Trouble with 15 year old step daughter...HELP!!!!(22 Posts)
So I have a 15 year step daughter who is totally being brainwashed by her mother. My husband and his daughter's mother used to have a good relationship but that when all downhill when she got a bug in her butt and filed for child support. She has lied countless times to mediators and lawyers. Hard part is that we can't prove it so we are lost.
When we have days/weekends with my step daughter, all she wants to do is hide in her bedroom and text her mom. When we don't do much on the weekends she is there, she will run home to her mom and say she was bored the whole time because we didn't do anything...but when we ask her what she would like to do, all we get it I DON'T KNOW OR I DON'T CARE. When we make suggestions. she turns them all down so then we are our of options.
She is also a complete slob! She will make messes and leave stuff all over the place and not clean up after herself. This is all because her mom doesn't make her do this stuff at home. It is insanely frustrating for me because I am the one that is ALWAYS cleaning up the messes and telling her to do or not do things!
Because of everything that her mom is putting us through and the crap that she does at our house, I have started to resent her...A LOT! My husband is extremely pissed at me at this point that our marriage is on the rocks! I don't want to lose him because we also have a 5 year old son together and they are both my whole world!
I have started to seek out a therapist for help because my stress and anxiety levels are to the max. I have even stopped eating because of all this. I am at a total loss with what I should do! HELP!!!!
The teenage years can be such a testing time, so for a child who probably hears negative comments from her mum about her dad and his new family it must be so hard. My dd is 15 and when we ask her what she wants to do she always says I don’t know. So I make suggestions eg shopping normally.
It would be silly to break up your family for the sake of a stroppy teen
Its hard. Me and my dads girlfriend always had a slightly strained relationship when I was a teenager. What I remember is that all the changes felt overwhelming. A stepmother is a big deal in a teenagers life. What would have helped me would have been if ny dads girlfriend had sat me down and said " I know you have been through alot of changes, but this is your home too and I will care for you too, you are important to us"
Don’t forget as well that teenagers are awkward. They change! I have a 15 year old. He never wants to do anything with me- but says I am boring, he is a complete and utter slob, his room and the rest of the house when he’s in it are a disgrace. He says that he hates my food and just wants biscuits, mcdonalds etc. Like you I am pushed to the end of my tether and my mental health is suffering . And he is my son who has always lived here- he has just become an alien being. So a lot of this is puberty. Not easy to deal with, and while the girl’s mum may not help, it is probably not all her fault. What’s the solution? Well I wish I knew, but hang on in there and be patient and things will hopefully change again. (That’s what I am banking on anyway)
What does she normally do at the weekends when she is home with her mum?
ds(15) goes out with friends to footie, mcds etc and we barely see him as he's out having fun. If you have your dsd every other weekend and she doesn't get to friends I can imagine how boring that would be to just hang about your house. Are you close enough to her friends to follow the same routine she has at her mums (i.e. drop her off/pick her up from friends, invite friends over, take her and friends to cinema etc?
All she ever wants to do is hide in her bedroom, which is also my son's playroom right now because her room is in the lower level of our house and we had flooding last year. It is just so frustrating to have to deal with sometimes. My husband and I have talked A LOT since everything started and we are slowly going to work on things, between us and as a family. I have contacted a counselor, for me, and I start my sessions next week.
I am taking things out on her that I guess I shouldn't be. I need to work on me to make my marriage work. I love my husband unconditionally and I don't want to lose him!
On another note...my husband has asked me to be patient with his daughter because when she is with her mom, which is 80% of the time, her mom doesn't make her do anything. So when she is with us and makes a mess, it's up to me or him to clean it up! I am sorry but when I was 15 years old, I cleaned up after myself. I even did my own laundry, did the dishes, helped clean the house and a lot of other chores. We mentions doing chores to her and she pretty much laughs in our faces! I seriously blame her mother for all of this!
When I was 15 I used to do chores. But I can’t get my 15 year old to do any. And it drives me mad. So - don’t just blame her mum, it might be driving her mad too. Teenagers today are very different from how they used to be. “Entitled” didn’t come from nowhere !
She's being 15.
Wait till your DS is 15. Then you'll see. Who will you blame...?
Not saying it's easy but it is what it is. The teenage years are rough and blaming another woman for it is just wrong.
Let your DH clean up after her, she might be slightly less happy to let him do it instead of you. And she is his daughter , why hasn't he taught her to tidy up?
Can she not just go out to the cinema with her dad for a few hours and come back with a takeaway for you all? I doubt she has much in common with your DS as the age gap is so big.
Can she have a friend over for a bit. Or can you all go and include friend?
My husband has talked to her so many times about everything but it's like when she goes home, it all leaves her brain and he is so tired of repeating himself to her. He always feels like a failure as a father and it breaks his heart all the time.
I have tried so many times to get her to keep up after herself but it falls on deaf ears.
When my son gets to her age, I will have more control over him than I do her.
I would tell him to keep repeating as she might improve over time. Giving up on her is not really an option.
Was he paying child support before “she got a bug up her butt”?
You don’t have to clean and tidy up after her. If she won’t do it (and it’s your home too so you do get a say in how it’s kept) then her dad has to do it. He might be tired of it but while he can’t/won’t tackle it properly he needs to be the one who’s the most affected by it.
If she doesn’t engage when she’s with you and spends time texting her mum why do you think she still comes?
Not her personal space if it’s her little brothers playroom does he have his own bedroom to store toys
Does she get to have alone time with her dad? Has he ever offered to take her out anywhere, a nice meal and a chat, day out to a theme park? Bowling?
My husband always took my step-daughter out when she visited, even if it was just a trip to McDonalds, (depending on finances obviously) where he could catch up with what she'd been up to, since he last saw her. He would enquire about her schooling, her friends, how she felt - just generally showing her that he cared for her and loved her just the same as before, and just because he was now with me, didn't mean that she was going to be suddenly abandoned. I think any child is just looking for that reassurance and love, and in my case, I was seen as a threat to my step-daughter, someone who was going to take her father away, or stop him from loving her. (this is what she told me at a later date, when we became great friends).
It may not work for everyone, but I found the best approach was to take a step back and let them have lots of one to one time where she could open up to him and voice her worries or fears without my interference, until she realised that I wasn't her enemy, and I wasn't a threat. A softly softly approach and lots of patience eventually brought us close together and we became great friends.
She was 14 when I met my husband, and she is now 38. We have a great bond and I treat her no different to my other 3 children, who are also very close to her.
You say your husband has talked to his daughter many times, but it all falls on deaf ears. Is he talking at her or to her? Is he having a friendly chat or is he just moaning about the mess? I think the mess is the least of your worries, I think his daughter needs validation and alone time with her dad, and maybe she will eventually open up to him about why she behaves the way she does. Obviously she isn't going to want to have these chats with you in the room, because at this stage you are probably seen as the enemy, like I was.
I mean, what is there for her to look forward to when she visits? She obviously sits in her room because she is fed up and probably does't want to be there. (I don't mean that to sound harsh btw).
If what you are doing now is not working, then you need to change tact. Sometimes, nothing we do will help, but she is young and may warm to you as she gets older. Unfortunately there are no guarantees, but at least you can say you tried.
Apologies for the long post - good luck going forward.
The way forwaed is to go back to the feelings of genuine caring and kindness towards her, that you once had when you first met her as a young child. Although it is not your fault, you are the only one who has the emotional maturity to overcome your feelings of resentment and go back to thinking of this young woman as a person reacting to crap she hears from Mum, and a work in progress To turnaround the bad feeling between you, drop all the feelings of reaentment and start again You dont need to be fake you just need to let go of the past resentments and begin again, keeping in mind that while there will be difficult situations, and she will behave badly at times, ,this will change over time. . It will not ever be perfect , but she will really notice that you are consistently more positive and caring, and will ever so very slowly begin to show you her less sullen , defensive, slightly more agreeable self
Good luck , teens can becomplete arseholes xx
Actually DeeCeeCherry is right,many many teens carry on this way for a bit, but do come through and , it is wrong to blame another woman (her Mum) Similarly, it would be wrong of her Mum to blame you and her Dad, for her behaviour
Leave the chore nagging to her dad. She's bound to resent it coming from you if you haven't built a good relationship with her. Agree with pp she needs some time alone with her dad even if it's just a trip to the cinema or Macdonald's. Later on perhaps her brother could join them. Then eventually you might be able to bond with her and arrange the occasional trip out with just the two of you. Atm it sounds like you really resent her and that's something that you, as the adult, need to work on. Keep in mind she's your DP's daughter and your DS's sister.
Well done for arranging counselling.
All of this sounds normal teenage behaviour.
It also sounds like she has a reason for a lot of resentment on her part without her mother saying anything to her. Stop blaming the mum.
Not having her own room or space will be a big deal to a teenager. They like hiding, they need a space to hide from the world and retreat when they want. Sharing it as a playroom will be affecting her. The fact that you resent her being in there because of the impact on your son will be affecting her feelings of security. She needs a 24hour bolt hole while she's in your house.
If she's only there for the weekend, then leave that space alone for the weekend and get her dad to go in with her and clean it together as part of the getting ready to leave routine.
Get her dad to listen to her, and talk to her and and drag her to things she likes (she's 15, she may not own up to liking things).
Quite a bold statement to say you love your husband unconditionally... a potentially dangerous place to put yourself.
Yes agree. Husband needs to share some fun times as well just go on at her. Otherwise she will just be more and more resentful. Eventually she won’t come. And husband may well blame you if you haven’t welcomed her. So if I were you I would step back s bit, stop worrying about the chores, let her have some tome with her Dad and maybe she will start enjoying her time a bit more.
You shouldn't love your husband unconditionally. As an adult you both have to earn and keep respect and love. It is on condition of treating the other with respect and love.
No doubt when your DS is 15 you will not have the control over him as you think you will.
Why is your DS using her room as his playroom? Your SD needs her own private space. This is extremely important for a 15 year old. Your 5 year old DS can play elsewhere. This is her home too. It's not somewhere she comes to visit. This is her home and she must feel as if it is too.
You should set some rules. But choose your battles carefully. When you married her father you took on his daughter too. Your dh needs to step up, shoulder the responsibility and shower her with love despite her annoying habits. If you can reach her with love your life as a family will improve.
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