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Step Daughter's inapropriate online behavior

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My 16 year old step daughter just moved in with us.  It has been hectic as we already have a 2.5 year old and another on the way.  My husband and I gave up our bedroom so she could move in (we now sleep in the livingroom). I have always had my suspisions that her problems at school (bad grades and trouble with other kids) were of her own doing but my husband blames his mother (whom she lived with) for her problems.  My husband and I have recently become friends with her on Facebook.  I see alot of status updates on my page from her that do not appear on my husbands page.  I think she is blocking him from seeing her status updates which I would not tolerate if she were my child.  The ones I have seen include foul language, complaining about other kids, and complaining about materialistic things her grandmother provided for her (ie, a crappy cell phone, her words).  The more I told him about this behavior she started to block me as well.  Now we find out she is going on this teen dating site.  When he confronted her it was obvious she was blowing him off but he doesnt see it that way.  He has a lot of guilt over how she was raised so he acts more like her friend than her parent.  She recieved 4 F's last year and he is talking about getting her an Iphone!!  I think her internet privlages should be taken away until her grades improve and she can show maturity in her FB postings.  I also think she should have to log into her facebook every few weeks with him there so he can see if she is infact blocking him from seeing inappropriate postings of hers.  Am I being to harsh?  I have 2 children of my own to worry about and I dont want them to see daddy cutting her a bunch of slack when he is very strict with them.

by on Jul. 13, 2013 at 1:54 PM
Replies (31-38):
by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Hi cloverhrt5....  the first thing I have to say is that it's very hard to bring someone into your home and give up your bedroom for her. If you had the space that would be a different story. She is 16 and already has a 2.5 year old child and another on the way, I would get counseling for her, hopefully her parents have insurance on her. I know that there are schools that would take young mothers to bring their children with them so the child is in a daycare right where she would be going to school. Schooling is very important for her so she can mature enough to get a job, apartment of her own and pay her own bills. I raised 3 girls and I don't think there is anything more difficult than raising a teenage girl. I commend your husband for stepping up to help his niece but he needs to make sure that the communication is there between him and you, between the both of you with his niece and to make sure she reconnects with her mom/dad. I married a guy who had 3 kids, 2 boys and 1 girl and I had my 3 girls and it was so difficult for me to step in as the stepmother. His kids refused to give me a chance. The arguments in that house were so frequent and loud and my husband was given sole custody of his kids, so when a "mother"came into the house and tried to be a friend first ..... it didn't work, they needed a mother and a father to be on the same page about parenting. Well we were not, I treated my girls differently than I treated his kids, I think mostly because they rejected me. They wanted to fit in with the "Jones" getting everything that their friends were getting, like $100 sneakers and with six kids and two parents working, we really did not have that kind of money. Back then if they would of had computers/facebook, I sure would be keeping tabs on them. Too many problems happen when you turn your back for a moment or try to be more of a friend than a parent and they even say today that they needed a parent, needing guidance and not to be there to be a friend.Today we are divorced and his kids that said they hated me back then are now saying how much they appreciated what I did as a "mom", now that they are parents, they see where I was coming from. His niece might not like being checked up on but believe me when she has to check up on her own kids, she will thank the two of you for caring so much.  Good luck and God Bless

by on Jul. 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

I agree with you and most of the replies.  I have a 14 year old son (almost 15 entering high school) that begged for a facebook account when he just turned 13.  He also has an email account and an iPod.  I set up all his accounts. I have his passwords and I check all of his accounts on a regular basis and he knows.  This was a stipulation of him being allowed to have this access.  When I find something he did/posted  I don't like...I take his access.  He is learning over time...

by on Jul. 18, 2013 at 5:46 PM

No I think he needs to lay down the law a little with her!

by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 3:33 AM

I agree with you but at the same time she's a teenager and foul language and complaining are things that come with being a teen girl. I totally agree she should be monitored online and should have punishments for the bad grades but try to remember when you were 16 I'm sure you used some foul language and did your fair share of complaining.

by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 3:41 AM


Quoting Indiemom880:

This is a tough one. I'm a firm believer that teens should have some privacy. But when it comes to the internet, there are so many dangerous things out there and dating sites can be very dangerous. If my teen was writing notes or texts to her friends that contained cursing, complaining, etc. I wouldn't make an issue of it. It's her business what she wants to feel and complain about. But what is online is read by a great many people. And it's there permanently.

If this was me, I would talk to her about this. Not in an angry way or a demanding way, but set limits for what she does online. I think it's entirely reasonable to tell her that she's allowed to curse, complain about her belongings, and even complain about you privately to her friends, but she can't post about it publicly. It makes your family look bad, it's embarrassing to you, and it could impact her later. She could regret things she has said later and it could impact her employment. And the dating site: again, I think teens should be allowed to date. It's an entirely normal thing for a girl her age to want to do. But there are major dangers out there. She can use it, but you need the passwords to it. And all boys that she meets or gives her address/phone number to, you need to meet and approve before she can go out with them.

And when I say "you", I really mean her father should be included to. It sounds like she has had a rough start in life. She really needs to feel like her parents are on her side. Don't be angry about this. Don't ground her. But set firm limits and make sure she feels welcome in your home. Compliment her. Joke around with her. Help her to feel that she's not a burden.

There was another mom yesterday who posted a question similar to yours and she responded by breaking the cell phone in half, threatening to punch her daughter in the face, making her sit on the step for line two hours like a toddler, and taking the door off her bedroom. I told her that these methods would backfire on her. And they will. Please don't go that route. It will only push her away.

by on Aug. 15, 2013 at 1:01 PM
I agree. He needs to grow some balls. She does it cos she knows he will allow it. I don;t think kids need to be on the internet. He has as much as to blame for how she grew up. NOT just the MOTHER!
Your kids will feel like crap and as if they don't matter if he let's her run loose and they are not allowed to do as well. He needs to treat all those kids the same. I'm a step mother and my stepdaughter spent the 1st 10years of her life doing whatever she wanted to do without getting into trouble. I don't allow her to run around like an idiot nor do I let my husband treat her different from ourr son together.!
by on Aug. 15, 2013 at 1:06 PM
His daughter should have a job and get her own cell phone instead of bitching about the crappy one that was given to her.I never acted like that as a child or teenager cos I knew better
by on Aug. 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM
Agree with you. He need to be a dad not a friend. Sounds like your parenting skillsv are top notch
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