I don't like my partner's daughter :-(

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I don't like my partner's daughter :-(

Postby earthgirl » Tue May 03, 2011 8:28 am

Hi everyone. I'm struggling with my partner's daughter's behaviour and would appreciate some advice.

We've been together for 2 years, and living together for 6 months. He has an 8 yr. old daughter who stays with us 2 nights a week, and my 13 yr. old daughter lives with us full time.

His daughter is constantly seeking attention and won't do anything for herself. She uses a baby voice to speak to her Dad and gets him to do everything for her. Her manners are awful, she ignores me sometimes when I speak to her, she interrupts other people's conversations, she constantly whines to get her own way and she is very cheeky to her Dad. Basically her behaviour is bad in my opinion and not how I brought my daughter up to behave (who incidentally is going through a long moody teenage phase and often hides away in her room for whole days).

I've spoken to my partner and told him that I think his daughter is cheeky and explained that it affects us all when she behaves that way. He reluctantly agreed and said he will tell her off more for being cheeky and answering back, but also said that he thinks it is normal for kids to be cheeky (?!)

I just can't take to her because of her behaviour, I dread the days she stays with us and I've started working late and going out to avoid her. When she is with us my partner is also different and seems on edge. I think he is worried about her behaviour and how it affects me but also doesn't want to spend the little time he has with her telling her off (as she always starts crying and tantruming when she gets told off) I’m really worried that this will come between us and ultimately ruin what is otherwise the best relationship I've ever had.

I feel uncomfortable in my own home when she is there and I really need advice on how to deal with this. Maybe things will settle down when she gets used to us, but somehow I can't see it because my partner says she has always been an attention seeker, even before he met me and was with her mother. I also understand that us moving in together has been a big change for her (and my daughter), but I don’t think this is an excuse for bad behaviour. I also realise that she might be jealous and think she is losing her dad to me, but that is not the case and she is loved and gets included in everything we do. I try my best to be kind and friendly to her, always making time for her but it's getting harder and sometimes I just wish she wasn't there!

Any ideas? Thanks for reading.
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Re: I don't like my partner's daughter :-(

Postby Ticktock » Wed May 04, 2011 8:06 am

Reading this I am left with the thought that this isn't really a story about one child but two, your own daughter has retreated from you since you moved in together, only part of her behaviour could be assigned to being a teenager. Both kids in their own way are saying what about me...

You on the other hand are running away from an 8 year old, yes her behaviour is bad but can't you tell her off? Parents with baggage often don't know how to deal with each others kids, does the natural parent get to be the bad guy all the time, does the step parent always have to be the nice one? Often you will have two different approaches developed over time, which may both work, but will set the other persons teeth on edge.

This won't have been what you wanted when you got together, but one of the tests of being in love with someone is dealing with all the rubbish they may bring with them, can't have love's young dream forever.

You have to talk to your partner about a consistent approach with his daughter (and that may involve conceding on some of the things you did with your daughter), that way you know where the boundaries are and can expect backup if you have to lay the law down. It is the only way you will get the love and respect you obviously want from your stepdaughter, at the moment she knows she can relegate you to second place with a whine.
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Re: I don't like my partner's daughter :-(

Postby earthgirl » Wed May 04, 2011 8:14 am

Hi, thanks for your reply.

No this is about one child. I can deal with my own daughter's behaviour and I am working on her moodiness, trying to get her to open up and talk to me. One of the things that is bothering her is also my partner's daughter's behaviour.
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Re: I don't like my partner's daughter :-(

Postby Bel Bel » Fri May 06, 2011 12:50 pm

I agree that you have to set rules and bounderies and you have to have consistent punishments and you must not be the one to give it.

Sit down and agree the rules and the punishments, appropriate to the age group and ones that will bother her. You always have to find something they don't wnat to be taken away, it hurts more.

Some ideas: no pudding, bed half hour early, no tv, no i pod etc

She will try to kick back at the rules, the first weeks will be the toughest and you will need to stay strong and consistent. Once she knows she has nowhere to go and the rules aren't changing she will settle down.

As for your older child she can help with the problem by being around and leading by example. She is giving off a great big signal that the 8 year old is not welcome by going into hiding. This is rude behaviour too so she too must have rules and punsihsments if she won't be part of the family. It's only two days a week.

If you can all come toghether on this within a month things will become more harmonious.

Part of the 8 year olds character is to be attention seeking that won't go away but you don't have to be baited by it
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Re: I don't like my partner's daughter :-(

Postby Wint » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:49 pm

I realise that this post is now several months old, but it's grabbed my attention as I've had a very similar - although not identical - experience with my ex girlfriends little girl (3 years old when we met, now 5) and feel I might be able to add an additional, although late, perspective. My ex allowed - and I imagine still does - her little girl to get away with murder, in my humble opinion, and I received several admonishments from my ex when I tried to punish her daughter (nothing physical, just shouting at her when she was insistently naughty or questioning her honesty when I thought she was fibbing) simply because she thought I was being overly harsh or suspicious. In reality, I feel I was being very reasonable considering my ex's daughters behaviour.

For instance, she was also a humongous attention seeker. If we were watching tv or playing on the Wii (all three of us might I add, not just me and her mum), she'd stand in front of the tv, dance around the room getting in the way or simply turn off the tv. If her mum and I were sat on the sofa, she’d literally climb over the sofa, start walking on us, shove her feet in our faces, climb on top of the sofa and fake falling on to us, thus risking knocking hot tea or coffee everywhere or potentially damaging the laptop. Receiving even the slightest ticking off would result in an epic tantrum, often including both verbal and physical abuse. I was kicked and punched once or twice but my ex regularly got scratched, bitten and even head butted on occasion just because her little girl got told off, usually for ignoring one of us when we asked her to do something, if she continued to misbehave after being asked to stop, or for generally not getting her own way.

All of this, of course, is normal behaviour for a small child, just like your partners 8 year old. However, what my ex failed to do an almost every occasion was show her little girl that consistent bad behaviour would be met with consistent consequences. That is to say, bad behaviour did not necessarily lead to punishment. Toys were never confiscated, bed times - regardless of behaviour - varied from one day to the next anywhere between 8:30pm to 11pm, sweets were handed out and new toys awarded regardless of good or bad behaviour. All in all, the lack of a consistent and regular set of rules in my ex’s little girls life meant - and probably still means - that she is continually pushing her boundaries until they were effectively in the next post code! She’s the master of the house, not her mum, and to me, that’s wrong. A kid with no boundaries is always pushing for more, and when they don’t get it, there’s hell to pay.

Whilst, much like myself in the past, you will definitely have to concede to your partners expectations on how to raise his daughter, I feel you must make your concerns felt before the situation gets worse. If he’s a reasonable person and you speak to him in a polite, logical and reasoned manner, I’m sure he’ll understand and try to meet you half way. My biggest issue was that my ex was a very unreasonable person and took even the slightest advice as an insult suggesting that she was an ineffective parent. All I wanted to do was help, and I’m sure the same is true of you. Although I have no advice regarding your daughter (I’ve had no dealings with teenagers - come back to me in just over 13 years lol), I think what the others say about getting her involved by asking her to lead by example could well help. If your partners daughter is the only person on the house displaying bad behaviour, it could - possibly - begin to embarrass her into cleaning up her act.

Hope you sort things out :)
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