Find being a step parent to pre teen really hard!

(30 Posts)
Thatslife72 Tue 23-Feb-16 12:51:39

It's hard being a step mum and I needed somewhere to vent were people may understand, I love my partner very much we have a great relationship but as I knew it would having my 2 children and looking after his 2 children as well is hard ! Their mum hardly has them so I pretty much do everything for them. They are good children really but I find his oldest daughter soon to be 12 difficult, I know it's her age and I do make allowances for that my daughter is 12 so I know only too well how they can be.

The problem is my step daughter takes things, nothing of great value but things like my daughters clothes, make up a few of my things have turned up in her room, but if I confront her she always has a story about how she has exactly the same thing, her mum got it her etc, and sometimes I then doubt myself and think oh maybe she has then, but there's been too many things that have been a coincidence! My daughters phone went missing , it was in her room one minute then it was gone, I was suspicious buried couldn't prove anything. I think it was because my own daughters dad gave her his old phone and said if u don't loose it u can have an iPhone for your birthday. My step daughter didn't want my daughter to have a better phone than her so I think she took it but I can't prove it! There are lots of these examples, sometimes I know she's lying ! I talk to her dad about it but he's oblivious, thinks she's not capable! But he soon shouts or deals with my daughter if she does something, the difference is she doesn't deny things . His daughter is a very good liar at times.

I saw a few of my things in her bag the other day just make up things that have gone missing, but if I say anything she will deny and her dad will stick up for her, so I just left it and have just been out to replace them!

But it's annoying me, I kind of feel resentful towards her even though I shouldn't , I feel if it was my daughter I could deal with it but as its her I have to put up with things, it sounds petty but this is a small example and I'm fed up, what would u do ?

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 23-Feb-16 13:02:18

I talk to her dad about it but he's oblivious, thinks she's not capable! But he soon shouts or deals with my daughter if she does something

That seems to be the crux of the problem? He's setting up an unequal balance in your home and your daughter is going to feel pretty resentful too which will get worse as the years go on.

It was my own child having to be respectful and civil around the house, but my live in DSD being rude and getting away with it, DP not seeing it - that made me realise I couldn't just sit back. It was really unfair on my child and he would have grown up feeling that we were second class people in our own homes. So I did, and the DSD stropped off and moved out to her mums (because I asked for her to a little civil and she said I had no right to say anything to her at all, DP didn't back me up). I would have moved me and my child out otherwise.

Thatslife72 Tue 23-Feb-16 13:16:09

I agree, but the problem is I can't prove these things, so she can't be punished for things we can't prove , were as my daughter it's either obvious or she admits to things! I think if there was solid proof my dp would deal with her appropriately, she's convinced me at times she hasn't done or taken stuff but it only could be her but other than having a camera in the house I can't see how I prove it. I hope one day she is caught because it's getting to me!!

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 23-Feb-16 14:50:13

It does sound like an ongoing issue. I'd continue to tackle your DP - if you saw your make up in her bag then surely he has to believe you? Does he think you are making things up? He is undermining you if he just brushes it off. I know getting DPs to see anything wrong in their kids is hard.

Could you pick a quiet moment and try to explain that there are good things about your DSD - but that this lying is something that isn't made up, it is going on, and he has to tackle it for her sake?

Saying that, whenever I tried to tackle serious issues with my DP about his kids, that weirdly their parents seemed to be completely blind to, he just got angry. It's just not sustainble over the long term to have big things like this go unnoticed.

Sasty84 Tue 23-Feb-16 15:57:52

I would take a photo on your phone as evidence of something which shouldn't be in her room for example, and show your dh. He will find it harder then to ignore, much as he obviously wants to.

My dh too ignores any failings in his kids. Beyond frustrating.

Thegreenhen1 Tue 23-Feb-16 18:14:25

This is a really difficult one if you can't prove it.

I had a lot of this with my step son and my sons stuff disappearing either never to be seen again or miraculously reappearing in places I'd already looked the moment step son came back to ours from mums.

He was always a very deceitful child at the best of times.

Once step son stopped coming to ours, my sons stuff stopped disappearing. hmm

I spoke with dp at the time, who just shrugged and said he could t do anything because we couldn't prove it.

I posted on here and was told that all children lie.

They don't.

My son received such a roasting for lying as a kid, he would always rather tell the truth than lie because the consequences and reactions were so different.

Unless you're allowed complete freedom to bring up your step kids the way you want them to behave, it can be very difficult to deal with without support from their parent.

TempusEedjit Tue 23-Feb-16 19:13:37

Could you scratch a mark into the packaging on your make up so that if you find it in your dsd's room you'll definitely know whether it's yours or not? I know you shouldn't have to but if you can be 100% confident that the items are yours you can bring the issue up with your DP more assertively.

ImperialBlether Tue 23-Feb-16 19:17:56

The thing is that you're in a relationship with them whether you like it or not. I wouldn't put myself in that situation as I know I wouldn't like to live with someone else's children. Do you think living with him is worth all that aggravation?

Thatslife72 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:34:07

Well I knew it wouldn't be easy! Especially as they live with us most of the time, but I am actually the happiest I have ever been relationship wise, we have a lovely house, he has a lovely family nice holidays etc I'm just finding the role hard but this is what happens I guess when you blend families. I think I will have to talk to dp more your right, and labelling things is a good idea. My step daughter does have a lot of qualities though and also I think there are a lot of insecurities because of the relationship or lack of relationship with her mum.
I remember her wearing a hoodie that was exactly the same as my daughters, but she said she borrowed it from a friend, meanwhile my daughters went missing. She was still wearing 2 weeks later so I confronted her, but she said her friend had been off ill at school but she would be back the following day so she would give it back then. I realised though that was the day she was going to her mums! We've never found the other one if there was one! There has been quite a few of these things , there was fuck u notes in my dd bedroom which we never got to the bottom of, the phone incident, many other things but no admission to anything .. If was my dd I could sort it but I just don't feel I can deal with her the same, do other step parents go through the same sort of thing?

PrettyBrightFireflies Tue 23-Feb-16 20:49:26

Perhaps, rather than "point the finger of suspicion" at your DSD, you could make everyone in the household aware that because things are going missing regularly, so you're going to take steps to make the home more secure.
You could even set up a wifi camera to monitor certain areas of the house - a hallway or landing that your DD's bedroom door opens off for instance - be open about it, so everyone knows it's there - say it's important for home security.

It is important that you nip this in the bud, because (as I now know) in many cases, it escalates to shoplifting and other theft when the DC gets older - they become confident that they will "never get caught" or that "noone can prove it" so they keep going.
My DH's DD eventually got caught stealing £100 worth of cosmetics from a high street shop - she started by taking little things from our home (worthless bits and bobs), then began taking money from her mums bedroom, and from what we can gather, was regularly shoplifting before being caught. Neither DH or I ever challenged her at the time - looking back, that was the wrong thing to do and we've since been told by professionals that the pattern of escalation is fairly typical.

FrancisdeSales Tue 23-Feb-16 21:10:57

Can everyone start labeling all new items as they come into the house in a way that can't be removed (ie not on a label that be cut out).

You could also have a safe at home to put phones in every night etc.

I decide with DP your consequences for anyone caught stealing ahead of time.

fuzzyfozzy Tue 23-Feb-16 21:12:14

A very tricky situation but I'd start naming things!

Wdigin2this Tue 23-Feb-16 22:59:50

What a very difficult situation, which points to two ideas!

One, your DSD is unhappy that you and your children get to live with HER dad all the time and SHE doesn't! She's seemingly insecure and (understandably) jealous of her DSS, and is trying to sabotage her just so she can feel she's levelling things out! The second point is the effect this will have on your DC, if this goes on and even escalates, they will feel you were not protecting them and they were treated unfairly and unequally, which will have serious consequences! You really need to tell your DH that you know what she is doing, and if you have to be a detective and get proof, (no matter how unpleasant that seems) just do it! It is his job as her parent to get to the bottom of her behaviour, and help her to understand that she is a member of the family, and there is no need for her to feel she has to 'score points'!

I know you are very happy in your relationship, and I'm pleased for you, but are your DC, is his? None of them will thank you if this continues! I wish you luck and am sending flowers

Thatslife72 Wed 24-Feb-16 08:53:11

I can assure u I have always put my children first, I have left relationships knowing they weren't right for my kids , I lived independently in my own for 6 years, this man I'm with is great with them and they think the world of him, but this situation could get out of hand. I'm not about to give up on everything I just wanted to vent and get some ideas. My step daughter I was on about helped my ds with his homework last night and her younger sister, it's not all bad otherwise I'd be long gone but I want it to work and for everyone to be happy but I know that takes work and effort I'm under no illusions

SevenOfNineTrue Wed 24-Feb-16 08:59:52

Why not buy an invisible marker and a ultra violet light lamp. Mark all your make up and other items she likes to steal and when you see she has them, get the light and prove they are yours. Lock the marker and light away and keep the key in a place she could not possibly access.

Then you can nip this in the bud.

Thatslife72 Wed 24-Feb-16 09:59:55

Brilliant I'm gonna do that, we're do I get one from ? Will have a look x

peggyundercrackers Wed 24-Feb-16 10:13:19

Call her bluff and tell her you have put a secret camera in your DDs room and you have video of her taking whatever it is.

Other option is to write names on labels etc. Or as someone else suggested invisible marker.

SevenOfNineTrue Wed 24-Feb-16 12:18:53

You should be able to Google it then click the 'shopping' button for outlets where you can purchase.

daftgeranium Wed 24-Feb-16 22:00:56

Stealing is out of order. Let your DP know this and all the rest of the family. Give them a period of grace, then collect evidence, and if there is evidence, some hard discipline is needed here.

I had this and it was the beginning of the end - DSD was definitely stealing from me but DP backed her up instead of me! what a tosser.....

cappy123 Wed 24-Feb-16 22:08:12

My first thought was yes

- Consider store.nest.com/uk/product/camera/
- Magic marker great idea too
- Locks on your DD's stuff
- In your DSD's absence, simply take items you know to be your daughter's back without a word. If later challenged, just say calmly "it's DD's" without explanation, confrontation or challenge.

But then I thought, actually your partner is enabling this crap by his denial behaviour. I'm sorry but despite the 'it's a lovely relationship' vibe, the 'f* you' note would be close to a deal breaker for me, irrespective of proof. No-one should get to leave a note like that for anyone, esp a family member. Compounded by the personal items going missing and your DP ripping strips of your own DD.... I do think you need to have a major chat with him and I mean talking ultimatums about the relationship. No good for anyone, least of all your DSD if his attitude is not addressed. Can't be great for your DD either. I appreciate your saying DSD is not all bad and that you just need to vent. But you're also clearly stating that your DP allows her behaviour, even encourages it by sticking up for her.

Both your DD and DSD are at that impressionable age as females. If you successfully challenge your DP on this and you back each other, it will show them that as a mum, step-mum and wife / partner, you're a confident woman who will not stand for disrespect and dishonesty in her own home. Sorry to be so strong, I'm not projecting anything - just fairly concerned.

An afterthought - how do they (DD and DSD) get on? Could they go shopping together and buy duplicate items they both like, as a validation and bonding exercise, or not?

Wdigin2this Wed 24-Feb-16 22:46:04

Thatslife, I was not doubting your love and care for your DC, but you are obviously distressed by this situation, as it appears is your DD! I also think the magic marker idea is a good one, but if it works, and your DH still refuses to believe his child capable of such deceit, (because parents often deny the most obvious evidence of their child's wrongdoing) what then?!

Thatslife72 Thu 25-Feb-16 09:40:01

I have an invisible marker pen smile . I did talk to my dp last night he listened. I'm going to try and resolve it with his help, there was another issue last night so it came up. I will try my very best to sort it and dp has promised to back me. If things don't get resolved and it gets worse and worse to the point everyone is unhappy I wouldn't hesitate to move on, but not without a fight first I want it to work ! Also at the moment I have other things to worry about as my dad has terminal lung cancer, so he's my priority at the moment confused

Wdigin2this Thu 25-Feb-16 10:23:59

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that Thats, you really don't need the added worry at this time....hope it gets resolved soon!

Thatslife72 Thu 25-Feb-16 11:08:46

Oh cappy your so right! The fuck u note situation I never got to the bottom of, we did confront her she just said it wasn't me and was adamant to the point of crying, in the end I doubted myself again and we started to wonder if it was her mum! Her mum was in the house that day picking up dsd, that would normally never happen but it did on this occasion, her mum is a strange one too and very vindictive so it was one of them! But this is what happens in never sure it's her. My dd knows she has me to back her up, she is not perfect either btw I know that, but I can handle her and my son.
Dsd came home ill today, I have to leave her home alone soon as got a client , I shall be locking doors. hmm

Thatslife72 Thu 25-Feb-16 11:32:27

As u can see we have a lot thrown at us !

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