F.S. asks from Whiteland, IN on December 05, 2010
13 Yr Old Step Daughter 22 Yr Old Step Mom ... What in the World Do I Do?
I need some advice on what to do about my 13 yr old step daughter. She lives with her mother. And she comes over on the weekends and school breaks. My husband and I have been married for 2 yrs. Im 22 and hes 34. We have 4 children including my stepdaughter. Ive been noticing that she is constintly lying. About any and everything. My husband and I have said something to her mother about it and she just thinks its her just being a normal teenager. She is also very"fast" for her age. She already has a bf that she says i love u to and yesterday she mentioned that she is scared bc she has not had her peroid. I told her she had to have sex to be pregnant and she was like ewww. Im sure shes still a virgin but im scared thats not going to last long. She walks all over her mother. And just recently she said she wants to live with us and her mother also brought it up. Im ok with her living with us but im afraid it will ruin her and her fathers relationship as well as mine and hers bc I have no desire to be the cool mom. I know what its like to have to grow up to fast and i refuse to let my daughters have any part in that. Im just at a loss of what to do. Im only 22 i just got done being a teenager myself i really have to watch what i do,say,and hang out with or around. I need some advice badly. What should I do? I know the moment she lives with us and her father and I start laying down rules she going to rebel and eventually go back to her mom and then ill feel like everything i worked so hard to do as far as getting her on the straight and narrow will be all a loss. What do i do??!!!??
K.G. answers from Fort Wayne on December 06, 2010
wow kudos to you on being a "grown up" you are still young and have a great parenting head on your shoulders. Lay down the ground rules and STICK to them. no leway at all. one inch and she will steal the mile. Good luck your hubby should be thankful you are so mature and willing to deal with such a big step so early in your marriage.
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D.M. answers from Detroit on December 06, 2010
Hi F.---I like what the other posters have suggested about setting down and discussing ground rules. FIRST, you and your husband need to sit down and discuss the situation together so that you are on the same page.
I really think that you might be able to offer her good advice, having just been a teenager yourself. Be sure to ask lots of questions to get her to open up about her feelings and her goals for her life. Use feel, found, felt when you respond to her answers, "I know how you feel, I felt..."
You seem like a very caring person and when you speak from your heart your step-daughter will be more likely to listen. But you also have to be firm. We always tell our kids that everything they want to do in life has to be earned. They need to learn that patience pays big dividends in the end. Again, you can refer to you own life. I'm sure it's not been easy at your age to have the responsibility of being a mother. Kids need boundries. Boundries give comfort to children as they learn to navigate a very scary world. Be confident in your responsibilities to your children.
I wish you much luck with your relationship with your step-daughter. It sounds like you are well on your way to knowing what you need to do. Be well, D.
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S.G. answers from Oklahoma City on December 06, 2010
you can set the ground rules at YOUR house, my step daughter was doing the same thing. her mom knew we were more strict therefore when she didn't "feel" like punishing her, she'd threaten to call and tell us/him what was going on the friday they came out (what she did 2 weeks ago when she went back home) and allow us to punish her this went along for a while, then dad got tired of punishing her and missing out on EVERY weekend he had with her because he was punishing her for something she did TWO weeks ago! So because her mom would wait until it was his weekend to inform him, he refused to punish her simply because mom did not communicate with him when she really needed to (within a few days).
So we flipped the tables, we told her (and mom) what she does at her mom's house is her mom's buisness but this is the rules at OUR house which will be followed. if their mom waits 2 weeks or 1 week to tell him about an issue that arrised while they were home, he'd tell her point blank to nip the problem in the bud and not wait for his interference, he also told her, if you need dicipline help with them you CAN call me and we can compromise so that i can help you dicipline them on YOUR time as well as mine....well she didn't like that, and is now diciplining HER way on HER time and everyone is happy.
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A.C. answers from Cincinnati on December 06, 2010
Communication is key. You, your husband and her need to sit down before hand and tell her exactly what it's going to be like. Let her know some of the rules... curfews, chores, behavior... I'm sure she'll still pick your house in the moment but then you can remind her later "We talked about this before you ever moved in here. You knew what you were moving in to." If you think it may help, maybe even have a family contract. Signed by each member of the family so nobody can say "Well, I didn't know *blah* rule..." Good luck! :)
1 mom found this helpful
L.D. answers from Los Angeles on December 06, 2010
I think you have thought this through and have some very legitimate concerns. If I were you I would lay down the rules before she comes to live with you. First sit down with your husband and determine what the rules are and what the consequences are. Then sit down with your step daughter and make those rules/consequences clear. If she does end up living with you she knows exactly what is expected of her and what will happen if she doesn't live up to those expectations.
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B.J. answers from Los Angeles on December 05, 2010
Wow that is a predicament! Sounds like she's trying to be way too mature/cool for her age! I would talk with your hubby, write down ground rules/expectations for her with each other, agree on them then sit down before you tell her yes/no & discuss every single one with her. She may just need a reality check & an idea of to EXACTLY what it's going to be like if she moves in, & the consequences that she'll receive If she doesn't live by your rules/ do what is expected/asked of her. If she can't agree to your rules & the consequences of not abiding by those rules/expectations Ahead of time, then it's as simple as she can't live with you! When I was 15, I was mad at my mom for some childish thing, thought I'd go live with my cool 21 year old big bro, lived there for a month, found out it was no tea party & there were the same rules as with my mom, then moved back home. LoL Now whenever any of my kids friends who are having a hard time at home want to come live with us, I set down the ground rules & an outline of our daily life & what would be expected of them & often times they think Oh I'd have to do chores? I won't be able go party whenever/wherever with whoever till whatever time I want? I can't stay up late talking on the phone but instead must go to bed at 9:30 every night? Hmm, I'll get grounded or privileges taken away if I don't follow the rules? Forget that I can walk all over my parents as it is I don't need more rules! LoL. That solves that problem. :) Hope you guys can find some conclusion! I'm in my mid 20's but I look like a teenager myself, so I'm young too. One of my children is a 15 year old long term foster daughter, meaning I won't ever get to adopt her but more than likely she'll be placed with me until she's 18, then like any other 18 year old she'll stay with me for as long as everythings kosher. Anyways, her teeny bopper friends & any other foster children who come that are teenagers think oh she's young I can walk all over her. LoL WRONG! It's rough, but you just have to be encouraging & have a lot of tough love! :) Hope you can reach the right decision!
M.M. answers from Washington DC on December 06, 2010
I don't know if this is the best advice or not, but you are very close to her age. She may see you as more of a peer than her mom and dad. Play up that role. YOu were 13 not too long ago.
I have two kids who are 12 years apart. My oldest is my youngest's hero.
Be her hero, be the one she can turn to. Tell her what is was like in your house when you were 13, only 9 years ago.
She needs to trust someone.
I would let her know that there will be consequenses for her actions. BUt her fathere has to be the one to enforce them. She is not your daughter and will see you as the bad one and rebel even more.
Get her involved in a sport and some after school activities. Find a church with a good youth group.
If she does get pregnant be supportive. YOu an be mad and show that, but she is screaming for attention and if her father isn't going to give it to her she will ask for it from whichever boy she can.
THis is a good oppurtunity for her to straighten up, but dad has to be onboard.
M.S. answers from San Francisco on December 06, 2010
I wouldn't have her move in. She should live with her mom. Especially because then she can be the diciplinarian-- you don't need to be put in that position. You are totally right that it would change your relationship and potentially ruin it. I would really say no to her moving in with you and keep things as they are. Good luck!