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Challenge with StepDaughter...help!

Posted by on Aug. 18, 2013 at 2:57 PM
  • 6 Replies

I'm new to this forum, but I need some advice from you stepmoms about the newest "challenge" that I've been faced with in regards to my "soon to be" step daughter.  Here's a little bit of background.....

My fiancé and I both have kids.  I have one little girl who is 5 and he has a boy who is 11 and a girl who is 9.  Both of us have full custody of our kids.  My daughter's father has never been involved, so it has always been just the two of us. 

My fiancés kids have a mom that they've seen on and off throughout their life.  Recently, they've not seen her very much because of certain situations she's gotten herself into.

Anyways, my daughter and I have been pretty much living with my fiancé and his kids for the past few months.  I watch all of the kids on Friday's and Saturday's because those are my days off.  I've tried spending quality time with them by taking them out to eat or grabbing yogurt, going to the park or to the lake to swim.  Everything went smoothly in the very beginning, but now I find myself having a really difficult time accepting my step daughter.  The tension between us is becoming pretty difficult to handle, and I'm afraid my fiancé is going to start picking up on it. 

At first, I started noticing my step daughter doing little things to pick on my 5 year old; either by taunting her in small ways, or doing stuff just to hear her scream and whine.  This was very hard for me to deal with at first, because my daughter and I have such a strong love and bond with one another.  I would try to convince myself that my stepdaughter just needs more attention from me.  I really tried looking at things from her perspective and tried seeing how she could easily be jealous of mine and my daughter's relationship versus her and her biological mother.

Lately, things have become really unbearable on my part.  I have caught her "taking" my daughters clothes and wearing them without asking, she takes what little toys my daughter brings over there,  she bosses her around when they do try playing together which always ends in a fight.  My stepdaughter has become just really disrespectful to both my daughter and myself.

She's even been messing with my stuff.  She'll take my hairbrushes and hide them in her room, my makeup, my deodorant, my curling irons, etc.  The worst part is that I caught her smoking last weekend in the bathroom.  My fiancé and I spoke with her together about the issue.  We didn't yell, but were understanding that some kids may want to try things they see other adults doing, but we talked to her about the risk of smoking and just flat out told her she had no business even thinking about smoking at her age. 

Ironically, I had a pack of cigarettes go missing just a few days before.  We asked her a couple times if she took the pack and hid it somewhere, giving her the opportunity to be honest; of course she denied it.  This weekend, while I was trying to get ready, I noticed my hairspray was missing.  I went to her room to look for it and found the missing pack of cigarettes....now empty. 

All of these little things are beginning to drive me crazy.  I've found myself not even wanting to be around her, or hiding things such as my pocketbook and wallet; afraid she will take money.

I honestly don't know what to do at this point.  How can I turn this situation around to where I can trust her again, and help mend the jealousy she has with my daughter?  Any advice is welcome!  And yes, smoking is a bad habit that I need to give up myself :)

by on Aug. 18, 2013 at 2:57 PM
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momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Aug. 18, 2013 at 3:05 PM
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I smoke so I won't judge. Of course we need to not smoke but its not illegal and I ignore all the negative crap people say to me. I am an adult and its my choice.

Do you think she smoked the entire pack or do you think she destroyed them? Threw them away or something?

While I was reading your post it sort of reminded me of a battle I went through between my own children. My dd is 12 and my son is nearing 6. My dd has always been annoying to him. She messes with him which makes him scream and cry. She hides his things. She has gotten over this stage but she was being a little shit there for a while and being a 'bad big sister'.

Has your fiancé sat down and talked to her alone about what is going on with her? 9 is a rough age for girls. For us it ended about 11. She just matured and grew out of her pushing boundaries phase. But I had to stay consistent with her and it is much easier that both children are my own and both have the same expectations and I can treat them the same. Your fiancé needs to get involved here. You said you were concerned he would pick up on the tension. He needs to be made aware of what's going on so that he can step up and handle it. This would be no different if she were treating a friend or a cousin this way. She needs some consequences and some follow through from her dad.
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iHeartYou88
by on Aug. 18, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Momof2ex1-

I'm almost certain she smoked the entire pack.  My fiance had caught her smoking the day after the first incident occured.  It seems that she continues to sneak behind our backs as long as she believes she wont' get caught.

It sounds like you've been through this before with your children.  I'm sure part of it has to do with their ages and hopefully they will grow out of the fighting.  I guess my big concern is her stealing and lieing.  Whether it be for attention or for other reasons, I feel like we need to nip this in the bud before it gets out fo control.

I've definatley thought about sitting down and speaking with my fiance, but I'm hesitant because I don't want to come across as "the step mom picking on the step daughter".  I definatley don't want him thinking I have harsh feelings towards her.  She's a daddy's girl so a lot of what she does gets looked over by him.  

I think talking about it with his is a good first step though.  Atleast then I want be fighting the battle alone :)

Thanks for the advice!

Quoting momof2ex1:

I smoke so I won't judge. Of course we need to not smoke but its not illegal and I ignore all the negative crap people say to me. I am an adult and its my choice.

Do you think she smoked the entire pack or do you think she destroyed them? Threw them away or something?

While I was reading your post it sort of reminded me of a battle I went through between my own children. My dd is 12 and my son is nearing 6. My dd has always been annoying to him. She messes with him which makes him scream and cry. She hides his things. She has gotten over this stage but she was being a little shit there for a while and being a 'bad big sister'.

Has your fiancé sat down and talked to her alone about what is going on with her? 9 is a rough age for girls. For us it ended about 11. She just matured and grew out of her pushing boundaries phase. But I had to stay consistent with her and it is much easier that both children are my own and both have the same expectations and I can treat them the same. Your fiancé needs to get involved here. You said you were concerned he would pick up on the tension. He needs to be made aware of what's going on so that he can step up and handle it. This would be no different if she were treating a friend or a cousin this way. She needs some consequences and some follow through from her dad.



DDDaysh
by on Aug. 18, 2013 at 6:58 PM

None of this sounds unusual to be honest.  It all sounds like very normal kid stuff, including the smoking if she has access to the cigarettes and sees it happening on a regular basis.  

Older kids pick on little ones, just like little kids pick on older ones.  You are probably more blind to what your little one is doing, but it's almost certain she's doing something to bug your SD too.  That's just what happens between kids.  

The things she's taking from you are also typical things a child will try to sneak because they want to experiment with the adult world.  

I imagine there is tension there.  Kids, even doing normal kid things, can be really annoying.  You're lacking a bio-filter with her so it's driving you even more nuts.  You need to realize that this isn't all that unusual and if you don't feel capable of handling it without getting resentful, you need to tell your fiance what's going on and let him handle it.  

CampClan
by Bronze Member on Aug. 18, 2013 at 7:16 PM

I totally agree with this! I have 4 full sibs who pick on each other all the time! And their 17yo half brother picks on them too. I'm sure in the future given more time with their dad they will eventually pick on their younger half brother too! It's a kid thing. More so with same sex siblings (whether full, half, or step) IMO. My brothers would pick on each other all the time. OR they would gang up on me & pick on me (I'm the oldest & the only girl). 

As with any blended family there is bound to be tension. My girls have issues with my ex's gf because she isn't me. And they refuse to accept the fact that one day I might start dating again because it's not their dad. I reassured my girls that no matter what he is their dad 1st & foremost. And gf makes him happy. And don't they want their dad to be happy (I received a somber "yes" from them).

Quoting DDDaysh:

None of this sounds unusual to be honest.  It all sounds like very normal kid stuff, including the smoking if she has access to the cigarettes and sees it happening on a regular basis.  

Older kids pick on little ones, just like little kids pick on older ones.  You are probably more blind to what your little one is doing, but it's almost certain she's doing something to bug your SD too.  That's just what happens between kids.  

The things she's taking from you are also typical things a child will try to sneak because they want to experiment with the adult world.  

I imagine there is tension there.  Kids, even doing normal kid things, can be really annoying.  You're lacking a bio-filter with her so it's driving you even more nuts.  You need to realize that this isn't all that unusual and if you don't feel capable of handling it without getting resentful, you need to tell your fiance what's going on and let him handle it.  


iHeartYou88
by on Aug. 19, 2013 at 11:11 AM
"I'm lacking the bio-filter"....that is the truth! She's not my biological daughter so every little thing she does wears at my nerves when maybe I can overlook it a bit more with my own daughter.

I think we need to sit down and talk. Thanks for your advice!


Quoting DDDaysh:

None of this sounds unusual to be honest.  It all sounds like very normal kid stuff, including the smoking if she has access to the cigarettes and sees it happening on a regular basis.  

Older kids pick on little ones, just like little kids pick on older ones.  You are probably more blind to what your little one is doing, but it's almost certain she's doing something to bug your SD too.  That's just what happens between kids.  

The things she's taking from you are also typical things a child will try to sneak because they want to experiment with the adult world.  

I imagine there is tension there.  Kids, even doing normal kid things, can be really annoying.  You're lacking a bio-filter with her so it's driving you even more nuts.  You need to realize that this isn't all that unusual and if you don't feel capable of handling it without getting resentful, you need to tell your fiance what's going on and let him handle it.  


Leigh84
by Gold Member on Aug. 20, 2013 at 11:23 AM
1 mom liked this
Did u say she's 9 and smoking? Good grief thats young. Since you seem to be fairly new to the scene I would have your DH sit her down and explain the rules again and what his expectations of her are. When she breaks the rules, when he gets home from work let him be the bad guy when it comes to handing down the punishments. I understand your frustration but I think if you let him be the disciplinarian expecially this early on it may help ease tension between you two. Good luck
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