Parenting Stepchildren/Step-daughter


My step-daughter is a very pretty girl, but not very intelligent... She has repeatedly talked about my daughter from my first marriage in a negative way.  My natural daughter is 17, and my step-daughter is 16.....what should I do????


It is difficult to answer this question without more information.  There could be a hundred reasons why she is so negative about your daughter... from jealousy to being hurt from her parents divorce.  She could be feeling left out when she is with you and your daughter.  

Often this behaviour is a way of protecting themselves from further hurt.  

What should you do?

First understand that this behaviour is a way of protecting herself that she is hurting inside.  I know that I am repeating myself but it is important that you recognize that she is reacting to some perceived pain or hurt and that cutting down your daughter is a way of coping - although not a very good way.  

We have found that the Circle of Responsibility has help our family understand how to be responsible for everything that we think, everything that we feel and everything that we do. here is a link to our article on the Circle of Responsibility.

One thing you can say to her when she is being negative is " I am sorry that you feel that way.  We both like you" (if that is an honest statement) or "one of the things we value in this house is that we talk to and about each other with respect."

Do this gently and and treat your step daughter with respect as well.

I hope this helps... if you want to send more information so I can better answer this please do.


Parenting Stepchildren

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Rick Olson


As a stepparent of 4 children and a family coach, I can answer questions about the issues that arise in step-parenting including discipline,blended families, boundaries and guidelines.


I have 18 years as a stepfather, and over three years as a family coach focusing on unifying, strengthening and empowering families.

My wife and I have written 2 books on Family FUSE Your Family - Family: Unify Strengthen Empower! and Raising Families

BA(Recreation Administration) Grad Studies in Urban and Regional Planning and Design Certified as a LifeSuccess Consultant/Coach

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