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stroppy and disruptive teen, brewing issues for future child? Sorry it's a long one.

(6 Posts)
scruffymomma Mon 20-Aug-07 14:41:47

DSD is 15 but thinks she's 25. Time is split equally between her mum and her dad and me.
At her core, she is charming, funny and intelligent but recently has become increasingly difficult, rude, lazy and selfish. Pretty standard teenage behaviour really. She readily admits to being selfish but thinks this is her right as she is a teenager.

recently she's started displaying really quite worrying behaviour which I don't think is being helped by the very different approaches of her parents.

e.g instead of asking permission to go out with her friends who are all 18+ she tells us some crap on a Saturday night and just doesn't reappear until teatime on Sunday, totally wrecked and just takes whatever punishment is handed out and slopes off to bed.

Aside from obvious welfare and safety issues which are completely meaningless to her, I think it's very indicative of her attitude towards life in general at the moment. She flunked most of her GCSE mocks despite teachers telling us she is capable of A/Bs provided she does some work. NONE of this is getting through to her - she regularly tells us that her social life is the more important than school work, that she has no intention of lifting a finger to help around the house and doesn't care how much her weekly overnight absences might worry her parents.

As her stepmum - albeit a regularly new one - part of this behaviour just infurates me, she's really hard to live with just now. But I'm really concerned about her, the fact that all of her friends are older, she feels such disconnection with home life, she has such little problem lying etc.

As my DH has regularly mentioned, he also thinks the fact the he and her mum have very different parenting styles doesn't help. Mum is very reluctant to punish incase it pushes her away, dad is happy to punish but I don't feel he's spending enough time with her - in neutral, non shouty mode.

DSD complains to me in private of not feeling understood, listened to or allowed to do what she wants. She sees herself as being very mature but displays some really worryingly childlike attitudes towards things - I know she is still a child but she thinks she's capable of looking after herself on the streets on London all night with no contact.

now I know that I am not yet a parent and don't want to become some kind of psuedo parent (last thing she needs is another parent) but does anyone have any experience of this or any suggestions of something useful that I could do? other than bang head against wall that is.

I'm 11 wks pg myself and DSD doesn't yet know. I'm not expecting a good response from her (she has forewarned of this) and am very worried that this stuff will have long term parenting issues for me and DH with new babe - I am from a background where I would be much stricter and involved with DSD if she were mine, e.g I have NO intention of allowing our child to swear, something DSD is allowed to do freely.

DH has got 15 years of experience in parenting compared with my 2 years of knowing DSD so I don't feel equipped to be offering "helpful advice" ifswim

Sorry this is a long un' just feeling a bit useless at what is a sad and v.frustrating situation.

lucyellensmum Mon 20-Aug-07 15:24:59

your DSD sounds like my daughter. Do be prepared for some issues surrounding the new baby. I have a 15 year gap and it has not been without its problems. But, do take heart, she confides in you, so you must be doing something right. The attitude, try your damndest to ignore it (easier said than done) i think it is hardwired into most teenagers. I think you should be more of a "friend" than disciplinarian to your DSD, that way she wont be resentful of you etc and you may just be able to weedle out of her necessary secrets etc etc. Try and involve her with new baby but dont be surprised if she is reticent as my DD is very jealous of her little sister. It is very easy to think, i wont be doing XYZ with my new baby, i thought all those things about DD1 and the same about DD2, i have age and experience on my side this time around but i bet im having similar problems with her when she is going through those really terrible teenage years. Cut her some slack, she has hormones and lots of changes to deal with just now. I had to really take a step back with parenting my DD1, to the extent i have become much more lenient than i want to be. She too stuffed her GCSEs but i let her chose re college etc and she is back on track. She still winds me the hell up and i could literally bash her head sometimes, she has given us a really hard time, but she is 17 now and touch wood, seems to be surfacing from the mire.

I really admire how you are trying to remain a positive influence in this young lady's life, but she is not your DD after all and if you try and be her mum, i suspect she will throw it back in your face.

scruffymomma Mon 20-Aug-07 15:38:36

thanks lucyellensmum, i realised when reading this back that there's not actually too much I can do. Spose DSD's communication with me is better than nothing and she knows I wont go running off to her dad unless it's important.

teenagers are teenagers e.g a total nightmare at times, I expect no less from my own ds/dd in 12-13 years time! at least I'll have some kind of experience to look back on.

Has anyone had experience of breaking pregnancy news to a step teenager - any advice?

law3 Tue 21-Aug-07 16:22:08

I think you hit the nail on the head with one parent punishing and the other not. Children/teenagers need to be set clear expectations and punishments.

Is there no way all the adults could get together and set some rules and punishments that they could all apply before its too late?

fizzbuzz Wed 22-Aug-07 14:43:53

Scruffymomma, we had a new baby with teenage step children.

Little reaction at first, and then when dd arrived, total infatuation,they won't leave her alone. In fact they are fantastic with her. They are boys though.........

1357 Sat 01-Sep-07 21:39:47

theres a 16 yr gap between my son and stepson. at first it was bad but now they are really close-msn all the time DS is 14 but it did take some years to realy settle down

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