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QUESTION: Am I Being Overly Sensitive About This Situation with My Former Stepdaughter?
“I split from my husband almost 2 years ago now. He had 3 kids from a previous marriage that their mother wasn’t involved with at all. His youngest didn’t remember her at all, actually.
The youngest is now 13 and hasn’t come over to my house to visit in a year. She has repeatedly said she’d ‘rather stay home’ than come over each time I ask for the entire year! I only see her in passing when picking up my son from their dad.
A few days ago, she sent me a link to an expensive gift she wants for Christmas, and I’m torn. I can’t really afford it, but I’m also frustrated, and feeling used that she only really talks to me now that Christmas is coming.
Am I too sensitive? I know she’s a child, but I just feel so used.“
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“She’s not a child, she’s a teenager. I think you should get her something small, and message her back saying you got her something for Christmas but that the gift she requested is a bit much, and express to her that it hurts your feelings that the only time she talks to you is to request an expensive gift.”
“Personally… I would ignore the link like she ignores you. No response in a year… idk maybe she is asking for help… it’s hard to say. I would give myself before giving a present.”
“Maybe you could tell her that while you can’t afford said gift at the moment, you’d love to take her out & spend time together for the holidays! It could be a special breakfast at your house, getting your nails done, etc. If you wanted to, the one on one time might allow you time to discuss your longing to spend more time together in the future.”
“It’s possible she feels left by you and is testing what she can get away with/how much you’ll put up with. You have to realize you are dealing with a child who has, in fact, been left by her mother, and now (in her mind) by you. They test people, a lot. Don’t buy the gift if you cannot afford it. Keep offering to spend time with her, and do get her something that you can afford. Try not to let your feelings get too hurt.”
“Don’t indulge her with that gift, that wouldn’t teach her anything and won’t change the situation.”
“You are being manipulated. Do not try to buy her love. Her values are skewed.”
“She isn’t a child she is a manipulative teenager. Don’t fall for it! Take care of you and your baby.”
“So her biological mom walked out and abandoned her and now her adoptive mom has “abandoned” her. Maybe she is hurt and resentful and that’s why she doesn’t want to come see you. Have you tried talking to her and reassuring her that you are still her mom and you love her? Has she ever been to counseling to work through her emotional trauma? If you still view her as your child then you absolutely should still get her a gift that you can afford. Just because my kiddos piss me off or hurt my feelings doesn’t mean I’m not going to give them Christmas/Birthday presents.”
“She wouldn’t be getting it from me, that’s for sure. You can’t treat someone like nothing and expect an expensive gift from them. I’d tell her she can send it to her dad and he may buy it for her.”
“Sounds like a typical 13 year old. Wants certain things but doesn’t want to make an effort to keep a relationship with the person they want to spend money on them. I get it, I was 13 at one time too. I would tell her you can’t afford something like that, and maybe ask if there is anything else she would want that’s less in price? Or maybe give her a card with cash and say it’s for her to put towards whatever she wants to get.”
“No, ignore the request. She has no right to expect anything from you. You can’t afford it and you probably won’t even get a thank you.”
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