lizk0114
(member)
12/04/11 09:47 AM
To answer your question Annieo...

I have the same rules for everyone. And I try to treat everyone the same, but I am limited as to how I can correct the SD. This is my first time as a SM. I was married before for 15 yrs. I have been in this for 3 yrs. And it is different with my SD, because with her their are limits as to what I can do. My kids, if I want to spank their butts I did, no questions asked. But I can't with her.

Do I spend time with her? Yes I have. I took her to the zoo by herself. When it was time to go clothes shopping for school, I took her myself. Sometimes when I go to the store, I take her with me. Lately, no I haven't. And I will not until she can respect me and mind. I don't back away from her, if I did I think her dad and I would get along better. A lot of our (H & I's) problem is that I will ground her for something that I would have grounded all the kids for, and her dad gives in and lets her out of her punishment before it is over. IMO, that is treating her different, because he would not do it with my bio kids. What I say goes with them.

And it does seem that I am always on her, but she is always bad. H told me last night that it seems like I am always correcting SD. Well, she is always being bad. Am I not suppose to correct her? I am not always on my bio kids because first they are older, and they know the rules. Second, they know that noone is going to rescue them when they mess up.

There has been times where SD has yelled at me, and both of my kids were like, mom if that was us you would have slapped us. So, yeah I guess there is a difference, but I cannot control that. I am expected to help raise SD, but I am limited as to what I dish out as punishment. And the punishment that I dish out is not fazing SD at all, because her dad will usually rescue her.

And reading all the post, I am seeing that he is just as much of the problem. By letting her get out of the punishment I give her, is basically letting her see that what I say doesn't mean a whole lot. H's mom even told me yesterday that I need to start spanking her, and then she will change her attitude. But I have a hard time with that, because I wouldn't want my kids SM to spank them, so why should I do someone else the same?

I will say this...everyone that helps raise SK's is super. To me it is so much harder than bio kids..and even bio kids is tough. There are so many limits and lines that cannot be crossed. Tough.


spinnerdegrassi
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/04/11 09:57 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Flip this, what about your husband dealing with your daughter. What are his restrictions/obligations regarding her.

Tweeby
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/04/11 10:45 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Seems that you have the responsibility but no authority. My suggestion would be for your husband and you to sit down and come up with house rules. This way your both on the same page and you will not be making the rules on the spot for your SD, just enforcing them.

Just my opinion and belief, I don't feel that spanking a 8 yo is really effective.

Right now I feel that your husband needs to get control of what is going on with his D and than you will be able to help him more.


LexieBelle
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/04/11 11:09 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Your husband has MAJOR blinders on and is probably deeply mired in "divorce guilt" or else he's just a crappy parent. Take your pick.

I'm not big into ultimatums but your situation seems to scream the need for one. either he goes to counseling, parenting classes, whatever, and gets with the program, or you're gone. And he can deal with his self-created brat by himself. He'll either see the light and change his ways OR (and this is my guess) he'll continue to do what he's doing b/c he can't/isn't willing to change it.


c_jane
(Pooh-Bah)
12/04/11 11:42 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

I STILL recommend reading the article on disengaging with your SK's. It is aimed at FORCING the bio-dad to get involved with his kids' upbringing, not just leave it all to you. Also it explains the DIFFERENCE between moms and dads and WHY your Hubby thinks all this is OK.

w w w.steptogether.org/disengaging.shtml


elliesmom
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/04/11 11:47 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Having come in late in the game with a SK that was raised by wolves I will offer this suggestion. We worked with a counselor while doing this - which I highly recommend. And it was a 14yo boy, but here goes.

DH and I sat with the counselor and set up some very basic house rules. These were things that we just could NOT tolerate life with/without. For us it dealt with hygiene, sleep, and schoolwork.

On top of that we put together our "expectations" for member of our household - things like putting dishes away, etc. For us this was mainly a list of things that we wanted him to be (more) responsible for. We then ranked them in order of importance. This was all done without SS there. We then with the counselor discussed the house rules with SS. Each week we added an expectation we wanted to work on as he was successful with the rules and other ones. There were clear consequences written out for breaking a rule as well as the "reward" for success. Throughout all of this he had private time with the counselor to discuss how he felt about it (as well as other things - his separation and abandonment from his mom and family did not happen without consequence). And then DH would go with him so she could hear how WE thought it was going. It was never perfect, but he did learn alot about how to be a normal person who uses utensils to eat and helps out when needed around the house.


Miranda
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/04/11 12:15 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

[quote]w w w.steptogether.org/disengaging.shtml [/quote]

I am baffled at how a person can disengage from a child that lives in her home. I have read that essay a number of times over the past 8 years and I see it more appropriately aimed for those stepmothers with teen/adult stepchildren, or stepchildren that do not live with them.

When you have an 8 year old living in your home you will absolutely parent them, raise them, influence them, etc. That is what happens when people live together in a home, there is no way around it.


lizk0114
(member)
12/04/11 12:20 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

On the flip side as far as my H with my bio kids, I do the correcting. Once my son was disrespectful to my H and he grounded him from the playstation. I backed him up and my son wasn't allowed to play it until my H said he could. My daughter he leaves to me and has never gotten on to her, but she is a super kid and is so easy.

I expect my kids to treat every adult with respect and that is the difference, because usually I get my son before my H can even have the chance. That is something I just do not tolerate. I even got on to my daughter for being disrespectful to her SM, they do not get along because she is the reason I am divorced and my D just will not except her. I will not allow her to talk bad about her, some think I am crazy, but regardless she is an adult and as I have told my D..everyone makes mistakes in life.

But, if my H got on to my kids I would back him up. If I disagreed with it, I would tell him so in private. And my H is great with my kids. He takes my son shooting, fishing, and hunting all the time. They sometimes spend more time together then my son and I do. He is great with him.

He also spends time with his daughter too. He is great that way, just when it comes to making her mind he falls way short. She stomped her foot at him this morning and rolled her eyes when he told her to get in the shower. He did nothing. Later we talked about that and he said that he is just use to it and don't really think into it. I do believe he has blinders on and they must come off. Had my son done him that way, he would have gotten into trouble.

If things were made fair between the kids, it would mean me letting my bio kids get away with things that I just will not except, no questions asked. It is my job to teach them respect and how to become great adults. Letting them be disrespectful to adult is not going to cut it.

And the really sad thing is that I still co-parent great with my DH. We see eye to eye on how to raise the kids, and I have called on him before with our son and he has stepped up to the plate. That is wonderful, but sad that my H cannot see this. It makes the job of raising the kids so much easier.

I also suggested counseling and he has agreed. We have to get on the same page or I just cannot live like this. I love them, but I am finding out that love just isn't enough.


DedicatedDad
(veteran)
12/04/11 01:59 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

"Do I spend time with her? Yes I have. I took her to the zoo by herself. When it was time to go clothes shopping for school, I took her myself. Sometimes when I go to the store, I take her with me"

When's the last time you played scrabble, Farkel, had a movie night with treats or went to a play with her (this goes for your husband also)?

This is where the bond is built with lifelong memories and what creates character.


LexieBelle
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/04/11 02:26 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

[quote]This is where the bond is built with lifelong memories and what creates character. [/quote]

Really?? so how in hell does one create a bond with say, oh TODDLERS who can't play scrabble or farkel or whatever? Why isn't a trip to the mall bonding? Board games are now the do-all end of all bonding? Oh no zoo either. Of course, parents and children don't bond THERE! BAER.

She has a stepchild with OBVIOUS ingrained dysfunctional issues. And so does the father. A game of farkle or scrabble isn't gonna begin to touch the tip of the iceberg here.

Stepmom here is the only one with an apparent clue. Dad's obviously a moron of mammoth proportions. I'd lay odds at 99-1 against that this guy is ever going to REALLY change.


DedicatedDad
(veteran)
12/04/11 03:17 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

If I sense the parent can't stand the kid online, the kid also knows.

The kid is crying for attention.

A trip to the mall? Kids don't want material crap. They want LOVE!


spinnerdegrassi
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/04/11 03:48 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

[quote]If I sense the parent can stand the kid online, the kid also knows.

The kid is crying for attention.

A trip to the mall? Kids don't want material crap. They want LOVE! [/quote]

Actually I wanted cool stuff. My stepfather was a douche, but I would have respected him more if he'd done some bonding at a strip club or at a bar when I was in my teen years.


Spring
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/04/11 07:37 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

I understand the quality vs quantity argument when it comes to time...its just not always such a simple answer. I would bet this isn't about stepmom...its about Dad and Mom. Neither has any time for her....and no matter what Stepmom does, it isn't going to matter too much. Of course the relationship is strained...just like it would be between a dysfunctional bio chiid and bio parent with a child that always acts up.

The poster is venting here...and being very honest online. Nothing wrong with that.


Spring
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/04/11 07:55 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Tips for stopping attention seeking behavior

h ttp[censored]ww w.ehow.com/how_5195197_stop-attention-seeking-behavior.html


DedicatedDad
(veteran)
12/04/11 09:20 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

I'm not singling out the Step. It's a team effort and it appears that all 3 adults are in rejection mode.

Spring
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/04/11 09:47 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Okay...gotchya. Unfortunately, I think it may be doubful(just using my own experience, hopefully I am wrong) that if just SM gives her the attention, it will continue from bad to worse. I believed that if this stranger (me) was able to show her the love she was searching for that she would find that value within herself. After all, I didn't have to love her, I chose to. It didn't work. The negative effects of the two bio parents could far outweigh any positive that is created. In my case, the bad behavior escalated the closer we got...it was almost like she was angry at me for being who her parents should have been. Like you, me and everyone continues to say...Dad is key to getting this under control. United front is mandatory.

LexieBelle
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/04/11 10:06 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Hmm.. well, I gotta say.. my daughter and I spend a TON of time at the mall, lol. Have since she could walk on her own (she HATED strollers, HAD to walk!!!). doesn't have to require buying STUFF. It's a food court lunch or dinner, a couple of our malls have merry go rounds in them.. Auntie anne's or Haagen Daaz for dessert. One mall had a pet store (gone now sadly). Actually that same mall now has glow in the dark mini-golf.

Just sayin'.. it's possible to love your kid even at the mall :)


Cassie23
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/05/11 06:32 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

I believe that the OP's husband has to work on HIS relationship with his daughter FIRST before the SM can work on hers. His daughter needs to know that her father
love for her will not change just because he is married and the OP and SM now have a baby together (I believe she said they have a 10 month old).

Since the SD8 has a poor relationship with her own BM we do not know what the BM is saying when the child is with her or speaks to her. My SD's BM came up with all sorts of stories about me and my relationship with H and even went as far as to say that we had a baby together to push SD aside. That H will no longer love my SD as he did because he now has son. There may be some animosity from the child to the Step because she feels her Dad now has to share his time with her, SM and their new child together?

Once Dad gets right with daughter and she knows where he stands then they need to work on SD8 respect to her SM and siblings as well as other people in general. Once her SD knows the rules and consequences then I think it will be easier for SM to work on her relationship with SD8.

I also think as EM suggested having house rules with CLEAR cut consequences written and HUNG up in the house would help. That way if SD (or any child) CHOOSES to BREAK a rule the consequence is in black and white. I feel like a reward system, especially at her age, could be beneficial. She could have a list of small chores to accomplish (giving her confidence as she completes them and sees the gold stars going up). I would also have a spot on the chart for "How was your day today?" Where she is able to take either a sad face, so so face or a happy face and stick it on the board. This gives her a chance to express her feelings as well as gives the parents the chance to discuss and listen to how her day went and why she is sad or so-so or happy! Worked for my kids- they loved their reward chart!!


lizk0114
(member)
12/05/11 07:17 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

DedicatedDad, I don't play board games with her. But, I will because that is a way for us to have time together without me having to take her out in public alone right now. That is a great idea! Thank you

lizk0114
(member)
12/05/11 07:28 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Cassie23, I never thought into the BM doing that, but now that you tell me of your experience, there might be something there. SD is mean to our 10 month old sometimes. And it may just be that she is jealous of him and those are very normal feelings for a child that has been the only child for 7 yrs. But lately she has been mean to the point that she has to be watched very closely with our 10 month old.

She was sitting on the floor a few days ago and 10 mth old walked over to where she was and she pushed him so hard that he fell and hit his head hard on the floor. She said that she didn't mean to, but I saw it. And honestly, I wouldn't put the BM past anything. I don't like talking about people, but I will say that this women is at the bottom of the totem pole in my books. She has had nothing to do with SD. For a while she did, but she was trying to get custody because she was broke and wanted the child support. H got her on tape saying that she only smokes pot before the kids got out of bed and when they went to bed at night. So, she is driving around stoned with kids in the car. She is just yuk. And this may sound very mean and very wrong, but I feel like if the BM would just stay out of this kids life period, it would be better for her. And I say that because she is not a constant.


Miranda
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/05/11 07:50 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Have you taken the child to a mental health professional? I must have missed the post about you having a baby. that is scary that she cannot be left alone around the child. Very scary...

lizk0114
(member)
12/05/11 08:45 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Yes it is scary. And SM or not I told her and H, that if she ever is mean to our son like that again, I will spank her butt on the spot. But I also go to great lengths not to leave her alone with him. I will not even leave our 10 mth old with H if SD is staying too. And I know that sounds bad, but I know that if our 10 mth old is with me he is safe.

And I called this morning and she has an appointment for next week, on Tuesday.


Cassie23
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/05/11 09:32 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Glad to hear it- about the appointment. I think it needs to start there. SD needs to see her doctor and get the appropriate referrals because this isn't going to just go away with spankings.

I really hope things work out!


elliesmom
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/05/11 09:37 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Ok, that is good, because that was what i was going to suggest as soon as I read that about your 10mo.

Rejection, abandonment, etc. by her mother is devastating. My SIL is in her late 30s, and she will say that your heart never stops wishing you could have a good relationship, even long after your brain accepts and knows it will never happen. Doesn't generally matter how terrible the mother is/was. Or how much "better" her life is now. And she is taking this hurt out on you all. She needs to learn how to get that out without taking it out on you. Adults struggle with this so its no wonder a girl of her age is having trouble.

I hope both you and your husband re planning to go as well - because the counselor can certainly help you guys develop a better response plan to her behavior. She is too old for "spanking her butt" and that is one thing that I really think needs to be reserved for bioparents if at all. For many reasons not the least of which - the last thing YOUR kids need is for you to be explaining yourself to a CPS investigator.


lizk0114
(member)
12/05/11 10:26 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Elliesmom...I completely agree with you. I have been told by H and mother-in-law the I should spank her, but I will not and they do not understand that. Her BM would be the very one to run to court and I will not give her anything that could help her get SD, that would be the worst thing in the world for her. Also, I have my children to think of. That is the very reason that I don't and haven't.

SRS
(Pooh-Bah)
12/05/11 02:02 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Spanking her butt is not the most appropriate form of punishment - especially for an 8 year old.

You took my chapstick, let me hit you. What are you teaching her?

THere are classes like Love and Logic parenting that would come in handy for your home.


gr8Dad
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/05/11 02:15 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

"Spanking her butt is not the most appropriate form of punishment - especially for an 8 year old."

Many would disagree with you. It is instant, final and teaches CONSEQUENCES for ACTIONS. What do you think will happen when little Susie takes big Bertha's chapstick out of her purse in high school?


Sherron
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/05/11 02:20 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

"Many would disagree with you. It is instant, final and teaches CONSEQUENCES for ACTIONS. What do you think will happen when little Susie takes big Bertha's chapstick out of her purse in high school? "

Many may disagree, but many others may call it child abuse. What will happen to little Susie, well, that depends... will big Bertha follow the rules and report the incident, or will big Bertha be a rule breaker herself and take matters into her own hands...


elliesmom
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/05/11 02:37 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

IF big bertha were to hit her? She would be in a world of shyt for assault.

I believe in spanking - as a last resort for children young enough that you don't have to hurt them to startle them. That ends around 5 or 6; thankfully right around the age that reason and understanding of consequences that occur beyond 20s of the offense kicks in.


lizk0114
(member)
12/05/11 02:46 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

I do not see spankings as child abuse...what I think is child abuse is not spanking a child and letting them get away with whatever.. Because then that child will become an adult and as an adult they will pay dearly for stealing and lying. It will be a very sad life for her, if she continues to go down this road. And I have spanked mine when they were little, and believe me, it was not child abuse. I have a dear friend that feel spanking is abuse, yet noone wants her around if she has her three kids with her, why....because they are horrible and have no worries because they could careless if you take away a favorite toy or tv.

I was spanked as a child and I even knew before I did something wrong what would happen, and let me tell you usually I didn't because I didn't want a spanking. My parents are super and my brother and I toed the line, we said yes maam, no maam. That is unheard of today in most kids, why...because the power is given to these kids today. not the parents. Very, very sad.


Sherron
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/05/11 02:50 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

"I do not see spankings as child abuse"

I didn't say you did, but there is a reason you don't spank sd and are concerned that bm would use it against you in court if you did.


lizk0114
(member)
12/05/11 02:55 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

Honestly though, even without that concern, I feel like it is not my place to. I honestly would be upset if my kids SM spanked them. That is one of the lines I feel a SP should not go, honestly. I know some that do go there with their SKs but I just cannot.

SRS
(Pooh-Bah)
12/05/11 04:23 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

But it is okay to tell your DH to spank the little girl? I don't see a difference, personally.

Be careful with spanking for every offense. I have a friend that spanked hi 5 year old. THe kid went to school and said Dad hit him. CPS was called. Dad had to move out of the house during the investigation.


M5M5
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/05/11 05:47 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

That's just your opinion. Spanking, while it shouldn't be used for everything under the sun, has a place and it works. There is a difference between hitting and spanking.

M5M5
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/05/11 05:50 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

I've spanked my kids right up until they are 11/12 years old.

SRS
(Pooh-Bah)
12/05/11 07:34 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

...and that is just your opinion. We both have them and they aren't the same. It is okay. It really is.

SweetLight
(Pooh-Bah)
12/05/11 09:52 PM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

“Honestly though, even without that concern, I feel like it is not my place to. I honestly would be upset if my kids SM spanked them. That is one of the lines I feel a SP should not go, honestly. I know some that do go there with their SKs but I just cannot.”

----->I also felt like it was not my place, or very wise. ;-) The discipline should be done by the biological parent. I cannot imagine the additional chaos that would have ensued had I even wanted to take on that role. No thanks! When my former stepdaughter insisted on misbehaving while in my care, my hands were tied as far as discipline goes, and her father was going to excuse the poor behavior? Then yes, she would be going to her brother’s soccer or karate practice to watch along with her Dad, rather than staying home with me. See #3 below & #7. ;-) I went to nearly every single extracurricular kid practice until I realized that was way too unreasonable, unrealistic, and way too Brady Bunch.

***Disclaimer*** No, I did not make-up or write "The Stepmother’s Bill Of Right’s", as was asked of me before when I posted this, lol. I just happen to agree with it, and it’s author, and can empathize with others in the same position.

Stepmother's Bill of Rights
1. I will be part of the decision-making process in my marriage and family at all times.
2. People outside the immediate family - including ex-wives, in-laws and adult children - cannot make plans that affect my life without my consent.
3. I will not be responsible for the welfare of children for whom I can set no limits.
4. I must be consulted about which children will live with us, when they can visit and how long they will stay.
5. I will not be solely responsible for housework; chores will be distributed fairly.
6. I will be consulted regarding all family financial
7. Others may not violate my private space at home, nor take or use my possessions without my permission.
8. I will never be treated as an "outsider" in my own home.
9. My husband and stepchildren must treat me with respect.
10. Our marriage is our first priority, and we will address all issues together.


M5M5
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/06/11 04:05 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

That is correct. I guess it was just the way you said it...and maybe it was just me, but I just felt you were looking down on her because she believes in spanking...like maybe you think it's abuse or something? Dunno...just the feeling I got.

M5M5
(Carpal \'Tunnel)
12/06/11 04:09 AM
Re: To answer your question Annieo...

I really like that, SL. I've never read it before! Thanks for posting =)


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