"My Stepdaughter Is Out to Get Me!"

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His Turn

Torn Between Two Houses

"Doesn't Barbara understand how I feel?" said Jim. "Everyone talks about how tough it is to be a stepmother. Well, how about a little sympathy for Dad?  

"I know I'm not good when it comes to disciplining Jessica. But I'm afraid that if I start issuing punishment after punishment, she's not going to want to spend as much time with me. And there's another part to this: Barbara and I have very different takes on discipline. She gets upset when Jessica bounces the soccer ball in the house. Well, that kind of thing just doesn't bother me.

"Look, I know Jessica provokes my wife, like when she doesn't put the dishes away after being asked, but other times I think Barbara exaggerates. When I'm home alone with Jessica and I ask her to do something, she's Johnny-on-the-spot.

"Jessica has always been Daddy's girl. And as difficult as Miranda is, I feel horribly guilty that I couldn't make my first marriage work for Jessica's sake. I get sick at the thought that she will grow up feeling I don't care about her. I know what that's like.

Continued on page 4:  His Turn, continued


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