Stepdads harder on stepdaughter!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-09-2010, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I need help, my dh is driving me nuts! I have been married to dh for 6 years, dh has always expected more out of dd...respect, responsibility is a huge gripe for him. DD is an honor student in the 9th grade, she loves reading, video games and listening to her ipod. Dh gripes about her not getting outdoors and doing stuff..he calls it laziness. I try to tell him that everyone doesn't like the things that he does. DD's dad is not in the picture hardly, he might see her once a year. I feel like I am always having to referee the fights between them! Sometimes the fights start with dd making a smart remark..usually she's just picking at dh, sometimes he's in the mood to pick back..sometimes he goes off on her in a rant about respect and responsibility, yada yada! We have a 4 yo ds and ofcourse he can do no wrong. I swear sometimes dh is just laying in wait for dd to mess up! Me being the bio mom to dd, I choose my battles, I mean the girl is not a bad kid at all! It seems I can look over the small stuff, but dh will not look over anything! I've tried to explain to him that he looks over the small stuff with our ds...but, he thinks I am just taking dd's side..I swear they are both going to stress me into a straight jacket! Does anyone have any advice? I know I have rambled on here, but please help!
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#2 of 7 Old 02-09-2010, 10:38 PM
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My dh is starting to be like that a bit and after almost a year of weekly fights about it I let him know that I love him but I have a responsibility to my children first and I (or he) will leave if he doesn't change his attitude. They are kids bu he has no such excuse.
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#3 of 7 Old 02-10-2010, 02:08 AM
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With such a huge age difference between your son and daughter, it's kind of pointless to compare how one reacts to each of them. However, it does sound like your husband needs to learn to accept your daughter is not how he seems to think she ought to be personality-wise.

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#4 of 7 Old 02-11-2010, 05:55 PM
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My dd is 12. Same problem here only young sibs are 7 (ds) and 6 (dd) and dh is their dad.

His lack of patience withmy oldest dd is our most consistent ongoing argument, after 8 years.

We had a HUGE fight over it a couple of months ago and I almost left. He knows it. Things are better. After many, many conversations, it took me getting very mad and firmly stating if changes aren't made than I am done for anything to get better.

In an effort to all live in the same house, I make almost all decisions regarding my dd. He has been doing much better but we did definitely hit rock bottom first.

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#5 of 7 Old 02-11-2010, 10:29 PM
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I would keep a close eye on this if I were you. Your dd is the child, your dh is the adult. Even if he's in a stuck place in his relationship with her, he should come across as more thoughtful and in control of his reactions than that. It sounds to me like he's heaping the blame for the conflict on you and dd- not mature, not fair, and a situation that can quickly devolve into abuse. I saw it with my own (now ex) dh. He SLOWLY over time came to the point where he could admit that he was baiting my dd and that respect is a reciprocal thing. It took a lot of me firmly standing up to him- in front of her so she could see that I wouldn't let someone berate her. This process has finally come around to where I feel comfortable having her visit him for the weekends- she's 11 and we met when she was 2.

It might help for him to hear from a neutral party that favoritism isn't fair. I don't know- I wouldn't put up with that.

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#6 of 7 Old 02-12-2010, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank everyone for the replies!!! Someone mentioned dh baiting dd,..THAT is exactly what is going on!! I mean, if she was a troubled child or had issues..I could see the reasons for arguing, she is a great kid! She is very laid back and makes great honor society taking all pre-ap classes! I have decided to get her into counseling..hopefully it will include us all and get some issues out on the table and get through this mess! Sometimes I think dh is trying too hard and he doesn't see that dd is not like him, she likes to do things she's interested in..just because she doesn't go outside and do things..doesnt mean she's lazy! I grew up in a very abusive environment and I guess thats why I don not handle these issues well at all..when things escalate..I shut down! ..Or I blow a gasket on him! I just know the stress of this mess has pushed me to the boiling point!
Again..THANK YOU!!
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#7 of 7 Old 02-12-2010, 08:58 PM
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Not trying to make everything ok but have you thought that maybe your dh has a point on her needing to be more physically active -- he is saying she is physically lazy which is a valid issue. He is making a broad generalization that isn't right but at the same time physical activities are important. Maybe the two of them would benefit from taking up a physical activity together or as a family. Heck I have nagged at my kids to get up and move. Maybe help your dh and dd define physical laziness verses mental lazy issue. Does he have concerns that she might become obese if she doesn't become more physically active (this is the age when a lot of girls do because they stop the physical play and sports).

I do wonder if it isn't that it is his step-daughter but it is the curse of the first child. What you have complained about sounds to me more like first child issue rather than step-parent prejudgedist.

She is being coming a teen. She knows quite well how to bait him and therefor you into an argument. I have seen this behavior in my teen and preteen. Don't rush to either side, be diplomatic. Ask questions and validate both sides point of view. I use to leave stuff out to bug one of my mom's boyfriends. He was an awesome guy and a father figure to me. I don't know completely why I did this, but looking back I do feel at times I was challenging him to prove that he cared. By being a snot, I got his attention. Maybe you dh needs to tank her up on love and complements in a positive fashion (fun family physical action). I know I was "better" when my mom's boyfriend gave me praise, thanks, and compliments. She surly would be happier if he would acknowledge how she was not lazy and what she is good at.

I personally would encourage you to to list together what she does each day. Even list what she does at school. My dh jokes school my son's class schedule is a stair master work out.

I also think some teenage kids can be more disrespectful than others. This phase, IMO is cycler in nature for a few years -- all those growth hormones and transitions. I think some parents have harder time with this disrespectful behavior than others.
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