How to Deal With Teenage Girls and Step Fathers

By Eric Benac
Teenage daughters may struggle to accept step fathers which may lead to depression.
Teenage daughters may struggle to accept step fathers which may lead to depression.

Raising a teenager daughter as single mother is difficult especially if you remarry and introduce a new step father into her life. Children often rebel against step parents and teen age daughters may chafe against a step father, especially if he is introduced to her when she is already in her teen years. Dealing with integrating your new husband happily into your teenage daughter's life will be a difficult process that takes coordination between you and your husband.

Discuss changes in parenting you want to make with your husband before you are married. Integrate this into your teenage daughter's life before you marry. Do this without explaining why these changes are occurring. This lessens the chance she will associate these changes with her step father, resenting him for them.

Limit your expectations of how the step father and your daughter will interact. Understand that he won’t take the place of her father. Don’t try to force either of them to expect that role or force them to interact.

Understand that things will progress slowly. Let your daughter slowly accept her step father as the days, weeks and months pass. Be patient as it may take months before she is comfortable interacting with him.

Be the disciplinarian in your family. Keep in mind that your daughter is more likely to respond to a biological parent. Avoid putting more stress on your daughter and her step father by keeping him out of discipline.

Integrate your husband into the every day life of your household. Make sure he is doing chores and contributing to the house, including investing in the home, buying supplies, cleaning dishes and more.

Create a predictable and organized schedule for your home, including events that integrate your daughter and husband, such as Sunday dinners or even a game night. Use these regular events to help create a familiarity and comfort between your husband and teen.

Encourage your husband if he gets discouraged. Don’t let him withdraw from your daughter or get angry or resentful. Persistence can pay off and it may help her warm to him easier.

Discuss any problems your teen may be having in a private and comfortable fashion. Don’t force her to talk if she is uncomfortable. Let her know you are open to discussion about her step father and take her complaints and problems seriously.

About the Author

Eric Benac began writing professionally in 2001. After working as an editor at Alpena Community College in Michigan and receiving his Associate of Journalism, he received a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.