Hi all, this is my first time posting on the parent board. I have 4 kids, 3 at home here, 2 twelve year old girls(one bio, one step)and a 14 yo stepson. My problem lately is the SD, ever since hubby and I got together I have put my own daughter on the back burner so I could let this girl know she was loved as her mother abandoned them early on after kidnapping them twice as babies(another thread altogether). My bio daughter has suffered for this and SD has turned into a big emotional jerk. This girl pretends to be a "dumb blonde" as this has always been her way of getting attention, I have figured out how she operates and she has been making the whole household just miserable. My daughter hates her now, and her brother is not crazy about her either, any time you speak to her about an issue she just cries and stomps away, she just came back from 2 weeks with cousins and it is right back to the same old same old. My husband doesn't understand that my daughter just doesn't like her anymore and I cannot force her to spend time with her, ditto with her brother. I am at my wits end with her, I realize she is at a tough age but so are the other 2 and they do not put me through what this girl is putting me through. Hubby works 200 hours a week and he would rather put his head in the sand then have to deal with her, he tells me "thats why I married you" I say BULL, I didn't create this monster why should I try to fix her??I know I sound harsh, I have tried more love, less love, more discipline, less discipline, nothing is working so I am finally just going to ignore and see what happens. I really need some stepmom advice here, thanks
I am not a step mother...but i think maybe some counciling would help out your family. It sounds as if this little girl has had a lot going on in her life, and maybe adjusting to a new family is more than she can handle right now. Maybe her father should slow down a little at work also to help to be there for her. You should try and refrain from calling her a monster (i know you probably don't mean it in a hateful way, but it can come across that way), this of it as this little girl has alot of emotional baggage, it may be more than you and her father can handle. At 12 she doesn't have the skills to deal with these problems herself. I really do suggest counsiling, find a good family counsiler who can talk to you as a group and have some one on one time also. Also, when trying to make the girl feel included you should have done just that, included her into the activities that you aren your daughter enjoyed together and also adding in some new ones that your step daughter would enjoy, not excluding one for the other. Your daughter very well may have felt abandoned by you, feeling as if you felt the new daughter was more important than her. Do things as a family, and things with each individual child. Also, did you mean your husband works 200hrs every 2 weeks? because there is only 168 hours in a week. he needs to be told that he needs to help fix this problem...this poor girl needs help (she's not acting like that because she's happy), and the whole family needs to come together to make things work, otherwise they'll just get worse.
Also, what specificly does this girl do? you mentioned the dumb blonde routine, but other than that you have mentioned nothing of what she does to drive everybody crazy.
I need to clarify that I have never ever called her a monster or any other name to her face. We are in family counselilng, I also go alone once a week, I know she needs one on one counseling, she doesn't want to go, do I force her??She is brutal to her brother, hitting him, telling him she hates him, etc. Not with my daughter though as my daughter wouldn't tolerate it. She tries to take my daughters friends away from her, etc. Now I don't allow them to have friends over if they are both at home.Dad doesn't work 200 hours a week, just a figure of speech, more like 80 realistically. Yes she is miserable, I don;t know how to handle it as I have to admit although I love her I do not like her right now, I know that is awful but I am being honest. She gets upset if she is asked to do a chore to the point where I don't ask anymore, I am tired of her being mad at me all the time. I am tired of this house being miserable all the time. Thanks for your help
I know what you mean, we are going through a rough patch with my 9 almost 10 year old. I understand it is fustrating. Also, i didn't mean to imply that i thought you called her that to her face, i just ment that you should think of her in different terms...like a scared, hurting little girl....I would force her to atleast go to a few therapy sessions alone, no 12 year old wants to go to therapy..but if you can get her to go 2-3 times alone that she can let you know how she feels after that. Also, what about a teen support group? what does the family therapist think should be done? It's hard when they won't let you talk to them because you can't fix what you don't know about...so maybe put it into those terms, talk with her, let her know you know that she is hurting, and that you love her and want to make things better for her, but you can't fix things if you don't know what is wrong. That works for some kids, but i know when i was that age i wasn't interested in talking to adults about feelings and all that stuff.
Also, as far as chores and things she needs to do on a daily/weekly basis. If you are giving the kids an allowence than set up a chart, the kids each have chores they are expected to do every day or once a week or whatever, for each chore not done or not done when it's suposed to be done they lose a specified amount of money. Then there is no arguing about it, what they need to get done is posted, the amount they get for each chore is posted and penelty's are posted, that way there is no arguing, if she doesn't do it, fine, but no allowence or some other privlidge is taken away.
She sounds very insecure and is maybe acting out like this for attention? I don't know what you have tried, but like i said, try having one on one time with each of the kids, let them chose the activity, that way she gets some good attention. Talk to the therapist, he/she must have some idea's of what to do. Unfortunitly kids don't come with instruction books, so it's hit and miss...good luck.
Thanks Mandy for your advice. This girl used to be a totally different person, she was fun to be around, she is a blast to go shopping with, we really got along well. Her mother has recently come back onto the scene after being absent for a good many years, now SD is feeling torn I do believe, hubby and I have encouraged the relationship even though there is quite a bit of anymosity between the ex wife and hubby, we have tried to make it as comfortable as possible for both kids to get to know their mother again. However SS told me that SD is just telling her father and I "what we want to hear" meaning that she doesn't want to be with mother when in fact she is loving it. I see a totally different girl now, she is very sullen, cries at the drop of a hat and is just generally unhappy. I don't know how on my own to make this girl happy, I try talking to her she just tells me nothing is wrong. Ditto with Dad. She is going to have to go into therapy as it is getting worse around here, I know preteens having already raised 2 on my own and this is to the extreme. Chores are doled out very fairly, in fact SD has the least to do around here. She has always been quite the "drama queen" to get attention as hubby always paid more attention to his son than to her in their younger years. I have this girl to myself 2 weekends out of the month, we always do stuff together thats fun, she just would like it if my daughter didn't exist so she could have me exclusively, its hard to divide yourself up to 4 kids and be fair. Being a stepmom is the hardest thing I have ever done, its no wonder I have horrible bouts of IBS-take care and thankyou again for you kind words and advice.
It sounds as if her mother may be the problem. How often does she see her?You should let her know if you haven't already that even though her mother and father don't get along that she is alowed to enjoy spending time with her mother and doesn't have to lie about how she feels about her. And i know at her age it's hard to keep things from her, but try not to even talk about her mother when she is around, good or bad, that way she may be less likely to pick up on yours and her fathers dislike of her. Could her mother be telling her things that would upset her and cause such a drastic change in personality? I don't know if this is an option, but maybe not letting her see her mother for a while may help? i don't know if that is possible, but if her seeing her mother is causing such a drastic personality change than maybe she's better off not seeing her for awhile? As important as a mother daughter realationship is, if it's creating all of the problems that this girl is having than maybe it shouldn't be allowed for now. I would definitly try to figure out what exactly goes on, what does the mother say, is she saying anything upsetting to your SD, is she making her feel guilty for not being with her all of the time, is she saying negative things about you and her father?
It could just be that your SD is going through an emotional rollar coaster right now, she knows her father doesn't like her mother, but she does so she's torn between the two, she's feeling all of the hurt because her mother wasn't around for years (maybe some feelings of abondonment) and maybe she's blaming all of you....i don't know, but it sounds as if her behaviour is related to her seeing her mother. If you can't get her to talk to you than you should see if you cna get her to talk to a therapist, she may like having someone objective to talk to once she gets into therapy and starts talking.
Thanks Mandy, yes the behavior change seems related to the bio mom coming back into her and her brothers lives. We do not say anything negative(although in the beginning it was hard for hubby not to)and I have told the girl have a great time with mom, she loves you, you are lucky to have 2 moms who love you, etc. I have also told her its ok to want to be with mom, that she doesn't need to tell us differently. This happened over christmas though and when she played the drama queen card she got a trip for 2 weeks to florida with grandparents to disney, but that was my fault for feeding into it at the time and it blossomed into a big ugly nightmare that could have been avoided if I had just gone to her mom instead of drawing conclusions of my own then believeing SD lies. So yes I am going to get her into counseling, I see no other option, haveing her not see mom is not an option as there are court orders we need to abide by, I think though if a therapist tells us it is all related to her biomom then things can be brought before a judge. And lastly yes mother tells them lies about dad and has gotten them crying on different occasions, heck she even lied on the stand at the last court hearing. Thanks you have been a big help
I feel for your situation, it's a hard one to be in and to deal with. You know what the problem is but you are unable to fix it. Good luck in dealing with all of this...hopefully you'll find a way to resolve all of these issues and get things back on track.