Help with 9 Year Old Daughter and Her Step Father

Updated on March 10, 2008
J.V. asks from Avon, IN
10 answers

Please help!!! I have been having so much trouble with my 9 year old daughter. She absolutely refuses to listen to anything her stepfather says. She will do the total opposite. She does not respect him at all. She always gets mad and angry at him and I just dont understand. Can anyone offer any help?

Her stepfather and I have been together since she was 2. We got married when she was 3 1/2. We have a daughter together that will be 5 in April and he has a daughter from his previous marriage also who is 10.

She does go to her fathers every other weekend and one day thorough the week for a few hours. She has never known her father and I being together because she wasn't even a year old when we divorced.

She has a better relationship with him now ~~ use to he never really spent much time with her when she was with him on his time, but that has changed alot. He seems to pay more attention and spend more time with her.

Anything else you need to know that may help you understand the situation better ~~ just let me know.

thanks for all your help

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for all your advice and support!!! As some of you have stated to have me do the discipline with her, that is what we are trying to do. The only problem I have with that is, he picks her and our little one up from school and the sitters right now, while I'm having to work later hours, so he is with them for about 3 hours before I get home. But let me tell you ALOT can happen in 3 hours. She is just so much worse when I am not around. She just does not do anything he tells her to do without a fight. And then of course her mouth starts at the time and backtalks and says she doesnt have to what he says and stuff like that. So what do we do in the meantime when he is the one there with her?

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answers from Indianapolis on

Sometimes it just takes time. IT takes patiece . I have a 16 year old step daughter. I have helped raise her since she was 5 . Istill have no respect . She does not even acknowledge me, I just learned to treat her the same way. It has helped som.

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answers from Youngstown on

My only suggestion is that the step father and you daughter try to spend some time together, just the two of them. It will be hard at first but eventually they will find a common ground. Good luck!



answers from Youngstown on

I am just wondering how you are with your husband regarding your daughter, my son has no respect for my husband...his dad...the only one he has ever known anyways. we got together when my son was only a year and a half and we got married when he was 3. he has never had anyone else and was adopted by my husband when he was 4. but I have always had a problem with my husband disciplining him in any way I get very defensive of him even when i know he was right in doing so. I still look at him as my little boy and have made him to not respect his dad now, i think. my son is now almost 17 and i regret what i have done but find i still do. I also have friends with children with stepdads and they do the same thing... i try to point it out to them so they don't end up with a teenager who is a problem. then myabe you need to also look at how your childs FATHER is about the stepdad. does he make comments that make her feel she needs to treat him this way. Does she resent you marrying and having more children? Another thing with my son is he HATES that he has brothers and sisters...I think he loves them but prefers to have been an only child...he was an only child for 4 years of his life. Maybe having her talk with a counselor would help too. Good Luck.



answers from Steubenville on

Why don't you try letting her stepfather be her friend? Instead of him punishing her, you should do that. My brother was having a horrible time with his stepdaughter and they were constantly at each other. He decided that instead trying to be her father, he would just be her friend and let her mom take care of the discipline. He stepped back and did that. Today, he and my neice are getting along great and she comes to him for help in dealing with her punishments. You should step up, with his support, and be the heavy when it comes to your daughter. She will realize he only wants to be in her life as someone for her to lean on and not someone who is there to take her dad's place. It has worked for my brother. Good luck.



answers from Terre Haute on


I agree with Aunt J. She is getting close to her daddy now and maybe with her stepdad she feels like he is just trying to take her fathers place. One thing is he needs to be a friend before anything. Yes he could and prob. is the "father" figure in her life at home, but she does not want to disrespect her father. Maybe she feels like she is being pulled by the two men. So she feels like she is respecting her father by disrespecting her stepdad. When it comes to punishing her maybe you should be the one to do this.

My mom has 2 stepchildren. There mother had not seen them for 6 years and the relationship between my mom and the kids were great. Then their mother came back into the picture and everything hit the fan. My mom backed off and their father took the role of punishing them. They ended up walking all over my mom. She had to go back to stage one of making sure they know that she just wants to give them a life with a female role model and a friend they can turn to at anytime.

I hope this helps.

Thanks for the extra information.
It will take some time with your daughter. She is just trying to figure out where she belongs in this huge world.



answers from Indianapolis on

What kind of things does your daughter see her stepfather do for her??? For example, when the family goes out for dinner and Dad lets he ladies out at the crub so they dont freeze in the cold, or if dad is frequently picking her up from after school events, small things she may take for granted..
If she refuses to change and not listen, take thing away from her, the most important ones that he proves, if he pays phone bill or cell phone GONE!!!!! All kids will rebel, but if she lives under the same house as you and her stepfather, in my home, she wouldnt see ddaylight till she worte a appolgy letter. And made a 150% turn around. I think a few weeks amybe a month of tough love 'grouding her from the things she loves most, Ipod, Mp 3 Play station, TV no friends...
I have two girls of my own, the disrespect must be dealt with or it will keep getting worse. Could there be a source to her disrespecr?? Someone asking her things and her drawing conclusions, or someone telling her. I agree with the other comments YOU should punish your child, even though he is at home first, that role is just as important as yours...
I think maybe sittig her down you and her and trying to explain that while your working, stepdad is in charge and, he is a friend, you have a dad, but there nothig wrong with two men loving you and wanting the best for there daughter.



answers from Toledo on

Hi J.,

It's interesting, I was in the same situation as you a few years ago. I was divorced from my 10 yr. old daughter's dad when she was just 2. I began dating my (2nd) husband when she was 3 1/2. Problems arose when she started getting older, around 7-8 yrs. old. And the reason for their poor relationship? I was the cause...well, my husband's too. We used to fight alot, often in front of her which I KNOW is the worst thing you could do! So, whenever I was mad or upset with my husband, my daughter thought she would be upset too. She demonstrated a disrespectful attitude toward him because she saw that I did.

Well, having been through individual and marriage counseling, we are good now, thank God. We have all learned how to get along better, treat each other with respect and kindness. And now, my daughter and her step-dad get along great. We have a 17 mo. old son as well. I thought that would pose some issues, but luckily it hasn't (such as daughter getting jealous of baby??).....and now we all feel like a "family."

So, after that long-winded response (sorry!), my question is: Is anything like this happening in your household?



answers from Cleveland on

I would suggest you spending one on one time with her atleast once a week if possible. She needs to feel special, she is your number one priority and she needs to know that. Talk to her ask her why she does this? I have an 8 year old son who does this to me. I find he gets jealous if I don't spend that one on one time with him. Also make sure you don't fight with your husband in front of her. Watch how you talk to him. She could be learning the disrespect from things you may say to him without thinking.



answers from Cleveland on

i myself was like this when i was about your daughters age i nevr listend to him but he never really tried to listen to me either set up a day for just the two of them so they can try to connect my mom did that and i can say it did help we got along much better but of course children are relentless anyways well good luck



answers from Toledo on

J.: I want to explain something to you. First and foremost, I'm not sure if you're a Christian or not, but I wanted to let you know that kids are hypersensitive. I have been through 2 divorces as a child and it was very rough on my phsyche - but I'm not trying to blame anyone. Has he established authority over her - is he the tough love type? Does he punish her? He needs to be the ruling authority over the household - if he's not - he will not be respected. Also, if he's too demonstrative, he also will not be liked or respected. There has to be trust established first for there to be the proper forum for respect to take place. Does he respect her? God bless you in your marriage and all endeavors that you pursue.