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When a child plays mom against step-mom.
Q: My daughter's step-mother is very controlling and she "runs the house" that my daughter goes to every weekend. Now my daughter is starting to rebel against me and treats her step-mother's opinions like they're the "word of God." I've tried to talk to her father regarding this but he won't stand up to his wife. He says it's no big deal, but it really hurts! She is not her mother; I am! What do you suggest?
A: I think that if you fight this battle too hard, you are likely to lose. Play it cool, and in time she will begin to challenge her step-mother and be more willing to listen to you. Right now she’s playing each of you against the other. Chances are, when she is with her step-mother, she isn’t as accepting of the way things are done there as she sounds when she tells you about it. If you do something and she informs you, “That’s not the way _____does that,” come back with something like, “Well, tell me how she does it, and I’ll think about whether it would work here.” Give in on little things. If the difference relates to something really important, stand your ground.