December 17, 2006,
T.S. asks from Gassville, AR on December 15, 2006
Stepdaughter and Jealousy
My husband and I have custody of his two girls from a previous marriage as well as my three biological children from a previous marriage. My children's natural father is deceased where as the girls mother is alive and well. My youngest stepdaughter and my youngest daughter are about 8 months apart. My step daughter is SO SO SO very jealous of everything that my daughter has or gets. Even if they are both getting a gift at the same time, she doesn't think that hers is good enough and wants my daughter. This has even happened when my daughter got a dollar store cheap toy and step daughter got a really nice toy. It is DRIVING ME CRAZY. I feel that part of this is that my step daughters birth mom has taught her this behavior but how do I #1 learn to deal with it and #2 try to correct it???
So What Happened?™
We have done the identical but different color thing in the past but now that they are getting older my bio daughter does not want EVERYTHING ALIKE. They do have some different interests as well so it's not aways possible. I took both girls today to get a dress for Christmas/Church, and it went very well. NO problems what so ever. I was amazed because I usually have MAJOR problems when shopping with them both at the same time.
S.P. answers from Kansas City on December 15, 2006
I'm sure this is a toughy. She possibly isn't sure of herself in the new family situation, and this may be her way of demonstrating that. I suggest a book called "how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk," by maislish and faber. it's fantastic, and teaches parents how to answer kids when they start begging, pleading, whining, etc, so that they feel heard, and then stop the behavior. It's an easy read - much of it is in comic book form. I've given this book as a gift a number of times because it's so great!
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C.O. answers from Clarksville on December 16, 2006
Hi, I do not have stepchildren so I may be really off base here. (However my sister just went through a similiar situation). While your stepdaughter's mother is alive you are very much more her FT mom. Could it be that she is jealous because she isn't your biological daughter and therefore worry that you don't love her as much as she loves you? I don't know the situation or why she isn't with her mom but we all know how important mommies are and maybe she is hurting. Is there any possible way there might be a little difference on your part even if you don't mean for there to be? How involved is her dad? Are you the main caretaker or is he a really active participant in her life? Does she ever feel like a burden to the family? My suggestion would be to schedule some weekely one-on-one time with her. I think every kid needs this and it really helps with the jealousy and gives the child/parent both some special memories.
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C.E. answers from Kansas City on December 15, 2006
Could it be she is jealous because her stepsister has HER Mom there, and she doesn't have hers? Put yourself in her shoes. She can't express things the way a grown up does. How would you feel if your mom wasn't there and somebody else's mom WAS there. And you are thinking her mom is the cause of her behavior.
Love her unconditionally. You chose her to be your daughter by marrying her father. She didn't chose you to be her mom, she had no choice.
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C.S. answers from Springfield on December 15, 2006
I wish you would have added ages, it might would have helped, but, all i can say is sit down and have a talk with these two, and explain to them that they are different kids and it is natural to want different things as well as the same things,but they shouldnt want things just because the other got them. i sometimes sit down and just talk to my kids so they understand that i love all of them, and all for different reasons. dont know that this really helps, but hope it will atleast open the door to the right direction. good luck
A.B. answers from Kansas City on December 16, 2006
It sounds like maybe you all could go to counselling because otherwise, there really isn't a solution. If your step daughter doesn't live with you, she is probably jealous of your daughter because she gets to live with her father and she is now just a visitor. That is a reasonable reaction and not really fixable.
M.L. answers from Rockford on December 16, 2006
I only have 1 lil boy but I noticed with my friend's kids like 2 sisters if u get them the same exact toy then the stepdaughter can't really say anything because she has the same toy as your daughter. Just maybe inital them so you know who's is who's.
N.K. answers from Kansas City on December 17, 2006
I cannot speak from experience from a "mixed" home of more than 2 parents, but I can speak from the experience of having related children near the same age. There was a big baby boom on both sides of our family (husbands and my own) when my first son was born. There are about 4 boys all between the ages of 5 and 7. Our families are very close and everyone gets together at special occasions (monthly birthdays, Christmas, etc).
Our families have begun purchasing identical gifts for kids in the same age bracket. I used to hate this idea because I thought it meant the gift giver was "lazy" and didn't care about the interests of the individual child. However after my son was 3 I began to see the genious of it. Maybe try giving them the same thing whenever they are receiving gifts at the same time.
Hope this helps a little.
T.P. answers from Kansas City on December 16, 2006
As a young child I, and my siblings, grew up with my Grandparents and they experienced the same problems with us when we where kids. I know because I was the child that wanted what her sister got. I have not experienced this with my kids because I did from the start what my grandparents did when this began with me and my sister. They bought us both the same identical item, just different colors. Sometimes we would trade colored items, but for the most part it satisfied my problem. I still have jealousy problems with my sister, but I would not trade her for anything. I think the entire issue from your step daughter is stemming from a deeper source, like she is not feeling that she is loved by you. I feel this just by my own experience and how I have felt, it is a emotional problem with her, not something her mom taught her to do. Good luck and Happy Holidays to your family.