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How do you deal with a difficult stepdaughter?

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How do you cope with living in a household with a 16 year-old stepdaughter (well, not technically, her father and I aren't married) who disrespects you,will not take any direction from you without an attitude, undermines your authority, and constantly degrades and disrespects her father in your presence?

This behaviour happens daily and causes an enormous amount of stress in the household as well as on my relationship with her father.  We sued for custody last November, on my suggestion because of her constant fighting with her mom.  She also manipulated us into thinking that her mother wasn't providing well enough for her and was moving her around from place to place.  Our full intention was to give her love, structure, a less stressful environment, and help her make it through life.  Now she is fighting with us over the same things that she fought over with her mother.  I have come to the conclusion that she has a problem with authority PERIOD.

This girl came from a very unstructured household.  There was little or no parental supervision, mother was more interested in her boyfriends than her kids, mother was in debt up to her neck because of carelessness, etc.  She (the girl) has always been very manipulative, selfish, self-centred, and inconsiderate.  Her mother gave her no consequences for having 100 "tardies" in her first hour of class because she would not get up and be ready to go to school.  Her teacher flunked her for her lack of responsibility and the rest of her grades were D's and E's but she always had an excuse.  Her father could do nothing about this because the child did not live here at the time.

A sulking teenager She would call us at least once a week and cry and complain about her mom not buying her, or some other drama and she'd complain about their fights.  After we learned that the mother and her two daughters were being evicted from their home, we sued for custody of the younger one.  The older daughter was 18 and chose to stay with her mother (because she didn't like to follow any of Dad's rules).  The first couple of months were pretty good, but after we stopped buying all the things we thought she needed and the household rules were put into place, it all changed.  Her father is a very responsible and good father and has standards and rules but nothing that any other ordinary parent wouldn't have.

She stays up in her room most of the time...

She stays up in her room most of the time and only comes down to eat, ask her Dad for something, or ask if she can go somewhere.  She talks crap about her father to everyone and is constantly degrading him to others.  Most of her friends won't even come to our house because of how she runs her mouth off about him.  Since she has been here, her attendance is pretty good and her grades have improved.  She is given £80.00 a month to buy her personal needs (hair supplies,deodorant,etc.) and does NO chores around here other than a few dishes every other night.  She has a beautiful bedroom and bathroom of her own and all the comforts that go along with it, she has very little respect for these things either.  She frequently lies about various things and I think that she is having a problem adjusting to structure, rules and authority.  Here, there are two sets of eyes on her, and most of the time it's me that is here with her.  Her father works full time and I am a full time college student.  She gets away with nothing from me, I don't tolerate any of her shenanigans.

How can we let her know that we are NOT here to make her life miserable, but at the same time her attitude and disrespect will no longer be tolerated.  We both want the best for her life but she is making ours so much more stressful than it has to be.  Does anyone have any helpful, constructive suggestions as to how to deal with her?

By: Hopeless?


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??

??

I know the feeling my sister is horrible disrepects me and my mum (she is stepsister) moans when she doesnt get what she wants and complains my mum hates her. She will ask my mum to get something food wise which she will then do but then complains she doesnt like it . I am at the point I cannot stand her and one day she was so disrespectful to me and screamed at me I was very close to grabbing her and dunno what would have happened luckily I had restraint.
20/10/14 ??
0
Mr H

Mr H

I can relate I live with my parents and have a 16 year old step sister. she does chores but puts no effort to the point there is no point is doing it. Whever I try to talk to her she doesnt listen or answers back. what pisses off if she wants something from me she is always nice sounding.
My mum is pissed off because she done all this stuff and helped my sister as she had very little before she came into our lives and she just throws it up my mums face being disrepect full and never takes responibility for actions and always blames others. even had my younger sister lie for her from time to time. My mum is trying to get her to get a job but my sister put no effort into the idea and complains of having no money because we are not in a situation for her to just be given money wheever except for essentials. and havnt even rung about getting NI to get a job
20/10/14 Mr H
0
Utra

Utra

How about a good boot up the hole and then some
14/01/14 Utra
2
Ijustwantaquietlife

Ijustwantaquietlife

I have a similar problem with my 14 year old stepdaughter, and it is the hardest thing in the world to know your doing your best to give them what they need and helping them learn and prepare to take on the world when they become adults. My wife has three daughters, one 24 whom I get on with very well, one 14 (the troublesome one) and a 13 year old who (like the eldest) respects me. The 14 year old is the one we have most issues with, my wife was separated from her ex before we got together, I had been married previously and divorced long before I met my present wife, I never had children though. So this was whole new ball game for me, I found myself being a parent for the first time. We have been together for 5 years, and the 14 year old has always been the problem, she lived with us for a while, but because of house rules she wanted to move back with her dad. A couple of years later she wanted to come back and live with us and promised to accept the rules, we allowed her back home, however, she only lasted a couple of months. She quickly changed and her attitude was desgusting towards her mum and myself, she would swear at us, she had to be the first one to eat at meal time, going as far as removing someone else's food from the oven or microwave to put hers in, she demanded everything and made your life hell if you didn't agree with her and by saying NO!, she created every day, moaned about anything and everything, eventually my wife told her dad she was going back to live with him because she was uncontrollable. Less than a year later she pleaded and begged to come back home again, but we felt we had to let her back home because she was claiming her dad was neglecting her and promised again that she would abide by the rules, having heard that story before we relunctantly let her back into a stable home, and once again we should her the attention and gave her the things she needed and wanted, we redecorated her bedroom to the way she chose, and made it homely again. All was well for a couple of weeks, then she started all over again, bad mouthing us, shouting, screaming, not doing her chores, refusing to do anything, not listening, in fact she does everything we don't like,
she is back with a vengeance. Her dad doesn't want her back for the same reasons we have, we have sought advice from school etc. but because her grades have improved at school there's little they can do. It has now drove a wedge within our marriage, I can't stand being spoken to like a piece of dirt, she shouts and demands constantly, at her mum and when I intervene I get told to shut my mouth from the 14 year old. To make matters worse, a few months ago I was diagnosed with Epilepsy and right now I'm very fragile until I receive enough medication to stabilise my condition. My wife gives me grief because I find myself having to shout at my stepdaughter constantly, although I'm supposed to remain calm, but how can I remain calm and stressless with a girl who constantly whines. My wife now thinks I'm just picking on my stepdaughter, and she never backs me up even when she knows I'm right. My wife wants me to be a dad but without giving the punishment, my stepdaughter always used to lose some of her pocket money when she was out of order, but recently she still receives all her money regardless of what I say. It seems my wife has taken her daughters side and defends her behaviour even though the 24 and 13 year olds can see what's happening, they agree with me and try to talk to their mum but she won't listen to them either. So what do I do?
08/11/12 Ijustwantaquietlife
2
kate

kate

I truly sympathise, and have a similar situation. My 12 year old step daughter is awful to me. My partner cannot stand up to her or see how unpleasant her behaviour can be, and I feel as though there is no joy at all in our family unit because of it. I have begun to dislike her intensely. My 8 year old son gets very stressed because of it. Another mum I know says her step daughter who is now 22 has been like this for 16 years and it doesn't get any easier. It is very depressing. My partner is having counselling to learn new methods to cope with it. I'm going through the menopause and running a successful business and we are stressed beyond all measure. I honestly wish I'd never attempted to create the family unit we have. I wish I knew what the answer is. I don't. I feel very sad for her, and now she's only a child, but I feel victimised, in my own home, and it drives a wedge between the family. I now cope with it by keeping away from her as much as I can. It's all very sad. I'm sorry this is not at all helpful but it does get me very down and I do not know what on earth one can do. I have bought her so many nice things, done everything I can to appease her, to no avail. Nothing seems to be enough. :-(
10/07/12 kate
-6
Some Bloke

Some Bloke

No wonder you don't get on with your step daughter - if you feel the need to argue with some anonymous person on the internet then you really must be insecure!
P.S. I'm not going to get in an online argument with you.
31/03/12 Some Bloke
-7
pjincs

pjincs

No problemo mate. Yep a present one lol, chilled for most of the time but she has her moments. The more u read the gripe the more it does not sound right, like shes got some real chip on her shoulder. Cya mate.
01/02/11 pjincs
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miserablemoaninggit

miserablemoaninggit

Lol, thanks pj. Sounds like you did well to get rid of the girlfriend - hope the next (present?) one is a bit more chilled. Best of luck to you.
16/01/11 miserablemoaninggit
9
pjincs

pjincs

miserable it sounds like you've stirred up a female hornets nest with this one LOL. Give it up mate, she sounds like my ex girlfriend who would go off on one for any reason she was that tight. U cant win with some women, good luck
16/01/11 pjincs
-12
Hopeless?

Hopeless?

Sheesh, MMG, You started the "personal attack". Now that it is finished as far as I'm concerned, take your miserable whining elsewhere and go pick on someone else. I've considered your advice, now be on with yourself. Your implications of my stupidity and immaturity are quite frankly boring. I've seen other threads of yours on the Weekly Gripe that are similar,the strong points you are trying to make are merely attacks on others. Good luck on your fishing trip, though I doubt you'll catch anything because your bait is rotten.
16/01/11 Hopeless?
-2
miserablemoaninggit

miserablemoaninggit

Typical isn't it, you post something that is disliked, and immediately the attacks become 'personal'. My contribution to this particular thread reflects the way I have interpreted the particular 'gripe'. I don't think it has to be permitted by the 'Grumpy thought police' in the first place - coming from a standing position of not daring to cause any offense and so we all must essentially agree. Your rather simplistic division of the articles on this site as you have given still does not then preclude responses that are in disagreement and/or speculative. None of my contributions on this thread have been anything but mildly provocative in the sense that I wish to make a strong point. I think it's called 'adult conversation'. Always agreeing, Grumpy, certainly is not always equated to a 'support response'. Shame on you!
16/01/11 miserablemoaninggit
9
Grumpy xx

Grumpy xx

MMG, I think someone needs to write a gripe article about you and your uncharitable and churlish contributions to this thread. The gripe articles on this site are and have been for some time pretty much divided into two categories:

(1) the Agony Aunt variety (of which this is one, requiring help and support responses) and
(2) the 'observational/personal experience' variety, which attract general commentary and tales of similar experiences.
16/01/11 Grumpy xx
2
miserablemoaninggit

miserablemoaninggit

Hopeless? Now that I've stopped laughing, although I did retain my socks, for the final time I ask that you do try and realise that there are different perspectives on this matter. It is inappropriate for you to use The Weekly Gripe as some sort of 'suppport network'. That is not its purpose. You really cannot expect us to all 'cozy up' like poor old Grumpy, and agree with everything you say. I, and others, have every right to query your original gripe, to speculate and to suggest that there might be another perspective. You should at least accept that your stepdaughter will see the situation differently, and perhaps a first step in trying to resolve the matter is to try and 'empathise' a little with her, rather than coming from the position that you have done absolutely nothing wrong and that the blame lies entirely with her. It is unlikely to be the case. So, reflect and empathise as much as you can. Anyway, I'm off fishing now . . . .
16/01/11 miserablemoaninggit
-7
Hopeless?

Hopeless?

Thanks GrumpyXX, MMg can laugh all he wants. No one is upset here, just looking at how ridiculous that person is. Thank you for your support. There is alot to juggle and it is difficult some of the time to concentrate on my studies with some of the stress in the household. All in all, I do pretty well. I have received some great input for the majority of the posts here and plan to try different strategies with her to help our situation. All is well, best wishes to you Grumpy XX.
16/01/11 Hopeless?
8
Grumpy xx

Grumpy xx

Don't take any notice of MMG, Hopeless?. He sounds like he's on a 'fishing trip' to wind you up and you're just chomping on the bait. I expect he's laughing his socks off and how upset you're getting. So just ignore him.

Good luck in your studies, by the way. I did my degree as a mature student too and I know how hard it can be to juggle various priorities and having a difficult stepdaughter can't be helping one little bit. Luckily, for me, I didn't have that problem.
15/01/11 Grumpy xx
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