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How do you make a step-child stop resenting you?

I have been in my step-daughters life since she was about 2 and a half. Her parents have joint custody and have a weekly schedule with her, so she is back and forth. I know thats got to be hard on her. Sometimes her mom don't spend as much time with her as she needs. When she is with us (her father and I) she throws fits about wanting to go back to her moms house. I feel that being a consistent "mother-figure" at our house she resents me because she can't get that from her mother. Therefore my step-daughter and I always fight, she won't listen to me, and she always have an attitude with everything she says or does with me. Sometimes when i ask her to repeat something or ask her a question she REFUSES to answer me. Her father is no help especially now since the child has said she wants to live with her mom. He walks on eggshells around her and expects me to do the same but i refuse. How do you deal with this situation?

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:48 AM on Jan. 31, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (4)
  • Well for one she has to be a certian age to decide who she wants to live with full time, In most states it is 13. I think though ground rules of respect need to be set. His daughter is not going to rule the roost and have you two scared. I think both of you need to sit her down and talk frankly about what the rules are going to be in your house. They may be different at her mothers but oh well that is her mothers house. Number one rule, show me respect and you will get respect. For one your have practically raised her too since she was a baby! She has NO right to treat you like that. Number 2. You will listen to what we say, no back talking or snide remarks or there will be consequences. Also I think you need to discuss this with her mother and see if she maybe the underlying cause of her attitude. She needs to know about her daughters actions

    Answer by MAMMA2DYANDTY at 3:19 PM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • I grew up like this myself I HATED MY SM & STILL DO! please NEVER say anything negative about her mom in front of her,this child knows who her mom is & NO ONE will ever be better than her mom, don't even try your wasting your time, she sees you as the enemy in her eyes YOU are the reason her parents are not together, Don't try & "outdo" her mom you will never ever win this, the best you can hope for is a civil politeness that's all mine ever got. Plus I would sneak & break her things or trash her jewelery, I HATED HER! Then I got to where I hated my dad as well how could he have left his family for THAT!


    Answer by Anonymous at 5:30 PM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • anonymous-- I also grew up like this only not with step-parents but with grandparents who adopted me. They would talk about my parents in front of me so i know how that feels and would never do that in front of my sd. Also i don't try to "outdo" her mother--her mother is just not there for her when she needs her the most..usually her mother asks us to keep her while she goes and does whatever it is that she does. I try my best to get my hubby to say no and make her momma spend time with her, but he looks at that as if he is turning down his daughter and i have explained to him that it's not-if anything it is taking up for her when she needs it. I also know that in her eyes i am the reason her parents are not 2gether anymore-but in all honesty sometimes couples can't get along anymore or can't remain faithful. So it's not always the "evil" step-mother's fault that 2 parents aren't 2gether anymore...that happens 2 b my case

    Answer by Keatons_mom07 at 11:52 PM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • Oh boy........poor you. This is a hard situation. I think that this situation needs to start with you and your husband. Ground rules and an agreed understanding. You both need to sit and talk with stepdaughter. Don't gang up on her. Let her have a chance to voice her opinion. But, be firm on what the guidelines in the house will be. I realize that the little girl is confused and probably angry. BUT....she still needs to respect both you and your husbnd. I know it may be hard, but try taking her out just the two of you one time during her stay. Mabey out for an icecream or something so you can talk. Try and make it a "light" outing, focused on having fun. I do wish you luck. I was the "evil stepmother with a teenage boy who hated my guts lol" I know how ya feel.

    Answer by mistynights234 at 8:15 AM on Feb. 1, 2009

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