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My 8 year old stepdaughter tries to mother my 3 year old

GurlMama6's picture

Any time i try to discipline my 3 year old for acting up and being disrespectful, my 8 year old SD feels like she has to jump in or storm out or scream. All because of how I discipline my bio 3 year old. If my bio D is doing anything my SD doesn't agree with, she takes it upon herself to scold her and threaten to discipline her herself if I'm not right there. I have asked her numerous times to refrain and be a sister, not a mother towards my bio D and not to undermine me.. She gets offensive and gripes at me that she isn't. I have talked to my Hub, but all he says is he has talked to her about it. End of story. I don't abuse my children, but when they act up they get corrected so they learn respect and that kind of behavior isn't accepted. I don't want my bio D's growing up thinking they can undermine me. 


ESMOD's picture

If your SD is imitating your parenting.. I would hope it wouldn't manifest as screaming and storming out.  

But, each and every time she does that when you are in the middle of correcting your child.. you should stop.. calmly turn to your SD and tell her.

"this does not concern you and I do not need your help.. you can go to your room if you can't mind your business".

then resume dealing with your child.

If you catch her berating her while you aren't there.. she gets sent to her room.. removed from the situation.. and does she do this when your DH is there???


GurlMama6's picture

My behavior isn't imitated, but from what I have heard from both SD their bio mom does infact act that way. Nothing I can do about what happens qt their bio moms house. Just don't want it in mine. Thatnk you. I will give it a try. I usually get frustrated at her for trying to butt in, but I will give it a different approach. And my husband gets the same treatment from her. When he has to discipline any of our girls, she butts in and try to make it her business. He gets aggravated, but it doesn't seem to bother him like it does me.

ESMOD's picture

I don't think it's uncommon for older siblings to be bossy of younger ones.  I recall being left in charge of my younger brother for a few hours as my parents left us alone to run an errand.. Maybe I was 10? 11?  anyway.. I found the "report card" I made for my poor younger brother.. who had very poor marks in his behavior according to his bossy older sister.

I absolutely would get your "canned response ready".

If she interrupts you correcting your child.:  "SD, this doesn't involve you, please go to your room"

If you catch HER yelling at your child.. "SD, we do NOT speak to others in that fashion and you are not to correct or punish your sibling.  the only time I expect  you to act is to prevent an injury from hapening and then call a grownup.  It is not your job to boss your little sibling around."


CrownJewels's picture

I had this problem with SS. Also, him interrupting me when I was doing for MY children. (No, it was never any sort of an emergency he was interrupting me with.) I finally had enough and told him off. I said "He is MY son, leave me alone!" He argued with me! I again told him "leave us alone! I am HIS mother!"

He tried to pull the brother card. I may have said "HALF brother!" I had truly had ENOUGH of SS undermining my relationship with MY CHILDREN. I'm completely disengaged. He is not allowed to talk to me anymore! 

GurlMama6's picture

I have too lost it on a couple occasions due to her butting in multiple times within a day. I try to take my bio daughter into another room to correct her behavior and talk to her. I am still trying to figure out this parenting thing and don't need any help from a child. 

CrownJewels's picture

I am so sorry. I know exactly how difficult and stressful this all is. My SS is a POS and I can't stand him.

GurlMama6's picture

I have tried this many times, but it ends up getting me more agitated because she wants to be defiant and not listen. She wants to make sure her point gets across that I shouldn't be disciplining my child. But when my 3 year old bio daughter does something that aggravates SD she expects me to jump all over bio daughter and do something about it. Then when I do, I'm the bad guy all over again and the cycle starts over. It feels like there is no middle ground. 

Winterglow's picture

Where is this brat's father when she's interfering with your parenting? If he isn't around, the kid shouldn't be either. 

ESMOD's picture

This is a message you need to deliver very calmly and firmly to your SD.

When she starts butting in when you are working with your child on an issue.. and SHE starts to throw her two cents in...

You tell her that this is none of her business that if she feels the need to continue putting her nose where it doesn't belong that you will be happy to come up with a punishment or consequence for HER for interrupting when you are done with your daughter.

Defiance? Refusal?  Your child is small enough that if SD refuses to leave.. you both leave HER.. go to your room.. lock the door and continue with your child as you need to.

Then when you are done and your daughter is chilling in her room.. thinking of her behaviors... you can go back to SD.  

"I have asked you to not interrupt and it is not your place to tell an adult how to parent or run their home.  You can spend the remainder of your day in bed with no electronics or toys until your father gets home. (favorite punishment of my parents to remove us from any

GurlMama6's picture

I do like the idea of sending her to get room and taking her stuff away, but I get continued arguing, or me repeating myself and losing more patience each time until I blow my top. Then she slams her door

Ispofacto's picture

Put your hand on her shoulder and calmly lead her to her room the very first time she does it.  Quietly close her door.


futurobrillante99's picture

I wouldn't actually touch her, but I would give her a warning that she's about to lose a privilege. If she escalates, more privileges are lost. If she slams a door, she loses the door.

If she interferes with parenting, she has a penalty.

ESMOD's picture

This... she reacts with emotion.. you do not.. it all must be calm and purposed.  And clearly state.. You are on thin ice now, you can comply and go to your room.. or I can take you to your room and the nature of the consequences will be more severe the more back talk and refusal you give me.

YOu can also say.

SD.. you are the child, I am the adult, I am the boss of YOU .. not the other way around.  You go to your room now, or you will not like the alternative.


GurlMama6's picture

I have attempted this and she flips out and gets mad that I even touched her. Then she would tell her dad I grabbed her and pushed her in her room... ugh

Ispofacto's picture

So, you and this 8yo are EQUALS, and she feels empowered to TATTLE ON YOU?  Kinda like a SIBLING RIVALRY?

WTF.  Your DH has given her this power.  This is on him.

I'd refuse to watch her until he sets her straight.


GurlMama6's picture

I want him to do something about it because it irritates me and all I get backed up with is that I am her parent and I will be treated so.**crickets**. Turns around the very next chance and does it again. Like nothing was ever said....This is one of the very MANY reasons why I have chose to disengage.

CrownJewels's picture

No! No! No!

NEVER lay a finger on a stepkid. EVER! Crazy BMs!!! Lying stepkids! DON'T DO IT!

Ispofacto's picture

pushing your buttons + no consquences for her = fun times for a child

The pain has to outweigh the pleasure, or she will continue.  She must be punished.  Decide what he currency is, implement a consequence.



Tried out's picture

greater consequences - for the backtalk. The interference, arguing and backtalk are all part of the same problem: this kid believes her power and importance are equal to yours. They are not and this is the crux of your problems with her, like most of the problems in StepLand.

Do not argue with her. Each and every time you argue with a kid you are giving them your power. Send her to her room for a specified time. If she keeps arguing then you lengthen that time until she finally gets it. If she doesn't get it and refuses to obey you then you have a much bigger problem on your hands. If it was me, I'd refuse to be alone with her anymore. She can only be there when her father is. Period.

GurlMama6's picture

To add to the fun.. When DH is in another room when I get onto my bio D, SD finds my DH and tells him I am getting onto my child. It feels like I get treated like an older sister most of the time

GrudgingSM's picture

Yeah your DH needs to tell his daughter that he trusts you as a parent, and that he backs you 100%. 1)  that should be true anyway. 2) if your SD senses a crack, she will exploit it and triangulate you two.

futurobrillante99's picture

DH has to get in on the consequences.

In my house tattling was NOT rewarded. Unless the informant was telling me that their sibling was doing something dangerous, the tattler would get in trouble, too.

That solved a lot of arguments. I explained that tattling had its own punishment and if there was a dispute between siblings and they couldn't work it out amongst themselves, I would intervene and everyone would be punished. It was amazing to hear how fast they worked things out.

What made it work? I ALWAYS delivered on my threats. I always followed through. It's harder in a step situation if you have the bio parent undermining you.

Get DH on board. Maybe make a dessert for dinner every night - one that she likes. Something small, not too decadent. Then let SD know that she has to earn her dessert by minding her own business. If she interferes with your parenting or bosses her sisters around or tattles to DH, she loses her dessert. However, I'd give her chances to redeem herself in the early days. Tell her she can get a second chance by not interfering and instead helping you in some way.

GurlMama6's picture

I do make a dessert most nights, but she still tries to bargain her way out of eating. She will get a little spoonful or negotiate how many bites she needed to take

GurlMama6's picture

He does support me and when I tell him about them misbehaving, he threatens to spank them and gets grouchy qt them for a minute. Tells them to apologize and thats it... 

Winterglow's picture

Then she doesn't get to come back into your home until he gets a grip and an actual handle on his uncontrolled brat. In the meantime he can see her elsewhere. 

GurlMama6's picture

I do enjoy the breaks i get mainly because I'm not getting griped at for putting their craopla in their rooms or I made a dinner they don't like, or many other things. My 8 year old SD almost always tries to blame everything on every else. Like nothing is her fault. It is so exhausting. My DH was upset with me that SD room was a mess after she had "cleaned" it two days before and then when she came back from her no moms it was a mess. I explained that it was never truly clean and that I put her stuff right inside her door. He changed his tune and blame went back to SD

notarelative's picture

My DH was upset with me that SD room was a mess after she had "cleaned" it two days before and then when she came back from her no moms it was a mess. 

You have a DH problem. 

1dad4kids's picture

"stop parenting your sister/brother" is the repeat record in my house for both SS11 and BD5. I always thought all kids did this lol. 

ExhaustedByItAll's picture

SDteen does this with SS and Toddler, it's infuriating and she does it to both me and DH. Fortunately, DH doesn't tolerate it and he will raise his voice at her and take away privileges if she doesn't leave the room. Have you talked to your DH about it? If you both have the same response, "This is not your concern, you are not her parent, please go to your room/leave this room." and she doesn't leave, there has to be some consequence. She will wear out of it or learn to get out when told.

She is probably imitating her own mother and since you do something different she thinks it's wrong and has to correct you. DH and I are told all the time what terrible parents we are because we don't yell at or smack our Toddler(T) when there's a tantrum and we've caught both skids smacking T in the past. We have a no hitting, no smacking ANYONE policy in our house. But with SD, if T is already screaming and upset about something (as toddlers do), SD screaming and yelling at or smacking T is not helping anyone! Get out!

GurlMama6's picture

It's aggravating because if I am in the middle of speaking ti my toddler, she interrupts and is constantly saying LO name. I have to calmly tell her that it is none if her business. She gets all huffy and acts like I took her dolls away. Ugh. They will have plenty if time to parent when they have their own kids! I sometimes wish that when they get older, they are a stepmom. Then they can finally see the struggle!