I'm new to this site, but I got on here because I've been a step for almost 2 years and just last summer my husband's daughter (now 14) moved in with us. I have 4 boys ages 9-16 and one to my new husband (18 mo), so I don't have any experience raising girls; however, I'm a middle school teacher, so I deal with that age all the time, including their drama.
Here's my issue: We (my husband and I) agreed that the kids would have simple jobs around the house, especially for the summer. My kids have been doing jobs for years, so to them, it's no big deal. His daughter has never had to do anything. At Christmas we bought her two chinchillas, which she wanted. Because my oldest son has 3 chinchillas, they are to take turns making sure they all have food and water. My step daughter has Fri-Sun only (this job is an all year job that she's had since Dec). She never does it. I write it as a reminder, I physically tell her, and she still doesn't do it. So, then my husband tells her, she often never does it. When my boys don't do their jobs they lose video game/tv priviledges; when she doesn't do it, he just talks to her...and she still almost never does it. She also has a dog that she almost never feeds or cleans up after. We agreed that all jobs in the summer needed to happen first thing when the kids got up, right after breakfast. Last night, she still didn't have her job done (which also included sweeping behind her chinchilla cage). At 10, I fed and gave water to the chinchillas. Needless to say, I was mad. Yes, my husband had also reminded her. Then he got upset with me, b/c I got upset about the whole thing. Anytime I try to talk to him about her doing anything, he gets defensive. He says he doesn't want to push her, b/c he's afraid she will move back in with her mom. Literally, his daughter never left her room during the whole school year, reluctantly came out for dinner, and never talked to anyone - she's like a hermit; I can't believe she's happy here. But, my husband says she is.
So, I guess my problem is:
1. she won't do anything unless told to at least 5 times, which I don't have time or energy for
2. my husband won't discipline her, b/c he's afraid she will leave
3. my kids see her as the "princess" of the house, b/c she never has to do anything, and never gets punished/disciplined
4. she isn't learning anything by this
5. all communication between me and my husband regarding her is completely cut off, b/c he gets so defensive that I don't even bother anymore.
I'm growing to not want her here, b/c of the stress her laziness is causing. I'm not a bad person, what I am asking her (and my own kids) to do is not unfair or unrealistic, but I'm getting stressed out about it.
Does anyone have advice??? I've tried talking to my husband; it ends in a fight. I've talked to my son's counselor and she agrees there needs to be some accountability and it needs to come from my husband.