Help me with my step daughter??(21 Posts)
Hey everyone, I'm finding it really hard ATM to be a step parent. I think I need some professional help but wanted to ask advice from others also. I have been married to my husband for awhile now and I have a son myself and he has two kids a boy 15 whom I get along with great we have a really good relationship, and a daughter who is 8, my husband works away a lot and I have the kids full time all the time, it's been about 6 months now that I have been getting annoyed at everything the daughter does she calls me mum, as her mum up and left them. but she won't listen to me, the rules I set she always breaks every time husband is away we clash as she will dance around when I say it's bed time, or if I say something she will always argue with me over anything, I have tried rewards and charts and she used to listen when husband was home, now not so much either. I have tried to discuss this with husband but he just says she's had it tough and that's why she is like she is. She knows this and minipulates people around her so she is able to act like a baby with baby talk and crying etc, I used to comfort and love her now I just see an act and feel I need to get her out of this behaviour. Our sons even say they hate her ( I know this is normal sibling stuff) but she has no friends at school as she is horribly bossy and pushy and a know it all.
I want the best for her and I don't want her to cry all the time because she had no friends and I try telling her to stop pushing people, I have had her in counselling for last 12 months, as she was eating blu tac and stealing stuff from other kids bags and from family members and also caught her stealing from the shop once, I took her straight down to the police station and made her go give the chocolates back to the shop and apologise. I just can't bond with her anymore when I have a beautiful son who misses out on so much because she is so naughty. How do I stop resenting her???? Please help I don't want to leave my husband because he makes me so happy but she is making me so depressed 😞
I understand that when your husband works away, you are essentially a single Mum of 3 children. And 2 of them you've not had much time to bond with. And this in itself is very challenging and must be difficult on yourself. It's lovely that you have a heart big enough to extend to other children who need it, not just your bio son.
May I ask how long you two have been together in total?
But I must point out that some of the language you use indicates your feelings towards this little girl in your care.
Firstly: "minipulates people around her so she is able to act like a baby with baby talk and crying etc, I used to comfort and love her now I just see an act and feel I need to get her out of this behaviour".
She is NOT manipulating you. She is a vulnerable little human, who's mother has abandoned her. You have stepped into that role, and amazingly she has reached out to even start calling you "Mum". With her mother abandoning her, her father absent most of the time, no friends at school and the only other guardian she encounters is a person who resents her. It must be scary, upsetting, un secure and lonely for this little girl.
Secondly: "Our sons even say they hate her ( I know this is normal sibling stuff) but she has no friends at school as she is horribly bossy and pushy and a know it all". - It is NOT normal for your biological son and her teenage (15) brother to say they hate her. This sounds like it's become acceptable to criticise and assassinate the character of this little girl in your house hold. I'm sorry to say, but this will have been initiated from you and it's your job to make sure none of the children are saying such hurtful and horrid, cold things about each other.
Thirdly " I just can't bond with her anymore when I have a beautiful son who misses out on so much because she is so naughty".
From this sentence, the resentment is clear. You resent her existence and you're upset that you have to spend any time on her that could be spent on your bio son. Which is heartbreaking to hear and I fear for the little girl.
It's in the little girls and the father's best interests if they involved family to help care for her or maybe a new step Mum who can extend her love as it will be extremely damaging for this little girl to live a lifestyle where nobody respects and cares for her. Every child deserves to feel loved, looked after and not made to feel a burden and rejected by their own parents.
You have this child full time, she calls you Mum, her bio Mum is no longer around. She is no longer a 'step child' she is your child. She is just as important as your bio child, if not more at this current time because of the awful issues she's facing in terms of being abandoned by her mother and brought up by another who resents her.
If you can not treat her equally then please for the sake of this little girl, move on and find a man who doesn't have children.
If you're so unhappy and crying all the time, this isn't good for your bio son either.
The way you deal with things sounds quite harsh. Yes she needs rules, boundaries and consistency. But marching an 8 year old to the police-station for steeling chocolates way ott. Returning the chocolate and a punishment at home would have been enough.
She's so young, mums walked out, dad works away and she is in therapy and being raised by her step mum. It sounds like both of you need her dad to be at home more because this setup isn't fair on you or her.
Hi Maddie , you are doing a wonderful job of being the full time parent. It is upsetting when your children are defiant, and can feel like an overwhelming task trying to fairly but firmly taddress all issues.
Maybe try to remember that when your Step DD is acting out that this is your step daughter not coping. How does she feel about being called step daughter ? Could you try calling her your honorary daughter instead of step daughter? Maybe do something for 1/2 hour daily , just you & her together, like baking, gardening, craft, whatever? Does your Ds have an earlier bedtime? If the other brothers are feelkng upset with her , has she been assessdd for traits of ADHD that could be reason behind her inappropriate ( stealing, lying) oppositional behaviours ?
Thankyou for some input and understanding, I understand that i am it for her and this is why I am feeling so much pressure we have been together for 4 years, and I make sure that she gets one on one time with me and in no way allow the boys to be nasty to her, they have spoken to other family members about disliking her not directly to me. And this said family member has told them that's not the case and reported back to me. I have since spoken to them about it and stressed we are a family unit and we support each other not put each other down, I do make time for her even more than the boys she cooks and helps me in the kitchen almost every night, I have told her to wake up every morning and look at herself in the mirror and tell herself she is loved she is wanted and she is beautiful, as I understand she would feel abandoned and this is why the issues are there. Yes I'm stern and we have rules but that's my kind of parenting I do make sure that I am very fair and everything is very even between the three kids.
Are the boys rese tful due to not being able to trust her or dus to feeling she gets more o e to one time?
An you factor in a break from full time parenting and look at part time work
She steals their pocket money and things and I have had to lock things away and just make bank accounts for them for there pocket money, I also work full time as a community support worker, I know I sound horrible but I really do try,
You should discuss with your husband how this is making you feel. My ex husbands partner recently up and left him after having his baby because she couldn't deal with the fact that he had my children to consider too who are 12 and 9 both girls. As a woman you can't win as that's your assumed role whether you like it or not but being a step parent is hard. It's not for everyone. Talk to your husband and try and find a solution together. Maybe he can find a job closer to home?
I found my boy's wallets in my daughters draw once when she was around same age She said she had taken them all as a trick but was very guilty and ashamed. At first I was shocked and called her out for it and she was made to apologise to the boys.,I have to admit although horrified, I did have aquiet giggle aa three boy's wallets in a little girl's drawer was not what I expected Sometimes you gotta laugh There have not been any further instances. At the time we spoke at length with her about her intentions and what happens to people who steal. she was so ashamed and the boys were so very cross.
She is doing everything shje can to make you reject her as that is what her mom did. So its so important that you give her a clear message that you are not going to reject her. If she was your own dd you wouldn't have that choice and you don't here either. Her dad needs to be home. He has to change jobs. This is not fair to her or you.
Play therapy might be good for her. My heart breaks for her..poor mite. But love will break through. Just love her.
She's 8 years old and you took her to the police station?
8 is still so little
What a position you've been put into. In the end, you've got a girl who is emotionally damaged, because of a mum who left her and a dad who is not much present either. You are the only adult stability in her life, it's no surprise she is both incredible attached and clingy to you, whilst at the same time lashing out at you.
I'm sure if your OH works away, it is because he has to to support the family, but he can't hold on to this thought to allow himself to think that it is ok that he leaves most of the responsibility of the dealing with the matter to you. It sounds like he is burying his head in the sand that it really is a matter that HE needs to tackle rather than relying on you to do so because it's easier for him.
Your OH needs to wake up and take action. It is not going to go away, it is not going to get better by being an observer to it. Yes you've taken on his family, but that doesn't absolve himself from his role and that is to take matters in his hands when his children are poorly, and his daughter clearly is.
Thankyou for your advise and wise words, I will explain the police station,
After three times stealing from shops and having iPad taken from her etc as punishment nothing was working after discussion with a friend who is a police officer he told me to bring her down he sat with her and explained all the things that I had ie that she wouldn't like someone to take things from our home etc and someone has had to work hard to earn these things, he was great with explaining things to her at a child's level, so no it wasn't take her down for lock up, as it may seem, he was actually great and she hasn't taken anything from a shop since.
I have said to my husband he needs to have one on one time with her and it's hard as we all want to see him on the few hours on a Saturday that he is here, but long hours in a truck means not a lot of time for a girl desperate for attention, I agree he needs a new job but at this stage we are not able to.
She is no longer a 'step child' she is your child
I disagree with this. Living with her full time die a not change the relationship.
OP..the fact that she is having problems at school as well indicate it isn't personal towards you.
Has she improved since she's been in counselling?
I think you're doing your best in a not so great situation.
Well I'm also a police officer and I still think it was a pretty horrid thing to do.
Basically, your DH needs to find a more local job, so he's there on a daily basis, and can parent with you....end of!
You need to google 'Abandonment' and how a child is affected when they are abandoned by their mother. It ain't good. She needs councelling.
Your husband expects too much.
I think she is manipulating you. She’s 8. She’s learning bad ways to cope and your husband is enabling her.
That’s not to say this is her fault, it’s not. There’s probably a lovely girl in there. It’s not your fault either, and by being more structured you are doing her a favour.
Your DSD needs boundaries.
You need to be able to parent her backed up by DP and have less stress.
A) telling your DP you need less time as a SM.
B) telling him your parenting stands and you will not change it.
C) get your DP to take his DD to activities to give you a break and show them both group and social skills.
I think this is a very hard situation for this little girl.
Both her parents have abandoned her.
Can you imagine OP how she felt that her mum has gone and now her dad too? She can't verbalise it but she is pushing your boundaries, trying to get attention and also to see if you will leave her too?
I think she needs professional help - and her dad needs to come back and look after her properly.
You have had some really harsh comments. I recently wrote a post and said that i resented my step daughter so I should also get an ear bashing!
The person who commented 'maybe a new step Mum who can extend her love' this comment is totally harsh, being a step mum full time is an absolutely thankless task sometimes and unfortunately unconditional love is difficult to form when a child is being so ungrateful and difficult. (No matter how 'mature' the adult is acting)
As a step parent we should 'rise above the behaviour' but we are humans, and we have feelings that cant be turned on and off unfortunately. Being a step mum is hard, you didnt plan for it to be your life and although your feeling like this now i totally understand how hard it is to walk away, I never could even on the worst of step-parenting days. Its all well and good people saying your husband needs to change jobs but thats not always an option. you didnt make your sd how she is, lack of relationship with her mother at such an early age effects a child from the off.
I saw a councillor regarding how i felt about my sd because i do love her with all my heart but sometimes i resent how she is towards me considering how much i do for her.
If stealing is an issue i dont think the police station was harsh, i think it shows when something is wrong you mean business.
I dont know what to suggest other than TRY to bite the bullet and even when you dont feel like being nice just smile and try and show her affection.
People are so quick to judge without realising how bloody hard step parenting full time is!!
I have always found that treating any positive and good behaviours as worthy of praise, while largely (unless dangerous) ignoring or with minimal disproving comment any non-desirably behaviour seems to work well for me. So anytime she is being nice or even just ok, I would comment approvingly how nice it is to have such a lovely daughter. I'd seek to praise anything positive. In time I would find far more of the ok/good behaviour and far less of the not so nice.
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