Need advice on step child please

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by unionwirewoman, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. unionwirewoman

    unionwirewoman Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kalispell , MT
    Well she's not my step daughter yet , But in 6 months she will be . I'll call her A for now .
    When I first met A's dad it was through work and he found out I had horses . A has always been into horses and at that point in time , her dad asked if I could give her riding lessons . I did and she was a natural at it . I was so proud to have a city girl be that in tune ! She listened to everything that I said like a sponge taking in water .
    Her father and me have now been together for a year and a half , and as far as I can tell she has no animosity towards me . She is 12 yrs old now and has been failing all but two of her classes from the beginning of this year . She has been suspended for stealing , and has talked to me about killing herself . She has a VERY wild imagination for making up lies to her teachers and her parents .
    The problem I'm having is that neither one of the parents seem to discipline her . If she does something wrong they"ground" her . Neither one makes sure that she is follwing through on the grounding (IE: no computer , phone etc ) She cusses constantly in front of us (she's 12 yrs old ) and I'm the only one that seems to catch these things. I don't want to be the 'EVIL" stepmother , but she has told me in the past that her parents don't follow through on the discipline , so what does it matter . I can see she is trying to reach out , and have talked with her dad about it , and he is at a loss . Her mother hates me (even though she has never met or talked with me) . All I want is for her to grow up as a good human being . She asked our roomate to buy her beer and cigarettes the other day , and keeps asking about drugs . I'm at a loss ! Can anyone give me some advice ? She really is a good kid at heart ![​IMG]
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    She is calling out for attention and help.
    Can you talk to her and draw her out on what she is unhappy about? She sounds depressed....maybe talk to her doctor? If you can't because of privacy laws, then I would tell her school counselor your concerns, since her parents seem oblivious.
    Finally (and I speak from experience), I would get this child help and ground rules set before you marry her father, otherwise it will be very rocky for you.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    It's time to lay down the law. My parents had me brain washed way early... j/k I lack discipline so they lost me somewhere.

    I say, time to sit down with her and write a rule book. A set of rules and a set of consequences in this book. Have a few hard copies of it, and start following though. She will probably hate you from 30 seconds after the first follow through and then again for the next oh, 8-12 years. Now of course I have no idea if this will really work though as I'm years away from even attempting such a thing and it was never used on me. The idea is though that the rules are written and that is that, no he said she said after a rule is set into action and no exceptions.
  4. unionwirewoman

    unionwirewoman Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kalispell , MT
    I do set the rules . Unfortunatly . I can't hang over her shoulder 24/7 . I've caught her doing things she was grounde from and have "yelled " at her for it . Problem being she is at her mothers on week days and here on wekends . I've tried to tell my fiance' that he needs to talk with his ex to co-odinate a plan for her . I've told him she's young enoudh to still learn how to get it together , but he doesn't want to talk to the ex , and I can't . She does confide in me alot , and I appreciate it . She tells her dad to his face that she can get away with ant thing . He just says "by god you can't , I'll whoop ya ". He tends to go off in la la land and not pay attention to what she's doing . She told me the other day she was up on a chatline and got off because some 30 yr old man was fliring wit her ![​IMG]
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Sounds like a communication problem you guys need to figure out between the adults too. Once you can get the sd's parents communicating the problem, then you can straighten out the sd herself with work across the board. If she's only being held to rules and disciplines for 2/7 of the week, that's going to be hard to make things work. Good luck.
  6. That is treading on dangerous ground. Family therapists will suggest that step parents should never do any discipline so unless your boyfriend realizes that he'll have to step up and help his daughter, you might be headed for a rocky relationship.

    I had the best step dad. My mother set my rules and if I broke them, she took care of it. I don't remember him ever stepping in as a parent figure (except perhaps when he asked if I wanted him to adopt me). However, I was so docile that I rarely did anything to warrant discipline and if I did I would have accepted it from him because I respected him.

    I think you should work really hard on the boyfriend and read as many 'self help' step-child related books as possible. The mom sounds like she is just might be waiting for you to get involved and make it nasty for everyone.
  7. As a step mother, I feel your pain. You can set the rules if they are in your house, but dad has to sit and talk with her about them, and he needs to make sure she understands the rules, and he does need to step up to the plate on this. My step kids didn't want to listen to me, but now with the rules I've given their dad and he's followed through on them, and I do get to discipline them. I think they will learn to respect you for that.
    She is seeking attention that she's not getting from mom and dad and is acting out.
    With a wedding coming up I'd make sure dad knows where you stand on this situation, because it can ruin a good thing. Step parenting is one of the hardest jobs especially if the real parents aren't wanting to enforce rules.
    I always feel as I am the evil step parent, but this is my house, and these are my rules that all the kids have to follow. Don't be afraid to give her some chores.
    Sounds like someone needs to talk to her about drug and alcohol use. She is reaching out to you just love her and let her know where you stand. Good luck and my prayers are with you!
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    It is obvious she is screaming for attention and help. At that age things go down hill fast these days. The bad behavior can turn into really bad problems in no time flat.

    I am so sorry you are going through this. If the responsible adults in her life (her mother and father) won't be responsible that little girl is for a world of hurt and trouble at her expense with that kind of behavior.

    I am a mother and a stepmother. I wish I could tell you something to help you and her in this situation. All you can really do is set rules in your house and follow through with it. She will outwardly act like she hates you and most likely tell you that along with how you are the meanest person she knows but on the inside she will be happy for the attention and someone has finally set the bounderies so that she can just be a kid again.

    Please know you are in my prayers.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2008
  9. luvzmybabz

    luvzmybabz Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    i am in the exact oppisite situation I have a 4 year old son married my hubbie 2 1/2 years ago. I set up disipline and I turn my back and bam hubbie is letting him do whatever he wants. At first I thought he was being TV or etc and if hubbie wants to watch TV he should send him into another room but nope I would walk in with him sitting on his lap watching whatever. So I talked to Husband about this and he says that he doesn't wanna be the bad guy same goes with the 20 month old he will barely tell him NO. If that was not bad enough wehave S-I-L living with us for a while hopefully by fall she will have her own place, and she spoils all three (my 2 and her 1 ) absolutely rotten no matter how many time I have asked her not to she says she can not treat our kids differently from hers. Her son is a whiney little @&(*^% (I love him but his mom needs to grow up) . Who I have to watch everyday for 8 or 9 hours. She has such toughy feeling I have tried to be nice about it however I am to the point the next time she does something blatanly againist what I have said about my kids I fear the dam bursting.

  10. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    I might imagine that she had some attachment/adandonment issues with her mother before the age of five which often results in the behavior you see during the tumultuous teen years. It translates into a personality disorder that takes years of therapy and committment to fix, but love and stability ease alot of the symptoms. In laymans terms, she has some insecurities from her early growing up days and now her parents are divorced/apart from her, so technically she is going to do everything bad that she can, often even subconciously, to see if you will go awayfrom her to. The reward for her to feel secure would be to push and push and do every thing that she would beleive would make her unlovable and you don't leave and in fact, still love her. Testing, testing...really a scared kid underneath. Happens to millions of kids in families the parents are really youn themselves when the kids are little or there are problems in the family before the basic personality is formed by about age 5. After awhile, maybe along while if dad has been through alot of "mom" figures, and alot of testing, maybe to extremes, if you are constant and she is not too damaged, it will work out peaceably. Therapeutic intervention is a real must, (alos stable, unwavering structured rules in the home too) find a family therapist and all 3 of you go together and let your soon to be sd have one-on-one therapy as well. Good luck [​IMG] Darlene
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2008

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