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teen step parenting

Posted by on Jan. 12, 2014 at 12:16 PM
  • 11 Replies
My name is Monica, I have been married for 12 years with 15yo step daughter, a 11yo daughter, and 10yo son. As a stepfamily we have had our ups and downs like any family over the years. I myself as a step mom have tried my best to build a strong relationship with my stepdaughter over the years and had felt I had done well in doing so balancing boundaries, relationships, and everything that comes along with step parenting, until recent. I know the teenage years are hard for any parent but seems especially so as a step parent, at least in my case! How do you balance the boundaries, maintain the standards you set in your home, and continue a positive relationship when your teenage daughter is pushing the boundaries herself? She is a good kid overall but as of recent about the last 2 months has made some poor decisions that if she were my own bio daughter or son would of had consequences. I understand I am the step mom but her BM contacted me told me of consequences and asked we follow the same when she is at our house and asked the same of my husband...we agreed. Perfect...right?! We communicate, all agree, everyones on the same page! Wrong after she comes to our house, my husband working most of time she was with us, and I reinforce consequence I become evil SM! She was upset regarding consequences...rude and disrespectful. Then goes to BM house who.doesn't follow through with consequences and rewards step daughter with concert tickets? My husband spoke to step daughter and told her to apologize....it's been 2 weeks...no apology same attitude towards me. I refuse to allow her to treat me disrespectful especially with younger ones watching her. How do I set same values for my bk kids when they see the difference themselves?! Never realized step parenting would become more difficult after 12 yrs.
by on Jan. 12, 2014 at 12:16 PM
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whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Here's your problem. If your husband is going to drop the parenting ball, have your SD stay with her mom. If Dad is working most of the time she is at Dad's house, she shouldn't be there. She should be at mom's house.

Quoting gilm:
 Wrong after she comes to our house, my husband working most of time she was with us, and I reinforce consequence I become evil SM!  


Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 12:52 PM
1 mom liked this

So you've been in this child's life since she was 3YO and I'm assuming that you've been in a position to supervise her, enforce rules and/or consequences all along, correct?  It's just that now, she's 15 and moody/rude/disrespectful?  Or is it that she's never really had to have rules and consequences?

I guess one way to avoid dealing with it is to have your husband handle things, enforce consequences, etc.  That would include making sure that she apologizes if that's what he told her to do. 

That said, I suspect that he doesn't see his daughter very often and she's at an age where she has quite a bit more say in where she goes and what she does so he may not really WANT to stand up to her for fear she'll quit visiting.

As for your other kids, they are quite capable of knowing what rules apply to them so regardless of what their older sibling is doing, they their own person and will do their own thing.  I wouldn't worry about that.

Personally, if one of my SDs were upset about a consequence set forth by one of their parents, I'd tell them to take it up with their folks--that I'm just doing what I was asked to do.  FWIW, I don't think this is just a "teen" thing.  My SDs are 14 and nearly 16 and they aren't disrespectful, rude, whatever...if I tell them no or get after them about something, they certainly don't LIKE it but they're not slamming doors or yelling.

I have to wonder what kind of actual parenting is happening at Dad's house (via Dad). If he's really not there much, she may well be lashing out at you in an attempt to get some attention from him. But since he asked her to apologize, she hasn't, and he hasn't done anything about it for 2 weeks, I think that Dad has probably been pretty permissive and is going to be in for a real trip because his daughter probably doesn't think that rules apply to her in his house--because they haven't thus far.

I dunno.  Just some thoughts.

Not all teenagers throw fits and are rude.  But the bottom line to me is that maybe Dad needs to be more involved and let you off the hook.



djohn13
by Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 12:56 PM
2 moms liked this
Yes, the only way you are going to get through to her since BM's follow through is slacking is to have DH'S support. He has gotta back you up. Talk to your husbands see if you two can develop ways for her to feel his presents when he's gone. Also pick your battles.

Quoting whatIknownow:

Here's your problem. If your husband is going to drop the parenting ball, have your SD stay with her mom. If Dad is working most of the time she is at Dad's house, she shouldn't be there. She should be at mom's house.

Quoting gilm:
 Wrong after she comes to our house, my husband working most of time she was with us, and I reinforce consequence I become evil SM!  


gilm
by on Jan. 12, 2014 at 2:00 PM
Thanks for the replies...it is difficult to capturd the full story in a post. My husband is usually home when SD is with us, it just so happened he had to work when consequences were implemented. I have in the past implemented consequences and diciplined to an extent but frustration comes into play now due to this new attitude SD is having along with BM not following through, and my husb making up excuses for SD. My husb and I discussed situation and I expressed frustration...but he made excuse, not to expect apology like we would from our kids due to different standards and values at BM's (BM often gives excuse.she is a teen and ignores behaviors.of slamming door, rolling eyes, and.disrespect). I dont agree with this and told him so....i explained he is her father regardless and should expect same from her as he does our children.
I understand we can not change BM but we can expect same from her as we do from our children when she is with us.
I have to say...SD is with us often, at least a 2-3 days throughout week and every other weekend...but i agree with birdseed....i think my husband is.concerned with her getting older and not visiting as often. Something i will mention for him to consider.
I have tried really hard over years to coparent and have an ok relationship with SD BM...to point she often calls to get parenting advice. I am unsure at this point after all that has happened in past couple months (guess this has a lot more.detail to story then presented) she is using it to play good parent/bad parent to her benefit?! Just a thought.
I have mentioned to my husband that i will be taking a step back from disciplinarian when it comes to SD. Hopefully this in itself will help.
Leigh84
by Silver Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 3:03 PM
1 mom liked this
I have a 15 yr old SS. I've been in his life for 11 years. We also have a pretty good relationship however; I've recently realized that as he gets further and further into the teen years our relationship has changed a bit. Not necessarily in a bad way tho. I think it mostly has to do w/growing up.

There are times when he may get upset b/c I enforce a rule he doesn't like if his dads not home. I just remind him that I don't make all the rules. If he wants to get mad, I let him be mad and stay out of his way. He will get over it. The teen years are tuff hang in there.
HopeAlive
by on Jan. 13, 2014 at 1:14 PM
1 mom liked this

Aww, I'm sorry... I hear your frustration. I know that can be a tricky spot to be in, and it sounds like you've been really tuned into balancing boundaries while building relationships - good job, mama!

I wish I had some good advice for you on this. One thing I did think of, though, was a website called Smart Stepfamilies. They've got great articles and videos on all kinds of issues related to step parenting, and you might find some good stuff on there! Hope it helps. :-)

jules2boys
by Gold Member on Jan. 13, 2014 at 1:48 PM

WHY do the same rules have to apply in your home and in BMs? 

I'm BM in my situation.  I have the boys nearly all of the time (ODS about 99% of the time, YDS about 85% of the time).  They've both been forced to apologize to SM for behaviors that are perfectly acceptable in my home.  I am NOT the lienent parent (just ask the boys! LOL) but some of the things they've had to apologize for over the years are rediculous.  However, MY finding them rediculous doesn't mean BF/SM must find them rediculous, and they can/do expect an apology from the boys.  I don't back it, but I don't tell them not to apologize either.  BF/SM have different rules/expectations of the boys than I do.  Do the boys 'like' the different rules?  Heck no.  But, they adapt.  SM has been in their lives 'officially' for 8 years now (unofficially for 11) and it's always been this way.  We tried having the 'same rules' but that just pitted one  house against the other from the beginning (SM was NOT going to rule my home/rules and I wasn't going to run theirs).  The boys adjusted, in time. 

Perhaps this is the time for your DH to tell BM that his home will have it's own rules and stick to them.  So SD15 isn't 'punished' the same in one home vs. the other?  As long as she abides by the rules you and dh set up, she'll adjust.  And, if not, she'll be heading to college in 3 or so years, right?

As for how your younger ones see her treating you, she's not them, and they're not her.  The younger ones are YOUR kids.  If they haven't figured that out by now, that's on you/DH.  SDs role in your home should not be as the 'example' for the younger ones.  My boys, both mine and XH's, have different rules and they understand this is due to their different ages.  We also have different relationships, so what one can 'get away with' the other can't.  It's really not 'that' confusing when explained to each child. 

Think about SD15 this way... she's spreading her wings some, testing waters.  Do you really want a 15 girl to never 'talk back'?  I would be afraid if I knew one who wouldn't talk back (girl or boy).  A teen who doesn't talk back will fall for anything.  :(  What I have done (and am still doing) is teach my boys HOW to respectfully say what they want, and teach them how their words/tone sound, versus the words or tone that'll make them 'heard' rather than simply sounding rude/disrespectful.  Who's teaching this?  They aren't born knowing it!  Speak to the teen respectfully and teach her how to speak respectfully back to you (or any adult) and you've taught her a life lesson!  Simply expecting a teen to not act like a normal/typicaly teen is counterproductive to both you and the teen. 

gilm
by on Jan. 14, 2014 at 12:58 AM
Although i hear what you are saying...i have to disagree with you regarding the "talking back". I dont want my 15 yr old talking back whether it is my SD or my own. There is a big difference between talking back and teaching your kids to stand up for themselves. Yes, I teach them to have a voice, which I am always willing to listen too but "Talking back" is disrespectful and should not be accepted just because SD is a teen. If she would have been trying to discuss with me why she was upset this post would be completely different.
Also....i do not expect same rules to apply at BM house as ours...what i do expect is SD to follow our rules when she is with us. Reason we chose all to be on same page of consequence was due to SD getting in trouble at school...common ground between all parents (or so i thought) and consequence was suppose to be earned back privleges.

Think about SD15 this way... she's spreading her wings some, testing waters.  Do you really want a 15 girl to never 'talk back'?  I would be afraid if I knew one who wouldn't talk back (girl or boy).  A teen who doesn't talk back will fall for anything.  :(
CrunchMaMaBear
by Queen Crunch on Jan. 14, 2014 at 9:44 AM
Let dad enforce consciences. Its his job. If mom and dad dont follow through, that's on them, not you. Worry about your two kids
pseudomamma
by Bronze Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 12:19 PM

We learned early that punishment dished out at our house cannot be enforced at OPs home.  DSS would get a minor grounding and immediately head to BM's, because it would never stick.  We would get phone calls from BM telling us how SK got in trouble and what the punishment is.  Will we uphold it?  And we would but it became more frequent then we figured out it was only when they came to our house.  Consequently, we were the ones who had to enforce the punishment.  It would be done by the time they went to her house.

IMHO  if BM sets it up, she can enforce it.  And the same with you.  You cannot control what she does at OP house.  If she gets in trouble there, the punishment should be there and only there.

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