Do they know what they are doing?
04/16/2008 at 10:42 AM

Alright.  this is part confusion and frusration talking.  I want to know how many of you out there, that have diffcut relationships with the step children, and I guess even those that have good relationships with the kids. 

I want to know if ya'll think these kids that we have difficulty with, have hard relationsips with, have attitude and talking back problems with,; that are in the 13 to 18 years of age know what they are doing or if it is hormones and or a divice they use because they are afraid to accept us, the step-parent.

What are the thoughts???

When families combine, there is a major adjustment period. It is hard to "move on" when it was always biomom and biodad (who they love)and now they have to adjust to a new person coming into their life. I think it tougher for teens to adjust. "step" parents might not think like the kids or have personality clashes. There might be new rules or new traditions or elimination of old traditions. Combining two families is hard work for parents and children. Kids might also feel like they need to prove loyalty to the bioparent. It takes an open minded kid who is willing to work hard for the good of the family to make this situation work. I don't know if those are common traits for teens.


I understand the open mindedness. One is much more easy going and wants everyone to be happy and then the girl well, that is different. What I still have an issue with is that I have been in their lives for 8 years now! For the past 2 almost 3 they have been living with Bio-dad and myself, but regardless, it's not like we just got married, it will be 8 years in May. They should have adjusted to me by now! Don't you think??


I copied the following advice from anotherdiscussion board .. thought it might help....

Do you remember how horribly confusing and hormone filled 14-18 were for you as a girl? I do. Looking back now, I can honestly say that the disrespect and manic tamper I displayed were a cry for someone to teach me how to control what was going on inside my mind and body. My advise is to look for a way to help her. Possibly a mediator, such as a family or child therapist. When you say "therapist" everyone gets defensive and thinks that they have a problem. There is nothing abnormal about your child. However, if you want to get through to her without her resentment toward you, you may need someone you both trust to mediate. In the meantime, don't ease up on the punishments because you feel her pain. Be creative with your punishments, don't use the simplest things. Try things like if you can't speak to me with respect, you won't talk on the phone or computer to your friends for the rest of the day. And don't make the punishment fit your anger. If you are so mad that you tell her no more telephone or computer for the rest of the week, you won't have that punishment to use the next used up the whole week! Good Luck


I am fine with the thought of a therapist, however, my husband isn't. He is seeing a little more every time that maybe she does need someone to talk to, to get her haterid out, but nothing close to making any appointments yet.

I just wish I knew if she knew what she was doing or if it is hormones and a coping thing. It would make it easier on my heart! Because I never know if she is meaning to be rude and respectful and see past me, or that it's a teenage thing. Because my heart is somewhat becoming a wilted flower.


Im no expert, but I think it is about her not you. She does not consider how she makes you feel she only knows/cares about how SHE feels. I think it is a combination of age, upbringing and horomones. I bet she is not trying to hurt you but she is also not trying to avoid hurting you. It's all about her OWN feelings. Most likely she does not even consider how you feel. Don't take it personal. She is selfish...


What you just said I"ve heard before. That it's not about me, to be honest she doesn't care about me or my feelings, just hers. She is selfish.

So here is a question to you, the non-expert...but a wise woman, Do I confront her and tell her how she is making me feel, or do I let it go?


Well, I still don't know how old she is, but I don't think you can let it go if it is making you this sad/upset/angry. I also don't know what kind of relationship you have built with her. Does she trust that you want her to be happy or does she think you are out to get her? I firmly believe in communication and I also believe that people treat you the way you let them treat you. So i guess I am trying to say YES talk with her. However, you should analyze first how you will deliver the message and consider the various responses you might get. Don't make the conversation about how bad she is when she is disrespectful, make it about how you feel when she is disrespectful. Hope this makes sense!!!


It makes sense, yes. I'm just afraid that if I do tell her how I feel when she is deisrpectful, that she will think to herself.."Good, it's working, I will keep doing what I am doing." She is a very manipulitive girl. She is 15, and the relationship on weather she thinking I'm out to get her.... well from the past years, I'd say she doesn't want me in her life, considering a year ago she told us that she didn't even want to be in the wedding. (That will be 8 years ago in May). So no she doesn't care about my feelings are if I'm miserable all she cares about is herself. She is manipulitive and selfish and concided.


At 15, you have a long time to go before she is out of the house. Maybe you should talk with your husband first. Tell him you want to repair your relationship with his daughter. Tell him you think couseling would add a different dynamic than the things you have already tried. You should be trying to find a way to like her.


We have talked, and he is a help. He understand completely because she can be a royal something to him also. I think she is convenced that her bio-mom and dad will get back together and she is convenced of this because her bio-mom has told her that she'd like to get back together. Dad has told her it won't happend and dad has told ex-wife that also, but she doesnt say anything. She has told the kids that if they can't call there step-dad dad then it isn't fair that they call me mom, so they have stopped only because mom has complained about it. She is what is keeping her daughter from having a relationship with me, a desent relationship with me. The son, oh.. he is good, he wants to be happy and have love, bio-mom doesn't give much to him she gives it all to the daughter, that is why i don't have issues with son, only the daughter. Well... thanks and i'll keep putting things out there and keep looking for advise. Thanks


To reply to your question: Yes, they do know what they are doing. My 3 stepdaughters were sweet, adorable 4, 6 and 8 y/o's when we met. Then they hit the preteen years and they and their mother destroyed my marriage. Then, each stepdaughter, after each of them turned 18, they each called me to say they were so sorry they had treated me so badly. Which just made me very sad because it was too late and my marriage was way over. Hang in there and maybe you will still have a marriage when she is ready to grow up and realize she is ruining all of your lives. One of them even told me I was the best thing in her life and she wished she had stood up to her mother but just did not know how and she was scared of losing her mother's love. So, keep trying and do what you have to do with your husband's help to open the lines of communication with her.


Wow stepmom that's really sad. But at the same time it is a little bit inspiring. Imagine, kids really do come to understand someday.


Well that is great for you. I'm glad they apologzed to you. That means there is hope for the rest of us. Maybe , which I think it might be the case for me, where the daughter is afraid to show love for me, becuase of the mother and that she has to support the mom. So.. but at least I know it can end well, and glad it did for you, well other than you ended up losing your marriage, which I am terribly sorry about.


Just from my experience, I have learned that they play the field to their advantage. It seems if only self matters and nothing else. They work parents, step-parents, and anyone else they can just to get their way. I am totally frustrated. My husband wants me to leave everything concerning his son to him, but then he does nothing but let the boy do what ever he wants to do. I raised three children and it is hard for me to step back and let a lax parent dictate everything even my values. My biggest problem is if I would not allow my children to do somthing why should I drop my values and let his. I will never understand this.


To Jenni: It really did NOT end well at any level, because even though the girls did say they were sorry as adults, they are all still, 12 years later, in their mother's control and desperately trying to maintain their mother's love. I lost my marriage, have no relationship with any of the girls, am still paying off thousands of dollars in debt from legal and medical bills and worst of all my 2 children bear the emotional scars of the entire ordeal. My ex-husband still very seldom ever hears from his girls, who he loves and cares for very much, because they are still so fragmented after all these years. I sincerely hope your story has a happier ending.


I am terribaly sorry. I thought it ended better with the children. I knew it cost your marriage, but thought since the girls said they were sorry that maybe they were starting a better relationship with you. I am so sorry.
I see no light at the end of the tunnel with the step daughter, however I do still see light with the step-son, so..... it may end up 50% ok. At least I have one. But thing is the daughter treats her brother horrably, and I think she gives him trouble about being nice (himself) to me. But....

And as a reply to another reply..... I agree that the kids are only after themselves, whatever they can get from whomever. Thing is they would get more from dad, and myself if they were nicer, more respectful, and less selfish. Oh well, when she enters the real world maybe she will see!


My oldest stepdaughter used to treat her next younger sister badly for being nice to me, then when that one turned on me, they both worked on the youngest one until she turned and, boy, did she ever. Then all 3 of them were against me unless they wanted something or needed something bought for them. I loved their father so much I put up with way more than I should have. I feel sorry for them now because they all carry around so much guilt for how they treated me and my children. It could all have been avoided if their mother had just been able to share them. SHE was the one who initiated the divorce and she and my ex had been divorced for 2 years before I even met him. 13 years later I have recently remarried a man with 3 sons and there are some issues wth the 2 younger boys, aged 12 and 9 but boys are just so different than girls. And, none of them live with us, we have just visitation with the 2 younger ones. I made it clear to my husband before we got married that unless his ex meets an untimely demise his children will never be able to manipulate us into living with us like my ex-stepchildren did. Once burned, twice shy!



I find your statement about your current stepsons a little unfair. These children may at some point need to live with their father. As long as they are not grown, his childrens need should come before you. I GREATLY understand your reluctance, but this is a different family and different kids. At the end of the day, your husband was their father before he was your husband. I apolgize if you take offense to this post, but I think others would agree with me.


What I said it that we will never allow his boys to manipulate us into living with us, which is very different from them needing to live with us. His boys have already tried to manipulate their father into being able to stay with us because their mother "is soooooooo mean" but because of my previous very negative experiance, I was able to see right throught their manipulation. My husband appreciates that I am able to do so and save him a lot of needless discord with his ex. And, his boys are better off for it!!!