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So frustrated..NEVERMIND.....REPOSTS #9 - Page 2

post #21 of 48
If you don't want her to have food issues, don't make food an issue! She can't learn to regulate her own body and recognize its needs if food is a control thing within a family conflict. Just let it go.

So far as "she's only 6" goes - well, she is, and it can be hard as a stepmom to recognize what that means (speaking as a stepmom myself). Looking back I think I thought that my stepdaughter at 6 was more 'with it' and logical and just 'older' than she really was. It took experiencing 6 again with another child to realize that I was off in understanding where she was at developmentally.

Yes, some of her behavior probably comes from the mom-dad dynamic, but it can be easy to chalk up everything to that and see red. Some of it is just her being 6, and being her own little person - seeing it through the biomom/dad dynamic is just going to make you mad, not help you deal with it.
post #22 of 48
I have never felt my younger kids were in any way effected by the way my older skids behave. I simply told them that I am not the mommy of those older skids but I am their mommy so my rules are the rules for them. My kids are similar in age to your child. This to me is one of those non issues that people glom onto to in order to justify continued involvement in parenting a step child who is rejecting the parenting, esp in cases where the bio parent in the home is not choosing to parent the step kid the way the step parent would prefer.
post #23 of 48
Thread Starter 
Her issues with food are issues set forth by her biomom and dh and I both know this.....I've stepped in with the food issues when I see her sister start to mimic them. I will not have the 2yo who loves food spit her food out after chewing it bc her sister does....it's the only time she does it....DH gets upset with the 2yo for it but not his first child...THAT'S WHERE MY INTERFERENCE mostly comes in.....I'm tired of hearing that the 6yo can't help it..she can, she has before, she chooses not to. plain and simple....I know this, dh knows this, others who have seen it know this......I do let it go until it starts affecting dd.....

I know what 6 is...I've done childcare for years....I've seen many different 6 year olds....some with behavior issues, some without, some who hey, they're just 6. but when it's used as an excuse for EVERYTHING that is done wrong attitude and behavior wise without guidence for how to do it better or in a differnet way, I don't think it can be an excuse anymore....I mean, you know by what I have wrote, which is alot but it isn't if that makes sense, but you aren't here when she is here to witness it.....see it happen....Our neighbor whom we are very good friends with (4+ years) never saw it until about a year ago and completly agrees with me...her DH too. She is the one that brought up a few things to me coming from a blended family herself. So, it's not just me feeling this way...it's not just me thinking that the she's only 6 thing wears thin after hearing it over and over and over as an excuse.....Yes, I know she's 6. I've had lots of experience with 6, which is why my approaches have changed over the years...just trying to find something that works....i don't know how to phrase that better so it doesn't come off like I am trying to FIX her, I'm not, just trying to make it easier for all of us to live with her right now bc right now, it's a house with her father and her and her sister and me and that's not right....and it's as much as her actions that have caused it as much as it is her father's lack of I don't know...


My 2yo isn't old enough to understand that I am not the mommy of her sister.....she will when she is older, but it's hard for me when I tell her that what she is doing isn't right and she can't do it when she sees her sister get away with it without anything being said to her......I think it would be confusing at her age. There really isn't any parenting going on in the house....DH is trying to be best friend/buddy buddy, the same thing that he yells about his ex doing with her but he thinks it's ok for him to do and not her.....otherwise, there is no parenting.....It's not that he's not parenting the way I would like him to, it's just that he's not parenting.....All I am asking is for him to let her know when she is wrong, that she shouldn't disrespect anyone, to be nice to others, to not push, hit, smack her sister.....that's not alot to ask....I dont think it is.....

The one thing I do know however is that I won't just become complacent in my house when she is here and let her walk all over me, her father (well, that's his choice) and be mean to her sister who loves her and misses her dearly when she is gone, who asks about her.....who when her sister gets here runs up to hug her and gets pushed away heartbroken, whose father allows it to happen and then MAYBE will have a chat with her about it 2 days later......

I don't know...the feeling I am getting is that I should just sit idly by and watch it all happen, no interference, just let things play out......but how will that change anything??? It won't. Things will remain the same, maybe get worse....Dd has been pushed too many times bc her sister thinks that she may put a foot inside her room when all she wants it to go and get a hug from her big sister.....She was pushed to the ground yesterday....I told Sd that it wasn't nice to do it and why did she do it and she said bc she felt like it and didn't want her in her room and I asked her how close she was to the door adn she said not real close but she was almost there and she did't want her there so she pushed her.....SD told DH when he called to see when her mom was coming to get her that dd had been in her room playing with things...at least he knew that was lie bc he put that big ol doorknob cover thing on the door the other night when dd tried to get in to see them.....but he didn't chat with her about how pushing her sister down was wrong when she came home later that day....

I don't know..that's just where I am...I didn't expect everyone to agree with me....but I didn't expect to hear just stay out of it bc that is just making things worse.....

I'm going to sit down again this weekend and chat with DH to see if he will take any of the suggestions given here...bc it's just as much him, more right now but I'm not gonna agrue that with him......
post #24 of 48
i understand your frustration with your dsd but i think its more your dh that is to blame here.
having said taht, i woudl NOT allow any of my children or anyone else's children to push or hit my child. period.
it sounds like dsd is with you while dh is at work. that wouldnt work for me unless i was able to have some authority over her. not that you have a right to be mean to her, and it doesnt sound like you are, but how can you watch (babysit whatever) a child without having the authority to discipline. and i am referring to GD here, not something else.
if anyone ever hit my 2 year old, they would definitely have consequences. period. sorry..but i just dont play like that. violence is not an option in my home.
i hate to say this, but if i were in your situation with your dh not responding to issues, i would refuse to "babysit" dsd (please dont flame me here..i dont know what else to call it when you watch your step children and ive never really been in that situation).
i dont know that im helpful..probalby not..but i have ears and shoulders.
hope you get some resolution soon. is there any way you could seek family therapy?
post #25 of 48
Listening to it more, I don't think this is about biomom. I think this is about the man you married setting the women in his lives one against another: he plays his ex-wife off against you, his first daughter off against his second daughter, his eldest daughter off against you- and so on.
I'll stand by what I said: 6 is a blooming awful age. I don't mean that you should let her get away with anything, but I don't think it's at all unusual for 6yos to look for less responsibility than they did two years previous. It's down to you whether you assume that she'll get back up to speed when you're ready, or if you choose to nag a little.
I think the question has to be asked here: is this a dealbreaker? Because you aren't going to be the one to change this girls behaviour. She is, and right now she doesn't believe that there's anything wrong with the way she's acting because mummy and daddy are acting like she's their precious little princess- so unless you get your dh on side, she's going to continue down her current path. So, if your dh doesn't change (and you can't make him- but you can help him realise why he needs to), what's the implications for your marriage?
post #26 of 48
My situation isn't this extreme at all, but I know that dh feels guilty that his first child went through a divorce and that younger ds has his mommy in the house so he gives extra attention and spends extra time with his first born. . . but it has to be balanced with family time and time with the younger one. I agree that your dh is the problem here. HE needs to make it clear that dsd needs to respect ALL adults in her life-- babysitters, relatives, teachers, STEPMOMS! In his house, that is the rule, period. You can't change biomom, but kids understand different rules at different houses.

Instead of focusing on dsd's behavior, it seems like it is time for the ground rules to be set for the whole family. WRite them down if you all need to, but they seem simple. No hitting. No pushing. No lying. No spitting out food at the table (bad manners). I don't think you can make some one eat, so seriously, give up on that one, but you can expect children to sit with the family at meal times and not spit out food in front of other people. That's just gross!

Step back, stepmamaing gets so emotionally messy. You can't change biomom, you can't change dh (but get him on board, your needs are reasonable), or dsd, but you can have consequences for her behavior. Will dh accept it when your younger child slams doors and hits other children or does he just make exceptions for the older daughter?

Guilt is powerful. For years I have been hearing how bad everyone feels for dss because he went through a terrible divorce. MIL and DH treat him like he's been injured, but I always thought that dss had so many things going for him and he's a great kid!

Not to get all Dr. Phil on you, but if dh won't change, you still have to.
post #27 of 48
Thread Starter 
I've been trying Flor, it's just hard....I'm not asking DH to change, I know he won't, just bend a bit.....

And yes, exceptions are made...

I'm gonna make up one of those ground rules things and sit with DH this weekend and chat about it...All the things you've said, are the rules but maybe seeing them on paper will help...

Thanks so much.

SD btw was 1 when they split up....she was sleeping with his best friend.....now that's a Dr. Phil show.....hahahha
post #28 of 48
I've been following your story and responded to a post you wrote awhile back. I have so much sympathy for you because this stuff is TOUGH. The thing that kills me about step parenting is the total lack of control I have over the step child, and the dynamic between DH and his ex. I have to work on it all the time, in terms of learning to let go.

My step son changed dramatically when i got pregnant 2.5 years ago (he was 13 at the time). I've had many feelings about it, from feeling sorry for him to being angry with him. He's 16 now, so at least so I've been able to talk to him very openly about how we've both changed. We decided we were going to be honest with each other and that we didn't always have to like each other.

Maybe you can tell your Step daughter how you feel when she acts a certain way? Let her know that it affects you, not in a guilt trippy way.

I feel like you're at the end of your rope after trying for years to be patient and hoping that things will work out. What you describe is very difficult to live with. I hate to say it, but I agree with flapjack in terms of wondering if this isn't a dealbreaker and an issue that will eventually end the marriage. I hope not, but you sound like you're feeling more and more desperate and your partner seems unwilling to listen and work with you on it. I just don't know what to say except I hope for the best for you and your DD. I'll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

j
post #29 of 48
how are things going? have you had a chance to speak with your dh?
post #30 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by choochymama
I've been following your story and responded to a post you wrote awhile back. I have so much sympathy for you because this stuff is TOUGH. The thing that kills me about step parenting is the total lack of control I have over the step child, and the dynamic between DH and his ex. I have to work on it all the time, in terms of learning to let go.

My step son changed dramatically when i got pregnant 2.5 years ago (he was 13 at the time). I've had many feelings about it, from feeling sorry for him to being angry with him. He's 16 now, so at least so I've been able to talk to him very openly about how we've both changed. We decided we were going to be honest with each other and that we didn't always have to like each other.

Maybe you can tell your Step daughter how you feel when she acts a certain way? Let her know that it affects you, not in a guilt trippy way.

I feel like you're at the end of your rope after trying for years to be patient and hoping that things will work out. What you describe is very difficult to live with. I hate to say it, but I agree with flapjack in terms of wondering if this isn't a dealbreaker and an issue that will eventually end the marriage. I hope not, but you sound like you're feeling more and more desperate and your partner seems unwilling to listen and work with you on it. I just don't know what to say except I hope for the best for you and your DD. I'll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

j
Thanks mama..I remember your post.....

I have tried to talk to sd about how she makes me feel but I get a blank stare....others have tried too and they get the same blank stare.....no remorse for hurting others, others feelings....just that she didn't get her way and now her dad and I are mad at her for doing wrong.....

I have thought about this being a dealbreaker and that sometimes love just isn't enough to carry us......but then it will get better for a bit and I treasure the time she isn't here, but then I feel guilty bc it is so calm at the house...it's a catch 22 right now with how I feel......

Hopefully our talk this weekend helps a bit....a start possibly...

I didnt do it last night like I had originally planned to bc he got home from work in the best mood (sd isn't here until monday) and stopped at the store to get steaks, potatos and some beer (my favorite kind) bc he had a fantastic day at work AND out of the blue they gave him a $2/hr raise (he just got the same in november).....so I didn't want to bring it down....

Thanks for all the thoughts mamas...they are very much appreciated.....

Maybe this is the rock bottom and it will only go up from here???????
post #31 of 48
your dh may not be like this, but one of the "tricks" my dh pulls when he knows that we need a serious discussion is to do something really nice for me so i wont want to ruin his mood, kwim? of course, i sometimes do the same to him.

i have a friend whose daughter gives the blank stare when she is being disciplined (even if it isnt really anything other than asking her why she did something or whatever). it drives me crazy but this child has the blank stare as a mechanism for dealing with anyone callign her on anythign she does. i had to call her dad one night when she spent the night with me (sleepover with a bunch of kids) b/c something was wrong and i kept trying to find out what it was but all she would do was stare blankly into space. it was really eery to me. i dont konw if thats what you are experiencing or not. my friends little girl is 5 right now.
post #32 of 48
At two my son understood that I was not his stepsibs mama. I don't think that is an issue.

And yes you do correct your child for spitting food out "but sister just did that" and you reply "Nevertheless we don't spit food out at the table in our house!" firm and final. Your child will test it and poke about but you just hold firm. Don't say it is rude or any of that judgement stuff as if her mom does it that would be you judging mom. Just leave it be.

Yes, you do watch a lot happen in your own home but the deal is this child has two parents and your kids has YOU so get onto working on your kid. Let him manage his.

if he won't manage his then make him recompensate you for what you endure. Make it his problem and he will eventually step up and do his job- or he will make your life so easy you don't notice anymore. Her table mannors are rude then stop eating with her, you and daughter eat alone- invite dh to attend two meals- yours and one with daughter...you only cook for your meal (if you cook). Do what needs to be done and let dh know that as soon as he feels he can make sure the table mannors are fit for the rest of you then you will eat together.

As for hitting and pushing- well my skids did this too and no it isn't OK. Just send them to their room. Now that I have two bios of similar age I can't tell you how often my older hits the younger...to your room- again and again and again. Make them look in the eye and apologize. This I certainly did do and I had logical consequneses- my skids treat my kids badly then they weren't going to get much from me favor wise. EVERYTHING I do for them is a favor that they can loose. Cooking nice food vs gruel, driving them places, letting them go play with friends...it is all things I do because I am wanting to make their visit pleasent- if they don't return the favor then I am disinclined to keep trying and they get that OUR relationship (skids and mine) is a mutually reciprocal relationship. They do and I do becuase we both have some reason to do it. IF they are not kind I am too tired to help them later on. Love and logic for the step mom.

It is bloody miserable being out of control in your house but the fact is you ARE out of control. The skid doesn't accept your input and your dh doesn't back you so all I am saying is accept that and start to control what you CAN control because there is a lot you can control once you stop trying to control the things that you really can't control.
post #33 of 48
Thread Starter 
I am not OUT OF CONTROL and I take serious offense to that.....

I can't control much at my house these days but I can CONTROL how dd's sister treats her when she is here....and I will NOT tolerate the behavior TOWARDS her sister when she is here....it's just not acceptable in any shape or form....normal sibling fighting, sure, but this is not what happens....

SD doesn't care if she loses favors, or loses out on doing things..I am not the one who suggests taking them away, DH actually does that but she's fine with it....she missed MANY dance classes this year bc of her behavior here and she just said ok, whatever...those consequences for when classes start in the fall there will be no classes....DH brought it up with me and I told him it was his decsion but I didn't see the point in paying through the nose for everything involved when she really didn't want to do the classes, didn't care if she missed them, didn't care if she went...they were her mothers idea in the first place but the classes fell on OUR day so we spend our tuesday evenings doing that. If she wanted to take Dance it would have to be on a day when she was with her mom and he said he'd been thinking about that for awhile and I told him, well, next time tell me....MEN.....It's just that she doesn't have any remorse for anything she does wrong or what she does to people.....Her father finally saw this this last weekend and I think that's when I saw the lightbulb flicker in his head that hey, maybe she (being me) isn't wrong and this really is happening.....

We've tried the dining separate but dd cries bc she wants to eat with daddy....and that's not fair to her.....I just moved our places around so now DH has to look at her and watch her do what she does...Maybe having an eagle eye view will help with him realizing this isn't right.....

Like I said, the only thing in my house right now I have any control over whatsoever is my dd and myself....nothing else.....and hwo she is treated...whether or not my husband backs me up with some stuff...she is my first priority right now....that became clear the past weekend. Yes, my marriage should be my first priority, but right now, it's my daughter.....she cried way to much this weekend at the hands of her sister. And that's just not right...

I know you disagree with me and you have that right.....but I didn't come here to get warmed (not flamed) by the fire, I came here for advice and an ear and I got that from many mamas......most of whom didn't tell me how out of control I was, how wrong I was....My family is already split in half, sides, by doing what you suggest, will thicken that line, at least at this time. In the future, maybe it wouldn't..but right now, it will...

This week has been so plesant....meals have been fantastic, chatting, laughter, time has been spent as a family.....I know all that will come to a sudden stop on monday and there isn't anything I can do about it....hopefully soon I will stop feeling that looming dread when monday comes around or the friday we get her for 5 days, I would love for that to happen, but not until the behavior starts to change....a glimmer would work for me at this point....
post #34 of 48
I don't think anyone here's attacking/flaming you - you're really angry and upset right now, and I wonder if really what you need this forum for is more to vent than to get advice? That's ok, it happens.

I think there are a few of us here who have been to hell and back with step/ex issues, and who probably have some insights. On the other hand, everyone needs to come to things in their own time, and I know that if someone had given me advice a few years ago, that looks anything like what I've come to now, I would have thought they'd totally missed the boat.
post #35 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2
I don't think anyone here's attacking/flaming you - you're really angry and upset right now, and I wonder if really what you need this forum for is more to vent than to get advice? That's ok, it happens.

I think there are a few of us here who have been to hell and back with step/ex issues, and who probably have some insights. On the other hand, everyone needs to come to things in their own time, and I know that if someone had given me advice a few years ago, that looks anything like what I've come to now, I would have thought they'd totally missed the boat.
i know that's prolly not what's going on it's just the last post struck a nerve....I'm not so much angry as more upset and hurt....i came to get advice and to vent...most of the advice is great but i will not disengage from my family.....i will not live as roomates with my husband and our child...what does that show dd????

i know many of you have been step mama's alot longer than i have and i have taken much of what you have said her to heart and have written it down and plan to bring it up with DH when we chat about things this weekend...tomorrow prolly.....I'm not a bad person, I love this child.....I just want to stop feeling like my dd and I are guests in our own house...it's gone on for too long now....

thanks mama......
post #36 of 48
I hope it works out! Of course you and your daughter shouldn't have to walk on eggshells or feel like guests. I'm sure if you can get to where you feel like you and your husband are on the same team, it will all be a lot easier to deal with. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

(oh, but really, I was serious about not making food an issue - her behavior pushes all your buttons because you don't want it to affect your daughter, and it also reminds you of her mother's unlovely qualities, but if your stepdaughter is seriously into control right now and gets poor eating behavior modelled at mom's, the BEST thing you can do for her is to just be very matter-of-fact about food, not comment AT ALL on how much she eats, and let it go. She'll never get a chance to learn if she's full or not or what she really likes to eat, if she's all focused in on food as a weapon in family conflict. Please take it out of the equation! )
post #37 of 48
Gianna.
Look I can relate. I have my sd now and it can really make summer tough. I am also an "abused" "new" wife and it stinks. I try to do the best I can because I want to be a GOOD person, no matter who it involves. My sd either acts as if she has no respect or puts on this sad little face to pout for several hours like she's 4 (she is 11).
I think you did the right thing. You are NOT her drop of sitter. You ARE the stepmom/nurturer/leader you are NOT there to be abused by the mother.
Hang in there and message me anytime. I feel your pain.
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabbi
Gianna.
Look I can relate. I have my sd now and it can really make summer tough. I am also an "abused" "new" wife and it stinks. I try to do the best I can because I want to be a GOOD person, no matter who it involves. My sd either acts as if she has no respect or puts on this sad little face to pout for several hours like she's 4 (she is 11).
I think you did the right thing. You are NOT her drop of sitter. You ARE the stepmom/nurturer/leader you are NOT there to be abused by the mother.
Hang in there and message me anytime. I feel your pain.
*please keep in mind I don't have time to read the whole thread today

still though. s all the way around.
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by goosysmom

I know you disagree with me and you have that right....
I don't think I am disagreeing with you. I am agreeing that the only thing you have power over is you and your daughter and your (obviously you can't control your dh or your daughter-or any one but yourself- but you can influence strongly their behavior)

I am agreeing that she can't hit your child and that you must step in to stop that.

I am agreeing that it is rough to live like this.

I am even understanding how it sucks to eat seperatly and to endure all this garbage. Belive me I understand!

But the problem is your dh not your sd. It sounds like taking the privilage of dance isn't a great privilage to take as it isn't motivating her. Have you read a love and logic book? It might be a good read as it talks a lot about finding your child's key. Your sd has a different key. Now you can't make your dh parent her but you can certainly control what you are willing to do for your sd.

Write a list of EVERYTHING you personally do for your sd. Do you do laundry? Do you cook? Do you clean at all? Do you drive her places? Provide any childcare? These items are all items when you have power and control. THIS is where you focus your energy.

If my skids won't behave I find that I am "too tired" from managing their garbage to do these things anymore. So there is a standoff on some topic (don't hit your brother for example....) I would move my child to a safe place and admonish my steps with an ominouse..."wow, that could be really sad for you" and then when later on in the day they ask for anything that *I* do for them I would remind them that they hurt my child and I am way too tired from comforting my child to possibly have the energy to do that. They quickly learn to treat me and my child with respect no matter what they do towards their father or when he is parenting them. I do get treated differently than he does. They know that treating me badly "could be sad for them" and will be. Conversly if they are great I am quick to notice, complement and reward. OUR relationship turned around quickly once I started this.
post #40 of 48
Oh golly, if it works for you MommyMine, it's your call, but theominous "could be sad for you" thing FREAKS me out! I don't have a problem with the basic correlation of "you treat someone shabbily/they won't feel like doing nice stuff for you", but the lingo is creepy...at least to me....

And hey, the end result you're going for is a functioning family unit that includes everyone in it on fair and equal terms, so it's probably a good idea to watch the "MY kid" vs "skid" distinctions.
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