12 year old step daughter , not getting along at all any more ;( - FamilyEducation
12 year old step daughter , not getting along at all any more ;(
06/17/2009 at 10:06 AM

I am the mom of a 12 year old girl whom has lived with us since she was three.
She has had a very tumultuous relationship with her mom and her dad is a logger whom is rarely home and doesn't have the first clue about the importance of positive parenting.
Since she has turned 12....she began middle school...and wow what a different girl.
We fight just like siblings....
Any one else in a similar situation that might have some advice....?

Nearly all girls your step daughter's age go through this. As difficult as this may sound, the best thing you can do is to no longer fight with her. Clearly establish that you are the parent and while there can be compromise, respect is expected at all times. You will no longer respond to being treated like a sibling. My (now 25 y/o) daughter and I went through a rough time when she was entering high school. The school offered therapy with the school psychologist which helped my daughter and our family very much. Someone outside your relationship can help you with an objective view of the situation.

When kids these age pick fights with their parents, I think it really is so you have to prove you're tougher than they are. I have a dear friend whose daughter witnessed the death of a playmate. After that she got real confrontational and rebellious. For the next several years her response to everything her parents required of her was a variation on "You can't make me!" It has taken several years, but she is starting to develop some trust with her parents. They had to hold firm, not drop to her level, remain dignified and insist. They would sometimes laugh at her when she was being defiant, not in a mean way, but in a deflective? way. Like "Nice one!" As if it were some kind of competition and she had made a good effort at her goal, but they had prevented her from scoring.

Three months later and here we are... i do believe a lot of the fighting was pressure from junior high school. and so I did.....we just stopped fighting. I am the parent. I decided to leave a note in the morning for her with her expectations for the day....no arguement...no Tones etc... not a bad idea actually. Thanks for the reply

I think communicating in writing was a great idea. So, it sounds like things are better for both of you, yes?

It is good to hear things are better. Note writing is a positive tool. Though it may not always be easy to do, stay in control as the parent. Good luck!

HI I have jsut come into work seething after an argument with my partner of 4 years who also has a 9 year old daughter who also fights against me. I have also have a 9 year old son whom I have full custody of whereas my partner has his daughter every other weekend. We all get along fine until it is his weekend to have his daughter and then all of a sudden its like being in world war 3. She ignores me, is rude to me, comes out with sarcastic comments about me in front of my fiends and family and taunts me like someone in her class. At her mothers house she hangs out with older friends and as such is being influenced into growing up too quickly - make up, heels, boys whereas my son is still a nine year old full and through. The issue arises when discipline is needed and my partner does not follow through, I then get criticised as being over disciplinarian infront of the kids and then this exacerbates the problem as both kids play us off. I then get blamed for everything and then it opens the doors for my son to think its acceptable to behave the way that she does. She then goes back to her mom, discusses it and everything is wound up so that my relationship is being damaged even when I am not there. I have spoken to my partner about this and he says he gets frustrtaed by the way I deal with his daughter, unfortunately he does not see waht goes on behind his back. I am in danger of losing the realtionship with him beacuse of her - and even worse feeling that a 9 year old has manipulated the situation to be so. Any help would be great.

Your relationship is already lost unless your partner is willing to see the situation realistically. I was in a similar situation, hung in there for way too long because I was in love and ended up divorced after years of strife and heartache. Blended families only work out if there is respect and cooperation from all the members. Get out before your child is ruined by all the negative manipulations caused by this girl.