25 year old stepdaughter

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Just Landed
Just Landed
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:53 pm

Re: In defense of the truth

Post by transit » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:20 pm

Hi stepmom

It's a long time since I checked this forum, and I'm way overdue in responding to your kind words. I do hope you're still checking in from time to time!

I just wanted to say thanks for your generous reply, and to offer my best wishes for what I hope won't be too much of a struggle. Children are wonderful, rewarding, challenging and frustrating all at the same time. Since your daughter is just 9 years old, you're in a great position to help her. You didn't make mistakes, you acted in your daughter's best interests using your whole heart, and who could ask for more? What you are doing now is exactly the same from an emotional viewpoint, but this time, you're using your head as well!

It's a beautiful feeling to be able to do something for someone you love, but it's really easy to get confused. We do things for our partners just because we want to. We know they can do things for themselves, but it's good to be giving once in a while. This gets confusing when it comes to children. They actually CAN'T do many things well (because they have had no practice), so even though it feels good to help out, it's actually not helping at all. From what you say, you're ready to work this way with your daughter, and I am sure you will never regret it, and nor will she. Yes, it is hard, but when was anything worthwhile free? Yes, it hurts too, but only because it's new. Change is always tough to accept readily. You say she hates chores? Well, good for her! I hate chores too, and I'm not ashamed of it. No one said you have to like chores - but they still need to be done. If you don't do your bit, someone you love becomes unhappy because they have to do your job! I'm sure your daughter will learn this quite well. Girls are good at seeing things from someone else's point of view.

Your step-daughter is a different matter. For one thing, I assume she's an older child, and for another, you're not her mother. She may be a good reminder of how not to turn out, but is she really too far gone? A slightly different approach is needed with older children who haven't learned the basics, and I think there's always room for improvement. The bottom line is always the same though - no one deserves free pampering. I think it will take some thought and discussion with your new husband, but what is needed is a set of rules. I'm not talking about school-style discipline, or parade ground drilling, just a few things that are good for the whole family. The most important point is that all the rules must have a reason, and the children must understand that the rules are not chosen just because YOU like them. No, they are chosen because they are good for everyone's happiness. I can't tell you what the rules should be because they're subjective, you need to choose what works for you and your family, and it sounds like you already did. Once the rules have been set out, explain why they're there, and how they help everyone. Explain too, that you're not expecting perfection, and that you know that there will be exceptional times when you can agree to relax a rule or two. The aim is harmony. Your children would never choose to live in a house where someone deliberately doesn't want harmony, so if they don't want harmony in your house, ask them why you should let them live there. I don't mean threaten to throw them out - just listen carefully to their answers! Pretty soon, even if they don't like what you're doing, deep down they'll know when they're wrong, and it will show, but this time, they won't be able to blame the parents!

It will be frustrating for your stepdaughter, but then why wouldn't it? She lives the life of Riley for years, and suddenly gets told she has to pay for it. I can sympathise with her, but without this change, she'll grow up bitter, resentful and unhappy, and will probably never settle down happily. With this change, she will be grateful for her good fortune, and she may never thank you for it. But that's not why we do it, is it?

Please don't give up on your stepdaughter. Get her dad to help avoid future problems for her. If you give up, she will always expect others to give up on her, and she will be unable to trust.

You're all set to be a fine example to all the moms out there who think they're doing the right thing. I wish you the best of luck.

It is never, ever too late to help someone love their own life.


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