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Anxiety over the unknown

loveallmygirls's picture

Hi everyone. I lurk around a lot but rarely ever post. Recently I am finding myself more and more concerned with a what-if scenario involving my youngest stepdaughter. DH and I have been together since both SDs were very young, and have one bio child together. Both SDs are teens, one graduating soon. The oldest went through the typical emotional, awkward teenager phase and seems to have come out of it for the most part. She still seems to want to come around and generally has a good attitude. The youngest is becoming more and more distant, especially after DH has to correct her over anything. The standards in our houses are very different and we think she gets to do whatever she wants at bio moms house as long as she keeps her grades up. Anyway, I am concerned that she is eventually just not going to want to come around anymore because we expect more from her than her mother seems to. She's a good kid- we just require more responsibility of her in my opinion. I love her and treat her as one of my own, and her half sister would be devastated if she stopped coming around. Not to mention, it would crush DH. Has anyone experienced something similar? How did you and your spouse and bio kids cope? 

Harry's picture

It's your home, you are the adults.  You control the home.  If you let SD control your family.  By doing nothing, not respecting the family   All will be lost.  You will have " The new Queen " 

This is how your family operates,  She either get with the program.  Or stays  home.  You must set the example for  your bio child.  
everyone feels guilt, because SD. Aren't getting it    There is no what if.  

CajunMom's picture

Your home; your rules. No conceding. 

reedle2021's picture

I'm sorry you're going through this.  I have not experienced a similar situation.  However, I agree with the other posters:  I would not be willing to change/ignore the rules for the distant SD.  Changing rules or expectations or anything to accommodate SD puts her in a power position.  I have lived with an SS who was put in a power position by his daddy - needless to say, it didn't work out.  I left.

Keep doing what you are doing.  You sound like an excellent step-parent and parent and your DH too.  Be patient with SD but firm - hold her to the same rules/standards of everyone else.  If she gets upset and stops coming over, I think it would only be temporary and she'd start coming back over again. 

Please keep us posted!  Smile

Rags's picture

the standards of behavior and standards of performance that were set and enforced in our home.

We were the CP household.  There were pretty much no rules in SpermLand (the NCP family).  

We learned that the best way to rapidly and effectively deal with pre and post visitation behavioral issues from SS was zero tolerance for failing to perform to behavioral and performance standards when he was at home with us. It was not a one or the other thing regarding behavioral and performance standards.  Both were required.  Positive reinforcement was of course used, but.... praise for one and consequences for the other if not complied with was a given.  As was more significant consequences for non compliance for both at the same time.  Compliance for both was not specificically rewarded but was noted with appropriate comments of recognition for doing well.  He would start with what we labeled as pre-visitaiton behavioral degredation about a week befor eleaving for SpermClan visitation.  He was never allowed to perpetrate that poor decision without consequence.  Upon retorn from SpermLand visitation, we would have about 2wks of post visitaiton behavioral detox. Zero tolerance applied. He finally learned that failure to comply with the standards was a very unpleasant choice.  

A kid should not have a choice regarding coming over. Daddy needs to drag his daughter to visitation regardless of if she wants to be there or not. It is not a kid's choice. It is a Court Order and is a legally enforceable document.  It is the responsible parent's duty to enforce it. If youngest SD does not visit as ordered, she needs to see BM dragged to court on a contempt motion for failing to comply with DH's visitation schedule.

If you and DH enforce these things with collaborative zero tolerance commitment, the what-if you are worried about has very little chance of occurring. Let YSD know that she has no choice. PERIOD! DOT!