How to be a good step-mom?

I'm a new step-mom (well, soon to be) and it's not going very well. I have a 21 year old son and a 2 year old grandson (LOVE....lots of love for that little guy :-) ). Thought I was done raising my own until I met my fiance. He has an 8 year old daughter. One thing I find hard is....SHE is a girl. I raised a boy...don't know what to do with a girl...lol. Two, I came into her life 2 years ago (she was 6) and she had lost her real mom when she was only 3. So, what in the world do I do? She's not a bad kid...but, we sure do buck heads alot. I catch myself being strickter with her than I was with my son because she doesn't listen very well. My son was such a good kid until he was about 14 (when girls started coming into the picture). He got really mouthy and disrespectful. Anyway, I'm lost when it comes to her. Any advice about being a step-mom. HELP !!

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    06/06/14
    My step son is only 5 but the best thing I can say is for you to become her friend. The relationship between step mom and step child is very hard. Explain to her that you are a boss of the house because you are an adult. Just like when she is in school, the adults there are in charge. Try not to push the Mom word at all. Friendship will get you very far. If there is any major punishment that has to happen I would talk to her dad about him being he one to hand it down.
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    06/06/14
    Thanks for the advice Amy! I will definitely try that. The only thing about letting her dad do the punishment is that, he would let her get away with just about anything if it was up to him. He is not very good at making her mind. I am the one at home all the time with her and the one raising her pretty much (for the past 2 years). I will legally be her step-mom in just a few months. I feel like I should treat her (including punishment) the same way I would my own. I tried to back off and let her dad handle it and she was more out of control because she seen that he let's her get away with a lot of things. I know there is a fine line and I don't want to cross it but it's really hard when I'm the one who is with her majority of the time. Frustrated!
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    06/06/14
    That would make it hard of he's not willing to correct the behavior. I would definitely try telling her that she has to mind simply because you are the adult in the situation. My sister has two step kids that call her Mom and their birth Mom by her first name. One thing that still never changed is when she tried to treat them like they were her own in times of correction they always got angry. I learned from that. I also let my step son help set some of the rules. He is a little boy who has been through a lot in his young life so we have sat down and I've let him come up with some of the consequences for the bad behavior. They can't argue with a rule they helped create. Lol And it helps them feel a bit more secure about a situation they have no control over.
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      06/06/14
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      06/06/14
      Thanks for the advice Laura! I most definitely had that conversation with her already. She knows how much I love her and that I will never try and replace her mother. I'm here to fill in the empty spot in her heart and to be her step-mom. Only thing I don't like is that, when she is in trouble or she gets mad, she cries (ALOT) and she always says she misses her mom and wishes she was here. I'm a mature adult and I know she misses her mom and wishes she was still here with her but I feel like she uses that to hurt me because she does it most of the time she is in trouble. This step-mom thing is hard work !! :-)
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        06/06/14
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        06/06/14
        Dad and I sat down and had a long talk about this (a couple times). I let him know that we need to back each other up ALL the time. Also, that he needs to step in and do the disciplining as well so I'm NOT always the bad guy. It's a work in progress I must say. He does discipline her and he does back me up but he is the QUIET type and his reaction time is a lot slower than mine. It's so hard for me NOT to react when she is misbehaving (just as I would with my son when he was little). So the disciplining almost always starts with me but he is usually right there with me and adds a few things in as well. I would like to learn to keep my mouth shut and not react so fast....but it's a hard habit to break. Even though I am hard on her and make her mind, she is very lovey with me and tells me she loves me all the time. But, when she is mad, she is pretty hateful acting.
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          06/06/14
          When my step-dad came into the picture when I was about 8, I resented and hated him and we "bucked heads" all the time. My brother and I felt like he was trying to take the place of our dad. We hated that he tried to enforce rules on us and try to be strict. It took years for us to get along...all I can say is, don't try to take the place of her mom . Try to understand how she feels. Maybe try to sit down and talk to her, ask her how she feels. Don't just jump in as "Mom" with tons of rules and being really strict.
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          About Sandra Morris
          Current: Newark, Ohio
          Birth: May 10
          On Moms.com since: May 29, 2014
          I have one son, who just turned 21 and a beautiful grandson who turned 2 recently also. I am a new step-mom to my beautiful daughter Sheree who is 8 now. It's hard to start over and now with a girl to raise instead of a boy.
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