I am having issues with my bonus daughters: Advice?

Just put their crap in a pile … make it a point not to clean their messes …
If it’s that much of a problem, leave him. It doesnt sound like you have kids of your own… maybe its time to go with a guy who doesnt have kids.

I think this comes down to a respect issue. My 3 kids did not in any way, shape or form respect my boyfriend for a good year into my relationship with him. They walked all over him and if I am being honest, I unknowingly allowed it. What it boiled down to was a lack of respect on my children’s end. They were angry with me for not being with their father and in their eyes they thought they didnt have to listen to someone who wasnt their dad. Of course my children’s father had a huge role to play in this as well because in the beginning my kids would come home from visits with him and say things like “Well my dad said I didnt have to do things that I dont want to do”. So it could be their mother that is causing this behavior, a lack of respect OR simply their age. There are a lot of aspects to take into consideration here. My children now listen to my boyfriend better than they listen to me because they have more respect for him. It took us a bit to get to that point but he stood firm and he worked his way in little by little. If you are constantly disciplining the girls but not doing anything else with them, they are going to disobey. That’s how kids are. It took many nights of bringing my kids out to playgrounds, taking away toys or electronics when they didnt listen and way too many repetitive conversations about how bad behavior would not and never will lead to them doing things they want to do. We weren’t going to reward bad behavior and in the end, all of that worked in our favor. Take the girls out to get their nails done or something and while you are there explain to them why it is so important that they accept and respect you. Explain to them that you are not going anywhere and that if they do what they are told they will be rewarded. Look at it this way… if you worked your ass off in your career but got no where and weren’t recognized, would you still like your job? No. You wouldn’t. But if you worked your ass off and got a promotion it would be a different story. If kids see that they are being rewarded and praised for little things (even if we feel it should be common sense and they should be doing it anyways), it motivates them to do it more.

Look up healthy parent/ child boundaries

If it was me, I would take it away the next time they leave them out after you asked them to put it away. Keep it for a couple days until they can appreciate that there are rules that come with the privilege of toys and iPad/tablets!

Honest to God sounds like normal tween girls. I was exactly like this at their age. Didn’t go away until I was probably 16, and I got mouthier as the years went by. We ALL go through that phase. It’s normal.
Why the hell does everyone jump on the “omg. Kid doesn’t do what I asked - must be ADHD” bandwagon. If their teachers haven’t expressed concerns to the kids bio parents, chances are they’re just being normal (for want of a better word. I’m tired) kids.
You can’t get them tested. You’re not their parent. You can, however, take their devices off of them until they learn how to unplug cords and turn off lights.

Sounds like typical kids to me. If both parents aren’t on the same page they will take advantage. What works in my house is they get a weekly allowance to do chores and general tidying up. They get their allowance docked if they don’t do something. So if the dog doesn’t get fed by 8:30 whomever was responsible for that chore gets $ taken out of their allowance. My boys learned pretty quickly that if they lost their allowance, they did not like it… especially if the other one got theirs.

Ok so 1st things first every child is labeled adhd in this wonderful world we live in and 2nd I go through this with my 16 yr old step daughter I think they take it as being picked on but in all honesty you will be dealing with this until they move out or no longer visit you are only step mom and it doesnt matter what you do or say in their eyes your a threat and you just have to understand as frustrating as it is you may not know it now but you are probably their stability so try not to bitch and complain about them all the time I know its hard but between them and their father it gets exhausting hearing about their faults on a regular basis you are unfortunately not their mother so you can only be a positive role model in their life as far as everything else it’s up to their bios to make the behaviors change or explain the rules and enforce them . I wish you lots of luck on the tough journey of step parenting

People are saying “they aren’t your kids” are the same ones who wouldn’t let a step teenager run all over them. If you are helping take care of them, you have a say as well.

If they don’t shut things off or unplug them take them away. I got tired of yelling and started unplugging and taking away things(lamps, tablets, phones) i took away plugs to video games. They had to earn everything back

If they get pocket money use it. If lights or chargers are left on when not needed I take some money off what they get as pocket money. I want them to know the value of money and how little things like leaving lights on or the fridge open costs me money.

Been doing it for three weeks now and the last five days I haven’t had to take anything from their money.

You can’t do anything. You’re not the parent. You don’t have medical authority, you can’t even talk to their teachers without both parents consent. (I know it happens. But if the other parent finds out & wants to press privacy issues they can get the teacher & school in a lot of trouble. I’ve done it.) Dad needs to step up & be a parent. That includes disipline & medical care. It sounds like he doesn’t want to be a father. He wants you to take on the parental role. Since you don’t have that legal authority & neither parent wants to you don’t really have many options. Stay & deal with it or leave.

I agree that the husband needs to have your support and you need his support in this situation. However they are too old for you to still be doing for them. I don’t understand a big deal about the phone chargers being left in the wall. I have like 17 chargers in my house and they stay plugged in all the time so for that reason, I believe you’re just nit-picking but I do understand your feelings about kids not listening. My daughter has to be told like 3-4 times before she will do anything she’s asked to do. You have to remember their routines are very different so maybe try having fun with them or doing something special with them when they first come Over instead of immediately jumping into chores they have to do/complaining about things. They will look at you differently if you make a conscious effort to spend time with them. Good luck!


Until your husband is on the same page nothing will change. Maybe you should take a weekend away while they are there and let your husband deal with them for a few days. He may realize what you are talking about after that.


It takes time. They need to know that you wont do it for them. My bonus daughters are 9&12 also. They have a chore chart that changes every week or 2. Of they dont do their chores (which is their choice) they dont get electronics. If they dont wash their clothes, then they dont have clean clothes. Of course, we have been working with them on this for 6 years. I had to sit my husband down and tell him that the kids were old enough to start helping keep the house tidy and that it was too much for just me to do. Be patient and breathe.

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The biggest problem seems to be that your husband hasn’t given you that backup and authority in the girl’s eyes. ADHD is something I wouldn’t even consider until the parenting and authority has been established. Kids can find routine and authority hard to follow when the adults in the same home aren’t even on the same page. I myself, am I stepmom. So I get the struggle. But if your husband, their father, is not backing you up… the girls will never give you that respect and attention

You are already at a disadvantage because they are your husbans from another relationship so they probably are perfect to him and he wants to spoil them while they are with him . however you have to draw a very clear line .ask them 1 time to do a thing then if they dont the electronics plug will go on lockdown until they do whatever . explain your plan to hubby. The bonus kids will pit you against him if they can . they will try every trick in the book . not evil its just the kid of it .good luck .you must be fair and firm . no variance between your kids if bonus gets a electronic punishment so do your lil darlings if they misbehave

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I leave lights on and chargers plugged into walls. There is a chance you are anal retentive and need to learn to pick your battles. They are teens and you’re expecting them to act like little soldiers. Guess what? Parenting is exhausting. Maybe you should focus more on what they do right instead of their shortcoming. As for their father, he’s their dad. Maybe they’re spoiled. Maybe it’s guilt driven. Whatever the case may be, be careful or you run the risk of alienating all of them and being the wicked step mother. You can only control your own behavior and reactions. Maybe if you adjust your expectations on the time they’re with you, you won’t feel so frustrated. When they’re grown and gone you will have an immaculate house once again. What will you miss about the girls being around? If the answer is nothing then THAT is your problem. Not the messiness.


Is there other children in the house ? And do they follow your rules ? I would video the whole day and at the end of the day watch the video find out if they are being brats or if you are just nit picking ! Have you studied up on the effects of the meds you are talking about ? I think maybe that you all my need counseling it’s tough starting new families

10 minute huddle every morning after breakfast. Each person shows up with their own list. Mother has master list. Each person gets to stand up, and tell the others what they got accomplished yesterday, what they plan to do today, and what road blocks are stopping them from living their best life. It is everyone’s duty to applaud wins for the team. Mother gets to add goals. Others get to add tasks to their lists to accomplish those tasks. If a child needs help or extra comfort or support, side table it to discuss after the huddle so that they get one-on-one time with you.

Do you have the balls to take there stuff they leave out put that stuff in a trash bag and put it up tell they do the right thing and no fit about it being theres if they did not spend there money for it stand strong in your home do not let kids rule you

I have a 12&13 year old that I adopted that are from my husband’s first marriage. Things won’t change unless your husband and you support each other 100%. If your husband doesn’t support your efforts at teaching them responsibility and such, take a step back. It’s hard, but you don’t need the stress. He will realize things in time, and it may help. When I say take a step back, I definitely don’t mean to just ignore them. But be there for the fun things and basics such as food, etc. Part of the issue is them going back and forth to two homes that expect two different things. It is an adjustment, but they still should respect the rules at either house. Just take a step back, which will force your husband to step up. Take the time that you now have to paint nails with them, watch their favorite show, etc. They will also see you in a different light, so that will help things too.


Well two things, everyone here at some point or another has Googled symptoms of something. Frankly I would be quite pissed off as well if my husband was telling my kids have ADHD and your just assuming that so the kids can get tested. Second I’m not sure if you’ve married before or not either way doesn’t matter, if your going to be this glorious dictator like my dad still, your marriage is going to suck and probably be over before you know it. Pick your battles. Once they run out of clothes they might figure it out, you may also have to show them how you would like their help around the house and walk then through it. As for your husband, sit down and talk about the concerns your having don’t bring up anything to do with well I think they MIGHT have ADHD. Just sit and talk and discuss about how things need ti be done around the house and you would like their help in doing so. Also come up with age appropriate chores for then, and what there punishment should be. I am always on my husband’s case about leaving the bathroom lights on, it drives me CRAZY but he pays the electricity bill I don’t and our bill is never over 80 bucks, so I can’t complain.

A lot of people think ADHD when it is not always the case. My daughter’s youngest was diagnosed as ADHD and was put on medication,at schools request, with no good results. My daughter took her to a different doctor who said she did not have ADHD but she did suffer from anxieties. He works with her and teaches her coping skills and the improvement and change in her is unreal. Maybe your daughters have some anxieties,which is not uncommon in kids from split homes, and need someone to help them figure out their feelings and how to cope with things they can not control in their lives. As hard as it can be on a step it is a lot harder on the kids sometimes.

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They are almost teenagers and too old for you to raise. Stodoing he extra stuff for them you have already told them what you expect. If he dog is their dog they need to feed it or give the responsibility to your husband to feed the dog. If he starts coming home and see all their mess he will clean it or say something to them. Good luck!

We used to load $10 each on a Walmart gift card and gave them each a check register with $10 balance. When the did their chores…went above and beyond…we’d add a dollar figure for each to their balance and when they didn’t do their chores or talked back etc…we’d deduct money. After 2 weeks, they had the option to go use the gift card or save it and let it add up. It helped with their behavior and also helped them learn that money doesn’t grow on trees and you have to work for your money. Too harsh :woman_shrugging:

Yes have them tested. I adopted my sons. The youngest one was very disrupted in class. They almost threw him out of kindergarten. I got him tested and he did much better in school. The medicine helped his mind and body slow down enough to learn. He graduated high school. And went on to trade class for welding. He is now 37 and has twin daughters.

Go somewhere else when they come over and let him clean up after them.

Take their phones and electronics away for everyday they dont complete their chores. Thats what I do. I refuse to remind mine everyday. And make a rewarding fun trip if they do it the whole week without being reminded.

Turn off the wifi. That’s the only thing kids cant live without these days.


When u unplug those chargers hide them. Unscrew the bulbs in their rooms.

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If you pick up a charger that belongs to one of their phones put it away I’m in the phone will go dead sometimes you have to outsmart them if they have ADHD or are hyperactive they need meds to calm them down so that they can deal with school my granddaughters are that way and they’ve just gone off their meds and you’re in high school and they can now monitor their own behavior

tell the that you are going to throw it all away just hide it in a place they will never look and when they ask were it is you just tell them its in the garbage maybe next time you will put it a way

Where is your husband? Stop cleaning! Let him see it. Go out with your friends for one night let him take charge. Let hubby see the real issue

Stop doing all the extras. My son is 7 and can do his own laundry and he cries through the whole thing. I had an empty tote that if I found the kids left a mess it would go in the tote and they had to earn it back. Phone chargers are fun with this one. I also turn off the wifi if my point isn’t being made. Sometimes just making their life a little harder makes them see what you do for them. I have 2 autistic nieces and they are chore masters because they love checking boxes.

Go on strike!!! No meals, no laundry, no sweeping no mopping no dishes no clean bath tub or toilet cleaning,your husband can’t see all that you do. So let it go, let him see it.

First of all, you can’t change anything until it wants to be changed. It’s obvious your husband has blinders on when it comes to just about everything. If you can’t get him onboard…then nothing is going to change and you are just wasting your time and energy. If he refuses to listen - then pack your things and leave.

What the fuck is a bonus daughter?

What is your goal here? Why don’t you schedule an away /evening night out, when they are over. See a friend or family member, yoga, gym, book club. Dad doesn’t want to have boundaries or rules in place and your just miserable,( stop )take your time for yourself, be happy,color, or bake do a craft with the girls…forget about the chargers or cleanup. Figure out your place as a friend, or mentor. Your not the disciplinary keeper, don’t take on that role anymore. Let those parents worry about their school and grades. do less chores, less complaining…he will notice. Keep smiling and talking about new things you’ve discovered books, art/paintings, new friends. Pack up the girls stuff dirty, their mom uses you as a housekeeper, send them back with dirty teeth and unwashed hair, not your problem, make it clear and stand firm that the girls have been told over and over and your done asking/ and being the bad guy. Have more fun days and relaxing days with dad making breakfast or getting donuts. I see you now finding them opening up more and having a better time. Schedule something in the morning / dad can take them somewhere by himself, meet up later, take pressure off yourself and have a plan. Call a work colleague with similar interests. Change the routine. I’ve been here, 12 years. When I realized they pushed my buttons on rearranging the furniture everytime they came over. One day my friend said why do you let that bother you? I said I guess I feel it’s unnecessary and I cant understand why they feel the need to move it around. My friend said stop, let them move it around when you dont react it will stop. So from that day forward I let them rearrange the dishes, the furniture, pots and pans. You get tested. I hope this helps.

My bf tells his girls all the time that I’m basically their step mom and that they need to listen to me. I mean his girls adore me anyway, so if I ask them for help they do it. They are 7 and 4 and they’re starting to learn how to clean up after themselves because they make a LOT of messes lol. One day they spilled a drink on our floor because they were running and not paying attention, so we had them mop it up like big girls. I’m honestly not ready for them to grow up yet, but they need to learn early on that they’re responsible for their own messes and actions.

Fuck them kids
And fuck him too
If you’re Tired of the dad letting kids act this way bc they want their kids to like them and be their friend
Stop cleaning up after them
Stop doing their laundry
9 and 12 year olds are capable of doing their own chores
Let that electric bill go sky high
When cleaning your home everything they do not put up put in the trash
If they wanted it and it’s important to them they will put things up
And when they are hungry put a loaf of bread and bologna on the table

Remember you are an adult and his wife
And he should treat you with that respect
Not the maid and cook
And if the girls don’t respect you as his wife then stop doing shit for them they have parents

I’m a mom of 6 grown productive children and now empty nester. They all hated me at some point bc I was never as lenient as their father but now that they are grown they thank me all the time
Tough love never failed me

But please give food & water to the dog

Have them to a doctor first to see if they are having a medical or mental problem if they are fine if still doing it put their things in a bag don’t give them their thins for a week they have to learn responsibility you are not their maid