How do I treat my adult step-daughter…..?

by Rod Smith

“My husband is 16 years older, and his daughter is 12 years younger, than me. She is 22. She told her father she doesn’t feel part of this family and gets hurt every time she sees me. I’m kind to her but she takes ‘shots’ at me, which I have mistakenly shrugged it off. I don’t confront well. I’m hurt that she always finds fault with me. I have to bite my tongue around her, which isn’t working. When she visits I put on my ‘parenting hat’ and listen to how she feels but I really want to blow up at her for walking all over me. It’s my fault for not setting boundaries. She’s bright, immature, narcissistic, beautiful, funny, and emotional. I love her, and am unsure of my role and how to do myself with her. I don’t want to hurt her or be hurt by her.” (Shortened)

This young woman appears to have too much power over you. Remove and discard your “parenting hat.” She’s a fellow adult who is not behaving very well while a guest in your home. Until you challenge her, and until she learns to stand up to you (as opposed to manipulate you) neither of you will realize the full joy and potential of being in each other’s lives.

2 Comments to “How do I treat my adult step-daughter…..?”

  1. Research conducted by authors of the book, StepWars, showed that those stepparents who were low key about establishing close relationships with adult children had an easier time in the long run. They were not immediately gushy or affectionate and their lower expectation of merging into a happy family caused less hurt from rejection and a greater likelihood they would connect when the adult children were ready to warm up. Initially, they expected to treat adult stepchildren like peers in the workplace; polite, fair and charming but not pushy, with a healthy wait and see attitude.

  2. i ve got a ten year old daugher and two step daugher and a step son elder than my daughter. this three kids are not at all getting alone with my daugher . this makes my heart broken that she so very lonley at home. what can i do to make things better?

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