Can I discipline my partner's daughter who is causing a rift between us?

DEAR DEIDRE: MY partner has got back in touch with his daughter but it has caused a rift between us.

She is 13 and had never known her dad but she had been asking her mum about him and decided she wanted to know him.

I’m 24 and my partner is 31. He has two children with different women but hadn’t seen either due to issues with the mums.

I was so happy for him when he met his daughter and he was over the moon.

Things haven’t gone well, though. She’s rude, swears all the time and climbs all over our furniture.

I feel I can’t discipline her because she’s not my child.

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DEIDRE SAYS: She is probably testing her dad out and he is avoiding telling her off because he feels guilty about being missing from her life for so long.

But allowing bad behaviour does her no favours long-term. The two of your need to agree reasonable boundaries then you can have a round-table with his daughter to agree house rules.

My e-leaflet on Stepfamily Problems will help and you can find support through Family Lives (

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