a challenging stepdaughter
Hi there. Thank you for all of your insight[s]... I find it helpful in a difficult situation. I've read through most of these messages and realize it's not just 'us'. I have been living with my boyfriend for almost a year, he has three daughters 12, 14 and 16. The two older girls have been challenging, and wonderful at the same time. The challenges have been "normal" to growing up and being teenagers with a lot of personality. They listen and are not opposed to talking. The younger - we're like oil and vinegar. When she is getting what she wants she is great, albeit ignoring us and the fact that she got what she wanted, but in a great mood. However, her behavior is self absorbed, manipulative, deceitful and extremely dramatic. She seeks attention constantly, onto herself. She lies to get out of doing anything. She has a pattern of getting in trouble at school with not only her peers, but teachers and parents as well. As an 'observer' I see her patterns, but my boyfriend and his ex wife are completely oblivious to it - "she's just SO adorable." Last night was the first time in a year that my boyfriend and I went to bed arguing, no goodnights.... He claims that I am frustrating him, that I am acting more like the 12 year old than the 37 year old that I am and that I allow her to behave as she does - that she feeds off of me. He says someone needs to protect her, that shes's only 12 and it takes years to learn and grow. From there forward he refuses to discuss it - says I need to figure it out. This is a problem that I need to work out but I have no idea how. She's a brat. I 've tried the route of giving her everything, of rewards, of positive reinforcement, but we always end up where we are now. We live in a small house, so we're on top of one another when the girls are here [every other week]. She acts like a princess and gets her sisters in trouble all the time, but she gets away with it because her Dad is always working and not around to know. He doesn't hear what the parents/kids are saying about his daughter at school. It's almost like he's in total denial, doesn't want to hear it, ignores it. I know, but when I chime in I become the bad guy. Please help. I love my boyfriend SO much, but his daughter irritates me to no end. Thank you!!