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:-( i dont know what to do(18 Posts)
My 8 year old step daughter attacked me on saturday she basically treid to beat me up because i said she couldnt watch tv. Her behaviour has always been pretty bad since the age of 3 yrs old when i first met her. I work in early years so i understand behaviour in toddlers, i informed her parents as to what to do to support R in her behaviour but it wasnt followed through and i was told i was too harsh. Throughout the years that i have been married to her father R has hit him, her mother and her grandmother she has smashed her room up is disrespectful, rude to her mother, father me and anyone she pleases. I now find myself in a position whereby i dont want to be in the company of this child whom i recognise as a child but i actually fear her :-(. We have had family meeting sought professional help but as R is as good as gold at school Im left feeling that either she doesnt like me at all or shes just a spoilt little girl who lashes out when she doesnt get her own way. What can i do i feel bad that i cant fix this i feel bad for my husband as he is in the middle help please.
Or she's a little girl whose been messed up by her parts splitting up and then new people coming in.
It's certainly not right what's she done but you said Tgey haven't handled it properly so it's hardly her fault she doesn't understand how to manage her emotions.
She needs somewhere she can go and talk about how she's feeling. Do her parents get on well?
Does DH support you or side with DSD? What sanctions do you use? Is she like this with her DM or just when Ashe is with you? This is a terrible situation and her violence absolutely has to stop. I would discuss a CAMHS referral but in the meantime she has to learn that she is not in charge. She does sound spoilt IMO and all the understanding in the world doesn't make her behaviour acceptable. Firm boundaries will be helpful for all of you and help her feel safe but if she is allowed to be a tyrant now what will she be like at 16?
thank you for your replies.
I understand that reading this some people may feel that yes she is messed up but her parents spilt before she was two years old she doesnt rember them being together at all. Parenting between the two bi parents is very different mum says yes to everything for an easy life my husband is a firm believer in children have respect for parents and not giving in to their every desire. I have explained to my husband an R's mum that rules have to be followed through in both households im not stupid or insensitive to this i work with pre schoolers i have a degree in the subject!! But violence is violence when do you stop looking for reasons and start saying that the behaviour is wrong! If i had punched, kicked R the way she did me i would be done for child abuse and no manner of excuses would be acceptable but for some reason are we saying there has to be a reason for a child to do it to a parent! Come on...she got old she couldnt watch tv. As a victim of child abuse myself, i would never ever hit anyone adult or child, i now have bruises from the beating an 8 yr old did to me ;-(
sunflower that sounds awful I know what you mean, my dd has a terrible temper sometimes and being told "there must be a reason" drives me crazy. Sometimes kids really do deliberately decide to be mean. It's not nice to think or hear but as you said, you can't keep making excuses. Kids aren't stupid they know when they will get away with murder and will use the opportunity.
Not sure there is much you can do if the mum isn't on board as any attempt will just be thrown back at you if no one is backing you up. Can your dh have another word with his ex, see if he can make her realise that she needs to step up and that you all need to work together before she gets any worse? Have you spoken to school? Is there a counsellor or anything there that you can ask to see?
because she s as good as gold at school not sure what they can do but i will suggest it. At the moment im still in shock and in pain i keep crying im embarrassed and feel really really hurt.
You don't need to feel embarrassed , thousands of kids live ith parents split up and new partners etc, it's nothing new and they aren't all screwed up. Your right, making excuses for her doesn't help.she sounds pretty clever tbh knowing when and where to do it so no one believes it happens
I would try the drs again at least see if you can speak to someone
Her past may explain her behavior but it does not excuse it.
She is clever enough to understand how to behave correctly at school just seems to not have same boundaries at home, this could be that she feels more 'comfortable' and needs an outlet, but this shouldn't include violence. I would ask for camhs referral.
My parents split when I ws four, I think I would have responded far better to my biological parents setting the rules, I am sure you are a lovely step mum but I think if your dh does the boundary setting (with your help) then you might get a better response?
Personally I would see what your legal situation is (speak to citizen's advice?).
I would then speak to both parents together and strongly suggest that either they get the professional referral recommended by the posters above AND back you up over this situation OR you are following the legal advice of CAB (and involving the police, children's services or whatever).
Violence cannot be tolerated - even from an 8 year old. If it is then she will do it to you again or get herself into serious trouble (by picking on someone who will lash out back). You have said that she is as good as gold at school - so she does have SOME respect for authority (just not family). So maybe getting some outside authority involved (not to press charges), but to take a record of the abuse and to tell her where this is heading will be enough to put the fear into her and stop her? (Will also give you some record if this gets worse).
Sorry, I am sure that is not a popular view. I am sure that counselling is the better way to go (and that is definitely what you want the parents to opt for), but I don't think that you should leave this un-tackled if the parents refuse counselling: if she has done this once (and not been seriously pulled up for it), she will do it again...
Speak to GP and ask for a CAMHS referral - Child and Family team, may be called something different in your area. (I'm a GP). Don't do this without consulting your stepdaughter's mum, or you will create a family rift. Ideally it would be better coming from your dh as he is her father. He should speak to his ex and explain that he wants to talk to the GP because the violent behaviour is very bad at your house - it may not be when she is with her mum. Don't get into a situation where the mum thinks you are against her daughter and takes it personally, which is why it is better coming from her dad. I'm a GP and see people caught up in family disputes like this frequently. CAMHS will provide support for the girl as well as giving the message that violence is unacceptable, and will give practical advice to how to avoid or improve this behaviour. You need her mum on board though. I understand you are heavily involved and also have expertise in this area that the other family members don't have, but be careful to let any action be taken more by her parents, just so it can't ever be taken as you having an issue with the girl and your motives questioned. You also deserve to have a little responsibility taken off your shoulders too. All the best.
I know a couple of dc that are "as good as gold" at school but had awful behaviour at home similar to the ones you have described, finally their parents got a SN diagnosis. Almost like they put all their effort into conforming at school making the backlash at home but because the school never witnessed it then the school didn't believe there was a problem and support the need for a referral.
Thank you for all your replies.
My husband has spoken to his ex and she now says that we'releaving her alone to deal with it, which we're not. She cried and told my husband that he didnt like his daughter. I feel even worse now as R has told her mother that she doesnt like me. I knew this anyway as I'm the only person who tends to say no to her and tells her that her behaviour is unacceptable (her dad does say this too btw.) My husband says i should call R's mother and explain just how bad her aggression was as R's mother thinks it wasnt as bad as im saying. At the moment i feel so unhappy, shaken and in shock that I am actually in this situation it feels surreal to me. I spke to my boss at work as shes been in a similar situation and she has advise me not to make any rash decisions whilst everything feels so raw x
She cried and told my husband that he didnt like his daughter
She's probably been telling your DSD this too, hence why she's behaving the way she is when she's with you. Just make sure she knows she's still loved unconditionally by your DH and that you care for her and like her (even if you're struggling to). It's easy to get caught up in a cycle of antagonistic behaviour towards each other, but always remember that you're the adult and she's an 8yo girl.
I hope that some of the other posters can help more on how to help with CAHMS etc to help with her behaviour otherwise it's going to get worse!
i do know that im an adult but im actually afraid of this 8 year old girl! I know this is only a computer screen and its diffcult to give replies without thinking sunflower grow up but no one else was there to witness the true aggression this girl had towards me... she punched, kicked me in the stomach back and legs. Im 41 years old and i had to lock myself in my bathroom to protect myself from this child :-( reading it seeing makes me feel shame. I cant believe im in this situation and tbh all i want is peace. I have an 18 year old daughter whose just started uni, she never once hit me let alone raised her voice this situation makes me feel shame and physically distressed. Its not fair that i am attacked by a child then told i need to deal with it.. how does that help. :-( x
You husband is putting too much of this on you. You shouldn't have to phone his ex to tell her how bad the aggression was, he should have explained it himself. Is he not capable of speech or something?
He has a much better chance of discussing this with her than you who may unintentional make her feel defensive.
I think also at home he should be dealing with the bulk of the discipline. That doesn't mean you shouldn't say anything but if he is there too then the majority of the time it should come from him.
This isn't fair on you.
Also can he not just get expert help without his exs agreement? The problem is both of theirs not just the mums. He should tell her he's getting help and if she wants to be involved then great but if not he's going to do it anyway as he believes it necessary.
Don't feel shame about this - it is not your fault at all! 8 year olds can be big and strong and you cannot take strong action back. You are a victim of abuse and it is common for victims to blame themselves.
You need a serious talk with your husband: this cannot be swept under the carpet because it will only escalate - the abuse will get worse and she will risk getting herself hurt (by doing it to someone who will fight back). Have you shown your husband the bruises etc? Think that I would also show the mother (in the presence of your husband).
I really think this needs to be taken seriously and i think that you need professional advice too (ie CAB). Personally I wouldn't want to be left alone in the house with her either.
I was very clear it's not right but to say there is no underling reason kinda says there's no way to fix it. She is lashing out at you because whether you want to accept it or not it hard living with separated parents who do not parent tge same way. You have no idea what her mum is saying to her.
yes you right. I dont have any idea what her mum is saying to her. I did speak to her mother yesterday and basically her mother asked me what i expect her to do about it and that I was being judgemental about her parenting. I did get angry because I had been hit by a child hit to the point of bruising and I feel angry, hurt that I have remained loyal to my husband and his ex supportuing their daughters bad behaviour and as a result i have been hit and made to feel as though my opinion doesnt matter, I have now informed her mother and her father that R is not welcome in my flat unless her behaviour improves i refuse to put myself in a situation that means she will lash out at me..personally Ive just had enough of it. :-(
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