My step daughter is 11 1/2 years old and she has been living with my husband and I since she was 7 1/2. I love her dearly, and though its been a rough road for the both of us, we have a pretty good relationship.
Anyways, on to my post topic. It seems the harder I try to find things my step daughter and I can do for bonding time, she is never satisfied. I know kids in general are that way, but with her it is very difficult. Any time I go through great lengths to try and find something I think she would really like I get the comments "I don't really want that" or "ugh thats not fun!". I don't know if shes doing this on purpose or what. I know I'm not a terribly unhip step mother, I'm only 24 and I know I'm not totally off the mark here. I try not to let it hurt my feelings or take it personally when she puts down an idea I have. We get along pretty well otherwise, I just can't figure out how she can complain all the time that I'm not spending enough time with her and then turn right around and find a reason to dislike whatever I bring to the table. Now it seems if I go ahead and start doing something on my own, like taking out her art supplies and start to draw or do something crafty and I ask her to join, she will, but if I suggest something she will shoot it down. Anyone else have this problem? I guess what I'm wondering is if its this way with biological children or is this something common with step children. now my son is totally opposite. He could care less if I'm playing with his trains or standing on my head, as long as I'm doing with him he is a happy camper.
I am running into this same problem with a 7.5 yr old boy. While reading your post, I first thought, "Oh it's cause she's a girl hitting puberty." But my step-son-to-be exhibits the EXACT same behavior. He'll ask and ask to play with us or go somewhere, so we try to pick out fun games, places, movies, etc. and 95 percent of the time are met with a negative response, even if it is something he has been asking to do. We even had to make "No complaining" a house rule. I'm 23, so I know I'm not that un-hip either, but there's no pleasing the kid. The worst part is after any activity, even summer camp and going to a theme park, he never shows enthusiasm. I've never, not once, heard him say "That was fun!" or anything like it. He'll find something to complain about. I brought this up with my husband-to-be, and he said the boy's bio-mom is the same way so he's hard-wired to act that way. Since neither I nor anyone in my family is a really negative person, I have no idea what to do.
So I guess my point is, I have the same problem, and while I have no advice whatsoever on how to remedy it, please know you are not alone. I, too, try not to take it personally, but I do. It wears on you. Stay strong and keep trying to bring positive things to your little girl's life. Maybe some of your positive attitude and enthusiasm will wear off on her. I sure am hoping mine will on my soon-to-be stepson.