How Should I Handle My Stepdaughter's Awful Attitude Towards Her Father (My Husband)?

QUESTION:

"My step kiddos come over every holiday, summer, and every other weekend. Recently my 12-year-old stepdaughter has had the ugliest attitude towards her dad; she’s great until you ask her to do ANYTHING.

Like he literally asked her, ‘Hey mama can you give me a napkin please’ and she rolled her eyes and said NO, YOU GET IT. It was literally right next to her and she kept telling him no until he said it with an attitude then she finally gave him one.

That’s just an example tho. Another time, she was texting her grandma on her phone, and he asked her what she was doing in a curious way, not like an invasive nosey way, and she said, ‘I’M TEXTING MY GRANDMA OR CAN I NOT DO THAT???!!’

When she talks to him like that, he just ignores her and goes about his day. My hubby is a great father and doesn’t discipline them much because they’re not here so often and we don’t want to spend the time he has with them on bad terms.

If it were one of our kids, I would’ve stepped in and helped with the situation. She acts like that every time she comes and, as I said only acts up when she’s asked to help do something or if he questions her she gives him the biggest attitude. Idk what to do or what he needs to do because I know if he gets on to her or threatens to take her phone away she’ll never want to come over again. Send help lol!"

RELATED QUESTION: How can I deal with my toddler’s attitude?

TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):

“She has hit the fun teen years… Both of you need to sit her down and let her know 1st you love her 2nd the attitude and disrespect ends right now. If she is asked to reach someone a napkin then give them a napkin that’s all, no mouth needed or she will lose her phone for a certain amount of time. Do this now and stick with it or she will get so much worse and eventually, he will not have a relationship with her.”

“I have a 12-year-old girl. She tries to have an attitude and a smart mouth with me and my husband. And I put her in her place. Same with my 17-year-old stepdaughter (only comes up when she wants 2 or wants something). His, mine, it DON’T matter. They will show me and everyone else respect in my house or around me. They get 1 (ONE) warning. That is it. I have taken cell phones for a week, TV away, video games away. If y’all don’t deal with it NOW it WILL get worse.”

“Definitely normal teen behavior, but I suggest maybe talking to him about it then (if on good terms) maybe talking to her mom about it and get suggestions on how mom deals with it Because if my daughter was doing that and my bd was married I would want them to bring it to me first then the three of us would come up with a solution.”

“You don’t handle it! It’s his responsibility to discipline his child! He needs to toughen up! You getting involved could make matters worse.”

“I feel like this is completely normal teenage behavior. Lol. However, her behavior affects the whole house. I would have a talk with your husband. He may not be saying anything because he doesn’t want to lose her more than he feels he already has…”

“I’m curious about your relationship with her? Being a step-parent can be challenging. Perhaps not step in and discipline when dad is not but maybe talk with her, bond with her. Maybe she is upset about something? And maybe female-to-female she may open up?”

“Sounds like a little 12-year-old girl is missing some good old dad & daughter time. Does he take her on date nights? Perhaps he should, at least 2 to 3 hours of one day every time she comes over. Just going to get food, or grocery shopping, or a movie, school clothes & supplies, new shoes. She NEEDS his attention and direction & instead of saying so, she’s lashing out.”

“Buckle up and enjoy! The teenage years are not for the faint of heart. She sounds like a typical disrespectful teen and it doesn’t get better until… well, I’ve been told it does. Mine are 14, 15, and 17 and they all still hate my existence.”

"Congrats! She’s a normal teen kid of divorced parents. Now your husband needs to be a normal dad and discipline her. He is the problem here, not her.

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23 Likes

Esmy De La Rosa-Ugarte I know you can give good advice here.

You don’t handle it ! It’s his responsibility to discipline his child ! He needs to toughen up! U getting involved could make matters worse

13 Likes

I feel like this is completely normal teenage behavior. Lol. However, her behavior effects the whole house. I would have a talk with your husband. He may not be saying anything because he doesn’t want to lose her more than he feels he already has…

5 Likes

She has hit the fun teen years… Both of you need to sit her down and let her know 1st you love her 2nd the attitude and disrespect ends right now. If she is asked to reach someone a napkin then give them a napkin that’s all, no mouth needed or she will loose her phone for a certain amount of time… Do this now and stick with it or she will get so much worse and eventually he will not have a relationship with her

13 Likes

Typical preteen/teenage girl! My 12 year old is the SAME WAY. Even after talking to her she acts this way. It’s “Teenagerizm” :woman_shrugging: but I’m definitely going to follow this for advice! Good luck to every mother of a teen girl!

2 Likes

I’m curious of your relationship with her? Being a step parent can be challenging. Perhaps not step in and discipline when dad is not but maybe talk with her, bond with her. Maybe she is upset about something? And maybe female to female she may open up?

4 Likes

12 minite time out every time for the attitude. 1 minute per age.
Let her know when she comes over that this is a new rule. Every time she gets an attitude she would be told 1. 2.3. And if she doesn’t quit the attitude by time you count to 3. Its time out time. This could be sitting a chair by herself. Standing in a corner. Sitting or standing staring at a wall. As long as the time out is somewhere away from tv’s and other distractions and you can still see her. After shes done. Simply say We love you but that is not how you treat others. You may come out if your willing to be nice.

3 Likes

Did the teenager thing 4 times, with my last one I had had pretty much enough of the crappy additude . So when the eyes rolled again for the millionth time I told him to look for his brain while his eyes were back there and to be respectful when asked to do things. And if he didn’t phone/ video games were taking away to remind him of who pays for it

5 Likes

I was going to say typicak behavior for her age. Its unfortunate, but it is typical. That being said though, her dad needs to sit her down and talk to her about it. Maybe he could take her out to dinner or for ice cream, just the two of them.

2 Likes

This can be a lot of things. Teens can get attitudes just because, if they arent doing well with school or maybe friends. Could be someone or something in her moms home that is causing it. I would start with what might be happening in the other home, is there a step-dad and siblings? Have there been pretty big changes in her life since the attitude was noticed? Maybe you can take her out and just talk about yourself, embarrassing moments for you, happy memories, stuff to get her listening and she should open up with you as well, nothing too deep at first just basic discussions and more you spend alone time with her, open up more. She needs someone who she feels like she can trust and talk to. Personally I was a victim of sexual abuse and I was an angry preteen-teen, I had an attitude for no reason most of the time, I would snap at people. At the same time I seemed happy when around friends and my mom had no clue what was happening in the home.

My 11 year old daughter is giving me the same attitude…

Definitely normal teen behavior, but I suggest maybe talking to him about it then (if on good terms) maybe talking to her mom about it and get suggestions on how mom deals with it Because if my daughter was doing that and my bd was married I would want them to bring it to me first then the three of us would come up with a solution

5 Likes

Its just the age. Everything annoys them!

Kids react that way when something is bothering them . My granddaughter is 11 and she was always a sweet happy kid . It was always her and daddy and a year ago daddy added to the family so a new girlfriend and 3 other kids has definitely affected her . She is always angry and wishing she could have her daddy back . Talking to her a lot and dates with her and daddy every other weekend plus counseling is helping her out . Maybe she’s angry about that too

1 Like

I mean it sounds like she is being a teenager to me. You should let him address the issue. She could be doing a lot worse things in my opinion. I was really waiting for her to have done something awful. Other than just an attitude.

1 Like

Not your kid, not your problem :woman_shrugging:t2:

3 Likes

I have a 12 year old girl. She tries 2 have an attitude and smart mouth with me and my husband. And I put her in her place. Same with my 17 year old step daughter ( only comes up when she wants 2 or wants something) . His, mine, it DON’T matter. They will show me and every1 else respect in my house or around me. They get 1 ( ONE ) warning. That is it. I have took cell phones for a week, TV away, video game away. If ya’ll don’t deal with it NOW it WILL get worse.

7 Likes

I mean dad has to step up and do something about it. Until he does, it won’t change. You stepping in can make it worse.

4 Likes

My 11 year old is the same, almost like i was reading about her. I talk to her about it at a later time. It doesnt change anything girls atttiudes are hardwork.