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AIBU for refusing to look after my partner's daughter(41 Posts)
My partner's daughter is 13 y/o. She was originally living with him after being took off her mom when she was 3. We moved into our own flat last year and she has been coming and going as she pleases since then. At the beginning of this year we found out she was self harming and saying that she wanted to die and hated her life. She was referred to CAMHS and was seeing them through school. She has been staying with my partner's mom and dad by her choice and them letting her and coming back to us when she wants to/is sent for one reason or another. She came back at the beginning of the week as my partner's aunt came to stay with his mom and dad and they didn't have room for everyone. She stayed one night and then went back to their house. I had bought a new pair of jeans (expensive for me) however they didn't fit so I planned to take them back and exchange them for the next size. The next day they had gone from the chair I had left them on ready to go back. I asked my partner to ask his daughter if she had picked them up by mistake and she said no. We have both looked for them everywhere and couldn't find them so he rang his mom and asked if she could check whether his daughter had them. She checked and it turned out she had even though she had previously denied it. It turns out that she has been stealing other things and lying about it. Am I being unreasonable in refusing to have her in my house when she is lying and stealing and refusing to look after her by myself when he is at work? I do not trust a word that comes out of her mouth and am worried that it is not just us she is stealing from but other people and possibly even shops.
The poor girl sounds like she needs boudaries and stability! Not being allowed to come and go as she pleases!
You can't cut her out over a pair of frigging JEANS!
YABU, she's still a child and you need to work though the problems with your DP and her. Not just chuck her out
You are going to have to separate then aren’t you, your partner can’t just shrug his shoulders of his very damaged 13 year old. He really got a prize with you didn’t he!
Wow, please leave your partner so that his poor daughter doesn't have you as an influence in her life.
Yes she shouldn't have taken them, yes she shouldn't have lied but there's obviously some deep seated issues there and she needs help and support, not shutting out.
Yes, YABU massively unreasonable.
If she was your own child you wouldn't even contemplate this, you'd want to know why she was behaving like this and help her through it.
My SD stole toiletries and similar from me (albeit she was younger) I couldn't have cared less, it was a symptom of how she was feeling and no more.
I'm not understanding how a 13 year old can 'come and go as she pleases' either.
Ffs she's a child. Sounds like she doesn't even have a proper home now you think you can kick her out. If your partner is any kind of decent human he will be leaving you.
Poor girl. Sounds like no one wants her or puts themselves out for her.
YABU. You're partner comes with a child who is clearly in distress. No one is asking you to be her mother, but you should be pitching in and helping. If not then leave as they are better off dealing with the problems without you.
She has been absolutely fine for the last 10 years living with him and we have been together for 8 years and never had any issues until early this year. We have got her all the help we can that is out there offered and then some. I - out of my own money - have spent thousand's of pounds on seeking private psychological help for her which she has thrown back in our faces. I have done more for this child that her mother ever has. I do not have my own children and have treated her like my own and have had everything practically spat on. When I try and set boundaries for her she goes running back to her grandparents who make me feel like an ogre for taking her mobile phone off her as a punishment. She gets her own way with her grandparents and when she is with her dad and me the slightest thing she is told about she gets on to them and they get on to us about it.
Oh well if you'd said that you'd spent thousands of pounds on counselling that would have been different. Damn right she should be grateful to you for that. Not repaying you by self harming. Cheeky madam. Who does she think she is with multiple MH issues....
Parenting is tough sometimes. You are a step parent. You don't get to cut your step child off, anymore than you can cut your own child off.
Bottom line if you can't be supportive of your step daughter or tolerate her around, you need to leave her father.
She sounds as if she's very troubled! Steeling is probably for attention. She needs a stable home and environment!
So things started to go wrong after you moved in together? What do you mean by 'coming and going as she pleased'. 12yo don't come and go as they come. They have a house they call home with people they call parents or carers.
It's hard to get a clear idea of the arrangement from what you've described, but it comes about as if nobody really wants her and she doesn't have a fixed place to call home. If that's the case, are you really surprised that she has turned up a disturbed child?
You say you paid £100s of pounds in psychological support, how is this her problem? Her parents should be paying for that, if they haven't and relied on you to do so, then it is them who are accountable to you, not a poor 13yo.
So she stole your trousers. Yes you are right to be angry, and yes, you can decide that you don't want to be with her alone, but refuse her to come to YOUR house? Isn't YOUR house also HER house. Clearly not, and by that, you got the answer as to why she is stealing.
You are NOT being unreasonable!
She's a thief and a liar and all the excuses in the world don't justify that behaviour.
What consequences will her dad/grandparents be putting in place to deal with this?
I suggest you put a lock on your bedroom door so she can't access your personal stuff.
Marrying her dad doesn't automatically mean you have to be a parent to her/do
unpaid childcare - especially if you are not being given the authority to set boundaries/discipline her.
You're not a doormat so don't turn into one.
I agree with HeebieJeebies456
You do not have to put up with this in your home. If she can not be trusted when alone with you and you feel uncomfortable, then do not look after her on your own.
I would suggest a schedule between her grandparents and you is agreed to cover times her father is not there. She will be starting her GCSE studies in the next year or so, therefore it is important to get a routine going.
I've been fortunate that my children have never stolen from me and I've never stolen from my parents BUT I was fortunate that I've never felt in need, neither have my kids.
My best friend however has just gone through the same thing. The difference is that it is her son. He stole £100 from her purse. Frankly, I'm not surprised at all! He has just turn 16 and has low self-esteem and has always seemed desperate to be accepted by his peers and like them. He's very materialist and seems to think that to be respected, he needs to have the latest things. His parents, I feel, are very hard on him. He doesn't get any pocket money, he only gets a few £££ if he does extra work -in addition to normal chores- and when he turned 16, he was told that he wouldn't get anything at all because he could just get a job. As far as I believe, he has tried, but as we know, not easy at 16, and his issues with self-esteem doesn't help.
Anyway, it has turned out that he stole the £100 to buy the latest FIFA Xbox game. Supposedly, when he broke down in tears and admitted it, he said that 5 boys got together and they decided to randomly select who would be the one buying it (and something around that others could then access it, I don't get these things) and he got selected (which we all suspect might not have been so random at all). He was desperate to make them happy and be fully accepted in the group and had hoped to quickly get a job and get some money. Of course that didn't happen, they pressured him, and that's how he got to steal the money (the rest spent on pizzas to celebrate when they got the game).
My friend was furious and very upset, but being mum, telling him that he couldn't come in HER house wasn't even a consideration. After some shouting and screaming, they talked and the above came out. They have agreed that she was going to help him with job applications, walking into shops etc.. and he will repay with a big cut of his pay. She is also taking him to the GP to hopefully sign him up for some counselling to work on his self-esteem.
Sorry for the long post, but I have found this thread so sad. Most kids who steal do so because of some MH problems, which often come from issues at home. It's easy for SM to talk about THEIR house, but it rarely is so, it's usually at best their and their partner's house, and by proxy, their SCs house too. That kid seem to have nowhere to call home, nowhere to get proper parenting, yet OP seems to consider herself as the victim...
Well that's the whole issue isn't it, Swing. This situation is not the same as your friend's at all. The OP is being expected to put up with this behaviour but is not allowed to parent the child.
Op is a victim. She doesn't feel safe in her home. Her stuff is being taken and she is being lied to on regular basis. Its NOT up to her to sort out whatever SD is going through. That girl has 2 parents that have parental responisibility and they have to deal with thier childs issues.
The fact that OP has fallen in love with somebody with a child doesn't mean she has to be a mother figure to that child. Its still parents responsibility to parent and in my experiance children want that, not dads or mums partner.
Op you are NOT unreasonable. Your DH has to step up here and take responsibility for his child and her actions.
It seems a strange set up that your SC lives with your partner's parents but gets shipped out when an aunt comes to stay. The girl obviously has issues but is turfing out an emotionally vulnerable young girl really the way to go. Surely the absolutely first thing you do for a troubled teen is make a safe, stable sanctuary. It seems like she's been shunted around people her whole life
So all the issues started when you and her dad moved in?
It's not YOUR house, it's yours and your partners, and by extension hers as well. ATM the kid has no actual home, just passed from pillar to post.
Jesus wept. Using the word victim in relation to the actions of a clearly distressed young woman.
What does her father say?
Poor poor OP, she was lied to and had a pair jean -later recovered- stolen. That is much much more traumatic than a 13 yo saying that they hated their life and wanted to die. How dare feeling sympathy for the child rather than the poor SM who should get all her needs and desires met immediately at the cost of that horrible child.
And then we wonder why some SCs end up with mental health issues when they are faced with his attitude year on year. The selfishness of some women is beyond belief. if you cannot cope with a troubled and distressed teenager stealing once, then do everyone a favour and go and find a relationship where you can be as selfish as you wish without hurting a vulnerable child.
Swing your friend is her son's mum and that's the difference. She has power as his parent to resolve the issues that are bothering him and therefore isn't relying on other people (ie his parents) to resolve things.
The op is in a more difficult situation. Her sd has stolen something that belongs to her but her parents aren't doing anything about it. The op is frustrated with this, so that's why she would rather not be on her own with her. Not saying that's definitely the right way to go about it but I think the worst people in this are the girl's parents for doing sweet fa.
SD is clearly going through a difficult time. That's not the point here. The point is that its not OP who had caused it and its not OPs responsibility to fix it.
You don't mention this girls parents swing..They are the selfish ones here and its up to them to deal with their child!!
And OP doesn't want her possessions stolen from her in her home, hardly selfish and equating to wanting "all needs and desires met".
What majority of women who never been in SMs role fail to grasp is that SC rarely want SM involvement and "help" or only in a very limited way. Natural parents almost always take percedence as they should but with the loyality and love from DC comes responsibility. SM doesn't get that love and loyality but she also doesn't have that responsibility.
It's not SM role to fill for natural parents short comings. I really don't get why SM gets the blame when its clear parents don't do their job properly!