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What can I do to help get along with my step-daughter?

She's 11 going on 17. Everything is drama drama drama. She has plenty of clothes but wears the same stuff over and over, dirty or not. We fight about it all the time. No matter what I ask her to do she has an excuse and an attitude about it. And of course shes only nice when she wants something. Do I have to spend the next 7 years bribing her to do things? Oh, and she has a 15 month old brother too.


Asked by Neecee66 at 1:21 PM on Apr. 29, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (8)
  • I have a 13 year old, so I understand. First, choose your battles. If she wants to wear dirty, smelly clothes, let her; eventually one of her friends will say something to her.
    Be sure that her responsibilties are clear, and the consequences for not doing them are reasonable.
    Spend some time alone with her and try to find some common ground outside of the house; let her help with planning meals (maybe she has a favorite that the two of you could learn to make together) and grocery shopping. Ask about her friends and their drama. Maybe you both love dance and can to a ballet together? You are both women who love the same man, I am sure that you can build on this.

    Answer by rkoloms at 2:29 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • What was the reason her parents got divorced.. If it was because he was cheating on their mom with you, then you're probably a shit out of luck. haha.. If thats not the case, then just have to do things with her.. Take her to movies, or out to lunch.. That sort of thing.. It's hard.. my stepson just turned 8, and I've heard that boys are much easier than girls as stepchildren.. I don't know.. I just know it took me and my stepson awhile to open up to each other and it was a long VERY hard road.. How long have you and the father been married? Was the daughter included in the wedding? Do you children of your own? My only advice is.. do things that interest her. If she likes art, take her to an art museum just the two of you, or buy her cd's of music she likes.. Get to really know her

    Answer by PeytonsMom21109 at 1:25 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • I had a step-mom growing up. We never got along. I had respect for her and did my chores and everything else but, never had the mother relationship with her that I was always wanting and needing. She has 3 kids of her own (10 yrs older) and took my brother and I on. She did not want more kids and treated her own kids better than my brother and I. We still have a fake relationship to this day. I don't visit my father very often nor do the visit me and my brother often.
    While she is still young I would try to fix this anger in her before she gets older.
    Slip her a note once in a while when she impresses you. Both you get involved in something you both like..... reading, biking, movies, .....
    When she disappoints you- look her in the eye and tell her - Today when you said """ it really hurt me. I'm disappointed in you. Then leave it be and I promise she will be thinking about it.

    Answer by ljlM at 1:41 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • Remember that girls that age aren't all the nice to their mothers either. It is always helpful to reach out to her. Also give her time with her dad.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:54 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • With my step mom we had our moments.... She married my dad when I was 9 my sister and i wasn't invited to the wedding and then I had a little sister and didnt know about it until she was almost a year old.... But my step mom always did things with us things we liked doing we had sleep over with or friends and she joined us and was so goffy but some might get embrass just try doing the things she likes I have a 9 year old step daughter who is about to turn 10 and we do not connect not yet anyways we will though.... I hope.... I'm only 21 and im new at all this but I learn from my step mom who i connect with very much still do and I think its because she went out of her way and did things with me that my mom wouldnt do or i would never ask my mom to do so i guess what i'm trying to say is try being her friend but still let her know who is boss

    Answer by kandist at 3:24 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • I have two step daughter now 15 and 9. I've been their mom for the last 5 years. The best advise I have for you is to sit her down with your husband and tell them " I am your step mother, I am not going anywhere. This is MY house, and you WILL follow house rules and chores or you WILL have to deal with the conquesneses. You are old enought to do your chores, you are old enough to show proper respect. If you choose not to do what is expected of you, you will loose EVERYTHING. No more ipod, tv, laptop, stero, clothes, you will have your bed and 7 outfits and thats it until you earn one thing back at a time. I love you, I think of you as my daughter but you are not going to become a brat." We did this,oldest SD wouldn't do chores, so she was stripped of everything but her bed and clothes for a week. She earned things back one by one and we have had no issues since. -


    Answer by Vanessannd at 5:28 PM on Apr. 29, 2009


    Answer by joanne580 at 8:54 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • joanne580: I am starting to not agree with that one. My son is almost 13 and I want to pummel him sometimes. He has such a smartmouth and attitude. LOL!!

    Pick your battles. Maybe take her on a girls day, go get nails done and have lunch. It will give you an opportunity to talk. Just the two of you.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:28 PM on Apr. 29, 2009