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I cant seem to love my 3 year old SD

Keneilwe's picture


I have been with my BF now for 2 years and he had a daughter whom the mother past away during birth. When we met the daughter was living in Nigeria with my bfs aunt from birth and last year he decided he wants to bring her daughter to stay with him since he had never met her until she came. I didnt have any problem with the SD coming to stay with us. After all I didnt think it would be difficult since I'm  a mother of an 11 year daughter old and there won't be any baby mama drama. Boy was I wrong .


Let me tell you the father is the problem. He cant let me do my job as a SM to this child. He judges everything and he wants things his or no way. I mean we met this child  for the first time together so it's not I came and started changing their lifestyle. If anything we are the ones that had a particular lifestyle and now it's gone because everything now had to be about parenting his daughter. It's so frustrating.

When my SD came there's nothing I didnt do for her. She was in not so hygienic state when she came. I cared for her the best way I know. Took care of her still am like she was mine. But it's still kit enough for the father. When I try to teach the SD manners or discipline her he says I dont love his child. Shes is only 3 meaning I should let her get away with everything. I just cant even try because every house has rules so what's different about this 3 year old. And now this has resulted in me resenting her because I feel the father is not helping the process of me and my SD connecting. He causing the drift between us. 

He so overcompensating because he was not there for last 2 years and he is realizing that he is doing  disservice to his child. He says I will not tell him how to live his child. This child is so needy and so entitled now. She pess on herself daylight just sitting on the couch and when I want to discipline her by saying no cartoons for atleast a week I'm wrong. He says it's an accident. At night yea I can take that it's an accident. Not because you watching cartoons and don't wanna stand up. I mean this child lacks independence its so bad. I taught her most of the things that she now knows or does but she will want to be helped with everything. I mean even brushing here teeth. And the father will give in. To monitor it's ok but to do everything for the child even putting on slippers not even boots or sneakers. And now the sad part is she now knows what's going on. She is manipulating the situation. Now I have become the baddie or scary one because I don't let her get away with anything that is nonsense. And she will act like she is being victimised to the father. I'm just tired. 

Theres just a lot going on since my SD came to stay with us and I'm miserable because its causing the unhappiness between me and the father. There'll be times where I think the father is getting it and things will be ok between us and then something will happen and we take 3 steps backs. 

All I know is I'm tired of this and I'm miserable. And trully now it has come to the point where my SD annoys the heck out me. Even hearing her voice makes me sick. It's like I hate her and I don't wanna be that person that hates a child but I think I'm there. And now I'm pregnant and it's just too much for me. I just wish she never came. 

I don't even like the way she will be so touchy touchy with the father. It's not appropriate. And the father doesn't see anything wrong with it. He will even take his shower in front of her or walk naked in front of her and I'm like wtf it's going on here. This is not proper. That's why she is so comfortable being touchy touchy with his dad's friends because she thinks it's ok. Which is another thing I'm always fighting about she needs to know that when we have visitors she can't interrupt the conversation or start sitting in the lounge with them. She should know that it's time to go to her room and watch tv there or colour her books or something. Dont make people uncomfortable. But the father says whoever's comes to his house they know he has a child and if they have a problem with that they should stay away. This guy's  just not getting it at all. 

I want out so bad but another thing is I have been dependent on my bf since I lost my job and kinda lost everything . So I'm afraid to start from scratch. And not that he has not told me to pack my stuff and leave because I can't be the mother that he wants to his child. Meaning I should spoil the child I guess. The whole thing about this situation it's just so frustrating and I don't  see it changing anytime soon. My SD is growing up so you can imagine the manipulation will be on the triple and I'm going run mad. I'm miserable



beebeel's picture

I think a therapist would be more qualified to help you than I am, but I'll try.

I think your expectations of a 3 year old are out of touch and you will soon be reminded when your new one reaches 3. Our son is 3. Accidents happen. He is still learning to say "excuse me" and he needs constant reminders. He is "touchy feely" with his parents and our friends. He is 3. He still needs help getting jeans and boots on. He still needs help brushing his teeth.

This little girl has been through a lot in her extremely short life. She certainly doesn't need a grown woman hating her just because she exists. Please seek some help to sort through whatever is going on with you or leave the situation. 

And the title is misleading. You don't have to love your SD. But it is completely irrational to hate her.

Keneilwe's picture

Thanks for the advice. That's why I joined here because I wanna know if how I'm feeling towards my SD is normal or not. I do feel bad that I have these feelings but maybe it's because of of how the father is handling the situation or maybe I'm just harsh. But I definitely know this is not the way to go about things. 

beebeel's picture

You definitely identify that your real problem is dad. He comes down on you for trying to parent his daughter. Sometimes it's easier for us to transfer those negative emotions to the kid because you love him, but you literally just met her.

So, take a huge step back. Don't try to teach her manners or independence. Leave that stuff to dad. Have you two sat down to calmly discuss all of these changes and how to be on the same page concerning parenting? 

Keneilwe's picture

I talk to him all the time he is just not hearing me. And  I have tried not being the disciplinarian and just take the back seat but he will still bash me for that saying why can't I control a 3 year old.  And yes you right he is the problem and I just take it out on the child. Because he makes me see her as the cause. And yes I have all these frustrations and and resentful at times but I still try to do the best that i can for my SD. Its just hard sometimes

Winterglow's picture

It's not your job to control his 3 year old. HE is the parent, HE needs to start behaving like one. The child is not your responsibility, she is HIS. Tell him that ... and punctuate every word with a Gibbs-slap.

tog redux's picture

Yes, this - if he doesn't like how you parent the child, let him handle it all. Problem solved. 

Lizzylemon's picture

I’ve had some of the same issues with homeless looking feral child sd9 when I married dh. I enforced house rules that everyone must follow and specific times for the child to do things like shower, eat, etc. Your dh seems to be the problem here. We started going to marriage counseling as well and it’s helped dh see that he just can’t let the child be feral, that she needs rules and structure. The therapist also told dh that the spouses are to be put first before the children, always. You have a long road ahead of you but counseling should open your dh eyes and strengthen your relationship. Good luck to you! 

DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

Counselling for both of you?

The little girl seems to be perfectly normal for her age, and your partner is somewhat ‘new’ to parenting. 

The little girl isn’t being naughty, you just appear to both need counselling to reconcile your points of view as you may both have had very different upbringings. 

Step_dad's picture

Get him to stop walking around naked around her immediately. I wouldn't dream of doing that. I don't even walk around in boxers because I think it's highly inappropriate.


shes only 3 and ideally you don't want them weeing everywhere but again she's only 3. Get your partner to get a potty and start potty training her.


as for discipline believe me you want to step back on that. My partner and I have 2 completely different parenting styles and I'm at the point where I think whatever happens to your kid in the future is between you and your family (brought him up not me- I met him at 9years old and he was spoiled all that time) if I have an issue I tell my partner who will then tell him (as if it's coming from her) slightly different as he's older.

if she is doing something obviously naughty do tell her not to, if she continues depending on what it is talk to your partner and both be consistent in the discipline as in if you say no you can't do that he should be saying listen to sm she is correct you may not do that and if either of us catch you doing jt you'll be in trouble.


youve got a baby on the way if I've read correctly . Focus on your baby, make sure he/she is raised the way you want obviously you both have to compromise somewhat as you're both parents to the child but stand your ground.


i have 3 skids and one bio daughter. I am a lot stricter than my partner and she Will accept that. I won't tolerate certain things and I won't have her relaxed attitude to discipline rub off on her, she knows this already. She's had 3 kids and none of their dads have been around so she has grown to accept she has to not be 100% as I'm here now.


when I'm not home her kids are naughtier than when I'm there and she wonders why. I just leave her to it, I'm not there to suffer when they are naughty. I've already explained to her it's the way she handles things but you know most people get offended if you comment on their parenting so you have to leave them to it. 

Edit: I know you're pregnant but if not far a long can you job hunt? Have you got any family or friends? Any benefits you're entitled to? If you're not happy run, honestly. If he expects you to spoil his kid that's just a no. Do whatever you can to get out and don't look back.