I think there are two reasons Nick let Sophie away with murder and become such a spoilt child – he feels so guilty about leaving his first wife and baby daughter Abigail for me and he comes from a really poor background and loves to spend money on his kids.
We had a messy start – we started an affair when his wife was four months pregnant and he left her when his daughter, Abigail, was 8 weeks old. He tried to support her financially but he didn’t have much cash then.
Things got a bit better workwise when we’d had our two boys and just before Sophie was born Nick had an amazing stroke of luck and his business was bought, giving him a fantastic lump sum as well as a director position.
Abigail is a lovely, gentle girl who always loved her brothers and Sophie, despite things being constantly frosty between Nick and his first wife, who will hate me till the end of time.
Fair play to her. I can see her point.
Abigail and Sophie look like twins born 12 years apart but they couldn’t be more different in character.
I adore Sophie but from the moment she could make her wishes known, it was all about her
When Abigail was 13, Nick asked her if she’d like to move to a private school and she refused, saying she was really happy where she was.
She got a good degree and is now working for a major charity and when she got married two years ago simply wouldn’t let her dad go mad with money.
Her wedding dress cost less than Sophie’s prom dress, which probably sums up both girls very well.
I adore Sophie but from the moment she could make her wishes known, it was all about her. She was a spoilt child from very early on.
She was the toddler who wouldn’t share in playgroup, who screamed the place down if she didn’t win a game or get first choice of anything. Our boys had never been like that. There was an occasional scuffle or argument but they were easy going, happy and fairly compliant.
They’ve always been a bit wary of Sophie from and have both said they think Nick loves her more than them. I don’t think that’s true, but he can’t bring himself to discipline her.
By the time she’d started going to school she wore what she wanted, ate what she wanted and went to bed when she wanted
When she was tiny he would say things like ‘I’m giving her what Abigail never had’, but that wasn’t right because Abigail had never demanded what Sophie did – and I’m sure if she had, Nick wouldn’t have given in so easily.
By the time she’d started going to school she wore what she wanted, ate what she wanted and went to bed when she wanted and Nick wouldn’t listen to a word I said about the monster he was creating.
Our friend Lisa has five children and she’s the only person Sophie behaves for, because if she didn’t, Lisa would simply drop her back at ours and curtly tell her not to return until she could follow the family rules. That only happened twice and after that Sophie did exactly as Lisa said and adored her as well.
Sometimes when Nick was away for work I would be much firmer with her but within ten minutes of his return he’d be undoing all my efforts.
Sometimes that’s caused real problems between us but I find him really hard to resist when he says he’s only trying to make up for his own poor childhood and he does try to give Abigail and the boys expensive things as well, but they’re not really interested.
She didn’t want to work either in or out of school, but she still wanted all the designer gear and her dad gave her money for it
They all had jobs by the time they were 16 and both boys followed Abigail into university and are now working.
Not Sophie. She didn’t want to work either in or out of school, but she still wanted all the designer gear and Nick gave her money for it.
He had a pause for thought when she started running really wild with an older crowd when she was 13 and even more so when we found her in bed with a 17-year-old boy.
Nick went mad at him but his approach with Sophie was to buy her something nice so she’d settle down.
The next few years were very stressful – he’d buy her something, she’d behave for a week or two, then start staying out all night and not going to school. We’d get vague text messages but she wouldn’t answer her phone.
Once, a worried parent phoned me because Sophie was at a party at her home and had drank so much she was vomiting blood so we had to rush her to hospital.
The – private – school were constantly calling us in as other parents were complaining of her bad influence and because she turned up at school under the influence of drink or drugs. I don’t think I slept a full night for three years.
She started this mortifying make-up vlog which makes me cringe
She was approaching 17 and I was starting to believe that she was growing up a little, talking about a career in fashion, when I realised that she didn’t expect to have to study for this.
She started this mortifying make-up vlog which makes me cringe. Sophie is blond, petite and has great social skills but on camera she’s wooden and burbles on and on about nothing.
I sound mean but I can’t believe that Nick’s encouraging her to think it’s good. Then he told me she’d like to do an internship at Vogue magazine and asked me quite seriously if he could buy that for her.
I completely lost my temper and asked why anyone would employ a little diva with no qualifications when there are thousands of hardworking graduates queuing up for these posts and he was furious, but I’m right.
She’s been spoilt beyond all recognition and I just have no idea what to do
He should have backed me up years ago and ensured that Sophie, like our other children, knew how to behave, work hard and be grateful.
Instead we have a spoilt little princess who expects her own way all the time and never wants to put any effort in.
I love Sophie– she can be so funny and caring when she wants – but I worry that her dad has ruined her life, as she simply has no prospects.
She’s been spoilt beyond all recognition and I just have no idea what to do.
I’m worried sick that it’s too late to repair the damage and get her life back on track.
All names have been changed.