What works with skid/step relationship: advice from daughter
As some of you know I am truly at my wit's end with my SD15. Having exhausted every known (and possible) option, yesterday I had a chance to chat with my DD17, who's had a step mom for over 10 years now. It's been a non-issue since the beginning so I asked her how it was for her - what made it so easygoing. SM is a decent person and now has two babies of her own. She's not treated my kids like they were hers, but like they are respected visitors. My kids have always been respectful of her too though, and decent kids. My kids are close with her family and it's been a pretty uneventful for 10 years. SM has stayed out of the parenting and let my ex handle it ALL (no matter how poorly). Many times they come home from their weekends unshowered, and I wondered why, but whatever, it has worked well for a long time. He's not very involved in their lives at all though outside of their EOW visits - which works well for me... So I asked my DD17's advice b/c things are going well with her situation. I asked her what was different about our situation with SD15. She said it is because everyone involved at her dad's is decent and respectful - they are and SM is too. She said what's different here is that SD15 is a bad kid and is making it difficult and draumatic. She said that DH isn't treating SD15 like the rest of them either and that SD15 is very manipulative and disrespectful. She said she (DD17) hates the drama so much that she just prefers to stay in her room than have to be around it. So, basically, SD15 is ruining our family single-handedly...and we are all powerless b/c DH won't do anything about it, or let me either.
(We are NOT going to get a divorce b/c of this, we are going to figure it out. I am not going to give up on this "horrible" child either. I'm in her life for a reason and I'm not going to leave her like her mom did. I made a vow and a commitment and knew it would be tough...for better or for worse I am committed to my family.)