....how to cope with step kids when they decide not to come round?

(35 Posts)
Icantstopeatinglol Sun 29-Sep-13 21:32:55

Just that really. Dsd15 is in a huff over something so trivial that she's been round once in 3wks and I think it's getting ridiculous now.
It's difficult to resolve things when they just don't face upto problems and just hide at home!

louby44 Mon 30-Sep-13 19:07:06

Hi OP

many people on here know about my DP and his DD, she too is 15. She hasn't been here since 16th August. His 2 DD usually stay EOWeekend

After a really shitty holiday where her dad and her had a massive row/fight after he'd caught her smoking and then other stuff/bad behaviour continued for 2 weeks. On our return, I (the terrible step-mother) told her (and her sister 13) how disappointed I was in their behaviour. How they had spoilt our holiday etc and of course their dad reiterated my feelings. I'd paid for half the 2 week holiday to Turkey and my 2 DS also came with us.

They have refused to come here since. My DP has tried and tried. He's made headway with DSD13 who he speaks to weekly and has taken out for lunch once.

But DSD15 is just being awful to him. She's told him she's stubborn and he thought he could win her back with sorry cards and flowers but she hates him and never wants to see him again. She also won't come here if I'm here as apparantly me and her have never got on, I look down on her and have never made her feel welcome! Bollocks. Utter rubbish. My 2 DS laughed when I told her what she'd said about me! She hates him so much she then text him to ask for £20!!

DP is at a loss what to do next. They are very similar and he's as stubborn as she is. He's refused to text her again which I have told him is wrong. He needs to be the adult!

I think he needs to text her and say "I love you, you are always welcome here, I don't like how you are behaving and when you are ready to talk text me". But he's digging his heels in.

So I am too am stuck, piggy in the middle - which is often my role!

I've arranged some couples counselling for us both which I hope will help us manage our relationship better regarding all 4 kids - it's the only aspect of our relationship that we struggle with.

How do you get a 5' 8" teenager into a car against their will??

theredhen Mon 30-Sep-13 19:16:15

Louby, how do you get a teen to do anything?

Normally by negotiation, consequences, rewards, punishment, incentives. If these don't work, it's certainly worth looking at counselling, mediation etc.

Ultimately if a teen just refused to go to school, all if the above would be tried before making the decision to home school. We don't teach kids to just run away from other problems, so I don't understand why seeing a parent is any different?

louby44 Mon 30-Sep-13 19:32:47

I think my DP just needs to pick a time when his daughter is there and turn up! They need to sit down and talk. Although he did this once before a few months ago after a falling out and she locked herself in the bathroom, refused to come out and so he left. It was ridiculous! She acted like a 3 year old having a tantrum. So I can understand his relunctance!

We just don't know what to do. Ex wife has text DP numerous times to ask when the girls are coming for a weekend as she needs a break! But what can we do? He could probably get DSD13 here with a friend which he is going to suggest.

We have no way of encouraging DSD15 to come unless of course we use ex wife's suggestion and bribe her by a promise of money and a shopping trip! But no way that will happen.

She has no friends here, there is nothing for her here and even if we suggest cinema or a meal out that won't cut it with her.

I just don't understand why she is carrying this on. She and her dad have had a close relationship in the past. She wants to join the army next year and as her dad was a soldier for 23 years she'll want to seek his advice I suspect at some point. Or not!

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 30-Sep-13 19:35:15

But DSD15 is just being awful to him. She's told him she's stubborn and he thought he could win her back with sorry cards and flowers but she hates him and never wants to see him again.

No, she's not being awful to him - she's behaving like a perfectly normal 15 year old who has not been given appropriate boundaries and as a result beleives she can manipulate her Dad to get what she demands.

A parent shouldn't try to "win back" their DC - it leaves them feeling insecure and overwhelmed by the responsibility that gives them over their parents emotions.

The fact that she is still seeking financial handouts is actually a good sign - it means that despite her behaviour and his response, she stills see him in a parental role at the moment - if he shapes up and starts parenting her, then the chances are this will all blow over.

I think the wording of the text you suggest is spot on; and if she chooses not to reply, or contact her Dad in another way, then he can continue to remind her he loves her in other ways - a postcard now and again telling her what he is up to, a good luck text when she has an exam or similar coming up; just keep the lines of communication open and more importantly, ensure that she KNOWS him, so he's not a stranger if she ever does need him.

I understand that he is digging his heels in; its so easy to do - but perhaps my experience will shock him into changing his mind. My DSD chose not to have contact with her Dad for 2 years after some perceived slight; she gave him an ultimatum - me or her. DP told her there was room in his life for both of us, and DSD Mum supported her to stay away. DP kept in touch in any way he could - and ignored her Mum who was telling him to stop writing to her, not to go to performances she was in, and not to keep in touch with her school because DSD didn't like it.
When things went wrong between DSD and her Mum, DSD didn't hestitate - she called her Dad for help.
If your DP refuses to be a parent now, then his DD may not have a Dad she can turn to when she needs one most.

theredhen Mon 30-Sep-13 19:38:21

Louby, the absent parent can only do so much. It's really down to the resident parent to support the relationship.

It sounds like at least your dp ex wants dsd to see your dp, she just needs to help facilitate it.

louby44 Mon 30-Sep-13 19:46:35

China I completely agree with you! But how can he 'parent her' from 40 miles away? And as the NRP it's so difficult to make amends.

I too believe she wants him to choose between me and her! I think she has deep seated anger issues about her dad/mum/split and he coming to live with me (and my 2 DS). All the negativity towards me is to hurt her dad further I think.

Luckily her mum is trying to encourage them to come here (for her own selfish reasons but what does it matter). So we do have her on our side.

But I'm the one talking about it all the time, my DP seems to have buried his head in the sand!

TheWinterOne Mon 30-Sep-13 19:56:07

Your DP has to remember she is still only a 15 year old hormonal child. I'm not saying he has to bypass the way she behaves but he needs to be the less stubborn one and maybe send a text just saying that he'll always be there for her, that she's loved and is ready to talk when she is.

What is his relationship like with his ex like? Could they tackle her stubbornness together or would that only make things worse. If she refuses to speak to him/ have contact - could he still get updates from mum about how and what she's doing. Keeping lines of communication open for when she's ready but still having an interest in her life?

Absolutely under no means would I give in to her demands of a shopping trip and money though, that only gives her an excuse to do it again if she gets in to a hissy as she's already got away with it once. Giving in to her demands like that will only make a rod for your own backs.

FrauMoose Mon 30-Sep-13 21:02:30

My stepson used to be rather elusive and disappear if challenged. We usually just kept going with the odd text or email with bits of family news. And then succeeded in luring him back when there was some family gathering or big dinner. Often the added numbers felt 'safer' for him I think. Rather than there being some big talk about what happened, behaviour, feelings etc - he could just slide back in in a low-key way.

Icantstopeatinglol Mon 30-Sep-13 22:49:25

Thanks for the replies! I've just sat down after a busy day so sorry for the late reply.
It's only been 3wks now and she's not saying much at all but is using excuses to not come round which I think isn't helping as just not coming round isn't going to resolve anything. The actual fall out was to do with her safety as she was texting an older guy and when my dh found out obviously he was very upset and worried. He talked to her and said he wouldn't tell her dm but obviously once we thought about it we realised that wasn't possible and her dm had to know!.....she's been in a huff ever since. She's been round once and said she was waiting for my dh to apologise!!
Think we'll just see how it goes over the next week or so. I do think however that her dm won't push her to face up to the problem and will let her keep making excuses etc but I might be wrong.

FrauMoose Tue 01-Oct-13 09:35:28

Perhaps what's important is that you did all the right stuff i.e. you made it clear that you were worried about her safety and you made sure her mother was in the loop.

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