whitneyfitz... asks:

stepdaughter is rude disrespectful and husband doesnt see it

i have a 9 yr old sd. also my own daughter whos 4. my sd lives with us and only sees her mom when her mother feels like it. anyway my husband has spoiled her by never giving her responsibilities such as picking up her room, her candy wrappers, NOTHING for that matter. i of course put a stop to that. she constantly follows her father around. he goes to the bathroom she aits outside the door. if he doing anything she just follows back and forth. i know ur probably think its attention, no he gives her plenty. reads to her, watches a movie at bedtime. another thing since shes been so spoiled she is the rudest, most disrespectful, smartass, u name bad behavior.... oh wait i forgot she whines and cries like she is 2. on our weddin day after our reception she screamed and caused a scene be cause she didnt want u to have a night together. because be for me if he wanted to go out all she had to do is throw her 2yr old tantrum and he would cancel plans. can u please send helpful solutions or opinions because i believe they both need counciling id like him to read a professionals opinion.
oh and one last thing everytime shes around my family (note weve been together 2yrs) she ignores them and give them dirty looks when they try to make polite conversation. plz help me!
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Jun 21, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

When families come together to blend into step families, it is pretty common for it NOT to be a smooth transition.  Adolescents may have the most difficult time adjusting to a step family.  It is very natural for them to need more time to get used to the new dynamics and they may have difficulties in demonstrating their feelings as openly as you would like. Patience is tough to have when you want everything to be comfortable and functional for everyone involved. It sounds like her attachment to Dad is a need to feel loved and secure.  It isn't something that she most likely had before.  It will take time.

Laying a foundation is the beginning step.  Working with your husband on expectations that you both have for your children will help both of you stay united as a parenting force.  Don't expect things to happen overnight for either of you to make the suggested changes if necessary. Find ways for you all to spend time as a family.  Taking the kids to places that are age appropriate for both would provide some fun time for the family. Since parenting changes were not decided before the marriage occurred, this will have to happen as you transition. Since you feel disrespected, it would be a good idea to have this talk about it.  You cannot insist that she like you and you like her but can insist that you both need to treat one another with respect.  Limit your expectations with her starting off.  One day at a time and hopefully things will improve gradually.  

Instead of Dad and stepdaughter seeking counseling, try joining in on a few sessions so that you call can start this new life together.  If you need some referrals you can call 1-800-448-3000 for organizations in your area.  

We understand that you are feeling frustrated so it is equally as important for you to have support as well.  Call the Boys Town National Hotline anytime you need to talk.  

Boys Town National Hotline

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Additional Answers (1)

newTkremin writes:
I can totally relate to your situation, except take your step daughter and times it by 3.  My husband and I have been married for 15 years, so they are no longer under age and have all gone off on their own.  Looking back, I took everything way to personal (dirty looks, rude behavior, etc.)  I expected them to know exactly how I wanted them to behave, and when they didn't, I got upset and would leave our home.  I never had a step parent growing up, so I didn't understand all the manipulating behaviors that kids of divorced parents learn to use.  My husband, on the other hand, did grow up with divorced parents, and he would explain to me that he saw his parent's "new relationships" as a major threat to his family structure and would do what ever he could to sabotage it.  Every time the kids would spend their weekends with us, it felt like a free-for-all, and my world would get turned upside down.  My husband felt guilty for putting them in this situation, so he was afraid to discipline.  This put a major strain on our relationship, because I dreaded their visits.  Counseling is a very good idea.  Each of you are seeing this situation through different lenses, and it takes a third party to help each of you feel validated and to help you come together.  Without God and counseling, our marriage would have never survived.  I have said and done things that I am not proud of and it has made my life so much more difficult than it needed to be.  I just was not prepared for this life decision.   Hang in there.  You are not alone.
> 60 days ago

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