Dear McKoy: My boyfriend and I have been together for a few years and are now engaged. I believe our bond is solid, however, he has a 10-year-old daughter who I find difficult to relate to. Despite my best efforts to get along with her, I believe I am losing the battle. She can’t handle the fact that her father and I are dating. on top of that, she is very rude and disrespectful to me. She constantly tells her mother lies about me. I don’t scold her, never punished her, and she always gets what she wants. I tell my boyfriend how I feel on several occasions, but nothing has changed. He never tells her when she’s wrong, and she uses him to her advantage in every situation. I think she deliberately wants to ruin my life. If nothing is done about her behavior, I am not sure how much longer I will stay in this relationship.
Dear Tori: You and your spouse need to come together to create a plan for disciplining your stepchild. Things will never change if he does not come on board and allow this to continue. Every time she does something wrong, she must be disciplined. No hitting though, but there are consequences for her bad behavior. Give her some time out, no tv, no games, no computer, etc.
The bottom line is that it is your spouse’s duty to discipline her, and he refuses to do it. Perhaps he finds it difficult to punish his daughter because he is afraid she will believe he no longer loves her.
Family Counseling will assist you in developing a strategy, and it will be up to you and your husband to stick to it. Unfortunately, you don’t have much control over the situation.