rosepedals's picture
rosepedals

Step daughter

I have been happily married for 5 years now. He has two children from a first marriage and I have one. For the first year I was the MOM to all three children. The biological mom was not in the picture and had not been for a few months. So I took over as MOM. 5 years later Mom is now considered the "FUN MOM" she gets the children everyother weekend. For about 2 years now the oldest continues to cause argument with me and drags my husband into it. So it ends up being a fight with him and I. We have had family discussion and talks. But it just doesn't work. She is rude to me, keeps and additude and basically does not respect me at all. Just last night I offered to take her to the dr but she said that she would rather her mom take her. I was so hurt I just walked away and went to my room. I understand I am not her mom but I feel like she could have said it in a better way but she was very rude about it and I am crushed. What should I do? I am afraid this will destroy my marriage.



mayamay's picture
mayamay

You don't give any specifics--ages, the nature of the arguments. I think you could go to a counselor and learn to be a little tougher, learn how to refuse to engage in the arguments.

rosepedals's picture
rosepedals

She is 13 years old. Let me give you a fine example. She came back home yesterday after being with her mom for the weekend. She gets in the car and wants to know when we are celebrating my birthday. My husband & I both said we were not sure. She said well if you are going out Wednesday I have church. My husband her father said well we aren't but if we were you would have to miss this time So she says well then are we going out Friday? I said I really don't know what we are doing just yet so she says well I want to hang out with my friends. It just makes me so angry that she only thinks of herself. This time I just didn't say a word.

mayamay's picture
mayamay

This little girl is exactly on target developmentally. She is in what Piaget calls the "formal operational" stage of the development of her thinking. She is applying logic to the situations she finds herself in. Because she is very young, sometimes the way she expresses herself leads to unnecessary conflict. When adults are interacting with children who are in this stage, the adults need to take a more objective and logical approach themselves.

In the example you cited, SD anticipated (a formal-operational skill) that there might be conflict between her desires (to attend the church activity Wednesday and hang with friends Friday) and her parent's desire (to celebrate your birthday). She initiated the conversation (which shows maturity) and supplied the adults with the necessary information so that conflict could be avoided.

I assume that you intend to pay her for babysitting.

rosepedals's picture
rosepedals

Pay her for babysitting who? The children go where ever we go. We do not leave them at home. If we are celebrating a birthday the whole family goes.

mayamay's picture
mayamay

Oh, I didn't understand that you were inviting her to go along with you. That makes her initiative in clarifying when an invitation would be considered inviting (not repressive) even more important.

mayamay's picture
mayamay

When we have a family event coming up, we try to get input on everyone's calendar conflicts, so that there is no sacrifice required, especially of teenagers, for whom peers are more important than ever before.

rosepedals's picture
rosepedals

I don't think you and I agree on this topic but thanks for your insight.

mayamay's picture
mayamay

You may want to explore the resources on this site: Here's a starting place, there are lots of resources here.

http://life.familyeducation.com/teen/parenting/34524.html?detoured=1

rosepedals's picture
rosepedals

That is a good site if this was the only teenager we had in the household. I have a 18 year old biological daughter that has never given me any of the trouble that I have received from my 13 year old step daughter. We have four children in our household. I have one from a previous marriage he has 2 and we adopted a boy so there are 3 girls one boy. The eleven year old is totally different then the 13. She is thoughtful and giving and always thinks of others first. Sure both the 18 and 11 year old can get smart from time to time but when they do they come back later and apologize.

mayamay's picture
mayamay

You must be a fast reader!