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How do I keep my patience with an 11 and 15 year old girl?

I am a new step mom, with no children of my own. I have taken care of many children before but I have never seen more disrespectful spoiled teenagers in my life. They've been given whatever they want their whole lives, including toys, electronics, even unhealthy food on a daily basis. Their mother moved to Florida and took them with her, so now we only have them on some holidays and during the summer. Right now the 11 year old is here for two months and I'm trying to patiently give her the benefit of the doubt that she only knows this way, yet she is showing me, and this house no respect. At this point my husband misses them so much, so he's more lenient than he should be. He agrees that there is a lack of respect for this household and for everything we do for them, but I how I can enforce it better without being the "evil step mother." Especially that everything that happens in this house gets a quick text right down to FL.

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Asked by KellyR621 at 10:53 PM on Jul. 6, 2013 in Teens (13-17)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Since you are new in their life, you should make some time to get to know them. And their father should be better at enforcing the rules in his home.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 11:02 PM on Jul. 6, 2013

  • I try to give him constructive criticism without belittling him as their father, or make him feel like he failed. He is trying, its just hard for him when he is only there every other holiday and a few weeks in the summer. She continues to give them whatever they want when they are in Florida. He has discussed with her that they need to agree on things so that they can parent together, but she never follows through. I know with time that this will get better, but it is verrrrry difficult to keep my cool.

    Comment by KellyR621 (original poster) at 11:14 PM on Jul. 6, 2013

  • You don't have to criticize Dad or belittle him as a father, and you don't have to fix all of their spoiled ways on this trip. But you can still ask your husband to enforce basic house rules, including respect for you. Even if he misses his daughters terribly, there are at least a few non-negotiables. Figure out what yors are, talk to your husband, and let him know that part of being a father is teaching his children how to be polite, gracious adults.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:23 PM on Jul. 6, 2013

  • You and your husband need to set your rules and then tell the children your rules. Preferably he is the one to tell them the rules and that he backs you 100%. Then he has to follow through.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:31 PM on Jul. 6, 2013

  • I agree you need to have house rules and you might even post them like on Supernanny. You need to have your personal limits as well. For instance, if you have planned an activity with your step child you can have it end or cancel it if you are being disrespected. Stay calm and say it is over if you are going to be spoken to in a certain way, etc. And stick to your guns. He needs to do the same. Plus you might go to the libray and get some books on step parenting/parenting. And you might plan something individually with each girl......manicure, bowling, lunch, anything they have one on one time with them. One of the rules could be no phone during these outings. GL

    Answer by silverthreads at 8:08 AM on Jul. 7, 2013

  • You need to sit them down and tell them your rules for your house.........explain that they are expected to follow them to a t....allow no disrespect because they are only there for the summer.....this way they will know what to do while they are there....

    Answer by older at 8:59 AM on Jul. 7, 2013

  •  Alcohol & lots of it!  For you, not them of course! lol :p  Seriously tho, it sounds like both the parents are compensating for the divorce by spoiling these girls rotten.  The sooner they both realize they are creating monsters, the better.  And until your hubby does realize it, I refer you back to my 1st suggesttion! :p 


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 12:53 PM on Jul. 7, 2013

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