I have e-mailed you before about my SD16. She was allowed huge allowances with a 19 year old BF, got pregnant last summer, and it was all taken care of by BM.
Last week, on Wednesday, she got her driver’s license. My husband and I gave her my car, which is 6 years old, and I bought a new car. We had a family meeting on Thursday night, the next day, to determine rules for the car. SD had a complete attitude the whole meeting. Things got very heated. I did not say much until the very end. The whole thing was upsetting.
The next day, Friday, we find out at 11pm that she backed into a parked car, and not just any parked car, MY GRANDMOTHER’S CAR! I had heard DH on the phone very loudly from all the way upstairs and I was like, “oh, god, what now?” So when he tells me I basically lose my shit. I said she has the effing car ONE DAY! And I tell him I am not dealing with this, even though it was my grandmother, she has to deal with it, meaning SD.
Well, of course, BM handles it, calling my grandfather, working out the details. I was boiling mad and it ruined our whole weekend, save for Sunday.
My question is how do I develop better coping skills when things like this come up, because this is par for the course with SD. I know more issues are on the horizon. I would love for everything to just roll right off, but I have not been successful so far at that. And DH was like, well, at least she hit someone’s car we know, instead of a stranger. That brought me no comfort. What can I do?
Boy oh boy can I relate to your feelings. It makes complete sense to me why you lost your temper at this experience. It’s rarely one things that pushes us over the edge of our tempers, but a string of many things we do our best to try to talk ourselves calm. It also rarely works long term.
What can you do? Over the years, I’ve found that the best thing you can do for yourself is begin to get curious about why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling with a lovingly patient curiosity. I say it that way because it is about looking deeper than just at the situation. You’d have to be a robot to not have feelings about the single situation you described.
Here you and your DH give her a car (very generous) and she gives you attitude the first day (very ungrateful) and then has an accident with your own grandmother’s car (Very thankful your Grandmother is OK) and then the people around her handle it. Grrr!!! On your Behalf…Grrr!
Here is a link to an article that was previously on the Members’ site. I’m posting it on the free public list of articles because I’ve had a few emails about this and want to share. For much more discussion, support and other Stepmom on a Mission stories, Please join us on the site.
Nowadays it is hard to know how much of our frustration with teenage stepkids is because they are our stepkids or because teenagers of today are a new breed of teens—in many ways. Please see our favorite look about teenagers, “Get out of my life but first can you take me and Cheryl to the mall?: by Anthony Wolf. He is funny, wise, pragmatic and have a proven track record with so many of us.
Wishing you new levels of awareness and self-support from reading the article.
Kind Regards, Cathryn