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Need SM advice 😁

Posted by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 9:46 AM
  • 16 Replies
I became a step mother last year to a 10 year old girl who adored me at first (when she was 8-9 when we were dating) Then, i moved in and saw things happening around our home like my husband treating her like she's 3, put her to bed with a sippy cup, she would rage into our bedroom unannounced every weekend morning, shower in our bathroom, speak disrespectfully, throw her laundry all over the stairs do Dad would pick it up, get rewarded instead of having consequences for bad behavior, I had to speak up.. At first it was welcomed. He wants us to be a happy family and to me take the role of mother figure. But things got worse between my step daughter and myself. She realized that when I'm around I think it's a good thing to turn off the TV at dinner, chew with your mouth closed, take your plate to the sink, normal stuff, but she didn't like new rules. So she started being cruel to me, first she bit me (no consequence, just a talking to by my husband), she would get angry and chase me trying to hurt me, kicked me in my stomach, she's pinched me leaving a bruise, threw a firecracker on my leg, ect... Still only getting talks no consequence. So I got super angry about no punishment and we see a parent coach. I've learned to stay away now which broke my husbands heart bc his fantasy is one big happy 3 some.. 25% the 3 of us, 75% the two of them. I'm no longer aloud to tell her to do anything, I keep my comments to myself until she's gone from our home. However, she is still extremely rude to me verbally and he hasn't defended me like I think he should. Talks aren't preventing reoccurrence of her treating me like a dog.
If I say one word about her behavior he gets defensive and we fight. I understand he's afraid she won't want to visit anymore if he punishes her, but I can't stand to be treated so disrespectfully! How do I get him to defend me without him getting defensive toward me.
I feel it's going to get worse, esp bc we are trying to conceive.
Thanks for advice!!!
He's been divorced for 9 years and the ex is one of those high conflict types so they don't even speak, only email. She's the rich country club lady w a rich family who feels entitled and above everyone....
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 9:46 AM
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Replies (1-10):
phoenixhuntress
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM
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If this is how he parents...are you sure you want to conceive a kid with him?  

He wants to be "Disneyland Dad"... and probably has his fair share of "Guilty Divorced Dad" syndrome.  Until he wants to step up to the plate & actually be a FATHER to her...not a friend...it's not gonna happen.

wyomom4
by Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 10:59 AM
1 mom liked this

She is acting out and resenting you because she (rightfully) blames you for all these new rules that she has to follow. You were fine when you and her dad were dating because the status quo was maintained. She didn't start being rude and disrespectful until you moved in and changed her world. Now she feels if she can just get rid of you her life will go back to how it was.

It is a little unclear from your post if you are dating or married to her dad? And how often is she over? I would definitely not be trying to conceive with him right now. Things in your situation are to unstable. The way he parents his dd is the way he will want to parent your child together too. Slow down. Don't try to make changes to his parenting of her. 

Catch her being good, at the moment don't try to change her behaviors. Instead focus on what you like about her and the good things you see her do. And tell her dad the positives that you see. If you are more positive about how you speak to and about her, dad is more likely to listen to you on the big things. In our house the big things are NO physical violence and respect, both of personal space and others' feelings. And these two big things apply to everyone. No one lays a hand on anyone else and we speak in a respectful way to and about each other.

Good luck to you.

DDDaysh
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:13 AM

What you are seeing is that your husband fundamentally disagrees with you on parenting things (no matter what he might verbally say).  

The "worried she won't come visit" thing is a stupid excuse.  She's a child.  She doesn't get a choice about coming or not.  

I would not conceive a child with a man who is this kind of father.  You'll regret it!  

sparrow2013
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:27 AM
This is a very serious and scary situation. If her violent behavior is not been acknowledged as inappropriate she is always going to rely on it to get her way. If you do get pregnant how will she feel when the new baby is getting much needed attention and she is not the center of her dad's world. That could have terrible results.

Also, I have issues with anyone telling us step-parents that we should not set rules or boundaries. People seem to think we are not actually parents. That is not true. I treat my ss as a son and I am lucky that my ss sees me as a second mom.

If I were you I would make list of what you expect from dh and sd. Then I would have a talk w/ dh and explain why you expect these things. The two of you decide what rules your sd will need to follow, respectful, use your words not your fists, cleaning up after yourself etc.Then set those rules with her.

She will not grow into a good person if she doesn't have boundaries now.If dh can't back you up then it might be time to reevaluate your relationship and possibly attend couples counseling.

Good Luck! Being a step-parent is not easy but if you have a supportive partner it will be much more smooth.
Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:34 AM
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Counseling.  Marriage counseling with a therapist who specializes in blended families.

This is a DH & you problem, not a kid problem.

The child is behaving precisely as she's been allowed to behave all along. You're an interloper in her world.

You and your DH need to get on the same page.  That may mean a lot of compromise.  But you have to get it together TOGETHER....then act.  And it all has to come from him.  If he wants the big happy family thing then he's going to have to do some work to get there. With you.


pdxmum
by Ruby Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM
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SPs should not set rules or boundaries that the BP clearly will not support and/or if doing so creates the negative behavior that is occurring.

I had no issues setting rules and boundaries with my skids. But it was done so first between me and DH and really, nothing was new because i have kids the same age as skids and we have similar parenting styles. If anyything, things got more strict with DDs.

But if i was entering their family alone, into their home, into their long-term routine, i would hesitate to change things up much.

So i disagree strongly with your blanket statement that SP should not set rules. In some situations, like this one, it is clearly the wrong thing to do. OP has been told that by a Parent Coach that they went to for help.


Quoting sparrow2013:

This is a very serious and scary situation. If her violent behavior is not been acknowledged as inappropriate she is always going to rely on it to get her way. If you do get pregnant how will she feel when the new baby is getting much needed attention and she is not the center of her dad's world. That could have terrible results.



Also, I have issues with anyone telling us step-parents that we should not set rules or boundaries. People seem to think we are not actually parents. That is not true. I treat my ss as a son and I am lucky that my ss sees me as a second mom.



If I were you I would make list of what you expect from dh and sd. Then I would have a talk w/ dh and explain why you expect these things. The two of you decide what rules your sd will need to follow, respectful, use your words not your fists, cleaning up after yourself etc.Then set those rules with her.



She will not grow into a good person if she doesn't have boundaries now.If dh can't back you up then it might be time to reevaluate your relationship and possibly attend couples counseling.



Good Luck! Being a step-parent is not easy but if you have a supportive partner it will be much more smooth.


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pdxmum
by Ruby Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:40 AM
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So after my rant about disagreeing about setting rules, this was my next piece of advice. Now that OP sees she must step back from control and rule making, she needs to heal her relationship with her DH and he needs help navigating the two difficult females in his life.


Quoting Birdseed:

Counseling.  Marriage counseling with a therapist who specializes in blended families.

This is a DH & you problem, not a kid problem.

The child is behaving precisely as she's been allowed to behave all along. You're an interloper in her world.

You and your DH need to get on the same page.  That may mean a lot of compromise.  But you have to get it together TOGETHER....then act.  And it all has to come from him.  If he wants the big happy family thing then he's going to have to do some work to get there. With you.



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spicy0425
by Silver Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Your DH needs to realize that a kid needs rules no matter whether it's bio-kid or step-kid. He is letting her to be physically abusive at such a young age. I think you need to talk to him, getting him to counseling. My OSD and I had a pretty good relationship since I temporarily replaced her bio-mom while she was away. Yet, my OSD still kicked me and punched me. Her father and I sat her down separately and talked to her why she did that, if I did or said anything wrong or unjust to her...etc..to which her reply always "I love my stepmom, I don't know why I did that" and she cried each time. My husband and I went to counselling and the marriage counselor (who is also a child psychologist), talked to both of us, gave us advices...etc.. OSD is a more level-headed girl. She still has her moment like very teenager, but she is much better at controlling her anger and when things don't go her way. Good luck.

WifeyC
by Platinum Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:47 AM

This is a DH issue, not a child issue.  Can you go somewhere on the weekends he has her?  Get some girl time in?

phoenixhuntress
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:10 PM


Quoting sparrow2013:

Also, I have issues with anyone telling us step-parents that we should not set rules or boundaries. People seem to think we are not actually parents. That is not true. I treat my ss as a son and I am lucky that my ss sees me as a second mom.  
Yes you are lucky!  Not all SK feel that way about a new adult in their life.  If your SS is younger then you have less issues with him accepting you in that role.  Older SK usually feel a bit differently.
If I were you I would make list of what you expect from dh and sd. Then I would have a talk w/ dh and explain why you expect these things. The two of you decide what rules your sd will need to follow, respectful, use your words not your fists, cleaning up after yourself etc.Then set those rules with her.
This is a good idea but when presenting it to SD make sure DH does the talking.  Again...hearing it from SM may seem like she's pushing the parenting role ... one that the SD doesn't acknowledge.
. She will not grow into a good person if she doesn't have boundaries now.If dh can't back you up then it might be time to reevaluate your relationship and possibly attend couples counseling.
Exactly!!!   This is a DH/SM relationship issue more than a kid/SM relationship issue.  He has choose to teach her the proper ways to behave!  
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