stepchild ungrateful and disrespectful of others belongings - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-10-2011, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I am in a realy crappy situation with my sdd and I don't really know what to do. My dh and I have had custody of sdd since she was 2.5, she is now 12, up until about 5 years ago, when her mom had another kid, her mother was mostly absent, now she comes around more frequently and sdd is starting to act more and more like she doesn't want to be here. She even makes little remarks about how things are sooo much better at her mom's. (When really her mom is never around, does nothing for her, and puts her in situations she should not be in, and the only reason sdd things are better, is because she gets to do basically whatever she wants with no regard for anything or anyone. ) This is becoming a problem, because now, when she is home, she is completely ungrateful for anything we do for her, I never get even a thank you for anything, even if I do something that is totally inconvient for me. It is like she just expects us all to bend over backwards for her, and what is worse it that she is very disrespectful of other people's property. She does pretty much what she wants to anything she wants. For example, for Christmas, we got her an American Girl Doll, something she has been asking for for months, I gave it to her early because we were excited. Of course there was no thank you for that, bu what really bothered me, was later I found that she had taken the clothes off of one of MY handmade dolls and when she realized that the arm holes did not fit her dolls arms, she just cut off the arms. She didn't even ask or anything. She knew it was mine, but she did it anyway. Another example is this weekend, my 2 yr old won a very pretty crown (not a play crown, but a nice crystal crown)and after that, we went to eat at the mall and without asking me, sdd took it inside for dd to play with, and let her drop it on the ground popping out one of the crystals. I also constantly find things in her room that are cut up or messed up that are not even hers, and when I say something about it, it is like she doesn't understand why I could possibly be mad. I just don't know what to do. Her dad isn't around a lot, because he works out of town, so he doesn't see it, and when I complain, he acts like I am overreacting. I don't have this problem with any of my other kids. What do I do? How do I set boundaries and make her follow them?

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#2 of 5 Old 01-22-2011, 08:35 AM
 
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You and your DH have to be on the same page regarding consequences and what behaviors require consequences. For me, destruction of property would be something worthy of a consequence. The crown thing I might chalk up to an accident. You said she brought it in for your 2 year old to play with and your 2 year old dropped it. I'm not sure I would consider that to be intentional on your DSDs part. I try to make consequences natural and logical. Maybe if she destructs property of someone else's, she isn't allowed to use their things? I'm not sure what the consequence should be, but I am sure that you and your DH have to agree on it ahead of time and also be consistent.

 

I hear ungratefulness is common in that age group. I admit it would be maddening. I think teaching children gratitude is necessary. I haven't dealt with that particular thing so much, so I don't have any advice there. Maybe a heart to heart talk that it makes you sad to do so much for her, to spend a great deal of time and energy to bring her happiness and you feel unappreciated?

 

Do you spend 1 on 1 time with her? Sometimes I take my DSD out just the 2 of us and leave the baby with DH. I find that spending quality 1 on 1 time with DSD and letting her know how blessed I am to have her in my life really helps our relationship.

 

I hope things improve with you soon. Being a good stepparent is hard, hard work. I think I question myself daily. hug2.gif

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#3 of 5 Old 01-22-2011, 08:45 AM
 
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1. Ungratefulness is common at 12. As is rejecting the parental figure (read: you and dh) as a way of forming identity. Think of it as 12 is the new 2.

 

2. The doll dress thing is a problem and requires teaching about property and  making amends.

 

3. But the crown thing is all you. She brought it in thinking her little sister would like to play with it. It was up to you as the parent to tell your children that the crown was going to be a toy for at home if you didn't think your 2 year old could handle it.

 

So I think you need to take things case by case and not let yourself get caught up in seeing everything as part of a 12 year old's conspiracy.

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#4 of 5 Old 01-22-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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Just what I was gonna say...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

1. Ungratefulness is common at 12. As is rejecting the parental figure (read: you and dh) as a way of forming identity. Think of it as 12 is the new 2.

 

2. The doll dress thing is a problem and requires teaching about property and  making amends.

 

3. But the crown thing is all you. She brought it in thinking her little sister would like to play with it. It was up to you as the parent to tell your children that the crown was going to be a toy for at home if you didn't think your 2 year old could handle it.

 

So I think you need to take things case by case and not let yourself get caught up in seeing everything as part of a 12 year old's conspiracy.




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#5 of 5 Old 02-03-2011, 05:09 PM
 
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i agree with the other, although sd is well old enough to understand and respect other peoples property. if she hs an allownace i would make her pay restitution for damages to others items or replacement. otherwise i would make her work at a fair hourly wage at chores in the house/yard what have you to 'pay' for the damages. the crown incident sounds like an accident, i am sure she didnt mean for it to drop and i would glue the crystal back in and have a talk about other peoples things, even smaller people have rights to their own things not being handled by sibs or others.

 

she owes you not only an apology for ruining your doll, but restitution for that as well. your dh is using the pod (poor child of divorce) excuse for her behaviour and that will get her  no where in life but expecting to get away with any actions she chooses and to have no real consequences because she has been taught by her father that she can do this because of her disability in being a pod. his refusal to believe you when you tell him what is going on or tell you that you are over reacting would have me suggesting another form of care for his dd while he is out of town. it gives his daughter far far too much power in the household in his opinion of the goings on while he is away. he either believes you or suffers guilt for being away and is going to  let her misbehave to absolve himself of that guilt by placing the blame for her behaviour on your failure to be fair or to understand. i would have to call b**s** on that and his opinion.  you are the woman of the house, you are his partner, as his equal in the home,  he should believe and support you in your feelings and view points before those of any of the children involved. this would have me mad as a wet hen and in heavy negotiations regarding responsibility and his respect of me in our house.

 

as for the general disrespect and ungratefulness, as the mother of four dd's and two sd's yes they are that way at 12, it lasts about four to five years then they become that nice child you once knew again. at least that was my experience so far :wink

 

vs

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