Houzz Logo Print

Adult Step Children

15 years ago

Hi, I'm new here, my name is Connie and I need some advice. I have been married and step - mom to three kids,now grown and gone for 12 years. I have 8 children in addition, 7 from my first marriage and 1 from my current - and final - marriage.

My youngest step-daughter had lived with us for the past three years and since has graduated. She recently moved out of state to live with relatives and is happy there. She has essentially cut off all communication with her two SSister's at home and me. She still talks to her dad. The aunt she lives with is condoning this behavior. My daughters at home are devastated. I am angry and was told by the aunt after writing notes to both my step D's about their behavior. My older SD got herself pregnant and moved away too. Now we are all the "bad people". Hey, if they want to leave fine, but now all of a sudden we're trash? The older SD never lived with us and has always been difficult.

My problem is not how they treat me, but how they've treated their step and half siblings. The younger sd was very close with her step sis here and has basically said I have no free time for you. My dau. is crushed.

However, both these girls still talk to their dad and i feel if he doesn't confront his aunt or them about their behavior he is condoning it.

I'm really frustrated.. the only time we ever have had serious arguments over the 12 years is about his kids. While mine have made some bad choices too, it has never been toward the step kids, but toward us.

My notes (short, one to each) to these girls said basically that I was surprised by their behavior and that they should remember that there are people here who still love them besides their dad and brother. Here is the note I got from the Aunt in response to my notes to my SD's (they have not replied themselves) and my reply:


The recent note you sent the girls has weighed heavy on my heart. I really wanted to address this with you, but felt I would wait until after ----'s wedding.

I guess the first thing I would request is that you don't send these criticizing notes anymore. The girls are obviously and painfully aware that you feel this way. I know that "step parenting" can be an unsatisfying process when you sense the step kids are either un-accepting of you or reject your guidance or relationship. Clearly this has been ongoing for many years, with both of these young women - for maybe the same or different reasons. Truthfully at this point, I get that Stef is an adult, and I trust that she will communicate with who she wants based on feeling safe and genuine with. I get that Older SD was easier to wave goodbye to, and younger SD is less easy to wave goodbye to. They are adults, and they are finding themselves and their true paths to be on, based on speaking the truth, feeling validated, feeling safe and the environment here dissuades alcohol, drugs and objectification of women. We ALL must understand that these young women have paid a huge price for their mom's alcoholism and the difficult relationships their parents have had. It is no surprise that older SD has walked the prior path that she has. I feel horrible that she has suffered the inconsistencies of life. I am sure that one can immediately say, well, these girls need to be personally responsible for their actions. That is certainly an oversimplification, since they FIRST need skills to do just that. They also need to be able to trust the people in their lives.

These girls are safe and adjusting in Location, please let their communications be natural and not forced, otherwise it creates anger  for all. Older SD and Younger SD DO communicate with DAD, and that is wonderful. Please let them do it under their own desire - it is the respectful thing to do. I don't want their wonderful strides and personal growth undermined. They have suffered enough and I am personally committed to protecting them. If they are communicating with their Dad and telling him what is going on  leave it at that, please. These women are beautiful, smart, caring and sweet  which would be all the qualities I would want - if I had daughters. I feel honored to pass some time with them. I understand that my parenting skill set may differ from yours and that is perfectly ok. I encourage you to share this with husband, I know it will speak to his heart and it is the truth. I would ask that you re-energize your focus away from these young women, perhaps to your children  less resentment that way.

Lastly, I really do get that you are unhappy and feel disrespected, I REALLY hear that . I think your feelings  are the results of having very wounded step-children. We are sure trying to do some healing here  these are very good girls with very good hearts.

Thanks for your consideration and understanding.



Dear Aunt,

I appreciate the fact that you want to protect the girls, but I and my family aren't the ones they need to be protected from.

I'm not sure you realize they have left some very wounded people behind. There behavior has been surprising to say the least, but I have not just been focusing my energy on that as you imply, but both have left my Older daughter and my younger dau. with torn hearts. I'm trying to mop up the mess here and keep their hearts open to love and forgive. Regardless of how imperfect my kids are, all kids are, they didn't deserve that. My Older dau. went out of her way emotionally and financially to help OlderSD and was really hurt by OlderSD's behavior after she left. My younger dau. and YoungerSD were very close here and YoungerSD said she'd keep in touch on a daily basis. It's obvious to my Younger dau. she's keeping in touch with everyone BUT her. And she pointedly said to my Younger DAu. she didn't have time for her. My Younger dau. is crushed. Maybe OlderSD and YoungerSD aren't the only ones needing protection.

I completely get that these girls have had a tough time, but most of us have in life and I don't understand why it >seemsIf anything, I and my kids have gone out of our way to love and help OlderSD and Younger SD. I'm not saying any of us has been perfect, but we have loved.

I do not believe these young women do not have the life skills to be kind, loving and appreciative for and to the people in their lives. Younger SD even has on her Facebook she is Pro-loving everyone, how does that fit with her behavior towards my Younger DAu and My Youngest Dau.?

I had thought, mistakenly perhaps, that YoungerSD and I had a decent relationship even though she didn't every really open up to me. Admittedly the last year or two has been tougher, especially with the way she's treated Youngest Dau.. But I kept trying.

Sincerely, Connie

Comment (1)

SK Interiors
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars49 Reviews
Loudoun County's Top Kitchen & Bath Designer I Best of Houzz 2014-2022