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Anger Management Message Board

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I was 8 when my parents got divorced and I actually met my "new" step dad a week before we moved in with him. I was so mad at my mom for leaving my dad for some dude(as I called him) I vowed to never give him a moments peace.(which in all honesty I didn't and still don't lol :rolleyes: ) I told him the very first day you're not my Daddy and I am not going to listen to you. He also had a daughter who is 6 days older then me who was going from and only (I had one sister also from my mom and Dad) to having two sisters. We fought like crazy too.

Through the years we there were a lot of fights. I am sure my "step" Dad heard more then once how much I hated him and how he was NOT my Dad. I always felt torn because whenever my mom had a problem with my dad she would tell me. (even today that still happens.) I always felt I had to defend him. Maybe that is what is happening at your step daughters house. Maybe her mom is telling her things her daddy "did wrong" and she is blaming you. Try asking her why she feels so mad at you all the time.

I am gonna be 22 and I can tell you that I love my step dad more then life itself.He actually ended up being more of a Dad then my real father. We went through some harsh times but during all of that I can not ONCE remember him calling me his step child. Try explaing to your step daughter that you and her dady love her just as much as the 4 year old. Maybe hearing you say this is my daughter(4 year old) and my STEP daughter hurts her feelings. She might feel that you don't love her as much as your "real" daughter. I don't call any of my step brothers and sisters step either.(I actually have 9 brothers and sisters seeing as my dad is on his 3rd marriage. My Mom and "step" Dad are going to have their 14th anniversary this year.) As a matter of fact me and the sister who is 6 days older then me are always telling people we are twins.

With a little work and maybe some "girl time" she will come around. Don't push herm give her time. Also try talking to your husband. I might have misread the post but it doesn't sound like he is trying to stop the behavior either. Going to get her money because she said she wanted something sounds like he is just giving in. Maybe he can spend a day with her and sit her down and tell her. I love you Mommy loves you and(fill in your name) loves you too. She might be a brat for a few more years...but with a little work I am sure you can come to some understanding. I just hope it works out like it did with me and my "step" Dad. We are so close that I am getting married and while my "real" Dad will be there I want my "step" Dad to walk me down the aisle. GOOD LUCK!:)
Hi there. Glad to see that you're still working toward making things better for everyone. It may seem like a horrible inconvenience now, but it will be worth all the effort in the long run.

Keep up the hugs, keep up the special one-on-one attention (so important!), and keep up the tough hide. Your stepdaughter WILL try to provoke you, but as she learns that you like her even when she's being awful, and that you care about her no matter what she says, and that you do not want to replace her mother or take her father away, she will learn to trust you.

When she learns to trust you, she will be able to relax and enjoy herself more without demanding so much attention or seeking to cause turmoil in what she see's as a potentially threatening situation. I know this is almost impossible at times, but try to put yourself in her shoes and imagine what you'd want. Hard, of course, as an adult, to imagine what is going on in a child's head at any given time, but try it anyway.

As angry as you may be at times, try to preface things with, "Angelina, I love you but......." Stay calm. Look her in the eye. Refuse to become engaged. Act like the bad behavior bores you. Then, the next time you find yourself having fun with her, or realize that she hasn't done anything in a while to aggravate you, be sure to thank her for.... playing quietly or helping or making things enjoyable or whatever. Tell her how much you like being with her. She will resist, but her defenses will eventually start to fall and you will begin to win the battle.

As for your husband, who sounds as though he has a big case of the "guilties", you'll have to work on him, too. He is afraid to ever say "No" to taking his daughter, even if it means a great inconvenience, because he's afraid of being seen as a bad guy. And as much as the daughter may fear losing Daddy or losing his love, he is feeling the same way about her. When the ex calls and says she needs him to babysit, he may be thinking, "Geez, I've had a long day and I'm exhausted and I have plans tonight and it's just not a good time for me to do this unexpectedly, BUT.....if I don't take her it will mean I'm a selfish and bad father."

What he needs to learn how to do is get past that "BUT" part. And I think that's a whole other topic! But when you can, try to reassure him that his daughter will love him even if he doesn't turn his world upside down every time she needs a babysitter. And that saying "No" once in a while does not reflect on how much he loves her. We all make decisions based on emotions once in a while, and we're all especiallly vulnerable to the ones we love, but it is OK to 'be the bad guy' once in a while in order to take care of ourselves first.

It is good that you are trying to stick to a schedule and that you are trying to get some exercise in, too. Both of those things will help you with your anxiety.

Try to sit down at a quiet time with your husband and explain that those things are important to the well being of the entire family. Explain calmly and don't get into an "if you loved me" or "you love her more" type of argument. Print articles from the internet. Or, better yet, take him with you to see your treating doctor and let the doctor try to explain. Try to come up with a compromise of some sort - that, barring emergencies, you'll agree to take the daughter out-of-schedule every other time the ex calls. Or that he'll ask you first. Or that he'll take her out for a few hours so you can get in some alone time. Try to find a solution.

I'll point out again that it's really easy for me to sit here and give all this advice to someone else. I fully realize, though, that is it NOT easy to implement all these things in real life. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone into a situation, swearing good intentions and predicting wonderful outcomes, only to have things disintegrate because I lose my temper at the first barb. It happens. We just have to try to learn from the mistakes and swear to try to do better next time.

Heck, my dad is like a child these days and there are times when I'm ready to throttle him within the first five minutes, good intentions or not. The grown stepsons can still drive me crazy sometimes. You just try to make the best of it that you can. Sometimes I have to stop, take a breath, and remind myself of what's going on, have to ask, "Is the amount of energy I'm expending on being angry really worth it? Can I just let this one roll off me? Will I feel better if I just let it go?"

Hang in there. You are trying. Don't make excuses ("but she made me so mad!"), but don't beat yourself up too bad when things go wrong. And like your stepdaughter, remember to give yourself a pat on the back when things go right!

In fact - seriously - every day you see her, at the end of the day or whenever you're starting to feel stressed, write down ALL the things that have gone well with her that day. Every little, teeny, tiny thing you can think of that was good. And focus on those.

Good luck to you and all your family.

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