My step daughter likes me until I tell her to do something: Advice?

To all the stepmoms out there … I’m having a difficult time here, I’ve been with my SO for just about a year now (bio mom is not in the picture at all, so we have his daughter 24/7, she never sees her and hasn’t the past two years… she just turned 5)… one day with her is completely jealousy, one day she loves me, one day she could care less, next its a whole new different situation… now I have lived with my SO & and her the last year as well - she knows our routine going to work, etc … I color with her, take my dog for a walk with her, play; take her riding with the horses, etc. so theirs no lack in that, tried my hardest to bond with her but one moment when she WANTS something she will call me mom, but as soon as I tell her to clean up her room, clean up behind her self (all in a nice, caring way & even offering to help her) im the horrible person and she automatically says “UGHHH why do I have to do everything around here,” “I hate you” etc. and I have been tryin to be strict and pretty much saying “tough titties, your old enough to understand and do these on your own…”… I dont have a kid myself besides my puppy… but I try so hard with her with everything & its disappointing that she calls me mom and the next moment she doesn’t & she only does when she really want something which I have learned now to kinda ignore and not give her what she wants asap “her tv on, a quick snack, etc.”. Just wondering any other step mom’s experiences without having their own kid and just jumping in…

5 Likes

This doesn’t sound much worse than a lot of biological kids at this age! They are testing boundaries. You have to be consistent and so does your SO. Don’t be fooled young kids test boundaries just like teens and teens. My niece lives with us along with her mother…She tries to play us off each other all the time, she’s 4. My 18 year old tried the same with me and his Dad. And a favorite thing for the young to say is that they don’t love you, this to them is the ultimate insult!

6 Likes

Just be loving and consistent, do not take it personal. She is only 5 and reassure her that you love her and want the best for her. Remember she is only 5.
When my 4 year old granddaughter doesn’t get her way, she calls me a meanie :joy: but I don’t give in, then she says I love you Grandma :heart::heart::heart:

1 Like

This is all pretty normal for a 5 year old child even if biological. Their emotions come in waves. Take nothing personally she is still developing as a little person too. Both my boys do the same and they have been with me their whole lives. Keep up with being loving and positivity, always urge her that she is such a good listener and tell her what would make you happy is to help with a small chore and small rewards. You have now settled into a form of parenting yourself by living with them, so you have now entered her life in a major way, it’s hard for adults to adjust just image how much harder it is for her to understand too.

4 Likes

Well definitely dont reward her for bad behavior… she wants to go ride horses…well clean your room, oh you want that toy? Pick up your dishes/mess… I dont put up with that from my kids or my step kids… she needs to know your in charge and make sure your SO is backing u up on it as well

1 Like

Welcome to normal parent hood, I actually don’t think she means anything by it. All kids test boundaries biological or not, she’s just being 5 xxxxx

6 Likes

Yep, welcome to parenthood.
Follow through always, set boundaries and rules that both parents agree and enforce and love on her all in between.

3 Likes

Don’t let her get her way or you’ll regret it when she’s older because she will be telling you what to do. She can get mad but she will get over it

Just be consistent no mater if she loves you or hates you at moment she will get through it and so will you

3 Likes

This is just the beginning, it will not get better. Stick to your guns and be the adult. This is how all children behave.

She’s “testing” you. She’s afraid you’ll leave her too. Just love her through it…might take years for you to gain her trust…but it will come…I’m step mom to 3…their bio mom abandoned them…35 years ago. They were devastated and took their anger out on me. I stuck with it, and reassured them I wasnt leaving, and neither were they. She’d had them in 7 different schools in 11/2 years…then dumped them. To this day, I’m “MOM”, They love me and all is right with the world…hang in there…

5 Likes

She’s testing you to see if you’ll be the next mom to leave. She doesn’t realize that’s what she’s doing, of course, but that’s how she’s processing the rejection from her biological mother. Love, Patience and consistency. She’s scared and hurt inside. She can’t explain that so she acts out. Be solid for her. She’ll eventually relax and trust your love.

9 Likes

I’m sorry you’re going through this, just continue on the path that you are on. I sounds like she is lashing out to see if you leave her behind too. Be strict but also be a comfort and when needed be a listening ear and a shoulder as she gets older she will remember that. It’s all about the ground work that you are laying, besides her Daddy you play a significant role in her life and it is OK to be her friend as well as her step mom, who knows when she’s older and understands better she may drop the step and you may just become Mom. Remember to breathe and have fun but also teach and nourish her and yourself! Best of luck to you!

1 Like

Ok just to give you some insight. My son. Not stepson …mine is like that he loves me when I do things with him but when I tell him to do something I get the attitude but I dont back down and he eventually does it. But I dont think it’s that your a stepmom …its you are a mom period. We get the wonderful and crappy parts of our kids dont get discouraged you sound like you are doing an amazing job. Keep up the good work. I hope I helped a bit. :gift_heart:

6 Likes

You need to discipline and set boundaries. You cant always be the nice person. Even as a parent to my own biological kids I have to set boundaries and demand respect and obedience. They can feel how they want but they still have to do what I tell them.

1 Like

Yes! And honestly, only consistency will make a difference. You seem like you’re handling it the correct ways from what you’ve said. Hold her to her responsibilities and stay patient. I’d look into therapy for her, rough situation having an absent mother.

2 Likes

My bio kids did this,now they are in their 30’s and still do it. Yesterday my daughter asked if she had been adopted I said not yet but I put the ad in the paper last night :grin:. They love to test you at any any age she will outgrow it soon. Good luck

Just breathe relax sit down with your hubby makesure your on the same page and be her second mom. I’m sorry it will get harder before it gets better. If mom comes back shit will be crazy but you need to always keep where you stand in the back of your mind. My daughter will be 15 in May love my baby and she is still a mess to this day. Her mom can stay where ever she is doesn’t matter to me. I have had three beautiful siblings for my daughter and she loves them OMG like crazy. My daughter was a little jealous of my son from another relationship but their so close and crazy together. I met my husband when my daughter was 4 so don’t give up but if your not cut of for a 5 year old love you will not make it to see her be a teenager. Yes they get jealous so your husband better treat you both with love and you both have to be in it together. She will have you both turning on each other if you dont because they don’t know how to know i can have two people who love me. She make be mix confused with mom in and out or out than in. But you get some boundaries and respect started now. Who cares when their mad so she will get over it and you will get closer as the years go on. Prayers and good luck

2 Likes

Do you have kids of your own?
Not to be disrespectful but shes 5 AND going thru the trauma (and I do mean trauma!) of her mother not being in her life.
Be patient, be an adult and be kind.
It will all fall into place if you work at it.

3 Likes

Think of it from her point of view. She’s already had 1 mum leave, she is terrified that you will as well, so she’s kind of resting you, pushing you to the edge to see if you will leave as well.

Sit down with her and tell her you love her so much and you promise to protect her and look after her. Take her out just the 2 of you and do all those mother daughter activities.

She needs to be shown that not everyone woman is going to leave. It takes great patience and you are doing an absolutely amazing job with it.

2 Likes