What to do with a spoiled 12 year old step daughter

Jennifer34August 1, 2002

Does any one have any suggestions regarding a 12 year old that calls her dad every hour each night. If you say anything to her, she cries. She plays games and is manipulative and her father is not open to anything other than that she is a princess. She always agrees with everything he says, to please him, but acts differently when he is not around. She is an only child and has successfully ruined every relationship her bio mom and dad have tried to have. I am ready to be number 3. Please help, I really love children and do not have any of my own, but this child is the reason for birth control.

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Well, it's difficult to truly help you when I'm sure there are many more details to the scenario. The one thing I can tell you is that generally kids are not spoiled as a result of something they did - it is generally the parents fault if a child is spoiled. Your stepdaughter is only 12 - she knows no better. The parents need to get a hold on the situation and straighten her out before she gets too out of hand. She's entering the teenage years and a spoiled teenager is not good company to be around. If she's ruined relationsships, I feel it is the parents fault for not having the upper hand. It drives me crazy when kids run the show - that's not how it should be and the parents should know better. Good luck with everything.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2002 at 8:48PM
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This sounds almost identical to my situation, only my fiance's daughter is 17. This girl gets everything that she wants. She wanted a cell phone, promised dad that she would make the monthly payments. Ha, she probably made 4 payments in 18 months. He had the phone shut off until she paid and guess what? her mom went and got her a new cell phone and plan. He got stuck with the contract fee for discontinuing the service. She only calls him when she wants something, never on fathers day or his birthday. And there is just so much more. She resents her father being in a relationship and has made things difficult with me. It does bother me, but nothing is going to change with her at this point, so allI can do is suffer in silence. And cheesensweets is right, this is her parents fault. My fiance would never confront his daughter about anything. The few times he has, she says "sorry daddy" and he says that's okay sweetheart. Yuck! I'm not sure how to deal with it. I have expressed my feelings to my fiance and I just try to distance myself from the situation. Because I can't change it. Hope things work out better for you.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2002 at 8:41AM
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I just reread your post and caught "acts differently when he is not around." I used to behave that way when going to my dad's house. To this day, I still can't identify what it was, but maybe it was the transition from visiting dad for only a short period compared to living with mom. At 12 years old, this kid is going through enough changes, let alone dealing with divorce of her parents. Try to remember when you were 12 and how crappy it was! I just remember being angry at the world all the time, especially my stepdad (whom I still don't see eye to eye with), and the feeling of not wanting to return home because of him; taking it out on somebody (usually my poor mom), and feeling like I couldn't do enough to please my dad and stepmom. That was the big key. I HAD to please them to make them like me, give me attention, etc. etc. My mom said that once she asked me why I acted up so much around her and I said, "But Mom, I know you love me." As if my dad didn't. But I think fathers and daughters are a different breed of bond, especially if they are the only girl/child (which I was).

All I can say is, try to understand how she might be feeling. Also, as far as manipulating, your husband needs to put his foot down - but if that's the way she's been raised up until this point, then how can you change a learned behavior?

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2002 at 8:23AM
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I agree a lot with Phyllis. I remember being the step child and how akward it could be. It's especially hard when you are visiting the parents you don't live with. You aren't there enough to really get comfortable and you feel like the 3rd wheel in the house. My father always had gf's that had little kids and it was really hard seeing our father live with these kids and care for them while it seemed he didn't have time for us. It's really hard feeling accepted by everyone in that situation. I do agree that your husband needs to be a little better with his daughter. He can't let her get away with everything to make up for the time he doesn't spend with her or whatever is going on. Good luck to you. Just know it is the teen years and it will be hard. But it will all pay off when she's older and can understand and see things better.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2002 at 10:54AM
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I have a 14 year old stepson from hell! His father won sole custody for the biological mother because she was/is a nut! He's a spoiled rotten brat also. He'll be 15 years old and his father sent him to a 4 week summer camp in PA, then drove him all the way to Canada for another couple of weeks of camp. As usual, the ride up was horrible and the kid orchestrated a massive fight between my husband and I. This way, he and Dad (his only friend, by the way since he has no friends that ever call or come over) could buddy it up the whole time. The only response from my husband is that I'm the adult and should no better and he is "just a kid with problems". The only solution is a divorce or suck it up and spend the majority of my time alone.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2002 at 4:45PM
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toosuper52 I agree with your husband. Poor kid needs his father at this time in his life more than ever. They are the most important people in the world to each other and if you are not mature enough to deal with that fact and support them in every way you can, you are exactly right about the solutions available to you.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2002 at 5:48PM
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Its not the child thats at fault- its how the parents screwed up the child's life. Now the kid gets all the blame for being unstable. Maybe the children need to feel the parents' undivided love and attention at this time of their lives. When my parents divorced, I was 20 years old and I can tell you that if someone shot me in the head - I couldn't have felt any more devastated. It was as though I had gone through an earthquake that never ended. My parents are now back together and life is settled back to normal and though that was about 30 years ago - the thought of that time still gives me palpatations. You fell in love, married etc... all happy things on the other end is this child that has had only devastating things. If you can TRY to see what they are going through life will be better for all. I am not saying that you are bad. I know that you want it all to be happy and sunshiny ... but this child is in turmoil and has lost all self esteem and structure because her parent and the life she has known since birth are gone. Then - she has to come into a stranger's home and try to feel normal. Maybe Dad sees that she needs this time of acting overly connected to heal and you do not. Give it time. Everyone will settle into a comfortable mode when the heartache will stop. This will only happen if you allow it to. If not - it will just linger on forever. Right now - this child is number one on the list of priorities. Her emotional health could be a great asset in your marriage or the lack of can bring your marriage down. You accepted this situation when you accepted this man as your husband. If you handle it right - you will be #1 in the hearts of your husband and stepchild. If you back off for a bit and suck up a little disallusionment for now - you will have great paybacks in the end. If you want to bring in a battle on this situation - keep in mind that this is the hill you might die on. Your choice. You don't have to love her - but you must respect her and her tribulation.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2002 at 1:19PM
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"Poor child" my rear. And what happens when the child is grown??? Give me a break. Yes, kids need their parents, but they also need to RESPECT the decisions that the parent has made. Everyone seems to think that the kids are so fragile..please..they know EXACTLY what they are doing to get what they want.
If the man fell in love and married her (making her a stepmom) he needs to defend that decision. The father needs to put his foot down and tell the kid the way its going to be.
Believe you me, the last 2 years has been pretty dramatic around here. Theres a thread that i started a while ago called "revolving door policy" since that time the kids have delved further in to drugs. One broke in to a store and there is an accusation that he molested is half sister.
I think dad has FINALLY opened his eyes to the situation and is starting to take control..i just hope its not too late.
Don't give in to these kids. The ones that are giving us problems today are the ones we will be supporting in jail in a few years or will be babysitting their kids so they can work at mcdonalds.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2002 at 10:54PM
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Anita is right in saying that toosuper52's SS does need his father more than ever. However he does not need a father that bows down to the kids every whim. Isn't it our job as parnets to teach our kids right from wrong? If we kiss their little butts cause we think it will make them happy, we're just asking for problems in the long run. I agree with Rosie, that parents do screw their kids up. Divorced family or not, all children need to be guided in making the right choices and learning that choosing the wrong one always comes with some typ of consequence. My fiance just does what his daughter wants so she won't get mad at him. He wants to be the good guy to her. What he's really done is created a monster who expects to get whatever she wants. Unfortunately not every one sees this, so there is not much that you can do about it. I'd suggest just trying to join in on the fun between your ss and his dad. Refuse to become his victim and refuse to fight with you husband. You know, if you can't beat em, join em!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2002 at 10:20AM
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There is a difference between going to jail, doing drugs, or molesting your sister and being a lonely adolescent who wants to spend time with his or her dad. Yes, enforcing discipline and respect are important parts of parenting. The other parts are giving unconditional love, safety and security. The discipline doesn't mean anything without the love. And genuine respect - even respect from kids - has to be EARNED through hard work, commitment, and stability.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2002 at 1:48PM
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I don't agree that parents should do whatever to make a child happy. They're should be rules and things but I don't think it's all bad that your SD calls her father, either. There could be more going on with her or at home than you know. I remember being a young teen and wanting to be closer to my Dad and he just didn't get it. Now he's upset and hurt that we aren't as close as we once were. Would you rather have your SD around and in your husband's life or have her resent both of you? I think it would be acceptable to make up some rules...say that she can't call after a certain time at night or during dinner hours if you eat at the same time every night. Those types of rules aren't bad. If she doesn't follow them, well he should just tell her he can't talk or something like that.

Not all step kids or teens or whatever are the same. You're forming a sterotype because of how your step children are. That's not right. Your step kids may have made some bad choices in life but it has nothing to do with a 12 year old girl that wants to be closer to her father and have him in her life. If she starts doing bad things, that's one thing but so far it sounds pretty normal and acceptable.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2002 at 2:17PM
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Ughhhh...spoiled SD's nothing worse. In my case, my SD's BM had her at 15 and clearly was not ready to have a child. So,
by the time she was 3 years old her BM just up and left w/her w/my husband and his family. The sickening part is that to make up for lack of mommy...This kid got everything she wanted...I mean EVERYTHING!! I just don't feel that this is exactly healthy...C'mon this child will eventually grow to be an adult, and she can't possibly go on w/life thinking that everything in life is just handed to her.

In your case, she's 12...There still might be a little bit of time left to set this girl straight. Basically her father needs to put his foot down to her. Or maybe he needs
to realize that he needs to focus all of his attention on her and her needs, and not drag you along to be hurt by these things. You are in the relationship too and he needs to respect and hear what you are saying...even if that means his "litle angel" isn't exactly an angel...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2002 at 5:52PM
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to clarify, my comments were made according to what toosuper52 had written about her step child.
furthermore, i AM a stepchild, and to this day, i respect my father (step intentionally left out), i may not have agreed with all of his decisions but being the child, i had no choice but to obey.
My opinion still stands. Yes, respect is earned, but sometimes parents give kids too much freedom.
I think its time that parents take control back from their kids and start raising them with values and morals and stop trying to pacify them.
will write more tomorrow

    Bookmark   August 10, 2002 at 1:36AM
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Sorry, Jen. I think what happened was that I read the posts on two different days and didn't relate them. I agree with kids needing respect. Trust me, my SIL and I talk a lot about that and making sure our kids learn about it. We're young mom's who hope to straighten things out and have kids that were more like us and learned you had to listen and be nice. Too many kids today don't know what that is! I love the parents who allow their kids to get nasty and back talk to them...what's wrong with those parents? Everyone wonders what's wrong with the world today and yet nobody tries to really fix it and just allow kids to do whatever and practically raise themselves. If people don't change, the world will only get worse...sad to say but a fact.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2002 at 9:35AM
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I wish my SD would go live with her BM even tho the BM is such a loser. Then maybe she'd see how good she has it with me. I have been better to her than anyone, but she's suddenly Daddy's Little Girl (which I suspect she always was but especially when the new woman in the house and the new step sister also get Daddy;s attention). I am about ready to pack up and move out or just give up trying so hard to be fair and equal when enough is NEVER, EVER good enough! And what does Daddy do?He buys her her own brand new TV/VCR--afer buying her snowboard pants, a skateboard, a snowboard, skis, handing out $$ to her like it's her godgiven right. I am so sick of it!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2002 at 7:20PM
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my husband does the same with his children, I have heard a hundred time from my husband and his parents, [the poor kids ] well the poor kids have the best of bouth worlds they have a mother and a father who love them, but my husband feels guilty even thoe he was not the cause of there divorce and has went above and beyond, he lets his kids deside everything from what time he picks them up to what we are having for supper, they rule the house from the time they get here till the time they leave , take over the tv, coumpter,phone bring there freinds without asking and dad has to drive them a hours drive back to there home the next day, theres no rules, princess is 18 and doesnt even put her own plate in the sink, might mess up her nails!, mostly they are good kids we dont have alot of the problems you all do and I sure am thankfull, they just say jump and dad does and he puts our needs! third or fourth what kind of kids are being raised here ones that want and get and guess what they dont have to work for nothing.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2002 at 7:31AM
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Calling her father every night, every hour, is a bit excessive. I don't care what anyone else thinks, that would DRIVE me nutty to. There's no need for it. Once or twice a night I could see, but EVERY HOUR?? Come on NOW!! Daddy's little princess knows how to play the game well. I too have been a stepchild, and have done all the above and then some. If my step mom tried to discipline me, I'd go ha ha crying to Daddy cause Daddy always took MY side. Guilt is a powerful weapon and kids aren't stupid. Yeah she wants attention, ALL of it, and doesn't want to share. Doesn't want to accept that there are other people involved, and obviously these tactics have worked before so why not again?? You say be stronger then the child, out will her, but without the support of hubby, that is pointless. It will just continue, and get worse as she gets older. He's looking at this, as this is my daughter, accept it or walk. He doesn't see the games she plays, and your the a** hole for noticing. She acts differently when not around him...well yeah, she doesn't have to put on the "I'm the greatest little girl act." Daddy doesn't see her talking to friends at the mall looking at the cell phone she just HAS to have, or mom saying no we can't afford it, and her thinking Daddy will get it for me. Daddy is just a paycheck, and this whole kids traumatized crap is partially true, however they play it to an extreme to get whatever they want once they know it works. ItÂs his OWN fault for feeding this behavior for so long. He feels guilty for not being there as much as heÂd like, and compensates. Take all the materialistic crap away, stop going out to eat all the time, or always doing something fun when sheÂs there, and see how fast she changes. ItÂs a different story when there isnÂt something in it for her. Just dad. He needs to put his foot up her butt, and stand united with you. My DH did the same for 9 years prior to me, and I tell ya it was VERY hard to get him to see the light. He Bought the princess computers, tvÂs, VCRÂs, stereoÂs, play stations, anything she wanted she got. Which we all want for our kids, but now heÂs regretting it as heÂs seeing the monster heÂs created. SheÂs a materialistic brat (mind u she is my brat*S*) who expects to be catered to, and amused the whole time sheÂs here. My SD has tried to split us up every way imaginable, and I just look at her and tell her how much I love her, and IÂm not going anywhere. It hasnÂt stopped the behavior per say, but slowly things are getting better. (3 years later!) I can relate, and I feel for you. Like you said, itÂs either hang in and hope for the best, or walk. Maybe once she sees that she canÂt split you up, her behavior will change.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2002 at 7:50AM
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Mikella, I hope your job doesn't involve child psychology. You are scary!!!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2002 at 11:25AM
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Mikella, actually i think you have provided a VERY realistic side to this.
You wouldnt understand if youve never been on the receiving end of a manipulative step child who didnt get their way.
I commend you mikella for your honesty and your willingness to state your views on a forum that mandates we, as stepparents, need to suck up the bahavior and close our eyes to the manipulation.
Rosie, the situation in itself is SCARY. Being a stepparent is even scarier.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2002 at 2:03PM
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LMAO@ RosieL I'm not scary, I'm blunt. Most people can't handle hearing the truth. As Jen said, it's hard to understand until you've been there, and I've been on both sides, step daughter, and step mom. I have a whole new respect for my step mother now, and have actually apologized to her for all the crap I pulled as a kid.

It's not easy being us...step parents that is, and I refuse to play a 12 yr olds game. (My SD IS 12 to) I am the adult. Not her.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2002 at 11:56AM
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Mikella -- YOU GO GIRL! Bravo!

I couldn't agree more. I love the fact that you were also a step-child and can STILL recognize these truths!

I am so tired of hearing namsy-pamsies dripping with "poor kids" ...hush/hush .. whisper .. "from a broken home" ... Oh my! Tip-toe! Yeah right! Kids are more resilient than people give them credit for. As you said, sometimes a bio-parent can't see the facts -- that their own precious offspring is manipulating them! My own daughter, 17, admitted to me recently that she TRIED to cause problems between me and my husband in the beginning of our marriage. News flash!! I knew that all along, and I didn't allow her to do it. I put my foot down and loved them both ...

The point is ... we seem to be willing to make excuses and allowances for step kids in a blended family. Rubbish! They need the same direction as a kid in a "normal" family. The more we let slip past us, the worse it will get. My SD is 9, and I KNOW that she will have problems as she gets older. She is so used to getting everything she wants from her Mom ...used to being pampered and babied. Well guess what? The real world doesn't function like that! Do you think her boss will make allowances for her poor delicate psyche when she screws up? Nah, I don't think so. Do you think he will care that she is the product of a broken home? Not a chance. She'll have to face reality and the REAL world, and she won't be equipped to do that. The real world doesn't cushion your every stumble ... or hand you things on a silver platter ... or become heartbroken just because she pours on the whiney tears.

Mikella, it was very refreshing to read your post.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 7:11PM
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LOL @ MOM 2 4 ....I like your attitude as well. My DH now has your same attitude as far as the work ethics, and real life not handing anything to them on a silver platter.

Here's a good example of the "Princess Syndrome"

I just had a baby last week, so you know everyone is giving presents for the baby. Well I had her on my son's birthday, so when my family came from VT they had gifts for both the baby and my son. SD was actually pouting in the chair refusing to watch a movie with us, because she didn't get anything. Ummm...my other daughter didn't get anything either and she's 5, and NOT pouting!!! I told her to get over her bad self, or go to her room. Don't want to deal with petty games anymore. With 4 kids I don't have time for games. SD went to Daddy as soon as he came in from work, and said it wasn't fair she didn't get anything and he actually laughed at her!! (God I love this man) He told her the same thing I did, which shut her down, and you wouldn't believe the change in attitude.

I am also sick of hearing "I'm Bored" every five minutes. I send her outside, and rather then getting to know the neighborhood kids, she sits and pouts on the picnic table. She would rather crawl up my butt and talk until my ears hurt....why would I allow this if I don't allow it with the others? I treat her NO differently then I do my "Own" all the same rules apply, and if she don't like it, to bad. Why should she get special treatment? The other kids would resent her and myself if I did. Broken home heartbroken crap is a bunch of bull, and those who actually feed into this are just setting themselves up for trouble later.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 7:48PM
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Love her...unconditionally.

As I step mom i've come to realize how difficult it is for my ss to accept their new lives. They didn't ask for their parents to be divorced...they are in a situation that is totally out of their control. Think about how you feel when something crappy happens to you and there is nothing you can do about it...absolutely nothing! How does it make you feel? Think about a time in your life when you were hurt by someone (an ex, a parent) and think about the roller coaster of emotions that came with that.

The fact is, this little girl is probably devastated that her parents don't love each other anymore...maybe a part of her feels that if the love is lost with her parents, is it possible for them to lose their love for her. From what little you've said, she sound needy and insecure. My 8 yr old ss is still going through a similar thing. Everytime I'm at my wits end with him, I give him a hug rather than lose my patience...(often i have to give myself a time out before i'm capable of this) but this little act of kindness has helped him open up to me and become my friend. This summer was the first summer that he said he loved me and really meant it...nothing is more valuable than that.

My 12yr old ss enlightened me to something recently...he told me that in the beginning he felt guilty for liking me...he felt he was betraying his mom by accepting me into his life and actually admitting i was a pretty cool person. Yeah, kids are smarter and more resiliant than we give them credit for...we just need to listen!

I have the same expectations for all 5 boys in my life, i just deal with each one differently...what works for Z doesn't necessarily work for N. I've ensured that our home is their home...they have their own space here that doesn't get packed away in a closet when they leave.

One more thing that I think is very important, is a united front...My husband and I don't agree on everything when it comes to the kids, but we don't discuss our differences in front of them...we might take our time to come to a conclusion, but we always show the kids that we both make the decisions and they can't manipulate one of us to get their way...it's more difficult to manipulate 2 therefore they've given up.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2002 at 10:58AM
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perhaps it's a sympton of guilt..as parents we know that when we divorce we are messing with a kids life...maybe some feel that a cell phone...car...or every pokemon card in the world will make them feel better...

    Bookmark   September 18, 2002 at 11:02AM
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When I talk about it being difficult to be around my SD sometimes, I am only referring to the HUGE differences in personality between us, the outlook she has on life, and the manner in which she lives. I do know that this is due to her BM's influence, but it so totally goes against my values that it is difficult to stomache sometimes. In my bio-daughter, I strive to foster a sense of self-confidence. A can-do attitude. She can conquer the world if she wishes, but it is up to HER, not some man in her life. And she must work for it, earn it. I teach her independence and try to instill a sense of adventure. I show her grace under pressure and good manners.

My SD (and her BM) think that tears solve everything, that by whining and complaining, SOMEONE should come to the rescue. They buckle under the slightest hint of criticism and boo hoo when someone doesn't agree with them or says no. They are afraid of living, of adventure, of new things, new people. They are afraid to be spontaneous and have a fear of the unknown. My SD even has to schedule every minute of the day -- when to wake, brush her teeth, eat, etc. Everything. She actually has it written down, lest she forget. Table manners? Forget it. They are non-existent. And let's not forget the "I'm just a poor helpless girl" cutesie baby talk.

And yes, I do agree that children of divorce go through a great trauma. They need extra understanding and attention, but I don't believe this is an excuse to humor them to make up for our mistakes -- our mistakes that have affected them. And I'm sure that every step kid goes through feeling guilty for liking their step parent. It makes them feel disloyal. And I do agree that each kid needs a place of their own. We extended ourselves and bought a 5BR house to accomplish this!

Being a step-anything is not easy. For any of us. But let's not use our divorces to excuse their bad behavior.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2002 at 6:25PM
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I agree mom24...the divorce doesn't cause the bad behavior..the parents cause the bad behaviour by their lack of parenting...divorce is simply one of the many ways that the bad behaviour becomes more extreme...

my stepchildren don't always behave the way 'I' want them to...they do things that my children have been taught is impolite, callous and simply rude...I'm a complete neat freak, my ss's are slobs...drives me insane. I'm sure it's confusing for them being in this house where everything is organized to the nth degree and being at their mom's where things are ...um...well...not that way lets say lol, but it's not their fault..it's the fault of their bio parents who did the raising in the formative years...yep, i said parents not just bio MOM...not everyone has the same standards and as a step parent you can't hold them up to your standard like you expect to...they have two different worlds...you either battle it out everyday, show animosity toward one another which makes the whole household miserable or decide to not fret the small crap and choose your battles wisley...for there will be many! lol

I think it's sad that so many play the blame game and trash the stepkids..fact is there are many success stories out there. I'm obvously in a totally different place than many of you...I look for acceptable ways for me to change to make my SS's feel welcome and in here I've found people looking for ways to simply make their SC or husbands change...it's a two way street. Give and take...I make sacrifices as do they.

But I wonder one thing...when we say we treat all our kids the same, do we really...for example mom24...do you strive as hard to instill confidence in your sd as well??? sounds like she really needs it.

I have to laugh...when I talk to stepmom's, they all b*tch about the biomom...the biomom is always the problem...when i talk to mom's who's exes have remarried, they b*tch about the new wife...new wife is always evil. The reality of it is that it's all a competition about who's a better
parent...and in this competition..it's the kids who lose.

Here's a link that some of you may find interesting...something to keep in mind anyway.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bonus Kids

    Bookmark   September 19, 2002 at 12:59AM
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I totally agree with your post! In just about every situation in this world, there are more than one person to blame. Nobody sees what they do wrong, only what the others are doing and blame them entirely. I also agree that it seems too many people are out there trying to change the other person to be what they want them to be. That can't be done! People have to want to change and do it on their own and can't be forced. Why oh why do people marry thinking it will get easier? That things will change and they can make their mate better? I've watched my mom go through 2 marriages, now working on the 3rd and my father through countless girlfriends...I can tell you why they failed and it's not due to one person either.

I hated being blammed for problems because we were steps. We were kids and often that was the problem not the fact that we were step kids. Even people's own biological kids misbehave and can be terrible but they think the steps are worse. And sometimes people just don't realize that not all kids are raised like they raised their own. I notice this problem with my MIL. She thinks my parents and family is weird for things they did. I've often heard how my parents are bad parents (imagine being bad for saying I love you all the time and buying your kids stuff they really want once in a while). But I see my parents as loving people who are always there for me...she's not there for her kids and often puts them down. So really it's not just a problem among steps and bio's and remarriages, it's every where...


    Bookmark   September 19, 2002 at 10:55AM
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I hear you...when my husband and i started dating his youngest son, Z, was 5, my son was 15mos...i was used to a 15 month old, not a talking, walking, yap yap machine that never shuts up and is just beginning to develop an attitude. I thought he was the most horrible child..."liquid evil" is what i called him. lol As my first child grew and started exhibiting the same behaviours i was horrified...it has to be Z's fault...what a bad influence he is!!!! Finally one day I woke up...it was no one's fault, they are kids...they all go through it. I actually apologized to Z and my husband this summer, he's now 8...and told him how sorry i was for being so unprepared for him and i'd try to do better! In a way I think he understood...things are much better between us now..it improves with every visit. Combined we have boys, most recently we added twins to the mix--they are 1...i call it controlled chaos...it's overwhelming at times, but i remind myself often that they're just kids and we have to
work hard to give them the tools they need to become great guys.

Kids will be kids...whether they are yours biologically or not..they are all a blessing and need to be treated with respect.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2002 at 11:34PM
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I am reading everyone's responses to your dilemma. I live with a 13 year old stepdaughter (as well as my own 3 from a previous marriage). Her mother is deceased. She's lived with us for 3 years now. She is spoiled and VERY hard to live with. For 3 years I've listened to people say "poor girl lost her mother", "poor girl used to be any only child", Poor girl this and poor girl that.......I used to buy into that crap until I realized she has been playing everyone like a fiddle (from me & her dad to her therapist....teachers......friends......family). You name it. You should see how she treats a person who has crossed her. Poor girl my arss. She is maniuplating....she lies to get her way. She creates a "situation" out of every simple little thing and makes herself out to be a victim that needs to be rescued and felt sorry for. I'm not buying it anymore. I'd like to know at what point do we get past "she lost her mother" and move on. At what point is she held accountable for what she does? Her dad feels sorry for her and is afraid to cross her for fear she won't love him.....and he is INCAPABLE of putting his foot down where she is concerend. So now what? I empathize with you and feel your same "at my wits end" feelings. I've tried EVERYTHING I can think of and most of what everyone else thinks of. Nothing works. So what do we do? Her mother was very abusive verbally and emotionally (to her and her dad) so there is that crap to deal with also. She says the only thing she gets out of therapy is an excuse to act the way she wants. I tell her dad she says things like that and he doesn't believe his sweet little daughter is capable of saying such things (once she told me I was a guest in her home and had to do whatever she wants me to or she will tell her dad....yeah, right). So I guess I don't have any words of advice on how to make your situation better but I sure as heck feel alot more sorry for you than I do for her. I'm so tired of everyone feeling sorry for the kid who is clearly knowingly creating these situations. Try to be strong...try to remember she won't live with you forever....try to remember this will go full cirlce and once she leaves your home she is going to be in for a rude awakening about how the REAL world is.

One thing I have done which gives me a break is I've hired a sitter for her for the day....and once for the weekend. Just so I could relax and not worry about what's coming next. She's 13 and acts about 7 so I pay an older teen to take her for the day.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2002 at 1:47PM
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My boyfriend has three kids. The 11 year old middle child sounds very similar to the 12 year old being described in this posting. Everyone who knows him says he is "emotional." He has tantrums that last for hours when he doesn't get his way. He has very few friends. And he is jealous of everyone (sister, brother, me, etc). On the flip side, he is creative, and can be a loving person.

After witnessing the chaos caused by this boy, I told my boyfriend that his child's behavior was unacceptable to me. I think the most difficult part was the lack of control I felt. Since I am not the parent, I can do nothing to make a change. I am completely dependent on my boyfriend to strongly parent this child. I let him know that I would only stay in the relationship as long as I felt that he was doing everything he could to improve the situation.

I was lucky. My boyfriend made a committment to me (our relationship) and agreed to work toward being the type of parent that I needed him to be. He said he realized that I had a right to a certain amount of peace in the household.

So far, together we have read many articles (found on the internet) and books. Obviously, angry, backtalking kids are a universal problem. The child has begun seeing a counselor to learn to handle his anger. We discuss our strategies and ways to deal with situations before they occur.

Just knowing that I have some input into the solutions is a big relief. I don't know how people can handle dealing with a mate who refuses to see their role in being manipulated by a child.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2002 at 12:00AM
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Mikkella ROCKS!!! I've read many of your posts and you are truly one of the most down to earth, realistic posters on this board. I always love reading your reactions because I know it's gonna be something good. And not just for shock value either, you dole out some really good advice.

I read your post about your husband's ex-wife leaving her 12 year old with you the night before you had to give birth. That was total B.S.!

As for my own advice for Jennifer34. I hate it for you because 12 is a little late to start NOT raising a brat, I think you are gonna be stuck with this spoiled thing for the next 6 years at least.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2002 at 4:40PM
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This issue is an interesting one. I don't have kids. I will begin by saying that I believe my generation, the 40 and 50-year old, are the worst parents this planet has ever witnessed. I believe a parent really has one fundamental role...to prepare the child to be ready to conduct himself or herself in the world as an adult. The snuggly, feel good stuff is fine but in the end if you haven't prepared your kid to face the cold cruel world that kid will likely struggle throughout adulthood.

As an outsider looking in here's what I see:

1)Kids today with no sense of manners whatsoever. They'll open a door at the market and let themselves in before they'll let the elderly lady in.

2)Kids without a clue about decorum. For ex. they'll interrupt during conversations or will wear shorts and a baseball hat to a restaurant.

3) Kids who believe the world revolves entirely around them. They are taught that a person's worth is measured by one's assets rather than one's contribution. No sense of civic duty or that they might owe something back to the community.

I blame all of the above parents. I suspect those parents were too busy working so they could have their large house, dozen TVs, expensive cars, granite countertops and on and on and on. No wonder the kids are screwed up with no sense of proper behavior. They've watched, taken great notes and learned well from their parents. The parents should have been spending time with their kids being loving but also teaching them guiding principles they could use throughout their lives when the parents are gone. How will your grandkids learn about respect, decency, and other golden rules when the grandkids' parents never learned them to begin with? For centuries the youngest generation learned but watching elders and having lessons taught to them by parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other elder family members. Positive behaviors were drilled and instilled. I think we have finally seen a break in that chain.

I haven't entirely given up on the generation of kids/young adults. However, they will have to be walking miracles to compensate for the utter lack of parenting I believe has occurred in my generation and they have beed asked to endure. In the animal world a mother lion or gazelle teaches the young cub or fawn so it will grow and survive in a world where the strong make it and the weak are taken. How could parents do any less for this generation's kids?

It's a shame and sadly enough they didn't deserve it.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2002 at 8:42AM
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I am aware that there are many bad parents around. However it is a bit prejudice to assume that all parents in this generation are bad. And I do not believe that the worst parents ever are the current ones. I know of many parents who have been oding a great job. I see many, many concerned good parents right here in this forum. Myself, I feel that I did a good job raising my kids. I taught them courtesy, kindeness and respect. And I see them practicing these values as young adults.
If you see a rude child at the grocery store or any other place, it does not necessarily reflect the parent. Lots of kids rebel authority when ever they have the opportunity. And as far as the world revolving around children, that's just normal development of children.
Raising your kids with a drill sargeant attitude does not make them better adults. They also need love and emotional nurturing or they will turn out to be cold unfeeling adults who do not know how to express emotion.
There is a time to be tough and a time to be nurturing when raising a child.
I know plenty of screwed up adults.
I'm sorry, but I thoroughly disagree with your opinions about kids. Every kid is diffeent, every parent is different. It's a good thing because how boring would it be if we were all alike.
I hope you lighten your attitude about today's generation, it really isn't that bad.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2002 at 12:50PM
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Susnnn...I never said that ALL parents were bad. I get a kick out of people whose logic it is to attack a particular principle they disagree with by stating that since it is not true in EVERY case therefore it can not said to a be a truism period much less in a general sense. Therefore since it is a generalism not holding true in all cases I must be prejudice with respect to those who it doesn't apply to. Hmmm, interesting.

Kindly let me clarify for you that I think many, not all, parents today have done a poor job raising their kid(s). If you have instilled kindess, courtesy and respect in your children then God bless you. You kids are fortunate as it sounds like you have done a good job parenting them.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2002 at 1:33PM
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Sorry wiiawib, I guesss I am just not quick enough to understand generalisms. I just thought that when you said "my generation, the 40 and 50-year old, are the worst parents this planet has ever witnessed" you were adressing all parents. Ididn't catch that it mrant just some of the parents of your generation. I'm so very glad that I could humor you.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2002 at 1:39PM
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wiiawiwb, i dont know where you are from, but if you came to where i live you would think you were in heaven. I am 22. My mom is in her 40s so she would be in this group as would all my friends and old classmates parents. I can not remember ever having a rude moment in high school. We are from a very small southern town. We all have very southern morals and traditions. If you came here the first person to say hi and welcome you would probably be someone of my generation. Maybe in your part of the country it is horrible, but the majority are not so dont even use the word most when refering to this because unless you have been all around the country and taken a study your opinion means jack.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2002 at 12:41AM
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brandym I am very encouraged by your post and hopeful your town will lead the way. I never used the word "most" having opted for the word many instead. Maybe I should used the phrase "too many". In any event I am thankful there are more like you and thank your parents for raising you correctly.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2002 at 8:20AM
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I'm in the same situation and no its not always the parents fault for spoiling..my fiances 11 yr old daughter has caused hell in our lives..such as when she decided to tell me her daddy was cheating on me out of spite over me telling her that me and her dad don't keep secrets from each other..constantly bullying my son and refuses to listen to a word I say..I feel abused..I have a headache most nights..her grandmother caters to her every whim and dosnt believe what we tell her..and yes the daddy I'm sorry thing gets on my last nerve..I've decided that I will have to be strong and not give into her manipulation..it makes me sad as I realy wanted a relationship with her...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 11:02PM
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