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How to deal with a rude, lying, stealing etc etc etc 13 year old?


First ever post and I will try and keep it short.

I have a 13-year-old stepdaughter, who has recently come to live with us. Her mum and I have been seeing each other for 18 months and in December last year bought a house together.

At that time the daughter was living with her real father as she had found the few rules at Mums to hard to deal with.

Anyhow about 10 weeks ago Miss 13 came to live with us, after my partner and I had sat down and discussed some rules regarding behaviour.

The situation now is that no matter what rule the kid breaks Mum will not impose any consequence or punishment.

The kid swears at me, lies about where she is going & what she is doing, hangs with some real little $hits, has stolen money and no matter what Mum won't take action.

Mum says to me, that she thinks her daughters behaviour is slowly improving, that it will take time, that all kids are like it and I should just back off chill out and leave it to her, to trust her she knows what she is doing.

The stepdaughter is manipulating her mum, as Mum is scared that Miss 13 will up and leave again, and my partner has flatly stated that she won't let that happen no matter what.

So what do I do? Life is not pleasant, my partner and I are sleeping in separate bedrooms because of the stress being created as I won't put up with being abused in our house by a kid, and our relationship is falling apart before my eyes.

What happened, my partner has gone from having very similar views on what is and is not appropriate behaviour to me, to now letting her daughter get away with murder.

Sad thing is the rules we are looking at WERE applied when mum & daughter were in their home, but now we have both sold up and combined, all thats out the window.

Okay well that wasn't really short......

Any thoughts gratefully received.... Thanks!

Comments (25)

  • RosieL
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Has she always been this way or only since you entered the picture? If she is in a situation where she is most unhappy this type of acting out may be the only control she has in her life. I am assuming that you are cohabitating without benefit of marriage. How can she act morally if the adults around her don't? How can you expect something from her that you are not willing to do yourselves? (do the right thing). 13 is a very precarious age. Kids live what they learn.

  • chargirl
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I remember when i was 15 and my mum had her boyfriend move in,i used to fight all the time with him as i felt he had no right in telling me what to do.It wasnt over who's turn it was to do the washing up or hanging the washing out that never worried me it was more so to do with trying to control me.He never tryed to be my friend.He had never had to deal with teenages before so the battle went on intill i moved out.Just try to understand that it;s not easy for her she may feel like a outsider,my mum's ex at the end wanted her to chose between us,he won when i went to live with my dad.I found it hard to understand for ages why my mother did what she did maybe she was scared of being alone in life.Anyway all i can say is think back to when you were young and how it would feel if all of a sudden your family is torn apart and your mum or dad has started living with someone,i think your sd is testing you to see how far she can push you she may have alot of anger in her due to this new life with you guys,has she got a school teacher she can talk to? best of luck and keep posting.

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  • Troubleinthetropics
    Original Author
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks both of you:-)

    I think I will leave the issue of the morality in sharing ones life without being married to another time, all I can say is I am just as committed, if not more so to this relationship than a lot of couples whom are married are to their marriages...

    A few more details might perhaps give some more insight?

    My Partner had a very rough time at the hands of her ex hubby, my SD's real dad. I know that this has left some problems that partner & SD is still dealing with. What has become apparent is that the depth of the problems is far more than either my partner or I realised. As this was all spoken about before we decided to set up house together, to try and get a feel for how our views on parenting and whats ok and whats not.

    My Partner has been separated from her ex for 7 1/2 years and he has tried to screw her into the ground, luring the kids to live with him, with presents, money etc so she is stuck with a big child support bill, as he has a business and shows virtually no income :-(

    My partner bought up A SS with her ex and had a son to him & the daughter, now my SD. So I guess what I am dealing with is my partner trying to make sure she doesnt loose her third, youngest & only female child.

    For most of last year when we had separate houses I would stay at my partners place, or she at mine & there were no real problems.

    When I stayed there, my SD's core behaviour was similar to what it is now, but not to the same intensity. What happened was that her Mum would set rules & SD was use to just breaking them. OR SD would physically stand up to her Mum and intimidate her, causing mum to back down on the issue of the day!

    Mum was imposing what punishment she could, loss of pocket money, restrictions on phone calls, groundings etc. All pretty normal stuff to my way of thinking.

    While I never intervened when SD was standing up to her mum I made here aware that I was keeping an eye on things, and that if my partner needed support I would be there.

    My partner was happy with this, and just knowing that she had some back up if she needed it gave her the strength to stand by the rules she had set.

    I guess perhaps thats why SD has the sads with me, as she was no longer able to intimidate her mum, mind you at the time she was 12!!

    The behaviour was there well before I arrived on the scene, and in the past 3 years my SD has come to the attention of the Police on five occasions, ended up with 3 verbal cautions and has just finished a diversion program to keep her out of court on a drug dealing charge.

    I have never tried to be "A new dad" to her, just made myself available to talk about anything she wanted to, and it seemed to be going okay. I explained the possible consequences of her actions in relation to the drug offence, and she chose to do it anyhow.

    So I have never lectured, just laid it out straight as it is, and given her what she needs to make the correct choice, unfortunately she seems to not want to :-(

    Sorry a little off track there!!

    Anyhow late last year SD decided that the rules at home (her mums place) were too tough, mainly because there were now actually some rules in place and she couldn't intimidate her mum. End result SD decides to go and live with her dad.

    He of course imposed NO rules, gave her loads of $$$ to spend, a mobile phone and let her run wild.

    During this time my partner and I decided to both sell our houses and start a joint life, which was done and all was looking good. We had discussed the possibility of SD coming to live with us, and had easily agreed on the ground rules we expected in our house, respect, no violence, no swearing, reasonable bed times and such.

    SD came to visit on a couple of occasions and things while edgy were okay. About 10 weeks ago SD got into a fight with her brother, the sort of fight that leaves bruises and scratches.

    So I arrived home and found SD had moved in, I had thought when my partner had said SD was coming it was for another visit. Anyhow I had no problem with that, although knowing what I know now maybe I should have.....

    From almost day one SD was intent on seeing just how firm the boundaries that had been set actually were, and this is where the trouble began.

    SD would swear at me, call me all sorts of F#$%@'s & CU&%$, would slam doors if she was told she couldn't do something, make calls to mobile phones after being told not to, would leave dirty dishes in her room, in the lounge, in fact anywhere she wanted to and got abusive when asked to clean them up, etc etc etc.

    On the few occasions I asked her to do something I was told to EFFFF off "Your not my dad, you can't tell me what to do" So I explained to her, that while I wasn't her day I was one of the two adults in the house and that did give me the right to ask her to do things.

    All through this my partner would talk to SD about what she was doing wrong, and I would be told that the matter had been addressed and SD wouldn't do it again.

    Anyhow to cut an already long story short SD did keep doing whatever she liked, and would lie to her mum, or manipulate her mum. When I caught SD out in a lie, I would tell my partner and she then accused me of picking on SD.... When I caught SD stealing money, my partner accused me of setting up SD by leaving the jar of $1 & $2 coins in the walkin wardrobe in our bedroom! This is after I have asked that SD not to go into our room without asking!

    Thing have spiralled from there, and we are now almost at the point of separating as my partner can't accept that SD is still doing the same things, and is not changing.

    I am also being accused of not being flexible enough, and have been told "that it will take time, that all kids are like it and I should just back off chill out and leave it to her, to trust her she knows what she is doing."

    The question I have is this:

    Am I being unreasonable to expect that if my 13 year old SD swears at me, steals from me and is openly defiant there should be some sort of consequence, other than having her Mum tell her not to do it again???

    I am so frustrated as I have seen a great relationship with a truly wonderful lady die in such a short space of time :-(

    Sorry this is so long, and if you have got this far thanks for reading ;-)

  • hopdrop5
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I refuse to preach morality on this site, as I think the effect on your partner's daughter is relatively minimal. Bottom line is that you are an adult, you are her mother's partner, and you are half-owner of the house she is living in. I cannot agree with you more that you have every right to expect much better behavior from this child. My SD has been told that the first time she slams her bedroom door, she would be minus a bedroom door. She has not slammed her door yet, but I have every intention of taking it if she does (which she will). A loss of privacy like that might give her a good dose of reality. You obviously cannot depend on your partner to resolve these issues with the child, so you have two choices: to insinuate yourself into this child's life in a really big way, or put the house on the market and cut your losses. Your relationship has probably already suffered more than you know if she is choosing to defend her daughter for stealing and cursing you out. I assume you do know for a fact, that your partner's daughter is the one doing the stealing, correct? Your partner has already made it clear that she will never allow her daughter to go back to live with her father, and if she's serious, you're decision's pretty much made, right? Do I think kids need time to adjust to new situations? Absolutely. Do I think they should be given carte blanche while they are getting settled? Absolutely not! It doesn't take long for a 13 year old girl to figure out how to manipulate, and it's incredibly difficult to undo what's been done in the short time this child has been running your lives! Yes, it is unfortunate that your partner does not see what's happening, and as sad as it might be, you have to consider what you really want out of life. Sure, you may love your partner, but do you even like the daughter? What continue in a situation that hostile - it surely isn't good for you. Let the daughter run roughshod over her mother, get arrested, and perhaps do some time in the clink - all while you are watching from a safe distance. Why put yourself through that if you don't have to? Good luck in whatever you decide to do. I can tell you though, as hard as it would be to walk away from my husband, you can bet I would in a New York second if we were at such complete odds on how to handle his daughter.

  • RosieL
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Its so easy to look the other way on the morality issue when it serves your own needs. Sorry - but I think you need to look at the child's needs first. Sometimes it means getting married. (Commitment is easy to say without really doing it). Sometimes it means staying single and living apart if the child has a problem with the relationship because after all - the child's life is the most important until he / she is ready to sprout wings. As adults - we have to do the right thing for the child and any mother that would do less is not worthy of the title.

  • Troubleinthetropics
    Original Author
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This is way off track but I was curious to know some more from RosieL, I am not sure if its flame bait or a serious oppinion?

    MS RosieL could you please explain to me why getting married would make me any more committed to my relationship than I already am?

    I have willingly sold my own house, given up life as a single person and committed my life as part of a joint partnership with a lady I truly love. I care for her, respect her, protect her, am totally faithful to her and fail to see how marriage would change that one bit? How do you figure that I am saying I am committed but not really doing it?

    So do I take it from your suggestion that "Sometimes it means staying single and living apart if the child has a problem with the relationship" that I should just accept the abuse & rudeness?

    Also exactly how is being married likely to make a difference to any of my SD's behaviour?

    Anyhow enough of this. As I have a feeling we could debate it forever :-)

  • RosieL
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Finances is what makes a commitment? How would you feel if your mother was shacking up? I know I would be devastated!! I guess in some places (like where Jerry Springer gets his guests) this kind of behavior is acceptable. However, in our area no one would allow their children to visit such a home and the child would indeed suffer humiliation and embarassment for her Mother's actions. No one should accept abuse, but this should have been resolved before Mom took on a honey. If the daughter is acting out because she is unhappy - all care should have been given to first get her whatever help she needed to stabilize her life. If she has a problem with you - Mom could have waited for 5 years until the child went off to college. Mom's relationship with you is not the most important thing here. The most important thing is the emotional health and well being of her child. I'm sure the problems were there before you made the "commitment" of buying a house. Did you think these problems would go away because you got a mortgage? The child needs help and love and patience. She needs her Mom's undivided attention to help her resolve her issues. She probably needs counseling to resolve the issues from the past without adding on another layer of misery into her life. There is no easy cure for this situation and it may take years of counseling to help her. She is, after all, just a child. No it is not a flame - but it is my sincere opinion that when children are involved, adults must do what is in the child's best interest and do the right thing morally and be the best example that they can be of how to live their lives. You cannot expect a child to do the right thing when the example they see placed before them is one of doing what is socially and morally unacceptable. You cannot separate morality from child rearing and try to convince yourself that it is ok. So where do you draw the line? Is stealing moral? Is lying moral? Can we just pick and choose which moral behavior appeals to us - say I will not cheat, lie or steal - but I will shack up? I don't think you can do that and I don't think you can expect it of a child if your own behavior lacks moral character. I truly don't think you can separate it from child rearing and expect good results.

  • MIStepMom
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This is the first time I have posted to this site. I have been reading the postings for a couple of months now in order to find out if other stepmoms are having the same problem(s) as I am and to get some suggestions.

    I married a wonderful man in February 2000. It was the 2nd marriage for both of us. He has 1 son (now 20) and 1 daughter (now 18) and I have 2 sons (now 14 and 9). While we were dating, everything was wonderful with his kids, but once we got married and I was living in their house, I saw a side of these kids that I never imagined. Lying, cheating, stealing, manipulation with a capital M. I bent over backwards for these kids in order to help them feel accepted and loved. Their bm is a complete physho and has taught these kids that lying, cheating, stealing and manipulation is OK because this is the only way to get what you want in life. This is the main reason my husband divorced her. The kids spent 6 months separately with each of their parents because they couldn't get along well enough to stay at the same time. Their bm also played the 2 kids against each other, example: telling the son that his father loved his sister more than him. We continually struggle with these kids based on the lies that their bm has told them. In the fall of 2000 my sd asked if she could live with her father and I full time and only visit her mother every other weekend. I was very excited about this since I don't have a daughter of my own. We struggled right from the beginning with the lying and lack of respect for the household and the people living in it. Unfortunately, almost 2 years later we are still struggling with the same issues on a daily basis. We have talked to her many times about these things and how she will be viewed by her employers and other people she will meet in her lifetime if she continues to lie and deceive people to get what she wants. It breaks my heart to think of how I thought things would be and how they are.

    I guess my advice to you is to remain firm with your setting of limitations and rules. She will be a better person for it, but it will take some time. She is truly manipulating the situation in order to make her parents suffer for divorcing and ruining her life. Believe me I have heard this from my ss and sd. Of course their mother believes the same thing and tells them that their father owes them and her. What a waste of energy. You need to work on your significant other to convince her that she is really harming her daughter more than helping. She needs to sit down and tell her how much she loves her and explain to her that she cannot continue through life as she is. My husband is now realizing that he has been manipulated by his daughter because he was trying to make up for all the pain caused by their mother during the marriage and after. He says if he could do it over, he would do it differently.

    Stay firm on your ideas, you are right!!! Having a marriage license will not make a difference to sd. The relationship she sees between you and her mother will be the real sign. You must be a united front.

    Good luck

  • Troubleinthetropics
    Original Author
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks for the feedback :-)

    Things are not going real well at all and we are slipping closer to spliting up day by day :-(

    After doing some reading & research regarding the problems we are having, it seemed that the idea of a 'contract of behaviour' that set out what was and was not acceptable might be a possible solution.

    I drafted one in consultation with my partner that was pretty simple, and encompased all the things that were already considered ground rules. However now comes the problem, even after my partner read and agreed that it was okay, she is not going to insist my SD be a party to it.

    I can't recall her exact words but it was something like "I dont think "SD" is going to agree to it, so we would just be setting her up to fail"

    I am going to post the text of the contract and would be interested to see what you think? To hard, to soft, reasonable or otherwise????



    This page says what behaviour is expected and what will happen if I dont do what I am asked; it is sort of the rules for the house where I live with *** and Mum and what happens if I bust those rules.

    These things are stuff that is not all right to do:

    1. Swearing at **** or Mum, like using the words F**k & C**t and any other rude words directed towards **** or Mum.

    2. Rude gestures at **** or Mum like the V sign or the Finger.

    3. Not doing something* when asked to by **** or Mum, like tidying my room or being asked to load or unload the dishwasher.

    4. Using personally insulting, cheeky, rude, or otherwise dirty language towards **** or Mum.

    These four things are not the only things that are bad behaviour and other stuff that is like any of the stuff above will be disciplined the same way.

    The following is what will happen for bad behaviour and each one adds on to the one before it:

    Bad behaviour: No telephone privileges for 7 days
    2nd act ^:Internet access reduced to 1 hour a day for 7 days
    3rd act ^:Grounded for 7 days.
    4th act ^:Another week of the three consequences.

    For more acts ^ the consequence will be another week for each act until I stop the behaviour.

    Either **** or Mum can apply these things without having to talk to each other but if a real big thing happens then once **** and Mum have spoken about it I might get a higher punishment or a different consequence.

    Full on serious things like drugs, assault, stealing, criminal damage or stuff like that will get reported and could have lots bigger consequences than what is on this page.

    Part of living in a family is that all of the family has to help & do things around the house. From now I will be expected to do some stuff around the house. This might be simple jobs like sweeping paths, taking out the rubbish, loading or unloading the dishwasher, weeding a garden bed, or any one of a hundred little jobs **** or Mum might ask me to do. If **** or Mum ask me to do something* then I will do it and if I dont its the same as in number 3 at the top of the page and there will be consequences.

    I know there is heaps more stuff that isnt written here that is not okay to do and if I do stuff that **** & Mum dont think is right then I accept they will make consequences. I will behave right and show respect for **** & Mum.

    I have read this document and my mum *** **** has read it too and I know what it all means because if I didnt understand it I asked her and she explained it to me and told me so I know.

    ____________ ________ __________

    *Something is me being asked to do a job, or help out and stuff like that.
    ^act is when I keeping going with my bad behaviour after the first consequence has been imposed.


    That is not the original way it was written, but my partner thought my first draft was not "plain english" enough and a 13 year old wouldn't understand it...... Hence the 'adjustment' to a slightly lower level of english.

    Thanks one again for the feeedback so far, makes me realise that my grasp on reality is not so weak after all.


    PS Names removed to protect the innocent :-)

  • one_small_kayak
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Two points
    First it is best to establish one rule at a time and get that working effectively before you start on the next issue. Start with one important issue. That may not be the swearing and cursing.
    Secondly, your stepdaughter will respond better if you are offering her a treat rather than removing what she regards as a right. So, for example, increase her pocket money - which she will agree to - making it dependent on doing some small task each day - again that she agrees to. You and your partner MUST be prepared to dock when necessary. And because your step daughter will cry "Unfair" at the least provocation you must set the task down as clearly as a legal document.

    13/14 is the worst age for girls. It will surely get better. It would be best of all if she could see you and your partner as a solid bond that she can push against safely.

  • Arkansasgardenboy
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I haven't read this whole post. Sounds like you need to work on yourself. Correct the mistakes in your life and you may be in a position to help. This may seem harsh but try it and see how much better it becomes.

  • SugarBee
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I feel like I know your stepdaughter and I've never even met her. From what you post, no matter how many contracts you write, no matter how much time you give the little darling, her behavior will probably only get worse since it doesn't sound like you have full backing from the mother.

    If I were you, I'd be calling a real estate broker and painting walls unless you believe with all your heart that this mother of this child is the love of your life. If she is the love of your life, I'd start making calls to find out what type of help this child could get.

    Been there, done that...if I knew back then what I do today, I'd have had my SS committed to a facility that could have helped him instead of spending years (and my precious health) trying to deal with a person who obviously needed much more help than a non-medical person could have ever given. It may sound harsh to some, but sometimes love and time are NOT all a child needs....with or without a marriage license.

  • oceanna
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I teach behavior modification, so do you mind if I chime in here?

    You sound like a very caring man who really wants your relationships to work out and I commend you for that. :)

    Whether or not it works out with your sweetie, you and she will probably be fine, but this little girl is headed for big trouble and lots of heartache in her life if she doesn't get her head on straight. Those who lie, cheat, steal and mistreat others can never have true friends, because they can never trust anyone. Those who operate out of fear get to live in fear. Those who operate out of shortage consciousness never have enough. However, those who operate in love, trust and respect are destined for much more successful, happy lives, so that's what we want for Miss 13.

    She's got a long way to go and she isn't going to get there instantly, so you and her mom need to set realistic goals, make it easy for her to win, and build up her behaviors up using baby steps.

    Unfortunately, the proper groundwork was not laid in this child's background. When she was little, her parents were pretty much her whole world, but at this age she will respond to peer pressure as much or more as she does to you or her mother. That part is out of your control, so the RIGHT professional help would be a good idea, and a GOOD private school might be a great help to you all.

    Meanwhile, back in the jungle...

    I agree with your SO that you're not likely to get anywhere with contracts and threats. Why ride the horse of life backwards? To concentrate on unwanted behavior and think of creative ways to punish it is like getting into a taxi cab and telling the driver everywhere you DON'T want him to go. Instead, why not concentrate on behavior you like and find creative ways to reward it? That's like getting in the taxi and telling the driver where you DO want him to go.

    Little Miss 13's behavior is governed by the exact same rules that govern your behavior and mine. If you only remember one thing about behavior, remember this:
    --> BEHAVIOR THAT'S REWARDED TENDS TO INCREASE Reward is a better teacher than punishment. Negative methods have negative fallout, whereas positive methods have positive fallout.

    Miss 13 does what she does simply because she finds it rewarding. The parent's job is to manipulate the reward structure in order to modify the behavior. Try to spend a few days just observing this child. Every time she does something, think, "Where is she getting the reward for doing that?" You'll discover a lot!

    First, you and mom can sit down and make a list of everything Miss 13 likes/wants -- this does NOT include meeting her basic needs, like shelter, warmth, meals, etc. -- those should be a given. But there's lots of things a 13-year old wants, from special food treats, to friends over, chances to go special places, fancy clothes, etc. Don't tip off Miss 13 to what you're doing. Now that you have this list compiled, you can use these things to get what you want. There's lots of ways that reinforcements can be used.

    Some of these things can be granted as a surprise, i.e., "You were so polite to Grandma today that I've decided to take you and a friend of your choice to a movie tonight". Or give a smile or a hug, or laugh at her jokes. There's many examples.

    Some of them can be the carrot on a string thing, "I bought that leather jacket you admired at the mall." (show kid jacket, kid gets excited) "If you can go two months without saying a swear word in this house, the jacket is yours!" Now, lock the jacket in your best friend's car trunk or put it elsewhere where she can't get it. If she doesn't attain her goal, don't get mad, just say, "Oh, honey I'm sorry you didn't make it." Then have her accompany you to the local children's hospital and give the jacket to some kid with cancer or something similar that will make a lasting impression on her.

    Some of our success can be in how we word things. There's a big difference between "Get up there and clean that room or we're not going for pizza tonight!" and "Hey, if you can get your room cleaned up by 6:00, I'll take you out to pizza! Let me know if you need my help in reaching or moving something, okay?"

    Now a LOT of what kids want is attention. Listening, smiles, approval, hugs, applause, cheers, sympathy, congratulations.

    Now, I can just hear some folks out there thinking, "Why should I PAY my child to be good?" Are you kidding? How long would you continue to go to work if your boss quit paying you, huh? Every sentient being on this planet works for reward. That's the way we're all designed; if we didn't, we wouldn't live long enough to reproduce and the human race would be extinct.

    Also, this isn't bribery. Look up bribery in the dictionary. There's a big difference between bribery (reward before the behavior) and reinforcement (reward after the behavior).

    If you remember two things from this post, make this the second one:
    --> BEHAVIOR THAT'S NEITHER REWARDED NOR PUNISHED TENDS TO DISAPPEAR When my kids were sassy to me, I yawned, picked lint off my clothes, stared out the window, checked on the time, went blank and asked "huh?" repeatedly, ignored them or walked away. When they were polite and appropriate, I hung on their every word as if they were the most important people on the face of the earth. It works, and it works without confrontation of any kind!

    Working with relationships isn't easy. Often what we really should do in a given situation is counter-intuitive. It takes a bit of study to learn how it all works, but it will be one of the most worthwhile ways you've ever spent your time, and what you learn will work on all the beings in your life, human or animal.

    Well, this is just a start, hopefully something you find helpful, as I can't write all that much here. But to learn more, you might want to get a copy of "Don't Shoot the Dog" by Karen Pryor, available in the psych section of large bookstores. It's not a dog book, but it explains how behavior works, and how to work it in humans and in animals. You and your lady can read it together, discuss what you read, and look for creative ways to turn this child around. It will take a little time and your skills will build as you practice, but you CAN do it.

    I hope I've helped you here and given you some good things to think about. Does what I said make sense to you?

  • Sadeyes
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago


    This is also my first time posting and to be quite honest the main reason for signing on was so that I could reply to this posting. First of all. I am in a pretty simular situation. The only difference with my situation is that I am female, and have a stepson who is just as disrespectful. I also happen to have 12 Married years invested in this family. The one last difference is that my stepson is 18 and about to turn 19. All the rest of this scenerio fits with me...the disrespect, the lying, the being a thief, (which by the way goes hand in hand). Manipulations, and violence is a biggie. One last advantage you do have on me is that you and your partner do not have any children together. I do, and he is my whole reason for living. He is 10 and very impressionable and definately looks up to his juvenile delinquent ½ brother as an idol. It is ripping my heart out. My 10 yr old is my second child. The first child died while he was in the hands of my ex-husband at the age of 4. I really don't think it's neccessary to go into details about that, accept to say it was natural causes and not foul play. My point is that, the son I have now is precious to me.

    Forget the fact that you are not married! I would say at this point be grateful that you won't have a nasty divorce to deal with also, ontop of all this heart ache. As far as I am concerned, you have had plenty of time invested in this relationship. There is not a thing wrong with expecting just plain old respect. Not only from your SD, but your partner also. Believe me, having that signed piece of paper saying that you are now one person as in "Partners" means nothing. If anything, you will get less cooperation out of your partner as far as this SD situtaion goes, if you were actually married at this point. It is really a hard reality to take in, and it really can hurt sometimes.

    I never dreamed that my husband would throw us aside and allow this child to destroy our family, but he is. He claims to love me with all his heart verbally, but yet he allows the abuse towards us by his son all the time. He has traded in parenthood for being his buddy. He refuses to dicipline no matter what he does. He just says "I am disapointed and don't do it again". Ouch that really taught him a lesson. In the mean time he has punks at my door around the clock and I have found drugs in my house twice. I have had parents at my door complaining that my SS jumped his son with some buddies and beat him and his new (Mustang)car. While this kid was trying to escape, he ended up running over another kid. He is an animal and I don't know any other way to explain him. I refuse to leave him in the same room with my 10yr old because he can't keep his hands off him. My son is the most non violent and loving child you could ever meet. About 3 yrs ago, we took my SS in after his mother and stepfather threw him out for stealing thousands of dollars from them on 2 different occasions. A grand total of over 5,000.
    My life and marriage has gone totally down hill ever since. It has come to the point where I have given my husband of the last 12 yrs a choice. Him or us. It tears me apart to resort to this. But I have to do what I have to do. I still have my son and myself to protect.

    My point is....the lack of marriage would not make a difference. I am also from a broken family with a step- father. So I know both ends of this.

    I have tried everything. The bottom line is that he has too many issues and anger from his past when he lived with his mother for it to ever work with the 4 of us. Sometimes things just don't work! I don't care what rewards are given. Some kids have a way of using those rewards against you. He manipulates his father to a sickening degree, due to knowing his father's feeling guilty about his terrible past with his BM. He has convinced my husband that I totally over react to things that would blow the average person away. We have put him and us through councelling. We have tried everything. He has already told my son in the past he would be happier if he split us up, so it would just be the 2 of them. He could care less that the end result would be another broken family. It has me so depressed that I usually never leave my home-office or bedroom in order to avoid the stress of dealing with him. I just watch my 10yr old out the bedroom window to make sure his brother is not anywhere near him. Sorry if I don't see much hope here, but this has just been my experience. I normally have had a wonderful loving home here. There were hardly any fights before him about what's right and what is wrong. It's amazing how much damage a defiant teenager can do to a good relationship and loving family.

    My suggestion is that if you don't have the support at all from your partner now, you never will. Get out while you can with your heart in one piece. And before you end up bringing another child into this world that doesn't deserve any of this. I wish you the best of luck. Just stay strong. You are also a valuable human being that also deserves a good decent life and don't let anyone convince you otherwise.

  • Troubleinthetropics
    Original Author
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    one_small_kayak, SugarBee, Oceanna, Sadeyes & others Thank you for your thoughts.

    Okay an update: After a couple of events a week or so back my partner decided she had just about had it with her daughters behaviour, any how the long and short of it was that she laid it on the line with SD and told her that she would be signing the contarct and would be moving schools.

    Needless to say SD was not vey happy at all, but she did sign the contract on Saturday. That night the three of us went to the local country show however we ended up coming home early as SD went to go off with some friends she met there, that is after her Mum told her that she couldn't, there was a consequence imposed for that and we all came home.

    Anyhow on the Sunday we had another incident at home and after a discussion between my partner and me we decided on a couple of weeks grounding and no videos.

    Later that day (Sunday 26 May)We sat down with SD and when she was told what was going to happen she simply said "I'm cruzin" and went to her room, packed a bag and left. Her Mum didn't chase after her as we figured that was what she was looking for.

    So here we are a week and a bit later and SD is still not home, she has been told on the couple of occasions she has rung looking to come home that she will have to abide by the contract and she will be going to the private school, so far her response has been a mouth full of profanity to her Mum and a decision not to come home.

    Miss 13 is safe and staying with friends known to her mum, and while they are not quite the people we would like here with, its way better than living on the streets!!

    So who knows what happens from here, my partner is adament she is going to stand firm, and has so far. The stress between us has reduced by 95% in the last week and a bit, we are back in the same bedroom and life is kind of normal again.

    I really hope that Miss 13 WILL decide to tow the line and come home under her mums rules, my big worry is that she will come back and start doing all the same stuff again and we will be in the same position we were before.

    So there you have it, funny how things work out sometimes..... Although it could all change tomorrow!

    Thank you for all your input, and if any of you have ideas on some sort of plan or stratergy to have in place if / when SD come home I would really like to hear them.



  • Sadeyes
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am very happy for you! It sounds like you did quite well with the contract agreement. I would just continue to enforce it, if and when SD decides that it's time to go home. As long as your partner stands firm and continues to follow through with the contract, it sounds like you have a pretty good chance of surviving this ordeal. It's mostly when the step-parent or guardian does not have the support that things really don't have a chance. Lack of follow through with rules and discipline for breaking them, are a kind of abuse to me. Children need those boundaries and consequences for crossing over them. Otherwise parents that dont, are not preparing their children for the real world. Just hang in there and stand firm. One day she will realize who really took the time to care.

  • HelenofMich
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    There is a great book called "Don't be afraid to Discipline" by Ruth Peters. You have to get it. It has alot of detail about behavior modification AND set ups for the type of contracts between kids and parents. Please look into it. Amazon and other books stores on line should have info on it. If you read this, you will be sooo much more equipped for your sd. I used it for my granddaughter and she changed so much for the better and it really was so easy! I could hardly believe the change. Keep us posted!

  • peaceplease
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi all I have to write this, I am the partner and now ex partner. Things became really difficult from here on in and my daughter moved back to her fathers and things went well for a short time for ex partner and myself. However I think the issue was control and not from myself or my daughter. I have to relate it to the cycle of violence, as a result I have no house and no money at the moment and there is a serious courtcase initiated and being pushed by the police against the other party. The good part is my daughter is back with me and seems to be overcomming her depression and is drawings links to her behaviours. eg abusive father, brother leaving to live with father 4 years ago and the blame of ruining my relationship and I will never become involved with a controling person again. Things will go very very slow in any future relationships so I do not continue the cycle. Take care :-)

  • teeweeone
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Too dang funny...Yeah your problem is your not married!!! ha ha ha ha...Give me a break... The kid was a brat BEFORE she came to live with the UNMARRIED couple...oh my god..unmarried and living together...Get a life people....Take the little miss 13 and explain the rules of the house.. Little miss 13 year old is not too old to have her little a** swatted..If the bi parent does not like that ..maybe you should find someone with some common sense...

  • RosieL
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    ... therefore not a step parent. Pretending to be a step parent is not the same as BEING one.

  • Susnnn
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Rosie, It may not seem like the same thing to you, but it is. I know that marriage is important to your values, however our society has made "shacking up" acceptable and I don't think the kids invovled are as devastated as you believe they are. I'm "shacking up" myself at the moment. It's not that we do not want to be married, it is because of a couple of issues tht need taken care of before that hapoens. My son was in the house for nearly a year with this man living there. He's in college now, on the deans list and is going for a double major, as well as qualifing as a varsity athelete this year. he respects my SO and enjoys having him around. He also displays statisfaction that we are together. So it can't be all bad can it? And I do display morals through my commitment to this man. I was married at one time, and he had several girlfriends. So I was married and living with a cheater, where are the morals of marriage in that situation???

  • RosieL
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Societal norms vary from area to area. Not very common in our very conservative town and definitely not acceptable. There are some in the seedy areas, but not mainstream. We are all from different areas - not only of the country - but the world as well and my opinions are a product of my upbringing and environment.

  • teeweeone
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Raise a step child and than voice your opinion. Hey did Kathie Lee play that ozzie and Harriet act also (sorry if I didnt spell that correctly)...

  • JoeTypist
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    teeweeone: I think you're being rude.

    > Pretending to be a step parent is not the same as BEING one.

    Rosie: I am not married to my partner. Yet I wipe my SS's behind when he poops, all my paycheck goes to the family, I spend *at least* half the time I'm not at work with the boy, I help him make cards for his BD, I'm teaching him to read, etc ad nauseum. If I'm not a step parent, I'm either doing a very good impression or insane.

    Possibly both.

    True, my legal status is somewhat hazy. However, the BD hasn't seen his kid in 20 months, hasn't lived with him in 2 years -- since he was 19 months old -- calls once or twice a month. I've been here, constantly and consistently for 2 years. In the boy's eyes, I'm *at least* a step parent, if not a dad-replacement.

    And as far as morals go...enh. I think I'm pretty ok. Perhaps even safe to walk the streets among the general populace. :) In less flip terms, I think that I'm raising my child -- yes, *my child* -- in a way that he'll turn out nice, think helping other people is a good thing to do, and thinking that cleaning up his own messes is a spiffy way to spend an evening.


  • teeweeone
    20 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    ok... I am sorry you forgive me?? Its all in fun.. hey I thought things were getting interesting!! Sorry!!

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