Step-parenting: not easy

(16 Posts)
ElicitCap Thu 12-Nov-15 21:52:44

I came to this forum because I was "troubled" by certain odd behaviours of my husband's teenage daughter (16 and a half). But after reading all sorts of posts about all sorts of problems I feel kinda stupid because she isn't that bad anyway... The fact that she still wants daddy to turn the light off in her room and say goodnight because she is too lazy to do it herself is my issue. But if I ignore it and see all the positives I'm slowly starting to accept that it is not easy trying to understand a teenager whose mother moved to another town and doesn't see her often. I'd be lost if I didn't have my mother around at her age. But she is coping fine, because she has a great dad!

She was quite big when her dad and I got together (she was 11) and when we got married she was 15 so I can't consider myself as her "parent". At first she had one week with mum and one week with dad but then her mum moved and now she is living with us full-time. Despite being big when I came into her life she listens to be if I ever advise her and asks for my permission for things when her dad isn't around. All in all she is a good kid.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, no matter how bad things seem at some point we should all try and look at the positive sides of things. For example, even though she is spoiled and used to getting what she asks for (especially from her guilt-full mother) she doesn't make a fuss if she doesn't get something she has asked for. She might occasionally bring it up but without drama. And the fact that she is acting immature is because she is! I find myself thinking that she is an adult sometimes, since she is much taller than I am and looks so "mature". But the truth is, 16 is that odd age for girls when things are starting to change and they feel all sorts of new things they mostly don't know how to handle and sometimes they panic and regress to being childish. My husband's daughter likes to buy teddies all the time. Her room is already PACKED with teddies, not to mention all those she gave to her baby brother, she still has baskets and boxes and a bed full of them... But sometimes she actually surprises me when she shows those signs of maturity that are promising and you know that soon she will go passed that phase too (hopefully because frankly I'm really tired of all the bloody teddies hmm!

This post is for all of you out there like me who have been lucky enough to have "step-children" who are good and that we should indeed try and support them even though their individual oddities might drive us crazy! smile

Wdigin2this Thu 12-Nov-15 23:47:32

You have a really good perspective on things....you are also lucky not to be traumatised, worn out or even pushed out by your SD, as a lot of SM's on here are!

HesNotAMessiah Fri 13-Nov-15 11:18:46

Another vote for worn out here !

I'm jealous :-)

AnneLovesGilbert Fri 13-Nov-15 11:18:54

That's a lovely post and your DSD and DH are lucky to have you. I try and make a point to focus on the positives of having my DSC in my life, and to share these things with my DP - nice things they've said, ideas of things we can do together, interesting conversations, their thoughtfulness.
There are days when I could scream but even in the midst of the chaos they can be adorable and my DSD6 is a mad crafter so there's a steady stream of lovely handmade cards with "Anne, I love you", or paper hats we all have to wear for the night, cakes they choose for me from the bakery, and lots of cuddles.
I have to make a massive effort in this new life and it's not easy. But having a supportive, appreciative DP makes all the difference and there's a lot that's tough but equally a lot to be thankful for.

AnneLovesGilbert Fri 13-Nov-15 11:20:22

ElicitCap, do you have specific things you do with your DSD that help your relationship with her?
We're a long way from the teenage years yet but any ideas of what works always welcome!

littlegreen66 Fri 13-Nov-15 16:56:57

I recently overheard my DSS referring to me as "my stepmum" for the first time. I felt honoured.smile

swingofthings Fri 13-Nov-15 16:58:21

What a fantastic post. Shows that you can turn a stressful situation into a if not pleasant, acceptable one not by trying to change people's behaviour, but changing the way you interpret them.

I totally agree that focusing on the positives rather than the negatives can totally change your perception of a situation or person. I have experienced this with a close work colleague who had serious issues with. I had no choice but to work with her, so one day as I was yet again coming home fuming and stressed, I decided to focus on the positives and hold and behold, everything changed to the point when I now count her as one of my close friends. She said that I changed a lot at that time. I didn't see it at the time, but when you are positive, so are your misdemeanors which we are not even conscious of.

In the end, the effort came from you, but you are enjoying the rewards of it now, so I'm sure it feels it was whole worth it. You'll most likely grow very close especially when she becomes a mother herself.

littlegreen66 Fri 13-Nov-15 16:58:54

Oops - posted too soon. I meant to say that it's tough, but it can be worth it too.

Lozza1990 Fri 13-Nov-15 17:20:32

I say good for you! Can only wish my step mum had your mentality when I moved in with her and my dad hmm

I'm 25 and I still have the odd teddy, so I don't think she's in too much trouble! grin

ElicitCap Fri 20-Nov-15 15:17:31

Thank you all for your kind comments! I will shortly reply to some of you individually. smile

ElicitCap Fri 20-Nov-15 15:29:49

@AnneLovesGilbert: When we first met she was 11 and back then we "connected" by going shopping or watching movies together. We still go shopping nowadays and we have so called "girls nights" when her dad works evenings (he's a nurse). We also have specific series we watch and that is I guess how we connect.
Her dad shouldn't get all the credit actually. Her mum is really nice too and I think I owe a great deal of her open mindless to her mother! What I mean to say is that my stepdaughter accepted me a her dad's girlfriend in the beginning and then as his wife not only because of her dad's attitude but because primarily her mum was and still is a good friend of my husband's. And despite disappointing me when she moved so far away from her daughter I think we would be good friends too if she had been living closer. smile

sparkycus Sun 27-Dec-15 16:56:39

Get things into perspective .
Your step kid isn't a bad kid .. She's just a teenager . Most teenagers are annoying .

My stepson punched my daughter in the head repeatedly when she was a newborn . He was nearly 4 .
She's got learning disabilities now .

I wish I had your stepdaughter .

LookingForwardto2016 Sun 27-Dec-15 17:26:41

My stepson punched my daughter in the head repeatedly when she was a newborn . He was nearly 4 .
She's got learning disabilities now

sad Child or not I don't know how you could ever forgive him for that.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sun 27-Dec-15 21:42:16

Sparky that is just awful. How do you cope with that now, so sad.

sparkycus Sun 27-Dec-15 22:24:09

He was 4 . Just a baby himself really .
It's hard to admit but I shouldn't have left him alone with her for a second. Instead I left to heat up bottle of milk .
I have to live with this for the rest of my life . This horrible error of judgement on my part has destroyed my beautiful daughters chance at a normal life . I feel so guilty when I look at her , and sickened when I look at him .

I knew he was a hard to manage kid , but I never thought he'd hurt her .
I was wrong .

But forgiving is something I can't do .
Not him , and not myself .

He was later diagnosed with ADHD .

If I could go back in time I wouldn't have him anywhere near her .

I never leave him near my children now , and he's always medicated . I have no control over keeping him out of my house because he's under 16 and my husband wants his son to visit .

He's convinced himself his son didn't mean it . He wasn't home when it happened .
Husband is also convinced that our daughters condition is nothing to do with what his son did.

When the step son is 16 , and legally an adult no one can force me to allow him in my home .

My daughter

sparkycus Sun 27-Dec-15 22:30:19

.. My Daughter will never be "normal"

But she deserves both her parents , and needs us both so much .

Some people might have left their husbands if their step child did something like that .. And I did almost leave .

But how would that have helped my daughter ? She adores her dad . And like I said , it was me who had the kids that day . Not my husband .

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now