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My Stepdaughter is Jealous

Ad87's picture

Hi guys, i just moved in with my partner a month ago, she have a 3 yrs old toddler.

Her daughter is still young and should mean the blending would be easier, however she gets so jealous when she sees me and her mum being intimate in any way, she hit her mum's hands and threw the food away when her mum was trying to put food in my mouth

she screams and do anything to get attention whenever me and her mum talks for a bit, to a point that she screams and when she get the attention she starts thinking of things to ask for even if they dont make any sense

Anyway i know she's only 3 years old and that's completely normal but I don't know how to deal with it? It kinds hurts that i cannot touch my partner at all in front of her or show any love! So what can we do to deal with it?

Also we live in a 3 bedroom, when she asked her mum why is she staying in my bedroom and not in the 3rd bedroom, her mum told her because the other bedroom is not ready yet. Is that a correct response to give the toddler? I feel that we should be more open with her but still dont know how

Also she wakes up a lot during the night and my partner have to get up and comfort her and come back like 3-4 times every night, she's getting so tired and said she probably gonna move with her child to the 3rd bedroom every night when she wakes up the first time which made me worried! It means we will be in seperate bedrooms for at least another year or two!

my partner won't accept bringing her daughter to our bed during the night because she dont want her on the same bed with me


i need some advice because I've never been in such a relationship before

Ad87's picture

Sorry i think i need to be more clear, we do kiss and hug in front of her toddler but only when she's busy with her toys or distracted.

im 100% sure the toddler is doing like any other kid and jealousy is a normal feeling, but just want advice on how to deal with it

Rags's picture

Your partner is the problem. She does not end the crap as soon as it starts.

As for running to the 3yo when it wakes up several times a night.... Nope. Let the kid scream its head off and do not go to the kid.  Kids need to learn to self soothe and if a parent runs to soothe constantly, the kid won't learn anything other than they get what they want when they scream, yell, and act out.

A screaming kid that is manipulating, and they do manipulate, should not be comforted.  That just reinforces, facilitates, and enables the manipulations of even a young child.

Regarding the 3yo slapping at mommy, etc.. .when  you and your mate show effection to each other.... that needs a firm no the first time... and a swat to her hand subsequently with a stern correction. Lather.... rinse... repeat.

IMHO of course.

SAM_VUIN's picture

Message to AD87:   This post is exactly what I would have said.   Your partner is exercising enabling actions...big, big mistake and damaging to the 3YO as well as your relationships.

Winterglow's picture

How to deal with it? Really? Why should you have to deal wth it? Your partner needs to actually parent her child because she is raising an entitled brat of a princess. 

The reason she screams all the time is that it works - it gets her what she wants - so  she's going to keep on doing that as long as it does. Make it a rule that she gets nothing if she screams or throws a tantrum - at best, all she gets is time-out to think about it.

Her jealousy tantrums are the same. She will butt into any and every situation if she's never told to wait her turn, the adults are talking. What is your partner doing to change that? What kind of discipline? Just talking to her about it won't work - you don't negotiate with terrorists. Time-outs? 

"Anyway i know she's only 3 years old and that's completely normal"

No, it's not. It's a parents job to iron out this kind of behaviour. As long as it's tolerated, it will continue.

I agree with you that your partner is not being fair either to you or to her daughter by pretending that you're just a passing guest. Does she think her daughter is stupid? Kids understand way more than you think. Time to come clean and tell her the truth.

As for the night waking, that too will continue until your partner puts her foot down. If she moves to the 3rd bedroom with the kid, you might as well pack your bags. She needs to be a parent and tell the child to go back to her room - as often as it t takes. Maybe take her back the first time but tell her she is NOT to get up again. Yes, there will be massive tantrums but it's the only way to get this to stop. Doesn't she ever expect her child to follow instructions?

"my partner won't accept bringing her daughter to our bed during the night because she dont want her on the same bed with me"

Well, that's at least one thing she's got right.

Look, she has to step up her parenting game. I understand how tempting it is to give her everything she wants but it's not good for her development if mummy gives in all the time and it certainly isn't good for your relationship.

How involved is her father?


ESMOD's picture

First.. the child should not be sleeping in your bedroom.. she should be in her own room.. period.

Second,  I would dial back the PDA when her child is there in front of you.. Making out.. feeding someone by hand?  it sounds like it's pretty private intimate behavior.. and that is not really appropriate to display in front of her child.  Holding hands.. a simple kiss hello/goodbye? watching TV with your arm around her?  all are ok.. but if it is more than that. .it's a bit much.  Basically, you shouldn't be doing things in front of the child that you wouldn't do "in public".. in front of your mother.. your boss at work etc.. 

Third.. she is a toddler.. The "terrible Twos".. can extend beyond into someone her age.  She has very little ability to self regulate her feelings.. and frustrations.  It is a time, however where she can also be taught to not scream for everything.. she does it because it has been effective.. mom needs to do more to curb that behavior and not allow it to be rewarded.


Rumplestiltskin's picture

Your partner must first feel that things need to change, and then she must be willing to try to make things change. Training a 3-year-old and training a dog aren't so different. Ignoring or gently redirecting undesirable behaviors and rewarding desirable ones is the way to go. Now, the child is actually being trained to behave in undesirable ways, since those behaviors are rewarded with things she wants. A lot of parents just want to see their kid smile and are unaware that they are actually harming them by reinforcing certain behaviors. 

Harry's picture

This kid should have a bed time. And in a bed in her own room at that time.  Why you are sleeping with her mother is none of her business.  Your GF is causing all of this 

Rags's picture

any children in the home.  Regardless of kid bioparentage.

If SO won't parent then you do it.

If she does not like how you parent and discipline, they she can step up and get it done before you have to.

I am an immediate correction guy.  When the toxic toddler plays her crap start with a firm NO!.  If that does not end it, then follow with another firm NO! combined with a physical restraint if she is hitting when you two are being affectionate.  A third time, again the firm NO! and a firm tap to her lips with the backs of your fingers if she is starting to throw a tantrum.  If that does not break the cycle, a 4th firm NO! and she gets planted in an isolated corner with her nose holding the intersecting walls together with a swat to the butt.

No has to be used and it has to mean no with escalating unpleasant consequences.

A screaming toddler who does not stay in their own bed/room, must be given no choice. Barring any cause other than them just being a screaming toddler.

ESMOD's picture

I strongly feel that this OP should avoid as much involvement in directly parenting this child. he already resents the child.. and the correction won't be coming from a place of love and compassion.. if mom won't deal with it appropriately.. he should insist that she does.. if she won't.. maybe it's not the right relationship.

ESMOD's picture

I may have missed that.. they talk about their partner being the BM.. so I guess it could be either.. ?  It really doesn't matter tbh.. I still think the child shouldn't be sleeping in their room.. and intimate PDA displays.. things you wouldn't do in front of your mother.. your boss still should be reserved for private times when the child isn't present (not just distracted with toys but in the same room). 

Winterglow's picture

I went back and read the part that made me think OP might be a woman and I was probably wrong. 

I also agree with the "if you wouldn't do it in front of your mother don't do it in front of your child" rule.

ESMOD's picture

There is a difference between showing affection.. and more personal display for sure.  Like for me personally.. the thought of watching someone feed another person by hand.. kind of gives me the mental "icks".. or watching people locked in deep kisses in public.  A kiss.. a hug.. having your arm around someone's shoulder or waist is fine.. but more than that seems to be a bit much..   If you see a couple holding hands in public.. it's "awww.. that's cute".. you see someone sitting on their partner's lap kissing? it's "get a room".. haha

It's not that the child should be allowed to strike out at someone else.. or that they should maintain a 3 foot distance to avoid upsetting the child.. but being appropriate in how they are when the child is in the room.. just because she is 3.. and assumed to be distracted.. kids take in a lot more than they may think.

Rags's picture

place of love and compassion.  Rather they are a detriment to their child's well being. As well as a detriment to the lives of the people the catered spawn and spineless parent are polluting with their presence.  They may feel that they are loving and compassionate, though the behaviors of their coddled spawn demonstrates the opposite.

It takes far more love and compassion to effectively parent than it does to coddle.  It is hard, it is not always pleasant, but it is truly loving and compassionate.  Truly loving and compassionate parents know that "this is going to hurt me more than it does you" when parenting and disciplining is an unequivocal truth.  My parents said it me, I said it to my kid. Though when I practiced it with my kid I learned the truth of the statement. It is hard to address kid behavioral issues.  Far harder on the parent, than the kid.

IMHO of course.

ESMOD's picture

I agree that parenting in a way that coddles and encourages negative child behavior is not loving or compassionate.

But.. OP is not the parent.. it's not their job to parent their partner's child.  They can encourage their partner to step up.. or they can leave a situation where a weak parent isn't in control of their child and home.  

Especially with a very young child.. a step parent (who already has some amount of resentment towards the child).. is probably not the right person to be parenting.. they don't have the connection and loving bond with the child.. so it becomes just "some mean person coming down on them.".. whether the "mean person" is doing what needs to be done or not.  The kids need the balance from their bio parent.. "look kid.. I love you to the moon.. but I don't love the behavior you are exhibiting and won't accept that in this house"


Rags's picture

PEOPLE by Stephen Covey is that love is not a feeling. It is action. The action builds the feeling.  Though the example in the book was directed at building love for a spouse, it applies comprehensively IMHO.

The feelings are not required to take the actions of love.

In my blended family life, I nor my wife would accept anything less from each other than being equity life partners which also made us equity parents to any children in our home. Regardless of the biology (BioParents) of that kid. As it turned out, SS is an only child in our marriage.

So... I parented.  I raised him as my own.  SS knew I was his parent.  He and I have always been and remain very close.  He knew who his REAL dad was (me) though he also has always known that I was his StepDad.  He has always known his SpermDad.  Sadly also knowing that his SpermDad is far from being his father.

I would not do it any other way.  

Effective parenting, does not require the feelings of love. It absolutely requires the actions of love.  IF the BioParent won't do it, then why not the SParent?  To not do it is to allow it all to pollute our lives, our marriages, and our SKids.

A SParent can often far more effectively deliver the message "I don't love the behavior you are exhibiting and won't accept that in this house" far more effectively and with less emotional self torture than a BP can.  No need to use the first part telling them we love them. Though, at least in my case, it was and remains true.

IMHO of course.