We just had a birthday for a 13 year old girl and she seemed ungrateful

United States
August 16, 2009 10:20pm CST
It's been quite a few years since my daughter was 13, I mean she's 31 now but I don't remember her having the absolute nerve to imply that I hadn't given her enough birthday presents. That was the case this past weekend with my daughters step-daughter. My daugher has been with her mother for a little over a year now and the mother doesn't have custody. We have only known the girl a little under a year so this is the first birthday we've celebrated with her. We just had the immediate family here and my daughter had worked for days and days and had so many problems burning personal DVD's of this girl and her life and activities since we've met her, added music, commentary and it was awesome, very professional I thought. And she did THREE of them for her and she got that along with a bag of gifts plus her own mother gave her $100 and took her to the mall to spend it and then took her out to eat alone. They took her out swimming at a local pool too. So we all bent over backwards for this girl and she wasn't impressed and even asked about the rest of the presents. I mean, geez, we don't have money to spare so we did the best we could with what we had and its not like we gave her junk. It was sort of a slap to the face. So here's my question, is this normal 13 year old girl behavior? Or is she a spoiled brat? It's just so offensive and her mother is no help at all because she's bi-polar and lacks the mom-gene anyway plus she has so many daughter guilt issues that she lays down and lets her daughter walk all over her. It's actually a sad and complicated situation.
3 people like this
5 responses
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
17 Aug 09
sounds like mom has been "buying" the kid's love and giving her stuff to make her care - and giving her the expectation of "stuff" rather than actual love - so that's the only way she knows of getting love... Having said that, time to put the foot down - say that she will only get the number of gifts of the people to give them - my mom only ever allowed us to invite our age, plus one, to any birthday party - and after we moved when I was 10, I didn't even have that many friends... better start now or she'll expect you to sell the farm to get her Christmas
3 people like this
• United States
21 Aug 09
I know but we need the mother to cooperate too and its frustrating because she won't or can't. We're even in family counseling together, all of us (well except for her daughter since we have no authority there) and its not just her that's affected. This whole getting her own way and walking all over her mother is affecting all of the rest of us. It's frustrating!
3 people like this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
21 Aug 09
you know, maybe you should sit with the other kids and "make" presents and sit her down too - telling her that home made gifts are coming from the family - and if she doesn't give she doesn't get.
2 people like this
@laglen (19778)
• United States
20 Aug 09
you hit the nail on the head when you described the mother. The girl walks all over her and so thinks she can to all adults. That was very rude behavior and until her mom makes it stop, it will only get worse. Next year.... no presents!
• United States
21 Aug 09
Unfortunately her mother won't make her stop doing anything. She doesn't think she can or she doesn't want to make waves since she doesn't have custody of her daughter but whatever the reason I'm afraid that the only thing that will stop it is to end the relationship with the mother and her daughter completely. I hope that won't happen but every time the girl comes to visit, it's not fun at all for anyone in the family.
2 people like this
• United States
18 Aug 09
WOW... I would have to say that my opinion is that because her biological mother lets her daughter run all over her, that she must have always gotten everything she wanted, and STILL expects that to happen, now that she is with your daughter. No offense, but she definitely needs to be put in her place somehow. I remember when I was 13, and I wasn't that way at all, but I do know spoiled girls that were like that, and it was becuase of how they were brought up. This is such a sad situation and I can tell you all spent so much time and effort to make her birthday special. She must be the type that could care less about the sentimental stuff, and just wants the gifts, you know? Or the money. Ugh...
• United States
21 Aug 09
Yes, it's frustrating to work so hard to make something special for someone and then to have it basically just blown off. Even with making allowances for age since 13 year olds are notoriously self-centered, I'm still amazed at just how very self-centered the girl is. I wish her mother could get over her guilt about past failures with her daughter so she can move on past this mess since what she's allowing to happen now affects the whole rest of the family, us, and not just her.
2 people like this
• Canada
20 Aug 09
It seems that the girl received nice things for her birthday. Presents plus $100 is a nice birthday for a 13 year old, at least in my opinion. It sounds like this young lady is lacking in manners. She reminds me very much of a child in my ex's family. We were at her birthday party, years ago, and she was opening presents. If another child even touched one of her gifts, she screamed at the top of her lungs and then whined about it more. What I remember most is when she opened a gift, didn't even have the paper all the way off the box and she whipped around to look at her mother and said, "AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! I HAVE THIS ALREADY!!!!!!!!" The gift was NOT from her parents. It was from another relative at the party. Her mother and father laughed about it. I would have been mortified if a child of mine had behaved that way. I'd have wanted to crawl under a rock. My girls were taught to always be appreciative of every single gift and to always say thank you. If it was something they already had (which DOES happen with gifts for children), we'd talk about it later - NEVER in front of the gift giver. I think to some degree, the step-daughter in your case IS acting like a 13 year old girl. A lot of young people today have a HUGE sense of misplaced entitlement. They think nothing of expecting electronic gadgets that cost in the many hundreds of dollars. They assume their parents and others will pay for that. However, having said that, she also does sound like she's been spoiled or "bought off" to keep her happy. Parents need to be parents and children need to be taught appropriate behavior. Kids at 13 sometimes view themselves as "all grown up" already but they are absolutely not too old to be taught some lessons. I wish you all much luck... establishing some rules and expectations for the girl will probably be a very good thing for all concerned.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Aug 09
Oh yes, if my daughter or my grandsons acted like that about getting a gift from someone at a party, they would have been in BIG trouble and I would not have laughed. That's awful. This girl, she is something else and we have tried so hard to include her in the family and on family outings. They even went to Disneyland in March and the girl only had a little fun and wanted to sit with her mother ONLY at a table different from my daughter and her two sons for lunch. She said she wanted alone time with her mother. It's a never ending list of troubles this girl has caused and a lot of it is her mother's fault. She won't BE the mother, she keeps trying to be her daughter's buddy instead since she doesn't have custody and it doesn't work. And it's negatively affecting all of us, it's getting more unpleasant by the day instead of getting better. I think it is partly that feeling of misplaced entitlement that you mention. I know I keep saying it, but this situation is so frustrating!
2 people like this
• Canada
21 Aug 09
You have every right to keep saying it, too, horsesrule... because I'm sure you feel like you're banging your head against a wall in trying to deal with her. When you related your Disneyland story, a lot of bells went off in my head. If the girl insisted on separating herself from the group for "alone time" with her mother, there's a good chance she's just working the situation to her own advantage. At 13, she has already learned full well that her mother is not an authority figure. She's someone that can be coerced and pushed around. Sounds like the girl also has resentment about being asked to become part of another family, no matter how much that family is welcoming her. When my girls' father and I divorced, he moved clear across the country before the paperwork was even finalized. So, I became the full custodial parent for them and he had visitation rights. During the VERY few times he saw them, he'd swoop in with a big present or, the last time they saw him, he took them on a Disney cruise and all he ever talked about was how much money he was spending to do it. Fortunately, my girls are not impressed by things like that so it didn't impact them too negatively (and 8 years later, he makes no effort to have contact with them anymore). But some kids will definitely try to "game" situations to their advantage when they can see a personal benefit -- especially in the case where their parents are divorced and can be pitted against one another. It sounds like she is rationalized that, if she is absorbed into a new family that will be able to establish some control (where her mother can't) then she losing her advantage position. I actually think that the help and counseling could be beneficial for the girl and her birth parents first because there seems to be a lot of unresolved issues there. Keep your chin up... you're all trying to help her and, hopefully, she will eventually understand and receive it!! In the meantime, vent here... it might do you a world of good to get things off your chest, even just typing to strangers.
1 person likes this
• Canada
22 Aug 09
I think you answered your own question when you described how the mother treats this little girl. By allowing the girl to walk all over her like that, the mother has set a precident, and now the little girl expects everyone to behave this way. I think she is an absolute spoiled brat for behaving that way.