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Step daughter driving me crazy(super long)

Tnb92's picture

So little back story me and my SO have been together for a year and a half we both have children from previous relationships. When I first met his daughter she had come down to visit because her dad had just moved here. she was great no problems nice little girl.                                               

Well she went back to her moms after being here for the summer and her mom gets a new boyfriend. Cuts all ties with my boyfriend won’t let him see his daughter talk to her on the phone anything. He had no contact with her for almost like a year I kept telling him to go get a lawyer because she can’t do that but he never listened so that was his own fault. 

Well fast forward to right before this summer starts her mom breaks up with the boyfriend and contacts my boyfriend saying how now all the sudden she wants to be civil and his daughter needs her dad in her life blah blah. I’m happy for him that’s great I know how much he’s missed her so we pick her up and she’s going to stay the summer with us. I don’t know what changed but she’s acts horrible now. I know it’s not her fault she’s young she’s only 6 but my god they way her mother has raised her drives me crazy. 

Shes really rude I buy or do something for her she just takes it and says nothing no thank you nothing she has no manners so I remind her to say please and thank you a lot and she’ll just say I know. she will not eat any fruits or vegetables or anything healthy at all. She says I don’t like that doesn’t even try it and starts crying all she will eat is junk food  cookies chips candy etc.

When playing with other kids she snatches things out of their hands and says gimme that and I say no you say can I have that please don’t grab and say gimme that’s rude. She just ignores me and I have to repeat myself and ask her if she understands and she just reply’s I know. Now I’ll make dinner for all of us almost every night and I’ll try to get her to eat healthy. She will cry and cry because she doesn’t like that without even trying it. If I finally do get her to try it she’ll hold it in her mouth for so long and won’t swallow it and start gagging and crying like it’s the end of the world this isn’t just one thing I’ve tried many different fruits and veggies it all the same reaction.

She cries over everything like the most  minuscule things she cries atleast 15 times a day if not more. Over things like she accidentally dropped her doll on the floor boom crying fit. Anytime she has to go to the bathroom and she doesn’t get there right then and there when she announces she has to go boom crying. She dropped a little piece of food on her or a drop of water boom crying, were playing all having fun laughing and the ball doesn’t roll her way or something like that she cries.

She gives me dirty looks all the time and doesn’t want to listen to me I get that this is still kinda new to her but it’s nothing big I’ll just ask her to pick up her toys and she’ll ignore me and pretend she didn’t hear me. She does that a lot I get this is all kinda new to her and she’s been gone awhile and I’m not even blaming her behavior on her it’s not really her fault. 

Her mom has now told us to keep her because she’s having a difficult time so we are now going to have her full time. She can’t keep acting like this since she’s staying now. I really don’t know what to do or how to help her her behavior. It’s unhealthy and bad and she’s going to start kindergarten soon and she can’t behave this way there. I’m hoping it’ll get better with time. Maybe once she’s more comfortable but it’s already been 3 months almost 4 and nothing has changed even a little. 

I’m not just blaming her mom though my boyfriend plays his own part too he’s pretty good about most things but he doesn’t try to fix her rude behavior. I’ll tell him and he just kinda shrugs it off which does not help because that’s then teaching her that it’s ok. With her eating habits she could eat junk food all day and it wouldn’t bother him so again not helping the cause but I’m the one with the kids all day he works so I really really need some advice on what to do 


MoominMama's picture

Your BF is the problem here and the situation he is in. This is a scenario that comes up regularly and there is no quick fix or easy answer.

Your BF has been denied access to his daughter in the past so he is unlikely to want to rock the boat. He is in fact a disney daddy because he is frightened of being anything else. By the sound of it, your DH's ex (the BM) has used some alienation techniques on her daughter which is why you get the black looks and difficulties from her. She will also have been brought up differently to how you might bring your own children up, different values and styles of upbringing.

You have allowed yourself to become the babysitter (for free) to his child and thus are thrown into close contact and a position of authority over a child who has been taught to mistrust and maybe even hate you before she even knew you. It's a tough call. Can your BF afford childcare? if so then he needs to engage someone to do the job and not expect you to do it for free. Did he even ask you? sounds like he didn't. You will most likely end up resentful and possible hating his child. Your relationship with BF will be tested.

What to do?  I suppose it breaks down to either:-

Disengaging entirely: requires a babysitter and you not doing anything, cooking, washing etc for his child, he needs to do it all. This will cause trouble with him as you have already allowed him to assume that you are willing to bring up the child he produced with his ex.

Insisting that he do something about her behaviour: He will not want to do this as it endangers his relationship with the child (as he thinks) and will bring the wrath of the BM.

Leaving: You are not married and have no children with him so this is less problematic than it would be if you had children together.

Put up with it: learn ways to keep sane and wait until SD is grown up. This is the long haul and much easier said than done.

* how old is the SD?

twoviewpoints's picture

My guess is this little girl has had a very 'rough' last year. The kid cries at the drop of a hat, poor kid sounds a mixture of miserable and afraid. 

And no offense to you, but this kid barely even knows who you are. You saw her last summer, kid was ok. No sight nor word inbetween. Now this summer kid is a mess, Mommy needs 'rid' of kid and she's tossed back into a house with people she barely knows or remembers, competing with strangers' (you bio kids), all different expectations (aka behavior and eating) .... and the one person in the home she should be parenting by and know her the most, leaves it all up to you. 

The kid should have been in daycare /pre-school setting, at least part of the week, all summer long. You'd of had a better idea by now of how she functions both outside your home and with other children. You'd of had the trained eye of her daycare staff to get a verbal report on their opinions and thought of the little girl.

What do you even have to share with a potential counselor besides she cries non-stop and refuses to eat fruits and vegetables? When is the last time the little girl saw a pediatrician for a routine check-up. I think that's where I'd start. Have Dad make an appointment for complete physical and then look for a therapist skilled in children and stepfamilies. Simply start with the kid is having trouble adjusting and inform therapist of all the changes and upsets in the kid's short life. 

And remember, you aren't the parent of this child. The heavy load and all the parenting shouldn't be being dumped on you. The child needs her father both in presence and in stepping up and being the parent he is suppose to be. This little girl i about to enter kindergarten and she isn't ready.  

Oh, the junk food. She can't eat only junk food if isn't junk food in the home to eat. Cookies, chips and candy? Why keep buying all that junk? Occasional is fine, routine available in the home , especially when the kid is having troubles eating normal meals is not. What alternative snacks and treats are offered and available in the home to offer the kids other than cookies, chips and candy? Maybe try browsing through a book of healthy snacks/treats for children, All kinds of ways to sneak healthy into still very tasty and kid friendly snacks/treats. 

And if your BF (the girl's father) insist she just gets junk meals and junk snacks, fine. But be sure he is the one running out and buying it, feeding it to her and taking responsibility for it all. Parenting and caretaking of this little kiddo isn't your job. You also can't are more than the actual parent does.You'll drive yourself crazy if you try. 

Welcome to steptalk. Lot of SMs here in the same boat you are. You're not alone, and you're not the only SM Daddy tries to dump all this parenting stuff off on. You'll get lots of advice and there are plenty of reading around the blogs/forums. 

Tnb92's picture

I’m sorry about that I fixed it so hopefully it looks better. Thank you guys for the advice and support I really appreciate it.