come back so you can offer my next post advice...
it will get better, sounds like you are just starting... Do you know that song, "we've only just begun... to live.... start out walking and we'll learn to run." Well it takes time. Good luck
I used to live with my mother, while my other siblings were given to my father (which was quite a rare occurance when I was a child.) My dad was more financially stable than my mother was, and she was always working while I was home by myself, and I grew to be a bit rebelious and angry. I did well in school when it came to grades, but I wasn't very good socially. I didn't cause problems, but my mom soon became depressed (due to lack of sleep, and working many hours a day.) That finally I was taken away from my mother, because she got into drugs, and bringing people over and they would do drugs and drink in front of me and even offered for me to try some.
When I was given to my father, he had a wife who I didn't know that well except from weekend visits, they were married and happy as clams. I was worried that I wouldn't fit in, and that I no longer had a place in my Dad's heart because he had a new family that included my brothers, and then the chidlren he made with my stepmother. I acted out, and would scream and cry everytime i was left with the stepmom becaues I didn't (and still don't) like her. My dad rarely punished me, he was afriad that I would think it was out of hate, not out of love, I've only been punished by my teachers and that was time out. My Dad gave me time outs, but the stepmom demanded and said that it wasn't enough, saying that spanking is the better option though it was quite obvious time-outs were working in his favor. When he wasn't home, it was her punishments since it was 'her house', so I was spanked when he wasn't around, and she claimed it worked until one day I hit her back really hard in the face and told her to never do that again (i was 13 at the time.)
She then had a sit down chat with my father, and told him that he needed to follow her rules for discipline, because her way was better. (My father didn't punish me much, I admit I acted like an angel around him and a bit worse around the stepmom.. but in my eyes she deserved it.) He told her he'd try, but it didn't work out and she got angry and said that he wasn't on her side, and that he was being an irresponsible parent for not doing the proper technique of discipline. He said no, and she threatened to call child services on him (though that woudln't change anything since he wasn't being neglectful or abusive.)
I knew my stepmom wasn't my real mom, so my theory was, if she is going to punish me she needs to talk to my dad and figure out what hte punishment standards are, not her rules. Each parent has their own set of punishments, that they have to agree on.
I'm a core believer, that punishment should be done by teh actual parent, not the step parent. Because it sends kids mixed signals because kids know who their real parent is (unless they are adopted, or their parents died and are given to their grandparents or aunt and uncle.) and shoudln't be punsihed in such a way unless its by the actual real parent.
I am sorry i grew up also with a step parent. the first one did not work out for my father because she would not correct us she would make him do it. the second one worked perfectly because they worked together. if the child knows that the step parent can not punish them then they will act up more and in the long run i belive they will push the two adults apart.
If she's being a brat, you'll just have to do what I did with my fiance's niece (this little girl is a big sweetie most of the time, but she definitely knows how to get whatever she wants.)
I had to let the stuff keep happening and ignore it until he realized, "Oh my gosh, she is being a brat." It didn't take long after I quit saying that for him to look and say it, so maybe your husband will look & realize at some point? My fiance is pretty much the same way as your husband- let her do whatever, what will it hurt?
Honestly, it sounds a little like you're taking your frustration & anger towards your step mom on Confused StepMom.
Step parents are an authority figure if the child is in their house, as far as I'm concerned, and just like biological parents, they need to talk about how they think parenting should go. The problem is, they are often biased for or against the child because of their position, and that needs to stop before any progress can be made. BUT the daughter is living in HER and the girl's father's house, so both SHE AND THE FATHER need to work something out together and then present it to the girl.
I was a VERY manipulative 8 year old. My sister and brother are both 8 now and are SUPER manipulative. You know they say that manipulation kicks in at 2 months old when they start testing to see how long they cry before you pick them up. That being said. My father was a drunk. My biological mother, a party girl whom I idolized and if I saw her once a year I was lucky. These are not the ingredients for a well behaved child and my step mom was left picking up the slack. I HATED her! She made rules and diciplined me and I HATED her! I'm happy to say that I am 26 now and she is probably my best friend. She is the only member of my family that I show complete respect too. She caught me in a bad mood like a year ago and I hollared at her. I IMMEDIATELY appologized. I probably wouldn't have to ANY of my other relatives.
Good for you for being the diciplinarian and letting your husband have his child with him. I do think that in order for this situation to work you can't look at it like its temporary. You have to treat her like she is there to stay, forever, so the rules are the rules.
As for Daddy, its the only way he knows to relate to her, try to "coach" him on how to parent her better, but try not to ride him too much about it. And yes it absolutely is your business, that child couldn't have been brought into your home without your consent and that makes it your business.
Good luck. Remember that 8 is a difficult age anyway for all children biologically yours or not. Shes just training you how to deal with your child when they are eventually 8.
Have fun and take lots of tylenol!
Brandie totally in love mommy of Ava Michelle 2/5/09
Everyone is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid ~ Einstein
Noone can make you feel inferior without your consent ~ Eleanor Rooselvelt
Well behaved children aren't born they're grown and happiness is a choice ~ me!
Im sorry that you are going through this. I was in a relationship once where the guy I was dating (and living with) had a (6) year old daughter. She originally was only around on the weekends and then she started to be there more and more. She eventually was there ALL the time. The father never wanted her to be mad at him, or not want to stay with him, so he gave her EVERYTHING she wanted. It was so frustrating. It got to the point that it made me sick. He was still bathing her at 6 years old, and she was still coming into our bed to sleep at night. In the end, she was living with us full time, I was getting her up and ready for school, I was picking her up from her mothers or grandmothers house, but yet I was not allowed to yell at her, or offer a punishment before he got home to hear her side. I eventually had to break the relationship off, as it got to be to much. I was able to do this because I didnt make the marriage commitment (thank God) before I seen what the rest of my life would be like. My advice is to talk to him and do it now before it causes any more strain on your relationship. You guys were just married, and this is a difficult transition anyways. Just make sure that you do not come off like you dont like his child. It will cause tension. Maybe you could suggest a disipline plane or a schedule of some sorts and present it his daughter together.
I will start out by saying form the sounds of it you are by far a better step mom than my own!! I have the experience of being that eight year old. Well six actually, I remember my dad doing everything he could for me and my brother on the weekends we were there, I was a Daddy's girl. He never told us this when we were younger, but every week after child support and bills he only had 35 dollars for the week, he was selfless and we as children naturally are, were selfish. He would take us to McD's on that 35 dollars. He let us have friends by where he lived, let me have a cat and a rabbit cause my mom is allergic to anything with fur etc... This is not to say he never diciplined us cause if we did something major we got a spanking and not a light tap either! I remember when my stepmom first came into the picture, I was no longer allowed to have friends or anything> When one of my best friends came over to play, my SM yelled and cussed at me saying that I wasnt there to play with my F-ing friends and other mean stuff. It broke my heart that my dad didnt say anything to her about it. I dont remember actually trying to manipulate anyone, but I do remember feeling left out, suffocated and angry that she came in and changed everything on me overnight. I was already insecure as a child, I used to swear I was adopted and I had a family somewhere else that loved me. When my stepmom was around I couldnt show any affection towards my dad at all without getting a new a-hole torn. It was a rough time for me, even as a teenager, I was the one seen as an outcast that simply shouldnt be alive and my stepmom made it a point to tell me that constantly.
Through all this I believe if you try to change all the rules over night, shes going to either rebel or curl up inside herself. If you change them gradually and let her know the changes and consequences, she may respect them and you more. My stepmom would always change the rules and not let me or my brother know, so we would break them without knowing and get in trouble for things we didnt know we were breaking... Also let your husband and step kid know they can still have a relationship, but she does need friends her age. Explain this to her, and let her know you are not taking him away from her, if she feels you are you will not be able to get along with her. She may be as insecure in this as you are thus the clinginess, to her right now he may be the only secure, stable thing in her life. Let her know that you and your hubby need adult time, and she needs kid time, and that she will still have family time with you and your hubby.
I hope this helps you coming from one who was that kid that in the end was hated by the stepmom to this day...
First of all let me say, as a stepmom myself, I really irritates me when people try to say that because someone is a stepparent they have no right to get involved in disciplining or raising the child. You are not a girlfriend you are a wife and therefore an equal half of a team. This means that as long as the child is in your house they should be expected to follow your rules and respect you in the same way they respect your spouse. I have a 10 year old step daughter whom my husband and I have joint custody of with her mother. We have been married for 6 months but together for 3.5 yrs. I did stay back and not get to involved during the first year, except when I was home alone with her. But one my husband and I got engaged things changed. First I sat my husband down and explained to him that he can not let his daughter get away with murder. He was suffering from what is commonly called "Guilty Father Syndrome". This is most common in father's who have daughters and are separated from the child's mother. The father feels as if he has failed his daughter in some way and massivly overcompensates by giving in to her every whim and whine. You need to tell your husband that he is doing his daughter much more harm than good by letting her do whatever she pleases. He can show her that he loves her much more effectivly by being a parent and not a friend. You two need to come up with a set of house rules and stick to them. He also needs to understand that he can not undermine you EVER. If you tell her something he needs to back you up because if he doesn't she will lose all respect for you and this will make your life hell. Once you two have hashed out your game plan and written down the rules you need to sit down with your step daughter and inform her that there are going to be some major changes. First of all you may not be her mother but you love her like a daughter and expect to be respected and obeyed. Second there are going to be some new house rules. Explain these rules to her and the consequences for breaking them. Also let her know that you will no longer be financing her every desire. If there is a toy or game she wants she will have to do chores around the house to earn the money to purchase them. This will teach her that money doesn't grow on trees and if you really want something you have to work hard for it. If you and your husband can stick to the rules and always back each other up you should see a dramatic change in your step daughter's attitude very soon. I know I did. Good luck and remember, you may not have given birth to her but you are just as an important part of her life as her mom and dad. It takes a very special kind of person to be a step parent.