Dear Mr. Dad: I recently married a man who has a 13-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. He and I met long after his divorced, so it’s not like I caused the breakup. Still, the girl has never liked me and, whenever she visits, she is arrogant and rude. I’m trying hard to be pleasant and establish a good relationship with her, and my husband has tried to smooth the way, but to no avail. What should I do?
A: Would it make you feel better to know that pre-teens and teens are insolent towards their biological parents as well? And that in some twisted way, your stepdaughter is giving you a complement by treating you just like a “real” parent ? No, probably not …
As painful as it is, what you’re describing is pretty much the standard in blended families. And while it’s entirely possible that you and your stepdaughter may never be best friends, there’s no reason why the two of you can’t at least get along.