Handling step daughters????

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2003
Handling step daughters????
32
Fri, 06-01-2007 - 7:33pm

DH has two daughters, 18 & 12. They visit and spend the night about 2, maybe 3 times per week. Because DH works long hours the two girls are use to staying by themselves and coming and going as they please. This drives me nuts! I never know when someone is going to just walk in the house, go to their room, get something, turn around and leave as the girls go back and forth from our house to their mother's house. I told DH that this is unusual to me as I have been single for the past 7 years and when my son comes to visit he STAYS and for longer than a 24 hour period.

There are times that the girls are very irresponsible, like leaving a burning candle in their room or forgetting their books, etc for school. I've told DH that we need to make sure the girls are being more responsible because their actions effect everyone from him to my son!

Besides the coming and going, and the irresponsiblity, there are times that DH's daughters talk so ugly to him. They have a tone in their voice as if dad is to blame for everything. They are only nice to him when they want him to buy them something. I've told DH that I don't like the way they talk to him and he says he doesn't either but he does nothing about it. He's afraid they won't come around if he makes them unhappy.

Anyway, I'm asking if anyone has had or is in a similar situation and how do you handle it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2004
Thu, 06-21-2007 - 5:09pm

>>Now when D's two kids (ages 10 and 13) stay with us forget it. The oldest will have a pile of 7 towels in his walk-in closet by the end of the week, food all over his room, junk just everywhere.


"D, will you please clean up the kids' rooms? There's an odor that's starting to develop..."


"D, have you seen all the towels?"


"D, let's allow each kid only two towels and color-code them so we can address the right one when the towels are laying out. Better yet, I went out and bought some and tossed the old ones away"


"D, I think all the kids should have hampers and be taught how to do their own laundry now."


"Sweet Sons of D - there are going to be changes beginning today. You are allowed ONE towel while you are here. If you don't want it to be wet after your second shower, I suggest you hang it up to dry. Thanks. Have a great day!"


"D, I have contracted a housekeeper to come in when the kids go home and clean up after them. She will cost $XXX per incident and is coming over in one hour."


"Sweet Sons of D - I can't allow you to have access to the TV/video games/ computer/iPod/cell phone/homephone (cordless especially)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2003
Thu, 06-21-2007 - 7:33pm

DH's girls, 12 & 18, come and go as they please. They leave our house and do not even tell me bye or where they're going or when they'll come back. Then, when they get back home and I'm not here they have the nerve to call and tell me they are hungry and ask if I've eaten lunch/dinner. They actually expect me to come home and fix them something to eat!

The other day the oldest left to go to work and ran over the trash cans we had sitting outside. Instead of stopping and picking up the trash cans so she wouldn't do damage to them or her car she drug them down the street several yards from our house and I had to go pick them up.

The oldest also comes over as she pleases and does not left a finger to do anything. She has her daddy make her lunch before she goes to work, bring her blankets so she can nap on the couch, and even has him wake her up for work/school because she's too lazy to set her own alarm clock. Whenever she gets food out she always leaves the dirty dishes for someone else to clean up. I point that out to DH and instead of asking her to clean up her messes he does the work for her...actually he just places the dishes in the sink which means he leaves them for me to clean up. I try very hard to just leave their messes for him to clean up but sometimes he's as lazy as them and won't pick stuff up either. We're talking spoiled milk sitting in a glass on the coffee table!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2004
Fri, 06-22-2007 - 5:30am

What do you think abotu copying what you just wrote and sending it to him in an email?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2003
Fri, 06-22-2007 - 8:36am

Although I think some of Tam's suggested responses are good and lighthearted, you must be aware that ANY change in your responses or behavior, will cause them to fight back. D and the SDs will want things to remain the same, so it's very important for you to follow through on every consequence you lay out to every one of them. Even though any of the three will try to pull you back to "the old you", do not let them.

As we have said before, it's all about one partner changing the dance. There will be pulls and tugs, but if you lead in a strong, compassionate and consistant way, they will eventually have to change their own dance. In order to not get frustrated over them not changing fast enough, do what Tam said. Celebrate the baby steps. Point out the positive things no matter how small. Tell D how happy these things make you. Believe me, he will do more and more, because he WANTS you to be happy. Your discontent makes him feel bad, he loses his confidence and will withdraw. So choose to focus on the positive, no matter how small, and after awhile the baby steps will become bigger and bigger.

Pam

Pam

The choices we make in thought, word and deed inevitably return to us in kind.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2007
Fri, 06-22-2007 - 9:11am

Oh my God you gave me a very much needed morning laugh becuase so many of those things that you suggested i did a long time ago!

The towels....I went straight to Walmart and bought four different sets of towels so that each kid has his or her own color. Of course the problem child doesnt seem to care. He'll take a towel off the rack that someone else has already used, then he'll use it and drop it on the floor of his closet with all the rest. And I've taken all the towels out of the bathroom so he has to ask.....still not working.

I've not tried the laundry thing though. I may next week teach him to do his own dang laundry. 13 seems old enough....

However, I may be overly optimistic....I had the kid empty the dishwasher yesterday. I think he stood clear across the room and threw the pots and pans in the cabinet (usually everything in the cabinet is pretty neat), now my pots and lids are upside down, sideways anyway they landed. AND get this, how hard is it to put silverware in a silverware tray? He just flung everything in whereever. His dad calls him over and asks him about it....he says "Well no one told me". Gosh, where you see forks I guess thats where forks go, where you see spoons etc..... And the tray even has the notches that show where each item goes!

CAN YOU JUST SAY LAZY!!!!!

As for the phone, at least we don't have that issue for awhile. He got that taken away for the next few weeks because he was on his cell phone til 1 and 2 in the morning. We took that away and then we found out he tried to sneak his younger brothers cell phone (which he didn't get) and then he was on the house phone. And again he tells us "YOU didn't tell me that I couldn't use other phones". If it were up to me that kid wouldn't have a phone for the rest of the summer. Lying and laziness are two traits that a parent ought to get out of a child before they turn into lazy, decietful adults.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts. Its making me feel a lot better to be able to vent and know that there's a community of people with similar issues who I can lean on...... :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 06-22-2007 - 10:24am
I particularly liked the hiring of the maid because one of my favorite sayings to the kids is "I'm not the maid." Of course our kids all do their own laundry too.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 06-22-2007 - 10:32am

Since this girl is 18, I assume she's going to college next year? I am just hoping she's going to live in a dorm to get some sense of having to take care of herself. My 18 yo is very very messy--her room is a nightmare, but I just close the door. She has to do her own laundry and cleaning of her room. I just could not believe an 18 yo would be asking someone else to make her lunch. Even my 11 yo can do that--if I know he's going to be home from school, I'll get him things that can be microwaved cause I still dont' like him actually cooking, even though he assured me he knows how to make Bagel Bites in the toaster oven. His older sisters would never think of making him anything.

How is he preparing her to be an adult? At some point, she will be living on her own and she won't know how to do anything. In some ways, I think that men do not want to recognize that their daughters are growing up and becoming adults so maybe by doing all this stuff for her, she can still be "daddy's little girl." and he gets something out of it psychologically. But maybe if you put it that way, like how is she ever going to become an adult if he doesn't let her and it's actually hindering her development, maybe he would listen. My DD has been getting herself up to go to school by her own alarm clock for a couple of years now. The girls had to get up at 6:30 at the latest to get the school bus by 6:50. This past year my DS got the bus at 7:50, but the year before that, his school didn't start until 9:00, so I wasn't about to be getting up at 6:30 just to wake them up and then sit around the house for a couple of hours. I stayed in bed!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2003
Fri, 06-22-2007 - 1:20pm

I taught Ian and Sean to do their laundry when Ian was 13 and Sean was 9. They have been doing their own for six years now. I will say, it's one of the best things I did. I was doing wash either every single night, or all day Saturday and Sunday. Now, I do my own, and the linens. It takes no time at all.

The important thing is to have a schedule. Ian and Sean did their's during the week, Ian had Monday and Wednesday to pick, and Sean had Tuesday and Thursday. In a pinch they could bargain for Sunday evening, because no one had that night. There was no switching allowed. Now, IF, I went down on Saturday with a load of clothes, and one of the boys had left it in the washer or dryer, I would take it out and put it "as is" in their hamper. After I finished mine, they would have to restart their own. It only happened on rare occasions. It has taken six years, but they are pretty good about sticking to their nights, and finishing the job.

Pam

Pam

The choices we make in thought, word and deed inevitably return to us in kind.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2004
Sat, 06-23-2007 - 7:40am

>>He'll take a towel off the rack that someone else has already used, then he'll use it and drop it on the floor of his closet with all the rest.
I tell the kids to hang them in their bedrooms. Might be something to try. And I put DH's and my towels in OUR bathroom in the cupboard.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2007
Fri, 07-06-2007 - 5:04pm
How long was u r new husband single b4 u came into the picture?I had some problems with the oldest of my 3 daughters a while back,we were always very close but then daughters tend 2 b that way with dad.Im a guy in case it matters.When my ex and I began having troubles my oldest daughter thought O.K. I have him all 2 myself now!!! and went so far as getting into my e-mail account and sending this lady i was seeing a nasty letter.They have had the run of thier Dads house it sounds like untill u came along and probably arent happy with some1 rocking the boat 4 them.You should make sure any changes that are made are made by and put in place by Dad.I have a question also..is this new behavior or was this going b4 u married him.The longer this has been going on the longer it will take to stop.I dont believe anything will change until Dad puts his foot down.