I’m new to this so hi everyone! I have two daughters aged 15 and 7. My eldest is from my first marriage which was emotionally and in the end physically abusive. I left him when my DD was 4 and met my now husband when she was 5. We have been together 10 yrs now but I still find I am single parenting my eldest. She sees her own dad for tea on a Monday. He doesn’t phone her or take her on holiday and she no longer wants to stay at his house because with two children from his new marriage it means my DD has no bed to sleep in at their house. He has basically erased her from his home. My husband has loved her as his own from the moment we were together and even with the arrival of our little one, the love he gives them both is the same. However, and this is where I need help, my eldest will not see my husband as a parental figure. She’s rude to him, won’t do what he asks her and yet is happy enough to enjoy all the perks we all do from his hard work- including having her own horse! In lockdown she has stopped contacting her friends and only wants to be with me. She follows me round the house, won’t do any work unless I’m there and when we sit down together on the sofa she sits on me! Bearing in mind she’s taller than me now also. I know I should be so grateful that I have a 15yr old who wants to be with me but it’s beginning to feel quite claustrophobic. I suffer from depression which is reading its ugly head and in turn it’s bringing her down too. If I’m okay she’s okay, if I’m not, she’s not. Her dad isn’t interested in helping and in fact in the last 10 weeks she’s only seen him once (he won’t have her in their house) and she just won’t listen to my husband or go anywhere with him unless I go too. It’s exhausting. I’m single handedly managing the children, the house and everything it entails while my husband works. Any suggestions on how I can help my teen to be more independent? Or how we can help her relate more to her stepdad of 10yrs?
I would accept that she doesn’t not see him as a parental figure…. yet. She may struggle with trust that he, like her Dad may leave. Obviously you can’t allow bad behaviour but ask him to be patient with him- she’ll realise when we are in less stressful times and she’s older that he has been a wonderful parent to her.
You have been her constant so you prob feel secure to her- as tough as it is if that’s what she needs then that’s what will help her. You can get support from the school nurse (her school will have the number) or the gingerbread helpline- they might have some tips.
This is such an awful time, especially if you struggle with mental health. You are not on your own though- I just think about it like riding the storm…… it has to be over soon enough,