Daughter & Step-Father Disrespect

LHFishNovember 28, 2011

I guess my message could go in to different forums, but here it is. My daughter has recently turned 13. She and my husband, her Step-father of 2 years are having issues. I am having so much trouble with her disrespecting him. I know some of this is her age, and some is because of the step relationship. I reprimand her when she is disrespectful, but do not always see it. The biggest problem is that sometimes I feel like my husband doesn't even like my daughter. There are many times when he believes she is being disrespectful and I feel like she isn't. Sometimes when she is joking, he says it's disrespectful. He also never seems to give her positive reinforcement when it is clear that she is making an effort to be better. I feel at such a loss. I have 2 other children that are never disrespectful. This is my first girl and I have not dealt with this type of disrespect before. I feel like I am struggling between the two of them. I know there must be ramifications for her actions, but what do I do when I feel he is wrong? He is 11 years older than me and all of his children are grown. Could it also be that he is less tolerant as he has gotten older? It feels like he doesn't remember ever being a child / teenager himself. Maybe I am rambling... I am just sick about what's going on and so confused. I don't want to lose my relationship with my daughter or my husband.

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shakti2574

In whicch way she is disrepectful?

teenagers at those age are little tough to deal with. Your H just has to disengage and not get get baited into a verbal confrontation with them.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 6:22PM
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justmetoo

I was about to ask for an example myself. Could you share a recent incident that upset DH but that you found 'ok'? One also where you too feel it was wrong and disrespectful

I would think unless Dh/you are way far apart on what is acceptable and what is not that you both could discuss house rules/behavior and agree to what is 'ok' and what is not. She could also be picking up on the struggle between Dh and you that you feel it was no big deal and he was angry/disapproving of it.

Has the situation been ongoing or fairly new?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 7:48PM
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mkroopy

This may not have anything to do with the "step" thing...my daughter just turned 14, and starting between 12-13, things just went crazy....we had an awful year (8th grade)...just unbelievable. She went from a pleasant, honor student that never ever got in any kind of trouble to an absolute mess....bad grades, getting in trouble in school, "cutting" her wrists, and just showing complete and total lack of respect for me and her mother (we have 50-50 custody).

Despite our divorce, which was amicable, she's had a very good upbringing...two parents who are loving and supportive...we had no idea where all this came from. Fortunately she's been in therapy for about a year now, and I think just getting out of 8th grade (middle school) and moving on to high school has helped, because things have been a lot better the last 6 months or so. Not perfect, she still has lots of anxiety and self-esteem issues, but the bahavior has improved a lot...so I am hopeful.

The others are right, your husband needs to back off a bit...and you two need to establish and agreed upon set of things that are acceptable and things that are not...and when she does something that is not, he should tell you and you decide what to do about it, she is your child to discipline, not his.

And no matter what she has done, for him to not give her positive reinforcement if she is making efforts to improve, that is JUST AWFUL...you need to get all over him about this...kids, especially girls, at this age need GOBS of positive reinforcement! He is causing her lots of harm by doing this....

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 10:41AM
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DFWmom

Hi LHFish,

I know exactly how you feel. I've been with DH for 8 years and we are going through this very same thing with him and my DD15. DD15 made some really bad choices about 1.5 years or so ago and it seems ever since, DH has been unable to let go of what happened and never sees the good in her. He doesn't treat my other 2 this way, just her. Things have been better lately through long heart to heart talks with both of them & counseling.

I've read somewhere (it could have been here but I don't remember) that with our own children, we usually give them equal parts of love & discipline so there is a balance and sometimes with stepdads/moms, there isn't that balance so there is conflict. For some reason this just has really stuck with me. I guess it's just easier for us to see the good in our children because we have that unconditional love for them.

Try the heart to heart talks with both of them, maybe some books for you & DH to read or parenting classes. Things can get better but everyone needs to change. Let us know how it goes!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 2:47PM
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catlettuce

Everything Mr. Koopy said!!

~Cat

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 12:00PM
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