Please help me with my step child!

silaSeptember 12, 2006

Ok, first of all, I have been in this relationship for 3 & 1/2 years now. My wife has a daughter from a previous relationship that is now 7 years old. My wife and I have a son who is now 3 months. At the start of the relationship, I got along great with her daughter. She was a good kid, a little hyper at times, but a good kid. Problem is, I grew up in a pretty strict household. I was regularly punished for the things I done wrong and there fore I am the same with my children. My wife on the other hand, was brought up in a family that pretty much let her do whatever she wished. This causes her to let her daughter pretty much rule and do as she wants. I can't stand this and am always the one to put my foot down and put her in time out, ground her, send her to bed early, etc. when she does wrong. Me always being the "bad parent" has made her not like me and always fall to her mommy's side. She don't like to be around me, talk to me, or anything. She will stay up in her room and not come out until her mom gets home and then follow her around everywhere untill it's time for her to go to bed. We will all be sitting in the same exact room and she will ask her mom questions about me that she should of just asked me since I was sitting right there! I try and sit down and play a game with her or watch a movie and all I get from her is when is mom gonna be home? Where is mommy? I am sick of being the bad guy and doing all the punishing. I talk to her mom about this and all she can say is "I don't have the time to follow her around and deal with her every wrong move". Sadly this is making me dislike her daughter more and more to the point that I don't even like to see/hear her anymore. Her father is no where to be found so we get no breaks either. I just don't know what to do, it is ruining my relationship with my wife. Now that we have a son together, it really hampers the thought of leaving. What can I do?

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organic_maria

You need to have a long talk with your wife again. There is no such thing as 'i dont have time'. You guys have to work together as a team or this is going to get worse. First and foremost. STOP punishing her daughter. Her daughter will hate you and it has started down that path and will get worse. Do not descipline her daughter. Tell your wife she has to instigate the punishment and you must support her.
As for the situation of your sd asking question about you infront of you and your wife. That has to stop and she as a mother has to set that example with her daughter that it is RUDE and DISRESPECTFUL to do that. If she has questions she has to direct them to you...not through her mother while you are sitting in front of them. That is not your stepdaughters fault. She is a 7 year old child and doesn't know better. That is your wifes fault.
She's at the age where all she wants is her mom. There is nothing wrong with that. I know you are taking it personal but she is a little girl and is feeling insecure because you are punishing her and her mom is not supporting that. Stop it. Let your wife do the punishing. Ease off on your stepdaughter and be positive.
1. Stop punishing her. Let her mother do it. Everytime she does something wrong, send her to her mother. Since her mother has no time. You be her eyes and then let her do the punishing.
2. Do positive fun things with your sd. Get her out of her room. Take her to the park! Do fun things together. (all she sees with you now is negative things and she wants to get away from you. Its normal behaviour)
3. Your stepdaughter is not to blame. You are in a relationship with her mom and she is held accountable for her actions.
4. have a long talk..maybe counseling might help. Set the ground rules. Mutual between both of you about parenting since you have a new little bundle inthe house. That way the rules are set for both kids and both of you enforce it. supporting one another.
My husband and i also have very different ways of raising kids. We are both strict but in different manners. He likes to yell alot. i don't. I warn 2 times. The third is a spanking with an explaination. But i do not descipline his kids. I will not and refuse to. i will only descipline my child. We had a discussion...sometimes we still disagree how we will descipline our son but we will take it one event at a time.
Have patience with your daughter. She is only 7 andis learning. She is probably starting to understand her biodad is not around. She may feel abondonned. Her sense of abondonement hightened because her mother is working, not around and you are with her and you punish her. She only sees that and dosn't want you. Start being more positive with her. it will help your relationship with your stepdaughter and things will improve.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 11:49AM
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sila

Thank you for your reply. I would try out things you said. I don't want you to think that I don't do anything positive with her and all I do is punish her. That's not the case. The problem is, when I do take her to do special things, like play a game, go on a bike ride (I'm the one that took the time to teach her to ride her bike), watch a movie, etc. she acts as if she doesn't appreciate it at all and doesn't want to be there. She speaks only of when we will be done and when her mother will be there. It makes it unenjoyable and seem pointless to me. I try to forward her to her mother for punishment but either A)She just blows it over or B)She doesn't give her daughter a real punishment, pretty much just simply tells her not to do it again. She don't give her a real reason not to do it again. I get so aggrivated about it because it seems if I don't step in, things will just get worse. I will try and have another talk with me wife and go over some things. Sometimes I feel as though she just don't want to be bothered with it. Thank you for your time.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 3:06PM
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sandstone

The problem is with you and your wife not the child. It is painfull for two people to meld lives together. We are all raised differently and have different beliefs on how to raise children. Your wife needs to find time to talk this out. Let her know that it is damaging your relationship and that these are important issues. Tell her you don't want to always be the "Bad guy" and come to an agreement of proper punishments that both of you could use with your SD. Now with that said you also need to be willing to give. She wasn't raised like you. Your idea of diciplining and hers differ you need to come to a happy medium. Most of all she needs to NOT allow disrespect from her daughter to you. If she allows it, it will get progressively worse.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 12:51PM
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shannon_1

Hello
Your situation sounds exactly like mine (same length of relationship, baby boy just born a year ago, 7 yr old stepchild), except the sexes of everyone involved is opposite, and my SS goes to the mothers every other week.
Most recently my SS has been doing really ignorant things like you mention above to me.
My DH is pretty good to be on my side, except we always fight about the kid in front of the kid.
I get the exact same thing - when is daddy gonna be home, or he will seclude himself all the time until the father comes home. I too have tried things and get the same response, when are we gonna go, blah blah blah.
I get so mad because I do basically everything for this kid, and get nothing in return
He most recently told his dad that he is beign mean to me so i will go away and that he wants his mom to move back in, meanwhile his parents have been split since he was a year, and I have been around since he was 2.5.
I would appreciate bouncing ideas off each other, and also hearing what others have to say.
Chin up!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 1:06PM
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sweeby

The core is pretty simple:

- Both parents in the home need to agree about the rules, the consequences for breaking them, and the limits and standards in place for the child.

- Once the parents agree to all of that, they need to communicate it to the child so the child knows and understands.

- Then both parents need to enforce those rules and standards consistently and predictably. The consequences need to be a direct result of the behavior -- NOT of which parent saw it. It can certainly be done kindly and with respect, but it needs to be done every time.

Until you've got those three key elements working, life will be a struggle.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 1:24PM
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organic_maria

THe kids at one point always want mommy to get back together with daddy. And they all act mean to the stepparent. Stepparents must let them act it out, let their feelings be heard but the fahter or mother must speak to their kid and straighten them. That mommy and daddy fight and will not get back together. etc..etc..it has to be reinforced constantly in their heads. Apparently i read it takes up to 11-15 times repeating to get it in their heads and sometimes more.
I know it hurts, but don't take it personal. The kids need totime to adjust. My ss didn't come near me until i was pregnant. It took almost 3 years to build a relationship with him.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 3:23PM
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steffy

Hello, my situation is a little bit different. The step kids listen and respect me for the most part, but my daughter has turned rude to me all of the time, and just very disrespectful. She cant stand it when i do anything for the other two . My husband has a 7 year old daughter, and an 8 year old son. My daughter is 8. We just had confrences at school and found out that his children have learning disabilities. My daughters report was above average. So they need a lot of attention in school work and a lot of areas that my daughter doesnt and it is making it really hard. PLEASE HELP none of us know how to act right now. do you have any sugestions,

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 10:40AM
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sarajk28

You don't have to be the bad guy to get a child to understand your rules, boundaries and limitations (ever watch "the dog whisperer? same rules apply when dealing with younger children) Her mother should discipline her, but the problem is, when she tells you she doesn't have time, isn't the case: she doesn't believe in disciplining over whatever the issue is. My husband will tell me to do something about my son/daughter, and I do because I know it is important to him BUT all the while I am thinking "I just would have let that go." Choose your battles, and learn to let go of some things, otherwise, if you can't bend, your going to break.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 2:10PM
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zuca

I am in a relationship with my boyfriend who has a 5 year old girl. She comes from a VERY privileged family who think they are above everyone else. When she can't have something she screams and gets what she wants. Recently my boyfriend has had the 2nd court case and alot more access to her and instead of 2 days of play he is having much more time with her and has given her discipline where needed but she screams and carries on until he backs down because he doesn't want to be the bad guy. As for me, I try not to discipline her because I want to create respect, but last night I broke when it felt like all my love and fun and kindness was thrown out the window when she said to her Dad in a fit of fury that she wanted him to get rid of me, this all stemmed from her not being able to sit in the front seat of the car. Once in the back, She kicked the back of my car seat and had a tantrum. My boyfriend disciplined her then took her back to her mother and they had a talk and she wants them back together, which is a normal thing, but my dilemma is HOW do I treat this child now. The daughter is learning bad traits such as racism and high class traits that are turning her into a spoilt brat. Should I just not give her any energy wether it is good or bad and just step back? I talked to my boyfriend about it today and he said to try that, but it is harder to give nothing than to give love and support and then on the other hand be emotionally effected when she turns her anger on me.
I welcome any thoughts on this subject please.
Thank you
Megan

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 10:25PM
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cindy_pond

How was her behavior before the split? At five years old, it is normal for her to lash out at you. She can't do that to her parents who she needs for survival. My SS at 14 tearfully asked his father why I had to be there so much (I was not married to my husband at the time) It hurt me, but I understood that it was an emotional plea from a desperate kid. I kept my distance for a couple of weeks and then slowly returned. He just needed some one on one time with his dad. From that time forward, as with my own children, we tried to give all of them that individual attention once a week or more. We've been married for 8 years now and survived many ups and downs. Try and remember that she is only five and using every manipulation known to man to insure what she needs the most, the love and stability of her mother and her father. She needs time to adjust to this situation and to accept that they won't be getting back together. She'll fight it any way that she can...It's a long process that requires patience, understanding, a firm yet loving hand, and good timing. The lesson I took from my own experience was, We put these children here and they are our first priority and in saying that, mature love will survive anything. remember...timing is everything.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 8:07AM
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ashley1979

I can't say enough about Stepfamily counseling. YOU ALL NEED COUNSELING! Not just you and not just her and not just the kids. You all need to go. You need to understand what parts you are doing wrong and she needs to understand how her passiveness is effecting the marriage and the parenting of the child you share. You may think you're doing everything right, but guaranteed you are not reacting the way you want all the time. A counselor can help you with techniques to get better at your reactions. And the kids need to go to counseling as well. They need to be taught how to respect every adult equally. Plus, you might find out some core reasons for why the kids behave the way they do that you may have never thought about.

It's all about perspective and you've taken one helluva step coming on here and looking for a new perspective. But the others involved that don't come on here need a different perspective as well.

I'm serious. Look up some blended-family groups or counselors in your area. It will do you a WORLD of good.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 5:09PM
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ashley1979

Sorry.......not "kids". I read OP wrong. I was speaking about the only kid that could go to counseling and that would be the 7yo.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 5:11PM
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k_lab_att_net

My girlfriend lives with me now with her 10 yr. daughter. They are awesome, but my girlfriend let's her rule the household. She don't know what no is. Not good. What can I do to resolve this

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 12:39PM
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silversword

Start a new thread Keith.... It's hard to follow when you jump on the bottom of such an old thread, can get confusing!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 1:09PM
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