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Is this normal?

Stepdaddy48's picture

I am a proud stepfather of a wonderful young princess.  I met her when she was nine when I first started dating her mom.  We have developed a close relationship over time and started calling me daddy well before me and her mom were married two years ago.  She is now 14 and and growing into an exceptional young lady.  

While see has always been fairly affectionate towards me (e.g., hugs at night before going to bed, saying I love you to each other, etc.), her level of affection has intensified over the past several months.  For example, she likes to cuddle with me on the couch while we partaking in our favorite pass time - watching a good flick.  This is a special time together as her mom is not particularly fond of watching movies.  She says things like, “I love you a lot”.  She will look at me in a way that l’ll ask her what’s up and she will say, “nothing, I just love you.”,  Or she will say things like, “I don’t know why anyone would have said no to going out with you, I wouldn’t have said no.”  

I spoke to her mom about the fact that my stepdaughter’s physical affection for me has intensified recently, and she acknowledges that her daughters adores me and appreciative of the role I’ve played in her life.  I have no prior experience with parenting and was brought up in a loving but not particularly affectionate family.  I wouldn’t expected this to begin at 14.   

She hasn’t had much of a relationship with her father since her mom divorced him.  I don’t know if this is making up for lost time, or if this is a phase.  Her mom does not appear to be particularly concerned.   I’m looking for some advise here, Thanks,

Concerned Loving Stepdad


marblefawn's picture

Have you ever seen that movie, "Orphan" with Peter Sarsgaard? His adopted daughter does the exact same thing to him! I won't tell you the big plot hook on which the entire movie is based, but I'll tell you this: it didn't end well for Peter Sarsgaard!

Your post is interesting because many stepmothers complain on this site about biological daughters' overly intimate behavior with their biological fathers -- of course, it is inappropriate and it disrupts the marriage because the father never sees it as the stepmother does. He gets off on the attention and SD likes edging out her stepmother. Look around this site -- this is a major disruptor that leaves a lot of marriages in turmoil.

I can't say it's not normal because so many stepmothers post about this near-sexual behavior in their stepdaughters toward a biological parent. But in your case, your SD's behavior is perhaps a more dangerous because you are not her biological father so boundaries must be firmer. You don't want to be accused of anything. And I can't help but think these girls are not right in the head when they're so sexualized at a young age and acting out on it (and with a parent!) A kid that maladjusted might be just the type to make a false claim against you, especially as she gets older and rebels.

To a lesser degree, though, for her own good, you also don't want your SD to be a 60-year-old still calling herself a "Daddy's girl" and expecting you to rescue her. You want her to develop an adult relationship with you and her mom and not stay stuck in this role of a child needing your attention, your money, your support when she's an adult. Lifelong "Daddy's girls" is not the natural order -- the natural order is that a woman will meet a partner who will fill those roles of attention and support, and then she can model adult woman behavior and responsibility for her own kids someday.

I'd put a stop to this ASAP.

lorlors's picture

It sounds to me like your SD is modelling or practicing what a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship is like with you. As the poster above said, I would nip that in the bud.

You sounds like a really nice man but for me, I do not like when daughters are referred to or treated like princesses by daddy. It creates a lifelong sense of entitlement and a feeling that the world owes them a favour because they are 'the princess'.

fairyo's picture

Yes, indeed. This young woman is not a princess- she is a teenage girl with hormones and self-identity issues. You have shown her love and affection in the past which may have been right for the child, but not right for the woman she is becoming. If you really do love and care for her then you need to withdraw this overtly physical affection and showing her what a caring man does- he backs off, encourages her to study and take an interest in things going on in the community, he may see that she has clothes and healthy food and exercise, he may encourage appropriate friendships and  boyfriends- but most of all he no longer treats her like a child. Ler her grow up please, not into a queen but into a well rounded woman who knows how to make her own way in the world. Otherwise you are storing up a whole heap of trouble for yourself and for her.

Why do I know this? I had a great dad who did all those things for me.