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Dealing with Teenage Stepchildren

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 26 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Dealing With Teenage Stepchildren

As seasoned parents will tell you, it can be hard to deal with a teenager, but teenage stepchildren can be especially challenging. No longer children, yet not quite adults, teens often test their limits by rebelling, disregarding house rules, and refusing to recognise stepparents as authority figures. While the teen years can be difficult, parents and stepparents can take steps to make them a little easier.

Establishing House Rules

Whether they like them or not (and they usually don’t), teenagers need rules. Although teens are nearly adults, they are not quite there and still need guidance from their parents and stepparents. Teenagers may be inclined to deny their stepparents’ authority, but it is only reasonable that the kids in the house (and that includes teens) be expected to offer their stepparents a reasonable amount of respect and compliance.

House rules should be discussed and agreed upon by both parents in the household so that the kids don’t get into the habit of playing one parent against the other. Ideally, natural parents should take the lead role in enforcing the rules, but stepparents need to be obeyed, too. Sometimes, though, kids (and especially teenagers) may have an easier time accepting rules when they seem to come from their natural parent.

Teaching That Actions Have Consequences

Teenagers need to know that their actions have consequences, so breaking the rules should result in some loss of privileges. The teen’s natural parent should take the lead role in matters of discipline, but they need to make it clear to their children of all ages, teens included, that the stepparent is to be recognised as an equal authority figure.

Stepparents find that it is easier to deal with their teenage stepchildren if the teens have been raised to expect that their ability to enjoy certain freedoms is reliant on their willingness to be respectful and cooperative. Unfortunately, not all children have been taught appropriate self control, and reining in a teenager who has been allowed to misbehave without worry about the consequences can be a daunting task.

Even the most obedient children are likely to go against their parents’ rules once puberty hits, but they must be made to understand that the rules are to be obeyed, even when they disagree with them. While some teenagers are certainly easier than others to deal with, all of them must be expected to adhere to a basic set of safety and respect based guidelines.

Enlisting the Help of a Teen’s other Parent

Ideally, all of their parental figures who are influential in the life of a teenager would work together to establish and enforce a set of standards for behaviour that the teen is expected to comply with, no matter which of their parents’ homes they are at. It can be difficult for parents and stepparents to work together, though, but the resulting differences of rules at each house can end up working against all of the parents’ hopes to raise a teenager who is well-behaved and self controlled. Even if bitterness and hurt feelings remain between the adults, they should do all that they can to set their differences aside when it comes to the children. The best way to deal with raising kids in a blended family is for the natural parents to agree on a uniform code of behaviour and then enlist the help of their spouses in carrying out the plan.

Respectful Parenting

Teenagers are just a short step from living on their own, so it is vital that they be provided with the tools they’ll need to help them succeed once they’ve moved out of their childhood homes. While it can be challenging to deal with the moods and sometimes less than stellar behaviour of teens, parents and stepparents must try to keep their own emotions in check as they guide their teenagers toward adulthood. Calm, consistent discipline, reasonable rules, and a willingness to listen can all help teenagers and their parents to get through the turbulent teen years with as little drama as possible.

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I'm hurting. Until very recently I had a very close relationship with my 17 year old stepson. I am white and he and his mother are of Afro-Caribbean heritage. His mother and I met in 2005 and although our relationship and subsequent marriage was fractious, divorcing in 2012, I have always strongly retained my responsibility for his upbringing and welfare. Over the last two years he has lived with me while his mother took up a very lucrative job at the other end of the country. I guided him through his mocks, his GCSE's and eventually his scholarship with a football club. I've attended and driven him to pretty much every sporting event he has participated in and paid for private tuition for his studies. Then a couple of months ago, whilst buying his car insurance (having paid half with his mother for a little runabout), I disputed with him and his mother paying an extra £100 for having immediate cover on the day he passed his test, rather than waiting 24 hours. Because of my stance his mother ordered him out of my house and instructed him to move in to her unoccupied apartment on the other side of town. Even though he is 17 and has reached that 'twilight' age where he is deemed legally independent, nevertheless as a stepfather I have never had any rights in this regard relying on our close relationship to validate any parental authority/respect I may have. Unlike my ex-wife I decided not to embark on any relationship with another partner while my stepson lived with me. I have been highly embarrassed to tell friends of his departure as the natural inference is that 'surely you must have done something far more heinous to warrant the boy's mother ordering her son out of your home.' His mother was re-locating back anyway this month and I recognised that it was going to be a time when he was going to move back in with her, however, I had anticipated that the transition would have been undertaken a good deal more graciously than it has done. I recognise that he is getting older but as he is now finding himself connecting socially more with people from his own ethnic background I now feel cast aside especially with the very traumatic and abrupt departure from my home. It feels that this is uniquely painful to a step parent.
Half Man Half Biscui - 26-Jun-17 @ 3:14 PM
I'm hurting. Until very recently I had a very close relationship with my 17 year old stepson. I am white and he and his mother are of Afro-Caribbean heritage. His mother and I met in 2005 and although our relationship and subsequent marriage was fractious, divorcing in 2012, I have always strongly retained my responsibility for his upbringing and welfare. Over the last two years he has lived with me while his mother took up a very lucrative job at the other end of the country. I guided him through his mocks, his GCSE's and eventually his scholarship with a football club. I've attended and driven him to pretty much every sporting event he has participated in and paid for private tuition for his studies. Then a couple of months ago, whilst buying his car insurance (having paid half with his mother for a little runabout), I disputed with him and his mother paying an extra £100 for having immediate cover on the day he passed his test, rather than waiting 24 hours. Because of my stance his mother ordered him out of my house and instructed him to move in to her unoccupied apartment on the other side of town. Even though he is 17 and has reached that 'twilight' age where he is deemed legally independent, nevertheless as a stepfather I have never had any rights in this regard relying on our close relationship to validate any parental authority/respect I may have. Unlike my ex-wife I decided not to embark on any relationship with another partner while my stepson lived with me. I have been highly embarrassed to tell friends of his departure as the natural inference is that 'surely you must have done something far more heinous to warrant the boy's mother ordering her son out of your home.' His mother was re-locating back anyway this month and I recognised that it was going to be a time when he was going to move back in with her, however, I had anticipated that the transition would have been undertaken a good deal more graciously than it has done. I recognise that he is getting older but as he is now finding himself connecting socially more with people from his own ethnic background I now feel cast aside especially with the very traumatic and abrupt departure from my home. It feels that this is uniquely painful to a step parent.
Half Man Half Biscui - 26-Jun-17 @ 2:27 PM
Bangmyhead thank you for your advice. I have talked to them separately,but not together.My boyfriend says it's ok for us to sit down,but something always "comes up".As for your case,is your boyfriend aware of his daughter's situation?If so,it sounds like the both of you need to speak with both the daughter and boyfriend. Ground rules need to be established.It's funny how we need objective advice because your advice was spot on!
Beyond_frustrated - 25-Jun-17 @ 9:24 PM
@beyond_frustrated, have you tried to sit them both down and talk to both of them and say exactly how you feel and that you are thinking of moving out? Mayb your other half will know how serious you are and actually sit up and take note of the situation and deal with it accordingly... if he doesn't then it sounds like you will never win...
Bangmyhead - 25-Jun-17 @ 8:47 PM
Hi there, please help... My Boyfriend of almost 7 years has been renting a flat for his 16 year old Daughter... Her low life boyfriend has moved in and they have the run of the place, get their food brought etc but I live on my own with my 4 children and have had to find out from someone else that they are living together... I have confronted him and he has told me that he lives somewhere else and lied to me... I don't know what to do as I'm so worried she is gonna end up pregnant or worse as he has a temper and is very controlling and possessive of her... I don't know what to do please help/advise
Bangmyhead - 25-Jun-17 @ 8:40 PM
I have been in a 3 and a half year relationship with by boyfriend that has 2 children.I have my son,who is 11.His son is 20 and his daughter is 18.We recently bought a house and his son and my son moved in with us,as we've always lived together. About a month ago,his daughter moved in and the dynamic of our lives completely changed. Because she previously had an eating disorder,she's very OCD with what she eats. It's to the point the she has her food, which the rest of us aren't allowed to eat,but she'll eat the food for everyone else. She doesn't have a license or a job and lives in her room that she refuses to clean. Her bathroom is atrocious as well. Sometimes she'll go to work with my boyfriend and me, as he owns his own business and we work together.The first couple days that she came in, she did what was asked of her which was very little. Then all of a sudden she decided that she didn't need to do anything but look at her phone all day. She has no friends, no social life at all.So whenever she is at home she is either in her room or the bathroom for long periods of time.I've spoken to her dad about this and he says that he will talk to her however she continues to do the same thing. She always gives me attitude and is very difficult to live with. His son I have no problem with. We get along great but I can't seem to get along with his daughter.About two years ago, her dad and I were talking about getting married. She threw a fit and said that she did not approve and her dad and I ended up not getting married but continued to date after a month or so period of breakup.I feel like I've given it chance after chance but I finally am at my Wit's End. I don't know how to deal with anything in that house anymore and I feel like a guest instead of like it's my home. I'm worried how this will affect my son as I do not want him to feel uncomfortable as I do. I have to walk on eggshells around her and watch everything I say because she's " traumatized" from seeing her parents getting divorced 2 timeswith different people. I just moved out and I'm looking to get an apartment for my son and myself but I want to make sure that I have done everything I can. I really do love this man and want to spend the rest of my life with him however I feel things can't continue this way. It has caused major problems in our relationship. I spoke with her and she seemed like she was okay with everything but now she acts differently and disrespectful. I wish she did have friends so that she could experience the world as she is very sheltered.I want to get along with her,but she's making that almost impossible. Any advice would be helpful.
Beyond_frustrated - 25-Jun-17 @ 8:18 PM
I have been married to my husband for 9 yrs. My 4 kids from a previous marrage are grown and on there own. I have a step daughter 20 and step son 16. I have never had any real problems with my step daughter. She a daddy's girl. My step son on the other hand has a bad temper ever since I've known him. He has never been made to respect me by my husband. He has yelled at my husband and he has kicked me when I tried to correct him. I don't correct him if I'm by myself any more. His mom also has a bad temper. She has actually said she is scared that her son was going to hit her and calls his dad for help. Today was the last straw for me. I have tried to be a good stepmom. I heard him yelling at the tv saying he was going to cut the throats of the referees and he would kill them if he was at the game. I came in the room where he and my husband were sitting. I said to him he shouldn't say that. That it's not good to say things like that and he shouldn't get that angry over a game. I left the room and he started yelling saying to my husband he was going to let me have it and tell me what he really thinks of me. My husband just fusses at him and tells him not to say that . There is never a true punishment for the way he talks. I can't take it any more. I just want to cry.
Lena - 4-Mar-17 @ 9:59 PM
@sami - 21 and six step kids- girl you need a medal! Lexi.
ABBA - 3-Mar-17 @ 10:54 AM
I need help!!!! Me and my partner have roughly been together 3 years with only one break up lasting around 2-3 months. We have an 11 year age gap. I'm 21. I have no children at all and aren't really interested Arte moment of having my own but however my partner has 6 kids that's right I'm a step mum of 6. Not to meantion 5 girls and only 1 boy. I'm going crazy and sending my self insane trying to figure out why his three older girls will not listen to me are constantly being rude, lazy and disrespectful ages being 13,12 and 10. I have been labeled the "evil step mother" from all his family and even friends of the kids have made comments such as " is that her?" I honestly don't think I'm that bad but like ok yeah I probably can be because I do get frustrated after constently repeating my self ( I do have bi polar and no patience at all )so I do get quite heated and yell. I'm not asking them to do much or anything like just the normal put clothes in the laundry is homework done put your clothes away make your beds and tidy your rooms, like honestly theses things aren't going to kill them but when constently asked I cope answers such as: I don't have to listen to you. It's not my responsibility. I shouldn't have to do that. Why can't you just leave me alone. Just stupid things like these but as soon as they ask for something like to buy something or for me to do something or help I do it straight away but what ever I ask of them I always come back chatting or they roll there eyes and look away from me. I love them all the pieces but I'm finding my self being more and more frustrated at them lately. How do we get past this am I doing wrong? I really need HELP. Any suggestions would be amazing guys. This is for my sanity. Please.
Sami - 2-Mar-17 @ 7:33 AM
I need help!!!! Me and my partner have roughly been together 3 years with only one break up lasting around 2-3 months. We have an 11 year age gap. I'm 21. I have no children at all and aren't really interested Arte moment of having my own but however my partner has 6 kids that's right I'm a step mum of 6. Not to meantion 5 girls and only 1 boy. I'm going crazy and sending my self insane trying to figure out why his three older girls will not listen to me are constantly being rude, lazy and disrespectful ages being 13,12 and 10. I have been labeled the "evil step mother" from all his family and even friends of the kids have made comments such as " is that her?" I honestly don't think I'm that bad but like ok yeah I probably can be because I do get frustrated after constently repeating my self ( I do have bi polar and no patience at all )so I do get quite heated and yell. I'm not asking them to do much or anything like just the normal put clothes in the laundry is homework done put your clothes away make your beds and tidy your rooms, like honestly theses things aren't going to kill them but when constently asked I cope answers such as: I don't have to listen to you. It's not my responsibility. I shouldn't have to do that. Why can't you just leave me alone. Just stupid things like these but as soon as they ask for something like to buy something or for me to do something or help I do it straight away but what ever I ask of them I always come back chatting or they roll there eyes and look away from me. I love them all the pieces but I'm finding my self being more and more frustrated at them lately. How do we get past this am I doing wrong? I really need HELP. Any suggestions would be amazing guys. This is for my sanity. Please.
Sami - 2-Mar-17 @ 7:31 AM
@Sucia - yes they should be growing up and moving on and by continuing to support them your husband is enabling them to stay. At least all of your kids are older and they will soon be out of the way. Mine step-kids are still pre-teen, I'm not looking forward to what is to come. Edie.
EE - 6-Feb-17 @ 2:53 PM
I need help! I love my husband, and his kids aren't bad. We have 5 between the 2 of us, his are all over the age of 21 and mine are still under 18. Mine are not easy, they are in their teens and are basic sarcastic, seldom disrespectful, teens. His, however, I have nurtured and tried to instill education, work ethics, etc. but they have no ambition. The 2 older boys have some what come along by learning a trade but at the age of 27 and 22, they still rely on my husband to support them some what financially. As for the Daughter, she is 21, sweet and loves everyone but has no desire to work, just mooches on family and friends,and gets financial support from my husband. I have good relations with all except the oldest since I had no choice but to kick him out of our house. He was extremely inappropriate and disrespectful.I try to tell my husband but he sees his kids as angels and will not consider my feelings or opinions. The sad part is that my kids are all minors, I have custody, but they are either going to college out of state, or living elsewhere so if his kids (all over 21) didn't live with us, it would just be us. I don't know if that sounds selfish but the kids (mine) that SHOULD be living with us are exploring other options and his (over 21) should be growing up and moving on...please tell me any criticism or thoughts...thanks...
Sucia - 4-Feb-17 @ 8:16 AM
So I been in an on and off relationship with a father of three girls he currently has full custody of his oldest 16 and 13 years old the 16 Years old has been the cause to many of our breakups every times she sees us doing good she gets jealous gets rebellious towards her father ignores me when I'm visiting it's been super uncomfortable for me,there's a 10 year difference between their father an I, I have no kidsim a model also a beautician i feel as they don't.see.me.fit.to be their stepmom anyway I moved in to his house where besides his daughter's his mother resides at too this girls habe been spoiled beyond believe to the point of if they shower their clothes would stay.in.the.bathroom exactly where they took their clothes.for days even weeks the same when they.grab something to eat they'll leave.their plates candy.wrapper all.over the tables for days my boyfriend works a lot barely had times to even notice this.things or maybe too tired to deal with, I figure now moving in I try to become friends with.them specially the oldest one being that.the one.youngest.from.her follows everything she does an becoming her friend wasn't.as hard as I thought but they have very strong personalities, the problem is I would clean do everything around the house the would not lift a finger I'm getting tired of picking up after them i express this to my bf he tells me he speaks to.them but honestly they don't really follow his rules bc they have grandma upstairs who always tells them otherwise i don't ask them to clean just to clean up after themselves if you use a plate simply put it in the dishwasher they'll yes me an do nothing is like a straight slap in the face I'm tired frustrated i want to be respected but how can I what can i do ?? sometimes I feel unfit I'm not a mother so is harder for me to implement rules however I'm very loving towards them but I'm also very tired to the point where I'm.living in a mad messy house and I'm starting to try to block it as long.as I don't pick up after them ...what am I doing wrong?
Jackie - 19-Jan-17 @ 8:37 AM
@confused - sounds much like any step-parent relationship where a teenager is concerned . It's a tough age for you to come in to a family and start to make requests. Ask anyone who has joined a family unit when the kids are that age and they'll tell you it'll get worse before it gets better. As it's a phase hopefully all should turn out OK in the end. You just may have to wait a few years!
AngieB67 - 16-Jan-17 @ 12:51 PM
Hi, Im in a same sex relationship and my partner has a 17 yo daughter. I have been living in the house with them for over 1.5 years. Things started out ok, until i ask my partner if her daughter could help around the house. I felt like a maid while the child, then 15 expected to be waited on without lifting a finger, much due to the mother and grandmother. So my partner started making her daughter do a few things and of course she hated it and threw a fit. She blames me for all of this and I'm fine with that. She started out attacking my faith even though i don't share it with her, she says she is an atheist and so I don't talk to her about how i believe. Any time she could get a dig in and mostly out of the blue she did. I brought it up to my gf and nothing was really ever done except, don't do that. There have been other things as far as she is disrespectful to me at times, waits until people are around and tries to call me out on things. Stupid things like telling everyone when they come over for dinner that i don't like her moms cooking, which is not the case. As trivial as that sounds, this is non stop with different things. All is good as long as i don't require anything of her. As long as I will take her places if she needs to go, cook, clean, take care of things she needs like contacting the recruiter and taking her to see him since she wants to join the military etc. Its all good but if i ask her to clean the kitchen, or get her clothes out of the washer/dryer etc. she thinks its an option to listen to me. I have to ask 3 or 4 times and to me that is being disrespectful. She has a real attitude if she doesn't want to do something. Its frustrating and infuriating at the same time. When I try to talk to my gf about it she doesn't see it as disrespect because she puts up with that stuff. So when she does finally decide to talk to her daughter about it, things are fine for about a month and things blow over. I try not to require anything of her but then after that month and I ask her to do one thing its back to the not doing it, asking multiple times, half-assing it, or just not doing it and then disrespect. I attribute this to her knowing her mom will not give her consequences for her actions or lack of. This is clearly ruining my relationship. I believe respect should be given to the adults in the house. She thinks she is equal to us thus the not pitching in to help etc. She goes to her room and sits all night and waits to be called for dinner. To be honest after the last episode that happened 2 weeks ago and still no apology or anything I am thinking of leaving.The daughter does not feel she ever needs to apologize for her actions, bad behavior and her mom does not make her accountable and says it needs to be on her terms, meaning the daughters terms if she apologizes, which means she never will and the behavior will continue. I have pretty much lived in the bedroom the past 2 weeks because i just don't want to
confused - 15-Jan-17 @ 7:40 PM
I met my 2 step kids ages 7&4 in 2003 it started off great until my in-laws started trying to convert them into their religion the one that don't celebrate Xmas and birthdays. they turn them against me in 2010 and set out to destroy our marriage influenced my wife to walk away Jan 2011 for 10 months. we got back and 6 months they did it again walked away so I wentback to ct to regroup and stayed 3.5 years came back may 2016. we have 3 kids together 9,11,12 we got back together July and her 2 older kids now 17 & 20 been living with those in-laws and I feel they need guidance and support more than they are receiving but that brain wash, and taught hate is keeping them from wanting to be family toward me even depriving their mom being where they should be making day to day history with their mom and sibblings. we pick up the 17year old Saturdays. and tried to express to him he should consider living with us. he can get driver license, learn to fix cars and learn about God inlaws failed to convert them over the years but they lost trapped in those influences of the grandmother. the 20 years old been living with her aunt and is doing ok just gotten her first job and attend school. she hasn't came to our apt yet same as the inlaws. but she called saying her aunt was having a baby in Jan 2017, and that her and baby father told her she had to move out at 21 in sept. so she asked my wife if she don't go to school in Jan could she stay with us. she also doesn't want to be around a crying newborn baby. we stopped by her movie theater job Xmas noonshe gave me a hug first time I seen her since April 2013. the 17 year old boy stopped going to high school doing it online something I disapprove but he is going to start back Jan 3rd at high schoolbut he doesn't want to come live here acting smiling in my face but rather hold on to that hate from grandmother instead of getting more love and help. we picked him up one Saturday he whispered in my wife ear he was starving just leaving his so called home. I was upset to hear that and took him to McDonald's and dropping him off stopped by zaxby. grandmother let him do as he want no real guidance she don't care cause he isn't following her religion and just long as she has that control to keep him from me fulltime not wanting him to bond and accept me as he once did. I tried to speak to him and show him things but he doesn't want to listen so what should I do? just let his mom deal with him and focus only on my 3 kids and wife house hold. I already recentlydisowned my oldest son age 20 in nc. he was taken from me in 2011 by his mother lying on me false child abuse allegations to get custody from me. I hadn't seen or phone in 6 years. she parent alienated me and he changed from good kid to bad terrible parenting let him have girlfriend too early, let the street mold him, no morals no respect and I kept reaching out to him on fb. he know I don't approve the things he does smoking weed got his mom smok
lonnie - 2-Jan-17 @ 5:51 AM
@Zx-14R - we all have these idealistic views - but the reality is often different. He may change in time but it sounds as though you definitely need the separation from him. You both may change once you don't live under the same roof and you might get to like him again and he you. That said I'm in a step-relationship, but I would never dream of disciplining my OH's son and daughter, it is up to my OH to do that. They would hate me if I tried to tell them what to do and I think that's understandable. A kid doesn't want a non-parent laying down the law - they will always rebel. Maybe you should stop with the heavy-handed mother role and try to be a friend instead.
Alex10/10 - 14-Dec-16 @ 12:00 PM
So, I am in a same sex relationship. My wife and I married this year after being together for 3 years prior. Her son is now 17. I unfortunately don't have any kids. Therefore, I was so excited and anxious to meet her son. I have alwayswanted kids, specifically a son. So I thought that this was my chance, a dream come true. He was 13 when we finally met. He was cool at the time. Until I caught him in his first lie, which started it all. Over the course of the years, he has been disrespectful, sexist, lazy, lying, and ungrateful. I have tried many techniques with him such as taking his phone, his freedom, as well as his video game. And still nothing. He acts completely different when his mother is around, than when it's just the 2 of us. He has her thinking that he loves me and want a relationship. I have given him chance after chance. One thing he has to learn is that NO I am not his mother, and I nor anyone else will continue to take his bs day after day. So I gave up on him. Empty promises with crocodile tears no longer phase me. I feel like he needs to wake up. He will be 18 in less than 1 year, and still can't fend for himself. His mother still fixes all his meals, wash his clothes, wash dishes, cleans up around the house, the whole nine. He does nothing. Words alone can not explain the feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when I think of that boy. I am totally and utterly fed up with his unruly ways. He has pumped his chest out to me, told me what he wasn't going to do, lied to my face, talked to me crazy, disrespected me, etc. I blame him and his mother for the way our relationship is. It is a lost cause. I am only counting down the days for him to move out, and for his mother and me to have the life I always wanted, without him being under the same roof.
Zx-14R - 13-Dec-16 @ 9:57 PM
@I thought we were go - of course there's time. It sounds like your daughter is just being a typical teenager who 'hate' their parents no matter what they do. It is a natural process for them to pull away and later on when they have got out of their teenage strops, they come back into the fold. In a funny old way she's just trying to assert her independence, the thing about step-parents is they take it more personally than bio parents. Hang in there - I'm sure she'll come out the other side.
JenJo - 13-Dec-16 @ 12:10 PM
When my husband and I first got together his oldest daughter hated me. Nothing I did was right. At 8 years old would tell me horrible things that would put tears in my eyes. When she turned 10, her mother stop being a mother. Wasn't there for her, didn't take care of her. Never came to any of her games. I Did and that was when she started to accept me and even said she loved me. Told me that I was her mother. Don't get me wrong I was happy she said it, but I still reminded her who her mother was and that she loved her very much. Now she is a teenager, she hates me again and mother. Just the other day she said her dad and are going to have a ugly babies. WTF. Only treats me with respect when she wants something. I never get a thank you. I am full time mom to her, cooking, cleaning, paying for sports and anything else she needs. I tell her i love her she says ok. Really! I pray she will get order and realize how much I have for her, but way she has been I really do not see her changing. Is there still hope?
I thought we were go - 12-Dec-16 @ 6:08 AM
M - Your Question:
I'm 37, stepfather to a 17 year old, R. R has always been a good child, straight A student, etc., but since she has received her license, she has been extremely (I mean extremely) argumentative and rebellious when it comes to rules about telling us where she's going, curfews, where she can go, etc. There seems to be a rebellious streak that has come out in the past year or so that honestly normal parenting techniques are not solving. I'm talking to my therapist next week on ideas, but quite frankly, she's flat out not following the rules. Punishments do not work. She admits that she doesn't follow them and is starting to spin the situation to her favor where I'm the controlling step dad who doesn't let her do anything and that's why she's depressed - basically everything bad is my fault now because I don't let her go everywhere she wants. I'm basically ready to throw in the towel on this one, there's a certain chasm between us that being the "step" dad doesn't bridge. She knows it and is playing off it.

Our Response:
Step-parent or biological, you are going through what pretty much every parent goes through when their offspring is trying to spead his or her wings and push boundaries. With one foot in childhood and one foot in adulthood, it's as difficult for your daughter as it is for you. The fact she has also passed her driving test means she has discovered her freedom and understandably wants to fly. If she has always been a good child and has done everything by the book, then you fundamentally will have a good adult at heart. Have you tried cutting her a bit of slack and respecting that she is no longer a child? Taking a more relaxed view might just help you here. She's almost an adult and in less than a year, you will have to give her more autonomy, therefore, why not begin to ease that process in gently and pull back from treating her like a child. A bit of reverse psychology and general guidance and/or advice instead of 'punishment' can work wonders. The; 'we're going to treat you like an adult, but at the same time you have to behave like on' conversation may work also.
BeingAStepParent - 2-Dec-16 @ 12:30 PM
I'm 37, stepfather to a 17 year old, R.R has always been a good child, straight A student, etc.., but since she has received her license, she has been extremely (I mean extremely) argumentative and rebellious when it comes to rules about telling us where she's going, curfews, where she can go, etc...There seems to be a rebellious streak that has come out in the past year or so that honestly normal parenting techniques are not solving.I'm talking to my therapist next week on ideas, but quite frankly, she's flat out not following the rules.Punishments do not work.She admits that she doesn't follow them and is starting to spin the situation to her favor where I'm the controlling step dad who doesn't let her do anything and that's why she's depressed - basically everything bad is my fault now because I don't let her go everywhere she wants.I'm basically ready to throw in the towel on this one, there's a certain chasm between us that being the "step" dad doesn't bridge.She knows it and is playing off it.
M - 1-Dec-16 @ 8:08 PM
The source of the conflict between step children and step parents is the nature of blended family is unnatural. Step parents can't naturally love and tolerate obnoxious step kids. Step kids can't naturally love and respect a stranger that takes a share of their parent's love and time away from them. So recognizing this, step parents should just "step" back and relax. Why force something that's unnatural?If it's forced, it's not right.Just keep calm, and balancing on. Do your best to make it work, but only do it if it makes you happy. If not, take a bow, and end the relationship if it tears apart the parent and his/her children.
Step not so a parent - 1-Oct-16 @ 3:39 PM
Hello, I' m a mother of four all together. Two adult children 28 and 24,now out of the home. These two are my childrenfrom another marriage. They were 16 and 12 when I married my husband and he had a four year old daughter..who is about to make 17 years old. She seemed to care about me when she was young. My husband has always had custody of her therefore she has lived with us. I really love her although I have come to not like her as much.. She is passive aggressive and she tries to communicate with me as little as possible. Over the past three to four years her mother, who has alway had every other week visitation began to speak to us and I mean literally speak to us and over the past year has begun to take over our weekend of visitation by scheduling her in all kinds of events that will look good on a college resume.. Our daughter some times tells our ten year old negative things about me.. but is dry and half-way ignores me unless she wants something from me.. a ride or permission to go with her mother somewhere. Yet she tries to say things to divide her father and I, when she thinks it will cause an argument. I recently brought her an shirt back from a trip and she told our daughter how much she liked it but never even thanked me for it or acknowledged it. Soafter three days of it sitting in her room... I took it back. I probably shouldn't. She will come to dinner and won't give thanks for the meal although it's obvious she is enjoying it. I seldom hear she said anything positive towards me. What can I do to get some kind of rapport with her before next yearendswhen she goes off to school. I am tired of the silent battle!
A - 27-Sep-16 @ 4:55 AM
Sad mom - Your Question:
Hi my name is gabby been married for 9 years, we dated for 3 years all together we'be know each other for over 12 years. We have together a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. Recently, my 14 year step daughter move in with us. Yes, my husband was previously married and had two girls, who are now 16 and 14 year old. She was getting along with her mom and sister so she decided to move in with us. My husband was excited since he didn't get the opportunity to see the girls because the mother always made it difficult. So we v took her in and welcome her into our family. I have made clear that all our kids are loved and no one is more special then the other but my step daughter is now sexually active, and on birth control pills. She is being a little defiant. I have talked to her and she consistently lies. She is afraid of her dad. I have reminded her that we love her and only want her happiness. I honestly belive she needs some therapy or talk to a counselor but she refuses to talk to anyone. How can I convince her to talk to someone or to not be afraid of her dad?

Our Response:
It may take time for your step-daughter to relax and begin to trust, especially as she is a teenager and undoubtedly full of pent-up emotions. You don't say why she is afraid of her dad, as it is not easy to dispel such a feeling if that feeling rings true. However, the fact you are making an effort to break through hopefully will eventually pay off, as long as you don't force the issue and let her come around in her own good time. It may be that she is finding the move more difficult or unsettling than she originally thought. Many people have romantic illusions that often don't work out quite the way they think in practice, especially as growing up is all a big learning curve and full of emotional ups and downs.
BeingAStepParent - 23-Sep-16 @ 2:45 PM
Hi my name is gabby been married for9 years,we dated for 3 years all together we'be know each other for over 12 years.We have together a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old girl.Recently,my 14 year step daughter move in with us. Yes,my husband was previously married and had two girls, who are now 16 and 14 year old.She was getting along with her mom and sister so she decided to move in with us.My husband was excited since he didn't get the opportunity to see the girls because the mother always made it difficult.So we v took her in and welcome her into our family.I have made clear that all our kids are loved and no one is more special then the other but my step daughter is now sexually active,and on birth control pills. She is being a little defiant. I have talked to her and she consistently lies. She is afraid of her dad.I have reminded her that we love her and only want her happiness. I honestly belive she needs some therapy or talk to a counselor but she refuses to talk to anyone.How can I convince her to talk to someone or to not be afraid of her dad?
Sad mom - 23-Sep-16 @ 5:41 AM
My step daughter was raised in my home my myself and her dad (my husband) since she was 7.I had several other children from prior relationship, then the husband and I had one more together.Step daughter's mom was in crack-land and had nothing to do with her during the entire time I was raising her.She was always the most difficult, required the most attention, got in the most trouble.At age 15 she wanted to move out because we would not allow drug use and running wild.We tried to discipline this lying, thieving, vandalizing, teen.After having the police at my home several times due to theft, runaways, and violence from her, she made fake abuse allegations against my husband. (No criminal history) He is facing 30 years.She got what she desired, running wild, using drugs, lots of attention.Even her long lost crack mama arrived to help sink the ship faster.If you don't know what to do about your disrespectful, abusive, manipulative teen wreaking havoc in your home - RUN.GET THEM OUT.THEY WILL DESTROY YOUR FAMILY, FINANCES, and LIBERTY.I wish I would have had someone to tell me the truth, instead of keep trying....it will work out.
should have gotten o - 15-Sep-16 @ 8:20 PM
This article is pretty useless for our case. The mother of my husband's two children, 14 and 16 is a really bad mother. She took her kids out of school 5 years ago and hasn't educated them or made any effort to even socialize them in those 5 years. They have absolutely no friends and sit at home locked in the apartment day in and day out. The mother works 8 hours a day and then goes to her girl-friend's house or out to the casino. Now the 16 year old daughter, with mind you a 5th grade education and absolutely no friends has decided she is a really a boy. How she can make a big decision like that without ever having a peer group is unbelievable. She has some 'online friends' and God knows who they might be. Her mom is finally paying attention to her and is all about how transgender is so important. I've seen pictures of this girl when she was younger. She was very girly and loved her dolls. I think she is doing this for attention from her mother who left the family when she was 10 after cheating on her husband for a year and disappeared for a year after that. The daughter hasn't brushed her teeth in about 3 years and the dentist, last year, said she needed 6 months of repair to her teeth. So, the culminates in the daughter having nothing to do with her father. The few times she interacts with him she yells at him, hangs up the phone on him, swears at him and sides with her mother in completely blocking him from finding out if/when she ever has counseling, who prescribed anti-depressants for her, if she will ever get to the dentist etc.. I've given some advice. I've actually tried to get along with the kid. I took the family to Seattle before Christmas and of course the kids were rude to everyone. I threw a 14th birthday party for the son and that was mostly successful with his cousins, but of course the daughter was a rude nightmare who complained until she got a early ride home. My husband is a pretty passive guy and doesn't want to have the kids 'hate him.' Sigh. I love him, but he is a pushover. I finally convinced him to enroll his son in high school and got all the meetings with the school set up. I've also managed to get him to study to be able to at least keep up with the basic classes. But what to do about the daughter? She is 16 on strong anti-depressants, friends with who knows online (who she is convinced she will be meeting up with in Portland in a couple weeks), teeth are disgusting and she refuses to speak with her father for about a month now. I know people keep saying you should love your step-kids. I don't. I don't even like them in the least. The son I do my best to be as nice as possible with. The daughter I haven't seen in 5 months since her fit at the birthday. There are no amount of 'house rules' that could help this situation. Honestly I'm at the point where I just support my husband when he works with CPS and write off any involvement with the daughter. And yes, we are expecting our f
crush720 - 20-Jul-16 @ 3:03 AM
My BF and I have 2 kids each. His girls are 15 & 14, Mine are 12 & 11. Since we moved in together it's been a roller coaster. They've gone through and stolen stuff from me and my kids, lied often, throw temper tantrums (yes, they're teenagers doing this) when things don't go their way, and manipulate their dad. They only want something to do with me when it benefits them, otherwise they complain about me to certain family members, in effort to gain hatred towards me. I had no illusions that things would be easy. But it seems like they're purposely trying to drive us apart, while gaining supporters in the effort. I'm at my wits end. I've been there in so many ways, and stepped up when their bio-mom bailed out of their lives completely. Still, I'm the evil step monster. My BF seems to think, I should blow off their disrespectful attitude, and let it go. But I'm frustrated with it all. The worse part is, the adults they complain to, indulge this bad behavior and seemingly validate it. It makes me question my ability to parent or even be a good person when all I hear on a regular basis is how this one says this, and that one says this, and I'm to blame for everything. I understand that they're processing their own feelings about life, but why do I feel alone in thinking someone needs to put things in perspective with these girls?
Rayn - 18-Jul-16 @ 8:28 PM
My husband and I have been married 15 years now. He has 3 boys and I have 1 daughter. We have raised one of his boys since he was 10. He's now 21 and out of the house. We are now raising his youngest son. He's 16. The first son wanted to leave his mom with good reason. This one didn't want to leave but, it became an environment that he could no longer live in due to his stepfather. Police were called it was a horrible mess. Anyway now we have a resentful 16 year old. I never talk about his mom or her husband. It's a constant struggle for me with him. If I say anything it causes conflict. Let me say that his brothers egg him on at times. His dad works 7 days a week from 3:30am to 7:00pm. We have a family owned business. The boys all work there. So, dad gets the good times and a share of the bad. But, I just get the bad because, I'm the rule setter. I feel like I'm at a constant stand off with this child. His mother is only in his life due to cell phone access. It's her choice. With him I find he will do things that he knows are wrong and bother me but, does them anyway. The last issue just blew up last night. A few weeks back I was on bed rest. At 4:30pm he comes to me and says "I have a hair cut@ 5pm" I was on the phone with my Dr. So I tell him that I'll text his sister and get her to come home and take him. I do that no problem Well, then my husband calls me (not nice at all) wanting to know why no one can take him for a hair cut. Well, I try to explain that it was handled and the phone cuts off. (Bad cell service) Anyway this turns into a monster! I'm called ugly names by his sons. I confront one of them and come to find out it was this son that was suppose to take him for a hair cut. Anyway... I just shut down!! Am I crazy to think I deserve respect in this one? I kept to myself not talking about it. And not really talking to the 16 year old. I feel like he had to call his brother and tell him that I wasn't going to take him. Remember I was on bed rest. And that carried over to my husband. Causing problems in the house. Well, last night I had enough. My husband and I tried to talk to him. And all we got was a blank stare. So I text him this morning to try and once again talk about it. Well, it didn't go like that. It was more like....this is your problem not mine. And I have a mother and I don't need you thing. So, am I wrong here...? Is this a lack of respect for me? And what should I do about the little things that he does all of the time? I don't want this to destroy my marriage. Which I know can happen fast. I don't think that he wants to be here at all and I taking it out on me. My husband doesn't see it. But, other family members do.
Sybil - 27-Jun-16 @ 11:00 PM
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