stepdaughter cause of tension

stepdadof1April 1, 2012

I have an 11 year old stepdaughter who wont even hardly talk to me. I dont yell at her for anything or ground her from anything unless she keeps pushing her moms buttons over an extended period of time. Then i will ground her from the computer or tv for a day and she will still use it anyways if i am not around and her mom will not say anything. Her mom says let her do the discipline but she doesnt do any at all but yell at her once she gets really angry. She has no chores and her mom gives her almost anything she wants and waits on her. i try to stay out of it even if i dont like what she is doing or let her do things like leave her stuff lay aroung and not say anything. she seems to get away with more than my 20 month old son because i wont let him get away with it. I try as hard as i can not to discipline because her mom says she will do it. It makes me feel like a guest in my own home sometimes. Also her mom gets up set because me and her daughter hardly talk or do things together. I always tell her hi and ask what she did in school but she says nothing and goes to her room to watch netflix. Also we dont really have the same intrest and if i do ask her to do something she always says no. She likes to just sit in the house and watch tv and go on the computer. Me and my son enjoy being outside and watching sports. Also if i do tell her something like pick something up or do something her mom comes back with well you left this out or you got this right in front of her daughter I am 30 and feel like i am being treated like an 11 year old with the same rules as an 11 year old. I did tell her mom that and she says i am putting down her daughter by saying that. I love her daughter and think of her as my own because her real dad has nothing to do with her. But i feel like i shouldnt have to raise her diffrent than my own kids and i should have some say around the house. If i do tell her something my wife says she is scared of me thats why she is always in her room. Like i said i dont hollar or yell at her at all and she has probably only been grounded by me 3 or 4 times in her life. I am the only one who will ground her though not her mom. Her mom will tell her she cant do something and then later on just let her. Her mom can be very stubborn and if i do try to talk to her about it i get told that i am the adult and have to try harder. i understand that but if i can tell her lets go do this or that but not pick something up that seems messed up. i have tried to talk to her mom about giving her chores and rules but she has gotten no chores and her rules have become more relaxed. me and her mom dated for over 5 years and just got married six months ago. anyone got any advice

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Since you knew about this for five years, why did you marry? Why would you expect anything to change?
While SD has issues, he mother is the bigger problem- she is raising her daughter to behave like this, whether consciously or unconsciously. Either you need to get her to agree to family counselling, go for the counselling and take action on the advice you have been offered, or accept that you will continue to be treated like an 11 year old in your own home.
Then you will need to decide if you want to keep going down that road. What's the deal breaker here for you?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 10:13PM
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I have to say to me, the problem is the mother, not the stepdaughter. Mom needs to be handling her daughter. She is on the brink of the teen years which are so hard already and throw in the dynamics of being a blended family and it can be a disaster. I have been there...heck I'm still there and I'm learning. Your wife should not be treating you like a child here. You are partners in this and should show a united front. If the child can see that she is causing a division in the family, it will get worse. To some extent, I was doing to my DH what your wife is doing to you. Once I opened my eyes and starting changing the way I was acting, my DDs behavior changed too.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:37PM
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Whatever you are doing FOR her daughter, STOP. Do nothing for her. That is all YOU have control of here.... or you can leave. You can't change the child's behavior and you can't "make" the mom be a better parent.

Is the mom working? Is the SD's father paying support? (I assume not since you say he's not in the picture much) So, if you are the primary breadwinner, why does she have netflix in her room? Is mom paying for it? It sounds as if you are supporting them and have no voice in how things are.. except when you're around your son. I'm not saying to refuse to buy necessities but when she wants something "extra" that mom can't afford, simply say sorry or that's too bad. I used to whip out my checkbook hoping my SD would realize how much I do for her and appreciate it. Unfortunately, some people just take without giving.

From your post, I can't tell if the mom is a bad parent or parenting the daughter loosely out of guilt for the father's absence. If she is a bad mother, then you may have to be your son's primary parent or he will have problems too. It is not good parenting for a parent to allow their child to treat their partner the way you describe. She is doing her child a disservice and at the same time, damaging her marriage, which is going to ultimately affect your son if things don't work out.

I would suggest getting her into counseling and parenting classes. She needs to understand how this is going to affect her daughter for years to come. It isn't just about the rules or how she treats you, it's also about how she will parent her children & what kind of men she will choose in life. She has no relationship with her father and pushes you away... how is she ever going to have a relationship with a man?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 2:36PM
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--" I dont yell at her for anything or ground her from anything unless she keeps pushing her moms buttons over an extended period of time."--

And then you 'yell' and react.

--" If i do tell her something my wife says she is scared of me thats why she is always in her room."--

Followed up with --"Like i said i dont hollar or yell at her at all and she has probably only been grounded by me 3 or 4 times in her life."--

You're saying two different things. First, you only 'yell' IF, then you dont 'hollar or yell at all'.

Could be the child is not 'pushing her mothers buttons' but rather deliberately pushing yours. And she's learned just how to do it. Get Mommy to see me mas the 'victim' and side with me against 'HIM'.

Unfortunately, after five years of learning to manipulate them household, I doubt counseling is going to do the girl much good now. She knows exactly what and why she does what she does. Counseling for Mom I think would be the place to start. As one poster above said above, once that mother could 'see' what was going on and accept her role in it, the child started behaving better.

I totally agree that a child needs discipline. Structure and house rules. In your case, Mom, does not agree with yours or my opinion on that. The more you push the idea the more both child and mother rebel against it.

If you can't get your wife to agree (see) that there is a problem and that she is a part of it and how it developed, then at least think about hetting counseling for yourself. One begins to wonder why you're allowing yourself to be totally disrespected by not only the child but your wife (Mom lets her do what you've grounded her from when you're not home?) Pfft. With that kind of parenting coming from the mother it is a total matter of time before your young toddler son (very impressonable age) begins to see Dad as the guy to ignore too. Why not, Mommy and sister do?

Fix yourself first. Find out why you tolerate being the '11 yr old' in your home. (Ima stated some sound points. Why does a kid that all but spits at you have tv and computers in her bedroom?) Find out why and what you get out of this relationship and if it's one you really thenn desire to continue with. You can't 'fix' other people. Nope, can't make Mommy parent. Can't make child learn better than what she's being taught. But you can take steps that might make the situation better for you.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 3:57PM
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In my post earlier, I meant counseling for the mom... to see how her parenting might be destructive to her daughter.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 6:38PM
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