Step daughter calling me "mean"

(102 Posts)
JELH3 Mon 06-Apr-20 20:27:54

Hi all
I've been with my SO now for 4.5 years. We have a 2 year old together. He has two daughters aged 12 and 7. I've always had a great relationship with both of them. Always left the discipline to their dad, played with them tirelessly, created shops and other games for them every time they came, sneaked extra chocolate to them.

I found out a couple of hours ago that my partner's 7 year old has told her mum that she no longer wants to come over cause I am "mean". My partner said he has NEVER witnessed this and she told her mum that I'm only mean when daddy isn't around. Apparently his 12 year old backed her up. I've been in tears ever since. I've never been even close to "mean" to either of them. We've always had a lovely and loving relationship and to suggest that I am only when my SO isn't around is deeply upsetting for me. The truth is, in fact, I can count on one hand only the amount of times I've been alone with the kids. If one of us needs to go out when they're around, it's always me and I leave my SO at home with the kids.

I'm shellshocked and deeply upset. I have a good relationship (up until now) with their mother so I know it isn't coming from her.

My SO is suggesting I should somehow apologise to 7 yr old. For what ?? This sounds entirely unreasonable of me but quite frankly, I don't want to speak to either of them (childish I know but it's the way i feel) . Apparently she has gone home and told her maternal family that I have been mean before.

SO and I now not speaking. He can't seem to understand how I feel.


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Lynda07 Mon 06-Apr-20 20:34:37

This is so sad. I wonder why the child said what she did, backed up by the elder one. It makes me think they are scheming about something, JELH3.

Your SO (whatever that is :-)), really should back you up, he must know you're telling the truth. However I have a feeling it will just blow over.

Chin up and move on. The worst thing you can do is look and behave as though you're aggrieved.


nellythenarwhal Mon 06-Apr-20 20:36:47

My kids would say I was mean if I told them to turn off their gadgets and clean their messy room. For them it's like a code for "pissed me off" iyswim. I think your h needs to delve deeper and find out what she means.

Are the rules at the two houses wildly different?

Does dsd have an incentive to stay home?

Is this getting her a lot of attention that she's lacking because somethings changed at home?

You can't apologize for something that you don't know about. As a loving stepmother you need to know what she's annoyed about so you don't repeat the mistake.

JELH3 Mon 06-Apr-20 20:40:56

Thank you Lynda 07. That makes me feel a little better. I feel so upset by it all not helped by the fact I am not getting any support from their father. He will continue to blame me for them not wanting to come over for contact as thinks that me giving them an olive branch will change their mind. But I haven't done anything wrong. I feel so aggrieved by their accusation . Thanks again

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champagneandfromage50 Mon 06-Apr-20 20:41:50

Absolutely no way I would be apologising for something I don't believe I did. I would step back and not be left with your step children ever again

Windyatthebeach Mon 06-Apr-20 20:42:22

Maybe they think they should have an easy ride at your house and feel that in no way can their df possibly be making any rules so it must be you....

JKScot4 Mon 06-Apr-20 20:42:36

What exactly are you meant to have said/done? I’d be asking that, if 12 year old is backing her up she capable of an explaination.


LittleMcJiggle Mon 06-Apr-20 20:48:25

He should not be insisting you apologise, he should be finding out why she's said it and backing you up if he believes it not to be true. You apologising for something you haven't done is no good for anyone, even the children, it teaches them nothing.

I agree with PP, my SC have probably said I'm mean before because I've asked them to tidy their rooms or something similar but of course, I'm not. It's kids twisting because it was something they didn't want to do. Could it be something like this?

I can completely understand why you're so upset, I would be too especially when you've made the effort to form such a good bond with them previously. My DH absolutely would stand up for me in this situation so you really need to be talking to yours. He needs to find out what they are actually referring to, it will probably be something silly and small.

JELH3 Mon 06-Apr-20 20:49:28

Thanks nelly.
He didn't delve deeper. I only wish he had said to his ex it is a load of tosh, I have only ever been kind and caring and leave it at that but instead he has to have length convo with ex, then speak to the girls individually... like a full on investigation over nothing.
Then he comes home suggesting I should be the one with the olive branch as no matter what I've done or not done, the child has interpreted me as "mean" so I should accept that and let it go.
I ain't the type to do this and he knows it.

My mum thinks it is jealousy. Both our household and here mum's have new babies. She thinks it is an attention seeking ploy. She may be right.
Are 7 yr olds capable of manipulation though?

OP’s posts: |
JKScot4 Mon 06-Apr-20 20:53:08

Absolute NO to apologising!
Then the kids think they can make unfounded accusations, it’s a dangerous precedent to set.
Your DP needs to have your back and get an explaination.

nellythenarwhal Mon 06-Apr-20 20:54:50

It wasn't a fruitful conversation if your h couldn't find out what had annoyed his girls.

Toddlers and pre-schoolers misbehave to divert their parent's attention from a baby. If the parents handled this by having the baby taken away by stepdad into another room while getting undivided attention from their parents, I suspect that this will happen again.

Your h should have stuck up for you and explained that you're rarely alone with them.

As he hasn't found out what is wrong, you must be extremely worried about their next visit and making the same "mistake"

JELH3 Mon 06-Apr-20 20:55:13

Yes littlemc, I need to find out more. The thing that hurts the most is her suggesting I am an evil stepmother when "daddy isn't around ". That shudders me to the core!!!
I am deeply upset upstairs and he's downstairs ignoring that fact. Perhaps I need a new SO !!!!!

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Summersunandoranges Mon 06-Apr-20 20:55:58

They are upset with their dad.

I had this years ago when I lived with my ex who had a 11 year old son. I was never mean in fact I babied him as I wanted him to like me. I had a dd so I wanted him to feel part of our family.

He then said he didn’t want to visit anymore because he said I didn’t like him, it was honestly untrue. It was just an excuse to explain why he was feeling upset. And didn’t want to share his dad.

I wouldn’t apologise though.

nellythenarwhal Mon 06-Apr-20 20:56:45

This precedent will see an escalation in unreasonable behaviour ime.

It's classic mean playground talk- "I won't be your friend if you don't X" "If you don't Y, you can't come to my party" etc

watermelonpink1 Mon 06-Apr-20 20:57:34

I had a friend who's step children said this , it stemmed from the mother being jealous and dissing my friend to the children , so the children said it to please their mother when it all came out

nellythenarwhal Mon 06-Apr-20 20:59:03

The "mean when daddy's not around" often happens in movies and tv programmes. I understand why you'd be devastated when you've tried to be kind.

The 12yo should know better than to launch this grenade. He should ask her about occasions she's witnessed you be mean

JELH3 Mon 06-Apr-20 21:01:25

Thursday is the next contact day and truthfully dreading it (if they decide to come). I mean how on earth is one expected to act around them when they make accusations like these ?

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emilybrontescorsett Mon 06-Apr-20 21:02:47

I think your mum is correct, it's the new babies n making SD behave this way.

JELH3 Mon 06-Apr-20 21:04:24

Nelly I'll definitely dig further when I have calmed down and actually want to engage with him.
Watermelon ... this did cross my mind also but their mum is married with a new baby. So her being jealous probably wouldn't be a factor. Or maybe she hates my guts behind closed doors. She is v guilty of oversharing adult info with the kids

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isadoradancing123 Mon 06-Apr-20 21:04:39

Do not apologise for something you have not done under any circumstances, if you do you will lose credibility in the future and they will take advantage of you

JELH3 Mon 06-Apr-20 21:06:18

I won't apologise. It will never get to that when I haven't done anything wrong. I really don't care whether she's misinterpreted me or not. she knows me better than to ever believe I'd be mean to either one of them

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ALovelyBitOfSquirrel Mon 06-Apr-20 21:06:46

Sorry Op, it sounds awful. God this sounds like my poor long suffering but lovely sister's situation a good few years back. Two stepchildren, not pleasant, either of them to be honest. Both made awful stuff up about her and eventually admitted that they had, my BIL was mortified that they'd be so nasty and luckily he had taken her side as none of it ever added up. They're young adults now and they're still just as unlikeable.

KatherineJaneway Mon 06-Apr-20 21:09:03

This is a power play and you have to get in front of it. You shoot down any 'she's mean' sentences. Demand specific examples and do not take less than exact examples with specifics. If they can’t provide them you will take the wind out of their sails.

JELH3 Mon 06-Apr-20 21:09:34

Thank you. I hope your sister is now in a much better position with them

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JELH3 Mon 06-Apr-20 21:11:02

Good advice thank you
I defo need to dig for examples although I'm sure my partner will tell me it's too difficult for a 7 year old to remember!!!!

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