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The book, Stepmonster

(123 Posts)
Piratespoo Fri 13-Nov-15 21:25:21

My step daughter is 16 and now does not speak to me at all. Completely ignores me when she comes to our house every other weekend. (A whole other thread with loads of issues)

Anyway, I book the bought Stepmonster as recommended on here by many. I left it in the kitchen ready for when I had time to read and last weekend she took the book and started reading it.

She then texted her father saying:
" I started reading that Stepmonster book. It truly is awful! It's just a load of women wallowing in self pity for ages!!!"

BlueBlueSea Fri 13-Nov-15 22:14:11

What else would you expect her to say? She is hardly going to suddenly see your point of view. She had probably decided to say this before she even opened the book.

My DS made fun of me reading 'Get out of my life but first take me and Alex to town'

I know it is hard being a stepmum, I have been doing it for years, it is a thankless task.

SurlyCue Fri 13-Nov-15 22:19:40

I think its a bit hopeful to expect a 16 year old to be able to relate to the feelings of being a step mother. It is a complex relationship that teens arent really ready to fully understand. They tend to see things more from their own point of view. Is it possible she felt 'attacked' by some of what she read? (I havent read the book so dont know what is in it.)

OutToGetYou Fri 13-Nov-15 22:52:13

dss says he likes me because I "go on Mumsnet to find out how to be a better stepmum".

I suggested he try Kidsnet to find out how to be a better stepson!

PrettyBrightFireflies Sat 14-Nov-15 07:21:40

At 16, she is probably old enough for some of the messages in Stepmonster to resonate with her.
IT will probably have been a shock to her to discover that her behaviour, and the dynamics of your family, are so commonplace that there is actually a book about it. The book includes references to research into the psychology behind the behaviours of stepDCs - which no teen will like, because " noone understands me and I'm unique, don't you know! "

her reaction is perfectly normal for her age, except that she turned to your DP as an ally which is obviously indicative of the dynamic in your home This needs to be addressed as your DP is failing his daughter and she appears to view him as a friend rather than a parent.

Piratespoo Sat 14-Nov-15 08:40:55

Yeah, you are spot on, PRETTY. The fact that my dh didn't reply and complete ignored the topic doesn't help either.

FantasticButtocks Sat 14-Nov-15 08:53:02

How odd she sent a text to her DF to tell him her opinion on a book she hasn't read and which isn't hers.

Why is she getting away with this rudeness of ignoring you in your home and taking your books without asking? As to what she thinks of the contents of the book, so what? If she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to read it.

Piratespoo Sat 14-Nov-15 09:58:22

She is getting away with this rudeness because she is allowed to, and whenever I bring up how disrespectful it is, my dh tries to mention it to her, she then starts crying and then he feels sorry for her so nothing ever gets resolved, so it continues. I mostly disappear up to my bedroom while she is here and my dh thinks that this is an acceptable solution,

Thesearegoodtimes Sat 14-Nov-15 11:03:03

Or you could look at it that she was upset about what she read, or has jumped to conclusions from seeing the book. Perhaps she feels she isn't liked or is only tolerated.

So who is she going to turn to when she is feeling like that? Her Dad. That's what a parent does, supports their child when they are upset. Not as an ally, or a friend, but as a parent. He isn't failing her if she is able to talk to him or raise things. It would be much more concerning if she weren't.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sat 14-Nov-15 11:19:11

She then texted her father saying:
I started reading that Stepmonster book. It truly is awful! It's just a load of women wallowing in self pity for ages!!!"

Yup - definitely the words of an upset DC who feels unwanted. hmm

Thesearegoodtimes Sat 14-Nov-15 11:55:10

Is that in response to me Pretty as I didn't say she feels unwanted.

Neverenuff Sat 14-Nov-15 12:44:05

If you didn't want her to read the book why leave it lying around for her to see?

She obviously didn't like what was in it. I think its good she feels she can talk to her dad about it. My dps kids would bitch to mum and we would get a torrent of abuse from her instead. If dp ignored her text then he knows she's probably having a strop and it's best to ignore it. He shouldd however have a word about her taking things that don't belong to her.

FantasticButtocks Sat 14-Nov-15 12:47:39

Her dad needs to speak to her about people treating each other with politeness and respect in the household. This should apply to everyone. Does he think it's ok for her to ignore and not speak to you while there?

Piratespoo Sat 14-Nov-15 13:08:44

Fantastic, yes, he does. We have had a many a conversation about it and he says he cannot make her speak to me. She has told many lies about me which he has half challenged, so I have given up. There is no point me speaking to her as she just blanks me, so I now do the same. I say hello if we happen to bump into each other on the stairs but she does not say hello when she arrives nor goodbye when she goes. As it does not affect him, my dh doesn't feel the effect of it.
Regarding the book, it was under another book on the kitchen top. She put it back but no, didn't ask if she could take it.

Thesearegoodtimes Sat 14-Nov-15 13:35:06

Has it always been like that? Do you have any inkling what may be the issue for her?

swingofthings Sat 14-Nov-15 13:53:14

Yeah, you are spot on, PRETTY. The fact that my dh didn't reply and complete ignored the topic doesn't help either.

Sounds like a typical man stuck between the two people he loves, who have both stubborn and won't consider seeing the situation from the other's one point of view. One is an adult, one is a child....

Personally, I think that buying this book and leaving in clear view for them to see - of course, not intended - was quite immature behaviour.

SurlyCue Sat 14-Nov-15 13:54:37

I find it interesting that her father feels it is ok to ignore her when he chooses. I wonder if her ignoring of you is a learned behavior. Personally i wouldnt and dont tolerate being ignored in my home so it doesnt happen. But if that is the example that is being set by her father then it is ambitious to expect her to conform to a higher standard than that which the adults are being held to.

swingofthings Sat 14-Nov-15 13:57:19

Ok, so not clear view, but still no need for it to be in the kitchen. Either way, probably considered to be there purposely.

The reality is that rightly or wrongly, she just doesn't like you. I agree with your OH, he can't make her do so. It's up to you whether you want to try to improve the situation by reaching towards her, or leave it as it is.

swingofthings Sat 14-Nov-15 13:58:39

Sometimes ignoring each other is the best that can be achieved when people reach the point they just don't like each other but have to share the same space.

SurlyCue Sat 14-Nov-15 14:02:44

Sometimes ignoring each other is the best that can be achieved when people reach the point they just don't like each other but have to share the same space.

Which is fine, but OP doesnt get to complain about the DSD doing it if thats what they do as a family. There cant be one rule for one and a different for others.

Wdigin2this Sat 14-Nov-15 14:17:35

I cannot believe that the unacceptable behaviour of 16 year old has been allowed to escalate to this level! The point about the book is lost in the enormity of your DSD's appalling manners, and I can't say I blame you for 'ignoring her back'...what the hell else can you, as a SM, do?
As for her DF, his lack of appropriate parenting is the cause of this situation, he should and must sit her down, and frankly tell her that everyone in the household has a right to be treated courteously! Whether she likes you or not, good manners should be a family rule. Nobody expects her to suddenly become your BFF, but common courtesies like hello, goodbye, please and thank you should be insisted on!
She'll be 18 soon enough, and if she still doesn't want to know you, she can make her own arrangements to se her DF away from you and your home!!!
Good luck!

Wdigin2this Sat 14-Nov-15 14:21:57

....oh, and her DF probably ignored her text, because his head is firmly stuck in the sand! 'If I don't think about it, it's not actually happening!' is an attitude DisneyDads generally display!

swingofthings Sat 14-Nov-15 14:27:34

We have no idea how it got to where it is now. Why assume that it is the SD whose behaviour is unacceptable when we have no idea how OP has been acting? It's always the same though here, if there is conflictual situation, it has to be cause by the the SC or/and the ex and a bit because of the NRP. It's of course never ever possibly anything to do with the SM.

purpledasies Sat 14-Nov-15 15:00:06

I've not read the book, but it's been mentioned on here and I gather one of the main messages is that it's OK and normal not to love your DSC as you would your own, and that step parenting is really tough. I can see why a somewhat immature and self-centreed 16 year old stepchild might find that a bit upsetting. She'll have read it as "your step mum doesn't love you and may not even like you much and finds you hard work" So she's asking for her dad's reassurance that that's not really the case.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sat 14-Nov-15 16:20:01

it is the veery nature of the step relationship that allows this to happen.

A DC who was ignoring a parent, or other blood relation who they lived with, such as a grandparent, would be supported very differently.

Can you imagine a resident grandparent saying that they take themselves off to their room when their teen grandchild is home, because the grandchild completely ignores them?

Or that DC sending a similar text to to a parent complaining about the book their grandparent is reading which discusses the nature of the grandchild-grandparent relationship?

I'm sure there a minority of homes in which it would be tolerated, but in most it would be addressed immediately, and the teen would be taught that their behaviour is not acceptable.

But in blended/step families, it's accepted as "just one of those things" and the adult who is being ignored is considered most accountable.

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