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Jealousy between step kids-anyone!?

(21 Posts)
Boomeranggirl Mon 10-Nov-14 13:44:36

Has anyone experienced real jealousy between their stepchildren?

When we have DSC over separately they are delightful, when they come over together it's really hard work!

DSC1 is at uni, DSC2 is doing GCSEs. DSC2 is having a rough time so DH wants to spend one on one time alone with her so they can talk. DSC1 doesn't seem to be able to handle this and blatantly tries to muscle in. Then spends the time contradicting what DSC2 says. We thought that uni would bring new friends and experiences that would broaden her horizons. If anything she is going home more and not really progressing to adulthood. She says she's doing well on her course so not sure it's problems with that.

DH has spoken to DSC1 as a young adult and explained why he needs to talk with DSC2 but she doesn't really seem to get it. She gets moody then goes back to little girl behaviour.

My gut tells me DSC1 doesn't like the attention that DSC2 is getting and wants to be the star of the show. Seems a bit unfair on DSC2 who seems a bit dispondant.

DH had tried talking to her, didn't seem to work. Anyone been in this situation? What do we do?

Boomeranggirl Mon 10-Nov-14 14:42:24

Anyone ....

[Tumbleweed rolls past]

grin

Tvseemstobemyhobby Mon 10-Nov-14 14:57:21

This actually made me a little bit sad to read. Whatever the age of DSD1 she still wants Daddy's attention, bloody annoying to watch I'm sure but I wonder if there's anyway he can build in some time to go and see her at Uni (I'm guessing she's Away and coming home) so she gets some 1 on 1.
Just a quick thought and a quick message as I didn't want this to be left unanswered.

How do you get on with the younger one who is having a rough time? Can you play it as a team and you do something with her while he panders to number 1 every so often?

Drink wine and chew on your fist in the meantime.

Tvseemstobemyhobby Mon 10-Nov-14 15:03:27

Failing all of the above, can you discreetly start setting her up with neighbours sons, she won't have a minute for Daddy if she had a lovely boy to take up her time grin

Boomeranggirl Mon 10-Nov-14 15:16:26

DSC is 20.

TV we've been down to see her at uni. To be honest when OSD was going through exams and stress she had a lot of one on one time. We were hoping she would see how this helped her and that her sister now needs the same support.

Tbh it's not me DSC2 wants, she wants her dad to talk to.

I guess I'm just a little disappointed in OSD's attitude. It's like she can't miss an opportunity to belittle YSDs concerns.

I really wish there was a nice young lad we could introduce. She's never had a boyfriend (or girlfriend) ever. Just not interested at all.

I'm trying to rack my brains as to what to do. She is the complete opposite of me at that age so I have no frame of reference on this (had a ball at uni, my parents only saw me once or twice a term, too busy going out with occasional periods of studying!). Has uni changed?

Tvseemstobemyhobby Mon 10-Nov-14 15:31:53

I'm guessing not, although from what I hear they seem to take it more seriously than we all did (tuition fees??).

Oh 'eck it just sounds like she's not a mixer then, you know she's going to become the spinster of the parish sitting between the two of you on the sofa in your old age wink

Boomeranggirl Mon 10-Nov-14 15:40:14

Oh blimey tv! Mind you, she's not keen on watching the telly so maybe we're off the hook on that one wink

It's such a tricky one. If she were my daughter I would be equally disappointed in her behaviour, so it's nothing to do with being a SC.

Boomeranggirl Mon 10-Nov-14 15:49:58

I might add, YSD has her moments too! Last Christmas was awful with her just glaring at everyone if she didn't get attention! Teenagers eh?! Is there an island you can send them to where they come back aged 21, fully educated and with a positive sunny disposition??? Know ye of such a place?

LeftHandedMouse Mon 10-Nov-14 15:56:28

I have two DSD's, and the older can be as mean as hell to the younger. Once its started its almost impossible to stop.

I think the eldest has a small 'dady's girl' thing in her head. She had always been her dad's golden girl, but her sister has sort of taken over now her older sister is not home much cos she's out doing teenage things all the time.

But it's quite shocking the venom which she comes out with, this is her flesh and blood after all.

I think part of it is a fear her sister will achieve more than she did at school, she will be more popular etc so any chance to put ehr down she'll take it.

It's not about competing for attention. Not in our house.

Boomeranggirl Mon 10-Nov-14 16:19:16

I'm surprised by the cattiness too left. OSD has usually been the lovely kind reasonable one. Now she's coming off as a spoilt, selfish, passive-aggressive know it all! Is this what all twenty year olds are like???? Is it just a phase that will pass??

Tvseemstobemyhobby Mon 10-Nov-14 16:54:01

Please don't tell me we're still talking about phases at 20...... Mine are 4 and 2, please don't sentence me to another 18 years of bloody phases.

Boomeranggirl Mon 10-Nov-14 17:00:31

Are they your kids Tv or DSC?

This is where being a step parent is a minefield. If they were mine I would have taken a very different approach and I'd be having a long talk with the eldest to get to the bottom of things and let her know I was disappointed in her lack if support for her sister. But I can't because I'm not their mum.

DH keeps saying its just a phase she will grow out of it but tbh how long does that excuse wash? When is it part of growing up and when is it part of them as a person? As I said I have no frame of reference as I was very different and much more independent. I work with young twenty something's and they are certainly not like this but to be fair I don't see them at home.

purpleroses Mon 10-Nov-14 17:45:22

My two DSDs don't really get on well at present. DSD1 (17) looks down on DSD2 (14) and thinks she behaves like a baby and 'daddy's little girl'. DSD2 meanwhile IS very young for her age and much less mature than DSD1 was at her age... I can see where DSD1 is coming from, but I can also - as an adult - see that DSD2 will get there in the end, and just needs gentle encouragement to grow up and become more independent. I do gently push DH into giving this to her , and push DSD directly sometimes (I made her walk a short distance on her own about 7pm the other day - and she asked whether she would need a torch grin She's that un-streetwise!)

Whilst there's a lot about their parenting that isn't as I would have done it, I do think there are things you can do as a stepparent to try and ease things between them. It is hard when they're competing for one parent's attention and you're not their second parent so can't really be a substitute all the time. But I have talked to DSD1 and said to her that yes, she's right, DSD2 is young for her age in some ways, but that this isn't the worst of all crimes, and she will grow up in the end. When DH made DSD2 get a train to visit a friend (a first, he would usually have driven her) I made a point of telling DSD1 that DSD2 had caught the train to show her that DSD2 wasn't always getting special privileges as 'daddy's girl'.

But if your DSD1 is off at Uni, isn't there some time that your DH can spend with DSD2 whilst she's away, and then give DSD1 a bit more attention when she is at home? It does sound like she's not a child who's found the transition to Uni very easy. How old's your DSD2? Could you help set up social things for her with friends at the times when her sister is around? But both of them do need to accept being part of a family for much of the time when they're both around, they can't always be fighting for DH to themselves. Whilst setting either of them up with a BF might be a bit of a tall order, you could try and invite other people round a bit more - friends of yours/DH's/family friends, etc - most siblings don't like to be seen bitching at each other in front of other people and it just breaks the dynamic up a bit. Also it's very good for them to see that other people actually like their sister.

Boomeranggirl Mon 10-Nov-14 18:07:14

Thanks purple for giving me your experiences. The problem really is that DH will arrange a get together with YSD when OSD is away at uni so they can have some one-on-one time, but as soon as OSD gets wind of it she'll deliberately come home so she can be there as well! Even DH has noticed this and normally he's Mr Ostriche about it all grin

Last time it happened he tried to talk to OSD but she got all shirty and I'm thinking she hasn't taken it seriously as she's gone straight back into little girl mode.

purpleroses Mon 10-Nov-14 18:33:27

She does sound difficult. Can't you arrange some time with YSD without OSD hearing about it? Or does YSD make sure to tell her sister, just to wind her up?

Boomeranggirl Mon 10-Nov-14 18:51:18

Not sure who tells her tbh. The problem is DH doesn't necessarily want to keep it a big secret as it would appear sneaky. It's either YSD or the ex who tells her.

She's on the verge of adulthood but can't seem to handle grown up emotions like putting others first.

DH did say he thought once she'd finished uni she'd be off in the adult world so he could have more of an adult father-daughter relationship with her and see her one-on-one but it seems like she's planning on moving straight back home after uni as she doesn't see the point in living elsewhere (this is not for financial reasons btw as she'll be leaving uni with very little debt at all).

She is a lovely girl deep down it just seems like she's turning into a bitter insular person before our eyes. The spinster bit might be right Tv! I really hope she meets someone and experiences romance soon!!!

thebluehen Mon 10-Nov-14 18:55:31

This sounds very familiar. In our case dsd1 is aged 18 and lives 2/3 with mum 1/3 with us. Dsd2 lives with us all but 1 night a week.

Dsd1 is incredibly jealous and insecure despite actually getting MORE 1 to 1 time with her Dad than dsd2. She's been financially spoilt too but she can't seem to accept that life goes on in both houses and she can't be in two places at once.

Dsd2 seems far more relaxed and not bothered about missing out at mums although she is openly left out by her mum and family. hmm whereas we do everything possible to include all the kids at a time we are all together.

I actually think the pandering to the insecurities doesn't help her. I get very resentful of the positive and well behaved kids being expected to do mundane stuff while dsd1 is pampered and privileged and let off the hook in the hope she will feel better about herself.

She constantly contradicts and critisises everyone, but particularly dsd2. She is very arrogant but I know that's just a mask.

Dsd1 didn't try much in school but now sees dsd2 doing well and is jealous despite her having all the same opportunities.

Dsd1 will ask when I'm going shopping so she doesn't miss out on having a yogurt. It's true.

She's 18, she has a boyfriend and a job, do can buy her own yogurts if need be, shouldn't she be worrying about bigger things than her sister having a yogurt? hmm

Boomeranggirl Mon 10-Nov-14 19:17:15

Do they grow out of this or does it just continue into adulthood and become part of who they are? Anyone got stepkids in their late twenties/thirties?

thebluehen Mon 10-Nov-14 19:48:47

Boomerang, I'd like to know that too. For a long time I was understanding as she was really just a kid.

But she earns a decent wage now and can make her own life in her own time, whereas her siblings can't and yet the jealousy is still going on.

I know some siblings do clash and probably always will but surely you learn to deal with your differences and move forward?

LeftHandedMouse Tue 11-Nov-14 08:35:09

Blimey blue that sounds horribly familiar.

Anyway back to the OP, why doesn't DH take YSD up to see OSD at uni as a surprise? Or just go by himself?

Or ask OSD when she'll next be home so he can plan some time with her?

Just to show her she is still important in his life, but on his terms as much as hers.

Boomeranggirl Tue 11-Nov-14 13:38:28

Left he does see OSD on her own. He also gives her a lot of help with her coursework (in the same field), so she does get a good amount of time with her dad. She just can't seem to let YSD have the same amount of time.

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