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Confused StepMom 12-11-2008 01:58 PM

How to Deal with an over the top Daddy's girl
I was recently married and a month later my 8 yr old stepdaughter came to live with us. I agreed to this because I knew my husband had a very close relationship with his only daughter and really wanted her to be with us full time. He and his family often told me our situation would be better for her for a few reasons but the main one was because her mom treats her like her friend and allows her to be too grown. Mind you, in no way was she in a harmful environment. In most peopleís eyes she's the sweetest thing. She got good grades in school, her mom is a decent woman - she never had her around different men or anything of the sort..... In hindsight this should have been a sign of "other" issues because Mom really isnít all that bad, they were most likely mad because she always got what she wanted because of the daughter (they see her as manipulator). Well, wanting to be supportive of my husband and thinking it may be best to expose her to our way of thinking etc., it may be best to do this now just in case we end up pregnant in the next few months. (btw - the agreement was only for a year) Agreeing to this was MY FIRST mistake. This relationship is the most bizarre relationship that I have ever seen!!!! Since she has come to live with us she has shown how clingy she is to him and all the manipulative ways to get him to do what she wants has come out. Regardless to how big or small her request is, because of his passive attitude he just talks to her and everything is ok. He says yes to almost everything she asks (except for buying her things) regardless to our rules. In his words "why not - is there any harm?Ē That being said I'm the one to discipline most of the time so I look like the mean one or, the one that always has something to say. He allows her to have an opinion about everything and he appeases or negotiates just about everything with her. Daddy is her best friend and her playmate. I went out and found her a few friends in the subdivision because all she wants to do is spend time playing with the big kid - DADDY! Sad to say - that didnít work well. Bottom line is I feel she's taking over my house. Everything revolves around her. I'm miserable by the sight of her now because I see how she plays him but yet he doesn't. What can I do? I just want him to step up and be a parent and stop letting her get away with everything. And last but not least I want him to give her space to be a child and not under him every second that she's at home. HELP!

Sueanne 12-11-2008 08:16 PM

Being a stepmom is the hardest job you will ever have. Little girls do love their daddies and daddies love it. I am sure things will get better once your Husband realizes you are right. If He does not have custody maybe you can work out something with her going to her Moms for the weekend to give you both some time alone.

Pag36 12-11-2008 08:32 PM

I hope some more on here can give you some good advice too. I did not have that problem David was 17 when I became his "mom" his own Mom had passed away 4 yrs earlier. We hit it off right away and thank God still have a great relationship 21 1/2 yrs later. Good luck and God bless

brehartsell 01-02-2009 08:07 AM

Wasn't the reason she moved in with you was because her mom was her "friend". Sounds like her dad is her "friend" too instead of her parent. You will have to talk to him and set down ground rules and then talk with her as a family to establish the rules. And then stick to the rules. If you don't it will get out of hand. Also think about when you have kids with your husband, is this how you want them to act because they will see her behavior and follow the leader and you will always be the bad guy.

Sammi1961 01-02-2009 01:59 PM

I agree with brehartsell, can you sit your dh down and talk to him about needing to present a united front? Explain that children need boundries and guidlines in order to learn and grow up into responsible adults. It is ok to play with a child, but children also need other kids their own age with whom to play. Children are also very good at playing one parent against the other. It would be a good idea to have dh check with you before agreeing to something or you checking with him. He is not doing his dd any favors but allowing her to run the house. I hope he will listen to you if you talk with him. Tell him how you feel, tell him you want to love and be a good mom to his dd, not just "the bad guy" who disciplines. Not sure if this helps at all but I feel for the little girl who has two "playmates" as parents but no boundries.

lindaljh1 01-05-2009 08:07 AM

My mother went through the same thing when she married my step-dad. Linda was 14 yrs old and her mom was not a very loving person.

Bill tried to make up for all the love that Linda was missing at home and my mom felt completely left out. Linda would sit between them on the couch and did her best to let my mom know she wasn't needed.

I also did not want a step dad. So they had a lot to deal with. I was always throwing up to him the fact that he was not my dad and couldn't tell me what to do.

They finally went to family counseling. The counselor was able to see how Linda was trying to take all of her fathers attention and helped Bill to set boundaries. It took a few years to convince Linda that she was still loved even though her dad had married my mom.

For me, Bill was patient. I was 12 yrs old and very head strong. He made sure that if he had to lay down the law that my mom was there to support him. He also would listen when I had a problem with my mom. I learned to trust him, but like Linda it took a few years.

The marriage worked and Linda ended up loving my mom and appreciating her. I ended up loving Bill and married a man just like him. Getting my step dad was the best thing that could have happened to me and Linda said the same thing about my mom.

Hang in there, get counseling, and try your best to love this girl who so desperately needs a mom.

Love & Prayers,

Amy Warwick 01-05-2009 05:25 PM

Confused StepMom,

I just wanted to throw my name out there for you in case you want to stay in touch. For six years now my husband and I have had a "yours, mine, and ours" situation (the ours came along four years ago) and my step-daughter is 8, so I really can empathize. I have been in the family since she was two-years-old and have watched my husbands relationship with her in confusion for most of that. Fortunately, I have a very open relationship with my husband and since each of us have step-children with each other we have learned to talk to each other even when it is hurtful. My daughter lives with her mom during the week and with us on the weekends and on vacations, and what you are talking about rings very true to my life. When she is here, she is manipulative and very much a Daddy's girl. I could go one, but I must ask how close you are with her biological mother. Do you have a relationship with her? Oddly, the two mommies usually have more in common in this respect that can normally be imagined. If you would like to communicate anytime, please send me a message.

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