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Is this mean and/or unfair?

Calypso1977's picture

So about 2 weeks or so ago i offered to take SD13 to the mall to get something for her dad for christmas. i also offered to help her get somethign for BM in the event that her maternal grandmother did not do so (she always does, so i figured id make the offer to look good knowing she'd never take me up on it).

Since then she's acted like a punk - ignoring my texts, being disrespectful, etc. ive basically avoided her. we have 2 week nights with her, so basically ive made partner take her out one night and the other night ive simply gone out and avoided coming home until she's left.

she did express to partner that i had said id take her shopping. my repsonse to partner was that her mother frequently takes her to the mall and gives her $20-$50 each time to stop with a friend. i told him that if she really loves him and getting a gift for him is important to her, she should be able to get something on her own with money her mother gives her. which of course would be a GREAT sacrifice to her becuase she'd have to forego getting her 1000th iphone case or slutty tank tops.

am i being wrong, given that i originally said id take her, or is this a good learning experience for all involved?

Patsy's picture

You aren't wrong, but she will use this against you. You said you would take her but then she avoided you. Tell her your not taking her because of her behavior. Then she has a heads up and should plan to buy something on her own.

Calypso1977's picture

all of this is so hard. i do not have kids of my own, so ive done my best to educate myself. ive read so many general parenting books as well as step parenting books. however, being well read never holds any weight because partner, BM, the kid, partners' family always can say "you just dont get it because you arent a mother". Sad

Patsy's picture

It is hard, but you are trying your best or you wouldn't be asking for advise on things like this. You don't have to be the best at anything, just open minded and caring.

CantKeepDoingThis's picture

If you offered, and her response was to act like a total brat to you, you are not obligated to do anything for her! And if she tries to use it against you, be sure to bring up her treatment of you after you made the offer. You are not obligated to do anything for her.

SD14 has never gotten anything for DH! I can't say if BM ever offered to help her get something for DH or not. I've not made the offer because I know how the shopping trip will go! She will pick some $5 to $10 thing for DH because she is forced to pick something, and then ask me for some a whole bunch of stuff for herself! It is kids (DH's adopted kids) have typically always made DH something or actually asked for me to help them get him something. For Father's Day, BS18 told DH to come down to the Lowes where he works to pick out a gift. Now, he did give DH a limit (because my son still needed to have enough money for gas and stuff), but the point was...he did it on his own! He also got me a Mother's Day gift, on his own. SD14 was so absorbed in herself, she didn't even realize when Mother's day and Father's day was...DH didn't even get a verbal Happy Birthday until I told her to tell him!

Calypso1977's picture

SD doesnt ever remember birthdays, fathers/mother's day either. hahaha, i actually offered as always to help her get somethinmg for her mom's birthday - she told me she was set, grandma would help her - then they never got her anything AND the kid forgot the birthday AND grandma and grandpa blew it off too! it was hilarious.

luchay's picture

I agree, tell him you offered, and that she has been an obnoxious little brat ever since so you are not not doing it, you tried, she thumbed her nose at you - end of story.

I have always done the same thing - taken my DD's out to buy a gift for their dad and SM, and the skids to buy for their dad - birthdays, fathers day, Christmas.

Not this year. I am DONE with that. The whole lot of them have pissed me off so much this year they all can just go jump. I am sure that DD's will have time with their dad and SM to do it there before Xmas, I am NOT paying. And as for the skids - just not going to happen. They are rude, ungrateful and ignorant. And OH has no intention of ever expecting them to be respectful towards me - so be it. Not going out of my way for any of them. Not once have they expressed appreciation for me taking them and paying before, not once have they said thank you for any gift I have given them - gifts from their father and I that I choose and make all the running around for - only "wow, thanks dad it's great!!" And he NEVER says anything. My parents and sister have given the skids birthday and xmas presents with never a thank you, that stops this year too.

I have still bought their Xmas presents, along with my own kids - mainly to stop OH overspending and going silly on them. We bought SS10 a cheap surfboard, he is a sporty kid and will love and use it. OH now wants to buy SD13 one as well - "she'd love it!!" he says.... She'd love the novelty of having one, the "wow, I'm so cool I have a surfboard" effect, but she is NOT sporty, her main move on the weekend is from bed to couch to kitchen to couch.... TV is her messiah. Nope, NOT wasting money on a surfboard for a kid who has NO inclination to get off her arse and do anything.

Sorry. I got on a roll LOL

livia007's picture

"so i figured id make the offer to look good knowing she'd never take me up on it"

Maybe the teenager isn't stupid and saw the duplicity in your offer and was reacting to it? When was the last time you were friendly and polite to someone you knew was bsing you?

asnoraford's picture

I don't think you're wrong, but she might not get this as a learning experience if she doesn't know what she's done wrong. She may not realize that you're pissed that she hasn't been returning the texts. Is a talk with her possible so that she can be clear on what you expect in order for you to share generosity? If she didn't know this was a condition of your generosity, it may be the reason she stops trusting you in the future.

But you have a right to feel disrespected.

twoviewpoints's picture

Being a punk with attitude may be coming from multiple factors right now and not really about you personally at're just the target that's easiest to blame. There's a lot going on in this young teen's life that it must be something Dad sits down and has a heart to heart with the teen.

Her mother hates you (for merely existing if nothing else), has hired a lawyer for the teen in the upcoming custody hearings, and the girl knows her mother has 'issues' toward you (examples: won't tell Mom about your cooking so not to offend/upset Mom you're much better cook; won't take home baked goods to share so Mom doesn't get upset teen cooks and has a good time with you...just two examples I read in recent postings you put up).

It's possible the girl is really feeling confused and perhaps even pressured between the two homes. It was a very nice and generous offer to take her shopping for gifts for her parents, but the child may be afraid to actually allow you to for fear of Mom's reaction to your kind gesture. She may even know anything you help her purchase would be viewed as 'from the enemy'. there's no excuse for kiddo's nasty disrespect towards you, but she may be having trouble sorting out just what and how she's suppose to be/do things given she's rather caught between two homes currently about to go to court.

Maybe not, but it's something to consider and discuss with your SO perhaps. If there's something Dad can help her understand and/or sort through before whatever is going on ramps up to even more punk acting daughter BS or resentment because of the behavior. She could perhaps use some therapy to counsel her through what's all going on and help her deal with things. But yeah, on the otherhand, she may just be being a disrespectful unappreciative rude little brat.

Calypso1977's picture

Her dad has spoken to her countless times about her behavior (she's rude and nasty to him too). she doesnt call or respond to his texts either. when he's asked her about this her reply is "i dont text adults" (real mature behavior, and its a lie because she text and twitters with her mom and her mom's best friend all the time).

im at a loss. im backing off entirely now because i have been trying so hard (maybe too hard?) with this girl for 10 months now. ive given her as much slack as i feel reasonable becuase i know she's gone through alot with the divorce, etc. the biggest problem with her right now is she is used to being in charge. for 13 years she's run the household and made the decisions. her dad has now realized the extreme error of their parenting ways and is trying to correct it on his end, which of course is hard becuase she still runs her mothers household. she doesnt like being with us becuase we have rules and expectations (none of which are unreasonable) and we have her do a few simple chores (feed the cat who she LOVES and empty the dishwasher - hardly child labor).

i know she's jealous and threatened by me and i think most of it is related to the custody thing. she always talked to me before and as soon as this whole thing started she's been worse. we actually wonder if the lawyer is telling her not to talk to me/us. the irony of it all is that her mother started the whole thign by filing to remove my partner's visitation. all he's done is respond to her BS claims.

trust me, i dont want to spend a dime on BM but her father and i felt it the right thing to make offer - he knew she'd never want to go with him to buy a gift because she knows he hates her mother, but i have never spoken one ill word abotu her mother to her and in fact ive reached out to her mother on a few occasions which SD knows about only because her mother told her. So we thought she'd rather shop with me.

she is in counseling, but that's a whole other disaster i dont want to get into at this point.

im just struggling to find that fine line between being there for a kid who defintiely needs support but not being a disrespected doormat either. there are times i feel like my home has been taken over and she's not even with us 50% (yet).