think anyone is having a go at step-mums. Just those who are bonkers enough to give 7 and 8 year-olds phones, invade their privacy without prior warning, demand motherly love and create two unnecessary dramas in the space of a year about absolutely normal childlike behaviour.....
Just as I suspected in my first post, the phone was bought to spy.....
THis thread is making me so . Your DD is 7 or 8 and in the midst of an complicated family situation. Please don't expect too much from her: it's great that you and your DP are doing your best to be good parents to your DD, but that does not ENTITLE you to a perfect child in return. Children are a blessing and a responsibility, they are not a right. Keep trying - it sounds like you have done pretty well - but don't start blaming your DD for mistakes. I agree that you should not be snooping on her communications with her own mother. That would be a breach of anyone's rights but even more so a young child whose main carer is their mother and with whom they should be able to discuss anything. It's great that you and your exW still have a good open line of communication and that is where this sort of problem should be sorted out - not at the level of leaving a little girl to cry herself to sleep over CHristmas. I am afraid that you and your fiancee indeed have to be the adults here and "suck it up" a little. Sorry.
akaemma I am one of the most outspoken posters on here and I am a stepmum of 3 teens from a hellish situation. I don't think anyone is taking the generalised anti stepmum line here really.
Firstly, she isn't a step mum. Secondly, everything seems very forced here.
If my dh caught the kids lying, it would be up to him to sort it, with his ex wife. I would only get involved if first wife needed to talk to me, get feedback establish ground rules etc
Why was she falling out with people who aren't even family yet?
If everything then snowballed into a massive argument she is obviously storing up unhappiness and applying a thick layer of happy family varnish over the top.
<<sigh>> OP do you not think it a bit strange that your fiancée is managing to have rows, be hurt by and generally fall out with all the important females in your life? Sounds to me like there's only room for her and her dd in your life.
Sorry that was meant to be addressed to keema not akaemma
I didn't call her a stepmum binful .
Think you might have the wrong poster.
Too many keemas!
Also op your dp may read her dds messages. That does not the right to read, in full, the messages between your dd and her mum.
If anyone should be checking the phone, it should be you and even then there is no need to read the messages.
I hate the forced nature in all this. The DD of the fiancée calling the OP Daddy, when he is NOT. The calling of children Stepchildren and sisters and worse half-sisters, when they are none of these things. I'll ignore maternal mother as a term, because enough has been said already. Suffice to say OP, you make my blood bubble.
Your 8/7 yos ask for things and just get them?
My 7 yo would have a list of stuff a mile long, I'm not dumb enough to actually get it for him! I have every confidence in my abilities as a parent, and am not as depserate to look the good guy all the time as you pair seem to be. I'm hos mother, the only
useful parent he has, it's not my job to make him like me, it's my job to raise him to understand life, and what it costs, what things when, and how to grow, develop and learn. I don't have much, but I'm not stupid enough to give my boy a phone. That's idiotic!
You and your fiancée sound about the most desperate people there are. Your girlfriend's DD too, as she is calling you daddy. You shouldn't have encouraged that, not when you have a DD of your own.
She, YOUR DAUGHTER, the ONLY one YOU have is being edged out, watching another child call you Daddy, and her life/contact with you interrupted by your cuckoo fiancée and her insecure DD.
Your fiancée is causing ructions with every female in your life, and you are blindly falling for the lot of it.
If you have to police phones at such a ridiculous age, then it's too young for them to have them. Remove the phones from the pair of them until they are at secondary school
like most normal parents do.
Speak to your DD's mother, did she agree to this phone? If she wasn't consulted and isn't in favour then you ALL need to explain to your DC that a mistake was made, that all phones will be sold, the money given to them for an appropriate toy of their choice, and that is that. It's not about messages, lies, trust or anything, it's about appropriate gifts.
Who would be financing that phone btw? The mother that's struggling already? That's grossly unfair. If you have cash to finance that phone fully, then give it to your DD's mother, or put it in an ISA for her future. No child under 11 needs a phone.
not sorry to say that you and your precious 'Fiancee' make my blood boil too.
You can have, and maybe will have, multiple 'Fiancees' in the course of your life but, at the present time, you only have one daughter that you seem to be doing your level best to alienate.
Hissle, I agree with the first half of your post, but your attack on OP's DSD as one of the 'most desperate people out there' and 'insecure' is totally unnecessary. She is just 7, even younger than the DD, ffs!
There's nothing wrong with her having a good relationship with her step dad (this is a pretty rare blessing, IME), as long as OP's DD doesn't feel left out, and it sounds like that is what he needs to work on.
I still don't get what 'maternal mother' means.
People say 'maternal grandparents' to show they are the grandparents from the mothers side. But the dd only has one mum, her mum.
Is the op implying his do is also his dds mum and is trying to distinguish between them.
If so op when/ if you get married your do would be her stepmother and her mum is her mum. calling her 'maternal mother', to me, implies you feel your do is as much your dds mother as her actual mum.
Where is your partners dds dad?
where its says do please read dp.
Harrisd, I feel you're getting more slightly hostile messages than you deserve. You did two silly things - giving a small child a Blackberry and spying on her texts. If you read things you didn't like you have only yourself to blame. Apart from that it's clear that both you and your DF are doing everything you can to make your DD feel at home and loved at your house.
How lucky you are to have your DD for Christmas! My husband only got his DD over Christmas once, which ironically is the one that stands out in my DSD's mind as her best Christmas ever, largely because no one at our house got drunk & there weren't any rows.
Your SD is calling you Daddy. That's a huge thing for both children, however hard you try to make things OK. Children can be very scared of abandonment, that you might prefer another child. There's almost certain to be jealousy and insecurity.
It seems only too understandable that your DD would txt her mum saying she wasn't enjoying herself. Think of the pressure the poor child must be under! It's horrible.
If she tells her mum she's having a great time, how would that be received? She must know her mum's missing her, wants to be reassured she'd rather be at home with her. How would your ex have reacted to hearing your DD was having her best ever Christmas? Exactly.
Your fiancee's feelings are pretty irrelevant, just as mine were when my DSD was young. We adults have to suck it up. Doesn't matter how much effort she put in, your DD is certain to have very mixed feelings about the situation. Jealousy, insecurity, pressure from you two, pressure from her mum, and the unknown quantity which is her relationship with your DSD. Them being the same age doesn't help, I'd guess.
As a long time happy SM, all I can say is apologise, keep cuddling, and grit your teeth. Establishing a good stepfamily takes time & loyalty above all other things. As the years pass children - and adults - learn to trust, if the new family is trustworthy. It's not easy, but it's immensely worthwhile.
I don't think your daughter is the problem here. You and your DF seem to be idolising an idea of a "perfect" blended family and in doing so are trying to emulate an ideal that doesn't even exist in families without the complex dynamics and relationships you are asking 7/8 year old girls to navigate.
You don't mention DSD's father, but it sounds like he is not in the picture as it were.
It's good you have a positive relationship with DSD but you and DF can't have ANY expection that your DD will (or should) be expected to feel the same way about DF when her own mother is a very important part of her life and with whom she spends the majority of the time.
It seems you and your DF are striving so hard for equality in your family you are failing to appreciate that what is key to making a blended family work is understanding the differences between these often complex relationships.
My guess is that your DD may well be unhappy. She has a sister, who isn't her sister, who calls her father "Dad", her fathers partner (not yet even officially her step mum) trying to be her mother in the midst of a family who are desperately trying to "play" at normalising the perfect 2 adults, 2 kids set up - topped up with inappropriate gifts and quite frankly a total breech of privacy wrt texts to her mother.
She must be exhausted in your company I would imagine, like acting in the perfect family play. Her texts are telling. Why would she say these things? I think she is quite simply reacting the way you have taught her - to lie about the nature of relationships in your home.
So, I think you and DF need to back off. You should treat her communication with her mother as private. Get over this silly notion that all relationships in your family are on an equal emotional footing and stop buying bloody stupid "guilt" presents that are totally age inappropriate.
I know (as a step mum) its hard and for what it's worth I think you are motivated to do the right thing, but you need to think about how to achieve this in a far more constructive way than you are doing now.
Why have you not sat down or gone out with your dd, just the two of you, and asked her what exactly is wrong ?
The way I read this situation is that your fiancee is most probably jealous of your dd and out to cause trouble for her, maybe she wants to completely alienate her from your life. Why else has she argued with your mother about your dd?, sounds like your mother has your fiancee rumbled. Then she goes on to check your dd's phone!. Its none of her business what your child writes to her mother ffs!
Another reason I don't trust your fiancee is because she is most probably the one who has encouraged her dd to call you daddy. Surely she would know this would upset your dd.
I may be totally wrong but I don't think so. I believe the problem lies with your fiancee and NOT your daughter.
Believe me SOME women can be VERY manipulative and are able to convince their partners that its the stepkids who are to blame for all the problems in the household.
My dc's so called 'stepmother' used to act like butter wouldn't melt and pretended to everyone that she thought the world of my dc's. For a time she had most people fooled until she became careless with her lies. In fact she was a real BASTARD to my dc's. Obviously she would only treat them badly if their father wasn't in the room.
IMO children don't lie. Look closer to who your'e about to marry and watch her.
Jemma1111 I don't really see that at all...
Based on the posts I think you are stretching here to make DF the root of all evil. It seems to me she is trying hard to include the OP's daughter.
I do however, think that she and the OP are being unrealistic in how to do this.
This is actually all about your daughter having a different perspective to yours.
Whether I love where I am or not, I always look forward to going home. Whilst you provide her with what you see as an equal home your dd has her own perspective.
Most kids at some point will utter the dreaded I didn't get any/didn't get enough/ got lousy presents. Normally reaction is a talk about how lucky the child is and offer to send the presents to a child who appreciates them.
Whilst "my sister hit me etc" may well be an exaggeration /lie/stretching of the truth, did you stop to find out? Did you get both her and her "sister's" perspective, before making a judgement? Or did you just wade in accusing her of being a liar? I wouldn't like being somewhere where I was automatically condemned as a liar. Quickest way to ruin both your
relationship with her anc her relationship with her step sister.
I would give some more thought to the phone. It's instant communication gives you no opportunity to resolve matters in house before It escalates to mum
Of course you will never have this opportunity It your dd feels her perspective is unvalued
It you want a happy blended family you must first recognise that you have forced your dd into a relationship with two people she may or may not always like. AND ENTIRELY DIFFERENT FROM YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM.
These relationships will need care. It your dd is confident that you respect her opinion you can make that happen and whatever happens with the other relationships THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE will be ok
That is my opinion, I've said I may be wrong but I'm being realistic.
Yes, I think she finds it stressful having separated parents. I do strongly believe she is happy with her other life with me. She is happy that she has a much larger family that it brings e.g. Many more cousins, another grandma and grandad ( who she loves to visit) etc
Are these 'cousins' the dc of your siblings and is 'another grandad and grandma' your parents, or is this another instance of you attempting to rewrite history by pretending that your Fiancee's family members are related to your dd by birth?
Incidentally why in the title did you accuse your step child of lying
I said the fiancée and the op were desperate, the DD sounds raised to be as insecure as her mother, but how could she be anything else? She is bestowing the title of Daddy on a male that is not her father, and worse, him letting her, to the detriment of his own DD. For a variety of reasons naturally, but it looks like the supposed parents are being ruled by illusions, hopes and imaginary fairytale ideas, and are throwing all common sense and responsibility out of the window, commiting the eternal and fundamental mistake to try to be friends with their RESPECTIVE children.
An unhealthy dynamic, if ever there was one.
This is not a blended family, this a soon to be LIQUIDISED family. The happiness of the flaming fiancée and the OP at the expense of everything and everyone else.
There are 2 little girls in this who are being mashed up.
I can see the same picture as Jemma, tulips.
I can also see that it may be the case that the OP's dd is regarded by him and his Fiancee as 'their eldest' and, as such, less tolerance is accorded her than her younger
However, whatever the truth of the matter, the fact is that the OP's dd is unhappy and this is not being addressed by her df who prefers to play charades than engage in hands on parenting.
So your dd is not allowed feelings. Or privacy,
She is not the one in the wrong here. I'm hiding this thread now before I say something far harsher.
It seems to me that the OP has
become a Stepford fiance so identified with his Fiancee that he sees her 'stepchild' as being the sole cause of the discord in their relationship that has 'ruined' their Christmas, Crystal.
Notwithstanding the fact that the 'stepchild' in question is his OWN DAUGHTER, he has seen fit to punish her for no other reason than she has engaged in behaviour that is not uncommon in 8yos regardless of whether they are part of blended or unblended family.
There's no prizes for guessing what the two unfortunate dds who have to go along with the charade created by the 'responsible adults' in their lives would be writing if there was a offshoot of mumsnet called 'childsnet'.
In essence, it would not differ greatly from that which many adults who've had the misfortune of experiencing dysfunctional childhoods post here on a daily basis
I meant to add, the reason she is checking your dd's phone IMO is because she's worried about what your dd is telling her mum.
If the fiancee was treating your dd kindly then she would have no need to 'keep tabs' on her.
It possibly goes like this>At the start of the year Fiancee goes to your mother complaining about 'lies' your dd has supposedly told. Your mother rings your ex as I guess she doesn't believe your Fiancee. Fiancee was 'very distressed' then.
Now, over Xmas Fiancee is 'heartbroken' over dd telling 'Lies' again.
Utter bollocks. Don't you get it OP? , dearest fiancee WANTS your dd to look bad.
Op, if you haven't disappeared, ask for this to be moved to the step parents board, you might get some less agressive answers on there.
Boney- can I say I think that's a really unhelpful post. It you read the thread as a whole you will see a whole range of opinions but I think all would agree the op's dd is the innocent party in this and the op needs to rebuild bridges with her
It may be a a bit kinder OP to get this moved to step-parents.
I would just say, your df is doing ok but she seriously needs to chill out. Children lie when they are stressed!
Your DF is probably making your DD on edge by being so false with her when she is there!
There is no problem with a step-mum checking her dsd's phone, I do it, but I will never read messages to her dm. She needs to have privacy away from your DF and she needs to have privacy with her dm.
Would you have shouted at her if the message had said 'I hate my step mum!'
You can't blame a child for having feelings, there is a reason she lies and it is probably all down to the fact you have forced her into a fake family that she didn't ask for.
You need to start making time for just you and your dd! She will benefit
CrystalEclipse you can say what you like. HTH
How do you know it's a lie? Maybe the kid is really unhappy. Why the assumptions that she's lying?
It is a difficult situation. I don't think that DSD calling you Daddy is a good idea, it must be very hard on DD who, however hard you try, is the visitor in the family.
As the visitor she needs some privacy. The text messages may only be what she thinks her mother wants to hear anyway. She may be under a lot of stress to feel part of 2 families when she doesn't feel right in either.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that whilst It might be a kinder response you'd really struggle to get so many alternative perspectives in the same place.
It is very hard to post anything critical of step parents in the step parenting board just as step families often get a bit of a rough ride in lone parents. To get such as balanced and wide ranging spread of opinions you would really need to post on both.
you are quite right It may be gentler posting in stepparenting but in this case, I wonder whether you could beat the wealth of advice and hard earned experience you see on this thread, whether itturns out to be applicable or not
The best advice isn't always gentle
Boney why do you say the replies are aggressive, my post was from the point of view of a step child as I have been where his poor dd is.
Others are posting from their experiences, nobody here has been aggressive and there are good reasons this is an emotive subject. I think the op really needs the bubble bursting that he has built around his life.
I am all for the step mother should back off, you have left your DD upstairs crying, Listen to your daughter etc. Put whatever spin on them that you like but other comments Stepford father, your house but not her home etc. are uncalled for and are just posters projecting their own issues on the OP's situation.
I think that you could do with having a calm chat with your DD tomorrow and apologise for getting so annoyed. Give her time to talk and actually listen without jumping in to justify things. It might be best to go for a walk, just the two of you, it is often easier to chat when walking. I think that you could do with spending more time with her on a one to one basis. Even if they were sisters there would be sibling rivalry and yet two girls have been thrown together and expected to bond because the parents have put a lot of effort into it and expect it. When you know that people are trying hard it is very difficult to tell them that it doesn't actually work for you.
Op have you actually spent time with your DD, on your own.
Maybe she feels less your child than your SD, and it now feels like more than a obligation to visit, she sounds messed up and pushed out.
And maybe she wasnt having fun, feeling the tension from your DP, over silly stories shes told, well shes 8 and feeling like, its join us and leave mummy or dont come over, at 8 years old she will interpret what she sees.
Take her out and talk with her.
PS, Fiancee sounds like a drama queen.
How is suggesting his house is not her home, aggressive?
It happens alot in blended families.
So many questions. What on earth is a maternal mother? Why are you giving mobile phones to 7-year olds? Why is your fiancee reading your daughter's texts? Why don't you ask yourself if she told her mother the truth as she sees it? Why does your daughter's mother struggle financially? Don't you think your fiance might be a bit too nosy and thin skinned for the role of stepmother? And finally, are you making this up? Because it's mind boggling that anyone could be so insensitive and stupid.
Modern family dilemmas indeed! You're just making stuff up and everyone else has to buy in.
boney it may be my experience. that doesn't exclude it from also being the DD's experience.
my dc's have a father. he has a house that is his home. it is not my dc's home being that they have lived solely with me for all of their lives and he has only gotten his first home in may. they have stayed there a total of about 15 nights. they have spent more time with my parents than they have with their dad but it doesn't make my parent's house their home either. where they live with me is their home, where they go to see their dad is 'daddy's house' and that is what they call it. they call the house we live in together 'home'. i dont think it's unreasonable to think that the DD in this situation may not consider her father's house her home. nor do i think it's unreasonable (and certainly not aggressive!) to point that out to the OP as something he may not have considered. it is relevant to the situation.
Gosh I'm having deja vu of my own childhood :-( OP, you need to forget about the "blended family" ideal and realize that your daughter clearly is not happy with the balance. I have been the child that your daughter is, spending two days a week with my dad, having to play happy families whilst another persons child called MY daddy Dad, I cannot begin to tell you how put out I felt.
Aside from the fact that I think a Blackberry (or any mobile) is not a device a 7 year old needs, if I were you i would be less concerned at how your fiancee feels and be more astute towards your daughters feelings. Spend time on your own with her, after all she comes to see YOU, the sisters/stepmum/step grandparents are all extra people, she may be desperate for some time alone with you.
At any rate, 7 year olds do tell lies sometimes, I would be more annoyed with fiancee for snooping on her (you should monitor her) and besides your dd's mother knows the txt was an exageration so no harm done!
Whilst your fiancee is upset, she does sound a bit of a drama queen.
"How is suggesting his house is not her home, aggressive?"
suggesting wouldn't be agressive stating is.
Have you always said "daddy's home" and your house as "our home" its very easy to set these rules up in a childs mind.
Whether or not mobiles are suitable for 8yos pales into insignificance compared to the OP punishing his dd by causing her to cry herself to sleep without even a 'goodnight - sleep tight' while he took himself off to cosy up to his Fiancee - and his 'other dd'?.
It's to be hoped that if the OP takes himself off to the 'step' board, he'll be
universally condemned made to see the error of his ways together with those of his precious Fiancee.
My heart goes out to a little girl who no doubt believes that her daddy doesn't love her because she 'ruined' Christmas.
I want to kick her callous father's arse to kingdom come I wonder if Christmas will ever hold any magic for her again?
I'm starting to wonder why if the Op's so distraught he hasn't come back to this thread to hear peoples advise/opinions .
Also can't figure out why a 'father' would write in the thread title about 'stepkids' when he's supposedly posting about his own child.
Maybe its the 'fiancee' posting . Whatever. Something doesn't sit right to me .
yes i have and so does their father. he refers to the house that i live in as 'home' when talking to the dcs. if they started calling it home when going to their dad's i would take it as a sign that they now felt it was their home too and would refer to it as such. i take my cue from them and haven't set any rules wrt what they call my house or dad's house or where they feel more comfortable. they can go there any time they want, they know this.
he doesn't to hear any more
fiancee is crying so hard he's had to give her a sedative.
actually i dont say 'our home' i just say 'home'. to say 'our home' would be odd IMO.
"Maybe its the 'fiancee' posting . Whatever. Something doesn't sit right to me . "
i feel the same.
Whoever has written the OP is a twunt and, apart from those of the unfortunate child who cried herself to sleep, any tears are of the crocodile variety, Jemma.
fiancee is crying so hard he's had to give her a sedative
@*nfk*. It's to be hoped he's given her a
personality empathy transplant too.
My two sons have cut my heart with unkind careless comments when they were your daughters' age. They occasionally say or do hurtful things now and they are in their twenties.
I suggest that you, your daughter and maybe her Mum, have a little chat about honesty. Honesty that your daughter gives you a true picture of how she enjoys her time with you and your fiancee and her daughter and how it can be improved or maintained, and then honesty how she relates that to her Mum. If her Mum loves her, which I am sure she does, then she will be happy to know her child is happy when visiting her Dad.
However I must say that I totally condone checking text messages and computer usage until she is considerably older. Not sure when is the right time to give her total privacy, but this is a matter you and your ex should agree between you. I think you are a loving father and wish the best for your family. Good luck with that, I hope it all gets resolved.
Hopefully he's taken his dd (the real one, I'm getting very confused) home to her mum (her real one) after a nice treat, a heartfelt apology and a cuddle.
Whatever's happened I just pray she's not still stuck in that bedroom being punished.
convict do you really think a child's text messages to her own mum need to be opened and read? what do you imagine would be in them that might harm them child?
Booyhoo, well in this case it has opened a can of worms and either the Dad has no idea how his child sees their time together and needs to learn how to make her happier or the child is afraid to let her Mum know that she is happy spending time with her Dad and his fiancee and her daughter. Either way there is something not right and should be resolved for the child's sake.
Hoping this thread isn't for real because if it is , well, that poor child is all I can say.
If this is genuine then Op, have a word with yourself .
yes convict it has revealed a problem but surely the dad shouldn't be depending on seeing private text messages between an 8 year old and her mum to know that! my ds is 7 and doesn't have a phone, i dont expect to be privvy to all the conversations between him and his dad. i trust my instinct to let me know if he's ok or not and i let him know that he can trust me to tell him how he feels. i also trust that his dad will come to me if he feel there is anything i should know about our dcs that they have told him. i definitely dont think this incident should be used as 'proof' that texts between child and parent need to be monitored. if you really think your child's parent will be harming them through text then you dont let the dc have a phone and dont let the parent have contact!
trust me to tell me how he feels.
I really, really hope this thread is not for real. Because if it is, there's a child here who will eventually cut all contact with her father to protect her own sanity, and I certainly wouldn't blame her.
And snooping on an 8 year old's private messages to her own mother, then punishing her because you don't like what you should never have read? My God, that's a new level of low.
If my dd were left to cry herself to sleep at her dad's house, over something like this, she would not be going back.
FWIW, I have an 8 year old DSD and I can't imagine snooping through her things or leaving her crying, for that matter.
What planet are you on? Stepfamilies can be hard work, but the basic rule is always, always that the kids did not choose it.
I really don't know how that attitude helps the DD snowshapes! All the adults in her life need to stop thinking about themselves and put her first- not use her as a pawn to be fought over.
What attitude? That I wouldn't want DD to be left to cry to sleep? I wouldn't. I mean, I get that I can't go wading in there, but that thought would be heartbreaking. I honestly would find it very hard to send her back.
I fully agree with snowshapes. On discovering that your child has been deliberately left to cry itself to sleep, the natural reaction of any right minded parent would be to not place their dc at risk of any further such occurrence.
The fact that this 'd'p and his dFiancee are clearly
away with the fucking fairies not in their right minds would further reinforce the desire to protect dc from their delusions excesses.
<departs to cast another beady eye on the 'step' board>
Agree with snowshapes too. I'd have ripped OP and fiancée new ones (figuratively) and given fiancée something to really cry about.
nauseating way in which the OP describes his precious- Fiancee, I'd be sorely tempted to insert a Blackberry into one of her orifices where the sun don't shine it won't receive a signal, emma
As for him, nothing can provoke me to violence
except cruelty to children
The poster that mention his house not being her home was suggestng it as one of the reason she may feel unhappy. Stating some is also not aggressive.
You say that people are letting their own situations cloud you judgement. I think you may be as well.
Well, op, has any of this helped? Are you the fiancée? Is this a reverse thread from the mother?
What is going on?
"Step children lying" was the start of your thread title.
Step children - but you were talking about your daughter lying. So either you are the fiancée posting as the dad, or you are the mum, posting as the dad.
Please clear up the confusion
I think the thread title is possibly because HarrisD started off posting on an old thread and was advised to start his own, and that one was called something about step-children. I guess he just took part of the title for his own without really thinking? I don't think it necessarily means he's not who he says he is.
Oh, ok thanks for that dequoisagitil
I think the 'not thinking' is a common theme.
Yeah, yoho, I was tempted to say something like that myself.
It concerns me that you are dismissing your daughters feelings as lies.
Your fiancee sounds like a manipulative drama queen.
It may well be very difficult for your daughter that your step father calls you Dad.
Snooping on the phone is so so wrong, as is an eight year old having a blackberry!
You seem to be placing more importance on your fiancees so called 'heartbreak' than on the fact your daughter cried herself to sleep.
Just wrong on so many levels.
If I had my time again I would have taken sds phone off her the minute she got to our house - it created a nightmare situation where her mother abusing it.
Contacting sd late into the night and making her very unhappy.
She would be fine one minute - sobbing on the floor the next.
Why does a seven year old need a BlackBerry?
Why is her mother struggling financially?
You say your dd loves the way the family has developed but perhaps she doesn't, perhaps she is unhappy as sharing her dad etc but feels she can't say so.
It is all a bit of a mess!
that would be extrememly difficult in this case.
Wrote a longer post but my pc ate it, so short version as on phone again. Reflecting on this it struck me that in any difficulties, DH and I tended to see our own child's pov first, and defend that, so to speak. Working out how to co-parent in a complex stepfamily has taken time, patience and understanding and is an ongoing process. One seeks to understand and calm, not escalate, tensions.
So I guess what seems odd here is that OP so quickly took his DP's side against his young DD, when actually the texts seem quite understandable, if hurtful, from a child in that position. Of course, me saying well, I wouldn't send DD back was an emotive reaction, but really, I would be looking for some reassurance that her dad was taking her needs seriously, had this happened, and not just going waaaah, it's all falling apart because a 7 year old is behaving like a 7 year old, and banishing her in tears.
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