can I vent a little?
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  1. #1

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    Default can I vent a little?

    Now I'm normally a very patient person. Takes alot to bug me. But my13 yr old sd is driving me crazy.She won't go outside and enjoy the snow like most kids do, wants to sit in front of the tv constantly. My dh and I can't have a conversation because she is always interrupting. If there are by chance kids around she won't hang around with them she has to be with the adults and has an attitude if told to leave and find something to do. I tell her that she doesn't need to be with the adults and that makes things worse. It got to the point when her dad went to the bathroom she sat on the bed til he came out. I had to tell her she had no business in there and that he wasn't going to jump out the window and run away. Of course this makes me the bad persin even though her dad has said the same thing. I have caughat her sneaking food, (as if she's starving, she's put on 100 pounds since she came here,) so any leftovers have to go in the freezer and sweets have to be put where she can't find them. She ate a dozen cookies before supper yesterday. I know this sounds mean but otherwise shes going to look like a hippo before long. Sorry this is so long. Things may get nasty if something doesn't change soon.

  2. #2

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    Might help to go outside with her.. take walks with her...... starting with a short one of a mile. Don't bring cookies or high calorie sweets into the house, instead make popcorn or jello ( both filling and low calorie).....
    and have her evaluated for depression, sounds like she may have some.

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    Registered User JustJoy's Avatar
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    I sure feel for you. I had the same problem for years! I came into my step daughter's life when she was 9 and she stuck to her dad like glue...24/7. Followed him everywhere around the house, constantly wanting to sit in his lap, interrupting our conversations, even wanting to sleep with him, etc.... DH and I have had many fights over this. Honestly nothing changed until she was almost 17 when she got a boyfriend. She's now backed off "daddy" somewhat.

    I really don't know what to tell you.....DH and I tried a million different things and nothing worked. Hang in there.....they do eventually grow up and out of it. At least I hope so.

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    Registered User FreesiaE's Avatar
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    I'm not in your house 24/7 so I can only go on what I read here and I'm going to give my honest opinion. I was struck by the tone of this. It seems that you are very resentful towards your stepdaughter. Basically referring to her as a future hippo isn't nice. She is your husband's daughter first and foremost, and she will always have a top spot with him. As for the cookies and such, don't have them in the house if they are a problem. Instead of just sending her outside, what if you all went and did something outside together. Offer to take a walk, go bike riding, etc. How about a girls day out to the museum or other local fun spot? Or if she wants to hang with Dad still, how about a group day together? Can you offer to help her join a group like Girl Scouts, your church youth group, or rec. soccer league? Offer to help get her there and back and really support her. It sounds that support and positive attention is what she really wants.

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    It sounds like she's craving attention. Did her parents divorce? That might play a big part in it. Did she live with her mom for a while? If so, I can especially see how she wouldnt want to be separated from her dad. You mentioned that she's gained weight recently. Do you think she gets made fun of by the other kids, which is why she doesnt want to play with them?

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    All I can say is 13 year old girls are devils : )

    I can say this because at 13 I was awful I think the hormones had a hold of me anyway.....13 is a hard age your a teenager, you don't want to be with the kids....and the adults don't want you around either.

    As bad as things are with your SD I would suggest getting hubby on board and getting some professional help.....the sneaking food thing sounds like a cry for help to me. And maybe the reason she sticks to Dad is she is scared of losing him. You don't mention if her Mother is around or not, do they have a relationship??

    Sorry you are going thru such a rough time I hope that things improve for you.

    leezza

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    As the mother of teeangers all I can say is she sounds normal. My husband and I had more time to ourselves when our children were younger. They seem to crave attention all the time now. Teenagers are going through lots of changes, physically and emotionally. She is probably hungry a lot because of this. Make sure you have healthy snacks then she can't eat a lot of cookies.

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    No I'm not resentful of her. She doesn't want to do things with me because they include ,if we are baking or making things, cleaning up after. If we go outside she expects me to pick up after her when we come in and I won't. Yes he rmother and father divorced and has no contact with her mother by authority of the court system. I suggested counseling 2 years ago and neither would agree to it. And for the eating ,she does it for attention. Why eat a bowl of mashed potatoes at 9 P.M. when there are other things here? And as for the hippo remark that is one of the nicer things people have said to her about eating. She has chores she won't do unless hounded to do them. Her dad has caught her so many lies that it isn't funny but she doesn't care. I'm not the perfect person but I'm not letting a 13 year run my life. She thought that if she stirred up enough problems that her and her dad would leave and that didn't happen.

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    Registered User fuzzybunny's Avatar
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    Quite frankly, and please understand that I am saying this as gently as I can; it seems like both you and your stepdaughter need to go to counseling.

    When I was her age I also gained about 100 pounds. I was living with my mom and step dad. My father was out of the picture. I identified with adults because until my mom remarried she treated and talked to me as an adult. I was not fat at the time but a little chunky and didn't always get along with other children so I spent a lot of time with adults. She also counted on me a lot to help her get through after Dad left. We had some really tough times then.

    When she remarried suddenly I was just supposed to become a child again. I can't tell you how much that hurt. She would tell me "Go outside and play with the other kids" or "Get your butt off the sofa and do something." or "This doesn't concern you. Go away." First abandoned by dad then mom wants to shove me into the background again as soon as she gets another man. I am worthy of being a friend and help only when there is no one better around. I know now that wasn't true but it was how I felt.

    To top it all off the step parent thought I was fat even before I started to gain weight and had a lot of contempt for me because of it. It seemed like none of the remaining adults in my life liked me or wanted me around.

    He never called me a hippo to my face (as I assume you have not either) but I knew he was disgusted by me. Kids aren't stupid and even though he never called names I could see it in his face and hear it in his tone. I knew that the way I looked was more important to him than who I was. They rode me about my weight constantly but continued to bring junk food into the house. They told me if I would "just try" and stop "shoving food in my face" I would loose weight. They also told me that I just needed a little will power and they were not going to make everyone else give up cookies because I couldn't "control myself".

    What I heard was if I would loose weight then they would accept me and I would be worth loving. I heard that who I was didn't really matter, but how I looked was very important. The fact that I was taking college level courses didn't matter. The fact that I would graduate early didn't matter. I was on a state championship chess team. Didn't matter. A fat person can't be a good or worthwhile person.

    This is about the time I developed my eating disorder. Starving myself for as long as I could and then binging, eating thousands of calories of food I sneaked or stole or had blown my allowance on and the weight started piling on. I would eat until I vomitted from too much food and then eat some more. I gained 100lbs between 6th and 8th grade. By my freshman year I weighted 200lbs. By the time I graduated I was close to 250.

    I had no friends because I was fat. I was constantly bullied. Children are terrible. If you daughter is 100 pounds overweight then she is being bullied. Do you want to know how bad it can be? Imagine the worst treatment you can and then know that it's even worse than that. They used to throw rocks at me and old food. When I was walking down the halls in high school guys used to shout "I love me some fat p***Y, more to f**K!" and that wasn't the worst. I would tell teachers and they would tell me I was lying or worse, that maybe I should loose some weight. Some of the teachers even laughed when they saw the kids "teasing" me. I told my mom and she told me to "ignore it and they'll stop." and would then try and get me to go on a diet. In otherwords, "Quit complaining. You deserve it because you are fat."

    To make a long story short I tried to kill myself when I was sixteen. My mom wanted to know "how I could do this to her."

    I don't generally share this part of my life with others. Its very painful, but I felt it was important in this case. Why? Well, because I too was very concerned about the words you used to describe your daughter. Even if you never voice it to her, trust me she is aware of the anger you feel. Even if you never say it but only think of her as a future hippo, she knows it.

    In hindsight I can say you really need to get her to counseling. Between the weight gain, her needy behavior with her father and her avoidence of people her own age there is a problem and she needs someone "safe" to talk to about it. If she has gained 100 pounds in a year I suspect she has a budding binge eating disorder. Obviously I don't know your family dynamic or her school situation but I can tell you that the depression and self loathing the accompanies this behavior is immense, even without outside pressures.

    The immediate advise I would give to both you and your husband to not put pressure on her to diet. Get the junk food out of the house and work on serving healthy food. If she expresses the want to go on a diet, encourage her to work on eating healthier and getting regular exercise instead. You might want to google "health at every size" and that will give you some good ideas. When dealing with any kind of eating disorder dieting is the last thing you want them attempting.

    Finally, and again please know I'm saying this a gently as I can, you may want to consider counseling as well. It is a difficult position for you and very frustrating. You need someone to talk to as well, without having to worry that anyone is going to think you are "tearing her down" to her father or putting him in the position of having to feel like he must choose who to defend. I would also say, and mind you, this is only an impression from a very brief paragraph, it seems to me like you are competing with your daughter for her father's attention. You may want to watch this dynamic. You are a parent not the other woman Don't let her manipulate you into that role.

    If she says you are a bad person then just let it ride. It sucks but that's the way it is. Any time she changes the subject from what she has done to you, she is attacking you to get the focus off her behavior. Just say "that may be true but we aren't talking about me right now, we are talking about "insert behavior here" and get right back on track.

    Finally, this is something I always wished my stepfather would do. If you don't already, quit referring to her as your step-daughter and just call her your daughter. I think it would show her that you do consider her your child in every sense.

    As with all advice feel free to take it or leave it. It is the internet and I don't know you or your family and I can only guess according to your post. Blended families are always tough and we all know the Brady Bunch is a fairy tale. I know you are doing your best. Hang in there!

    Christine

  11. #10
    Registered User imforpeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreesiaE View Post
    I'm not in your house 24/7 so I can only go on what I read here and I'm going to give my honest opinion. I was struck by the tone of this. It seems that you are very resentful towards your stepdaughter. Basically referring to her as a future hippo isn't nice. She is your husband's daughter first and foremost, and she will always have a top spot with him. As for the cookies and such, don't have them in the house if they are a problem. Instead of just sending her outside, what if you all went and did something outside together. Offer to take a walk, go bike riding, etc. How about a girls day out to the museum or other local fun spot? Or if she wants to hang with Dad still, how about a group day together? Can you offer to help her join a group like Girl Scouts, your church youth group, or rec. soccer league? Offer to help get her there and back and really support her. It sounds that support and positive attention is what she really wants.

    I agree that we aren't there 24/7 and it's hard to make the correct statement. I can tell you what happend with my kids. Their stepmom was horrible to them. She called them names like stinky boy and snotty girl. She would tell a room full of people that one of them had stinky feet and never bathed. {he had athletes foot and was embarrassed enough already} Then she insisted that their father never visit them. Well, now they are 20,20 and 21. They don't like her or their father. I have to tell them that they should visit because they have 3 more kids. I don't want my kids not to know their half brothers, but they don't want to see their b**** of a stepmom.

    I think that if you want to keep her weight under control, you can buy healthier foods. If you two are always fighting, she may be eating because of nerves. Food may be her only comfort. Sign her up for sports classes that the whole family can participate in.

    Good luck.

  12. #11
    Registered User imforpeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildflowerpa View Post
    No I'm not resentful of her. She doesn't want to do things with me because they include ,if we are baking or making things, cleaning up after. If we go outside she expects me to pick up after her when we come in and I won't. Yes he rmother and father divorced and has no contact with her mother by authority of the court system. I suggested counseling 2 years ago and neither would agree to it. And for the eating ,she does it for attention. Why eat a bowl of mashed potatoes at 9 P.M. when there are other things here? And as for the hippo remark that is one of the nicer things people have said to her about eating. She has chores she won't do unless hounded to do them. Her dad has caught her so many lies that it isn't funny but she doesn't care. I'm not the perfect person but I'm not letting a 13 year run my life. She thought that if she stirred up enough problems that her and her dad would leave and that didn't happen.
    After reading this post I thought I should add that when other people call her fat names, you as a parent might want to stop them and not call her names yourself. This poor girl is crying for help. Eating and lieing are screams for attention. Don't take this the wrong way, but I really think you should get counseling yourself. You have a lot of anger for a 13 year old girl who desperately needs attention. If she can't see her mom and her stepmom doesn't really like her, and dad isn't hearing her pleas...she has to do something. She is asking you to see and hear her. She most likely needs some kind of a mother. We all do, Like I said before her eating and lieing are all cries for attention.

    I was that girl. Please help her before she goes too far.

  13. #12
    McD
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    "And as for the hippo remark that is one of the nicer things people have said to her about eating."

    That doesn't make it okay. This is a 13 year old girl in need of guidance. 13 year old girls are building their self image and self esteem at this time. Hearing that they are a 'hippo' as one of the nicer comments being made is severely damaging. Kids with self-esteem issues are more likely to turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. Can you imagine being 13 and being called a hippo? By a parent or parental figure? Kids look to their parents for guidance. This girl has already had so much turmoil in her life and she is crying out for help.

    I suggest reading some of these articles:

    http://www.lhj.com/lhj/category.jhtm...esWithKids.xml

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    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    I would insist on couseling. Even if she just sits there and doesn't say anything, you have still made the effort to get her counseling.

    As for the eating, yep, it is a scream for help. Eating like that is an eating disorder. It can totally lead into worse ones (bulemia, anorexia). I have lived with anorexia for years. It sucks big ones. I see those people on tv who are so skinny and I want to look like that. I can't because I don't want my boys to learn those behavoirs, but it totally makes me depressed me to not look like that. It is a vicious cycle.

    What about going on a "health-nut kick"? Do it as a whole family. Sit down and have a talk with the whole family about the way you all eat and tell them that you and your DH aren't getting any younger and you need to start eating better (depending on the age of your kids, mention not wanting to die young, the thought of her dad dying young and getting stuck/trapped with you will help spur her on). Tell them that you want to start family walks and exercising and you need them to help to prod you to do it. Tell them that you are hoping that if they do it as a family and the kids help to prod you along, that you will be more apt to stick with it.

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    as a stepmom myself i think you need to find things to do together with her so she feels "like an adult", which is what she's seeking.
    she seeks acceptance by and the desire to be an adult. very normal for her age.
    she may be more mature in certain facets than the kids you want her to hang around with. ask her! it won't hurt. if you keep asking, eventually you'll get the real answer.

    and be honest yourself!!!

    why not share "when i was your age, i remember i really enjoyed..."
    and don't turn it around on her as "you should too because i did!"
    just say it as casually as though you're telling her the weather outside.

    and ask "would you ever want to do something like that?" or "can you think of something fun that you'd like to do together?"

    she doesnt sound to be an introverted child, so playing alone won't fix her.

    find things that she can do with the kids her own age (say a movie w/friends w/out mom/dad) and also find things you can do together, as a family, her alone w/dad and her alone with you.

    that will open things.
    sometimes just talking TO them, sharing your feelings, experiences, stuff from when you were a kid, WITHOUT implying "you should too" or even expecting anything said in return can help her feel more comfortable to come to you.

    but be patient. it'll take time.

    but just TALK to her. say something like "it upsets me that you don't want to go outside and play. (AND say why without accusing!)" or "sometimes your dad and I need to talk privately. do you understand?"

    teens desire to be heard, but most importantly to learn how to "be an adult"... so by you talking, especially another "adult female"... she can learn A LOT from you.

    so just talk to her on a level like you do your own friends - but keeping that boundary known of who's in what role.


  16. #15

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    I feel like your sd is "hungry for" love, attention, and caring.
    If she clings to her dad and waits for him to get out of the bathroom, so what? Let her. If she doesn't live with him, she is probably desperate for his attention.
    And the eating...I think she is crying out for love.

    Instead of pushing back against what you see as intrusions (her interrupting and the like), I would try to give her more attention and love. Like in the evening, turn on the TV and invite her to sit between you and your DH on the couch, or on the other side of him, allow her to get next to him. It sounds like she needs to be close to her Father.
    Plan fun things for the 3 of you (sorry, didn't read if there's other kids), to do together. Or better yet, when she is over, allow her to have "alone time" with her Father. She needs her Dad and she needs love and attention from him. The fact that she's shovelling food down her gullet like that is disturbing. Please be patient with her and encourage your DH to give her lots of love an attention, sounds like she needs is DESPERATELY.
    I hope it all works out for her, she sounds extremely disturbed.

    Oh wow. I just read your post down there where you say your sd is now in your home because of her Mom. She's been through a lot.
    Not only has she been uprooted from her family, her mom ran up a huge bill in her name.......nice.

    Please be patient and kind, this poor kid must be hurting inside. What a sad, sad situation.....
    Last edited by Shades of Sage; 02-27-2008 at 02:26 PM.

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