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What should my role be in disiplining my 13 year old step daughter??

My husband and I were married 2/13/10. Together we have 4 teenagers. His teens are boy 17 years, and girl 13 years. Mine are girl 16 years, and boy 14 years. My husband has custody of his children. His 2 teens live with us as well as my daughter. My son is equally back and forth btw our home and his fathers. Everthing has been wonderful up til the past 6-7 months. My husbands daughter has become very different. I am a hairstylist for starters. She had asked me to dye her hair bright purple, and I said "no". She visited with her mother, who they do not see very often, and came home with "purple" hair. Since that point, his daughter has been treating me poorly, as if to be (ha-ha) did it anyway! Since she colored her hair purple, she has been wearing her make-up very heavy, black, and smuding it under her eyes, as if to be gothic. I have addressed these issues with both my husband and her, and nothing changes. Her grades are failing in school. She has lost many friends, due to her attitude the last 7 months, she is in the 8th grade and hangs out with 11th-12th graders (who are known for doing drugs, and partying. I have spoke to my husband about all of theses issues several times, however, he does not see the problem. She has been caught in lies to her father, and he still does not want to disipline her.?? I do'nt know what to do anymore, my teens are seeing this, and asking why nothing is being done about her actions, I am lost. I have been arguing alot with my husband about his daughter and what to do, but he says one thing, and doesn't follow through. Its as if he is afraid to talk to her about these issues. however, he doesn't want me to say anything either. I am afraid she is on a very bad negative road, and I do not know what to do, or do I do nothing?? By the way... Her mother is not a positive influence in any way.

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Asked by lyn0412 at 12:22 PM on Mar. 28, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 3 (15 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • There is no one size fits all answer for blending families. My husband and I have a his-mine-and-ours family, and we have the same rules and consequences for all the kids. Whichever parent discovers a rule broken enforces the pre-agreed consequence. For big deal stuff, we all sit down together.

    You can't really effectively discipline her if you and her dad are not on the same page. You just need to keep coming back to the table together until you can come to a parenting plan you can both live with that is fair to everyone.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 12:28 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • Well this seems to be something your husband HAS to address. Whether you like her mom is a moot point. She doesnt care what you think and she loves her mom. Anything you say to her she will take negatively right now because of the stage she is in and the people she is choosing to hang out with. You do NEED to get something done. I would suggest a home drug test and maybe see if your husband wont atleast make her take that. That way you know what you are dealing with. If she tests positive then you can insist on rehab, counseling etc. But in the end really you dont have alot of say. You could ruin your marriage entirely by forcing this issue if he isnt ready to deal with it.

    Answer by gemgem at 12:29 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • Ya seriously what's wrong with the teenagers these days. I don't get it. I too come across so many teenagers who can create scene without any reason. Getting depressed without much of a reason, taking all non-sense stuff, I mean what's the crap. It's actually becoming difficult to get them disciplined.
    That's what your DH needs to understand that actually there is a problem & he can't ignore it. Please talk to him about this. The sooner he takes it seriously the better it would be for all of you & once your daughter realizes this fact then it would be far easier for you & your DH to correct her.....

    Answer by AnuMeha at 12:29 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • Riotgirl said it all. If your stepdaughter is to live with you all. she has to be a constructive influence , not a disruptive one . This is a family problem which you have to get your husband to understand .

    Has the girl said anything about preferring to live with her mother ? If so . how does your husband react ? Does he understand her mother is a negative influence ?

    Answer by janet116 at 12:34 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • Thank You for your advise. This issue is seriously affecting my husband and my relationship. I hope to find a solution, or step out of the disipline area all together, and just let him figure it out on his own?

    Comment by lyn0412 (original poster) at 12:36 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • DH needs to get his daughter in counseling, no matter what you say or do, your going to be in the wrong (even though your right). DH needs to step up to the plate and quick,,,do her and her brother attend the same school, is he well-adjusted? I think if at all possible you need to try and to communicate with her mother, she probably has guilt issues over not having her kids,, but if something doesn't change, your step daughter is going to be in a heap of trouble, but you need to have your DH lay down the law,,, I hope it works out, having been a step mom myself I totally understand where your coming from,, but the last thing you need is having your kiddos follow her example,, good luck!

    Answer by kimigogo at 12:38 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • His daughter knows it is not an option for her to live with her mother. She lost custody of them a while back. His daughter hasn't expressed an intrest in that at all.

    Comment by lyn0412 (original poster) at 12:39 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • Our 3 other teenagers are honor roll students, and his son is on National honor society. My 2 teens get all A's & B's.

    Comment by lyn0412 (original poster) at 12:41 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • Expressing an interest and having it are two different things though. My son lives with his dad and wants to come back to live with us. He is 11. He has not asked his dad though, I had to do that for him. And ironically my son also gave his step mom HELL and they have since split up. He blamed her for not being able to live with me, when it really had nothing to do with her. So just because she is not expressing she wants to live with mom doesnt mean she doesnt want to. Mom could also be telling her its your fault or dads fault why she isnt there, and to be bad so she can.

    Answer by gemgem at 12:43 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • oh wow, we're having the the same issues with our son and I'm about to post about it, too. hope you get some good advise!

    Answer by TXColter at 2:08 PM on Mar. 28, 2011

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