step daughter doesn't get way so she moves to grandmas - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-26-2011, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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my sd and me got along great until she hit about 9. Now she just turned 15 and is making my life a living hell, she used to call me mom and now she calls me by my first name, I asked her why she started calling me Wendy and she said she just doesn't feel like calling me mom anymore, I told her that hurt me a lot and that upset her so she said she would call me love instead, I figured that was fine. my sd and I were getting along fine until she snuck into our house with her bf and I caught her. I offered to keep the info to myself as long as she was honest with me. Well, she kept lying and lying and so I told her Dad and then my sd said she wanted nothing to do with me and she moved to Grandmas. I overheard my sd saying she wanted to move to her grandmas for the summer like last year because shes allowed to party more and gets more booze free and has no curfew which her dad and I disagree with but her dad thinks its his daughters choice on where she wants to live. My sd contacts me every now and again but only if she needs a ride somewhere or some form of favor. I don't know what to do, I love her dearly and miss her very much but I don't want to be used. Do you think this is just a phase and I should just continue loving her and being there for me when she needs me or should I not do her any more favors until she appologises to me or tries to make things right. Please somebody help me, this is driving me crazy!!!!


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#2 of 5 Old 05-01-2011, 06:11 PM
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I wish I had a lot of answers for you, but I'm having some problems getting along with my 12yo SD right now and I don't feel like I have any answers at all. But I couldn't read and not post!


In my experience, if your DH isn't on the same page as you, there's not much you can do. Stepparent's role is primarily to support the biological parent in the raising of their own child.  Not getting along with parents is a normal teenage phase that will pass, partying and booze is something altogether different. You should continue loving your SD but you don't have to let her use you. There's a difference in being there when she needs you and giving her and her friends a ride to the mall, or whatever. Talk with her and let her know how her behavior hurts you, but don't demand an apology.


Good luck, I know how hard this can be!

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#3 of 5 Old 05-02-2011, 06:20 AM
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I'm sorry you're in such an upsetting situation.  She sounds like a typical teenage girl...except she's getting away with more because you're not her biological mother and her father feels like she should get to choose where she lives.  


If you and he were both her bio. parents, you could insist that she continue calling you Mom, because it's rude to call your parents by their first names; and your DH would probably tell her moving in with Grandma is not an option, that you guys are her parents and she will have to live by your rules until she's ready to support herself.


When teenagers test the boundaries like she is, of course they think they want freedom.  But (my theory is that) they feel more secure and loved if their parents stand up to them and enforce the boundaries.


Think about toddlers.  They push boundaries and get outraged when parents reinforce them, because they want to do what they want, when they want.  Yet, it's obvious to parents AND to the toddlers themselves that the toddler's world would be pretty scary if they ACTUALLY got to be in charge of everything.  So, even if only subconsciously, it's reassuring to toddlers to see:  "Even when I act completely rotten and make it MISERABLE for Mommy and Daddy to enforce their rules, they STILL won't let me do things that are bad for me.  Because they LOVE me.  So it's SAFE for me to be a kid and test new things b/c I can TRUST my parents to stay in charge, even when I make it hard."


It's SOMEwhat different with teens, because they DO need to be taking charge of some things in their lives.  But, deep down, they know they're not yet ready to be COMPLETELY in charge in their own lives.  So it's still reassuring to know their parents ARE still in charge; that they can trust their parents to look out for them and OVERRULE them, when they're doing the wrong thing - EVEN if the teen makes it absolutely miserable for her parents to take care of her!


I also think when a teenage girl stops calling someone "Mom" and starts using her 1st name, she is testing whether the relationship can now be one of equals.  I think it would be comforting for her to have it reinforced that, no, the relationship hasn't changed.  You are still her Mom.  You still have protection, guidance and reassurance to offer her that is over and above what her equals - her friends - can give her.  You still have a love for her that's so powerful and enduring that you deserve a special name that she doesn't call anyone else.  Even if she's a PITA, you are not abdicating the role of mother.  You're in it, thick or thin.  However, it IS awkward for you to demand that she go back to calling you Mom, when you both know you're not her biological mother.  


HOWEVER, your DH could definitely make her move home!  The two of you could sit down with her and explain you made a mistake.  Until she's old enough to support herself, she's not old enough to decide where she's going to live, or whether she's going to have boys in her room, or how much she's going to party.  You love her and, in setting rules that seem inconvenient or uncool now, you are thinking about her future:  trying to prevent early pregnancy, or partying so much it affects her school performance.  You don't want the quality of her adult life to be hampered by her silly decision-making and priorities, at 15.  It doesn't matter if she agrees with you, or likes it!  You love her enough to LET her be mad at you. You understand that it's normal, at her stage of life, for her to try to break rules and get made when she ets caught.  You don't think she's bad.  You won't stop loving her.  But she needs to understand it's YOUR role in life, to give her good boundaries, until she's mature enough to take care of herself.  So you hope, somewhere deep inside, she knows it's from love and not just a desire to annoy her!

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#4 of 5 Old 05-09-2011, 09:52 AM
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Very helpful thread. Thank you!

My issue is with my 8 year old daughter and my mother whom we share a rental house/
live with...I will start new thread...
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#5 of 5 Old 07-24-2011, 01:21 PM
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My sd will call her dad by his first name at age 12...just because she's looking for a reaction (and she has no repercussions for how she treats him).  I agree that the teenagers are looking for you to make the right choices FOR them when they are unable to logically come to the right choice themselves.  The brains aren't fully formed, remember.  I keep reminding myself that my job is to keep them safe and model decent and logical behavior. 


I agree to use whatever means to get her safe.  I also agree with the poster that said stepparents role is to support other parent, so it's not your call, but I would have a very serious talk with my h about getting her back home. 

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