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Any other step mums out there?

My partners 14 year old daughter is staying with us for six months while her mum travels. I haven't had a lot to do with her before she moved in as she was upset about our relationship and kept her distance. I was excited to have her here so I could get to know her finally. It has not been an easy three months and I don't know how im going to get through the next three. Im home with a 2 years old so im home with her after school. She almost always ignores me unless its to be rude which I probably deserve but when she is mean to my son or hides toys I will ask her to stop which will always start a fight. I don't know what to do anymore and have asked that she goes to her grandmothers after school and her dad can pick her up on the way home. Is that unreasonable? She tripped my little one over and ive had enough. How do other people cope with this?


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Answers (7)

She's 14, this is immature behavior. Try talking to her like an equal. Be direct and honest. I know you aren't thrilled with this arrangement, isn't up to you. I would like us to have a nice relationship, that's your choice. Either way you will respect me and my home. If you continue to his treat your sibling (half, step, whatever) badly, you will face consequences - no internet, tv, phone, whatever. Please go to your room and think it over. Your father and I will have a list of your chores and responsibilities for you at dinner. We will answer any questions and further discuss how the rest of your stay will go at that time.

 I have been to nervous to really tell her off. Thanks I will try this.
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 I wouldn't tell her off. Keep it calm. You are the adult. She just needs a reminder who the alpha is. Stern, clear boundaries. I don't expect nice, but I require polite with my step children. They were 14g and 16b when married their dad. It was battle royal for a few months and then I put my foot down. 3 years now, we get along well.
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 Thanks xxxx
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I can't imagine how she must be feeling with her mum choosing to stay away for that long. I would have missed my mum dreadfully after two weeks, let alone six months. She's possibly feeling abandoned and is lashing out at you, because you are there - not fair I know. The key is making her feel like she belongs. It's great she has that one on one with her dad - and in terms of the discipline, he is the key - He has to be the one to do the heavy lifting when she steps over the line, not you. I think it's also important that the four of you do family things together - she could be a real help to you with the little one. She needs to feel like she belongs, like she has a place in your family and that she is important. Sending her to grandmas is only going to make her feel like more of an outsider. I have been a stepdaughter myself, and I'm now a stepmum too. I can see it from both sides.

I know how you feel. My stepson constantly hits and hurts our kids. It's really hard being a stepmum and loving a child that is not your own. But when I married his dad I made a promise to love him and always be fair to him and I take that very seriously. I told my husband that it is his responsibility to disapline his son but I will support him. I found that encouraging my husband to spend one on one time with him helped alot. Maybe your husband can take her to the movies or out for lunch to talk? Maybe she feels threatened so If she feels that she has his attention she might realise that she still has a bond with him and ease up on you and your child. We also do as much family bonding we can when we have him so family movie nights, craft activities ect. She is a bit older so maybe you could include her in helping with your son? Or go for walks with her? Go get your nails done together? Fine somthing she is interested in and include yourself in that? And her dad aswell?

 They have Friday nights together
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What has dad got to say? He needs to bring her back into line because that behaviour isn't acceptable.
Also you don't deserve any of this.
You're one of her parents, you have a right to feel comfortable in your own home.
Maybe sit her down and have a good heart to heart with her, take her out for a day to bond, it's not an easy road but don't give up. She needs boundaries, she needs her dad and her mum which is you whilst her mum is away and maybe her mum travelling for six months is taking its toll on her.

 Thanks. Her dad talks to her about it but she just sits there. She must miss her mum they skype a lot.
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 I bet that has a lot to do with it. If you are on good terms with her mum maybe you could Skype her and bring her in on what's happening
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 I will thanks. She gave me her email in case I needed it.
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Be kind but don't be a pushover.
I had a step mother who wasn't a push over but she wasn't kind either so I ignored her and misbehaved. If she even once stopped to be nice I may have behaved better. Sounds like a chat isn't an option because she will act as though she doesn't care so maybe write a letter.
Just explain how you are feeling and ask her what you can do to make this time easier on her.
Highly likely she will say "I don't want to be here just leave me alone" then you need to respect that but don't let her disrespect your child. Make it clear you care for them both so you won't allow either of them to be hurt/picked on.

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Doesn't she have sport or outside of school activities ? She sounds bored and emotionally neglected. Find out what she enjoys, enrol her in a netball club or after school drama let her know that you will be happy to drop her and a friend off and pick them up. Invite a friend of hers over for a play, take them to the movies make it a girls night and leave bubs with dad. If you really want to get to know her do stuff with her. She will appreciate you going out of your way for her. My kids and I and their friends, we have the best conversations in the car going to activities they really let their guard down.

 No she has to be home after school as she has been in trouble for going off with her friends and lying about where he was.
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I totally understand you. My step daughter is 9 but I've started noticing her lying or hurting her younger siblings then saying they hurt themselves. I feel so upset about it. I try to bring it up jokingly so that she knows I see it. I really struggle because I've been told many times that I'm not her mother (never ever tried to be) but need to protect my little ones. I hope we get over this before the teenage years. I don't blame you for making the choice though. Good luck. Al I can say is make sure she knows you won't stand for it. Firm but fair.

 When my step daughter acted out on her younger siblings I thought to myself, it in were babysitting a friend's child how would I handle it and take the same approach. I remove her from the situation, reprimand her for behavior, and then give her a timeout in her room for an amout of time that is right for her age. I also discuss it with her dad so he knows what happened and we tell her mom so she knows why her precious angel spent the afternoon with no tablet or doing chores in the yard to pay off another broken picture frame etc...
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 I have no problem reprimanding my two but I've been so downtrodden for years that I'm constantly second guessing everything I say and do. I'm so anxious because the mother does some really spiteful things that you wouldn't believe. However I am the main carer for my step daughter when she is with us because dad works long days so I need to find a way around this before it gets out of hand.
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 Just treat it as if you are babysitting. Let Dad handle the major issue and just deal with the incidents as they occur. As the caregiver youbare well within your right to dole out appropriate punishments of loss of privileges, confinement to ones room, manual labor... your housen your rules, respect you or wait outside til dad get home. It came to that with my stepson. He sat outsode for 3 hours on a chilly day (age 16, dressed plenty warm) because he missed breakfast and I didn't want to cook a other one. We had cereal oatmeal and leftover pancakes to offer him. I didn't tip my hand or bring him tea and toast like my heart desperately wanted to. He came in, apologized, and cooked lunch for his younger (half)siblings. You might just have to have the battle of wills.
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