Parenting Stepchildren/Stepdaughters lies about stepmom
Expert: Peter Gerlach, MSW - 2/28/2013
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");
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"
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.
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.