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Thread: Need some advice on the ministry/teenage step-daughter

  1. #1

    Need some advice on the ministry/teenage step-daughter

    Hello, I could use some advice. First of all, my husband is co-founder of a ministry. It's really small right now and he is looking to find some government grants so we can find a bigger church and get some programs started to help the homeless, and young people who are at risk. Adam, who is the founder, also has ties to the immigrant community. Do you have any idea how I can get the word out so that people can donate or I can find grants to help out the ministry? I have been praying to the Lord to point me in the right direction so the church can grow.

    Secondly, Mark was married for twelve years before his wife died during surgery. He and his late wife had a daughter, Ashlann. She has spent the last eight years with just her and her father. So, I can understand she'd need some adjusting time to me and to her father being married. I've tried to give her her space, but she kind of tries to pick fights with me and wants me angry with Mark. You see, we're kind of in a financial pinch right now, so I am going to try to get a job (I've applied a lot of places). Ashlann likes to have stuff bought for her, A LOT and I mean expensive stuff. Mark asked her to get a job and she flipped out. You see, she uses the whole "Well, you'd do it for Laura (that's me)" thing or "You treat me different since you've been with Laura" thing. She also sleep all the time! I'm talking like fifteen hours! She's bi-polar, but still I feel she needs to do a little something and I don't like how she wants to put me in the middle. Advice?

    God bless
    We serve God by serving others. The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige, and position. If you can demand service from others, you've arrived. In our self-serving culture with its me-first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept. Rick Warren
    [

  2. #2
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    Two good websites with helpful information:

    http://successfulstepfamilies.com/index.php
    http://nami.org/


  3. #3
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    WW4J,
    PLEASE Please please go to www.nami.org, there you will find a lot of help for parents and relatives of Bi-polar sufferers.
    I am a minister and my step son has Bi-polar type 2. Instead of bouncing for super up to super down, Bi-polar two type go from depressed to normal and quickly back down to depressed again. NAMI will provide lots of resources and guidance for you.
    I attended their 12 week course (one a week) and was blown away by the material shared and guidance provided.
    The sleeping 15 hrs is typical of someone in deep depression stage of BP. One of the necessary lesson in living and loving a bp sufferer is knowing when to hold the line and when to let her win.
    It seems that the dad of a girl like this is possibly an enabler because of the suffering they have gone through together. He may not MAKE her accountable for behaviour standards which actually leads to more depression in my opinion. Kids want to have their own way and be held to standards at the same time, it is a dynamic I find hard to understand.

    Disciplined people are uniformly more positive. Think about it. You can over do it, I have seen that and that, too, can lead to behaviour disorders, but generally speaking typical standards and requirements make for happier children.

    By the way your "Marks baby girl" quote under your name may be indicative of part of the problem. His daughter needs to be the baby girl you may want to consider being "Mark's Special Wife" or something.
    If you are competing for Marks attention with the daughter then there is a problem.
    You need to absolutely have a claim on "the adult female" attentions, and she needs an absolute claim on being "the daughter/ daddy's little girl" attentions.

    Just my offering, hope its helpful. No offense intended.

    Simon

    P.S. What is the age difference between you and the girl and how much older is your husband than you?
    Dragonfighter1
    Vivo est Ministro

  4. #4
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    Your web page homepage indicated that in June you were not dating anyone, thought you should marry "ERIC?" and now you are already married and are having trouble getting the family to adjust to the changes. If you are 23/24 your step daughter is, what, 16-19? and your husband is 36-ish(?) then its not hard to see that there will be a period of adjustments before things settle down.
    First order of priority is prayer.

    DF
    Dragonfighter1
    Vivo est Ministro

  5. #5
    Dragonfly, thank you I will check out the website. Baby girl is just an affectionate term, but I can change it, I just consider myself his "sweetie." Ashlann is his daughter and I understand that, I actually give them father/daughter time without me. I will check out the website though so I can learn more about bi-polar. I have been around depression, but never bi-polar. She is on medication, but I know I need to talk with those who have dealt with it.

    His daughter is 17 and I am 23, there is a twenty-four year age difference between Mark and I.
    We serve God by serving others. The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige, and position. If you can demand service from others, you've arrived. In our self-serving culture with its me-first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept. Rick Warren
    [

  6. #6
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    Thank you for responding so quickly. I see you have already taken the problem by the reins. That is good.
    The medication for BP is not a science. Especially in the younger types as their hormones make for the right dosage to be a big guess each time the doctor sees them.. I would recommend a doctor that specialized in BP NOT A FAMILY DOC. that way you can get her the best help available. DO please attend the NAMI training course and attend a family life conference. If you want to attend a Family life marriage conference please tell me. I can get you free tickets for you and your husband as I am on a leadershipo team with them. (And pastors go for free once I have chatted with them on the phone for 5 minutes)
    For that matter, any pastor in this thread that wants to go to a marriage conference for free just email me and I will arrange it for you.
    www.familylife.com
    Back to the thread,
    WW4J let me know and God bless you for your efforts to hald the Godly course.

    DF
    Dragonfighter1
    Vivo est Ministro

  7. #7
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    One thing I have heard on the Christian radio station is for step parents of older children to NOT disciple them. You haven't been there since day one...you haven't earned their respect. Your husband needs to deal with her. If she gives you a hard time walk out of the room. I image there is a huge amount of jealously there right now. huge! As old as she is she may not accept you until years later when she is adult. Its going to be tough. Pray for her. She will likely see you as trying to replace her mother. You need to make sure she understands you aren't. I know when my mom remarried after my dad died, I felt like my new step dad was trying to replace my dad, but he reassured me and my sisters he wasn't. No one can replace that lost parent. I would strive for having a respectful relationship with her but let her dad deal with any behavioral problems...and let him know it is his job still...not yours and shouldn't be yours.

    On the government grants for a bigger church...never heard of that. I thought with the separation between church and state that wasn't possible. I have heard of churches getting government grants for outreach programs but they have to follow strict government guidelines on that. To grow a church God has to be the center of it. Then it will grow and the people will come. Meanwhile he may have to get a full time job during the week or at least part time. our pastor of our old church had to do that. He had to work other jobs while our church grew because we just didn't have enough members to support him and his family full time. Growing a church takes time!

    Good luck on this!

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  8. #8
    Actually, I had a talk with Ashlann from the beginning that I was not there to be a step-parent. I strive to have a good relationship, like on a friend level with her. I told her that I understand that she and her father might need some alone time, and I respect that. I told her that I know she had a mother, and I am not there to replace her or even try to be her mother. I was very clear on that from the beginning because I never wanted to be a mother figure just more of a friend figure, someone she can trust, but not trying to be her parent. Hope I make sense.

    Hmm, well Mark said he has been searching for grants to help the church. He is on full disability, and if he works he will not be able to get it anymore. I am nearly done with school, so I wouldn't mind working for a while to help keep things moving.. It would give me a good chance to put that hard earned Sociology degree to good use eh
    We serve God by serving others. The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige, and position. If you can demand service from others, you've arrived. In our self-serving culture with its me-first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept. Rick Warren
    [

  9. #9
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    When I read your post, I was going to say, not to argue with your new daughter. As I read the other replies, I see Moonglow gave the advice not to discipline her. Discipline is a more appropriate term. What I learned with my own teen and young adult children was that even with my best intentions, it was a challenge not to fall into their outbursts and argue with them. Even when I did "talk" to them about what they were doing, I believe the Lord showed me I was pushing them away. It was my job to teach them how to live, and then to love them. It was not my job to be their conscience. That was the Lord's job. They have to feel they can count on you. You can tell them that till you're blue in the face, but that's not enough. They have to experience that.

  10. #10
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    In my previous reply, (#9), I wasn't saying not to discipline. I was saying that I would leave as much of the discipline as possible to the dad. You can pray about, privately discuss discipline, but let him administer the discipline. That will save some heartaches between you and your husband, as well as you and your stepdaughter. You can be there to love her, to talk to her, offer advice, etc.

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