December 03, 2006,
H.L. asks from Akron, OH on November 27, 2006
Step Daughter a Spoiled Brat
I have recently moved to the area to be with my boyfriend and his daughters. My problem is his 14 year old daughter. She speaks to everyone including her dad and grandma with absolutely no respect. She walks all over the grandmother who knows what is happening but still wont say No to her. Recently she decided she wasn't living with us and was moving in with the grandmother because my b/f tried to ground her for getting an F on her report card. Thanksgiving night it got so bad i finally opened my mouth and told her to lose the attitude please, everyone in his family told me they were glad someone finally stepped up and set some boundaries on her. The other reason she decided she doesnt want to live here anymore is because she has chores to do here and no-one will follow behind her cleaning up her trail of trash. I am trying gently to get my b/f to put his foot down and make her come home and he does try but the grandmother steps in and he winds up in a fight with her. The grandmother is on a fixed income and the child just thinks everyone should just give her money and everything she wants and the grandmother winds up short on money because she wont say no to this child. Finally I got tired of her attitude and I packed all her stuff up that she had here in a box and put it in the basement and turned her bedroom into a bedroom for his youngest daughter who stay with us on the weekends. I will not put up with this from my 17 year old son I am not going to deal with it from a 14 year old. I have worked with children for over 15 years as a case manager for children and families...so I know this is a difficult thing to change but I also know it wont change if only one person is trying and the others just let it go. So I do feel like I am fighting a losing battle. I guess I know that I have to just keep putting my own foot down and not let it happen here but I feel bad for the grandmother and I have tried talking to her and she has approached me and she knows what she has to do but also knows she can not say "NO" to the girl. And my b/f does try when she is here but he gets so frustrated he winds up giving the attitude right back and then start fighting. She can't go to her mom's because the mom's b/f wont put up with the attitude and has told her she is not welcome in his house until she changes it. She also treats her friends like this and I am waiting for the day she has no friends left because they are tired of putting up with it.
So What Happened?™
Ok so i sat down and talked with both my b/f and the grandmother. I expressed my concerns about what is happening and they both agree that there is a problem. It was decided by them, I stayed out of the ultimate decision, that the girl would stay with the grandmother due to her health problems so that way there is someone there in case something happens over night. During the day my son is available to the grandmother as he attends the digital academy. It is either the girl stays there or the grandmother hires a home health aide 24/7. The girl is not there to care for but to be there just in case. It was agreed she could stay as long as the girl is helping and is not giving attitude and the grandmother enforces any rules or punishments set forth by her father. If the agreement is broken then the girl will have to come home. LOL and it is not hard to tell if it is happening or not as the mentally handicapped sister lets things slip when you talk to her, you don't have to ask she just tells. Plus one of the girls who lives down the street who also helps grandma lets us know what the daughter is doing as well as my son who goes over there too.
K.P. answers from Columbus on November 28, 2006
H., having a blended family, I know how absolutely difficult it is for you in this situation. It took years for my husband to get to the place that he was able to see he needed to set firm limits, but even now it is difficult for him to do so. Guilt and fear are two things that ran rampant in my home and are surely in your own. I'd love to discuss this with your further so please feel free to email me. After 12+ years of being the wicked step mother, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that are sure to help you. Infinite Blessings! Kristy
A. answers from Cincinnati on December 02, 2006
I can't imagine what you are dealing with, but I came from a divorced home too. I personally think it is very hard for a young girl to deal with mom and dad having a boyfriend/girlfriend and especially with other new siblings. This could be her acting out because she has no other way to get her parents attention. Be patient with her, it is more difficult than you might think.
Best of luck.
M.G. answers from Cleveland on November 30, 2006
I have no answer for you but i believe you are doing the right thing!
N.D. answers from Cleveland on November 28, 2006
Sounds rough and a lot to deal with. I would probably slap her around (repeatedly!!)....I, like you, have N. patients for brats. Keep your chin up and do the best you can. I hope that she doesn't come between you and your b/f. Good Luck!
S.B. answers from Steubenville on November 29, 2006
Hi H., I feel for you. First of all has she always been like this or has this started in the past few years. If this is a farely new problem maybe there is an underlying problem. Maybe she is acting out becuase there is something else wrong and she is not quite sure how to tell someone. However, if she has been like this all her life then your b/f needs to stand up and be a man. He is the parent not his mother, all he has to do is go get her and bring her home and lay dwon the law. The very forst thing he does is take away all of her priviledges and she has to earn them back. No giving in no matter what. I am saying he has to do this because this is his kid she definetly will not listen to you. It will be unbearable at times but that is what comes with being a parent, and in the end she will respect him and everyone. The grandmother just has to be told to stayout of it until the stepdaughter is undercontrol. If she is any kind of a woman she will realize this has to be done. Good Luck!!
A.M. answers from Cincinnati on November 27, 2006
Okasy I think that your b/f has no back bone. It sounds like when things get tough he gives in. Who is the parent? He also needs to tell his mom to back off. He did not tell her how to be a parent to him. My mom has been great in that respect. The rules that are set in my house are also in her house. It sounds like the 14 year old thinks that when things get tough she can run to grandma. She needs a hard dose of reality that grandma is not always going to be there. It also sounds like she knows how to push the buttons and has been doing so for a long time. Old habbits are hard to break but now is a good time to break them. It also tells you something is going on when the mother sides with her b/f rather than face off with her child. To me it sounds like she has been pushed to the side and forgotten about and this is her way for getting the attention she seeks.
Maybe taking her shopping or out to lunch for some one on one time. Maybe that will help her to open up to you and her to respect you.
The other thing that I think you should do is seek a therapist or someone who can help address these issues. The birth mother needs to be included in on this especially since it sounds like she is shutting her out.
It might be stressful for you but it also sounds like this is her way of getting the attention that she was not getting from her parents. Grandma giving really is not helping the situation so maybe you and your b/f need to talk about your apporach to grandma.
Hope this helps, maybe gives you some ideas.
L.L. answers from Toledo on December 03, 2006
I agree with what others have told you and think you are on the right track to have a meeting with the father and grandmother. My $.02 is that the meeting should also include the mother and the mother's b/f and any other adults she is manipulating/able to pull into her web. The parents need to agree with each other so there is consistency in their homes and grandma also has to buy in since the girl is living with her. You and the mom's b/f are moral support only.