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Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

Posted by kri_mack (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 24, 09 at 6:06

I just found out last night that my step-daughter (5 years old) has been comparing her mother to me (usually I would expect it to be the other way around, no?)...

Well you can imagine that BM is taking it pretty hard (with reason) since her daughter told her that I do everything better. I don't know what to do, I feel horrible that BM has to go through this (especially since she is a terrific mother). If the revers happens I have always just asked my step-daughter "do I look like your mom?" she would laugh and say no, then just accept the differences.

I find that my step-daughter is very smart (especially for a 5 year old) and she has mastered the art of manipulation to a T. For example she will ask her dad to pick her up, give him a big hug and kiss, then she calls my attention to them as if to say "he is mine" and it never bothers me, but I know that she is doing it on purpose to make me feel jealous. I wonder if she is doing this comparison of her mother and me for similar reasons???

Short of talking with my step-daughter and explain the impact she is having on her mother as well as the impact she is having on the relationship her mother and I have (which has been very positive to this point), I am not sure what we can do? Any ideas?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

I get this often with my grandkids, and to some point it would also occur with my children with their grandmothers. I don't think it is just a BM vs SM thing. These children are seeing two and three different households being all a bit different.

I always try and help the little one put a new look on it. No, I don't do it 'better', I do it different. Everybody has their own ways just like everybody looks differently.

To my own grandsons I remind them that I do things this or that way and BM and SM do things that or this way because we are all different, learned to do things different, maybe have more time and practice (meaning kid, should have tasted my beginning cooking!) --perhaps have talent and creativeness in certain areas, where BM or SM have many talents and creativeness in this or that I don't --I thrive for the 'we are all different, we all love you evey much, and just like you (kid) and the students in your class you find we all do things not 'better' just differently, it's what makes us who we are'.

We do lots of 'group hugs' too. DD9 feels left out when the gang all arrives (GS8, GS7, Aunt, Greatgrandma ect)--kids being kids notice if so and so managed to get a 2 second hug longer than such and such. Yeah, sounds a bit silly but who wants to spend the next 20 minutes with one or other thinking they were slighted. Husband comes home each night and my own family (him, I and DD9 along with the cat sitting on edge of table and the dog standing up at our knees) have a 'group hug', we all race in to greet him each time. But then through out the evening there is plenty of one on one attention also.

I do feel bad for my GS8's soon to be SM when GS will announce something like "your car is old, why don't you buy a new one like my mom has" (some may remember that this GS8's BM dumped my son for a rich guy and plenty of money)--but I think GF/SM handles it fairly well. She simply reminds GS that she is saving her money for a bigger house so they will all have more room. GS accepts that and lapses into delightful thoughts of getting not only his room but a cool big room where all his friends can come and hang.

I also make a point of reminding the boys that each one of their moms is a very special lady and that they are lucky to have so many people in their lifes that care and love them and try hard to do things for them.

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

Normal behavior, especially for a 5 yr old.

My SS is 7.5 and he used to do this a lot more. Mostly, it would be when he wanted something or was displeased with something at our house. He'd say "well, my mom lets me do it" or "my mom would say yes." ETC. We (or usually DH) would give a similar answer to yours, OP. He would just say "I'm not your mom.' Or he'd laugh it off and say "do I look like your mom?" LOL, since he's a big, burly guy, that would send SS into fits of laughter!

He has done it with BM in the past the other way, as well. He has told her she's a scaredy cat, and that DH or I would let him do something. And other similar things.

I think it is a) normal for kids to manipulate/compare, anyway. and b) when they are in a step-situation with two homes, it becomes a lot easier for them to do so.

My SS is 7.5 now and seems to be pretty well past this phase. He has matured a lot in the last year. Give it time. I think it's mostly just a phase your 5 yr old SD is going through and the important thing is not to give it a big reaction.

With SS--BM is very easily "guilted" into doing things, so he really learned to play her like a fiddle. DH is not that way, and SS just doesn't try the same things with him.

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

And when she's older, she will cry "But all my friends are going (to whatever event you all forbid her from attending)" and the age-old standard is to respond with "If your friends jump off a bridge will you jump with them?" See, it's natural to compare like that, and you did it with your parents too. The only difference is your sd has more leverage in this kind of instance because she can exact hurt feelings and/or guilt to get her way if her mother allows it. I hope her mom doesn't take it to heart, but I wouldn't suggest you bring it up to her out of the blue. Don't get a big head about it either. I expect the tables will turn depending on sd's age, her mood, and what it is she's trying to wrangle. I just think, like you, her mom needs to adopt an effective way to shut her up. I would tell her very sternly not to ever do it again. I wouldn't allow a child to exert that kind of power over me just because she thinks she's found a way to push my buttons and manipulate.

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

Kids compare, is is normal. Moms are usually the ones who do disciplining, scheduling, teaching manners and other boring stuff that kids hate. Other relatives are usually more fun. Plenty of kids complain to their grandmas about their moms. Grandmas spoil, moms do not. I don't think BM has to take it hard and hopefully she does not. If she is a good mother then i would expect kids to complain about her LOL makes them eat vegetables and clean their rooms. Yeah in kids' eyes it is a sign of a bad parent.

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

Completely normal..all kids know how to manipulate, and they will continue it if it gets them what they want. Me kids have all done this at some point in time (SD,DD,DS) 9 time out of 10 I am the "one that isn't as cool, doesn't do it the better way etc..since I am the main disciplinarian for all three in our home...
What I have always told my kids when they have made comments like "GM lets us stay up as late as we want...or...GM buys me whatever I want.....or BM is more fun..... I simply just say very calmly that that is nice, would you rather wait for GM/BM instead then?????
It always squashed it right then and there, because A) they didn't get a reaction B) I didn't change the way I was going to d owhatever it was and C)They wanted to continue whatever we were doing rather than "waiting" for the person that does it better....
It has been a long time since my kiddos have tried to pull anything like that so I think it has been effective for us.....

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

Kids compare to get there way. As to OP, who implies she is SM, but is not married not, to try to imly she is the endall,OK.

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

Why always so negative, kkny? Not everything falling out of a kids mouth is done so to 'get their way'.

Sometimes it is said when simple observations are made. A kid taste a cookie and chrips 'you should taste my mom's cookies, sooooo much better than this one'. Rude, yes, but trying to manipulate or 'get own way', no.


fiveinall ""GM lets us stay up as late as we want...or...GM buys me whatever I want..." you made me laugh with this . My little one and my grandkids would love to have a mom or GM like that ;-) . Instead I get the meanest mommy in the world title or meanest grandma ever title. But that's okay, cause I would not be doing my daughter or grandsons any favors by letting them do or get whatever they want.

That's a bit different then if BM makes kid eat veggies and SM does not and we hear "SM does not make me eat what I don't wanna".

finedreams "Grandmas spoil"....sssshhhh, don't let my little ones hear that or they'll expect it of me and I'd have to disappoint.

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

Oh I agree, not everthing out of kids mouth is negative, IMHO, its how SM, or pseudo SM interprets it. Psuedo SM interprests as manipulative.

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

When my SD tells her mom about all the nice things I do for her, her mom gets angry. But, my SD also tells her how mean I am to get her mom angry. She will complain about what we make her do or what we don't let her do, then her mom lets her do those things.

When my SD was 8, I tried to explain how her mom might be upset when she tells her about the things I do for her that her mom can't do. (ie. her mom is a terrible cook, so SD will say "Ima made me homemade enchiladas" which I imagine could make her mom feel bad) Well, since her mom has let her down repeatedly, she has already figured out that her mom will get mad when she brags about certain things I do, and I think she does it on purpose to 'get even' with her mom. Of course, it only makes it worse for me.

On the other hand, SD will also fake injuries or complain to get her mom's attention. In our case, she is purely being manipulative... but with good reason. She is dying for her mom's attention and her mom won't give it to her.

In OP's case, if there is any way to have a talk with BM, just let her know that you are not trying to step on her toes and regardless of any comparisons, she is always mom. (Of course, she already knows this and depending on her personality, she might be offended by telling her that, but I would at the very least try to find a way to let her know that you want a cordial relationship and you don't want this to affect it. ~united we stand, divided we fall~ and kids figure that out and if they can pit the adults against each other, they 'think' they are going to benefit. Usually, just the opposite happens because they are the ones that get caught in the crossfire of the adults anger.

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

I think it's normal for kids to do. My parents were divorced, and I did some of that myself. I regret it now. I think I was only looking for attention.

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

"fiveinall ""GM lets us stay up as late as we want...or...GM buys me whatever I want..." you made me laugh with this . My little one and my grandkids would love to have a mom or GM like that ;-) . Instead I get the meanest mommy in the world title or meanest grandma ever title. But that's okay, cause I would not be doing my daughter or grandsons any favors by letting them do or get whatever they want."

Justme: can I swap our GM out for you????? lol the way you think, and you are right!!

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

I think what sd is doing is perfectly normal!

My son tells me how he likes it better at his dads (probably because he can spend the weekend drinking soda, playing video games, watching movies, and having no bedtime. With me its more structured and there is homework and chores and all that "awful" stuff. Not to say he has no late nights on weekends or video game time or tv time. I am just saying being at dads is all about fun.

With my stepkids I have found they tell me what others do as a way to try to get me to do it. SS has said things like "when I am at grandmas house...." to try to let me know he should be doing/having something.

One of my sd's used to tell me that if her mom was with her at the store she would be able to buy toys. So I told her to look around the store for her mom because I was not buying toys because I was too busy buying the food she was going to eat, the clothes she was wearing, and paying the bills so she could have a home to live in! LOL

My oldest sd has done the "well at my friends house...." routine. My answer "see if they have an extra bedroom so you can move in with them then!" LOL

Even in teaching when I am subbing I get kids saying they wish I was their teacher. Or when I was teaching full-time and had a sub the kids would sometimes tell me that the sub was nicer than me :)

BM should get over it. If you have a good relationship I would tell her that its normal and not to be offended.

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

I think it is perfectly normal as well. The kids are in between two homes and are bound to point out differences. I think how the adults handle it makes the big difference.

We are dealing with a different ball game in our situation. Our BM like to spend a lot of money on SD and takes her a lot of places. Our SD 6 yrs old - get her hair professionally done sometimes, her nails professionally painted, wears only name brand clothes and that type stuff... Which is fine with me... she (SD) loves it and i like to hear how she decides what color her nails will be and her hairstyles.... It is hilarious.

AND then i have a different style - i do more arts and crafts style things with my daughter and SD - i.e. make stockings every year for christmas, make different kinds of bags for easter, halloween etc, i have painting parties for my nieces and SD, etc - because i like to see their work and display it around. So they like it as well cause i make a big deal out of it. They have showcases and all... It is really fun in my opinion.

Well we found out that BM does not like it and says that I am trying to show her up at first... and now calls me susey-homemaker and that i can do those things since she couldn't be bothered. Well i work just like she does, and i attend school part time as well. I just enjoy the "special" times with not only my SD but my neices and daughter as well. We really have a great time.

Here lately SD has been asking me to teach her things.... like washing her hair, painting, and different crafts so that she can do them at home - and i told her although i love her and would love to show her or give her the things to take home - that i am sure her mommi could also do those things there as well.

When she asked why her own mom doesn't do those things... i make sure to point out the things she does do... like get her nails done and the like. I try not to feed into the comparison cause i think it although is normal to do for kids.... can get out of hand if i play into it.

Her mom verbalized at one time to DH i was trying to replace her... and i asked DH to simply tell her the truth.... I do arts and crafts with my daughter and neices and step-daughter each weekend....and that is something i have been doing since my daughter was 4 and my neices began being old enough to help or participate..... My sd is 6 and my daughter is now 14.... 10 years of history of what i do and have done. It did not come about because of marrying my DH or his SD. So i am not trying to take her place nor have i ever thought about trying to take her place.

I think it is normal to point out differences but it has to not affect the relationship between child and parent. The step should not point out differences and the bio should not play those difference up - cause the innocent child is caught in the middle of all of it... and they end up being the one to suffer... AND that is just not right.

RE: Step-daughter comparing BM and SM

DO NOT tell your five year old anything about how this is affecting you or her BIO-mom. Let her mom deal with it in her way, and I'd advise you to make comparisons when the opportunity arises. Those Wife Swap shows are good for that, or the Nanny ones. I ran into a bit of "the Jones'" issues with my DD and we sat down and watched a few of those shows and commented on how different each family was, and what we liked and disliked. Now when confronted with anything different, she's been known to look up at me and say "all families are different, right mom?" and then go about her business.

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