My stepdaughter is 13. I've been in her life since she was 9. Her mom died when she was 7, but her parents weren't together or married at the time.
At first things were shaky, but not bad. Then we got married and when people would start saying our daughter when referring to her and she would flip out. One day she shouted at my mom for telling me I had a very good daughter. She also cried and said I'm not her mom, she has a mom. She hasn't made a Mothers Day card for anyone but her two grandmothers (her bio moms mom and my husbands mom). She doesn't call my parents her grandparents and doesn't like going to their house. It wasn't bad until they started calling her one of the grandkids, then she would get upset/act out.
She started a new school last year. They don't know the situation like her old school did and they will say her parents, instead of her dad. It's gotten her into trouble because she tells the teacher she doesn't have parents anymore, she only has a dad. She told one of her teachers that I'm not her real mom or her real parent, I'm just her dads wife. It's exhausting and neither of us likes asking people to stop referring to me as a parent/mom because it makes me look like an evil stepmother, but my stepdaughter will quite literally cry. She told her counselor that she doesn't like people calling me her mom or parent because of her mom. She said she wants people to know who her real mom is. And she hates when people think I'm her mom. Help!
This is simpler than you think it is. First, don't expect her to consider you her mom. That means, don't expect a Mother's Day card, or a birthday card. In fact, encourage her to remember her mom. She wants to feel loyal to her mom, so let her. Get some pictures of her mom and frame them for her room. Ask her dad and family to tell her stories about her mom. This might annoy you, but keep it quiet. Let her feel that her mom is still with her.
Next, when she's good, have your husband tell her that her mom would be proud of her. You want to reinforce any good behavior from her, even if it's little things. Even if it's tiny things. Just make sure she gets lots of good attention when she's good. She'll come to want that good attention and will repeat the behavior.
Also, correct your family and the teachers and principal. Call them up and have a separate conversation. Just tell them that she's sensitive about this, and to always refer to her as a step-granddaughter, for example. Have them say that they are glad she's come in to their lives and she's the best step-granddaughter anyone can have. Have the teachers and principal refer to you as the step-mom. They can do that.
It's good that she has a counselor. You can also see he counselor separately and ask for advice.
And ask her what name she would like to call you, so she has something to call you. Ask for her advice. Tell her it's okay to call you by your first name, or that you can choose a nickname together.
Ask her about getting into a summer camp and an after-school program that she might like. Ask her what her dreams are, or what would be special for her to do. If she likes acting, get her into summer theater. You want something that is all her idea, but that you can support. That way, she will learn self-esteem and have something she can accomplish.
She's going through teenage hormones. It's going to be hard. At some point, someone should take her to a doctor and get a birth control implant, so she doesn't try to solve her problems by getting pregnant.
The only reason I feel I can relate to this is because I recently lost my dad. I am positive your daughter doesn't have anything against you, she probably likes you a lot and you make her dad happy. But losing a parent is very very hard. And I for one am always worried I might forget him. I know its silly but it's a personal thing. I understand why she is rebelling because at 13 it's a tough thing. She doesn't want anyone else to forget her mum either maybe? Because maybe she's worried everyone else will start replacing her mum with you. Which of course will never happen. Maybe talk to her teachers, or ask her husband to. Explain your situation? I don't think I helped much but I tried to see where she is coming from!
Normally, parents will rely on their instinct when dealing their misbehaving child. Most often, a parent can react negatively to a child's bad behavior. Disciplining on a normal day can involve a lot of yelling which is not a positive thing to do. Authoritarian discipline wherein punishment is applied can also do more harm than good in the long run. Punishing a child with grave consequences can also have negative effects on a child. If a parent does not correct his or her own discipline methods, the child's behavior will not significantly improve. The child's self-esteem and social skills can be affected. You can learn the effective discipline techniques from the book which you need to implement early so you will not experience difficult parenting issues later on.
This child and she is still a child, will always be a stepdaughter and you need to tell the school your her stepmom and your parents need to know she won't accept them as grandparents and she is not there grandchild. She needs to grow up and realize how lucky she is to be accepted as a grandchild and to respect the fact that people make mistakes and they don't mean any harm. She also needs to know no one on this earth could ever take her mothers place,and no one is trying to do so. She needs her father to teach her to respect you and your parents,who care about this child. Tell her i am not and will never try to be your mom or take her place, but i am your fathers wife and your stepmom, so try to remember i am not trying to be your mom or replace your mom, that is something you need to try to understand,and if you want people to know who your mom was then talk about her keep her memories alive,and show some respect for the people around you who care about you
She is just a teen and she lost her mom at a young age. I went through this same thing with my step father and now im 21 and were best friends. She is just young and the only thing you can do is be there for her. I know that is hard but she will grow out of it. Shes 13, I was awful in those teen years. Just be there and don't force yourself into it, just be around. The mother thing, there is nothing you can do about that. It is out of your hands. It is something she has to deal with and grow comfortable with. She is still coping.