Should I write a letter to step daughter? - FamilyEducation
Should I write a letter to step daughter?
03/31/2008 at 13:40 PM

Have any of you confronted your step child with your feelings?  Have you ever told them how they make you feel?  Is it a sign of weakness, showing them that they are getting to you, or is it a building block to make the relationship stronger?? 

Tell me what you all think! I am considering writting a letter telling how I feel.  Would it be a mistake? 


If there are any step children out ther, what would you think if your step-mother did that??  WOuld you thinnk, HA I'm breaking her down, or would you think, Ha...O she is a person with feelings too????

I love that you asked for step kids advise!!!!    ok, I have actually done that, a few times.  not sure if it's backfired on me or gotten me some human points??  I think with the 16 yr old she has gotten to know me through my writing and communicating, openly and humanly and honestly.  I think with the younger two it's only given them an extra feather in their cap and they have learned/mastered the art of knowing how more to hurt me, take advantage of me, manipulate me.  but that's just my dynamic.  I'm sure in other cases it can make a world of difference.  I've told the 12 yr old I am going to counseling to learn how to be better for the family, how to 'work' with and step parent. I've shared the books with them that I am reading on step parenting.  I've written them very personal letters and shared my own past personal experiences.  Like I said, the 12 yr old uses it to her advantage.... taken the info to school, to her friends, to her mom and twisted and played with words.  focus on who you are, your core person, and your husband, and why/how you two fell in love.  remove yourself from her if you have to.  make dinner, but don't talk to her. go for a walk.  go meet a friend.  get on the phone.  go watch a movie.  you can tell her very matter of factly, without showing the frustration, that you are hurt by her words and don't respect the way she is treating you, and then walk away.  she'll do whatever she feels she can to get you out.  I have talked to a good friend who was a step child, has his own children, and now is a step parent.  it will get worse before it gets better.  most important is that you and your husband are on the same page and continue to be partners.  she cannot get away with her actions, but by you staying and her seeing how much your husband loves you, and by her having 'things' removed, priveledges taken away, and positive boundaries set - your own boundaries, she is not in control of you.  I know how hard this is, believe me!!  I'm there.  yeah, I'm writing all of this, but I should read it and practice it myself.  let me know how all of the above sounds and how you are doing.  we will get through this.  

Communication is a must if you want to build, repair or maintain relationships.  Yes, I believe you should write a letter, wait a few days, read the letter again, edit it and deliver it.  Make sure to focus on how certain things make you feel and less on wrong and right action.  Try to avoid laying blame on anyone. 


This weekend my son and I had a "fight" of sorts.  I was so upset I could not sleep last night.  I called him today to tell him how hurt I felt about something he said.  I really wanted to tell him he was wrong for treating me that way, but what I learned is that he was feeling hurt himself over something I said.  I would have never known the dynamics of what happend on Sunday had I never talked  to him about it.  We both feel better and wiser now.






Your son or step son??  ANd at what age is he??  Step daighter is not at age were she cares about anyones feelings but her own, actually it has nothing to do with her age, it is her.  I want to write her and tell her all that she does that hurts me, but I don't want her to know and use it as more power.  Does that make since??

No, he is not my step son, he is my son and he is 17.  I understand what you are saying; the situations are different.  I used the example to show how we both saw the exact same events with two different perspectives.


My boyfriend (very serious boyfriend) has an 18 year old daughter.  So i "kinda" understand the step-daughter dynamics.  I also raise a 17 year old girl who is my niece. 


If she does not care about anyone's feelings but her own, she will not care about all that she does to hurt you.  If you want to vent and get it out, then write the letter and throw it away.  If you want the letter to actually help your situation with her then you must show her how changing her behavior will make things better for HER.  As you stated, she cares about her own feelings, not yours. 


I still strongly believe communication is a good way to work things out with your step-daughter.  You just have to find the right words that are not judging her or she will dicount the whole message. 


true.. if i can turn it into helping her then she might take it into consideration.  Thanks.  I know communication is best,, but with kids, step kids especially you never know what their actions will be.  Thanks for the advice, it does help, espeically what you said about making it better for HER.  Thanks, that adds a spin to it, that is if I give it to her, might write it and then trash it, that always helps to... or save it for when she might understand it better.  Thanks

I know I told you this in another message jenni, but I do believe you should write a letter, for you.  hold on to it until you think she can and would try to understand both sides.  I don't know that she is ready for that now, and at that it would hurt you more to be "dissed" like that. they are at an age where all they do care about is themselves. the world revolves around them.  I think there are other ways you can help her see action leads to reaction, but to give her your heart in a letter may just fuel her desire to hurt you more.  but it always helps to write. have you talked to your husband about writing a letter to her? does he know how you are feeling? what do you think he would suggest you do?  I know you have a bond with him.  

I have also written letters to my step-children (ages 12 and 14)I suggest the following. Take the high road, avoid being emotional, state facts, and give your opinion based on facts, always end the letter on a positive note. Be fair and be loving but do not be weak. The best strategy to promote cooperation in relationships,as well as in politics and in business,is Tit-for-Tat (See Axelrod's book on cooperation)if your cooperative advances induce rejection hit back, then cooperate again. Use humor for example: I always sign with the phrase "your favorite step-dad" under my name. Humor disarms them, in a nice way humor make them feel like they cannot hurt you and gives you, the adult, the upper hand.