(Closed) A letter to my soon to be step-daughter!!

posted 7 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
1057 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I think what you did is amazing. Good for you 🙂

Post # 4
Member
14 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2011

the fact that you are reaching out and trying to include her as you plan your wedding is a great start!

Post # 5
Member
46328 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

My one tip is to never, never, never say anything against her mother.

Kids aren’t stupid. They figure things out for themselves. She will come around in time. Kids need time to process a new relationship. They often feel disloyal to the parent they live with if they embrace a realtionship with the “step”.

 

Post # 6
Member
2538 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

As someone who has had 4 different step-parents, 3 of them AWFUL and 1 AWESOME, just being there and letting the stepdaughter know you’re there is really important. Both of my stepmoms made sure that my Dad felt like he was abandoning them whenever he spent time with me and it’s not like I was an adult either. I was in junior high with the first. Anyway, my 2nd stepdad would hang out with me while my mom worked, talk to me like a person, just do random things with me like a watergun fight in the middle of March, and come pick me up even when my siblings were visiting their dad. He really made me feel like I was part of my mom’s family more than I ever did before. Granted, they’re divorced now, but I really credit him with a lot of who I am now.

You say she’s a teenager who wants to spend time with her friends, well, use that to your advantage. Go to where she lives and go shopping with her or something else she really likes. It’s very important to start things off on the right foot or she’s might have a poor opinion of you. Also, the bad stuff that happened during her parents’ break-up will come out eventually. It did with me and all the bad talk backfired on the parent who did it.

Post # 7
Member
44 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2011

That’s tough, I think you writing the letter was really great, hopefully she will see this as an invitation to be close with you and your fiance. I have a step dad, and he isn’t the best communicator, I would say just make sure you’re always there for her, offer to spend time with her, take her shopping to the movies. Don’t get upset if she just wants to spend time with her dad. And the most important, like others have said, don’t trash talk the mom, I can’t say that enough. My dad is a complete arse, but it would make me so mad if my step dad was talking shiz, not cool.

Post # 8
Member
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

If you’ve read some of my previous posts i’ve had 8 years of problems with my future stepdaughter. When she was 13 years old she told me to “go get f*cked and have my own kid” because she didn’t want to get off the computer and leave for school. She was “homeschooled” (and i use that term loosely) from 8th-15th grade because she couldn’t get along with other girls at school….she walks all over her father like he is a doormat and many times has humiliated him into tears….has always done what SHE’S wanted….staying out all night when she was 15 or 16…..she told her father he was a monster because he didn’t make her mother get an abortion when they were pregnant with her….she hates almost all her relatives on both sides of the family…hardly has any friends because she can’t control everything they do….and the latest is she dropped out of the wedding 5 weeks before because she couldn’t have her own suite in the hotel we were staying at and we wouldn’t let her go siteseeing in Wash DC by herself (she just turned 18). And do you want to know why she doesn’t like me?  Because i won’t let her walk all over me and i won’t take her shit…..she doesn’t control me and never will. Now i know its mostly my fiances fault that he lets her get away with this crap, but people don’t know what she is like and how she acts when she doesn’t get her way…he finds its less stressful if he just lets her act like a bitch. Tho i don’t agree i don’t want him stressed out about her either so i let it go.  But she knows better then to talk to me the way she talks to him, because she’s 18 now and i will tell her if she doesn’t like it to get the hell out.  So i applaud you cincity75 for reaching out, because its not always easy. Oh, and for those of you that say “why would you marry a man who has a daughter like that?”….my fiance is the most wonderful man i have ever met……he also has an amazing 12 year son that i adore, and despite all our problems, i love the three of them more then anything in the world.

Post # 9
Member
1166 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@cincity75: I am about to become stepmother to a 15-year-old who lives 1,000 miles away and visits us 2-3 times a year. She and her dad talk on the phone every 2-3  days, and he also loves her dearly and carries a lot of regret/guilt/etc. (in his case, for moving away from her).

When I first met my FH, she was 12 and wanted nothing to do with me; she was upset that he had broken up with his previous girlfriend of 7 years. Three years later, we are not necessarily close (distance make that difficult) but she does like and respect me, and she even says ILY and has started to call me “ma.” (Wierd! LOL)

Needless to say, I have struggled with some of the same questions and issues you do. Here’s my advice based on my own personal experience:

1 – Remember, she’s a teenager. She doesn’t really want anything to do with adults right now, and especially not ‘parental figures.’ No parent has the relationship he/she wants with their teenager! This will pass.

2 – If she doesn’t warm up to you right away, don’t take it personally, and don’t push too hard. Just let her know on a regular basis that you’re there if she needs you. She may not take you up on it, but she WILL remember that you said it.

3 – Don’t try to become another parent, but do look for occasional “teachable moments” where you can give her your own perspective without lecturing or telling her what to do. Think of yourself as an older/wiser friend or sister vs. a mother.

4 – A friend of mine with more experience as a stepmother gave me this advice: “Your job as a stepmother is to always tell her what she is doing RIGHT.” She has enough people in her life telling her what she is doing wrong.

Bottom line: Take it slow and easy, and be a calm, rational and positive force in her life. Remember that the teenage years are going to be the TOUGHEST time you (and your FH) will likely ever have with her, and you have many more years to build a great relationship with her. Don’t rush it. And good luck!

Post # 10
Member
2559 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@cincity75: As someone on the other side of the step situation, I agree with NotYourTypicalBride’s approach – love and support without overparenting. I don’t consider my dad’s new wife my stepmother (first, because I was on my own before their marriage, and secondly because we don’t have a fantastic relationship so I rarely see her…), but my younger brother and sister have spent considerable amounts of time with their stepmom. My 15-year-old sister said that “she doesn’t really do anything… we just go shopping or get our nails done or hang out at the house. She doesn’t parent me”. And she means it as a good thing – You’re not her mom. Just be there for her and let the relationship part work itself out 🙂

@Kanebaby: You really tell your stepdaughter “if she doesn’t like it to get the hell out”? 

Post # 11
Member
870 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

@Kanebaby: Good for you! My step-mother kicked me out over something stupid (explained below) but if I acted like that I’d be expecting it every day.

My dad has been married 4 times and is currently getting his 4th divorse. My mom was his 2nd wife so I don’t know anything about his first marriage. My 1st step-mother had 3 girls and my dad has 3 girls…all 6 of us were (back then) 17,15,13,13,11,9. I was one of the 13year olds. She favored her kids over us and never let us do ANYTHING her kids could do. She got my dad into church and when she found out dad believed in the “honor your husband in everything” she took it literally and thought he was saying what he says goes so she changed the lockes while he was gone and we were all at school.

My 2nd step-mother, the one he is currently divorcing (lets call her T), also has 3 kids (girl, boy, girl) and all the ages, currently, are 30,27,25,23,21,19. They got married my in 2006 right before my senior year started. She acted nice but was a major hypocrite and never involved us in anything. When I was 17, right after I graduated high school, she kicked me out. Here is why: I was sitting on the couch doing homework, my younger sister was in a chair reading a book. T asked me to do the dishes so I put my papers down and went into the kitchen. Both sinks and the counter were overflowing with dishes! I had just stayed the weekend with a friend so I hadn’t even used any dishes so I asked my sister if she wanted to help me so it would get done faster and she decided to be nice and put her book down. T told her to sit her butt down because I had to do it myself. All I said was, “that’s not right. I didn’t even use any of the dishes and all I want is a little help. If she’s willing to help me why can’t she?” Apparently it was the wrong thing to say because T said, “if you don’t like it then get out.” I didn’t even have a chance to open my mouth before she grabbed my arm, dragged my into the garrage, got some boxes, and threw my into my bedroom. She told me I had to be packed and out by the time they left for church that night. I had time to pack up a few outfits and my phone before she was at the door telling me I had to get out because they were leaving. She left me with nowhere to go and no money for food because I asked my sister to help me do dishes.

If you managed to read all that then you know I don’t have a good expierence with step-mothers but if either of them had reached out to me the way you did to your soon-to-be step-daughter I would have liked them a lot more.

Post # 12
Member
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

@gatorhailey YES…i will absolutely tell her if she doesn’t like it here get the hell out. She doesn’t do anything…she pretty much all but refuses to clean up after herself…she doesn’t contribute anything to the household AT ALL….the only thing she does is treat her father and brother badly and pretty much ignore me….she has no interest in getting a job but always asks dad for money…she knows i won’t give it to her. Don’t pass judgement on me when you haven’t walked in my shoes. Remember, as a 13 year old she told me to “go get f*cked and have my own kid”, and a year ago she told me to “f*ck off” because i asked her clean up her dishes she dirtied….SHE dirtied, no one elses (OMG she would NEVER touch anyone elses dirty dishes….when asked and only when asked she would put her stuff into the dishwasher and leave the other few dishes there. She really is a piece of work. Believe me, i’ve seen in 8 years what she has put her father thru and its not pretty….thank God he has had me for support.  I know some of you probably think i’m wrong, but like i said….walk in my shoes a mile and then pass judgement.

Post # 13
Member
2559 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@Kanebaby: No need to be defensive, I was not judging you. I was clarifying that you actually tell your stepdaughter that, not that that’s just the way you feel. I’m not a parent so I can’t be in your shoes. In my shoes as a stepdaughter, if my father’s “new wife” tried to tell me to get the hell out of our house, I would be horrified by her audacity. I would expect my father to handle punishment and parenting, as he’s my father and therefore the sole authority. But that’s just my situation and it certainly doesn’t apply to everyone! I’m sure you have valid reasons to do what you’re doing – I hope your situation gets better 🙂

Post # 14
Member
4824 posts
Honey bee

@Kanebaby: I dont want to hijack the thread, but it sounds like you are what she may need.  I am from a blended family. My step-father is fabulous and so is my mom. However, for some reason my mom is the “devil” to my step-fathers daughter (my age). It has take nearly 12+ years till she has started to come around and realize her problems were not the result of her new family. In fact, we are the solution.  Hang in there.

Post # 15
Member
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

Thanks for the support girls. I do know that one day she will appreciate me for being there for her when her mother wasn’t. I do the best i can but i refuse to be treated as a doormat. Most of the time i feel i’m best as support for her father who she treats horribly.

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