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step dad and 8 year old daughter

Posted by averyfrustratedmom (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 20, 12 at 18:43

I recently got married about a year ago and to put it nicely it has been an experience. My husband and my daughter used to get a long so well before we got married but now they can't stand each other. It is so frustrating for me to be in the middle.

My daughter and I have been together almost all the time since she was born really without a dad figure around. Her dad is still around but really doesn't do that much with her. He goes to school and work, but doesn't really spend much time with her, he ususally has someone watching her when he has her half the time. He and I divorced when she was about 3/4. My husband has been around us pretty much since then. He was in and out of our lives quite often because we had a rocky dating relationship. However they got along beautifully when he was just the "boyfriend"

Since we have been married there has been so many problems. She is very rude to him. She talks like she is a grown up, one day he told her she can not have a food he bought since she is rude to him, she in turn tells him that he bought it out of the joint account so it's her mom's too. Another day my husband and daughter were going at each other and she told him to leave the house, the house he already owns. Which of course upset my husband very and he pretty much has not talked to her since then. That was about a month ago. Anytime she talks he just walks away. There was a school open house that he refused to go because of the way she talks to him. He will put ear plugs in when he doesn't want to talk to her.

He and I are also fighting a lot so I can't sit down and talk to him because all I'll hear is how much of a brat she is. It's tearing me up. I love both of them so much and they both are my life.

I don't know what to do anymore. I want a house filled with laughter, but it's not happening. She either causes problems or he either can't forget what she has done. The day we got married she was a brat and to this day, 9 months later he still says she ruined the wedding. Don't get me wrong, I discipline and I punish her, probably not as much as my husband thinks she should be punished but I'm still her mother in the end. I can not just stop talking to my child. When she has a school project, I can not tell her that I'm not helping her with it.

Please help me. I'm crying so much and am getting so depressed. We tried taking her to counseling but she continued to be the same girl. I don't want our marriage to end but he walks out of the house so upset or if I say anything to him he seems angry. every month we fight for a week or two at a time. I am scared to think of what is going to happen to my family.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

Sorry you are feeling torn. Refusing to speak to your daughter does seem pretty childish on your husband's part, but he may feel he can't do anything else to her except ignore her. Your husband's hands are tied, she's not his child, so he can't discipline her nor should he. He may feel the only way he can "punish" her is by giving her the silent treatment.

Until the two of you get on the same page with how your daughter should behave and respect others you will keep having problems in your marriage. Your daughter will keep disrepecting your husband, and your husband will do mean, passive aggresive things in response, like refusing to go to her open house, and putting ear plugs in to ignore her.

If you feel like you are put in the middle of your husband and your daughter, ask yourself - - - would you allow your daughter to talk to your best friend the way she does to your husband? Would you allow your daughter to disrespect her teacher the way she does your husband?

It's not about choosing between your daughter and your husband, it's about teaching your daughter to respect adults, regardless of who that adult is. Basically you have to decide if your husband is right about your daughter's behavior or if he's over reacting.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

My Personal opinion, but they are BOTH acting like CHILDREN.

I get it, DH is frustrated with the child. She's being a brat...but the way is he responding to her is NOT helping the situation. Seriously, think about it 'I bought something and YOU can't have any because YOU are not nice to me'. Heck, why not just go all out and state 'Get your buns out of thaat chair because I bought it'. You just can't behave that way with children.

And how did the child respond to the 'child'? By reminding him the money he used was also her mothers (smart kid!).

It's only going to get worse until one remembers she is the CHILD and the other begins to act the role of ADULT and they both start acting their age.

If the relationship pre-marriage was rocky and the child also has little to do (not a close relationship with her bio-father) the child may feel no desire to invest in a civil relation ship with this guy. He might just poof from her life and besides he's raining on her parade between she and her mother (the close relationship she and you have always shared and shared more or less just hte two of you before the new husband came along).

You need to take control of this household before it totally blows up. Sit them both down for individual talks. Your daughter's behavior sucks, it will not be tolerated. She does not have to 'like' the guy, but she will behave civil and respectful (like Amber suggested, she can think of him as she would her teacher...smart off to teacher and there is penalty, it's not tolerated). Then his turn. The kid is 8 yrs old, and no matter how obnoxious she is behaving, she is still 8 yrs old and thinks like an 8 yr old. He's goign to have to find a way to communicate to her that he is an adult, he is due respect as your husband and she can hate him all she wants to but she must and will behave in his home.

Make an outline expected behavior including of 'punishment' for offensive behavior example : one evening no television for back talking or one weekend no ________(fill in the blank) for _________ (fill in the blank). And stick to it. Make it clear upfront what the 'cost' of misbehavior is and follow up with the 'price'.

Let Dh help you decide pre-discusion of outline with daughter what offenses are and what punsihment is. You do both need to be in agreement in what is tolerated, what is not and what is to be done with what is not.

Earplugs and walking out the door is not the answer. That's not how an adult deals with a child. Go back and think for a second about again the teacher thing. How do you think a teacher would fair if when a kid in her room is being a trouble maker and misbehaving? What if teacher just put on head phones and ignored kid? Or turned and left room leaving kid to do as she pleased? How long do you think teacher would have any respect and/or control over any of the kid in her/his room?

--"We tried taking her to counseling but she continued to be the same girl."--

Now try counseling for all parties. He needs to learn how to deal with children in a manner that will produce results. Does he have children of his own or is this his first attempt at 'parenting'? If he is a parent himself, how does he deal with them when they misbehave? You mentioned school projects and that you can not just tell her no. Why does DH not want you to help with a school project? Because she does not need help or why?


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

Thank you both for your responses. Amber i do tell my daughter under no cercumstance is she allowed to disrespect him. She has had her privileges taken way on a monthly base. Usually he is the one who picks the punishment and for how long. Sometimes im not exactly sure what all he takes away. The last time he punished er he took everything away from her. She doesnt have tv computer, netflix, going to movies for over six months. I unfortunately did not heard the punishment, because the day he gave the punishment i was recovering from a bronchoscopy. I thought I had heard him say she can not play on anything he bought, but unfortunately i was wrong. She is banned from everything. She can only play with her toys and read books. My husband has always had my oermission to disciplinw our daughter. I've tried very hard not to step on his toe when it came to punishing her. Even though six months of no electrinics is a pretty tough punishment for an eight year old, i've still stood behind him.

She had a project last month and my husband refused to help her because of how she treats him. He feels that she wont fail becausebof her age and will give her a grade for effort. I however feel completly different. School work is not something i am going to say no to.

No my husband does not have children of his own. Our daughter is his first shot at being a parent. He goes by how he acted as a child and expects the same way, he was a good obedient kid. Myself, on the other hand, gave my parents a challenge. I didn't do bad things against the law but i gave quite a few gray hairs to my mom. I know he cares about her but even i have doubts. I understand how mean she can be, trust me she hurts me the worst when she gets in one of her moods. However no matter how much she mistreats me,im still her mother. I should always be there for her. He is a dad now and he should also be beside me helping her through this.

We have tried sitting down with her and explained the things we would be able to do as a family if only she listened to what we asjed her to do. She seems to behave for a few days and goes back to the same way as before. Unfortunately she is half the time with us and half the time with her bio dad so she gets a break from her punishmebt. When she comes back we have to start all over again.

I've tried to explain to my husband she is just a child, usually when ahe is not around, but he doesn't follow. To him he just see an evil kid who will not change. He has even said out loud that if she doesnt change that she will one day be flipping burgers at a fast food joint. Anytime i sit with him and talk about her it's always negative. He doesnt even believe her teacher when we were told how smart she is and how polite and respectful she is. I was evwn stopped by the before and after school care staff last week, on how polite and respectful and willingness to help she was.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

First of all - I know how you feel because my dd was 7 when we moved in together and got married. All was great until the ring was on the finger and she (conveniently) started going through that moody, bossy, know it all stage. My dh didn't have children before her and now we have a son together.

Your husband needs to put on his big boy pants and stop playing tug of war with an 8 year old. I've told my husband this many times and then needed reinforcements like counseling and parenting classes and stepparent classes. I printed off material for him to read and basically told HIM he needed to grow up and learn to be a parent.

The food wars kill me. We have a constant debate about it. He buys something and then he gets selfish about it. I had to 'use' his parents to help me get him to understand, you can't buy candy and then eat it in front of your kid... It's selfish. That doesn't happen anymore but he still will make private comments to me like 'they always want what I have' I say 'welcome to being a dad'. He was an only child and single for his 16 adult years before me so he has some pretty selfish habits I had to help him break.

As far as your dd. you have to lay down the law. Even though he is a stepparent he is an adult and a parent in the house and respect is expected and demanded. My problem was getting my dh to understand that 8 year old's say all kinds of things. They are kids. And we can't act like 8 year old's back. If you aren't nice to me I'm not going to be your friend. That's the attitude I am reading and I've seen in my own house at times. I think the solution begins with your husband. Once he learns how to deal with her as a parent she will fall in line. It's taken a couple of years but the relationship and bond my dh has with my now almost 11 year old is amazingly strong and natural. She finally goes to him first for help. She wants To go places with him. She asks for him to pick her up from school. She asks him to take her places. This just started. But it wouldn't have happened if he didn't learn first how to be a 'dad' to her instead of just seeing her as this whiny brat that annoyed him because she got mouthy at 8. Talking to your dd and telling her that you expect her to respect the adults in her life including your husband first and foremost, will help. It takes daily reminders. Groundings. Discipline. It won't work if you have any guilt or feelings that you 'owe' her because she had a broken family. This was my problem and I learned this through counseling. You can't enable her behavior because you feel bad for her.

Start with your husband. Go to counseling. Read about blended families. Get him to some classes on stepparenting. And then the rest will fall in place. I found that most of my dd's problem was the way my dh saw her as 'my' daughter And I also learned from him that he felt like a stranger in our home. Like he wasn't part of our 'group'. It was me and her and he was just an outsider. Once he and I agreed on discipline and expectations, it got better. I also found that I was always 'protecting' her from him. He would tell her to do something and in front of her I would say 'no she can do that later its ok'. Once I started allowing him a voice in our home a lot changed. That doesn't mean walk away and let him do all the discipling that just means allow him as much freedom as you would a grandparent or an aunt or uncle. My parents correct my kids, why not let my husband in his own house. (within reason)

Is your relationship still hostile? She could be feeding off of that? Do you talk that way to your husband? I realized at one point that I was being snappy all the time and my dd was acting just like me. I had to check myself and stop criticizing my dh in front of our children because they were starting to do the same thing. Like he used to play video games all the time and I would say 'stop playing the games so much' and she would say 'yeah! Stop playing your stupid games'. Just an example here but watch how you treat your dh and see if your dd is picking up on how you act towards him. Our first year was the hardest year. I really didn't think we would make it. But we did. It takes a lot of work. Good luck!!


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter-

Also - my husband doesn't know how to deal with girls. He doesn't have any siblings and had no cousins. He has that expectation of 'this is how it was when I was a kid' and I don't agree with his ideas. This was a hurdle we had to overcome together. It just took time to get him to see his way wasn't working and that there was another way to handle it.

I too have the same issue with my dd going to her dad's. She is awful when she comes home. We have to leave her alone for about an hour until she comes to us. I had to remind her constantly when she would only acknowledge me, say hello to stepdad please. And over time I don't have to remind her anymore. She obviously doesn't care about what she has lost in her punishments. I think it's out of line for him to be the disciplinarian. This is probably where your problem is. You are allowing him to do your job as the parent but he's not acting like a parent the rest of the time. Only when he is punishing her. She doesn't respect him because he acts like a boy on the playground at recess that didn't get his way yet then he holds the cards on her every move. I think that needs to be re-evaluated.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

"Usually he is the one who picks the punishment and for how long. Sometimes im not exactly sure what all he takes away."

I agree with Myfampg, your husband should not be the one picking the punishment and for how long. He is not her dad and it is pretty unfair to expect him to magically become one over night to an eight year old. And then the two of you don't even communicate about what the punishment should be, that's the other problem.

I have a 13 year old and a six year old and I do agree that six months with no electronics is way too extreme for an eight year old. The punishment has got to fit the crime. When my eldest was 8 I would ground her for a week at a time. It has been the two of you for four or five years, and then here comes along this guy that does not have a biological bond with your child and he gets to decide what your child's punishment should be, and then he goes way overboard. No wonder your daughter resents your husband. Your husband needs to back off from the discipline.

"I thought I had heard him say she can not play on anything he bought, but unfortunately i was wrong."
Sounds like there is some miscommunication going on. You say sometimes you're not sure what he takes away, or you THOUGHT he said this or that. The two adults can't communicate and your daughter is reacting to that confusion.

First of all, you should be the one picking the punishment, not your husband. You can discuss it with him before hand in private, and get his input, but ultimately you should be the one deciding and delivering punishments to your daughter.

And then your husband should be the one backing you up, not the other way around. For example, if she goes to watch TV and she's on punishment, he'll say "Remember, your mother said no TV for one week." The things you should be backing him up on are making sure she treats him with respect.

In return your husband has got to learn how to be a dad and that takes time. Maybe years from now, when your husband has earned your daughter's respect, he can start to hand out the discipline, but right now he has to earn that right and the two of you have to be on the same page.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

Which is why, Amber, they need a plan outline. This new SF needs to understand 8 yr olds and he needs to mutually agree as to what is reasonable and what is not. What works and what does not. Even if OP hands out the discipline, SF must (if only between the two of them) agree and understand. Otherwise it just builds more resentment. OP will get 'you are too easy on her', 'you let her get away with blah blah blah', 'SD __________(fill in the blank).

Six months? No wonder she hates him and that grounding her from all but breathing does not work. For one, she is 8 yrs old, does not take 6 months to discipline over offense. For two, it's crazy and daughter how no incentive to behave. She has nothing else to lose, in her young 8 yr old mind 6 months is like forever and why behave?

MyFam, it sounds like your DH finally 'got it'. If a guy is going to walk in and suddenly be a stepdad, it isn't going to happen overnight and there is going to have to be an adult parenting on one end with a child on the other end. Yes, it's extremely hard for people who have never had their own children to suddenly get an instant kid. Kids can be wonderful adoring little sweethearts and they can be total spoiled selfish brats. Even a bio parent does not get lucky enough to know all the right moves/ways to suddenly deal with all the changes that occur during their children's childhood/teen years. Bio-parents make mistakes. They mess up handing an incident now and then. Nobody is perfect and no kid (his, mine, ours) pops out with a manual with directions.

As Amber suggests, both adults in the home need to be on 'the same page'. When I read that this SF says 'no' to helping with homework 'because kid is mean to me' , all I could think was WTH? Again, no wonder kid hates the guy. I'm not saying SF is a bad guy, I'm saying the guy has no idea on how to 'parent'. MyFam put 'schoolyard bully'. BINGO. Respect is earned. Yes, you expect your child to respect adults, but you also expect the adult to act like an adult and earn that respect aka be someone who acts like her respect is not only demanded but earned.

6 months? Toss that out and start from scratch again AFTER SF and you have writen the page of the book together. Think of it as household rules. There will be chores and behavior expectations in every home. There needs to be reasonable expectations for both areas and consistant 'punishment' for the 'crime' The 'rules' get reviewed as child grows just as the 'punishment' gets reviewed when one sees it is not working and/or the 'punsihment' no longer fits the age.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

Agree with the others....step dad should have no say in your daughter's disciple. I have heard/read this in many places....radio psychologists, books, blogs and forums about the dynamics of step-parenting, etc.

Reading this train-wreck of a story just makes me more confident that my GF and I are making the right decision not to "blend" our families, to just remain in separate households, until the kids are out of the picture.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

The stepfather here. I just wanted to clear up a few things. First I think the wife stumbled on this site since I left it up and running. I�ve been looking for answers as to how to deal with the situation that we�re going through. And low and behold I see a post that pretty much describes the current events in the house. I don�t mean to hi-jack the thread. But I believe a bit more information needs to be provided.

While I wish things were as simple as: I don�t talk to her and I wear earplugs, that isn�t the case.

Earplugs: I do not wear earplugs around the house. I wear earphones. In the car. Only when I want to listen to a podcast or music. The reason? Because I�ve had complaints from both the mother and daughter that my music is horrible (normally music from the 80�s & 90�s, some pop, some rock, Janet Jackson, the Police, etc.). I also wear them when listening to podcasts. Because a few things will happen when listening to podcasts. If the SD has the mother�s phone, then she will turn the volume up in an attempt to drown out the volume of the podcast. Or she will say that the speakers are hurting her ears. Or that the subject is scary. Just a note, the normal rotation of podcasts are: This American Life, Buzz out loud, NPR: Planet money, etc. Only once did I continue to wear the earphones from the car into the house and continued to listen while in the house.

Not speaking to SD: It pains me to not talk to her. But she doesn�t enjoy having a conversation. She enjoys having debates. I used to talk to her all the time. Sadly it was normally to explain that she should not yell at her mother and call her names. As time went on the more I attempt to have normal conversations with her the more she would make it known she wasn�t interested in hearing what I had to say. She would start combing her hair, painting her nails, yawn, suddenly have a sleepy look on her face, turn away, and in a couple of cases simply walk away. Not unusual for her to do all of the above during one conversation. Now any conversation is simply her complaining.

The last big family argument also ties in with her project and the food that I wouldn�t let her eat. To put as short and simple as I can. The wife was not feeling well. She had a medical procedure Friday and was still suffering the effects of the medication that she was given. The SD came into the bedroom. She mentioned that she had a project that was due later that week. She needed to build a replica of a bridge in Australia (sorry, forgot the name of the bridge). I came up with ideas of what material I had around the house that could be used and answered questions that the wife and SD had about how to go about building it. Then the conversation was changed by the SD. Seems that the SD was upset that I bought a bracelet for her mother for her birthday. However I didn�t buy anything for the SD. That went into a rant about how we never buy her anything. That then went into a rant about how we never go anywhere. And then that went into what was a 20-30 minute rant about us being horrible parents. She started with both of us and then went on to berate us on a one on one basis. Pointing out each detail where she feels that we have failed not only as parents but in life as well. I guess she didn�t know that I was about to start baking a birthday cake for the wife as she was going on about our short-comings. I�ll also admit that I had no desire to help her build a bridge after that exchange either. And yes, somewhere in there was her comment to me "things would be a lot better if you just left", "just pack up your stuff and leave". So I could be wrong about not letting her eat the cake. But she had full access to anything else in the house. Including the gallon of ice cream that I purchased for her the day before. I felt that the cake was a treat. And I felt that letting her have the cake would almost be a reward for berating that we took. With the exception of the cake on that one day I have never told her that she could not eat something.

There was a time when I was very close with the SD. I�ve known her since about age 2. So for the last 6 years I�ve been around. Very infrequently at first with the occasional outing with everyone and becoming more and more frequent as time went on. I can think of nothing that I�ve done that would cause her to thing I was the enemy. But that�s what I�ve become to her. She insists that I�m taking her mother away from her. And she has vocally said on several occasions that her mother doesn�t spend time with her, that all of her time is spent with me. This could not be further from the truth. Even on vacations there are more than a few times when mother and SD is off to do things on their own. Or in the case of a ride where the mother and SD is riding together and I�m paired up with someone else. I try to give them space and time together. I do not however understand what is going through the SD�s mind though. There are times when the SD will not leave the mother�s side. It�s like a serious separation anxiety issue. She waits outside of the bathroom door. She insists on taking showers with the mother and keeping her from sleeping in our bed is a constant battle. But she can almost instantly go from clinging to her side to yelling and screaming. And that is just as bad of a problem. Every day. Day in. Day out. When I wake up someone is yelling at someone else. When I go to sleep someone is yelling at someone else. Personally, I couldn�t imagine yelling at my parents when I was 8. Heck, I couldn�t imagine it at 18, or 28, or 38. But I guess that�s just me. Or as the SD told me a few weeks ago "yeah but you were a nice boy wasn�t you, because you were just the perfect little kid".

The problems did not start when she caught wind that there may be a relationship going on with my now wife. I used to receive calls from the OP telling me about the problems she was having with the SD. It escalated to the point where a neighbor in the apartment building of the OP called the police because of the arguing. The neighbor felt that someone may be in danger. And the abuse doesn�t end with the SD and her mother. Her ability to listen to anyone that she knows really depends on her current mood and if she wants something from someone.

Though I have to say that some things have changed. She no longer rams her head into my stomach. Since the last time she attempted to do it and I simply moved out of the way. Now she doesn�t know if I will move or not so I guess it isn�t worth the risk of losing her balance and falling forward. She will (most of the time) knock before coming into our bedroom. Though she still wanders in at 3 � 4AM and just stands there staring at you. She no longer attempts to open the bathroom door while I�m in the bathroom, or play right next to the bathroom door.

And I think that�s about it. I really want this to work out and I�m not trying to communicate through forums. But I think that the members of this forum need a more complete picture of what is going on. If I read the simple: yeah, my daughter says some bad things sometimes and my husband won�t talk to her, I would think: the hubby sounds like an ass. And perhaps I am. Maybe I should take the abuse. But I don�t believe that I should. I don�t ask for thanks for the things that I do on a regular basis (like driving her to the father / daughter dance and waiting 2 hours for it to finish so I could drive her back home). But I would be happy to simply not get grief. As I said before the house should be a safe haven from the constant barrage of crap that we have to take all day at work.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

And I knew I would forget a point: Punishment.
I do not feel like I should be giving out punishment. I think that the mother should be applying what will happen. Sure we can both talk about it, but the mother should be the one that tells the SD.

This is where the problem lays. The SD knows that the punishment dog has no teeth no matter who tells the SD. I was the last person to name the things that she shouldn't be able to do. Which pretty much came down to nothing with a screen. Well that went out of the window when the SD simply asked the wife "can I play on your phone". And the phone is given to her. The phone contains everything that she can get in the house but on a smaller screen.
Then she's told that she can use her laptop. And while I'm away the televion in the bedroom is being watched (I know because the remote is on the bed, long story).

Plain and simple. No punishment is kept to because the SD knows that she only needs to act nice for a few hours and it is lifted. If acting nice doesn't do it then she becomes annoying. If annoying doesn't do it then she becomes (for lack of a better word) violent.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

hmmmmm, so here is side #2.

You both need some counseling as a couple. Until there is some agreement as to house rules and parenting styles there can be no harmony in the attempt to co-parent together in the same house.

You don't sound so awful. Go back up and read what MyFam wrote about stepparenting classes. Tell the mother you're game if she is. If what you state has her parenting style is true, she could use some parenting tips herself. You are both being manipulated by an 8 yr old. And don't forget to suggest the daughter has a complete check-up with her peds dr. Mom needs to find out if all the anger and acting out is coming from an out of control 8 yr old, a medical point (even a chemical im balance) and/or a combination of both.

Good luck to all of you. If you both want this marriage to really work out, you need to work as a team. From what both you and wife have stated, the starting point of turning things around lays with you both learning to communicate, mutual agreements on parenting and consistancy. Kids can be hard on a relationship whether the kids are in a blended family or in an intact both bio-parent family. But kids will destroy a relationship if they don't have an united front staring them in the face. Kids are not 1/2 as stupid as adults think they are.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

Thank you for everyone that responded. I knew going into this that it wouldn't be easy. I'm not sure what exactly made the SD turn against me. However it seems the more comfortable she is around someone the more liberties that she will take.

And while the talks I would have with her mostly didn't have an effect on her behavior, I was surprised as to how simular they were to conversations her grandmother would have with her concerning the same behavior and how she should handle it vs acting out and taking an agressive stance against her mother or other family members.

I also don't want to make the SD out to be a complete demon. When she is nice she's the sweetest child you've ever seen with a smile that warms the heart. She's also a joy to be around when she's behaving. The problem is that the amount of time when she's behaving is becoming far and inbetween.

I felt that the therapy was needed and suggested it a few months after our marriage and when we realized that talking to her was not making a difference. Things did become a little better when we were attending the sessions and they were covered by my insurance. So there was no worry about cost. But the mother decided to cancel any future sessions. She felt that they were not making a difference.

As for step parenting classes. I will look into them. I've been looking for advice for the sitution that we're in for quite a while. I've been looking for advice on how others have handled children that act out. And I realize that with kids they get to an age where they want to make their own identity. But this has been going on for quite some time. Before me and the wife even became serious and years before the SD knew that the wife and myself were becoming serious.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

Thank you both for your responses. Amber i do tell my daughter under no cercumstance is she allowed to disrespect him. She has had her privileges taken way on a monthly base. Usually he is the one who picks the punishment and for how long. Sometimes im not exactly sure what all he takes away. The last time he punished er he took everything away from her. She doesnt have tv computer, netflix, going to movies for over six months. I unfortunately did not heard the punishment, because the day he gave the punishment i was recovering from a bronchoscopy. I thought I had heard him say she can not play on anything he bought, but unfortunately i was wrong. She is banned from everything. She can only play with her toys and read books. My husband has always had my oermission to disciplinw our daughter. I've tried very hard not to step on his toe when it came to punishing her. Even though six months of no electrinics is a pretty tough punishment for an eight year old, i've still stood behind him.

She had a project last month and my husband refused to help her because of how she treats him. He feels that she wont fail becausebof her age and will give her a grade for effort. I however feel completly different. School work is not something i am going to say no to.

No my husband does not have children of his own. Our daughter is his first shot at being a parent. He goes by how he acted as a child and expects the same way, he was a good obedient kid. Myself, on the other hand, gave my parents a challenge. I didn't do bad things against the law but i gave quite a few gray hairs to my mom. I know he cares about her but even i have doubts. I understand how mean she can be, trust me she hurts me the worst when she gets in one of her moods. However no matter how much she mistreats me,im still her mother. I should always be there for her. He is a dad now and he should also be beside me helping her through this.

We have tried sitting down with her and explained the things we would be able to do as a family if only she listened to what we asjed her to do. She seems to behave for a few days and goes back to the same way as before. Unfortunately she is half the time with us and half the time with her bio dad so she gets a break from her punishmebt. When she comes back we have to start all over again.

I've tried to explain to my husband she is just a child, usually when ahe is not around, but he doesn't follow. To him he just see an evil kid who will not change. He has even said out loud that if she doesnt change that she will one day be flipping burgers at a fast food joint. Anytime i sit with him and talk about her it's always negative. He doesnt even believe her teacher when we were told how smart she is and how polite and respectful she is. I was evwn stopped by the before and after school care staff last week, on how polite and respectful and willingness to help she was.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

Thank you both for your responses. Amber i do tell my daughter under no cercumstance is she allowed to disrespect him. She has had her privileges taken way on a monthly base. Usually he is the one who picks the punishment and for how long. Sometimes im not exactly sure what all he takes away. The last time he punished er he took everything away from her. She doesnt have tv computer, netflix, going to movies for over six months. I unfortunately did not heard the punishment, because the day he gave the punishment i was recovering from a bronchoscopy. I thought I had heard him say she can not play on anything he bought, but unfortunately i was wrong. She is banned from everything. She can only play with her toys and read books. My husband has always had my oermission to disciplinw our daughter. I've tried very hard not to step on his toe when it came to punishing her. Even though six months of no electrinics is a pretty tough punishment for an eight year old, i've still stood behind him.

She had a project last month and my husband refused to help her because of how she treats him. He feels that she wont fail becausebof her age and will give her a grade for effort. I however feel completly different. School work is not something i am going to say no to.

No my husband does not have children of his own. Our daughter is his first shot at being a parent. He goes by how he acted as a child and expects the same way, he was a good obedient kid. Myself, on the other hand, gave my parents a challenge. I didn't do bad things against the law but i gave quite a few gray hairs to my mom. I know he cares about her but even i have doubts. I understand how mean she can be, trust me she hurts me the worst when she gets in one of her moods. However no matter how much she mistreats me,im still her mother. I should always be there for her. He is a dad now and he should also be beside me helping her through this.

We have tried sitting down with her and explained the things we would be able to do as a family if only she listened to what we asjed her to do. She seems to behave for a few days and goes back to the same way as before. Unfortunately she is half the time with us and half the time with her bio dad so she gets a break from her punishmebt. When she comes back we have to start all over again.

I've tried to explain to my husband she is just a child, usually when ahe is not around, but he doesn't follow. To him he just see an evil kid who will not change. He has even said out loud that if she doesnt change that she will one day be flipping burgers at a fast food joint. Anytime i sit with him and talk about her it's always negative. He doesnt even believe her teacher when we were told how smart she is and how polite and respectful she is. I was evwn stopped by the before and after school care staff last week, on how polite and respectful and willingness to help she was.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

Sorry, this kid may be eight and she may have some issues, but she is definitely a brat. Mom needs to set boundaries and she must be consistent about about maintaining them. This kid is totally running the show.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

It's amazing to see the other side to the story. I sure hope you (outlaw) understand that by your wife coming here she was trying to get help as well. Although your stories may be a little different, perception of one feels and interprets can be different. So she may see it different than you meant it. It's a communication thing. I once called my husband a nerd out of a joke. Nerd to me is better than saying weirdo or dumba$$... I was kidding but it hurt him so badly and he hates being called a nerd. It's petty to me but to him it was a big friggin deal. I learned that day, my new name for him is your So funny.... To him that's better than nerd. Does that make sense? Even though I meant it only as a joke because he was excited about the Star Wars blu-ray edition, I think this makes him a 'nerd' but instead I will now say, you're so funny....

It's perception.

It does sound like this little girl is just a mess inside. She needs some help and if counseling didn't work the first time, find a new counselor. There are many out there.

Google your area for an advocacy center or parenting center. They usually have free or reduced cost classes for parenting:step parenting. I took a class on parenting Tweens and it really opened my eyes to how I was enabling the Behavior. It sounds like the behavior is not geared towards just you but towards both parents. Also, look into the Love and Logic series. There are books at the library, ebooks, etc that will help parents with parenting. Amazing stuff. I think one of the problems with many parents is the guilt they feel for the child because of the 'broken' family. Even if dad is not around much, mom may be trying to (subconsciously) make up for what she believes this little girl is missing. And this is our biggest mistake. Kids don't have to have the best father or the best mother as long as there is a stable source of love and comfort coming from somewhere.

Good luck to both of you!


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

I agree with myfampg about how spouses can "perceive" things differently on an amazing level. During the breakup of my marriage, my (now) ex-wife actually had the nerve to call my treatment of her "abuse"...this blew my mind, I always treated her with respect, never belittled her or anything, supported her being a stay-at-home mom, which is what we both wanted, encouraged her to have outside interests, etc. What in retrospect I did not do was put her on the "attention" pedestal and dedicate a lot of my free time towards her, which I think is what many women want.....sorry that's just not the marriage model that I had growing up with my parents (who made it 47 years till my mom passed away).

In the years since then, its one of the things that I have truly never come to grips with. All my friends that know the whole story about her infidelities and all that, always tell me that she was the one in the wrong, that I was a great husband and a great dad....but when someone you were so close to tells you otherwise...it's really hard to ever have a definitive opinion on things.

It's a very confusing issue......or at least it has been for me for many years.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

I will have to agree about reading some of the love & logic articles as they have helped. Please, please try counseling. It does help a lot. We have been fighting this kind of battle for years and it can get better.

My DD is 16 now and her relationship with stepdad is getting better. There is less tension in the house. They are civil with each other. We all had to do some changing.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

I do think that this child needs some counselling. She seems very insecure about sharing her mother, which isn't surprising because the biological father seems rather indifferent to her.

You have to be very careful not to allow a culture of rudeness to develop in your home. You and your husband have to stand together as a team and require your daughter to stop being rude. That means she has to listen when someone is speaking to her, answer questions, say hello and good-bye. It may seem like a small thing, but obnoxious children will drive a stepparent right out the door. If you allow a culture of rudeness to take root in your home, the atmosphere will become so poisonous that no one will want to live there.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

Good points stepmom of 3. I was thinking while reading your post, if another child that is only a friend's child was that rude and disrespectful, I wouldn't allow them in my home or to play with my children but as a stepparent you are expected to accept that behavior unconditionally as ''your own child''. I can tolerate a lot from my children that I birthed and that I undoubtedly love unconditionally but it takes a very special person to love unconditionally a child that berates you that you have no bond to. And it's so much easier for someone to walk away from that child if they do not have any reason to stay other than a marriage. I know many biological parents that walk away for less than this... Heck we read it daily on this forum. It's a big deal to have a stepparent stick around to take the beatings. That's a strong person.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

I read the OP and most of the responses... I don't have the time to read each response thoroughly so I just wanted to give a couple of points.

1. Mom should have nipped it in the bud from the beginning the FIRST time the daughter spoke out of turn or disrespectfully to the husband. I have found that if it's tolerated once, they will do it again. Also, if mom gives the daughter any impression that she agrees with daughter, it will continue & get worse. My oldest son has had a problem (in my past relationship & my current one) and has tried to talk disrespectfully & even challenging. I stepped in & said, "You will NOT talk to my husband like that, it won't be tolerated!" It is something that has to be adamantly said, with absoluteness every time she tries to be disrespectful. If you agree with her & disagree with your husband, the time & place to discuss THAT is later when you are alone with him. But, do not allow the child to see you disagree with him and/or stand by doing nothing when she talks back, etc. It sends the message that it's okay or that she is justified. It says a lot that the husband is wearing headphones because mom & daughter do not like his music.... that also gives me the impression that mom & daughter have an alliance, something that most likely occurred when she was a single parent. Things have changed and mom's alliance needs to be with stepdad, not the child.

2. Mom should be in charge of disciplining her own child. Recently, this came up with us. My daughter was telling me of a time when SD took something of hers & got caught. She reported this to DH & he left it up to my DD to decide the consequence since the item SD took belonged to her. I had to disagree because DH is the parent & HE should decide his own consequences & not place it on my daughter, who was 16 at the time. Now, 5 years later it has gotten out of hand. I realize that he has always allowed me to be the disciplinarian because I have filled the "mom" role. It has backfired terribly & now that I'm disengaging, DH is lost on how to deal with his nearly teenage daughter. He has no authority with her & she resents/hates me because I have been the one to give her consequences.. even though DH always approved of the consequences as they were appropriate for whatever rule she broke at the time. The bottom line is that, while it might have been okay to get my input or opinion, HE should have disciplined her, not me.


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RE: step dad and 8 year old daughter

This:
You have to be very careful not to allow a culture of rudeness to develop in your home. You and your husband have to stand together as a team and require your daughter to stop being rude. That means she has to listen when someone is speaking to her, answer questions, say hello and good-bye. It may seem like a small thing, but obnoxious children will drive a stepparent right out the door. If you allow a culture of rudeness to take root in your home, the atmosphere will become so poisonous that no one will want to live there.

I couldn't have said it any better. Actually I think you two have a pretty good shot at working this out since this child is so young. Hope you go to counseling together and get some for just the child as well. Best of luck!

~Cat


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