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DH and DD(21 Posts)
Dd is the eldest. She's 13. I'm away a lot for work,could be gone 3-4 days a week. Dh (stepfather to her) and dd can not get on. We have 2 other children aged 6 and 9. His expectations are too high and she really riles him. Not saying he is right or she is but it's getting too stressful with her ringing me up crying tell him to leave me alone and him on the phone giving out about what she has done/hasn't done. She is frustrating in that she will lay in bed all day on the phone but he is also, expecting a certain behaviour and she won't do it! Any ideas on what I can do? We've had chats etc and the minute I'm gone, they are fighting again. I will say also, she has been going through a hard time at school with being bullied but she says it's improved now, as have the school. But she threatened to cut herself
You need to sit down and agree boundaries together. You and DH need to have the same expectations and issue the same consequences.
You can't get in the middle. He needs to be the grown up and deal with issues when you aren't around. Not start fighting with a child.
You must support your DD first and foremost.
That does not mean 'take her side' at all time, but she has to know that she can be open with you about her problems.
Yy to your DH needing to be the grown-up here - the 2 of them have to find a way to get on when you are away. Insist that they come up with some kind of agreement, but it is their job to do that.
Are the younger sibs yours and your DH's? Do you think your DD feels left out or the odd one out or resentful of her younger siblings??
Have a chat with her, ask her what she thinks would improve things and what you could do to help.
I take it that you have no concerns about your DH around a teenaged girl? Apologies for asking, but is would need assurances from my DD that she is not hiding something worse behind 'typical' teenaged behaviour.
Not easy for you, hope you find a resolution
I've been a step parent. The relationship between step adult and step child can be difficult.
However, and whilst you won't want to hear this, l think you need another job. You are relying on your Dh to do all the childcare whilst you are at work. I have seen many male step parents being lambasted on here for leaving their dc with wives/partners.
She is your dd, and you are ultimately responsible for her not your Dh. Therefore you have to find better childcare or change your job. Leaving her in a fraught unhappy environment with a grumpy step dad is not really the best for her. Neither of them are wrong or right, but l think it is a situation only you can solve.
At 13 and at weekends, staying out of the way, on her phone I dont know if your DH should be doing or saying anything unless its been agreed with you. If she is doing that on school days, you have a much much bigger problem.
But its also true that you using your DH as childcare. Sounds harsh but that is what so many people say here when fathers leave their children with none biological parents. This probably needs looked at.
Sorry OP but I think TheEmoji has hit the nail on the head.
He needs to be the adult. She's 13.
And I do agree with theemoji that you need to be rethinking your job if,you can
I think it's fairly normal behaviour for a 13 year old too. Your Dh needs to butt out a bit. But you also need to be around, she will be feeling very picked on l think without you there.
I agree with Emoji, you need a new job. This just isn't workable, your DD needs YOU. You can't turn this relationship into a healthy one, especially when you are not there.
Your DD is at a very difficult age, this situation could be very damaging for her.
Well he wanted this arrangement too. That he would stay at home and I would work away. He's stubborn. Hopefully, around September I won't be away as much
Ultimately it's not really down to your DP that deal with his step daughter that is really your place and for him to support you.
You sound like you are expecting a lot from your DP. It's tough with a teen especially when they are not yours and you are treading the fine line of step parent.
I really think maybe a course of talking therapy either together or separately to begin with, would help to find a compromise and maybe a common ground for them both.
I also think some time spent together doing nice things without other kids or the stress of having plans could help. Maybe a afternoon tea or a wilderness day to help them become friends?
They were always great buddies since we are together when she was 10 months. It's just in the last few months. He's adopted her too a few yrs back, I don't see how I'm "expecting too much of him"
13 is a hellish time. My lovely eldest went through a horrific selfish hormonal nasty period for a while when he was 13. I struggled to cope with it and he's mine! You and dh need to speak to other parents with older children and get some perspective. Read up on that age and see how you can handle it.
It's such a hard time for them with hormones, peer pressure, school etc and they struggle to cope and direct their anger at their parents.
Ah, ok, he has practically raised her, that changes what I would expect from him.
It is not your job to improve their relationship.
It IS your job to parent your DD.
Hopefully the change in role in September will help, but it may be a looooong 6 months.
If he raised her from 10 months old and has adopted her then he is her father. Not step father.
He needs to find a way to communicate affectively with her.
It seems like both you and him think of her as 'your' child? Maybe I'm wrong but that's the impression I get from your posts.
Poor love probably feels she can't do anything right and no one cares. Bullied at school, DF on her back all the time, mum away a lot, going through the worst bit of puberty (13-15) and struggling with her emotions. I'm not saying you don't care by the way!! I'm just saying I can see why a teenager in her situation would feel like that and think that way
Can the three of you sit down and agree what chores she has to do. Then once she's done them, he can leave her alone.
I don't think your job is helping, regardless of what your DH wants. Think about what is best for your DD. Her mum away 3 or 4 days at a time isn't helping and if it carries on, these will be her memories as she grows up.
Her perspective will be "mum was never here" "my SD was mean, because I'm not his"
Think carefully about this and consider family therapy if it doesn't improve.
I think you have to take her concerns of self harm very seriously.
Whilst teens can be challenging she's telling you how much she is hurting inside.
If this isn't resolved you will store up bigger issues.
When you are home is she ok? I must admit I would struggle to be away knowing my daughter is in such pain, 6 months is a very long time and everything could get much, much worse.
Does he have different expectations from DD13 than he does of DDs 6 & 9? And do you think that's because of her age?
What is this behaviour that he expects of DD13? And does he expect it of DDs 6&9?
I am struggling being away alright but there's no other way for the moment. He doesn't treat her any differently to the others. Will be home tonight, I'll look into family therapy or something like that. Thanks everyone for your opinions
Similar situation, except dd is youngest and its her biological father.
Teenage girsl are moody and horrible. end of. good luck with it all. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but until you get to that point, you need to perhaps change your working hours and be home a bit more. If not, do what others have suggested.
Ok, you say they've just been clashing the last few months, she's been bullied at school, she lays in bed all day, she's said she wants to self harm.
Honestly it sounds like your poor DD is depressed.
You need to address this. My parents never did (too self absorbed) and just shouted at me a lot to 'snap out of it' and 'what the hell is wrong with you? You're weird' etc etc
Suffice to say you can't just 'snap out of it. Depression is a neurological imbalance and needs treatment (talking therapy and possibly medication depending on severity).
Deep down I have never forgiven my parents for letting me down as a vulnerable unhappy girl. It sent me the clear message that they ultimately didn't give a shit about my feelings
We are not close as adults
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