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Disrespectful stepchild

Ajrebels's picture

My 5 year old stepdaughter is constantly being mean and disrespectful. She will be like your ugly, your stupid, your lazy etc. My partner doesn’t think it’s a problem and thinks I need to stop being so sensitive because she’s only 5. When she says these things she faces no discipline for it. Maybe I’m wrong but none of my friends allow their children to talk like that. Should I just let it go? Or am I right in finding it unacceptable and disrespectful? 

Kes's picture

No, this behaviour should not be ignored.  How is the child going to make friends at school if she is constantly insulting people?   Your partner, frankly, is the problem - he should be laying down behaviour guidelines for his child, no matter whether she is 3, 5, 10 or older.    She needs to know what is acceptable and what is not.  

Ajrebels's picture

I’ve been trying to get him to set boundaries and make consequences for behavior but he doesn’t do it. He will start but then when she continues he doesn’t follow through because it makes her sad. He made it seem like I only feel this way because I don’t like her and that I should be worried about bonding with her and not worry about discipline. He thinks she’s just going to mature with time and wake up one day and not be disrespectful anymore. 

Winterglow's picture

Would he think it's not a problem if she says this to other people too, or is it just you he thinks should put up with it?

Bet he'll be less than ecstatic when the notes from school start coming home about her abusive language to others ... 

The time to do something about it is NOW. Anything else is just lazy pseudo-parenting.

Ajrebels's picture

She has no problems at school she’s always a star student. It’s not just me she insults she’s rude to her grandparents, biological mother and her father. Her mom returns her after just a few hours of having her each time because “she’s annoying and rude” (her words), her grandparents on her moms side want nothing to do with her, and her grandparents on her dads side are wanting to see her less. 

CLove's picture

Well, if no one else can stand being around that behavior, it would stand to reason that this behavior should stop.

Does your partner think its cute? Is he feeing guilty and thusly doesnt want to punish her? Obviously he is blocking you, but even her own mother cant stand her.

marsaidstep's picture

This behavior should not be ignored. Regardless of the child's age it is unacceptable, very disrespectful and particularly cruel. It needs to be addressed. And also just like the above poster said would he be ok with it if she was saying it to others? Then why is it ok to say to you? It is only a matter of time before this child has major problems with school and getting along with others.

Ajrebels's picture

She talks to all her family like this including him. She doesn’t do it at school they are always saying how well behaved she is. As soon as we get in the car the attitude, disrespect, not listening starts. Everyone has had enough of it but he refuses to discipline her or make consequences for her behavior. He’s tried a few times but she tells him he’s mean and cries and then he feels bad and cuddles her a tells her it’s ok. I’m constantly telling him if your kid likes you and is happy with you all the time then you’re not being a parent. But then he’s just like she’s 5 you will understand when you have a kid of your own one day. 

MissJulsie's picture

If this child's own mother, and all four grandparents are not accepting this behaviour, then surely that would send a big message to your SO? This is one of the biggest cases of burying head in the sand I have ever seen. Children need to be corrected at all times, no matter how young they are. Does she live with you and your SO full time?

Don't fall for the blame-shifting tactic that your SO uses on you. It's the oldest trick in the book. Shut it down straight away. 

Ajrebels's picture

Yes she lives with us full time. I just don’t know how I can get him to open his eyes and start parenting her. I love my SO but every day it gets a little bit harder for me to keep working at it. He’s keeps bringing up having more children and I 100 percent want to have a child but as this continues I become less sure that I want him to be the father. 

CLove's picture

Based on what you are seeing now, just imagine a lifetime of this. It wont get any better, because she will strive to be number 1 in dadees life and any other children will be seen as competition, and will be treated badly too.

You might want to really examine if this is the life you want for the next 13-30 years!

notarelative's picture

SD knows this behavior is not acceptable if she behaves correctly with non relatives. Head in sand dad has taught her that relatives don’t deserve decent treatment. He’s teaching her how to treat a spouse. He’s setting her up for future multiple failed relationships.


Ajrebels's picture

I agree she knows exactly what she’s doing because she doesn’t talk to the teacher like that. She knows if she did it at school there would be consequences. Unfortunately he won’t give her consequences and won’t let anyone eslse discipline her so she knows she can do whatever she wants. 

Aniki's picture

My partner doesn’t think it’s a problem and thinks I need to stop being so sensitive...

This has absolutely nothing to do with you being sensitive and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that your partner is a BAD PARENT. And he most certainly IS setting her up for future failure in relationships - personal AND work. 

I could not be with a man who has more respect for his 5yo brat than his adult partner. Don't look for this to change. Expect it to become progressively worse as the years go by.

Ajrebels's picture

That exactly what I’m worried about. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve given it my all and tried to be the best partner and step mom but I’m starting to lose myself and becoming almost a zombie because I just do t want to keep being disrespected by a 5 year old and him allowing it is just a disrespectful I feel like their punching bag. I do so much for both of them and have really given them my all. But at what point do you throw in the towel and walk away? Is it even possible for it to workout anymore? 

Aniki's picture

Hon, you are the only person who can determine "at what point". We all have varied levels of tolerance. 

Some have found solutiions that work for them, such as 100% disengagement where the skids are not allowed in their home. Others disengage and force the bio parents to do everything for their kids. 

But the big question is will your partner BE a partner and parent his child. WITHOUT requiring help from you. Life is too short to be so unhappy. 

Evil3's picture

You don't have an SD problem, but rather a SO problem. The line about your SD growing out of it is pure baloney. These kids do not grow out of it. That's guilty daddy speak for, "I'm far too afraid to parent my kid, so I'll just gaslight you instead." My SD is 30 and is the most vile creature I've ever met. I heard all the same lines about her just being a kid, her growing out of it, or me hating her. These dads say such things to throw the onus off of them to parent properly and put it onto us to bend over and take it. I endured insane abuse for decades, because I was stupid, co-dependent and fell for the lines and thought it was me being the deficient human being. I had a DD with my DH and I made sure to not let her turn out like SD, so not being a bio parent is also bullpoopy. Also, with my SD being 30, she obviously did not grow out of it. She got worse.

If you're not sure you want to break it off yet, you can always have a come to Jesus meeting with your SO and tell him he either starts parenting his rude brat or you're out. You will no longer tolerate such treatment and the child being five is not an excuse to take abuse. It's the perfect time to train her to be a decent human being. In my day, if I ever spoke like that to an adult, I would have been severely consequenced and grounded until doomsday.

Ajrebels's picture

Thank you everyone for all your advice I really appreciate it. It gave me the strength to finally say this is not ok and I don’t have to put up with it. By taking a stand my partner finally opened his eyes and realized changes needed to be made. So far he’s made a time out chair and a behavior chart. There has been a lot of positive change in SD she still has moments of being extremely disrespectful  but he’s correcting her and she’s learned to apologize for her behavior. His mom even said she’s like a completely different kid. Hopefully we can continue in this direction. 

hereiam's picture

Kids are smart. They know exactly who will let them get away with what. So, good for your partner for finally showing her that the disrespectful behavior is NOT okay.


CLove's picture

But dont let him get relaxed and stop, this is crucial!

Im so glad that you posted an update and it was a positive one. Biggrin Not all SDs are evil.

Rags's picture

Nothing that a swat to the ass every time she opens her snarky little mouth won't fix.

Lather, rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat.