Tanya, 37 writes:
I married a man with a daughter who is 8 years old. We don’t have any children, although we are trying to conceive. We live in the home I owned before we got married. His daughter has a room that I decorated just for her. Her only chore, when she comes over, is to clean her room up before she goes back to her mom’s house. She is a pretty spoiled child who hardly ever gets told no to anything and very rarely cleans her room. This weekend she was throwing a ball against the wall in her room. I asked her to please stop as my husband wasn’t saying anything. She became angry and hit me in the back with the ball. My husband again did nothing. Am I wrong for wanting an apology?
Wow! I’d be mad too. You aren’t wrong but good luck getting it. It sounds like your husband suffers from guilt and consequently he isn’t going to be the dad his daughter needs him to be. Your best bet is to not discipline her at all. I know this is difficult because when things like this happen your first reaction to anyone’s child would be to correct them, after all it’s your home. I’m sure if it were your child, you would have told them the same thing and you would have been mortified and make the child apologize. However, if he isn’t going to do this, for whatever reason, there isn’t a lot you are going to do to change things. Honestly, it’s pretty typical.
You didn’t say how often she comes over. I’ll assume it’s every other weekend as that’s usually the visitation plan. Hard as it is to do, I would let it go. If her room doesn’t get cleaned up by her, then don’t do it for her. I know this may drive you nuts but you need to remember that your issue is not the child, it’s with your husband. I would also plan activities with friends on those weekends. Until your husband can get a handle on things this really isn’t your problem.
Please reconsider having a child. You have enough on your plate as it is and as she gets older she will become more out of control if things are not handled properly. You don’t state whether you’re a Christian but if you are, I would pray, pray, pray. Take all of your concerns to your heavenly father. You have chosen a tough road to walk. I’ll be praying for you.
In the meantime, there are other stepmoms on this site that may offer a different perspective. Let’s see if they have a good plan. Also go to http://www.successfulstepfamilies.com. Ron Deal is an excellent help with these things and you may consider going to one of his seminars.