teenage daughter is a bratt - FamilyEducation
teenage daughter is a bratt
09/04/2008 at 10:14 AM


I have a long story and apologise now for its length.

I met my husband in 04 on an internet website where we communicated for a while, we actually met for real three times last year when he came to the UK to visit me. We got along great and decided to take our relationship further, we applied for a fiancée visa so that I could be with him in the USA, I landed in NJ in January, when I first met his two girls, 11 and 13. we married in march, law states we had to marry in 90 days for me to be able to stay here while we go through the next process…so, I am brit and my husband is yank and the differences between the two countries (for me) was overwhelming. With the new home, new life, new everything, I had also to contend with two nearing teenage girls who have had women come and go for the past 7 years (they lost their mum to cancer 8 years ago, but she still plays a big part in their life)

I knew it was going to be hard and I was told I was a fool for thinking that the girls would accept me…im not expecting miracles, if a ‘real mum’ doesn’t get respect during the teenage years, how can I expect it…being a step mum?  These girls have had nannies and house keepers all their life and this is how they think of me, I feel like I am banging my head because I am constantly picking up after them, cleaning after them…I know…this is what a mum does…but, when I ask them for help I am being mean for interrupting their tv time.

The eldest daughter is so up her dads arse that it is driving me insane, we never get any time together she is either banging on the bedroom door, phoneing him or texting him every 5 minutes. She goes everywhere with him and sometimes it seems like it isn’t me who he married, he talks to her like the adult and most of the time I am going nuts craving for adult conversation, I know no one here and I cannot work (previously I knew lots of people, had a good job, my own place blah blah)…it isn’t that I miss what I had…i don’t…it isn’t that I am jealous of my husband/daughter relationship…far from it…but I can see that the way she is with me, bitching me to her friends and family and even the neighbours that this is going to get worse if it isn’t sorted out now…my husband thinks I am clueless with kids because I have none of my own and he has ‘single handedly’ brought up his girls (with nannys help of course) he thinks I have no idea how conniving and deceitful teenage girls can be, when it is he who thinks his girls are angels…they push me to the limit and expect not to be told off for it. I have no say on anything the eldest does yet we agreed a couple of weeks ago that we would start to discuss them more, and if they don’t do as they are supposed to do (which is simply keeping their room tidy and taking out the trash) then they will have some kind of punishment…not locking in the cellar or anything like that…but say loosing the ipods, mobile phones or pc, (btw these girls have everything a child could ever want so I am at a loss at to which to remove first!!) the younger one I hardly need to mention here as I thought she was the one who was going to be a problem it has turned out that it is her older sister who is the bratt. I ask her to do something and get slamming doors or storming off sulking, where she will then call her dad and tell him what is going on.

She started her first period last month and i  am not to know anything about it, yet she expects me to buy her the things needed for this month, I know and don’t expect her to come to me telling me her problems, but when she told the neighbour instead of her dad or even her aunt, it kinda upset me because she felt she couldn’t come to me. The pair of them are lazy and inconsiderate, thinking that daddys wallet is always open…want want want and I cant get used to that…coming from a home where we had nothing and had to work for anything, everything is given to these girls on a plate and they have no idea how broke we are just feeding their habits of webkins and electronics.

They wont eat what I cook…im not a bad cook, but when we have burgerking or macdonalds half a mile away there is the better option…they will waste what I put on the table at 6pm and then complain at 7 that they are hungry and daddy will take them to macdonalds….this I also cant grasp…fast food. They don’t understand that everything I do is for a reason and that I am only trying to help, the youngest has ADD and I am trying to sort her diet, it is somewhat improving and she can see this, but her sister trys so hard to influence her into having things she shouldn’t have (in the sweets section)

The husband/wife relationship is strained enough as we didn’t have that chance that most couples have…the getting to know you period…we had our relationship online, then we were ‘thrown’ together and this was when we started to get to know each other as a couple…we didn’t have that chance previously to me landing here…it was all chats and webcams. I had never been married before and this isn’t what I was expecting…just to be here to be a cleaner and someone the kids can walk all over when it suits…

I will put money on the eldest daughter being the one who manages to split us up.

once again sorry for the length, and sorry for it being a bit mixed up, i have tried to describe as much as i can in the time i have while my husband is at work.

I'm somewhat in the same situation. I am too going through the "teenaged angst" and my step-daughter is 10! Her Mom has a completely different style of parenting and just interacting with people than I do, and it's apparent in my 'step-daughter's' interactions with me. (Mom tends to be very defensive, and highly judgemental/snotty). One thing I have going is a great support system from my boyfriend. He backs me up. But last night, I had to lay down the law. The snotty replies, stalking off, screaming will end. And to accomplish it, I'm starting by taking away the cell phone (she'll get one warning-next time it's gone.) as that is the thing she LOVES the most. Then on down the line until behavior improves. I suggest you talk with Dad (in private. Tell little miss that it's an adult conversation, she MUST leave. No ifs, ands or buts. Just be firm). and lay down your grievances in a non-confrontational, non-emotional manner. Then work with him to come up with a list of chores, and the consquences they will face if they don't come up with them. (i.e. loss of ipod.) Plus-next time kids won't eat-if you can make sure Dad isn't home for the first time, or get him on board) tell them that's what's for supper, and if they're not hungry-they dont' have to eat it, but there's nothing until breakfast until tomorrow morning. Then don't try and force them to eat...it's up to them. They won't starve if they miss one meal, but they will remember it. But biggest thing-you guys sound like you might need some family counseling You may not be jealous, but sounds like the eldest is, and she's still hurting from loss of Mom and so many caretakers. And it sounds like Dad is so used to over-compensating for loss of Mom with things and letting the rules slide, he may not even realize how he's undermining your authority. Plus-and I know this one-you've just become what I term 'insta-Mom'. Instant family, instant responsibilities, instant demands to be a Mother that other women get from birth to 18 to grow into. It takes a lot, and it can be a bit frustrating to say the least. A third party might help! Best of luck-let us know how it goes!

I myself have a 13yr old girl & know a little bit of what you are dealling with on the emotional attitude aspect of the teenage GIRL. My advice would be to talk to your husband and ask him to actively 'indulge you' in participation, and have the family enroled in a parenting class and family counceling specializing in combined family, & traumatized children (for coping with the death of their mother, & for what they may see now as having this new person in their more permanent life that is here to interfere & possibly take over &/or change there only known way of living ). But don't try to make it out that he is not "smart" about his children, or that he needs to learn to be a better parent or husband, (even though he many need some new info on the subject, as we all do). But try to make it out to be you that needs his support in learning how to be a new parent to teen girls of all things and that you would benifit from an outside source that specializes in these subjects , because you are tired of doing the wrong thing for these girls & him, & you want to make life as easy for the girls as possible without compromizing your or his happiness in life & becoming their slave. And ask him to put in a true effort as a married couple parenting together, to help you in this task to help you to become a better wife & step mother. And maybe it will help you to open his eyes to the reality that this is a FAMILY issue that the girls are acting out of necessity to cope with ALL these life altering situations that seem to have come at the most stressful times of a childs life girls being the most emotional & traumatized at these times in life when stressful situations happen upon them & around them. And be it as it may your husband does not have all the answers to deal with the hormones, emotional ups & downs, physical changes, etc that happen especially in the preteen stages & well into young adulthood of the FEMALE, so a little outside help might be a little more helpful to help your new family develop and grow together & least of all function to atleast to a small degree as a family might function in any similar situation. (If your husband &/or step daughter(s) are/is unwilling in working with you in helping the family as a unit to cope, develope, & grow), You can always go to a family councelor on your own to learn new skills/insights, etc & to vent your own frusterations about the situation & learn alot there. You can always talk to the family doctor about how to deal with some of the issues & get lots of info from there. Or if the girls are in public school you can talk to the school about info on how to better help the girls. You can join a parenting group & learn lots there. The community college usually has classes on parenting, parenting teens, combined/combining families, strenghthening family relationships, & the list goes on, & depending on what medical insurance you all have you may be able to get some or maybe all of the resourses you need to educate yourself, your new family unit, etc. Some times your family doctor can write a 'medically' necessary referal to some of these resources so you only have to pay minimal amounts.There are inexpensive low cost resourses out there,but the trick is that you HAVE TO ask for them. Bottom line is talk about your family 'issue' with a 'safe' professional (doctor, teacher, councelor, college personnel etc.), ask about any & all resourses you can obtain for the family unit & individual & couple unit. So you as a wife, step mom, etc., can help this (your) new family to be the best that you apperently know that it can be. I know I didn't hit on every idea/ subject, I haven't been through your exact same trial, but I know there has to be someone out there that can help out with more info than my opinon/ideas could ever do Sorry about the length Sorry about the way mind just seems to "pour out" everything in it Best of luck Best wishes And above all be brave&, flexible Hope I helped out a little And thanks for listening to my rambles