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Stepfather to a teenage girl

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


Stepfather to a teenage girl

I’m a stepfather to a 17yo girl. I’ve known her since she was 11. We always had a great relationship. I suppose for a while I was her only real friend. We would always talk laugh play games. We shared interests with each other. I was proud of the relationship we had.
Now she’s 17 and I don’t know where how or even if I fit into her life.
I get the eye rolls the angry one word responses if she even talks at all.
I’m no longer anything really than someone with money and a car.
I do understand this is pretty common behaviour for teenage girls. Every article I read says so that they need and want their fathers involvement and attention.
What they don’t say is hey you’re not the father. Maybe she stopped caring.
It’s getting really hard for me to keep caring. I don’t want to give up but right now it’s hurting and it’s creating friction I don’t like between her mother and I and I’m scared it might end our relationship.
It hurts when mum and daughter are laughing in the other room and when I enter I feel like a bad smell.
It hurts that I’m shut out of her school life and social life.
Everything I read and know says a parents love is unconditional but as a step parent?
17yo seems otherwise happy. She’s doing well at school. Has a boyfriend which is I suppose love to a 17yo.
Her relationship with her biological father is almost nothing. Think she’s seen him 3 times this year but she doesn’t seem to be resentful. Quite the opposite I think she holds him in too high a regard considering he contributes nothing to her life.
Thoughts or advice?
Prolific scribe

Re: Stepfather to a teenage girl

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Hi @Username1234 

Maintaining relationships with teens can certainly be a tricky one! It is really wonderful to hear how important it is for you as a stepfather. And although it may not seem like it at the moment, I'm sure your stepdaughter really appreciates having you in her life. 

I'm wondering if you've been able to talk to your stepdaughter about wanting to spend more time with her? We have this article about communicating with teens that has some tips that might be helpful for that conversation. We also have Parent Coaching available if you wanted to have some 1:1 support too.

It sounds like you've been a really positive influence on your stepdaughter's life, especially considering she hasn't had much of a father figure in the past. Try to remember all those happy times you've had together when the teen eye rolls happen!