My 12 yr old Daughter Hates her step dad

(24 Posts)
KellyBrookes29 Thu 17-Jan-13 18:15:17

Iv been with my partner for 4 yrs we married just over 6 months ago. But my daughter hates him. She won't listen to a word he says she doesn't talk to him she talks about him to me infront of his face. Her temper and attitude is becoming a nightmare and my husband just can't cope. Its ruining our relationship. But she doesn't seem to care. As a mother of course my main priority is my children but I love my husband and I don't want to leave him because of her. Its not because he's taken her fathers place because we split up 6 years ago and she rarely has anything to do with him. Whenever I ask her she just says she hates him she won't give me a reason. He's much more strict than I am I know its wrong but I rarely discipline where as he will. He takes her phone and computer for bad behavoir maybe that's the reason!! Has anyone else had to deal with this please I'm at my wits end!!

HecateWhoopass Thu 17-Jan-13 18:18:39

Perhaps counselling?
Family therapy?
Perhaps she's trying to tell you something but being only 12 isn't able to and needs some outside help?

KellyBrookes29 Thu 17-Jan-13 18:24:19

We've had discussions she tells me everything Bullying etc anything my daughter and I have a good relationship most days! She says iv changed since I got with my new husband. Perhaps she doesn't like sharing? We were just us for 2 yrs after her bioligical father and I split.??

Has she always hated him? Or is this a new development?
Has he always been the disciplinarian?
Can you take this role back yourself so he has more of a chance to be the good guy?
Do they spend time doing fun things together?
Do you have other children? How do they feel about your DH?

Ragwort Thu 17-Jan-13 18:31:38

I think you and your DH need to agree together how you discipline your DD, if he is the 'strict' one who imposes the rules and you are (possibly) a bit of a pushover when if comes to bad behaviour then of course she is going to 'hate' him.

I suggest you and DH agree the behaviour 'rules' and present them to her as a united front and make sure YOU take responsiblity for confiscating the phone/computer or whater.

It could well be a typical teenage rebellion, I am ashamed to admit that I was quite nasty to my own SDF when I was around 12 blush - in fact he has always been incredibly good to me and still is - he's now in his 80s grin.

KellyBrookes29 Thu 17-Jan-13 18:33:20

She has always been difficult with him. Yes he does most of the discipline role but maybe I could take over. In the summer they used to bike ride together and they got on better. My other children are still very young and have taken to him pretty well. My daughter is lovely when the attention is just on her we allow her to stay up with us when the other children go to bed perhaps watch a film or play a board game wich she loves. But then with the click of a finger she's being horrible again. She has just started high school and also her period in the last 4 months.

SoHHKB Thu 17-Jan-13 18:36:37

From the other perspective but with no real qualification to base this on, I didn't get on with my step-dad when I was growing up and still don't really. I hated it when he tried to discipline me because I felt it was none of his business and that it was my mum's job.
At 12, I'm guessing your dd is pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable (as all lovely nearly-teens do!). FWIW, my mother always insisted that I was polite and if I had nothing nice to say I was to say nothing at all - a rule I still try to live by when he is around! As an adult I can see that he is not actually a bad person, we just don't get on. But it was always my mum that insisted on politeness, not him - she was my boss and still is! wink
Good luck.

HecateWhoopass Thu 17-Jan-13 18:37:11

There IS a reason she hates him, even if she can't or won't tell you what it is.
Asking for some outside help doesn't mean you're a failure, it is just about getting some other perspectives from people who are trained and experienced in helping children and families.
Hate is such a strong emotion.

KellyBrookes29 Thu 17-Jan-13 18:37:15

I was also quite mean to my own step father as a teen. and always used the 'Your not my dad you can't tell me what to do' line :-(

SoHHKB Thu 17-Jan-13 18:39:18

Looks like I'm not the only one! I pity my dp as my dd (from xh) grows up!

<sigh>

waltermittymistletoe Thu 17-Jan-13 18:44:02

Kelly you've said you don't discipline and he does?

Of course she hates him. He's not her parent and he's punishing her while you sit idly by? Parent your own child and their relationship will improve.

Also, you say she's always been difficult about him. Perhaps she feels like her feelings weren't considered when you decided to move him in?

I'm deliberately using harsh words as I can imagine the anger and hurt in a 12 year old.

What do you do when she is being horrible to him? Do you send her to her room? Can she go there and read a book or just rest until she feels the moment has passed? Discuss behaviour and get her to apologise? I imagine her hormones right now are not helping her. When she switches, have you asked what she feels at that exact moment? My DH said he would feel as if electricity was running through him and become agitated for no reason.

I sympathise as I have 2 very strongwilled boys (only young though) who switch their personalites at the drop of a hat. The only thing that works for them, is to either, send to room to calm down, no matter how long that takes, or distracting them with a task, let's go and do dishes, bake, go for a walk etc... Not sure if that works on a teenager though!

ajandjjmum Thu 17-Jan-13 19:03:37

My DB was in this situation, where he is much stricter that SIL. Now they two children together - who are treated equally strictly - it seems to have smoothed things out a little. I've always felt it's tough on DB though, always to be seen as the ogre.

UC Fri 18-Jan-13 09:00:07

Kelly, I agree totally with the posters who are saying YOU have to discipline and parent your daughter. If she won't listen to a word he says, but you don't back him up on anything, and don't do any disciplining, then of course she's going to hate him - he's doing the parenting, the difficult bits of parenting, while you standing by and not supporting him. From her point of view, he isn't her parent - and you are reinforcing that message by essentially ignoring him too. She's learnt it's ok to ignore him because you've given her that message. When she's rude to him, you've got to pick her up on it!

Maybe you think he's too strict. If that's the case, then you and he need to sit down and agree some boundaries, what battles you will choose to fight. And then BOTH of you need to back eachother up. You are undermining him totally at the moment. If I were him, I wouldn't put up with it, I expect he's incredibly frustrated. You're making him be the bad guy all the time. He isn't able to have any fun with your daughter because you've allowed her to disrespect him. You said they enjoyed cycling together in the summer - so when she was able to have some fun with him, their relationship improved. Not really a surprise is it?!

And your daughter must be very angry - she must see a mum who lets her do what she wants (which includes being rude to the other adult in the house) and her mum's husband, who isn't her dad, as the only person who picks her up on her behaviour. No wonder she is angry. This may sound harsh, but you have allowed that anger to develop by not acting as your daughter's parent.

My DP and I don't always agree on parenting, but we back eachother up as a team in front of the DCs (we both have DCs from previous marriages, and none together, so we are both step parents).

I think you need a serious talk with your DH - to agree your "rules" and boundaries. And a serious talk with your daughter, where you explain those rules and boundaries, and that you will BOTH be enforcing them. Your daughter probably won't like it at first I'm sure. But I expect you'll all be happier in the long run.

flurp Fri 18-Jan-13 11:09:43

Kelly you are a Disney Mum!!! grin
Why should your DH be the one to discipline your DD? You should be doing it.
He should back off a bit but you should step up a bit too.
You need to sit down with your DH first and work out house rules and consequences of breaking them. Then BOTH of you sit her down and tell them to her.
If she breaks the rules then you follow through with the agreed punishment and never go behind his back and let her off!!
She is your DD - be a parent to her or she won't respect you.
If any of my DC were rude to DP (or anyone for that matter) they would be punished and made to apologise. When she says she hates him tell her that is her choice but she must be polite to him.

Kelly, you said your main priority is your children. While that is understandable, you might be better off trying to prioritize your partnership with your husband just now. Prioritizing your partnership won't exclude your children from the family - my hunch is it will just start to sort out any disagreements/issues you and your DH might have about who should be doing what, and therefore give your kids a strong, stable household to grow up in.

I agree with the posters who've said you and your DH need to agree on what behaviour is acceptable, what isn't, what the consequences are for bad behaviour, and who metes out those consequences, etc. If you think he is too strict, okay, but it is worth finding out why he is being so strict in the first place. What is he offended by, or afraid of? Why is he taking it upon himself to take away your DD's computer or phone? What motivated the discipline? How is your DD making him feel? He might see an issue that needs to be handled where you do not.

It might also be worth checking in with your DD. She was the center of your attention until your DH came along, but then your priorities shifted. Does she fear, deep down, that Mum doesn't love her as much as Stepdad?

And yes, you do need to step up and discipline your DD if you feel she is being rude to your DH. I am pretty involved in my DSD's life, and assertive about my need to feel respected, but my DH was always the one that put DSD in the naughty corner, took away her DS when the naughty corner didn't work, and told her in no uncertain terms that, "Daddy and PJG are the boss, it is not just Daddy."

To add to the "center of attention" thing, I didn't say that to make you think you should feel guilty about having a new husband. You deserve to have love in your life. There is no need to feel any guilt, and therefore no need to be a soft touch when your DD is behaving in a way you don't like. wink

startlife Fri 18-Jan-13 16:43:24

I think you need to step up to the disciplining and tell your DH to back off. From your dd's side life has changed andlistening to her is very important.What has changed for her? What doesn't she like about your DH? Talk with her,try not to be defensive (even if you feel she is unjustified). 12 is a difficult age anddon't under estimate the impact of hormones.

12 is a difficult age. I recall a wise women telling me that her 12 year old had more bad days than good but by 14 it was more good days than bad. Having gone through this stage with 2 dc's I can completely agree.

I can see the other side of this as my sd's mum has remarried and sd feels very left out, her world has changed and mum is wrapped up in her new husband. Her mum believes she is giving sd everything materially but sd craves time with her mum and wants to be listened to.

Your fortunate that she's 12, so time is on your side to resolve this but do ensure that you help her through this.

NanaNina Fri 18-Jan-13 21:34:30

Kelly - I think you've had some very good posts. No one has mentioned your DH's method of discipline - taking things from her (her phone and computer) my god those are the things of greatest importance to a 12 year old. What sort of bad behaviour would merit this sort of punishment. I'm sorry but he sounds very mean spirited to me - makes me shudder to think of his method...........it's not on. Are you wary of telling your DH that he is too hard on her and that taking things away from her is not the way to go. If so, I think you need to - you need to be honest (unless of course you agree with what he is doing) about his relationship with your daughter.

My 12 year old son hated his stepfather as he used to pick on him for stupid things (never taking anything from him) but I was in there like a tiger, defending my son. I made it absolutely clear that I wasn't going to stand for him picking on my son (and not on the younger two of whom he was the father) and so he'd better change his ways..........and eventualy he did.

Fast forward the tape over 30 years and they have a really good relationship.

I just wonder why you are wondering why your 12 year old girl hates her stepfather. OK she doesn't want to share her mum with someone she doesn't like, she is probably having a hormone surge and adolescents tend to be moody and "badly behaved" sometimes. I think Kelly you need to sort things out in your household because if this is going on when she is 12, you've got several more years.

I think you should ask your DH what he thinks of your dauhgter - maybe he hates/dislikes her and is envious of her relationship with you. All of this is in the step parent mix of course and causes much heartache.

If nothing else I think you have to discuss with him this business of taking things from her...........it's horrible.

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 18-Jan-13 21:39:53

does she need discipline? is she naughty? is her behaviour unreasonable?

i hated my step father who was a malicious nasty hitler copying little bastard.

my mother stood idly by. he was a complete bastard. im not saying your DH is but how much discipline does she need?

my DD is 15 and rarely needs disciplining, she is lovely. If she does overstep the mark DH and i are a united front.

flurp Fri 18-Jan-13 22:54:45

She won't listen to a word he says she doesn't talk to him she talks about him to me infront of his face. Her temper and attitude is becoming a nightmare and my husband just can't cope.
If my dc behaved like this I would be confiscating their gadgets too. They could have them back when they learnt to treat other members of the household with respect.

UC Sat 19-Jan-13 09:38:54

Agree you need to be in agreement with your DH as to what behaviours warrant punishment, and what those punishments might be. I don't see removal of a phone or use of a computer for a period of time as over the top, if it is as a result of being rude and aggressive. We have done that here on occasion - loss of use of a computer for a day is very effective. As is loss of pocket money.

Only you know whether the behaviour is overstepping the mark or not. And whether your DH's response is over the top or not. I suspect a bit of both to be honest.

If my DSSs refused to listen to me, refused to talk to me, and talked about me to their dad in front of my face, and DP did nothing about it, I would be incredibly frustrated and pissed off. Likewise, if I was a 12 year old girl, and only my step dad ever told me off while my mum did nothing, either to back him up (at least I'd know where I was), or to stop him if it really was too harsh, then I would be angry.

yani Sat 19-Jan-13 10:00:16

Kelly - As others have said, YOU need to discipline your daughter, please don't let the responsibility fall to your dh.

I hated my sd. He moved into my house, totally accepted my younger sister, did all he could to exclude me, was the disciplinarian etc.

Have you taken dh's name? When my dm did that, it was a huge blow, as she (in my eyes) publicly chose him over me. They were now family, and I had been side lined. It felt as though a bond between dm and I had been severed.

Please don't blame your dd or be harsh with her. I turned into a right cow, which fed directly into my sd's hands, so he could say things to mum about how awful my behaviour was, how ungrateful I was etc.

Dm agreed with him (she was right) but it put even greater distance between dm & I.

All I needed was for her to say, that she still loved me, and she had room in her heart for me and sd. I felt very insecure.

balia Sat 19-Jan-13 16:27:21

Does he have children of his own/experience of children prior to taking on the stepdad role? Maybe he is just being a bit heavyhanded/insensitive - especially if he maybe thinks she walks all over you/you are soft with her. Taking a phone off a teen is kind of a nuclear attack equivalent.

My DH and DD went through a bad patch when she became a teen (having had a very close relationship prior to that) and he got some counselling to help him parent her better/listen to her. and this was very useful for us both.

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