15 YR Old SD is getting on my nerves...

akhillFebruary 18, 2009

I don't really know where to start here. All I know is that I am about to go nuts and I am beginning to think that I might be over-reacting. I married my husband almost 4 years ago. At the time I had 4 children from a previous marriage that he adopted this year, we have another child together and then he has a daughter from a previous marriage. Well he and his ex got divorced when his daughter was 7 years old. The mother moved around all the time and half the time he never knew where she was. So for all those years he never got to see his daughter. All of a sudden right before Thanksgiving his ex gets a hold of us and wants us to get her for Thanksgiving Holiday (by this time she's 14 years old) so we get her and it was weird because she hadn't seen her dad in 7 years, she didn't know me at all and she didn't know any of the kids. But she did very well and got along with everyone. She even came back for 2 weeks over Christmas Break and had a great time. She even mentioned many times how she didn't want to go back home.

Now let me get to my current position. My SD is 15 now and has a 16 yr old boyfriend who she thinks is the rest of her life. She says hes the only thing that makes her focus on everything else. She is constantly contridicting herself and its aggervates me so much. Our house is loud which doesn't bother me, I love hearing all my kids. She hates it.I have a 3 yr old that can be annoying sometimes and shes taken to were she just leaves my 3 year old out of everything and even snaps at her which upsets me. She complains about everything. One minute she's happy the next she's unhappy and ugh...one minute shes talking about all these guys at school and the next shes talking about her boyfriend. She is so judgemental about everything and everyone. She's just getting on my nerves and its so hard to deal with because her mother just kind of dumped her on us actually on me to be exact because my husband is a truck driver and gone a month at a time.

When she first came here we told her all the rules and I feel like she ignores them any chance that she gets and now she has called her boyfriends mom and asked if she would get her a cell phone because I am not with the same company as her boyfriend and she hates waiting till after 9 to talk to him. I just don't know what to do.

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Well, it sounds like she is a typical 15 year old. It gets better but not in the short term :-). Perhaps you could see a counsellor to talk about what sort of behaviour to expect and what you can do do minimise its effect on you. I can kind of sympathise with your SD as to the noise- she's gone from a home where she was an only (I'm guessing) to one with five younger children. Perhaps this will be a good opportunity to teach the younger children that not everyone is thrilled by their noise and sometimes one has to fit in with what other people like. At the same time your SD needs to learn that _she_ needs to work at fitting in, but with teenagers this is harder as they tend to be very self-oriented.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 6:52AM
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I think you have to have a talk with your husband first about your feelings and then sit down Sd.
As for the snapping at the 3 year old, i would nip it in the butt at the same time while she does it. Turn around and tell her not to snap at the 3 year old because she or he is only 3 years old and if she doesn't like the noise then go somewhere else in the house where she can get her piece and quiet.
She must understand that she was a lonely child for 15 years but your house has had 4-5 kids all these years and it wont change because of one person.
SHe needs to understand that fitting in requires patience and comprimise.
5 kids at this stage will not comprimise with her but she is 15 and she is old enough to understand and redirect her anger and not take it out on a 3 year old.
I suggest you handle her behaviour while she is doing it and be direct towards her. It doesn't matter if you are not her mother. She is under your house and behaving inappropriate towards a toddler. Your right to defend your child against her snappy attitude.
Her father needs to reinforce the rules. She is a typical teenager. And dont allow cell phones in yoru house. It will only give her more power to do what she feels and since you are not her mom and her father is away for months at time i think you shoudl allow cell phone to enter the pic in yoru home.
As well, i think you should have visits from her to be rearrange so that her FATHER is there and not gone for a month. Whats the point of her visiting if her dad is not there? Sure she can bond with you but HER FATHER should have more contact since there was a lack of this over several years. i'm not blaming him for that. His job takes him our alot and sounds liek BM was not a stable person for her child.
Your sd sounds like she relaly likes your home and is behaving like a typical teenager. main points to give you advice are
1. Reinforce house rules with hubby and you
2. No cell phone
3. Arrange for her visits to be there when Father has maximum time to spend with daughter.
4. Under no circumstances is she to take it out on toddlers. She's old enough not to do that. If she wants piece and quiet, go out and go to the mall or go listen to music but no more snapping at toddler or be grounded.
So does she now live with you or does she visit at long stretches?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 8:42AM
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It's that "she has to fit in" thing that is at issue. While that may be now a fact of her life, hopefully everyone can understand that it's not at all likely to be easy for her to do... especially on top of issues with mom, obvious changes in relationship with Dad, and just being a hormonal teenager. So yeah, she's going to be a little touchy. Addressing her adjustment-related sensitivity/touchiness with compassion and patience will work out far better in the long run than expecting her to be perfectly poised and happy as a clam at all times. Also, too, you can gently remind her (and yourselves) that we're only talking about a few more years before she'll be moving out and off to college, which may make the temporary clash of personalities easier for everyone to deal with in the meantime.

If she's out-and-out rude, hostile or hurtful, Dad needs to address it with her and remind her that nobody ---no matter what circumstances--- is allowed to just be mean. But if you're talking about a more vague personality difference and "chip" on the shoulder that doesn't necessarily harm anyone (but may make her a bit harder to warm up to), you might just have to suck that up because since she's not really doing anything "wrong", then "correction" isn't warranted. Look at it this way: she has to "suck up" suddenly going from only child to peripheral at best in a brand new huge family, and while she has to refrain from being hurtful, she doesn't have to like her new situation.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 9:29AM
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It sounds like such a tough situation. She has to resent that her mom dumped her. And she has to resent that all the time she did not see her father he was raising another family (I am sure she does not realize that he could not find her).

I usually do not think counseling is always best. But for deep rooted issues like this it may be benificial and help you all to set boundries and follow them.

In the meantime can you maybe do a give and take. For instance let her call her bf before 9 on a home phone if she follows certain rules?? Or maybe allow the bf to come over and hang out with her on a Sat. or Sun. if she does certain things during the week?? This way you can meet him and supervise what is going on. This relationship will probably run its course anyways.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 9:59AM
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Let me add a little more to this. I was so tired that I didn't get it all down here. Yes my SD has moved in with us. About the middle of Jan. her mother called my husband and said she's coming to live with you because she had gotten into trouble again and her behaviour had not changed. So on a Friday she yanked her daughter out of school told her what she was doing make her pack all her stuff and sent her on her way.
The first couple of days were really rough but I understand that she was really upset with her mother espically since she didn't give her the chance to say goodbye to her friends.
As for other things...well I am just having such a hard time because I haven't had to deal with this. I have raised my kids differently and haven't had to put up with this attitude. My children and I have open communication between us whereas she's never had that with her own mother so it's hard for her to just talk.
Some of the reasons she was sent to live here was because her mother found out that she and the boyfriend were having sex and sending naked pics to each other over the phone. She was always back-talking and demanding things from her mother.
I don't have long distance on my home phone and my cell phone is free after 9 therefore the reason she waits till after 9 to call her boyfriend. I have already let him come over once but I'm not going to have it turn into an every day thing.
She's told us she does not want to go back to her mothers house but she would rather live with her boyfriend and his parents because she feels closer to her boyfriends mom.
My neice lives with my parents right next door and she goes down there to see her a lot but I learned it was just so she could use her phone to text her boyfriend. She's even told me that she thinks my neice is a whore which I put a stop to that comment as soon as she said it.
I will have to admit that I do not like confrontation so I might let some things slide sometimes because I just don't want to deal with the attitude.
My husband is fixing to go to work with a new company were he will at least be home every weekend which will help out. But sometimes I feel bad because I find myself thinking that I wish her mother would take her back home because she has turned our life upside down.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 12:24PM
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Sounds like maybe there just need to be a few more ground rules at your house. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you putting your foot down and saying the boyfriend can't come over every single day. Or that she can't use your cell phone to call him, at least not for free. Maybe it's a good time for her to get a small P/T job (or at least try, with this economy) so that she can afford her own phone calls/texts. I don't like the idea of too much punishment, and I certainly don't like the idea of one family member being made the "bad seed"... so I think the solution to both lies partly in moving SD more towards a lifestyle in which she has to be responsible for her choices. That way, she may behave in a less "spoiled" manner when she realizes she has to put in effort for things she wants. Also, if she's busier, she'll expend some of the extra energy that she's spending on the boyfriend and on feeling bothered by her new living situation. Ideally, she'll start to have a sense of pride about earning her own money and so she'll hopefully have more self-esteem and feel more in control of her life, which will also hopefully cut down on the attitude she has now, which sounds like the only way she feels empowered to express her feelings.

I'm not sure what your other kids' ages are, but I think it's fair to say that if they are close in age, the same rules should apply to them regarding looking for jobs, paying for their own "extras" like excessive calls/texts and how often their friends or boy/girlfriends can come over.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 12:44PM
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She is constantly contridicting herself and its aggervates me so much. Our house is loud which doesn't bother me, I love hearing all my kids. She hates it.I have a 3 yr old that can be annoying sometimes and shes taken to were she just leaves my 3 year old out of everything and even snaps at her which upsets me. She complains about everything. One minute she's happy the next she's unhappy and ugh...one minute shes talking about all these guys at school and the next shes talking about her boyfriend. She is so judgemental about everything and everyone. She's just getting on my nerves and its so hard to deal

Welcome to the world of 15 year-old girls! My SD15 is a gem! But she still does EXACTLY the same things you describe in your SD. She'd likely be no different had you & your DH been involved with her all along. This too shall pass!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 8:39PM
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As I said sometimes I think I am reading to much into things but I don't know. My other children range in age from 3, 3 (almost 4), 5, 9 and 12
I don't want them picking up her attitude. I have 4 girls and 1 boy and then my SD.
Anyway tonight I told her that we decided no that she wasn't getting the phone and lets just say she is not in a good mood. Her bf called here and she talked to him long enough for my oldest daughter to hear her tell him that we are all crazy here, that she doesn't know why she can't have a phone, that she hates the school here, that they need to redo the whole school, that our library is so small, and that as soon as she turns 18 she is out of here.
Honestly I think shes a little different than most, it all stems from this boy. She's even made the comment to me that she literally gets sick if shes not around him every day. for a whole year we have learned that her bf's mother basically took care of her while her BM worked and went out and lived her life. She's so judge-mental of everyone around here and when she does talk to her bf all she does is get in arguements with him and tells him to shut up. She complains about everything and looks down on everyone.
When she first moved in with us...this is the way she sees herself...she's done everything she can already do except go on to college and get married and start her career. She knows everything else that there is to know and she doesn't need people to talk to her. I just so want to cry right now.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 12:33AM
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By the way I have another question that maybe some of you might be able to answer for me. Seeing as how I am all new to this...
Is it as hard for you as it is hard for me to step in and take that parent role with your step child? I mean its a little different because after the first couple of weeks her mother has not called anymore to check on her or anything. It's like she's happy to be rid of her.
And even though I'm the one here at home I'm still having a hard time with some things.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 1:01AM
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"My children and I have open communication between us whereas she's never had that with her own mother so it's hard for her to just talk."

This is only a valid comment if your children are OLDER than your SD. If you haven't raised a teenager, you can't predict what YOUR kids will be like when they get to her age. (and all teenagers are different) How do you know what she had with her own mother? Has she told you or are you guessing? Lots of teens find it hard to be open or talk to their parents even though they once had a close relationship with the parent(s). One thing is for sure, she is a product of her parents and it sorely irritates me when one parent, for lack of a better term, 'fails' to do a proper job of raising a child and when the child becomes unmanageable, they ship them off to the other parent. It's bad enough when both parents are involved ongoing but when they do it after years of keeping the other parent away or even if the other parent stayed away... you don't screw it up, throw your hands up and send the kid off to go live with virtual strangers! I'd suggest counseling ASAP for this girl but unless she wants to have a good relationship with her dad (and you), it probably won't do a whole lot of good. She has to want to benefit from it and probably at this point, all she can see is 'happily ever after' with her BF.

"mother has not called anymore to check on her or anything. It's like she's happy to be rid of her."

again, I cannot reiterate how pissed this makes me because the bottom line is her mom created this problem. If she kept dad away and f*cked up as a single parent, then how does she have the audacity to a) use dad as a punishment. b) throw the kid away and wash her hands of it. c) dump HER problems on you (and dad after preventing him from seeing her all those years). Of course, coming from a background where a mom would do that, it doesn't surprise me that a teenage girl would only think about how BF is going to rescue her and he'll be her family and they'll life happily ever after. That's a normal teen girl fantasy but when you have no real family in your life.. it becomes more important. At this point, how you and your family treat her (embrace her or just tolerate her) will factor in to her feelings of whether she HAS a family or not. If she feels like an outsider in your home and she feels abandoned or tossed aside by her mom (which seems true from your post), then she will latch on to something else. Lots of teen girls that long for acceptance or family, will have a baby or focus on a BF (or both) to achieve what they think what they want. It doesn't usually end up what they hope for *family*, it usually ends up with them being a single teen parent or feeling used by a BF and once again, tossed aside when he moves on... because most teenage boys are not thinking 'happily ever after'.

As for you stepping into any role... let DAD be primary parent. If he is gone a lot, pick a time when he is home and he should sit down with SD15 to discuss what HIS expectations are and rules/consequences. Let HIM lay down the law and you might have to be the deputy that enforces it when dad is gone, but I would suggest trying not to make the rules too strict because you are not going to change SD from who she is.. but you need boundaries to maintain order in your house. Her dad needs to tell her that she is an example to the younger kids and as long as she lives there, she has to set a good example. My first thought was dad should have told mom no, SD can't come live there but then if he was kept away for so long and BM is 'throwing out' SD, then he really didn't have much choice, it's his daughter. But, if she is going to be there, she does need to realize that there are boundaries. The tough thing is if she refuses to abide by boundaries, sending her back to mom is not an option and neither is sending her to BF's family.

But, like others have mentioned here, the behavior you've described here is not unusual for a teenager. I have a great relationship with my daughter (18) but she has her moments/days where I wanna scream! Refrain from comparing her to your kids because no two of your kids will be exactly the same as teens and your SD didn't have the home life your SD has. As the adult, you have to try to be more accepting and understanding of her feelings while trying to get her to understand how you feel as well. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 9:18AM
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Yes its hard to step in especially since your SD is 15 and at this stage.
Most likely her mother tried to discipline her and failed, this is why she is with you guys. ANd its probably the reason why she doesn't want to go back because she was repremanded by mom and booted out of her house. So resentful but i guesss she's happy not to be there for other reasons.
Still, this age she's gonig to bounce around. She doesn't know what she wants. I think dad needs to be around more and the house rules must be enforced. I think if things get worse , you will need to speak to your Dh to make a decision. i know shipping her out again is not good but if your 4 other kids are being influenced and its negative, you need to protect them. Andif boyfriends mom is willing to take her and since she has in the past then maybe that environment will be better.
Personally, i think she is too young to move there. I think she is too young to be having sex. but the fact is that she has done it, the boyfriend and his mother want to take care of her sooooooo...i dont know...tough call.
As for your role now. Well, too bad, she's under your house, and you will have to step in and she will resent you and hate you but too bad, its your household and if your dh is not around you cannot let her run a muck for the sake of yoru other children you have to maintain power and that you are the boss and that she must follow rules. If not, speak to your dh and decide if things really get bad that for the sake of the other kids, she gets shipped out.
Sorry, i've delt 2 years ago with Sd being physical with my toddler at and i put my foot down. She wasn't allowed in the house for a while until she changed her attitude and that in no circumstances she was to physical touch my toddler in a negative way or say anything bad to him. And believe me i watched like a hawk for a while. She realized i meant business.
To respect under the household is important and it goes with anyone , anyone who enters in it. Iv'e kicked family members out and friends if they did anything wrong. Sd has seen it and i think in a way she appreciates my tough lines. I see it....
So have patience , i know its hard but as long as your kids are fine, take it day by day but get dad more involved with her as well. Her boyfriend is her world...i know..its a teen thing.
As for calling your niece a whore and then using her phone to text! that very two faced and i'm glad you called her out on it. I think your niece should not allow her to text anymore since she thinks so little of her. Thats using a person big time! She needs to know its wrong.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 9:25AM
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Thank you everyone for the comments and advise. Today when SD gets home from school I am going to sit down and have a talk with her and DH wants me to call and get her appointed with someone to start talking to other than us. You know maybe I just expect different of her. My niece is 15 and has had it tougher than my SD has and she does not act this way but thats because she has things to focus on like sports and other activities. My SD stopped cheerleading and basketball when she started dating this boy a year ago and says all she wants to do is sit and listen to her music and talk to her BF. It's just weird to me.
Yes I would love it if DH was home more often to help me out with her. Luckily he will be home every weekend starting next weekend and that in itself will be a big help.
As for me stating that I have open communication with my children ... I am mostly talking about my almost 13 year old. I never had a mom at any age that I could just come and talk to but thats how my mom was raised and therefore thats how I was raised. But I have taught my DD and will teach the rest of my children that I want them to come talk to me no matter what its about. That I will listen to them and be there for them.
As far as my SD relationship with her BM .. the reason I know the things I know is because I have been told things from my SD from her BM and from others that know them. I had to disect through it all but shes just never had that close relationship with her mother. Before she sent her here the BM even told SD "I raised you for 14 years now it's your fathers turn"

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 10:02AM
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~ Before she sent her here the BM even told SD "I raised you for 14 years now it's your fathers turn" ~

I got chills when I read that... my mom said that many times when I was a teenager.. but she never actually sent me to live with my dad. My guess is that she was also using it as a threat but in reality, such as your SD's case, it would have been better for me if she had. When I was 12 or 13, she began saying, "well, I raised my kids!" when someone in her family would criticize her for her drinking binges. I guess in her mind, I could fend for myself... I didn't need her to cook for me or pick out my clothes so I guess her job was done??? I guess if you consider the mentality of mothers that think that way, it would make me want to be even more understanding to SD. Your role with SD can be the older sister or good friend she can come talk to, but don't hold out for her treat you as a 'mother' at this point. If she comes around, great but don't hold your breath.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 10:40AM
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I don't expect her to see me as a mother. But I also will not be a push over for her and let her run right over me. Right now I am the one responisible for her seeing as how i am the one that is at home all the time. I got so upset with the way she was acting when she came in from school today so when I got back from taking my 9 yr old to girls scouts I talked to her. To say the least she is highly pissed at me. she just can't understand why she cant have a phone so she can sit on it an text instead of using my phone because she doesn't like to talk she would rather text...hmm call me old fashioned but sorry I won't allow texting in my house...I believe if you have something to say pick up the dang phone and call them. Texting to me is an excuse not to be held accountable because texting is just like IM on line ... you can be someone else other than yourself. but anyway and no I didn't tell her all of that about the texting. Anyway shes not talking to me and when I told her about the counsler she said we would have to drag her kicking and screaming...and I finally figured out why she is with this boy...his parents have a lot of money and his mother buys her anything that she asks for. SD has mentiond this numerous times to me. I mean she didnt come right out and say that thats why shes with him but she does comment that oh that have lots of money and if I want something they will get it for me. WHATEVER!!!! Oh also when I told her that I would not accept her snapping at my 3 year old like she was her excuse was I was raised different and when I see things that I don't like I can't help but take that mother role and speak up. Anyway the outcome was her telling me that she just wouldn't talk to her...like thats the real mature thing to do..now my 3 yr old is just going to wonder why her Step sister is not talking to her.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 11:45PM
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Personally, reading all of this..I think you're going to be in for a long hard haul with this one.

Where is Dad? He is the parent, not you. He should be setting rules for SD. Of course you should come up with the rules together, but I guarantee the "my way or highway" attitude you are displaying will not fly with a teenager. Especially a teenager who is dealing with some pretty rough stuff, a Dad who abandoned her for years and now her own Mother did it. Then having to be accustomed to an insta family and younger siblings that has to be extremely hard.

And yeah, I do find it ironic another BM is getting slammed for doing the majority of child rearing. There is absolutely NO excuse for any Bio parent nowadays to say they couldn't be involved in their childs life. NONE. At any point this Dad could have filed for visitation, if BM ranaway, she would be in trouble now. Sounds like Dad has a handy excuse that he just couldn't find her. Yeah right. But BM drops of SD years later, again I smell something stinky.

I had hoped we were beyond that here and I know you ladies are smart. But really, really?

I feel sorry for the child here. Dropped off with a family she doesn't know and Dad still can't be bothered to parent.

As far as the BF issue and texting, well I don't see the harm in it. She probably feels as if her BF and his family are all she has from her previous life and doesn't want to lose that either. Hard not to feel for the kid here.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 12:08AM
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My SD was 7 yrs old when her BM won a million dollar lawsuit and kicked my husband out. From there she moved place to place...Catalina Island, Arizona, Ohio, Mexico and more. As soon as my husband found her she would move again. He went thru 2 years of being in and out of the hospital having seizures which the dr said was brought on by the stress of the divorce. When he did locate her again and he would call his calls would get ignored. He even called the police to ask what he could do and they told him that there was nothing they could do to help him even going with him to get his daughter at the times he was supposed to get her. Yes he should have gone and hired a lawyer and took her to court to make sure he got her when he was supposed to...were you going to give him the money to do that? Because were she lives just to go to court the lawyers in that area want around 2 grand and well not all of us have that kind of money, not all of us have won million dollar lawsuits.
As for were is my husband now....hes a truck driver trying to provide for his family in the crappy economy. Yes it would be better if he was here and yes maybe I didn't completely understand what I was getting into here with the SD but don't dare blame my husband.
Maybe if the mother would have let him be involved in the childs life from the get go like she should have instead of being the selfish witch that she was being maybe things would have turned out differently. And what parent when there child is 13 lets them go spend the night at their boyfriends house all the time?
Yes I feel bad for her that she had to go thru the crap that she went thru, that her mother kept her father from her till it was convienent for her to send her daughter away because she no longer wanted to deal with the problems that she brought upon herself...but this is my house and she will respect my house. As far as the texting goes...she can get over it. I swear what would we ever have done if we didn't have texting...hmmm I guess the same things we did beofre it came along actually talk to someone face to face or on the phone.

My SD is a spoiled, self centered , judgemental brat who doesn't give a crap about anyone but herself.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 1:49AM
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respect is earned, not given, and it's a two way street.

You have a teen age girl with a screwed up home life and likely MANY emotional and self esteem issues. For what she can put together one of her parents hasn't wanted her pretty much her whole life. If they don't appear to care about her, why the hell should she care about them?
I am the last to condone disrespectful behavior, but I don't think you have given even close to enough thought as to why she is selfish and judgmental. SHE'S HURT. SHE'S SCARED. SHE IS PROTECTING HERSELF FROM HER NEXT PARENTAL DUMPING. You have a hormonal, teenage girl. In a 'perfect' family she will still be judgmental and bratty. News flash - $5 says you were too at that age. Now, toss in all she's gone through and all she must feel to the mix. She's not going to be delightful. And she's not going to be the same as your kids.

Judgmental? Perhaps you need to look in the mirror.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 8:35AM
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you did the right thing and keep talking to her. It is your house and you will do as you please. She is under your roof and has to respect that.
Wow, her mother won money and booted father out and then went trapesing along the country side. Sounds like astable woman eh?
Yah, she doesn sound spoiled with the money thing and you know what , it doesn't matter.
Your house, your rules, if she doesn' like it, the door swing both ways, She can leave and have a better life with boyfirend and his family since she feels the way she does. Andi'm pretty sure by next year she may hit the road if she continually acts this way and doesn't get what she wants.
No , you cannot force her into counciling. My cousin is a councilor for family problems and she stated the if the person in front of her is in her office by force she will not accept them.
Soo... stand your ground, keep your kids safe and maintain rules and regs. and let your dh also keep talking to her. like i said, if she doesnt' like it, she can get a job and get out.
I didnt' like my fathers home. I got a job, an apartment and got out.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 9:14AM
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Why does a 15 year old have a boyfriend? SD thinks she has problems now she would think she died and went to H*ll at my house. Not only would there be no cell phone and texting but the boyfriend would be gone also. She is 15 years old. That is too young for a boyfriend.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 8:45PM
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