Teenage daughter and stepfather

2017-10-25 07:36:52

I have a 16-year-old who has no respect for her stepfather. They hardly communicate and each time he says something she snaps or makes a stroppy or contradictory comment. He sometimes loses his temper rarely but when he does he goes over the top (probably due to frustration) he swears at her and shouts.

He lets his anger build up and it comes out all at once. Neither of them are speaking at the moment (to me also). He is catatonic downstairs and she is refusing to come out of her room.

What can I do? I've tried telling him that he should make exceptions for her as she is only a teenager but he says this is no excuse. He has even said that either she or him should leave.

Teenagers are hard to live with when you've known them all their lives. It's harder still when you've only met recently. Step-parents often don't know that the teens are sulky and stroppy to everyone, and assume it's a specific reaction to them.

A house rule that nobody is allowed to swear or ye

  • Teenagers are hard to live with when you've known them all their lives. It's harder still when you've only met recently. Step-parents often don't know that the teens are sulky and stroppy to everyone, and assume it's a specific reaction to them.

    A house rule that nobody is allowed to swear or yell at anybody else might help. At this age, you really need symmetry - rules have to apply to the adults as well as the teen. For example, if you go out and leave her alone in the house, you tell her when you'll be back. It's polite. If she goes out, she tells you when she will be back. Teens often don't realize that rules are being applied to them not because they're still a child, but because these rules last forever. I pick up my dirty laundry from the floor, I put my dish by the sink or in the dishwasher, I cook, I vacuum, not because they are my hobbies but because this is what people who live together do for each other.

    Once you establish certain baselines like speaking politely, comm

    2017-10-25 07:58:14
  • I agree with Chrys that relationships with teens can be very complicated. They are not adults - parts of their brains are not yet fully developed. Sometimes they act very adult-like, and we start thinking that they are more mature than they are and we set our expectations too high. While stroppy behavior needs correction, it is age-appropriate.

    You ask what more you can do. The two of them have a communication/relationship problem. You will be very limited in your ability to fix it for them. The fact that neither is speaking to you at the moment is an indication of how difficult triangular relationships can be. You are not their therapist.

    If I were in your position, I think I would produce a list of therapists or ministers that the two of them could choose from to help them solve the problem they are having. It is their responsibility to fix - the stepfather, being an adult, should take the lead. Family therapy is also an option. Your partner's statement that either he or she shou

    2017-10-25 08:11:41
  • If the stepfather has a significant amount of time as her stepfather (~8 years or more) then my advice is for him to be the adult. If he has less than that, 5-7 yrs at the most, then I fear this situation will never get 'better'. She will always remember "that time before Rick" as the best time ever then Rick came along and just got in the way.

    Of course the teen is asserting herself and trying to be free at a time when she's really too young to be so.

    Part 1...

    If he has any established authority, then I would say that he needs to use it. Stop playing the verbal volleyball that she suckers him into. He should stomp those arguments before they get started and lay down the law like a runway in the desert. Boom.

    "This is the decision, this is what you're doing."

    She'll hate it and she'll hate him the entire time that she abides by his statement.

    The problem with this is that it will only work if

    He has established authority; that in the past she has listened and obeyed

    2017-10-25 08:35:49
  • "I'm not telling you to jump to conclusions but physical/sexual abuse between stepfather and stepdaughter is extremely common and this has thrown up a few red flags."

    Are you serious? Simply by saying that you are telling her to jump to conclusions... Julia the Therapist you may be right, but as a therapist, I would assume YOU wouldn't jump to conclusions either?

    2017-10-25 09:05:21
  • It sounds like there is more going on. In a situation where there is an ultimatum put in place like that the chances are there is something deeper than just an argument that he is afraid of surfacing. It sounds like something has happened between him and your daughter that he isn't telling you. When you confronted him about said situation did he take the offensive? By this I mean screaming, throwing accusations, and/or targeting your daughter with his words. If so, then he definitely has and you need to speak with your daughter and figure out exactly what's really going on. I work with abused teens daily, the biggest factor in the abuse is normally the other parent being blind to the abuse. I'm not telling you to jump to conclusions but physical/sexual abuse between stepfather and stepdaughter is extremely common and this has thrown up a few red flags. I would stay vigilant and communicate the best you can with your daughter. My suggestion is to let your daughter be in a safe place,

    2017-10-25 09:17:43