My DH and I have been married for almost two years. At first my relationship with his son and daughter was actually pretty good. Then after we were married it was like everything fell apart. My SD (age 10) and I butted heads really bad until the last 6 months. In the past she had temper tantrums like a 3 year old. When she wouldn't get her way on something or if someone tried to correct her she screamed as loud as she could, stomp her feet, cry uncontrollably, and this fit would continue for about an hour and then it was like nothing had happened. For the last 6 months she has calmed down a lot and we have become close again. I was actually starting to enjoy being around her again. Now she is 12 and Saturday we had another melt down. She was talking about her best friend (they have been friends since they were 3) and then it turned into her making fun of this girl. I asked her why she was talking about her like that and all SD said was because I don't like her anymore. She then continued talking to her brother about her and making fun of her and I told her I hoped she wasn't the type of girl that would be friends to your face and then talk bad about them behind their back. I told her I was disappointed and that was a terrible way to be a friend. She started laughing and said all the kids at school say this stuff about her friend. Until this point no one was yelling but I broke out the mom voice when I told her if she didn't want to be her friend that was fine but she had better stop talking bad about her and being a bully to her. At this point she flipped out on me and reverted back to her temper tantrums. She started screaming leave me alone and ran into her dad. He came into the kitchen upset and asked why I was starting fights! I told him what was going on and he said I should have just dropped it. I was really mad at this point and told him I didn't want her to grow up to be a "mean girl" and I will not tolerate her being a bully. He said she was acting just like her mother and excused away her behavior. She received no punishment for her behavior towards her friend or me.
Please someone tell me how they would have handled the situation. What kind of punishment do you give a 12 year old girl who is only at your house on the weekends. Does anyone else have a pre-teen that has this type of reaction when you try to correct them?