problems with my stepdaughter

oxanaNovember 16, 2006

I really need a good advice. I have a stepdaughter, who is 11 years old. My husband and me are married for almost 6 years. We do not have children. ItÂs not that we are not trying, it just hasnÂt happened yet. I have difficulties with getting pregnant. His ex-wife and us used to live in different states. My stepdaughter used to travel to be with us all the time. She would spend most of the summer with us, as well as all school vacations and some weekends. I love her with all my heart. Her mother is a nice woman and we do have civil relationship with her.

Few month ago we moved to the same location to live closer to my stepdaughter. Now she spends a lot of time with us. I think, we have a lot of problems now! Sometimes, I feel so angry and desperate! She is very intelligent girl, very humorous and she is so much fun to be with! There are so many good things about her! But I am very worried about some of her qualities.

She is a true daughter of divorced parents. She honestly believes that she can get absolutely anything out of them. And she usually does. It is not a secret she is extremely spoiled. But this is not what I am worried about the most. She is very self-centered and she doesnÂt care about others, whatsoever! I understand that most kids are this way, but, in my opinion, these issues should be addressed. I want her to be a good, kind person, help others. Being smart is not going to get her anywhere if she doesnÂt have good heart! She is also SO lazy! She spends in a bed an entire weekend, chatting with her friends on-line. Her mother is like this too. Her house is absolutely filthiest place I have ever seen. Her mother doesnÂt teach her anything! They hardly ever have any food at the house. IÂve seen her refrigerator completely empty couple times. How is it possible when you have a kid at the house?

I really want to change this. My husband is 100% supportive. But he will not say anything when he should. He really let everything go. So, it is only I trying to address all the issues. So far, I had no success. Well, finally I can get her to take a shower every other day, but this is it pretty much. Oh, and at the other day my SD asked me to get her boots, even though they were literally 5 feet away. She said she was too busy talking to her friends on-line and her mother was waiting outside to pick her up. I felt like I was a maid.

I really, really love her and care about her, but I am so angry with her sometimes. I can feel that she is angry with me too. I donÂt know how to handle this anymore.

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I'm not sure if I can give you any good advice, but i am sorry for what you are going through. And you are trying to get pregnant, so you really don't need extra stress. I used to get along well with my stepson, until he moved in with us. Being a step-mom is pretty much impossible I think. I really hope you didn't get that pair of boots for her. My post has a lot of similar issues, and yes, the kids from divorced homes can be expert manipulators. You say you love her and care about her, but you are angry; many step-moms feel the same way. You sound like a caring, sensitive and giving person.
You say your husband is 100% supportive but won't say anything to his daughter. Honestly, that is a recurring theme on these posts. I know the bio-parents feel caught in the middle, because I think, they don't want to be the bad guy.
I wish i could give you better advice, my only thought is to not to spoil her anymore than she is (the boots thing), state your thoughts clearly and quickly, try to schedule family outings so she does not spend entire weekend chatting on-line. Stop feeling sorry for her, you can't control her mother's household, but I bet your household is feeling a bit controlled by them.
I really wish I had something better to say. Maybe you can approach your husband, and say "I'm really concerned about her future" and then mention 1 or 2 specific issues, like getting her to shower everyday when she is at your house. But, this has to be announced by him and enforced by him. Start with this, she may turn around a little bit. But if he won't, then I think you have more frustration and anger ahead of you. Try some counseling.
Best of luck, I hope things will get better.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 7:00AM
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Disable the computer or put it in your trunk & spend the day at a spa.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 8:21PM
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What you describe seems to be so common with so many kids in today's culture. The parents work and the children play. If you would talk to someone, like maybe your parent's ages, you'll find out why this is. Taking away the computer, cell phones, etc. etc. shouldn't mean a punishment. It's a way of life that we could talk about. If you and your husband can't figure this out, you'll not be able to do anything about it. Go figure out just what it is about this generation that seems to be so lacking in accountability and then make some decisions. Your eleven year old is not beyond your reach.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 4:38PM
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Hello Oxana,

I have to say that reading about your situation really hits home. I have a stepdaughter who is 13. I have been married for 9 years. The difference is that I have 2 children. My stepdaughter moved in with us a year ago and we have been fighting since. Our marriage wasn't perfect before but we were happy and very rarely argued. I strongly believe that nothing is going to change. I can either learn to live with the way things are or take my children and leave. It is so unfair. I know that my husband loves me and our children but he will never have her leave. I feel like he has chosen her over our family. The worst part is that he only met her a few years ago. They have absolutely no relationship other than her asking for things and him saying yes. I feel like giving up. When you have your own children all of the problems get worse and new ones arise.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 10:45PM
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You need to be somewhat of a b***h.Sorry,but there's no other way to say it.If you dont,believe me,it will build up to the point where you resent his daughter and not want her there at all.
Next time she asks you for her "boots" or something else,Tell her,"Sorry I'm busy cleaning up (or whatever)and dont have time to wait on you." After a few times,she'll get the hint,even if she doesnt like it or gets mad at you. But,she'll get over it.The important thing is that your husband reinforces the actions.He need not say something to her mom,but when she is at your house~she will follow YOUR rules.My husband is the same way with one of his daughters,he never disaplines her and lets her be completely lazy.So...I end up being a b***h the whole time. We have had alot of fights about it.He is just NOW starting to be her parent and not her friend.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 6:03AM
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issol time she tells you to get her boots, ignore her! If she wants to treat you like crap, treat her like a child.
Unfortunately, you seem to be the only one trying her. The bad part about that is children of divorced parents feel like they dont have to listen to the steps. Your husband and her mother are the ones who have to do this. And you know what to do, strict firm punishment. Do not enable bad behavior, etc. But if her bio parents arent enforcing it, you are in a bad situation. Get your husband and her mom together, sit down and have a good long talk. Dont tell her mom what she needs to do because then she'll feel as though you are telling her how to raise the little girl. If you cant get anything out of her mom, then it's up to you and your husband. If your husband doesnt want to do anything then all three of you are going to have SERIOUS problems when she hits 13-14. All in all...this isnt fair to YOU. It's your turn to be selfish. Make Mom and Dad step up because you cant do it on your own.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 10:43AM
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I just had to post a message in response to the last post because anyone who advocates a step-parent be selfish has got serious problems! The last thing a child whose lost their intact family because their parents got divorced is another selfish adult in their life. These children are HURTING terribly! What they need is a lot of LOVE! They need a POSITIVE role model in their life and if that means putting your needs and wants on hold for awhile (like having a baby) then that's what you need to do. Not only that, you cannot, and I repeat, CANNOT force or make anyone behave a certain way. I am especially appalled at the last sentence, "Make mom and dad step up" hello????? First of all, a step-parent or any person for that matter cannot "make" anyone do anything. Secondly, a step-parent has no business telling a bio parent how to parent. Third, stop acting like a victim and acknowledge the fact that as a step-parent you CHOSE to be in this situation! You chose to marry into a broken family. You chose to marry someone who had children and you think there isn't going to be problems???? The best advice I could give you is to STOP focusing on things out of your control and focus instead on yourself. You control your feelings, attitude and emotions and despite the circumstances you can be happy IF you want too. Unfortunately, and maybe it isn't "fair" you are not the most important person here, the child is.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 4:26PM
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