WWYD? Requarding safety issue of DS with DSD

(44 Posts)
LouiseSmith Sun 16-Feb-14 22:52:30

More of a step kids post, but putting it here for traffic. Worried mumma.

My DP recently moved in with me, and DSD comes to stay 3 out of 4 weekends a month. When they moved in we re decorated the kids room to things both DSD and my DS would like. Involved them both as mush as possible in the choices. Life has been good, a few teething problems to be expected.

This weekend DSD tried to push my DS off the step ladder to their mid-sleeper bed, I was there so I tried to deal with it. But DSD lied to me (despite the fact id just seem her do it) she then continued to lie to DP for the next 45minutes. No real resolve, she maintains I'm evil lying step mum (damn you Disney) and she can't remember what happened.

She has been told off had a few toys taken away, but I'm terrified about her xoming back next week. I can't exclude her it's unfair, and she's only a child, but my own DS must come first surely? What would you ladies do?

DSD is 6, and DS is 4 btw

exexpat Sun 16-Feb-14 22:56:36

This kind of thing is hardy unusual between siblings (whether birth, step, adopted or whatever), and you can't keep them apart permanently in case it happens again.

The main thing is, did DP take your word for it and back you up in imposing a punishment? If she realises that you and DP present a united front on these things, with any luck she will eventually stop trying to push the evil stepmother line.

If he didn't back you up, you have more serious problems.

harriet247 Sun 16-Feb-14 22:57:21

My older sister did worse than that to me on a pretty much daily basis tbh. I tjink to some extent that is very very normal behaviour! Dp was telling me only last week he used to punch his brother in the face and spit in his mouth when they were sharing a bunk bed and in turn his brother would climb up and fart in his mouth. Thick as thieves now

What was the context? My twins rarely fight, but there have been times when one has elbowed the other off something or shoved the other, and occasionally there are little scuffles and tears. I never get into 'lying' conversations with them about it, just deal with it quickly and decisively comforting the injured party and then moving on. Sometimes kids do shitty things to each other, but do you really feel that she poses a serious risk to your ds? Need more context to nderstand, but I'd be more concerned with the fact she was able to whine on to dp for 45 mins. Is he backing you up/are you working together? How does your ds normally get on with her?

AgentZigzag Sun 16-Feb-14 23:01:59

I'm not sure either should come first, they should be treated equally shouldn't they?

I would say it's relatively normal for some 6 YOs to lie to get out of trouble, although isn't going on at her for 45 minutes about it a bit long? It'd be very drawn out IMO, you have to give them a way out so they can tell you the truth, for a 6 YO to keep lying all that time it must have been very intense and won't encourage her to tell the truth in the future.

I would keep them under close supervision and deal with things firmly and fairly each time they come up. If your taking toys away as punishment it's good to have lots of opportunities for them to win them back (which is similar to the lying thing and giving them a chance to be good in your eyes).

It might be disturbing for her to be staying somewhere else where she has to share attention with another child, worry about discipline and shit when you've all settled together?

RatUpADrainpipe Sun 16-Feb-14 23:02:45

but my own DS must come first surely?

Umm - this is an awful thing to say. You are supposed to be a 'merged' family where everyone is equal.

Would you like it if your DP said that your DS came second to his DD?

harriet that's so awful yet hilarious. I had a friend whose sister would wipe her bottom then call him, telling him she had something for him, and then chase him with the pooey tissue....

AgentZigzag Sun 16-Feb-14 23:03:39

Yeah, my brother did hideous stuff to me too, he's still a wanker now though.

oh, did her dad go on at her for 45 mins? hmm

totally agree with AgentZigzag

NinjaCow Sun 16-Feb-14 23:12:36

I was utterly evil to DSis1. She did the same back to me, we were actually best of friends but also worst of enemies iyswim? We're all very close now.

Tbh, I'd be more worried that you keep asking her about the 45mins thing. If my DC continue to lie, I tell them "I saw you do, that's final.' They can continue lying as much as they want after that but both DP and I will not engage and will usually ignore it, or remove ourselves from the situation.

TheScience Sun 16-Feb-14 23:15:46

Kids fight/hurt each other. I doubt your DS's safety is at stake.

45 minutes for an incident you witnessed seems bizarre. Surely you just say "I saw you do it, the consequence of pushing him and lying about it is xyz".

No, your DS doesn't come first. They are both young children and should be treated equally.

intheround Sun 16-Feb-14 23:18:00

Sounds like it has been blown out of all proportion . My two squabbled and fought regularly at that age. Its normal for siblings full or step, to do so.
To go on about it for 45mins has made it worse. It could have been nipped in the bud straight away then it would have been over and done with.

dietcokeandwine Sun 16-Feb-14 23:19:31

This is totally normal sibling behaviour IME (9yo DS1 has blatantly denied doing similar kinds of things to 4yo DS2 even when I have been in the same room and have seen it and he knows damn well I have seen it).

The way you deal with it is you are tough but matter of fact, as calm as possible (I saw what you did, there is no point denying it, you don't push/hit/kick/whatever is the misdemeanour, you say sorry to X, don't do it again type reaction). Apology is given and accepted and then you move on.

The 45 minute debate about it sounds a bit excessive. Is DP backing you up? It sounds to me as if this has been built up to be more of an issue/significant than it really is...

MrsBungle Sun 16-Feb-14 23:24:17

This sounds quite normal to me - don't over-react!

Floggingmolly Sun 16-Feb-14 23:26:49

You're terrified of her coming back next week? hmm
It's kid's stuff; she's six. You make her sound like something from the Exorcist, poor kid.

WilsonFrickett Sun 16-Feb-14 23:32:14

I think you massively overreacted. I was genuinely shock when I got to the bottom of the op and saw DSD was only 6.

She pushes him, you tell her off, don't get into a debate about telling the truth or not, you move on.
After she's protested her innocence for more than 10 minutes there's really no way back, is there?

My only real concern her would be if DP didn't back you up. Thats pretty important. Being terrified of her coming back though is just silly. She's 6.

BobPatSamandIgglePiggle Sun 16-Feb-14 23:36:11

Massive over reaction. A simple "we don't push, it's dangerous, say sorry please" should have sufficed

Neither child comes first.

Adeleh Sun 16-Feb-14 23:44:38

You are overreacting, but don't beat yourself up about it. It's a huge adjustment for you too to have a blended family and it's bloody hard. Looks like you're focussing on this incident too much. I'm sure you would never let your DSD feel that your DS comes first with you. V hard indeed, though, not to feel inside that your own children come first. It's natural. Just do everything you can not to let DSD sense that that might be the case.

BrianTheMole Sun 16-Feb-14 23:45:50

Not sure, my dc have certainly done things as stupid as that so thats pretty normal. My 6 yr old does lie, but she confesses very quickly, within minutes. I think that I probably put it to her in a way that she feels able to tell the truth. Maybe your dsd is feeling a little insecure.

exexpat Sun 16-Feb-14 23:47:31

Think of it this way: what would you do if they were both your biological children? You wouldn't be thinking of banning the older one from the house (I hope).

ComposHat Sun 16-Feb-14 23:47:54

I really can't see this ending well.

It seems that both of you have got to be even-handed, consistent and 'blind' to whose child it is. You and your partner need to back each other up too.

The 'my child is the most important thing' attitude will get you nowhere fast and will be picked up by the children and be resented/milked for all it is worth.

Chippednailvarnish Sun 16-Feb-14 23:48:39

How long have you and your partner been together?

NigellasDealer Sun 16-Feb-14 23:50:54

why should your own child come first?

AwfulMaureen Sun 16-Feb-14 23:51:00

OP another here to say that this is normal sibling behaviour. My two DDs do positively evil things to one another....they love each other.

There is no need to panic and think your DSD is out to get your DS..it's normal!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Sun 16-Feb-14 23:54:23

Your ds will do worse to her at some point if he hasnt already, and she'll do worse still. Its normal family life tbh. My sister battered me with the fire poker if i even looked at the remote control.

LiberalLibertine Sun 16-Feb-14 23:55:12

I really thought you were going to say they were teens?!

6&4, this is normal, poor kid.

macdoodle Sun 16-Feb-14 23:55:17

Another hideous step parent post. Jeez. She is in a strange environment, where a strange boy sees more ofher dad than she does, then she is berated for 45 mins for normal sib/kids stuff. She is 6 FFS of course she lied, was probably terrified she wouldn't be allowed back to see her dad. You sound precious and a total bitch, get a grip. No wonder step parents have such a bad name.

LiberalLibertine Sun 16-Feb-14 23:56:07

And YABU calling yourself a worriedmumma

macdoodle Sun 16-Feb-14 23:56:23

Oh and I thought she was going to be 16 and him 2, as well. They are both little kids you need to get some perspective.

SingMoreWhenYoureWinning Sun 16-Feb-14 23:58:41

YABU. Terrified about her coming back? Really??

I too was astounded when I read you were talking about a 6 year old. I thought it was going to be a 14 year old dsd and a young ds or that sort of age difference.

I have a 6 and nearly 4 year old. They fight, push each other and have been known to fib about it.

It's quite normal behaviour (albeit not to be condoned)

Devora Mon 17-Feb-14 00:00:06

Sounds completely normal to me. I think you just need a bit more experience of what children do to each other...

Adeleh Mon 17-Feb-14 00:01:27

That's pretty harsh, mac doodle. OP is in early stages of adjusting to the situation herself, and she's here to ask for advice. Yes - she's overreacting. People do in overwhelming situations. If she were that much of a bitch she wouldn't be looking for help and advice.

Floggingmolly Mon 17-Feb-14 00:06:51

What the op described is not an overwhelming situation at all, Adeleh.
It's a six year old child, acting like a six year old child; and being regarded as one step removed from the Antichrist by her step mum.
Perspective is the word I'd have used too. op needs it in bucketfuls

macdoodle Mon 17-Feb-14 00:08:50

The child in question is 6, think she is the one who should be the priority not the adult that should know better.
My DD2 is 6, if her stepmother was like this she wouldnt be going back. She isn't luckily. Some step parents actually manage to behave like the adults in the relationship.

Adeleh Mon 17-Feb-14 00:14:58

Adjusting to a new family set-up is overwhelming. That's what I mean - not the ladder business. Of course she's overreacting in how she feels, but there's nothing to suggest she's been horrible to her DSD, just that she's worrying (far too much) about the future. That doesn't make her a bitch or an evil stepmother.

Devora Mon 17-Feb-14 00:18:10

OP, it can be terrifying when children scrap because they have no understanding of the risks - my two often end up tussling on the stairs, and it makes my heart leap into my mouth. When you witnessed what you saw I'm sure you had visions of your ds sustaining a head injury or broken bones; your dsd just feel narked for a split second and gave a shove. She probably DID forget what it was about within seconds, and so is denying it because she can't explain it.

So: you saw it as a near-manslaughter scenario; dsd barely registered it, let alone its potential risks. So what do you do? You lay down some ground rules about fighting, and explain about the risks of scrapping in particular ways or particular places (like: in the bath, on the stairs, climbing into bed). Same as everyone else with two or more children has to do.

You'll get used to it!

ComposHat Mon 17-Feb-14 00:21:03

OP you don't seem to like this little girl at all. Is there anything else going on here?

needaholidaynow Mon 17-Feb-14 00:21:18

Just ignore macdoodle's very unhelpful response OP.

You're adjusting to this new situation yourself, and will probably be asking more questions after this one as blended families aren't easy. (if you do come back that is!) My DSD has never once hurt either of my DSs. But I bet you that when DS1 and 2 are a bit older we will see a few failings out between them both. It's normal. DS1 is nearly 3 and already sneakily pushing DS2 away when he comes to play with him. I then tell DS1 to share and be nice to his brother.

I would just keep an eye on both your DSD and your DS. They are both probably feeling uneasy right now. You and your partner reassure them both that they are equal.

AgentZigzag Mon 17-Feb-14 00:23:10

Some parents aren't sure what to do when it comes to lying though macdoodle.

My mum was totally OTT about it and it made me much worse, but I see it as part/parcel of life and everyone lies all the time, so I'm pretty relaxed about it (I tackle it firmly, but don't make the DDs feel as thought they're evil for doing it).

Seems to me from the short post that the OP thinks she needs to come down on it like a ton of bricks, which isn't an unusual response, but the badgering is IMO. 45 minutes to me suggests a crushing of the DSD, that proving the point was worth any long term consequences going on for that long at a small child may be.

Does that say the OP would take the same tack when other misbehaviour comes up? That'd add up to a lot of intense situations for a 6 YO.

blahe Mon 17-Feb-14 02:34:58

Always go back to the source of the problem. I.e why did she push him...... you might find out that he had not been such an angel previously to her.

Sibling rivalry happens between all kids but as you have not had them both from birth it is a learning process for you to at the moment - if they were both yours you would be used to it by now.

Just chill about it - it might be your son being mean next week. ......

MadIsTheNewNormal Mon 17-Feb-14 02:59:10

What would you do if she were your child, and lived there full time? Because this sort of thing absolutely would happen between both your children all the time. Would you be 'terrified' about the future and pack her off to live with granny, until she'd grown out of it because of a need to 'put DS first'? Of course not.

You'd just accept that young children squabble, and occasionally fight/bite/push or whatever. And you'd get on with it, but keep a watchful eye out.

And that is exactly what you need to do here. don't fall into the trap of thinking you should side with your child against someone else's child, or you will be the evil stepmother.

AlwaysDancing1234 Mon 17-Feb-14 07:33:31

I understand it's difficult to see your child being hurt OP but I think you do need to understand that siblings (or half siblings/step siblings) of that age will have the occasional scrap, it's all part of growing up (I sound like my Nan!)
Over the years my sister has broken my arm, I have given her a black eye. One time my sis elbowed/punched me in the face, My step-mum saw the whole thing but DSis still denied it even though my nose was gushing with blood!
So I guess what I'm trying to say is it's all normal and part of the process, it's how you deal with it that will matter.
Tomorrow (or when you next have her) is a new day so don't hold a grudge against a 6 year old, wipe the slate clean and start again.
If (when) these things occur I think you need to try and stay calm, obviously tell off whoever the perpetrator is (just as likely in future to be your DS as well as DSD) but at the same time try to treat them equally and show both love as well as annoyance.

Nataleejah Mon 17-Feb-14 07:50:09

Be very careful. This sort of attitude will breed resentment and ill will.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now