Ask Naja: My Stepdaughter won’t visit unless we PAY her!
My Stepdaughter got $450 for birthday and Christmas from her dad and I, and other members of my family (grandparents etc). Her dad has told her it has to stay at our house for two reasons. One being we don’t trust her mom not to take it from her, and also we would like to be with her when she spends it….. it is exciting to go shopping with the kids and watch them get stuff. This was fine at first, but a couple of weeks ago BM text my Husband and told him that his daughter wants the money and he needs to give it all immediately. He said no, that he wants it to stay here because he wants to be with her when she spends it, and whatever she decided to spend it on can then go to her mom’s house. BM responded by calling him names and he did not respond after that.
The next day he gets a text from his daughter basically saying bring the money to me now or I won’t come to your house my next scheduled visit. He said that isn’t a nice way to speak to your father and she did not reply. Sooooo tonight was supposed to be her visit with us and she sent him a text saying that because she feels she is being treated unfairly she is not coming, but she will still come on the weekend.
My question is, what does my Husband do/say on this weekend when he sees her? Does he scold her? Cave in and give her the money?? This is the first time anything like this has happened and I feel like the way we respond is going to be important and I don’t want to screw it up. And honestly to this point my Stepdaughter and her dad and I have had a wonderful relationship. Nothing like this has ever happened before…
More info: My Husband and I have been married for 10 years. He has one 14-year old daughter. I have 2 sons from a previous relationship and my Husband and I have two sons together. My ex and I get along, my Husband and his ex do NOT.
Below are a few of the responses from members of the Facebook support group. As you can see, our members are opinionated, funny and sincere. They give a wealth of input and they are right on the money.
UPDATE from the Original Poster: Hello again! So I thought I would give you an update…. my SD came this weekend, and we spoke with her. She insisted it was all her decision to not come which was hurtful. My husband told her that he fights hard to have time with her and when she did that not only was it hurtful but it also makes him wonder why he is fighting if she doesn’t want to be here. The compromise we came to (taking everyone’s advice into consideration) was that once her last name is corrected and she opens a bank account then she can put the money into her account. (Her mom changed her last name without the consent of my husband to just her last name on legal documents and her new husband’s last name in school!!) .The courts have ordered that her last name is to be hyphenated so we are waiting for that to be fixed.
As you can imagine it is a mess of a situation. I was hoping that my SD would grow up and be unaffected but I think that is naive on my part.
*Responses are copied directly from members. We do not edit or manipulate for authenticity.
I don’t even half like my dad and I would NEVER talk to him like that. Especially when he and his wife gave me the money in the first place. But she’s also too young to understand how irresponsible her mom can be as well. She is likely being told the opposite from her to make it seem like you all are trying to keep her money from her. Nonetheless, she can fall in line or fall in line. She is not the adult here.
I would take her to the bank over the weekend and open her a savings account. Address it as if you really want her to start saving the money so she can purchase something nice and big when she is ready. Maybe since she is 14 give her a challenge save as much as she can within the next 2 or 4 years and if you guys are able to financially match her for a first time car. I wouldn’t bring up the discuss with the mom but make it sound as if you really want her to learn responsibility with her money and saving. Most banks have minor savings that can be open joint with either you and her father or just her father. I have my son give me 10% of what he gets so I can put it in his savings account. He loves watching it grow.
I’d act like it never happened and carry on with life. The buck stops HERE. Dont negotiate with terrorist. 😂😂😂😂(I saw “The Naked Gun” again last night)
Are you guys confident she was the texter? I have a feeling it was BM
Talk to your stepdaughter when she gets there in person. There definitely needs to be a conversation to confirm whether she was the person texting and if so, to find out why she would make such a decision. She doesn’t need to be scolded, but she definitely needs to be made aware of how this made you and your husband feel and that she’s not calling the shots about whether a 14 year old should be allowed to walk around anywhere with $450…not only could that be dangerous, but it would be irresponsible. Also, a good time to give her a lesson on the importance of communication methods…texting is not the way you communicate regarding something of that nature (making demands, etc.) she needs to know she can come to you and talk to you about anything, but sending demanding texts is “what we not gone do,” …if it’s revealed that it wasn’t her or that the mom was encouraging her to do that, you don’t have to bash the mom, but you can tell her (our rules are our rules and if your mom would like to discuss that, she can do that directly) and say you’ll speak to the mom about it…this way, she’ll know about the boundaries….and once you have that understanding, you can stick to the original plan and take her shopping per the initial rules you set out.
I would still talk to her about what happened with that situation. Instead of ignoring it. Because if u do then she will think it’s ok. She a child. She makes no decisions. If it happened again I would put it in an account and that would be the end problem solved. Don’t ask about that $ anymore!
How do you give someone a gift with stipulations? I don’t understand that. Could have just given her the money when she was present with you all and took her shopping and let her buy what she wanted then. Seems all so unnecessary to begin with.
I know the feeling too. We buy everything for my stepdaughter. Everything and he pay child support. We use to send home her clothes. Every time. Every time I picked her up her mom, sisters or cousins use to have on her stuff. Mom mostly.then she is some old stuff I’ve never seen. Then when we wanted to go somewhere she had nothing to wear. Because he stuff was all across the city. So we put stipulations on almost everything. Because we the only one spending money on her. The child support goes to whatever the mom decides but it’s not her. So u have to handle things according to who u dealing with. Everyone don’t have sense. And don’t use $ wisely. I refuse to take care of a grown person