Ask SAHM is a place where you can ask our staff & community a question safely & anonymously. Please read our disclaimer.

My parents have offered to take all the family (all my siblings and their kids) on an amazing holiday.

My children plus my partner and his children too all invited. The only issue is my partnes daughter (she isn't my actual daughter, but lives with us full time) is very difficult. Very argumentative, defiant, and generally has been going through an awful faze for about a year. I just don't know what to do, if she comes she will make life hell for everyone. I feel like either she hates me or the family is going to. I can't not bring her, but I can't bring her.


Got an Answer?

Answers (14)

Maybe you could assign her to be the family photographer for the trip? Give her an important role, buy a scrapbook and it’s her job to put all the photos together nicely when you return. 13 is such a hard age to deal with, she’s no longer a kid yet not an adult. Ask what type of activities she’d like to do while away say she can choose 3 of interest depending on how long the trip is for. I think communication and getting her involved might help. Sit down with her google the destination make it fun, take her shopping to buy some new clothes for the holiday. If she’s a known pain in the butt she’s pretty much used to that label and lives up to it everywhere you take her. Change your interactions with her and hopefully gradually her attitude will change. Start from now so she’s used to the idea and has time to warm to it. Have you thought about counseling in general for her behaviour?

 Great ideas!!
helpful (1) 
 I will definitely do this if she decides to go. She loves taking photos. I will give her my old SLR and send her on a course before we go. Thanks so much.
helpful (1) 
 You’re welcome! Good luck x
helpful (1) 

I spoke to my partner about it last night, he is unsure too, he would love for his son to go but doesn't want his daughter to ruin the trip for everyone else. So we have decided to leave it up to her. She was told she can go if wants to, as we would love for her to come. But we need to see an improvement in her behaviour before we go, she doesn't have to be perfect, we just need so see that she is trying. But once we get there if she can't be respectful, she will be sent home by herself, and it's a long flight. She has two weeks to decide if she wants to come.
Hopefully she thinks about it, she wouldn't cope being sent home alone.

Probably the worst thing you could do is exclude her. Don’t bring her and the defiance will amp up significantly I think. You have to bring her along. Maybe lay out some ground rules before you go, have them laid out by your parents.... they’re paying for it so they make the rules kind of thing.... , not just for her but for all the kids.

 Yes definitely will go over rules before we go. To give you an example of how bad it can be, we went away with a group of friends last Easter for a week. After two nights we were asked to leave, because of her behaviour. I know I have to bring her, but it will probably end up in us being asked to leave as we are in one house, there will be no break from it.
helpful (0) 
 What does she do?? Can you inform the family she has behavioural problems?
helpful (0) 
 If my family knew how bad she is I won't have the option of bringing her. She will argue about everything, and isn't great with younger kids, which there will be a few. We were asked to leave a group holiday before. She used all the hot water twice, went through someone's bag to take chocolate, kept waking younger kids, then slammed a toddlers fingers in the door. She made everyone miserable, the entire time, my friend snapped after two days asked us to leave.
helpful (0) 
 All I can say is good on your friend for asking you to leave, so many people would put up with the crap behaviour.
It’s such a shame you miss the holiday, by reading it all I suggest your hubby and her go bond elsewhere, it may also help her behaviour. Don’t take her knowing damn well she will ruin everyone else’s holiday, sounds like she could cause the younger ones proper danger while acting out

helpful (4) 
 Yes, it was pretty bad. It caused a bit of a rift in the friendship so I don't want the same to happen with my family.
helpful (0) 

To help this child with their lagging skills (impulse control etc) and see overall improvement in their behaviour Google Ross Greene.

The thing I'm really worried about is, imagine your parents took you on an expensive once in a lifetime holiday, and your sisters boyfriend brought a child. This child was loud, had no consideration for anyone, ate all the treats, used all the hot water, constantly woke your children, constantly argued with everyone, you can't relax as she can't be trusted around younger kids as she slams doors, or leaves them open. Can I inflict that on my family?

 You can, but do you want to?
Your family are your family. Might take them a long time to forget but it’s not your child. They’re not going to blame you for this child’s behaviour.

helpful (0) 
 Um past experience... yes they willll (I am not op)
helpful (0) 

Could your parents come and spend the weekend with you and step daughter so they can figure out what she is like

 Good idea. Invite them round for dinner, sleep over.. anything! And if they mention to you about her behaviour; say ‘yeah can you imagine what taking this child on holiday would be like??!!’
helpful (1) 

What does your partner want to do?

 I haven't told him about it.
helpful (0) 
 The more I read the response the more I think that you should just take your kids and go
helpful (0) 

Is there someone in your husbands family who she can go to for a little holiday while you're away? Or even her bio mums? If there is and you can organise it with them, then you could tell her that if she doesn't start behaving better, and that if she behaves like an arsehole during the holiday she'll be sent to their place instead. I agree with others that excluding her entirely is not okay, but by giving her clear expectations on what is acceptable behaviour and what isn't, she has the responsibility to make sure she doesn't f**k up. It teaches her where you guys draw the line, it teaches her how to take responsibility for her own actions, and it teaches her that if she can't follow the rules there are absolute consequences that WILL be applied.

 I have thought of this, but she wouldn't get on the plane to go home unless someone is with her, so her dad will have to miss the holiday too. This is why I am seriously thinking of not asking them. Such a waste of money.
helpful (0) 

Give her an incentive to get excited. Let her pick an activity so she feels included and you have amazing parents by the way

 I haven't told her about it yet.
helpful (0) 

Sounds like she needs a few weeks at boot camp! Find one that deals with teens! My cousin went to Fiji for 3 weeks building homes for orphans. No technology at all! Up at daylight, working and helping people all day. He is a entitled teen to say the least. 3 weeks made a few changes, he is booked in to go on different ones every 6 months. He is now focused on going to the gym before the next one to keep up stamina for next time, good to see he has some goals for a change.
No idea of who runs them, a social worker suggested the idea.

You have to bring her. Maybe invite one of her friends along too.

 I wish we could ask a friend, I think that would solve the problem, but it's not the sort of holiday you could take an extra kid on.
helpful (0) 
 She doesn't have to take her. These kids with this behaviour do not change, whatever you do for them. And she will know everyones trapped and stuck with her, so will step up the bad behaviour (if that's even possible).
She will ruin the holiday for everyone, and take joy in doing it.
If she is slamming toddlers fingers in doors at age 13, she is dangerously spiteful. What if she pushes a toddler in front of a vehicle, or off a ride at a theme park.
You would have to watch her like a hawk, never be able to relax, and kids like that are quick as a whip to see an opportunity to do their mischief.
Don't take her.

helpful (1) 

Surely your husband knows what she is like. I’m sure your hubby won’t accept the holiday and will offer to stay behind with this turd of a child

This is a bad suggestion but can you get her a tablet loaded with games and movies so you can lock her away, so to speak, in her room instead of her causing problems.
The other option is to say you or hubby can only get 3 days holiday from work and only go for three days.

 I wish that would work. It's too far for just a few days.
helpful (0) 
 Than op will end up with a load of kids complaining they don’t have a tablet too, or the sd will toss it to the side and act up anyway
helpful (0)