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Teenage DSD running rings around us

(24 Posts)
Louboutin37 Mon 18-Jan-16 13:45:27

The other half and I have been together for a long time, kids are happy with our relationship, live with their mum but OH has contact every other weekend.

Various occasions in the last few months where every time OH has disciplined DSD, her mother has been quick to take her side and reassure her that we're in the wrong, so I get the impression that she's not been used to being disciplined for years due to divorced parents.

I've spoken to her gently on several occasions about the way that she speaks to her dad, saying that I think the needs to be more considerate to his feelings (occasions of backchat, rudeness etc, nothing major). One such occasion was last weekend when she'd thrown some language at him and we spoke as a family about how that's not on and we expect a level of respect towards everyone (family or not) at all times.

This weekend she's done it again so I've mentioned it to her 121 and she's thrown her toys out of the pram on it. Her dad has backed me up completely (I wasn't aggressive or dictatorial about it, I just pointed out the incident) now she's telling he dad she doesn't want to see him this week and is witholding contact.

We're going to ride this one out as we feel that if we react to it then we're not showing her that we're serious. I should add again that this wasn't a bollocking by any stretch of the imagination, but I just feel that she's getting to the point where she's so used to getting her own way that she is trying to manipulate this situation to her advantage.

Does anyone else have experience of both parents falling into a gap on discipline and teenagers running rings around them? if so what did you do about it?

MeridianB Mon 18-Jan-16 14:11:34


How old is she? Is she the eldest?

What does your DH do/say when she is rude to him?

It seems to be the norm that where parents don't see eye the eye, one likes to undermine the other like her mum is doing.

Are the other children still visiting without her?

whatdoIget Mon 18-Jan-16 14:14:05

Shouldn't it be her dad that tells her off really? Why is he leaving it to you?

Louboutin37 Mon 18-Jan-16 14:16:24

You're spot on there, him and the mum don't get on at all so there is a bit of a popularity contest going on there as far as the kids are concerned.

DSD is 15, her brother is still coming to us next week so that's fine.

Him and I both mentioned it to her at the time and took part in the discussion, I then pointed out the additional incident. OH does all the disciplining normally, this was a first, hence the sulk I think

Bagpussss Mon 18-Jan-16 14:21:25

It's down to her Dad to pull her up on her rudeness, maybe back off and let him deal with his Daughter.

Louboutin37 Mon 18-Jan-16 14:28:32

In all fairness though, this wasn't even pulling her up. It was showing an example. I don't think that should be unreasonable should it?

Cleensheetsandbedding Mon 18-Jan-16 14:35:32

Hi op, I was on the other side.

It was my dd that was speaking to me like shite and Dh (step dad) pulled her on it. It was when he was giving her a lift somewhere and he mentioned things were tense and she was being out of order.

She didn't like it but she lived with us so it was a case of sucking it up. Tbh it didn't really help.

I was so fed up with her I didn't mind either.

Keep the door open and just ride it out.

Wdigin2this Mon 18-Jan-16 15:28:18

Yes of course it should be her DF disciplining her, but when she's in your home eow, it just doesn't always pan out like that does it? At this age she will be trying out her manipulative powers, and will if not checked, push it as far as she can! I would suggest, everytime she is rude to her DF, he tells her he will not respond to rudeness, he will not answer her, and will only discuss, whatever the problem is, when she is prepared to speak to him in a normal courteous manner. Also, if she is rude directly to you, you should be able to say exactly the same!

NanaNina Mon 18-Jan-16 15:33:18

Excellent post Wdiggin - also I wouldn't do anything - if she chooses to come so be it, if not, so be it. I think she's in a power struggle with you and DH and waiting to see who will give in. Don't play the game.

Alwayscheerful Mon 18-Jan-16 15:43:24

At 15 children or should I say young people often have their own agenda and find it inconvenient to spend time in two homes, might DSD be using this as an excuse to do her own thing? Is there a new boyfriend or a new group of friends on the scene?

Louboutin37 Mon 18-Jan-16 16:50:10

I think you've got it there Wdigin! OH is very good with picking his battles wisely, but recently there's been a lot of behaviour that's slid, including the usual stuff like leaving a trail of devastation everywhere she goes, being demanding, shouting and answering back so I've asked him to start to pull her into line a bit (I've stayed well out of it.)

She has a new boyfriend but if she stays at her mums the chances are she won't see him, I suspect she's saying she won't see her dad to get him to cave (this has worked before) this time he's told her that's fine.

My feeling is that between her mum and her dad she's become a master manipulator but I'm not allowed to voice an opinion as a step mum am I?

Bananasinpyjamas1 Mon 18-Jan-16 18:39:39

Ignore your DSDs threats - it's OK to say things to kids in your own house directly.

I've had my DSD refuse contact because I'd asked her to be considerate. She refused to come weekends.

Bluelilies Mon 18-Jan-16 18:55:39

I think with back chat and general stroppyness you really do need to pick it up at the time it's said, and if it's her dad she's rude to he needs to put her swiftly in her place. Then move on and forget about it and try if you can to have some nice positive interaction with her - watch something she likes on tv maybe. Much better than appealing to her to be more considerate.

We have a lot of issues right now with DH and his ex both failing to discipline teenage DSC. The best thing by far, if you can help facilitate it, is for your DH to have a constructive chat with his ex about how best to handle her. Frame it around swapping techniques and being consistent between homes and preventing a divide and conquer approach from DSD. Chances are she's srroppy and difficult with her mum too at times.

Gildo Mon 18-Jan-16 21:31:38

Of course you can discipline dsc in your home! Your home your rules and I would not accept anybody being rude it cheeky to me or Dp in our home and if either dsc threatened not to come to visit then so be it. I would not be blackmailed in my own home

Wdigin2this Mon 18-Jan-16 22:00:28

I would agree, if she says she's not coming, (for whatever reason) then just let it go until the next time! Trust me, she'll be back when she wants something....they always do!

Louboutin37 Sun 31-Jan-16 09:38:30

Thanks gildo, I agree! And so does the OH. In fact things have escalated this week where the little madam has said that she refuses to do what either of us tell her so it's not just me.

Interestingly this week she did something that OH instantly responded to, it was on social media and totally unacceptable for a girl of her age (OH monitors it, DSD's mum doesn't). DSD's response was "mum says it's ok so you can't do anything".

We sincerely doubt that the mum will be ok with it but she "doesn't do" social media so she's incapable of dealing with it. OH has left it in her hands now. There's only so many times my OH can cope with being the bad guy and until the mum starts to parent her child, neither of them have a hope of disciplining DSD between them.

Wdigin2this Sun 31-Jan-16 11:19:21

That's so often the problem, one or other of the parents doesn't want to be the 'bad guy' so it turns into a popularity contest! Can't really blame the kids for taking advantage of the situation! But it's so wrong in so many ways!!!

Louboutin37 Sun 31-Jan-16 12:56:30

Yep! DSD is totally taking advantage so we've tried to be a bit strategic in this scenario and inform the mum about the incident. OH has said "I'm not happy, I need your take on it as DSD says it's OK". That was on Thursday, no response from her yet. So very often they seem to be in a buck passing arrangement so we're trying to encourage some co parenting. I think that's the only way forward

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sun 31-Jan-16 13:43:02

Good luck with it! It's ideal if both parents cooperate, such a shame that this rarely happens.

Maybe I'm old school but I think it's hard in the long term for kids if they aren't given good boundaries. My DP and ex also compete for best parent, and their mum totally undermined me. One teenager is still really rude to everyone, and doesn't bother with DP or me anymore. She's totally turned her back on her half brother (our son) because visiting me and DP is too much effort for her. It breeds self absorbed adults.

Louboutin37 Sun 31-Jan-16 14:09:53

It's really frustrating! I'm a fan of the tough approach as is my OH, and I do have to stand back a lot and bite my tongue, but we're there now as well. Because DSD can sulk for Britain my OH is losing out on his weekends with her.

DSD's mum permanently undermines the ex, in this scenario she can't possibly have investigated as she'd hit the roof if she knew what had happened. And in this scenario she's been jumping in and slagging me off (children have told me) which I want to stop right now.

Totally unreasonable behaviour on her part (and not something I have ever done in front of her children). So we're treading very carefully from now on

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sun 31-Jan-16 16:53:42

I just don't understand parents that allow their kids to refuse to go to a parent, just because things don't go their way. It's such a horrible manipulation to learn.

Louboutin37 Sun 31-Jan-16 18:53:12

It really is. I read a funny article today called the "golden uterus". Loads of points there that mirrored what we're seeing now about how the mother acts in her own interests to manipulate the kids. It did hint that co-parenting is a lost cause in that instance so I guess we'll just have to manage this the best way we can.

The reality of this development this weekend is that DSD has put herself in real danger of a) being singled out in the playground as being very provocative in her post publicly and b) it's not age appropriate. She also has a public profile on that account with numerous followers that we think are not in her best interests (gun toting 35 year old man in another continent for example), but all advice is falling on deaf ears because mum sees this as a brownie point scoring exercise.

But because OH has confronted DSD this weekend, she is now "considering her options" for next weekend and has asked if we're still doing the thing that I'm potentially forking out for the whole family to do. I refuse to be held to ransom in this way and neither does OH so everything is on hold whilst mum sits back and laps it all up. Grrrr!

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sun 31-Jan-16 20:22:19

At least you aren't bending over backwards to DSD because she's withholding contact.

Louboutin37 Sun 31-Jan-16 21:13:31

We had been, but sussed that one out after a few painful episodes. Major respect to all the step mums on here, it's a minefield!

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