My Stepdaughter Doesn’t Like Me!

Moody Teenage Girl

I feel my stepdaughter does not like me. She doesn’t acknowledge me and sometimes will go a whole day without looking at me or talking to me. She’s 13 and quite mature for her age. I feel like she doesn’t want me here and that upsets me as it’s my home as well. Is this normal for a stepchild to do this?


Adjusting to a new stepfamily can take some time. You and your stepdaughter may not click straight away. This is very normal and common within new stepfamilies. Some children become very overwhelmed with all these changes and new people in their lives.

There are so many elements that your stepdaughter is experiencing. She may feel abandoned by her parents because they split up. She may be thinking that she now has to compete with you for her dad’s attention and love. She may feel nervous and uncomfortable with the family dynamics constantly shifting and changing. Whilst this is all going on for her, your feeling rejected and not liked.

It might be that your stepdaughter is just so preoccupied with her own emotions that she hasn’t had time to get to know you yet. To establish yourself as a stepparent takes time. Take time to get to know her and be empathetic. Take an interest in her hobbies and encourage her to spend time with her mum/dad on her own and with the three of you altogether. Show her you are no threat to her relationship with her mum/dad.

You need to take of yourself and self-care should be important for you. I would suggest talking to your partner about how you feel. Maybe they could sit down with their daughter and explain that you’re not there to replace her other parent and you all need to respect one another and be kind to each other. Small steps, kindness and patience will help to build a bond with your stepdaughter. I hope this helps and you find the advice useful.

If you have a question you’d like Martin to help with email him submissions@stepparentmagazine.com

Martin Lock

Martin is a certified Stepparent Coach and a stepdad of over 20 years. His passion is using his experience to help and advise stepparents as they navigate the challenges of life as a blended family, including dealing with toxic exes, establishing boundaries and house rules, improving communication with partners and children, and the importance of self-care. He also runs the Facebook stepparent support group The Step Parent Family.