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Advice on teenager daughter re stepdad

(4 Posts)
Thereyougo Tue 13-Sep-11 22:36:33

My 15 year old dd's natural father has passed away, she last saw him when she was 3 months old, so no recollection.

Her stepfather has been around since she was 5, and legally adopted her when she was 7.

Now I appreciate she's grieving, but she's saying she hates her stepdad and always has done. Her reasons because he doesn't treat her like a normal father would, and he won't play with her the way other dads would.

She is also saying that it is not the same relationship with her half brother (who's younger).

SF is incredibly fair, so much so he's more on her side than his biological child. Maybe he over compensates maybe that's what she picks up on.

Truthfully, my opinion is SF does treat her differently but that is because he is very old fashioned, and she is a girl, and girls should be treated in a gentler fashion and in a different manner to the rough and gruff treatment of a boy.
Has anyone got any experience and can offer advice on this at all?

littlepiglet Wed 14-Sep-11 13:20:36

No advice at all I'm afraid, and I'm so sorry for you all.

With regards to your DD, you're right when you say that she is grieving - she's also angry, confused, scared - lost even.... she is a 15 yr old ball of emotional turmoil, who has loads of questions that will now never be answered, loads of feelings that scare her, and that she can never articulate.

Regardless of her stepdad's love, she still has to live with the fact that she was categorically rejected by her natural father, and now will never be reconciled with him.

Despite her Stepdad's love, I'm sure (almost certain) that in the back of DD's mind, was the fantasy idea, that her father would turn up one day & 'claim' her, that there were extenuating reasons behind his abandonment of her, and that he longed to be with her - like she did with him.

To be honest she probably blames her stepdad on some level (though I'm sure that deep down she knows it's not the case), and believes he 'stole' her away from her real dad - this is more likely to be in her head now, as she comes to terms with a total loss, and an unrectifiable postion.

I agree that her stepdad's behaviour may be worsening things at the moment, as she may see him as being insincere, and herself as unlovable ("if my real dad didn't love me, then how could SD). I wouldn't necessarily change things though, as he has been her 'dad' for as long as she can remember, so I think this is a reaction to how she feels.

I'd suggest counselling, she sounds like the depth of her feelings, and the insecure feelings it has dragged up, are unsettling & overwhelming her.

It's also possible that she's deliberately pushing stepdad away, as she's scared he may leave - facing mortality can be a shock.

I'm sure your daughter will realise how much her stepdad loves her, but she's rebelling (like all teenage girls), and right now is trying to figure out where she belongs.

Smum99 Wed 14-Sep-11 13:26:01

Firstly it's positive that your dd is talking to you, that is so much better than a teen who goes quiet and you don't know what she is thinking. Hurtful to hear but do remember that whilst she is communicating you have a chance to fix the problem. I guess she is feeling a loss and taking it out on SF - hopefully he has broad shoulders and knows that he will have to offer unconditional affection even if she is being hurtful. She may be testing your SF - does he love her even if she says these things. Perhaps ask her what does she feel she has missed out on? Ask her if she would like to talk to someone outside the family. She may actually need time with her SF, so suggest that she and he does something together. Also when she says this stuff try not to justify (yes he does love you etc) and just hug her and say you feel sad that she's feeling sad, as you and SF love her very much.

Losing a parent at this age (even one who wasn't actively in your life) is shocking to a teen - you suddenly realise that life is fragile, that bad things do happen and it can make you feel pessimistic about the future.

Is anything else going on for her? School, friends wise? This upset could be an outlet for other issues she is having in her life.

Thereyougo Thu 15-Sep-11 21:37:10

Thanks for the comments.

Nothing else is going on - it's her birthday soon and she's busy planning for that.

She has apologised for her outburst and said she didn't mean it she was just in shock and very tired.

I said she didn't have to apologise and it was a natural reaction.

I'm lucky she's such a good girl really, it's horrible seeing your child distressed.

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