(Closed) SO's daughter, emotions running high

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 18
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

People will treat you the way you let them. You need to discipline her otherwise she will continue walking all over you. This is fixable. She is not going to go away so address the problem.

Post # 19
3949 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

If you don’t step up and discipline her than get used to this whole thing .. and her teenage years should be fun OR perhaps you could just dump her on her  grandparents they actually are willing to spend time with her without resentment.

Post # 20
450 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@MrsFarm0619:  It will get better *BIG HUGS*…Once she starts school (she has to eventually- no matter how loopy her mother sounds) she will interact with other children and very quickly work out that she isn’t the center of the universe.


Post # 21
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@MrsFarm0619:  SO and you just have to get tough. My little bro was this way when my mom was getting remarried and she and he just laid down the law. It sucks because you don’t want to be viewed as a mean parent to them but it’s way better than being a doormat to a whiney 4 year old. 

Post # 22
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - UK

@MrsFarm0619:  ” this is his daughter, his responsibility.”

If that’s the attitude you’re taking then no wonder the kid doesn’t like you. Like I said before and others have said after me, if you’re planning on sticking around, then you need to take a part in this child’s life and that means putting some work in and actually stepping up and doing something – like disciplining her. If you’ve been around her for two and a half years, you can’t put this behaviour all on her mum. If you’ve let it go on for this long then you are just as culpable, if not more so because you’re there letting it happen, whilst her mum only sees her separately from you.

Post # 25
7384 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

but when you have split parents there are fine lines that I CANNOT CROSS with raising and discipline.

I was JUST going to say this. As a kid who was raised by a single mom, this is SPOT. ON. I think the majority of my mother’s boyfriends tried to parent me, and it was appalling (the current one has and still tries to parent me in my mid-20s). Yes, there is a certain level of discipline that is going to have to happen, but the OP cannot outright start disciplining her like a parent. The kid’s attitude towards her has to change first, and that has to start with her dad. Unfortunately, her mother has to change, but that probably won’t happen.

Post # 26
126 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@chronicwhimsy:  +1 she doesnt know her boundaries with you an thats extremely confusing to a child. Therapy should not be your first option. You guys need to have a family meeting and you need to set some boundaries for her. Discipline is actually good for a child. I understand where your coming from on your not her mother why should you but step mother is a mother. My husband grew up in a family sort of this your SOs daughter is. His step mother put her foot downand gave boundaries and hes now very close with her. This will work especially if her real mom isnt giving her set boundaries.

Post # 27
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - UK

@MrsFarm0619:  I apologise for seeming harsh, but it sounded an awful lot like you were trying to just shift any responsibility for this child’s welfare off you, and it’s not going to help you to do that. I know there are fine lines, but if you’re in this for the long haul with her father, then you will need to take responsibility for her discipline at some point – you can’t spend her whole life, and your whole relationship, going “not my problem” because it will build resentment between both you and her and you and your SO. I was blunt, and I am sorry, but it’s because I was concerned that the path you were taking seemed essentially self-destructive and self-defeatist.  Like it or not, if you stay with your SO, she IS going to be your family, and you will have to act as such. It will be more pleasant if you esetablish yourself properly now than have to try and mend relationships that have been damaged early on. Kids can sense when there’s a “don’t care” attitude, which is what it sounds like from your posts – this may not be the case, but text doesn’t display nuances as well as speech.

 But this is why it’s important that you discuss things with your SO to establish rules which work for both of you and to help you and this little girl build a workable relationship. I wasn’t expecting you to jump in right off the bat – it’s important that your SO is involved in this, and not least for consistency’s sake, but to support you.

I do want things to work out well for you, and I was simply trying to be honest, and I’m sorry it came across badly.

Post # 28
498 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

The comments you made have given me the impression that you do not think very highly of the little girl’s mother and that you do consider the little girl to be a nuisance. From my experience, children have a sixth sense about these types of people that date their parents. I don’t think your relationship with her is ruined forever, but I think the only person that can fix it is you (not dad, not mom). You’re going to have to start from scratch to build a relationship with her. If that means playing with her instead of cleaning and making sure you are doing everything you can to interact with her positively and watching what you say about things regarding her mother, then you should do it. I disagree that it is up to the biological parent to “parent” children. Someday you will be married to her father and she needs to learn that you are also an adult that should be respected. The only way she will respect you is if she is able to look up to you as a positive influence and from your description of the situation, I’m not so sure that she’s getting those vibes from you.

Post # 29
1884 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I’m in the “this is normal” camp… First off, she’s only 4 years old so her behavior is pretty on par with my expereinces with 4 yr olds- little terrors sometimes, even to ppl they love!  Secondly, you’re still the “new girl” to her- no matter what her parents relationship was before you odds are that since they are mommy & daddy she always expected them to be together- b/c that’s what society tells us mommy & daddy’s do… I think she’ll get over it but also that you can’t let her just walk all over you the way she has been- it’s only encouraging her. I would talk to your SO & set some discipline boundaries with him, or like you mentioned let his mom takeover. Maybe she’s just getting annoyed at being around the “new girl” so often- you may find your relationship improves with less time together. 

My parents divorced & my mom got remarried when I was maybe 12. Even at that age, I was a down right bratty bitch to my new step-father. I never said anything to his face but did to my mom & dad all the time. I saw him as the person breaking up my family dream world when in fact it was all my mother’s doing & our family was no-where near perfect to begin with- It was just easier for me to hate the outside person…. It took some time (maybe 3-5yrs) but we have a great relationship now, after a few very stern talking too’s from him, I realized I can have two dads that both love me equally, & it especially helped seeing all the ways my mom has grown since they’ve been together. 

Counseling might be a good idea, she sounds like she just needs someone impartial to talk to about such a confusing time… 

Post # 30
5191 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

So here’s the deal….. children will do whatever they can get away with. It’s their job to test behavioral boundaries. It’s part of how they learn to be civilized instead of wild things. You and your SO need to have several discussions with each other to establish what the boundaries are in your household and what the consequences are for violating those boundaries. You have to both be 100% on board with the plan and willing to implement it at all times, whether it is one or both of you present, whether you are tired or cranky or fed up or whatever. It’s all about fairly setting the rules and consistently enforcing them.

And your SO needs to have as many heart-to-heart convesations as is necessary to help this little girl understand that while he respects her mommy and loves the little girl very much, he and mommy will never live together. He loves you and is planning to live a life with you and the little girl as a happy family when little girl is at his house. And he expects little girl to be nice to you because you care for little girl and want to have a happy family.

In addition to boundary setting, you and your SO need to have seperate bonding times with her as well as regularly scheduled family activities. Now I don’t mean taking her out for ice cream 3 times a week or buying her a new babrie every time you see her. Play Chutes & Ladders with her, go to the playground, attend story time at the library, paint her toenails, and do other little things that help her develop positive memories of you. You are not her Mother, but you are a female authority figure who cares about her (or you should), so you need to embrace that role.

If this doesn’t work, get professional help. There is nothing wrong in admitting that you all could use some help to gel and be happy.

And if none of this works, and you just don’t bond with this child, then maybe this is not the right relationship for you to be in. 

Post # 31
747 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@plzhalp:  I completly agree.

OP: I think your comments hint at your frustration and dislike of this child, and I highly suspect she gets that vibe from you as well. In order for a child to listen to you they need to either love you, and want to make you happy, or fear you. That means that your first step with this little girl, needs to be to establish a loving relationship with her. No matter how many boundries you impose upon her, she will not listen to you unless she respects and loves you first.

That needs to be your first priority, then you can worry about her behavior.

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