End of my rope
Hi. I'm new here, and desperate.
I raised two kids with my wife before we divorced. Both kids are great -- different, but great. They are independent, successful in college, disciplined, self-motivated, and goal-oriented. I am in a new relationship (4 years now) with a woman who has her own 16 year-old daughter. They moved in with me a a year and a half ago.
The challenge is the step kid. She has challenges at school (diagnosed ADD) and has no, zero, zilch motivation at school or home. We ask very little of her -- basic chores and taking care of her room and pets. She seems almost completely unwilling to contribute to the household. We have talked, I give her plenty of opportunity to express how she feels, and nothing changes.
My latest tactic is to charge her rent, hoping money will motivate her. If she completes her basic chores without nagging her rent carries over to the next month. If not, I collect another month's rent. I made it clear that I do not want her money -- I want her participation. If this doesn't work, my next step will be having them both move out until she is a legal adult and her mother can move back without her. I don't know if our relationship (or theirs) will survivie that, but I won't put up with this stress in my home much longer.
Any advice or similar experiences would be appreciated.