Parenting may be either a wonderful dream or a bizarre nightmare, and occasionally it’s both at once, depending on who you ask. Every parent has their own style of parenting. Some are strict while some liberal. There should be a balance of both. Read the story to know why this stepmother was so worried about her stepdaughter and do you agree with the stepmom?
My husband and I have been married for two years and have five children: his daughter from a previous marriage (16), my two sons from a previous relationship (13 and 15), and two children together (3 and 1).
My husband’s daughter lived primarily with her mother until she was in 8th grade, when she was offered a scholarship to go to a very good boarding school for high school. I’ve never agreed with the idea of sending teenagers to live away from family, but her mother and my then fiance agreed that it would be beneficial for her. They drafted a new custody agreement to reflect the new school schedule. My husband moved out of state, so he always had summers and holidays anyway.
When I married my husband, I thought that she would be just a day boarder which seems better than full-time, so I let it go. By the time I learned the truth, 2020 was in full swing and removing her wouldn’t have been safe even if she’d wanted to leave, which she didn’t.
Fast forward to 2022, she’s 16 years old and a junior. I recently learned that her mother moved back to her home country SIX MONTHS AGO and has been letting my stepdaughter manage her own money. This means that there’s now not even a parent in the same state or even side of the country from my stepdaughter. She is completely independent in her day-to-day life.
My stepdaughter has every weekend unsupervised to do whatever she pleases, and independent access to not only multiple major cities, but is only a day trip from another country that she has dual citizenship in. I’ve seen Facebook posts of her just going to art shows in other states without her having even pretended to ask one of her parents for permission. This isn’t acceptable.
It’s not okay for a teenager to just go live her own life, especially to this degree. We have two sons that are only 1 and 3 years behind her, and they’re starting to see the double standard as well. I would NEVER let any of my kids do the things my stepdaughter is doing. She’s my child too, and this needs to stop. She needs to change schools to be either with her mother or with us and be part of a family.
My husband says that it’s different because she “was raised differently” and is “just more responsible”, but that’s bull. If he actually thinks she’s not being a normal 16 year old with that level of freedom, he’s lying to himself. My stepdaughter loves her school, of course, and is very resistant to changing schools for all of one year of high school to leave her friends, and no doubt doesn’t want to actually have rules.
I’m still pushing the issue, and now my husband and stepdaughter are mad at me for trying to change the status quo, the boys are mad at me for “having double standards” and other family members are mad at me for either over or under stepping in “my role”. What are your opinions? I need some advice on if I’m wrong.
Here are a few comments on the story where it was originally posted: