This blended family is struggling to speak to each other. The reason? Their teen won’t attempt to learn their shared language. Her Mom gives her an ultimatum, speak to your step-sister in American Sign Language or get out! Looks like this is the ultimate sign that Mom has chosen her new family over her own daughter.
A Blended Family
The Original Poster (OP) is a 49-year-old who recently married her 52-year-old spouse, who has a deaf 7-year-old daughter. She only uses ASL to communicate.
OP has a 17-year-old daughter who is a relatively trouble-free teenager.
She excels academically and has never created any issues beyond typical teen issues.
She Doesn’t Like New Family
However, OP’s daughter doesn’t like her new stepdad or step-sister.
Although she doesn’t act rudely, she essentially ignores them. For instance, she skipped her step-sister’s birthday party and only made small talk with OP’s husband.
Mom is Trying to Get Them to Bond
OP did try to get the family together for activities to strengthen the link, but she gave up when it didn’t work out.
She’s Not Actually Rude
OP also can’t really say anything to her daughter for not liking her new family, as she isn’t being openly rude or hurtful to them.
She’s Making an Effort to Learn ASL
OP started taking ASL classes when her relationship with her new husband when things started to become serious, and she is now pretty much fluent in ASL.
But OP’s daughter never tried, which OP says is okay because she doesn’t technically owe anything to do so.
She’s Babysitting Her Stepsister
However, things have changed recently as her daughter has started to watch her step-sister as a paid babysitter when the parents aren’t around.
She Needs ASL to Communicate
OP says her daughter needs to master at least the basics of ASL, given she is now spending time in which she is in charge of a small child.
She Didn’t Ask For This!
Despite OP’s recommendations to watch YouTube videos and learn ASL, her daughter refused to try learning even a few words, claiming that she was not to blame for OP’s decision to be in the life of a challenged child.
OP says her marriage has also been experiencing many problems because of this issue.
Her husband revealed that he is beginning to feel uneasy about his little daughter living with someone so distant that her step-sister won’t even try to interact with her.
It’s Affecting His Daughter
He has also mentioned that he is considering divorcing since he worries about how this will affect his child.
Given everything, OP had no choice but to set boundaries.
She Gave Her an Ultimatum
She told her daughter, who will graduate from high school next month, that she has to learn the fundamentals of ASL at least if she wants to live with OP for the duration of her college career.
Not Forcing a Close Relationship
OP mentioned that she doesn’t have to get along with her stepfather and stepsister or hang out with them, but she must be able to converse with them to be safe.
New House Rules!
OP made it plain that if she chooses not to, she is welcome to live in a dorm which OP would pay for, but there are some ground rules to follow when residing in OP’s home as OP and her husband split the cost of the property equally.
Daughter is Furious
However, OP’s daughter got angry and avoided OP. She hasn’t spoken to OP for seven days now.
OP took to Reddit to ask if she was wrong for what she did.
One Reddit user pointed out that OP, her daughter, and her new husband are all in the wrong, as each person is not acting responsibly.
Wrong to Threaten Kicking Her Out!
Another Redditor wrote, “You’re wrong to your daughter for marrying someone and forcing her to live with two people she doesn’t like. And now you’re double wrong for telling her you’ll kick her out of her house if she doesn’t learn a new language for a step-sibling she didn’t even want.”
Wrong Choice of Babysitter!
A third Reddit user shared that OP’s wrong for leaving her stepdaughter in the care of someone she can’t communicate with.
The comment read, “Also your daughter has been clear that she doesn’t want to have a relationship with her so she should never have been a choice for a babysitter.”
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The post “Learn It or Leave!” – Daughter’s Refusal to Learn Sign Language to Speak to Her Deaf Stepsister first appeared on Wealthy Living.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Krakenimages.com. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
This post is based on Reddit but the names have been changed.