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Rude, intimidating step child

Kitty79's picture

I have been with my bf for 7 yrs now, we have 2 children 1 from his previous relationship (10 yr old girl) and our own daughter who is 3.

I have brought my step daughter up like she is my own, I have always got along with her own business, and myself and the best share the same opinion with regards to discipline when the sd misbehaves.

Lately she has become rude, she is horrible to us all especially her little sister. She had us in tears last weekend due to her behavior towards our younger daughter.

I don't stand for her behavior and ask why she is acting like this, i tell her why she's upsetting people and that its not going to be tolerated. Only for her to come up to me and stand toe to toe with me smirking and giving me a nasty look, flicking her hair at me, I just told her quietly to go to her room and I walked away. I don't understand why she is doing this. She gets disciplined off us all and it makes no difference, her dad just think I'm too sensitive, but her BM goes mad hearing of her daughters behavior.

I bold over backwards for her at at one point looked after her more than her own parents due to work commitments.

Why this now, it feels like she is trying to intimidate me, she is rude, pushes me to my limit and laughs in my face.

How am I supposed to act and what am I to do ? I feel like I'm failing as a parent and step parent 

(Excuse spelling i am dyslexic and also stressed out by this all)

Disillusioned's picture

Sorry you're going through this. Did this just start or has she always behaved this way?

Kitty79's picture

Hello thanks for replying  no she hasn't always been like this , its been slowly happening over a few months, her mother tells me she's like that at home too, she gets disciplined at home, as far as I know. She has an older brother at home  whom she's recently declared she hates.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

When you say BM goes mad hearing of her daughter's behavior, does that mean BM corrects her behavior and also does not tolerate it? How often is she with you vs BM. Also, if your husband thinks you are being too sensitive, it sounds like maybe he is undermining your authority in your home? I hope he corrects her. Blatant disrespect should be punished immediately. Next time she tries that, i would suggest taking her electronics and sending her to her room. 

Kitty79's picture

Hi thanks for replying.

She is with us mostly ever weekend and sometimes through the week.

Yes she gets disciplined at home electronics taken off her etc. I do that here too, she only has a phone and xbox and I've even said I will empty the room if you continue this. I feel so upset frustrated and disappointed. Her dad reprimands her and stands by me but once he has a few beers, he starts to undermind me.

She acts like she is 8 going on 5, then has over the last few weekends stood toe to toe with me, and flicking her hair at me. In my day I wouldn't of dared. 

And today I will be having words as I can't do this every weekend its making me sad.

Any advice on how to talk with her 

Thank you



Winterglow's picture

The one you need to start by talking to is your husband. He needs to understand that when he doesn't back you up and when he undermines you, he is actively undoing all of the work you are doing on HIS child, that she will continue down this road because she knows she can get away with it because HE won't lift a finger to stop her. He is passively giving her all the power in the home. Repeat, he is giving a child all the power in HIS home. Once you get that through his thick skull, THEN you can develop a strategy for her. Another thing to get through that thick skull is that he is the parent here, not you, and as such it's his responsibility to ensure his daughter grows up to be a decent human being. Doesn't he want a child he can be proud of?

Don't just threaten to take everything away, do it. As far as taking her door off its hinges. And yes, take the phone (while she's in your home) and the Xbox, too. Then, start doling out chores as punishment and tell your husband that he'd better be on board with enforcing that. 

It's interesting that she's the same at bm's - has she remarried? 

Kitty79's picture

Hi thank you for this, its so reassuring and makes me stand that little bit taller to get some advice like this, and a reality check too.

I always have tried to make sure she knows I'm doing and saying the things I do for her own good, making sure she has everything, hugs, ability to talk to me etc, but its just seems to of gone out of the window and I'm left with this volatile rude child. 

I will also be speaking to her dad and saying it how it is. Because i feel at times like I'm being pushed out and when I challenge the both of them they deny this.

Her mother hasn't remarried but recently had a bf then all of a sudden not, not that it is any of my business. My self and her mam agree about her behaviour and discipline, she tells me she has been at her worst this week and she thinks its her hormone but I don't know if hormone can play that big a part in her attitude, rudeness and cheek.

I what ever I say or how I say ot isn't making a difference so I will be taking your advice and tey to bring back some kind of peace and harmony as its upsetting me no end, more frustration than any thing else.


Wicked stepmo.'s picture

We went through this with YSD at the same age. It sounds like a similar situation. YSD started acting our as her way of getting the most attention from her other siblings. You said she has an older brother at BMs and a younger sister at your house. She is jealous of the attention they are getting. It's not that she dislikes you she is intentionally targeting you to put the attention on her and not your 3 year old. She is getting older and expected to be more independent, but at the same time still craves attention. 

Be consistent in setting and enforcing limits, use planned ignoring and time out.  Do not let her know her behavior bothers you or that she is upsetting you.

tog redux's picture

Your DH needs to discipline his daughter, as Winterglow said, he's giving her way too much power.  You aren't being too sensitive, no 10-year-old should act that way towards an adult. He needs to step up and insist that his daughter show you respect in her words and actions or there will be consequences.

Pretty sad that BM has your back more than your own husband does.

Kitty79's picture

Hello thanks for your message.

Yes it is most definatly that bm has my back with the discipline, it seems to be like that. Her dad does discipline her but only when he sees fit. Its ok for me to be responsible for her when he's at work, so I have had a talk today to him. So he understands how I feel, let's just see if its made a difference.

He has spoken to her today about her behaviour, and I am trying to take all advice given on bored, its really helpful 

Thumper's picture

May I please offer 1 suggestion----stop already with saying 'treat like, love like, brought UP like" your own.

It's a nice thing to say, sounds nice and saying those words is a form of self protection to prove to the world HEY I am not an ugly step mom honest BUT.....It is a lot of pressure to put on yourself dont you think? You know that you would not tolorate crappy behavior from your own kids You also know your hands are tied.

Stand UP for your house rules and most important you protect your bio child. I would never ever go toe to toe physically with someone's kid. Let dad and mom figure this out. You may have to move out

*I have heard of some kids who hurt themselves THEN turn around and say ncp or step parent did it* careful and keep all distance. JMO


Kitty79's picture

Thank you for replying.

I understand and have already had her dad have words today, about it happening. I am not going toe to toe to her, she is coming over to me and standing right up to me, toe to toe looking me right in my face smirking or coming over and sitting right next to me and flicking her hair in my face, I've never once done that with her ever. And I never would retaliate. Another example I was standing at the bottom of the stairs talking with her she ran down and stood over me looking down at me I simply just turned and walked away. I have spoken to her mam about it before and she has branded her a bully, but I don't want to brand her anything I just want her to stop behaving in this manor.


Left out mama's picture

Attitudes increase drastically in preteen girls. My niece who is 8 likes to try and act like she above everyone. rolls  her eyes, ignores, and can be rude and grumpy with no triggers

my SD9 does all of this. She likes to "stretch out" on the couch to try and push my off. Very passive agressive. 
Wicked stepmo is right IMO. She is old enough where she is expected to be independent but young enough where she she craves attention. But I also think your Sd smirking and hair flipping is her trying to assert her authority. She is growing up and starting to think for herself and form her own opinions. So she feels empowered, which is great but she has no place direct it positively. Factor in needing to be independent but still wanting lots of attention... and you have an angry and frustrated kid who has no clue as to how to articulate her feelings. 
hormones do play a role. Puberty and physical changes are right around the corner, but the hormones hit first. 
this Does not give her a right to treat people like that. Nope, not one bit. Follow through on consequences. Don't just threaten. 

maybe video her when she is being a wretched little  snot. Then show her the recording so she can see how ugly her behavior really is and how unpleasant she is from other peoples point of view

Kitty79's picture

Thank you for replying alot of this made me feel better in the sense of im not the only one going through this.

Your right in what you are saying totally. I would hope I could help her direct the empowerment, confidence and feelings in a positive manor, I will have to have a look in to that. I am always giving them both attention but she's so nasty to her little sister that my attention does divert to my younger daughter to comfort her being upset and then show negative feelings towards the step daughter because she has created this. 

I try too much it shows and then I try to back off and that shows too so finding a happy medium would be good. 

Thank you for your advice its all great 

Fedupmomof4's picture

My mom has been married to my step dad for 40 years. She told my brother and I that he's my husband you don't have to love him, you don't have to like him but you have to respect him. My own children know I won't put up with any child disrespecting any adult. Even if a child disagrees with an adult. Make that a rule at your house. 

My 16 yo daughter was at her girlfriends house the other day and witnessed her friend screaming at her mother. She said you can't talk to your mother like that. My mom would have kicked me outside. That's another tactic. Everytime my son or daughter disrespcted me on the porch they went. Even for 5 minutes. It was very effective. I have a 14 and 16 yo who don't even try. I'm sure they roll their eyes maybe even think what a bitch in their head but never to my face.