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Coffee With Clare

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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”


Well “step-mom”:

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”?

Thank you for stopping in today!  I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at:   I would love to hear from you and all inquiries do remain anonymous! 

Until next time~


Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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  • Candy says:

    Age plays a factor. Does her mom reinforce the step mom relationship?

    • Clare says:

      Great point, Candy! Thank I am not sure but that is a valuable piece of the puzzle! Thanks for commenting and helping!

  • This is tough as a child from a mixed marriage I can see how being 8 you don’t really think of it as being mean or bratty or whatever, you just are stating what you know to be fact. I think the script you gave may help the kid understand more.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks for sharing your experiences – because of course this family is not alone! And it’s so important that other stepmoms and families know these challenges are real! Thanks!

  • I think it is a phase in her age… sure she will grow out of it or it will pass in time.

  • I haven’t been in this situation but I can imagine it is so tough sometimes…prayers and hugs for you!

  • Klauss says:

    It is as she calls it so important? In my opinion it is important how she feels about her, what their relationship

  • Andrea says:

    Maybe a “reminder” in between two positive things you say to her 🙂

  • Clare says:

    Yes, thanks for your perspective, Klauss! These tips are helpful!

  • Sheila says:

    Eight year olds are just brutally honest. Although it may hurt the step-moms feelings dual parenting is hard and often times the rules and conversation vary from house to house. I would suggest the adults get together and discuss the issue and how to best deal with the issue. The child is the one caught in the middle and needs to know they can be honest about their feelings and how to deal with sharing intimate details in an appropriate manner. I have taught children in various circumstances and there are many times you learn more than what you want to and in some cases a child’s no filter has saved their life by speaking up about a very serious situation in which the child was endangered.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, great suggestion to get the parents, stepmom together to talk! So true that the child is caught in the middle! Thanks for sharing your tips!

  • Tara says:

    This would be so frustrating. I agree that most of the discussion should come from the father.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, another great thought that the father needs to step up and try to talk more with his daughter about this situation! Thanks!

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