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Thread: Relationship with Step-daughter

  1. #1
    semaj281
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    Relationship with Step-daughter

    I will avoid making this post longer than it needs to be but I need to give some background info for things to make sense. So here I go. I have been married to a mother of 3 kids for three years. During this time I've had a chance to build rapport and trust with them. They've been coming to me for their needs and I've spent time with them when my wife was busy/unavailable. She works from home for an e-commerce business, and her employer recently sold the business to her so now she is working 55+ hours a week. I also help when I can with her business and I've been putting my accounting background to use to help her.

    Yesterday 1 of our daughters had a (middle school) band concert. She reminded me of it on the morning of the concert that I will need to take her to the school. With my wife needing to work at least until 6pm, she was going to be unavailable. So my plan was to take our elder daughter and our younger daughter too since she wanted to come along.

    Switching gears a bit to add more background info. Last month I was given a severance notice from my job and I have until the 12/15 to find a new job. Since my wife is self-employed (no benefits) I took advantage of working for mid size/large companies and getting health/dental/vision insurance for myself and the family. With our elder (son) needing to be hospitalized in ICU/PCU for 3 nights from a bicycling accident that happened three months ago, providing health insurance became a top priority for me as I realized life can happen quickly and insurance can be useful.

    So with my daughter's band concert happening last night, I also had a phone interview scheduled with a potential employer. This happened on very short notice and I asked the interviewer to schedule me another day (like tomorrow) because I was going to be busy. However he insisted that it will be a quick 15 minute conversation and this was the second round of interviewing with this company. My first interview with them gave me really good vibes and I had hoped to be hired here, so with that in mind I agreed to the 15-minute 5pm phone interview (we needed to leave at 5:20 for the concert).

    Lo and behold, the interviewer called late and we ran late for the concert. She got real antsy and started raising her voice. Her and her mother got into an altercation and I had to step outside to find a quiet area while trying to wrap up this interview. When it was finished, I apologized to our daughter and told her we can leave now. Then she yelled at me and said, "I don't care." So I got upset and her mother ended up taking her.

    The concert took about 90 minutes so I had time to think about what I did. I regretted getting upset at her. But I wanted her to understand I wasn't on the phone out of selfish desires and wanted to explain I needed to find another job on a similar level so we can maintain our quality of life. I realize these are hard concepts for a kid to understand but she is almost 14 years old and it wouldn't hurt for her to get some understanding on how reality works.

    More background info. We have had issues with getting her to do her homework and we've had to go to teacher-parent conferences and put her in remedial classes because she had been telling us all her homework is finished when they weren't done. So even though she's a smart kid her grades suffered due to her laziness. To help her snap out of this we have been getting her to help with house chores (doing dishes, sweeping floors, organizing her own room, etc) and making sure she sits down and does her school work every day when she comes home from school. But lately her response and solution to most things is "I don't care" and has been slacking on her school work and keeping her room clean.

    So hearing those words again from her after apologizing to her for making her late upset me. To make matters worse, when they came back home from the concert my wife started doing what our daughter was supposed to be doing (loading the dishwasher and folding her clothes) while our daughter went straight to her room. I told my wife to stop and this led to an argument. By this point our daughter came down to where we were and got upset at me. She grabbed by face and kicked me in the leg. We are the same height and she weighs more than me but I managed to push her off. I left the house to cool off and by the time I came back there was a police car at the house. Our daughter called the police on me after hitting me, to charge me with domestic violence or child abuse or whatever. Doing my own research, I read corporal punishment is legal in my state so pushing her away wouldn't have made me a criminal. However I was still pissed that I had the police called on after making a good faith effort to be a father figure for these kids who have an absent bio-father and a busy mother on medication for epilepsy/anxiety/chronic pain.

    Needless to say the tension is high at my house and I don't know what to do. I am actually dreading going home today after work but I don't want to divorce my wife or leave the kids. I consider them as family and things have been very good overall for the past three years. I need some advice from people who have raised teenagers or advice in general on how to handle this.

    Thanks for reading. Any insight would be appreciated.
    Last edited by semaj281; 12-06-2017 at 11:42 AM.

  2. #2
    ~Seraphim ~
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    She sounded like your typical teenager until it got to the physical abuse . That needs to be addressed . Her mother should set up counselling appointments for her . Resorting to physical violence is not OK . Obviously the concert was something extremely important to her but her reaction is not OK . I would set some counselling appointments up for her .

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    semaj281
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    I perused some other threads here regarding teenage behavior and one poster advised that teens tend to rebel when held to a standard. I will talk to my wife about the counseling (something I could use myself for my own issues) but people/kids associate counseling with a problem and I wouldn't want her to feel boxed-in if it were up to me to decide whether she gets counseling. I think her physical response was a fight or flight and she decided to fight me when she heard me arguing with her mom. It may have also been pent up feelings of resentment against me because I ended up taking time away from her mom when I married her.

    So I have these possible causes drawn up in my head but I have no idea how to approach these problems.

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    semaj281
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    Another comment on the physical abuse. She has hit her younger sister out of anger on several occasions too. So counseling may be the only option.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by semaj281 [Register to see the link]
    Another comment on the physical abuse. She has hit her younger sister out of anger on several occasions too. So counseling may be the only option.
    Fighting with your sibling eh, pretty typical. My brother and I had a physical row at 13 and 16 over bathroom time.
    Pounding on your parents? Hell, no .

    Now I'm not saying she should be hitting her younger sister but that's pretty typical .

    She sounds really really really really frustrated about something . Also pretty typical for a teenager .

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    Either way her mother should not let this attack on you slide . If she does that just gives her daughter more power to do it again because she won. This should be handled very swiftly and she should be let known under no uncertain circumstances Is this going to happen again without severe consequences .

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    semaj281
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    I don't know what talks they've had so far but I will ask.

    As for her frustrations, she's complained about not getting enough attention from the boys at her school and doesn't like her self image. And it's impossible for us to compliment her on anything because she rejects them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by semaj281 [Register to see the link]
    I don't know what talks they've had so far but I will ask.

    As for her frustrations, she's complained about not getting enough attention from the boys at her school and doesn't like her self image. And it's impossible for us to compliment her on anything because she rejects them.
    Well teenagers with their hormones and exploding brain development and everything else of course often times have problems with self image . That is why I think the counselling is important . But either way she should not be attacking people and it's not acceptable . And her mother should make that very clear as well as calling the police under false pretence that should be dealt with quickly and with heavy consequence . She needs to know that is not OK and won't be tolerated .

  9. #9
    reinventmyself
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    Quote Originally Posted by semaj281 [Register to see the link]
    I perused some other threads here regarding teenage behavior and one poster advised that teens tend to rebel when held to a standard. .
    I beg to differ. Though they may protest, kids feel safer when there are standard and limits. What seemed to go sideways here is that you and you wife were not on the same page and the daughter took advantage of the opportunity.
    I agree with family counseling.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by reinventmyself [Register to see the link]
    I beg to differ. Though they may protest, kids feel safer when there are standard and limits. What seemed to go sideways here is that you and you wife were not on the same page and the daughter took advantage of the opportunity.
    I agree with family counseling.
    I agree, my son was held to strick standards and he was never a problem. People need boundaries, period. And they need consequences whether a child or adult. I think children without clear-cut standards get into more problems than the ones that have standards .

    Without standards and boundaries you are essentially raising yourself and that flops almost every single time and causes psychological problems .

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