Stroppy DSD(16 Posts)
I post here with trepidation as a step mother - but want to know how others handle this and maybe just need to vent.
I have (I think fairly successfully) brought up 3 teenagers alone now ranging from 20-15 and my job involves being with a lot of teenagers.
Have been with OH since DSDs were 3 and 5 they are now 10 and 12. I love them dearly and their dad is away a lot and I have them when he isn't around (to give context). We live in a different town 250 miles away.
Did have v good relationship with their mum until recently where I expressed concerns over the girls safety and she no longer speaks to me. The girls are aware of this (their mother told them) and it has caused tension and I feel they are more guarded with me.
We have them for half the holidays so they are here now.
When they are here it's often the only time I see OH too so will often do things the four of us. We try to do things which involve spending time rather than money. DSD1 who is 12 often likes to cook with me (I try to persuade OH to do it too to have 1 on 1 time with her) and up until now I have a good relationship with her.
This time however I think maybe hormones have hit and she isn't interested in doing anything other than being on phone/tablet and is really moody and stroppy and resentful when we take her out somewhere - only interest she shows is when she might get bought something
I am handling this by asking her not to speak to me like that (constant back chatting and questioning everything she is asked to do) and walking away and letting OH deal with it where possible.
Yesterday we took them for a bike ride (DSD2 really wanted to go on one) and she refused to ride and sat on a bench sulking. We spent more time putting the bikes on the car than actually riding. I lost it with her and raised my voice and told her her attitude was doing my head in and I had had enough and she cried - and I felt terrible and like a absolute bitch.
Thing is I know how to deal with my own teenagers but this is really tricky, I had really steadfast rules but OH tends to bend the rules a lot with DSDS and I am trying to stick to the agreed rules but he is them backing down and I feel hanging me out to dry a bit (I.E.: pandering to her strops, saying no film later then backing down, allowing them to chuck half their dinner in the bin then half an hour later letting them raid the fridge for fruit).
I don't really know where I am at and how "involved" I am supposed to get now they are a bit older. I guess also if I am honest I am on leave, all my kids are away and I really want to relax a bit and maybe feel a teeny bit resentful however important I feel it is for OH/us to be involved. I sometimes want to go and meet my friends (for lunch etc) and leave them to it but OH really wants me to spend time with them.
How do people handle teenage step kids being directly rude to you - this is only going to get worse - ATM I try to turn things into a joke to defuse the situation.
So typical of blended families. DH wants you involved. But won't agree to rules so you basically end up feeling resentful because you can't win no matter what you do.
It is typical of her age, I have a child of 11 who would be happy to be stuck on her laptop all the time if she wasn't told to get off it. DSD was 12 when she was last here and spent 10 hours a day on skype. I was horrified but DP thought it was fine to let her. I suggested we all do something but she wouldn't leave the laptop, nevermind the house. So I took DD2 out on my own and then got told I didn't want to spend time with DSD. Yet he hadn't spent any time with her either as she'd been up in the bedroom on bloody skype!
Definitely talk to your husband. There are house rules for all not house rules for half the dc.
Or suggest you take the 10 year old out on your own and he can sit at home with the 12 year old ignoring him while she's on her screens.
This wouldn't be an issue in a regular family but because you aren't their mum and because your DH won't stick to any rules then it's causing resentment.
I think this is exactly it.
The other day she had a strop in Tesco about me not wanting to make Fahijtas as OH and I were going out for dinner and DS1 was babysitting and I didn't have time to do it so OH took her back to the car and I shopped with DSD2.
He's doing the typical "Disney dad" thing which I do understand but all my kids have to stick to the house rules - I suggested last night maybe we need to revisit them if he's not happy with them.
The fact you seem to actually have them more than their dad means your opinion in the running of your home is def as important as Disney dad's rules!! As they get older they should have just as much help respect for you as ever - if not more as they realise how lucky they are you are so interested in their well being. Maybe a family meeting to involve them in the adjustment of rules now they are a bit older - I hope they do chores etc too?! If he won't listen to your opinions regarding them then tell him he will have to change his working hours to be there when they are as you won't be a doormat in your own home.
Disney dad needs to either change his work hours or let you make the rules.
In our house, we are agreed on what is happening with all the kids (blended family) and DSD1 (13) sounds like your DSD. I put my foot down and won't be spoken to that way, because I wouldn't allow my own kids to do it. DP backs me.
I've got to the point I won't have them when he's not there because their behaviour is out of control. So he moves shifts around or takes holidays, because it was getting ridiculous. They are only coming this week "for presents because we always get what we want". Direct quote. They're going to be sorely disappointed, because we've pared back Christmas this year for all the kids.
His work is a bit complicated (military) so there is a lot of guilt involved too about not being here - so I do try to offer some consistency around this being their home when he's not around.
I have told them I am not buying them things anymore as they often wilfully destroy things they are bought.
Think maybe sitting down and revising the rules is a good plan although I can see myself doing all the talking and OH sitting there sheepishly wanting it to be over
If you aren't allowed to parent them then you shouldn't have them over without dh there. Insist on it. DH can't have it both ways.
I am a stepmum who's raising dsd and my rules count. I am able to discipline, enforce, and treat my dsd however I see fit.
Could their attitude have changed to you since their mum fell out with you?
If you aren't allowed to parent them then you shouldn't have them over without dh there. Insist on it. DH can't have it both ways
This! It's a minefield being a SM, but if you have to parent them alone, you have to be allowed to parent them, not be forced into Disney parenting by parents who aren't there!
He is being unreasonable. If you're parenting while he's not there you should have as much jurisdiction as him. You sound like a great step mum too.
Id'dhave thought a 12 year old could make fajitas for everybody. Very simple one-pan meal after all.
If your DH isn't around for their visitation, shouldn't they be with their mum? And only come for visitation when he is at home?
Could it be that you no longer speak to the mum that has caused the change in your dsd? What did you think were the issues around the girls safety?
It might be since the fall out yes.
There were a lot of concerns one of which was them being non swimmers and swimming in the local river with no adult supervision.
They like coming, it gives their mum a break and there have been several times where we have booked something and OH has been called away last minute so rather then let them down I have taken them myself.
With the distance and their mum not driving it's easier for me to just do it.
Agree that if you're having them when he's not there you need to be allowed to parent them.
She is being a typical 12 year old, pushing boundaries. The problem is him letting such behaviour slide so she thinks it's acceptable. Disney dad needs to step up and be a parent and follow through on what he says and what you say
Yeah - I am finding myself unsure how I am supposed to react as when I am/was parenting alone I have a fixed instinctive idea in my brain if how to react.
I am normally much calmer and gentler with his kids than with my own as I am aware I am not their mum.
I felt really disappointed with myself for making her cry I have never done that in the whole 7 years of thinking I was always "firm but fair" - she has been lovely today though!
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