i feel so mean!!!

i dont know what to think but feel she is becoming like her mother and grandmother both very bitter people who love to upset people i dont think its to do with her parents splitting up as she was only a young baby and they never spent any time together as he worked days and she worked nights, we are normally very close but at the mo i just feel so angry that she is upsetting my baby i feel i am pushing her away what do i do?


  • I know this is easy advice to give and much harder to take but here goes I would advise to do exactly the opposite, I'll explain later. I have 2 step-children (8 & 11) who live with me and my partner as their mother left when they were 6 & 3 and is only interested in them on a 'see them once a week' kind of commitment level. I have to say we get on great and are generally a very happy family, but I do find that when we have our bad moments it's so easy for me to make it worse by imagining them as older than they are, i. e I imagine them to be as devious and calculating as an adult when in fact they're just kids! I recognise this now, and really make an effort to see that if they do something negative (very rare) it's not because they're intrinsicly bad (you're close to this girl no- she must have a good side!) but because they're hurting in some way. I would say she's jealous of the high standards you set with your little girl and the attention to take to ensure she's well behaved- this shows that you really care about her whereas it seems your step-daughters mum doesnt' show her the same care or attention about her behaviour - in her view this will make her aware that you care for you Faith much more than her mother does about her. Girls can be terribly sensitive and they desperately need to feel that their mother cares....if she feels unsure about this she's bound to take it out on you as opposed to test her mother...she can afford to lose you she can't afford to push her mother too far. I'd turn the situation on it's head- show her extra love and kindness for a while and just watch how she reacts; take her out for a special grown up lunch just you and her (or do something, anything, that will make her feel special, just you and her, 1 on 1) and make sure you tell her that even though she's not your baby you love her so so much and it makes you sad when she doesn't act like the special girl you love. Remind her that Faith looks up to her and thinks she is the best thing ever and it makes her really upset when she's told off for no reason. You can tell her how much you love her coming round to visit and how much Faith looks forward to having a play mate....you know the score.....try it...and see if you see any improvement I bet you will.
  • thank you i will see how it goes xx
  • hi faithlouise, i agree with evie 2006. I also have 2 step-daughters who live with us, they are now teenagers so I feel i am quite qualified in all areas of step-parenting having gone through MANY stages with them!! Still making loads of mistakes though, just like all parents. I would load her with love and treat her bad behaviour in the same way as your own childs while she is with you. She sounds like she needs boundaries and limits - kids thrive on both. But they especially thrive on love. It is hard to do that when she is not your own flesh and blood- the bond is more difficult to create and maintain than with your own child. But it will be worth it in the end. She will always know where she stands with you and will feel secure with you. You also need to remember that she may be told things by her mum and, in her eyes, given the red light to behave badly in your house by her mum - how confusing are all these mixed signals! Above all she will test you to the end - just like all kids do. But you are the adult, you are in control, stay strong and show her loads of love and also a little tough love. Good luck to you all. xx
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