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Parenting Stepchildren/Stepdaughters lies about stepmom

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Question
I have an 8 yr old stepdaughter her dad and I've been together since she was five. Her dad and I have 2 kids together 1 & 2. I have since day one tried to always treat her as my own as her mom does not spend much time with her. When she's at our house everything seems okay other than a few lies. But we do things together and one on one. And she always tells me she loves me and hangs around me constantly I thought we had an okay relationship. But when she goes to her moms and school she makes up lies about me. She'll say this From I spanked her feet to I held her down. I do not discipline her bc I feel it is her dads place. But when I tell my husband he will not do anything he just said to her "we don't lie" and when on as if nothing had happened. This has been going on 2 years constantly I don't even want to be around her now. She never says I'm sorry or anything. My husband doesn't understand why I'm so angry about the situation.  My husband does not care that this hurts me and just says she's just a child. What do I do?

Answer
Hello Bc. It sounds like you have several normal - stressful - stepfamily problems.

1] You're feeling disrespected and unsupported by your husband relative to his daughter. There can be several reasons for his discounting you -e.g. [a] he doesn't accept or understand you're in a STEPfamily; [b] he feels excessive parental guilt, and doesnt want to admit that; [c] he fears "losing" his daughter if he defends you ("taking your side");

See and discuss these with him:

http://sfhelp.org/sf/id.htm

http://sfhelp.org/sf/qa.htm

http://sfhelp.org/sf/problems.htm

http://sfhelp.org/relate/mates/priority.htm

2] you're not asserting your needs clearly and firmly to your husband, and/or don't have a meaningful consequence for your assertions.

http://sfhelp.org/cx/skills/assert.htm

3] you and your husband don't know how to problem-solve as teammates:

http://sfhelp.org/cx/skills/ps.htm

4] one or more of you co-parents may be a "Grown Wounded Child [GWC], and SD had begun to acquire her own wounds. Lying is a common symptom.

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/gwc.htm

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/means.htm

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/1_traits.htm

http://sfhelp.org/cycle.htm

Bottom line - your stepdaughter's lying is a SYMPTOM of several underlying stepfamily and marital problems. For all your sakes, I urge you co-parents to study and discuss this free online stepfamily-building "lesson"

http://sfhelp.org/sf/guide7.htm

If you have questions about any of the above, please ask!

Respectfully, Pete

Parenting Stepchildren

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Peter Gerlach, MSW

Expertise

I can answer questions about remarriage preparation, stepparenting, stepchild discipline, child visitation, grieving, stepfamily norms and myths, mission statements, stepparent job (role)descriptions, communication skills, loyalty and values conflicts, stepfamily identity problems, common pitfalls, ex mate and relative problems, stepfamily merger and adjustment tasks, name confusions, choosing an effective counselor, resolving money disputes, co-parenting support groups, and the family effects of court (legal) battles. I can`t answer questions about medicine, family law, legal stepchild adoption, or financial planning.

Experience

I have studied and worked with stepfamilies clinically since 1979, and I have been a "step everything" personally. I was invited to be on the board of the Stepfamily Association of America (SAA) by it's founders, Drs. John and Emily Visher; and later was re-invited by president Margory Engle, PhD. For more detail, see this.

Organizations
Former Board member, Stepfamily Association of America (SAA)
National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC)Experts Council

Publications
Hundreds of Web articles on sfhelp.org ; I've uploaded over 150 self-improvement videos on YouTube; and have self-published 6 books. My ad-free Web site offers a unique, practical 7-lesson self-improvement course.

Education/Credentials
Stanford University BSME (1958) George Williams College MSW (1981) Hundreds of post-graduate seminars on a wide variety of "mental health" subjects

Awards and Honors
Hundreds of appreciative emails and comments on my Web site and videos from people all over the world.

Past/Present Clients
I have worked clinically with over 1,000 midwestern divorced and remarried family members, and have had over 800 stepfamily students in various seminars and courses since 1981

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