My teen vs my new husband. Comments appreciated

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2003
My teen vs my new husband. Comments appreciated
8
Thu, 06-30-2011 - 2:52pm

Greetings board. I haven't been here before, but I probably need to hang out here more. Here's my situation: My first husband died when our children were 4 (son) and 6 (daughter). I was devastated, vowed never to date/remarry, all that. After about 8 years, some coworkers set me up on a blind date. We dated a year and a half and have now been married 2 years. My son loves his stepdad. They do a lot of things together. My daughter, however..............

I console myself with the fact that she was a bratty teen before he came along. She's just so disrespectful and rude. They never speak. Today they had a screaming match over whether she should use a cutting board or chop a potato right on the countertop. She stormed off crying that she would starve since she couldn't make her lunch.

I'm a high school teacher and have always observed that by the junior year, the kids really start to mature and be more responsible. Not so with this one. She put forth a halfway effort toward getting a job this summer - no luck. I offer many chores for allowance, but she'd rather sleep. Her grades started to drop

Becky - mom to dd 15 and ds 13
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

From what you said of her behavior (having a fit over the cutting board incident, wanting to sleep all day, grades dropping) I do not think she is just fine and having a bad behavior issue.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
I have to agree with Musiclover12 to some extent. Sleeping as a teen, I don't necessarily see a problem with it, my teen will be up til midnight and sleep til noon if I let her during the summer. But also had a tough sophomore year with honors classes, is currently doing 2 different cheer squads and works a part time job. And while my DD and her stepdad don't get along at all, and have plenty of shouting matches, they can coexist decently when needbe. While the changes I'm sure have had an impact on her, it does sound like more is going on then just her being a teen. But if your counselor said you need to stop walking on eggshells around her, there may very well be some truth to it and setting up boundaries and clear expectations for her about what is and isn't going to happen at the house. Does she already have plans for college, did her grades drop because of laziness, or were they too hard of classes, etc.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2003

RE: The grades. She's always had A's and B's until this past year (junior year) when she had D's in two hard classes. She just wouldn't do the homework. I made her quit the school plays, which she loved, because that was taking up too much time. I also took texting off her phone. The grades improved slightly. I think she's trying to make me mad.

RE: College. She plans to go to the church related college where I went. This will be tough to get in with the crummy grades. I know that they will supervise her well there, so if she's going away, that's the place to be. Also a good environment with good people and good influences. She does seem excited about it.

RE: Sleeping. I think she sleeps late because she has no reason to get up, honestly. I know I would have slept late every day when I was a teen also. My son sleeps late too. Now if we have to get up for church or something, she gets it done. If her friends call, she'll be up. The chores need to be done by noon, so that usually happens. I think that teens need more sleep, so I don't see it as a sign of depression for her.

I think my husband doesn't know how to deal with teens and needs to pick battles and not raise his voice. I knew she was having a bad day today and was willing to leave it alone, but he was insistent which really set her off. They have never yelled at each other before.

Becky - mom to dd 15 and ds 13
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2010

I could write most of your post...However, my issue is with my dh and my son who will be 18 in December.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
You are a brave lady getting remarried when you have teen kids. I've already decided that if my current DH and I split up that I'm not doing anything more than casual dating until my 14yo DS is an adult. Not only do I know that he'd not be receptive to the whole deal, but I've heard sooooo many horror stories and complaints WRT introducing/dating/marrying the new beau when you have teens. I'm not saying that it can't be done, but I think that you're braver than me, LOL. :-)

About being strict, ect, you probably aren't nearly as strict as your DD would have you believe. I think that it's a common ploy to try to convince parents that they are tyrants. I hear it from my DS that I'm a slave-driving tyrant and yet I'm quite relaxed (rules-wise) and don't assign regular chores (just ask him to help from time to time and ask him to pick up after himself).
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
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About this. I'd kind of leave her alone. Require her to only pick up after or do for herself, BUT don't give her money or drive her anywhere or do anything for her beyond what you feel are the basics (food, basic clothing, shelter). If she wants more then she can earn it with both chores/helping and decent attitude. So no nagging or complaining or confrontations. Keep after her only about her own things, or own laundry, ect. Otherwise, leave her be.

I also agree with others that counseling would be a good idea. It's normal for teens to be moody or lazy or difficult from time to time, but it shouldn't really cause serious stress or disruption for the entire family. What you describe sounds very stressful and disruptive. I'd say it's time to revisit counseling.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Thu, 06-30-2011 - 10:13pm

I have always thought that blending families is nothing less complicated than landing men on the moon.

And the teen years can and often are very difficult years.

Family is what you make it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I second your point about it being very hard to "blend" where there are kids involved, esp. teens.