My boyfriend's daughter has been bad-mouthing me online

DEAR DEIDRE: MY boyfriend’s daughter and I had built a strong bond, I thought – until I learned she was bad-mouthing me on social media.

We have always got on well, laughing and joking with each other.
She is 15, her dad is 45 and I am 37.

Things changed when I moved in with them last January – she was a little more distant, and would occasionally kick off when we wanted some time as a couple.

But last week a family friend informed me she has been slating me online.

She sent me screenshots of her Snapchat story, where she’d written things like, “I wish dad would realise what a cow she is.” Yet to my face, she acts as nice as ever.

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I don’t understand. I have tried so hard, buying little surprise gifts and ferrying her wherever she needs to go.

Should I tell my boyfriend what I know?

DEIDRE SAYS: Just as you are adjusting to life as a stepmum, she will be learning to share her father with someone new.

These posts may not really be about you, but a sign that she is struggling with all the change.

She will have undergone a lot of upheaval after her parents split, so try to be understanding – and ignore the posts as much as possible.

Tell your boyfriend for support. If her behaviour continues, it would be best if he talks to her about her posts and sets some clear boundaries.

Carry on treating her as you have been. As she grows, she will realise how immature this behaviour is.

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