Subject: I am a step mom
QUESTION: I have a SD who is 16 and the issue is basically I understand being a teenager and messing up. But it is her lack of respect for anyone. Her parents, me and my children. Her friends, my friends all say she is a brat, by what they have encountered.
Now today, she got caught the second day of school skipping and called her dad and lied, my biggest fear is both parents are angry but there threats are usually pretty empty. I am not sure how to handle her disrespect to me in our home. I have two children as well, and I do not want them turning into her.
My SD does nothing at our home, when she is asked she is like whatever.. I am ready to pull my hair out. I want control in my home, not to feel like its not my house and shut up while the princess is there. Its sad because the parents seem to be blinded to the crap yet all of my husband and I’s friends say she is a witch and they don’t like her.
Help me please.. I am starting to not care for this girl at all.. Love her, but I sure don’t like her at all..
ANSWER: Dear Cee:
You are probably not going to like my answer much. While your step-daughters behavior may not be appropriate the manner in which this request was written tells me that the lack of respect is a two way street.
Anyone referring to a child as a “brat” or that she is a “witch” is indulging in immature and emotionally abusive behavior.
As for the SD and I assume you mean step-daughter. You are an adult and she is still a child. Her skipping school and acting out inappropriately scream of needing some help. I strongly encourage you, your husband and the step daughter getting into some counseling now before things get much worse.
When your step daughter is in your home she needs to abide by the rules and not being disrespectful needs to be one of the rules. However, the best way to get teens to show respect is by modeling respect. Another way is to realize she does not need you to be her mother as it sounds like she already has two parents. Trying talking with her and asking her about her day, her friends and finding out what is important to her. Next, spend more time listening to her than talking.
Remember who the adult is and who the child is and this will help you with not liking her. She is after all a teenager and who knows what she has or has not received in emotional attention.
M Kay Keller
———- FOLLOW-UP ———-
QUESTION: Good afternoon, I want to say thank you for your advice..
You are right at first I did not like your answer, but it got me to thinking, I am not the only victim here, my step daughter is too. And you are right she is the child here. SO after the shock of your response and I really started thinking, I realize I need to hold out my hand and try to rebuild a relationship with her!
SO I called her and talked to her via phone a little and told her that I want to talk to her. I also called her mom and talked to her a lot and apologized to her, for our squabbles and we talked for about an hour, we were both very open with one another and honest and are working on our relationship too.
So I just wanted to say thank you for opening my eyes to things. I have been feeling sorry for myself instead of being understanding to how she may feel about me. I also am just going to try to be her friend instead of being a mother figure, she has a great mom and dad and I really am just a little bonus to her and my Stepson..
Thank you so much..
Answer: Dear Cee:
It is never easy for me to come on this strong so You are Very Welcome and I am so glad you opened your heart to her! Glad to hear the wonderful news. Thank you for providing the feedback!