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new stepmom needs advice?

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I am new to the world of step parenting. 3 months ago my dh's 12 year old daughter reached out to him via cellphone. The last time dh saw her she was 3 years old. I'm not going to go into too much detail but I will say dh got into dome trouble. He was put on probation. Her mother took dh back to court to seek out full custody and revoke his visitation. To our surprise the judge granted her full custody and revoked dh's visitation. I know your think he must have done something really bad. Long stoey short dh was convicted as a sex offebder for engaging in sex with his 15 year old girlfriend who protrade herself as a 17 year old.

Well over the years he continued to pay his child support, provide her with health insurance, pay for all after school activities and send her $100 on christmas and her birthday. We put up pictures of her all over the house (mostly baby pictuees and her 2nd and 3rd birthday pics). As our children got older we told them about her and showed them pictues of her. Our plans never weee to exclude her feom our lives. Our doors were always open and our arms were always willing to welcome her.

3 months ago dh got a very surprising phone call from his daughter asking to see him. He picked her up and they went out to lunch. He conveied to me that not much was said. She did however ask to see him again and asked if she could come over for christmas. Dh told her yes of course. There have been quite a few visits since that day.

Dh brought it up to my attention that he is feeling like her reasons for wanting to see him were not to build a relationship, but to use him. Things she say's and does make him feel the relationship they are building are not based on each other but material things and places. For instance she always has to know what they or us are doing before deciding whether or not she wants to tag along, she constantly tries to get dh to buy her things, always claims she's bored if we hang out at the house playing games baking or watching movies, doesn't seem inteeested in getring to know us or dh, she never calls dh between visits, invites her friends to do stuff and says her dh will take them ect.

Dh goes out of his way for her. Calls her at least twice a week, invites her over at least once a week, goes to her ball games, takes her our just the two of them ect. I am trying to be supportive. I don't know what to tell him. Any advice?
by on Aug. 26, 2013 at 9:07 AM
Replies (21-29):
by Member on Aug. 27, 2013 at 7:03 PM
My SO's 13 yr old daughter is the same way. She has to know what our plans are at all times. She is ad/hd and has severe anxiety issues.. so its part of her behavior. And she is always wanting us to buy her stuff.. which is always a no...
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by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Reunification can be very hard,especially when there has been so many years since he last saw the child.  You really don't know what the daugther's thought process is regarding this new relationship.  She may not even know herself what she wants.  It's hard  for a 12 year old child to jump into a new family dynamic or relationship after so much time.  You have no idea either what the child's mother has told her about dad over the years and why he hasn't been in the child's life. At this point in the reunification process, child doesn't know what to expect or how to behave, child probably doesn't understand that her behavior is coming off as "using."  Child IS trying to be in control of the process by deciding when she wants to see dad and what she wants to do when she does see dad, this is her way of protecting the interaction so that she feels comfortable, she doesn't realize how this could be interpreted, nor does she understand that there needs to be give and take in the relationship, she's not mature enough for that yet, and both dad and you need to realize that until child is comfortable with the situation, is confident in her place in dad's life (this could take a while), and continues to receive positive emotions from her visits her re-attachment to dad is going to take a while and it's going to be bumpy.  You would all be best served by family counseling with a therapist who specializes in reunification to understand each others needs better and to process the feelings that it brings out in everyone involved.    

by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 11:46 PM
I was the 12 yr old once.. Please don't take this the wrong way but, he set the tone for material items as the basis of relationship.

She is 12 and needs to be reached out to. She called him.. she may hold a little resentment for having to do that.

Does she get time alone to build a relationship?

Don't assume anything. Just love her. Remember she is just 12, and is going with the flow and its new to her as well.

The best thing you can do is be her friend, and listen to her if she comes to you and be very patient. The worst thing you can do is to back her in a corner with accusations.

I hope in the years to come she feels like she is a part of your family...

Remember, she looks at life as her against the world (ego) and its NORMAL for a young girl to feel uncertain..

SHOW her how to grow relaTionship by starting it first (never expect a 12 yr old to be a 30 something yr old woman. Please be realistic with where she is at.

I suggest reading books on tweens, and step parenting and how divorce has effects on children.

You will make it through. :)
by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 11:48 PM
BTW- I think its great your dh did suupport her financially.. and does try.. so I hope my last post doesn't sound as though that part of parenting isn't needed (support financially and provision I mean)
by Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 9:01 AM
Well to clear up a few things. Dh and his ex were never married. They dated for a year and then broke up because she cheated on him. 2 years later he got a letter in the mail stating his ex was taking him to court for child support for their 13 month old daughter. At the time he diened paternity. A dna test was done and he was proven the father. Child support and visitation was assesed. He took his visitation up until mom took him to court and it revocked when she was almost 4 years old. When there daughter was2 her mom started dating someone. It got serious pretty quick. Whenshe turned 3 dh's ex announced she was pregnant. Not long after dh lost visitation. Since then her and that guy have gotten married and gone on to have kids together 9, 7, and 5 years old. Both dh and I have met the guy his ex married and have nothing against him. Great guy because he stepped up and playedvthe part dh couldn't.

Now that dh is trying to get back involved he's not looking to take her ,"dad's" place. He has no expectations of her calling him dad or treating him as such. At this point he jyst wants to build a loving trusting relationship with her.
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Sometimes I think kids don't know what true love is. So she relates love to what he bought for her. It probably makes her feel good to tell her friends and her mom what she did with her dad and what he bought for her.

How old was your dh when he allegedly slept with a 15 yr.old?

by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 2:37 PM

I'm the mom of a grown son +_I thought we we were totally tight and devoted as a mom and son should be, but since his wife took over, I've been removed from family relationships.  She always has an excuse for not speaking to me, "   "Machinery running." or "I had laryngitis." and"You;re on your own since you moved out of here.gah! NO ONe answers their home phone EXCEPT HER!wtf?

by Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 5:58 PM
Well there is a twist, wrwnch thrown into the mix. Dh went to call his daughtwr today and it said the number we are trying to reach has been changed. His ex had their number changed and didn't tell dh. He drove out to the house but no one was home. He left a note in the mail box asking her to call him but who knows what is going to come of that. It's been 8 days since he last spoke with his daughter. Our son had aurgery last Thrusday and has been on bed rest. Dh has been working long hours and our kids have had a lot going on. I don't know why she would change her number and not tell us.
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 10:45 PM

I wished that my dad treated me this way is all that I have to say.

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