Hi and welcome back to Coffee with Clare every Thursday!
My eight-year-old stepdaughter has absolutely no-filter. A perfect stranger makes a comment such as, “that’s really nice that your mom and dad brought you to the park”, and she replies, “Yes – but this isn’t my mom… this is my step-mom…” (and then she launches into more personal details). Both her father and I have talked with her about this. I have been in her life since she was three, and it seems like no matter what we do- this continues to be a problem. Although I love her as if she were my own daughter, this is like a punch in the gut… and it is also more than a little embarrassing- sometimes as much for the stranger as it is for me.
I am sitting down with my cup of coffee, now… looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
The step-mom with “No-filter frustrations”
First, how often do you get to spend time with your stepdaughter??? If she doesn’t live near you, and you only get her over holidays and for a week here and there, the most important thing is to try to make the most of the time you do have with her. Try to discuss ahead of time with your husband (her dad) all communications and prospective disciplinary practices before you have your stepdaughter. But, most disciplinary “comments” or talks with your stepdaughter should really come from her dad, your husband. I would suggest you chime in, too, but be very clear to say things like, “Jane…. we are so delighted that you are here with us and your daddy and I love our time with you…” and then discuss specifically what she is doing and why it is not appropriate in simple terms.
However, if you get your stepdaughter often, such as every other weekend or more, I would suggest your husband just keep reinforcing how you both feel with her and say, “this is how it makes me and ___ (your name) feel when you say this….”. Be sure to temper these “talks” with other positive reinforcement and comforting words, so she doesn’t feel like you are picking on her. And just keep reinforcing your love and support for her while trying to gently correct her.
Readers – any suggestions for “No-Filter Frustrations”?
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Until next time~