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Dealing with Disrespectful Stepchildren

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 10 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
Dealing With Disrespectful Stepchildren

It can be very hard for a parent to deal with their disrespectful children, but even harder for stepparents, who may not feel that they have the authority to change the way that their stepchildren behave. Allowing kids to be disrespectful, though, isn’t doing them any favours, as all children need to understand the importance of treating others with care and respect. Once a home environment of less than stellar child behaviour has been established, it can be hard to turn it around – but it is not impossible.

Establishing Reasonable Boundaries for Stepchildren

Every household needs rules. Society operates on a system of behavioural guidelines and one of the most important tasks of parents is to prepare their children to become well-functioning members of society, and that training begins in the home. Teaching children to speak and behave in a manner that honours other people helps them to understand appropriate behaviour as well as gives them a base of self-respect and good impulse control.

Children can and should be encouraged to express their emotions, but it is important that they learn to do so without hurting others. Disrespectful back-talking, refusal to comply with house rules, or selfish expectations are all examples of habits that children can easily acquire if their parents and stepparents do not show them that these behaviours will not be tolerated. Kids need to have a clear idea of what is expected of them and they must also be made aware of the consequences, should they choose to behave otherwise.

Enlisting the Help of your Spouse

Stepparents who have the support of their spouses have a much better chance of getting the stepchildren to treat them with respect and comply with house rules than those whose spouses fail to stand up and make their positions clear. Especially in the beginning, kids may be more inclined to take direction from their natural parent, rather than from a stepparent, who they may view as an unwelcome intruder. The adults in the home need to decide together on a set of behavioural guidelines for the children and then present them together, sending the message that obstinate or disrespectful behaviour will not be tolerated by either parent.

Setting Limits and Respectful Discipline

Teaching kids to be respectful requires that they be disciplined in a kind and respectful manner. It is unreasonable to expect that parents and stepparents can utilise harsh methods of discipline and then have children who do not emulate this type of behaviour. Kids may learn a bit from listening to a line-list of rules, but they are more heavily influenced by observing the important adults in their lives. Gentle, yet firm guidance will help kids to understand that they do not need to behave in disrespectful ways in order to be noticed and understood.

Breaking Through when Stepchildren are Stubborn

Some children seem determined to be defiant, despite the efforts of their parents and stepparents to garner their cooperation. Wild or disrespectful behaviour can be symptomatic of a variety of conditions, so if a parent finds that their children are out of control or disrespectful in more than one area of their lives (for example, they act out at home and at school), they may want to seek the advice of their GP to see of their child may be suffering from an undiagnosed behaviour disorder. Teachers and school officials may find it difficult to deal with kids who aren’t able to control their behaviour, so seeking input from children’s teachers can be invaluable. Effective treatment is available once an accurate diagnosis has been made, so parents should not delay in seeking help if they feel that their children’s disrespectful behaviour may be the result of a physical or emotional condition.

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Thanks. I also want to share another experience. So basically I am a stepmother (not legally) for two boys. It is a part time but when we are w boys, it is a full time mother job besides my real job. A friend of ours wanted to make a plan w boys. She presents to be our friend but really my partner's friend and planned only w him. We showed up and I basically told her that it is not nice to exclude me like that from the planning. And she basically is saying that because boys are not mine but his. I truly felt insulted. We stepparents put so much effort parenting kids at our best. She herself has two kids. I honestly feel she does not understand how we feel being treated like that. Another point I want to share is that if we treat stepkids as real kids, they will show their affections. It may not be perfect but certainly a better outcome. I do that and enjoy taking shower w a boy!
Wonder - 10-Oct-17 @ 12:37 PM
@Wonder - absolutely! You've hit the nail on the head here. You sound like you have great juggling skills and its nice that you an the younger boy get on. But.....we also have ourselves and our own happiness to consider in this equation. I suppose kids don't really recognise this as they are generally don't see beyond me, myself and I. Some education in schools on how to deal with step-parents and to look at it from their point of view would help.
Nessa - 9-Oct-17 @ 10:08 AM
I have two stepchildren. Older one fakes being a good boy in front of his dad but not very nice to me in general. I wanted almost saying I am sorry it is not my fault that your real parents are no longer together. Dad and I love each other so we are together and you are in it.But sometimes I am tired and just want to leave. Have a life w no step kids like him. On the other hand, younger one is quite attached to me and we have fun together. My partner he supports sometimes and sometimes he opposes. I feel he especially cares about the older one. So these days I think a lot if I want to stay or not.Sometimes I want to do nothing for them and make them think why things are clean and organized in the house usually. We stepparents put extra effort to stay especially emotionally. We need a lot more appreciations to continue. Otherwise good bye and good luck.
Wonder - 8-Oct-17 @ 10:43 AM
@Feel Empty - don't beat yourself up about this. You needed support from your ex and you weren't getting it - so you have every right to regain control, none of us want to be taken advantage of. When stepkids behave disrespectfully we expect our partner to support us, at least in front of the child, if the child is out of order. You are going to feel a sense of emptiness as you have been part of a family with four females (that's tough and hard going and very noisy I suspect). Plus, you're leaving your own two girls behind. It sounds like Millie is a nightmare and once a child like that finds a weakness, then they are in there like a shot. Take some time out to be kind to yourself, it may work out better this way. You want some respect and you deserve it.
Nessa - 3-Oct-17 @ 3:49 PM
@Coozey - You have to do what feels right for you. If you are unhappy in the situation, then moveaway from it. But you also have to think what your life would be like away from your partner, would it be better or worse. Some men can't handle being on their own and so they put up and shut up. But if you're a man that doesn't mind his own company and think it is preferable than living in an environment where you aren't appreciated, then.......I'm sure your stepson will come round - but you have to decide what is better for you. It does sound like you are being taken advantage of though. I hope you manage to sort it out.
Nessa - 3-Oct-17 @ 1:54 PM
Hi Well me and my wife of 5 years are divorcing. She has 2 girls aged 9 and 7 and we have 2 girls together aged 4 and 2. The problem was her eldest , she started to be very awkward with me. Her name is Millie and she bullies her younger sister by scratching and biting her and her mum would say nothing. She spoilt our recent holiday in which her mum smacked her for her behaviour as well as going home early for 2 nights again because of her behaviour. Millie said “ I don’t have to do what ‘ he ‘ says he not my dad. Millie offered no apology for saying it. Millie recently told me your dumb! Why don’t you pack your bags and leave elsewhere! Again her mum said nothing! I would ask her kindly to do things to help around house she refuses so her younger sister would do it instead but their mum would give equal pocket money at the end of the week even though younger sister did more. I would question the mum and she would say I can treat them unfairly they get paid the same. I looked after the 4 kids for 3 days whilst wife worked away every week including between my shifts. Millie just made it hard work I tried everything but it would end in an argument to which mum defended Millie all the time and make me apologise to Millie. I really did try but her ex Millie’s dad was hopelessly unreliable at having kids and hardly had them . One night a week if lucky and my Mrs would pay his rent, bought a car for him , bailed him out loads of times, lent him money so he could see kids on numerous occasions. We ve now split and I feel lonely and down. Mrs told Millie that I wasn’t happy with her and the way that she talked to me and her mum was not nice. Her behaviour definitely affected the relationship but I wasn’t happy going home. I cooked, cleaned, washed, dried, dog walking , house fixing etc etc and got no thanks. Friends would say to wife you look soooo well how do you manage with 4 kids? Her reply would never mention me even though I did a lot whilst she worked away earning a very good salary. I know Millie is 9 and she’s very academically clever but I found it hard work ?? Am I out of order for leaving? I just thought the marriage could go no further..
Feel Empty - 3-Oct-17 @ 10:11 AM
I have been with my partner for5 years she has 5 children 4boys 1girl ages 17 15 boys 10girl 9+8 boys . My problem lies with the 2oldi ones . Both of them show 0 respect both have stolen from us and the 17yr old is now taking drugsand pays no rent . And will not do anything in the house to help. . I do everything in the home clean cook wash take kids to school shoppingeverythingyou name it I doit apart from the ironing.My partner works 20 hours Aweek. But when she is at home dose very little . Also for most of 2016 she was.nt able to walk due to a bad hip I also looked after her and happily so. A few days go I ended up having yet another argument with stepson and after he told what a bad person and how I cook rubbish etcI pushed him . He stromed out and now we are not talking . Of course I know I was wrong100% I let him get to me and I should never of pushed him. Now am at the end of the line . I have tried talking to my partner but she just refuses to say what she wants. I love her but i don't know if I can stay and keep feeling the way I do i have asked her to put herself in my shoes and how she would feel .but she says 1 of 2 things I concertraon the bad 2much or if I don't like it go. I feel she and the kids would be better of if I did leave .i just don t know now what I should do for the best.Do i just ealk away?? Any advice would h5lp. And yes I no I was in the wrong as well.
Coozey - 29-Sep-17 @ 10:24 PM
@Smurfette - thankfully they don't live with you and they live in a different state. I think I'd keep out of their way too. However, it's not easy if you see them and it's still not easy if you don't. I can understand resentment must still be flowing even when they are not in your life purely because of the fact you are not accepted :(
Jules&* - 25-Sep-17 @ 12:22 PM
I have 3 step children ages 12,10,8 and have been in their lives for 5 years. They still treat me like dirt. No matter how nice I am to them. I tried this summer when each one was here for their one on one weekend to enter act and do things with them but was told no I don't want to. Then my husband was like it's ok if you don't want to. It's your weekend so we will just do something without her. But yet he gets mad because I refuse to go visit them with him. They live in a different state so he stays at a family members house to visit his kids. The ex wife strongly encourages the kids to be rude towards me. I'm on the verge of calling my marriage quits because the stress is too much.
Smurfette - 24-Sep-17 @ 5:26 PM
MY stepson is ten he Came to live with us 5 years ago and he is so rude and disrespectfulI've tryedeverythinghe's aggresive hurts his little sisteram in tearsmost days has really don't I know wat to do
Tam - 24-Sep-17 @ 10:07 AM
Thompbecky- Your Question:
@HEL thank you for your response, I dont want to lose the man I love by any means, I am looking for advice on learning how to present my feelings without tearing my life apart. I am looking for advice on how to reach this very troubled teen, and I am looking for advice on new parenting techniques.

Our Response:
In the first instance, you could try the Relate link here . There are also online and face-to-face parenting courses that run around the country. Best of luck!
BeingAStepParent - 12-Sep-17 @ 12:38 PM
@HEL thank you for your response, I dont want to lose the man I love by any means, I am looking for advice on learning how to present my feelings without tearing my life apart. I am looking for advice on how to reach this very troubled teen, and I am looking for advice on new parenting techniques.
Thompbecky - 11-Sep-17 @ 1:02 PM
@thompbecky - it sounds like it's going to be a you or him scenario which is awful really, esecially as it is just at the beginning of your relationship when you should be happy. For my own sanity I would be out of there or talking about separation. If your partner has threatened to leave, I think I personally would call his bluff and agree. This is a case of 'two's company three's a crowd'. It doesn't mean you have to split from your boyfriend and stop seeing him. Just tell him to go and find somewhere else to live with his son and then go back to seeing him on your own territory. It sounds way too late to discipline his son and he is never going to let you. I'd let your partner deal with him and you have the peace and quiet. You don't have to be angry about it, be reasonable, but just say: 'Sorry love I'm 54, I want a quiet life and this is just not for me'. Best of luck.
Hel - 8-Sep-17 @ 3:13 PM
I have been in a relationship with a man for almost 9 months. 3 weeks ago his troubled teen son came to live with us, I am nearing 54 years old and didnt have children of my own but I was raised with parenting knowledge and have always communicated well with all children. In 3 weeks this child has almost split his father and I up. He is disrespectful, defiant, and disobediant, he lived with his maternal grandparents after his mother committed suicide and has been allowed to have his way entirely. When we first got his son my boyfriend insisted he wanted help in giving his son structure and teaching him how a somewhat normal family functions, explained to me that his som was manipulating, and that this was going to be an extremely huge change for us.The child was in counseling and the couselor insisted that he should have guidelines and structure to follow as in at 13 he needed to be taight how to pick up after himself, do chores when asked, and taught some common daily routines.In 3 weeks I have became very resentful of this child as he refuses to pick up his dirty close, pick up his food trash, take his shoes off upon entering the house, always says I forgot... disrespects me and his father in front of our friends and is in my opinion purposely trying to disobey me. I have high expectations I am sure but when I asked the father to please get his son back in counseling he first agreed then two days ago informed me that he was going to give his son the chance to change his ways on his own.Last night the som spilled pop on am antique trunk I have after me specifically asking him to not set liquids on the trunk, me getting upset about it spurred a major upset between my boyfriend and I , I habe became depressed and resentful in just these 3 weeks, I feel as though my desire to teach his son things that have definitely been neglected in his life has consumed me, and my boyfriend insist that I am being unreasonable in assuming he should be learning daily routines and structure and has just last might threatens to leave me.Just 5 days ago this child had my boyfriend habimg a melt down from his antics....i could go on and on,,,,I need help mentally to try to get my head and heart to ket go of the resentment I feel towards his son, and the disappointment I feel towards my boyfriend for not following the counselors advice ... please share some advice
thompbecky - 8-Sep-17 @ 1:19 PM
What would you do if a stepson tells you you are not a family and you will never be, we are married for 3 years, treated the kids like my own but it is frustrating to feel that after what you have done ,it seemed that the relationship is failing. What is the best move. They are 5. The youngest is 15 and he was the one who said it.
Ea - 16-Aug-17 @ 10:45 PM
@J R - I can understand the way you feel but the last thing you want to do is snap. You've obviously been living under the same roof as him prior to marriage, so what's changed. Is it that you feel you have more say on how he should behave now you are married? You don't say how old he is either, if he is old enough to leave home maybe this should be broached. Have you actually triedsitting down man-to-man and talking to him and/or trying to resolve the issue as a family in a family meeting? I know it sounds a bit naff, but family meetings can be great for airing the issues each member of the family has. But it needs to be kept under control. Step families often need patience and a great deal of tolerance. Teenage kids can be a nightmare for their parents and step parents can be much less tolerant of their annoying ways than biological parents. Talking is the only way forward.
NickyP** - 7-Aug-17 @ 11:50 AM
Lesson. She actually went out with her mom today and I always contact her mom when I have s issue because she always listens to her despite how she doesn't see her. Her mom told me she had a talk with her and she came home and continued the res of her chores without being asked and even came to me respectfully telling me her mom will see her again on Wednesday. I get confused with her because she knows what she's supposed to do by now but won't do it and say she forgot but when her mom would talk to her or see her which is once or twice a month or every other month to a couple months, she'll listen to her instead.
Krist - 7-Aug-17 @ 11:41 AM
Her father was a single father but lived with his parents who helped him up until I came around because she was always with me. Her attitude started changing when she was 7/8 because we reinforced rules on her. We all used to live with her grandparents and she would talk back to them constantly. They would ask her to get them water she would reply with "why" or "no" and when they would tell her she can't do something she would do it anyway. She would also take purses and jewlery from her grandmother and say it's "hers". I thought it was a typical kid until it became a routine and I would see her grandparents start to get upset. She kept that going until she was 9. When we would try to punish her she would cry and her grandfather would tell her "it's okay don't do it again" and tell us "no It's okay she won't do it again she's smart" but she would repeat the cycle. We bought a house 2 years ago and she moved in with us as she didn't have a choice because her father. She would sleep over her grandparents every weekend and sometimes the whole summer break. Her grandparents just got on board with punishments 2 years ago because we decided to get her a phone and she was doing things at her age she shouldn't. We would take it away for some time then give it back and she would secretly do it again. We just recently took her phone almost 3 months ago because she continued to go against the rules. I let her use my phone when she wants to speak to a friend or family member. The only thing I'm trying to teach her is to respect me by listening and teach her cleanliness since she got her period to help mold her into the young lady she's becoming. She washes her dish other than she puts out dog in the yard when she is asked even though her father told her she has to every night before bed because I do it throughout the day. When I would ask her to help clean the table after dinner she would Say okay but would end up going upstairs in her room and I would give her the benefit of the doubt to do it but when I would ask if she cleaned the table she would say no I would tell her "okay Miss make sure you clean it before bed" she'll reply back with "okay" but she would never clean it and when I would ask why she would say she forgot. This is a constant issue of her saying she forgets so I ask her if she remembers things from when she was in kindergarten/3rd grade she would tell me a story and I would reply "you remember stuff from that many years ago? You have good memory" she'll say "I know" and smile then we would talk about more things from her being in school and I would reply "you remember those things but you don't remember to clean your room? You've been living here for two years" she'll nod her head and get quiet. Her father and aunt suggested to take everything away that she was playing with or doing when she was supposed to do her chores and don't give it back until that many days or weeks she decided to not do her chores to teach her a le
Krist - 7-Aug-17 @ 11:34 AM
PART 2 What to do about all of this depends on what exactly is your goal here because you might have to prioritize. If your goal is the clean room you’ll have to take a different approach than to expect her to ‘do as she is told’ because this has been going on for two years and she has two years’ worth of experience on how powerless you are to actually consistently reinforce this point. Do it together, stay with her and supervise, immediately send her to do it when you notice she has skipped the chore and keep after her until it's done are all viable options. As long as you stay calm and in control, they might take some of your time but remember “All is expected of her is sweep her floor and make sure it's organized. That's not a lot.” And in exchange, you don’t have the long talks which don’t lead to anything but more frustration and tears anyway. _________________________________________________________________________ If your goal is to teach her to follow rules, pick something easier than her room to start with, preferably an everyday thing that should be done when you are there to ask her to do it. Empty the dishwasher, take out the garbage, water the plants, sweep the kitchen floor after the evening meal...Explain that this is her chore but be there to remind her until it becomes a routine. If she tells you no then you know you have a real problem. Otherwise, give her a chance to show that she can follow orders and rebuild your relationship. Give it a few months then sit down and talk about the room. Expect resistance and be prepared to negotiate: can you start with just picking up her clothes (it’s the thing that bothered me the most)? Agree that if she doesn’t they will not be washed/ironed and she’ll have to wear what you choose? My one cheeky bugger resorted to taking down his uniform and only his uniform for a whole year because that’s the only thing he absolutely needed ironed (got into 6th form after that: no more uniform). Did I mention that he is an identical twin with his brother who folds his towel at a 90-degree angle and keeps his room to show room standard? Same parents, same parenting methods, genetically identical kids.... _________________________________________________________________________ As to the hygiene part: “At this point, I just feel as though she is just lazy or doesn't care about her hygiene” She has already answered this question and I quote “my step daughter replied saying …she doesn't care if she smells it doesn't bother her.” The hygiene thing has been taken away from her and is no longer hers so she doesn’t care about it anymore than she cares about cleaning her room. The part where she ‘gets excited when we go girl shopping’ is encouraging: despite what she says she does actually care. If you can find a way to give her back the ownership over her personal hygiene there’s a good chance you’ll have one less battle on your hands.
cyanna - 7-Aug-17 @ 12:04 AM
PART 1 I’ve been re-reading your posts to see if I can understand this better _________________________________________________________________________You say you have raised her since she was 6, but then you also say that she was so used to getting away with everything when she was younger. When has the change in attitude towards her not following rules happen? Is this what’s going on now: trying to get her to follow rules for the first time? ______________________________________________________________________About reinforcing the rules: you say that “we even taped her chore days and list on herwall where she can see it and we also explain the consequences.” What are the consequences? Is it the writing lines thing? _____________________________________________________ __________________If the answer to both of the above is yes, then one of the problems is that “her father and I ALWAYS have long talks when she doesn't listen”. If you have explained the consequences all that needs doing is to implement them. Unless you implement the consequences immediately and every single time, then punishment is hit and miss and she’ll take her chances. The problem with punishments is that you’re going to run out of them: day one of not cleaning you take her phone away, day 2 you take the TV, day 3 she is grounded for X number of days. That’s the first week. What do you plan to do for the next week and the one after that? Add more no TV or grounded days? Remember what happened when you took her phone away? She just found something else to do. She’ll live without the TV. And for how long are you going to ground her if you keep adding days: weeks? months? This is going to fall just because of the way life is: she’ll go to her mums or her grandparents or the three of you will have something planned and you’ll have to make an exception. That in parenting reality is a check-mate. _________________________________________________________________________It gets worse: what happens if she then one day cleans her room? You’ll have little choice but to give her back one of the things you took away. Say you are super strict and demand that she cleans the room twice in a row before she gets anything back. Same difference. She already knows what makes you tick – her cleaning her room and her tears – and now you give her a tool to play on that like a violin: clean if she wants something, don’t clean if she doesn’t care or decides she’ll just see how far you’ll take this.
@cyanna - 6-Aug-17 @ 11:55 PM
I'm debating on that. If she's punished properly the writing doesn't need to be done.
Krist - 6-Aug-17 @ 4:59 PM
ok so you punish her. are you going to stick with the writing pages?
cyanna - 6-Aug-17 @ 8:18 AM
@Cyanna- First condolences on losing your mother that must've been very hard to deal with. I totally agree that you are trying to help out. I've asked her aunt, her mom and some of my friends who are mothers as well and they all say the same thing is to take everything away and punish her. I do compliment her and also ask her what lotions she likes and her personal input on clothes, accessories etc. I've also been encouraging her about it's nice to smell good and she agrees and even gets excited when we go girl shopping but still doesn't take those steps for her hygiene. A couple of her friends have their periods as well but their mothers don't have a issue in that department. It's just super stressful trying to teach her and keep repeating myself. I feel as though she doesn't respect me and is rebelling because she was so used to getting away with everything when she was younger. As soon as she drew tears what she did prior was forgotten and she would repeat the process. She did admit she doesn't like to shower and At this point I just feel as though she is just lazy or doesn't care about her hygiene. Someone she is close to came to me and Said she was telling my step daughter she hates sweating and she doesn't like to smell that she loves smelling good and using deodorant and my step daughter replied saying she doesn't like deodorant and she doesn't care if she smells it doesn't bother her that person replied back saying you'll get teased in school we're girls you should want to smell good and she replied I don't care if I get teased it doesn't bother me. So I'm just lost, stressed and confused because I only want the best for her but it seems as though she doesn't care about anything except doing the opposite of what she is told. I'm the reason why her mom actually is in her life now and she's been seeing her once or twice a month since last summer.
Krist - 5-Aug-17 @ 9:38 PM
@PART 23. She has a premature puberty. Many girls do nowadays but it doesn't make it easier to deal with the hormones and the bodily changes when they are only ten or eleven. How many of her friends have hit puberty? Being in the minority will again increase her insecurity.******************************************************The fact that she ignores her personal hygiene as soon as she knows she is not under surveillance is a really bad sign. That is either her rebelling by neglecting herself or the whole issue of personal hygiene has become about other people rather than about her. I don't know of any other way to repair this than by doing everything you can to build up her self-image in a positive way. When she has showered tell her how nice she smells, when she has washed her hair tell her how nice it looks, when she makes an effort to dress up tell her how pretty she is. Do not tell her to wash her hair so it looks nice: that implies that in that moment it doesn't. Do tell her that generally speaking regularly washing one's hair keeps it shiny and soft but put up with allowing her to make that choice for herself. Same with the showering. At this point I would even go so far as to suggest introducing her to intim hygiene wipes. Gently. Show her what they are, by all means point out that they are more expensive than a shower and that she will need to dispose of them discreetly (don't make them sound disgusting but rather on the same level as not wanting anyone else see her naked) but that they are an option. It will give her a choice about her own body care, giving some power back to her. **************************************************************This is long enough now and I wish we could have a proper conversation than me pontificating about, but please believe that my intentions are to be helpful and offer an alternative point of view.
cyanna - 5-Aug-17 @ 9:15 PM
@Krist: you are right, I didn't clean the house when I was eight. I actually hardly did any chores until my mom died and I had the same way of raising my children. Age ten they did get chores but they got to choose (emptying the garbage, emptying the dishwasher and cutting the grass were the three I didn't have to worry about anymore). Their rooms were not chores. I explained that it was their personal space and thier responsibility to look after them. No stale food or they had to deal with the issue immediately, but otherwise we grew into handing over responsibility for their own space little by little. Total success with one of them and a matter of choosing my battles with the other two. With those two when I put my foot down and made it a rule that if they wanted clean clothes they had to bring them to the laundry room before I started doing the washing, they ended up doing their own laundry.Otherwise threatening that if they don't clean their rooms I will, worked better than any punishments, but that is when they were a little older (14-15) and didn't want mom to mess up with their stuff. **************Back to your step daughterAs I freely admitted, I lost on the clean room battle with two of my own children, but surf around the web a little and you will find that this is probably the one battle that most parents struggle with. And from all the surfing I did in my time, the only one that seemed to give some sort of consistent result was when the parent kept being involved. Threatening to clean the rooms myself was not an original idea, going to their rooms with them before bed time and making them tidy the room before they go to bed is another that seems to work while they are around your daughter's age. A once a week clean up seems to work for some althoug the room is messy the rest of the week so I assume this is not what you are looking for. *************************************************************************************You also have the personal hygiene issue and I think that is a separte one. You might not realize it, but your argument that she needs to wash every day becasue she has her period implies that having her period makes her permanently dirty (or she'd only have to was on the days when she is bleeding). That is a terrible message to give especially since she has quite a few issues to deal with, such as.******************************************************1. She is your step. She might not tell you that, but she knows it and on some level she will always be insecure about your feelings for her.*******************************************2. Her bio mom is not too keen on having regular contact with her. That must hurt and add to her insecurity.*******************************************************************************3. She has a premature puberty. Many girls do nowadays but it doesn't make it easier to deal with the hormones and the bodily changes when they are only ten or eleven. How many of her
cyanna - 5-Aug-17 @ 9:13 PM
@Cyana- She's turning 12 in two months she's not 10. She never played with toys prior she only decides to play with them only on those days she is to clean her room other than that she watches tv. All is expected of her is sweep her floor and make sure it's organized. That's not a lot. I don't know how you grew up but I've been cleaning the whole house since I was 8. I take it as if she can write adult stories and speak how she wants she can do a simple rule as cleaning her room. She listens to her mother who she barely sees or knows when it comes to doing chores but will make any excuse when it comes to being home. She is expected to shower everyday because she's had her period for 2 years. Her own grandparents didn't even know she wasn't showering because they work during the day where her older teenage cousin would watch her. They tell her she has to shower everyday. She's very mature and smart for her age. Before she ever played with toys she was constantly on her phone then it was taken away due to her trying to act like an adult on it. I decided to not be on top of her because when I was it was the same story, she cried her eyes out 2 months ago saying she listens to me so I gave her the space. When her own mother asks her why she didn't listen she says she doesn't know but she texted her friends before she doesn't feel like doing them. So your answer is yes I expect a 11 year old to sweep her floor and make sure her room is organized. If my 6 year old niece helps do laundry and cleans then so can a 11 year old
Krist - 5-Aug-17 @ 7:04 PM
@Krist: do you seriously expect a ten or eleven-year-old to do that all by themselves? It's never going to happen. Discipline needs to be taught, it's not a natural state of affairs and with children and pre-teens the more you fight the harder they resist. You can very well explain what is expected but then it is up to the adults around her to tell her to go do the chores. As you have noticed constant punishment leads nowhere and you just end up in a situation where they just become a way of life. Example: "On those days she is supposed to clean her room she plays with her toys and watches tv when she was told CHORES FIRST." Of course she does, she's ten! It's up to you and her dad to interrupt the playing or TV watching and insist she starts cleaning her room. You might even need to help to begin with: ie she picks up her toys and lundry, you make the bed. She dusts, you vacumm. At the very least you need to come back and supervise because she will, at least at first, go back to playing as soon as you turned your back. Cleanliness is a little different. There again if it has become a battle ground it is more difficult than to instill good habits. "As far as showering she will shower everyday at home but when we allow her to go to her grandparents for a week or two every other week during summer break she won't shower for days, brush her teeth, nor change her clothes." This is her rebelion against what she perceives as your high-handed intrusion and criticism of her very intimate and very personal space. Is she getting complimented on her hygiene or rewarded even if it's just a well done when she has done her chores? Even if she has only done them after being reminded and supervised, a good word will go a long way to reinforce positive behaviour. Finally it's the matter of setting realistic goals. If you expect any child of any age to spontaneously clean their room every other day, you are in for a long term bitter disappointment. In real life most of them will need prompting until they move out of the house!
cyanna - 5-Aug-17 @ 5:37 PM
Hello I just came across this post. My step daughter is 11, she'll be 12 in a couple months. I've been raising her since she was 6. She would see her mom on and off from 2 now. The longest she went with out seeing her was almost 4 years until I spoke to her mother who has two other children about seeing her more and it's been once a month maybe twice a month since she turned 10 so therefore I am the main care taker. Since she was 10 she's been told to clean her room 3 days a week, brush her teeth when she wakes up and goes to bed and most importantly shower EVERYDAY. On those days she is supposed to clean her room she plays with her toys and watches tv when she was told CHORES FIRST and has the habit of saying "I forgot". Her, her father and I ALWAYS have long talks when she doesn't listen and tell her she will be punished because she doesn't listen. We usually make her write a page describing why she didn't listen and clean her room, brush her teeth and what she was doing that was more important. It's the SAME EXACT story EVERY TIME she doesn't follow rules. I tried cutting days off but she still doesn't listen. We always tell her NO TV OR TOYS BEFORE CHORES we even taped her chore days and list on her wall where she can see it and we also explain the consequences. She still doesn't listen and proceeds to do what she wants then cries when we tell her write a page explaining why she didn't listen. I tried doing the opposite but still no luck. As far as showering she will shower everyday at home but when we allow her to go to her grandparents for a week or two every other week during summer break she won't shower for days, brush her teeth, nor change her clothes. I explain to her she's a girl and she needs to be clean especially since she has her period already. She always says she "forgets" in the hygiene section also. Do you have any tips or advice about going about this? My next step was to take everything away, no tv and no other privileges as in going out and having fun. I've only been making her write a paper for the past year every time she doesn't listen but still no difference she continues to do what she wants.
Krist - 5-Aug-17 @ 12:38 PM
My wife and I have been Married for 8 months now prior to this we shared a home with her two sons. The oldest of the two had been getting fed bad (false) information about me from his father and shows me no respect in the home. He does not speak to me and he pretty much alienates me every chance he gets. I have brought this to the attention of my wife and she has pretty much been like well she has addressed it but she cannot make him speak to me. I personally feel as though I'm gonna snap and cause this disrespectful sob some bodily harm if this continues. Am I wrong for feeling this way
J R - 4-Aug-17 @ 11:36 PM
@P - the good thing is at least you are still together....you've obviously managed to weather the storm. Maybe you should be the testament for hanging in there and coming out the other side!
Yvonne70 - 10-Jul-17 @ 3:08 PM
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