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What Happens When Stepdaughter Hits Puberty?

Posted by on May. 7, 2012 at 12:20 PM
  • 10 Replies

 Hello, Ladies.  I am a new custodial stepmother (of 9 months).  I have an almost-9-year-old stepdaughter whom I have known since she was in the first grade.  I have no daughters of my own.  I have custody of my two precious sons who are very young.  I always wanted a little girl, too!  

Next year, my SD will be in fourth grade.  Our relationship is positive, but a bit formal and not very close as it once was (credit her BM who has pulled her away from me). 

 I remember that fourth grade was a dramatic time physically for me in which I hit puberty and craved spending time with my mother.  I expect my stepdaughter will be this way, too, because it seems only natural.  I am just afraid that she will pull away from me and only want her mother.  I am trying to prepare myself.  

My question is: If you have lived the change of your SD hitting puberty, what was it like?  Did she pull away from you, or did it draw her closer to you as she needed help figuring things out?  Thank you for your feedback.

by on May. 7, 2012 at 12:20 PM
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by on May. 7, 2012 at 12:31 PM

All my girls pulled away (step and bio). They need space to figure out their feelings.  

Typical teens. Asking a questions is like pulling teeth. 

Don't over think it. Just go with the flow. 

by on May. 7, 2012 at 12:31 PM
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To answer your question, my SD is now 13 and on the brink of puberty. She has not pulled away from me so far. She is very close to both her mother and me. Mostly she is obsessed with her friends and her social life - so both her mother and I are like social leppers now. She'd rather die than be seen with either one of us at the mall. 

But I know she still loves hanging out with her mother when there are no social opportunities, and also hangs out with me. I think you have to ride out the teen years when you are their absolute last choice, but I know that wears off eventually and then mom and SM are cool again. At least that's what I'm hoping.

by Silver Member on May. 7, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Actually I am dealing with this right now in a sense, my SD is 10 almost 11 and I am CSM. I have known her since she was 5 but she didn't fully warm up to me until she was 7. After living with BM for a few months she came beck to us at Christmas and suddenly clung to me like glue, she physically sat on my lap all day on christmas. I think it was a result of some mild emotional trauma she experienced with BM, Bm had untreated bipolar at the time and was very up and down and unstable. Sd has lived with us ever since. Every year around late winter SD begins to miss her mom and "crave her" as you said. BM is out of state so SD is only with her for 6 weeks in the summer and maybe one holiday per year. It can be hard for me because there is literally nothing I can do about it when she comes to me and says she misses her mom or wants to see her. All I can do is be there for her as much as possible, I found that just listening to her feeling and putting a positive spin on anything she percieves as negative is helpful. She has told me "you can always make me feel better", which I am happy I can do for her. But puberty is definitely in the works and I can see that it could become even more difficult. Luckily, she is comfortable asking me personal question about her body, sometimes she seems a little unsure about talking to me about it but I just answer her questions wothout making a big deal about it and she always comes back. The thing is, i don't know if she would be much more comfortable with her mom at this point, she has been around me more and has opened up to me. She has more of a friendship with BM then a mother-daughter relationship. BM still thinks of SD as a little girl and not a pre-teen so their relationship is just different. Anyway, only time can tell. Don't worry too much just be their for her if she opens up to you but do not force anything.

by on May. 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I only have a SS not female  but i have 3 BD's  each one acted different when it came to that change DD1 started pulling away and still hasnt come back really  DD2 became very close with me  DD3 became clingy in some areas and pushed me away from other areas that i was used to us being close in. SO really its a roll of the dice.

by on May. 7, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Thank you for your replies.  They are very helpful.  I think especially remembering to "just go with the flow", "not force anything" are good philosophies to have in stepparenting!  

Any other experiences out there? 

Any other things to have a heads-up about when it comes to stepdaughters hitting puberty?  Fortunately, we have a good girl and she is pretty close to her daddy, they spend plenty of daddy-daughter time together, etc.  So, I guess an "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" as the saying goes!    


by on May. 7, 2012 at 1:31 PM

My SD did not pull away from me. She lived with us and is now 20. She is closer to me than her BM.

by on May. 7, 2012 at 1:35 PM

 my sd lives 1800 miles from me, we have an awesome relationship (via phone and skype) She seems to come to me more when she is having issues, like problems with a boyfriend or when her grampa died...she is almost 13...I am not really sure how close she is to her mom, but I do know she confides in me a lot

by on May. 7, 2012 at 2:08 PM

It seems everyone reacts differently to becoming a woman. I don't recall craving my mother. My daughter certainly doesn't crave me. Around 11 she realized that I'm not always right. Now at 13 she swears everything I do is "so stupid" Ok that is a slight exaggeration, but it does feel like it. I'd say she gravitates to her dad and stepmom because they give her much more freedom than I do. She only spends occasional weekends there and that makes a difference too. The downside for them is that now that she is 13 she has a goal of making plans every weekend. Dad loses out on weekends when she wants to hang out with her friends instead. 

by on May. 7, 2012 at 5:01 PM

My daughter is only fifteen months and I fear puberty. I'm a first time mom and no experience on this.

by Silver Member on May. 7, 2012 at 9:43 PM
Mine is 11 and she did not pull away. She wanted to tell me first and ask me questions because she doesn't trust her mom so it depends....
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