Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Stepdaughter wants a room with a view

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My 16-year-old stepdaughter came to live with us full time rather suddenly. My husband and I made the best accommodations we could on short notice.

My house is small. She took the spare bedroom and we cleared out a huge dresser for her to use. Back at her mom's house, she was used to having a huge room and bathroom all to herself.

We gave our teen time to adjust to her new school and gave her all the support we could possibly give, but now that she has a little more freedom and is starting to forget assignments and is failing her classes, we have been cracking down on her non-school activities and lack of responsibility.

We just found out that, apparently, she has been crying to her mom about missing her old friends and so forth. Along with that, she stated that she misses her old room. Her mother then yelled at my husband that our house is too small.

It is clear to me that our teen is making excuses for her poor choices and performance. This house is my premarital property. My husband doesn't pay a dime for it, because he has so much debt. If it wasn't for me, he would be living with his parents. The fact that she has to share a bathroom and a closet is the pettiest complaint I have ever heard in my life.

I find it extremely disrespectful, selfish and downright hurtful that my husband is now taking their side, and essentially believes our house is not good enough.

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I feed them, and even bought her a car! I feel so used.

Am I wrong to say that they should be grateful that I welcomed them into my home?

-- Unappreciated Step-Mom

Dear Unappreciated: No, this girl should not be grateful. Our children are not supposed to be grateful for their many blessings until they get older and realize that their challenges were surmountable and their parents were occasionally right. And you feel your husband should also be grateful to you? He is not your ward -- he is your partner.


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