Friday, December 16, 2011

12 year-old step daughter; 14-year old son

Hi -- My husband and I blended our families which included him getting custody of his 12 year old daughter. I have a 14 year old son. In addition to this he is black and I am white. While I think we are handling it pretty well (I know there will be up and down moments) but my son is very jealous and is terribly mean to his new sister. Then add to it, that I love my step-daughter, but I am having the toughest time with her! Having raised a boy, everything she does seems foreign to me. I am not sure when its a cultural thing (I don't agree with the way she dresses, I think it is too grown up for a 12 year old) or it is just a mood thing (she being over dramatic about a rule in our house).

I have always parented trying not to raise my voice, and to be firm in my punishment and clear on the rules, but since we combined homes, I feel like I am losing it! Between my son's constant picking, and my daughters mood swings, I am ready to check myself into a clinic!

How much of this is normal, and at what point do I need to get my family in front of a third party for a conversation about what is going on.

Thank you.

Charnel


Dear Charnel:

Blended families are the toughest challenge there is. Your 12 year old step daughter needs to be raised by your husband and you need to deal with your 14 year old son. Teens especially resent step parents stepping into the middle of their lives. Regardless of whether or not your agree with me it doesn't work. It doesn't sound like it is working for you right now and you are doing too much with both of them. You did not mention your husband being this frustrated and upset which says volumes to me. He needs to step up to the plate and raise his biological child.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

Comment:  I kind of need tools to deal with it, my husband is used to being a Disneyland Dad, and since I spend a majority of the time with the kids, he leaves the parenting to me. But I will share this with him. Thank you.