End of my tether with DSD!!!!!

(63 Posts)
prawnypoos Tue 15-Apr-14 09:51:05

Hi all I have literally had to buy myself 10 minutes to come and write this as i am losing the will to live and need some none judgemental advice and support!!!My DP and I have been together for 3 years and I have known his daughter for 2 of them years. She is 4. myself and DP also have an 8 month old daughter. We live on a farm and at the moment we have 600 sheep lambing and around 100 calves calving so we are stupidly busy!! DP's daughterhas been with us for 4 days straight now as its the holidays and funnily enough her mother always seems to offload her onto us when shes not at school. She is so rude to me and her dad and anyone else for that matter, we are trying to run a farm but she is constantly putting herself in danger to get attention (she gets plenty of attention of her dad btw.) Everyone panders to her and I think that this is part of the problem. She keeps saying 'my mummy said that Isobel isnt my real sister and that my daddy isnt Isobels dad.' I know for a fact that this has come from her poisoned tongue mother as all of the way through my pregnancy she was ringing DP up crying because I was pregnant!!! She is very manipulative for a child of her age and will say things like 'my mummy loves me all of the time but you only love me sometimes' to her dad to get her own way and it works!! I have such a job to get any food into her. We eat a very healthy diet with plenty of fruit and veg. She says that she only eat crisps, chocolate, fish fingers and beans at home which I can only agree with as her mother is the size of a house end (sorry to get personal). There is just a total lack of respect and she isnt being taught. She wakes up at least2 times a night and refuses to go back to sleep unless her dad sleeps in bed with her (This stems for her mother having her in bed with her untill she was 2) Me and DP have been up at 5 every morning whilst the kids are still in bed to go outside in all weathers and work and when you have a child staying over 4 nights a week who wakes up so frequently its 10 times harder. If DP hugs me she will hit me and scream so that he hugs her instead. There is one hell of a lot more but I just dont have time to go into it right now, this is jus the tip of the iceberg, really struggling sad

I didn't want to read and run. It does sound very difficult, particularly as you are at one of the busiest times of the year on a farm. In the short term, are there grandparents who could come and visit and help look after her? It sounds very much as though (at the moment anyway) she is still desperate for attention and doesn't know how she fits in to the family dynamic.

She's only four. You have plenty of time to make her feel loved and comfortable at home with you. You will need to have a conversation with your DP to make sure you're on the same page, and you're both going to enforce the rules - no crisps and rubbish food, etc. But it's difficult because of the time of year - any favourite aunties and uncles around if there aren't any grandparents?

swissfamily Tue 15-Apr-14 11:01:32

Oh gosh :-(

I'm in a rush too but be firm and consistent regarding the rules at your house; insist on a healthy diet, put her on the naughty step when she's rude and make her stay there, firmly put her back to bed on her own when she gets up at night. She'll get it eventually. SC are quite able to cope with two sets of rules - plenty do. Our home and my DSD's Mums are totally different. DSD doesn't seem to have any issues moving between the two or accepting that there are different expectations at Daddy's house to Mummy's anymore. Whether it's healthy in the long run to have to adapt to two completely different homes I don't know but actually, that's her ultimately parents' responsibility, not yours.

The repeating stuff her Mum has said about her sister not being her sister isn't her fault. She's only 4 and can't be held responsible for it. But your DP could speak to Mum about it, make it clear he knows what's happening and he doesn't approve.

Good luck with the lambing!

GallstoneCowboy Tue 15-Apr-14 11:07:50

Four is tiny. This is a tiny child you're bitching about. Poor little girl.

TheMumsRush Tue 15-Apr-14 12:05:10

Sorry your are going through a rough time. With the food, she will eat it if she is hungry, if she didn't, she can wait till the next meal. That's what my parents did with me and it worked and that's what I do with my children and stepchildren. I agree children do learning about different rules in different places i.e. rules in mums house are different to Nan's house school Ect. I think your Dp really need to address negative comments coming from the ex wife, ultimately she is not helping her own daughter. Sorry I don't have better advice op but I'm sure some other great step mums will be along to help.

alita7 Tue 15-Apr-14 12:44:23

Gallstone cow why make her feel rubbish, she isn't bitching she needs advice on a difficult child.

I don't have much advice to give but I do hope things improve, It sounds like her mum is spoiling her, manipulating her and telling her to say these things. plus she while she is only 4, 4 year olds aren't stupid, she's been taught to manipulate so she does.
I hope you manage to sort yourfarm out ok, it's unfortunate that it's the sort of life you don't get a break from and can't just stop because she's there. I can see why she wants more attention if you're both working all day but there's not much you can do.
I would be firm about the eating, studies show if a child has a certain food put on their plate about 5 times they will try it. The naughty step is a good Idea too.

prawnypoos Tue 15-Apr-14 13:09:41

No im not bitching!! Walk a mile in my shoes its her mother who is the problem I am looking for help on how to deal with her. LIKE i SAID I WANTED NONE JUDGEMENTAL ADVICE SO WHY COMMENT!!

ElseaStars Tue 15-Apr-14 13:17:40

First of all - Take a deep breath! Breathe in, and out. I can understand that you are feeling frustrated however I would spend less time worrying about your SD mother and focus on your partner. He doesn't seem to be on the same page as you are. He needs to step up to sort this behavior out (even though a lot of dads feel some kind of guilt) HE also needs to stop her from hitting you. Be honest with each other and tell him how much it is affecting you. If he doesn't understand you could say that you need space away from his DD. If she is 4 and creating these problems NOW imagine what shes going to be like age 8 onwards if you both let her behave the way she is. The farming must be stressful too. I would take a huge step back and let your OH deal with this. He has to for your sake and your own child's sake. When you child is older they will think her behavior is normal. Set rules and boundaries now.
Good Luck thanks

ThisIsYourSong Tue 15-Apr-14 13:52:27

She sounds very confused. I'm sure it's incredibly hard for you but four year olds are still little (not judging! They are bloody hard work too).

Some things you can do:
- praise and label good behaviours. You are speaking nicely to [your dd]. You are using very gentle hands. Etc
- try and ignore unwanted behaviours. Time out is a good idea but watch you are not using it too much. Once she is back from time out try and engage her positively
- pick your battles. Go easy on the food thing if it's not what she is used to. I've been putting vegetables on my one of my DT's plate every day for two years and he still won't touch them, let alone five times!
- it'll be really hard for her to get back to sleep on her own if she's used to being cuddled. You need to break this habit either gently (gradual withdrawal) or cold turkey
- try and stay calm and model calming yourself down. Count to five aloud; tell her you are leaving the room to calm down, etc. and hopefully she will pick up on some of that
- I know you said she gets lots of attention from your DH but make sure she has some one to one time where he is really focused on her every day. Ten minutes a day will help, more if possible
- if you implement these kind of things, be prepared for behaviours to get worse before they get better

I do hope things improve for you!

alita7 Tue 15-Apr-14 14:09:41

Definitely agree with positive reinforcement. dsd had a huge tantrum with me when dp was out about a week ago, she wouldn't let go of her fork when I tried to take it off her and refused to go to her room, it escalated and in the end I stood outside the front door for two minutes to calm down and she went to her room. She started a similar thing with me and dp last night, tried to grab something off me when dp said she couldn't have it and wouldn't let go so dp told her to go to her room and again she refused. With the combined efforts of us both she went to her room much quicker. And when she came back out despite being angry that she'd broken her promise not to do it again I bit my tongue and said thank you and well done for stopping before it got like last time. Maybe trying to praise her when she does eventually do as she is told will help?

Cabrinha Tue 15-Apr-14 19:47:36

Poor little girl. I don't say that as a criticism of you - I feel for you too. But I think you really need to not lose sight of the fact that this is a tiny child all in a mess and that's not her fault.

I would say don't be so quick to blame everything on her mother - who I do think sounds like a bad parent for dragging her daughter into her own difficulty dealing with her ex moving on.

You're very quick to say the child wants her dad in the night because her mum coslept until 2. Regardless of what you feel about co-sleeping yourself, note that it was til she was 2. Not now. So how is that because of co-sleeping? My 5yp still co-sleeps with me, it suits us. She doesn't with her dad (divorced). It's just about different rules and expectations.

I am a fan of co-sleeping (obviously!) so I personally think she should be in with you and dad whilst she's so vulnerable - but I know others would have a different view!

Anyway, that's just an example of how I think it doesn't help to blame her mother for everything - I think the cosleeping request is because she's insecure about her dad.

I also think it's possibly fair enough she's up for the holidays - it's his daughter! A working farm is not an easy place to keep a child entertained. Should she even be there? Why hasn't he put her in a holiday club? Is there someone to look after her? (who has the baby - you must be working opposite shifts to your partner?)

I really echo what others say about kids accepting two sets of rules. If she's rude, don't stand for it. Give her the food you eat, and expect her to eat it. Whilst at THR same time recognizing that baked beans are not the worst food in the world!

When she says her dad only loves her sometimes, he has to correct her and reassure her. "Daddy doesn't live with you all the time, but Daddy loves you all the time".

Love bomb her, whilst being firm with your house rules.

prawnypoos Wed 16-Apr-14 11:04:45

Yes I know that none of this is her fault, if anything I am discusted at the BS her mother is putting into her head-its awful! Why do that to any child never mind your own flesh and blood. I want it sorting as I dont particuarly want my daughter picking up on it and doing the same. As for the co-seeping, I didnt mean to cause any offence! To be fair we dont have a big enough bed to accommodate co-sleeping anyway haha. I was always so worried about roling onto my daughter when she was tiny but admittedly I did sometimes used to fall asleep with her when I was breastfeeding. My DP is a great dad but he doesnt treat them both the same, he tends to avish all of his attention onto DSD while our daughter doesnt really get a look in even when DSD isnt here, for example he would never just pick Isobel up spontaneously for a cuddle I would have to pass her to him. I am generally the one who looks after them both if DP is busy doing tractor work or something where DSD would get in the way, we dont work opposite shifts I can just mutitask better than him, I have the pateience to work and be abe to look after DSD and my DD at the same time, its hard but I manage. Shes up for the holidays for the whole two weeks and its like it every hoiday even when shes at school we have her 4 nights a week and all weekend so he mum hardly sees her through the week and rarely on a weekend. She barely has her daughter at all through the holidays. She is going back this monday (the night before she starts schoo the next morning) so weve had her for two weeks straight - in that time she hasnt sen her mother once, if that was my child I hadnt seen for two weeks I would be going mad! Anyway a we bit more explained there, thanks for being nonoe judgemental and supportive, I am ony seeking advice for the benefit of this little gir whatever anyone may think!

prawnypoos Wed 16-Apr-14 11:09:42

Sorry I meant shes going back not next monday but the monday after that as our term time is a bit later than everyone elses x

gilliangoof Wed 16-Apr-14 11:18:55

Maybe someone could look after her whilst you and your DP work. 4 year olds need proper attention. Your DSD may need even more as your home is not her full time home. If you have to work on the farm it would be better to have someone look after your DCs.

ZuluinJozi Wed 16-Apr-14 18:08:55

A 4 year old is seen as 'offload her onto us ', does your DP also see his daugher in this poor light?

When a 4 year old is rude and acting out, it is normally to seek attention or validation because they are unable to articulate their feelings. Is she being reassured that she does not have to compete for her father's attention?

Have you raised your concerns about your DP and his 8 month old relationship?

Could it that he is compensating for not providing a 2-parent home for his eldest?

Does he encourage her to respect you?

prawnypoos Thu 17-Apr-14 16:57:05

I have mentioned in the past about the relationship with DD and he admitted he had found it difficult as she was born in the same hospital as DSD. I could tell he was down and as a result I was down and ended up with mild PND as I remember him gushing about how happy he was when DSD was born and he was just so withdrawn and seemingly uninterested when DD was born and it made me upset. He wanted me to have an abortion when I found out I was pregnant because he was worried about the impact it would have on DSD so I suppose in a way I resented her almost for that at the time (he was worried about telling his ex as well), I am against abortion and i told him it wasnt an option and that plenty of other kids whose parents have split go on to have half siblings and are totally fine! He is better with DD but there is still some sort of bond that he has with DSD missing, I dont know what, its just my instinct. She is constantly reminded that daddy loves her and mummy does too! He tries to encourage her to respect me but half heartedly, there is no firmness to his voice but to be fair she acts up more when hes around anyway because she knows she can get away with one hell of a lot if hes around whereas I tend to stand for no BS (I would be the same with DD I think its so important to set boundaries when kids are trying to push them)

maggiemight Thu 17-Apr-14 17:18:29

Some of this behavior might be confusion as to why she doesn't get to spend time with her own DM?! Poor DSD.

And your DP's attitude to DD is confusing, perhaps he needs to speak to someone as to why this is.

crazykat Thu 17-Apr-14 17:40:42

In some respects she sounds like my DSD at the same age. She would kick up a fuss and throw epic tantrums if DH didn't take her out to soft play and would refuse to see him. She would also wake in the night and want to sleep in our bed and I'd get kicked all night. This was knocked on the head when I became pregnant as we couldn't risk me getting booted in the stomach. DH would contains tangly take her back to her own bed every time she woke. Within a couple of weeks (we only had her at weekends) she stopped waking and wanting in with us.

The only thing that worked with the other behaviour was being consistent with rules and consequences. 4 is still young but old enough for school and at school there are clear rules and consequences for breaking them, along with rewards for following them.

The hitting you has to stop and the best way would be for your DH to tell her that her behaviour is unacceptable and not cuddling her instead of you. That is giving her exactly what she wants and to her it says that she just has to behave badly to get what she wants.

The rules and consequences need to be worked out between you and your DH but need to come from him with your DSD otherwise you'll be seen as the evil step mother spoiling her fun.

You and your DH have to be on the same page wrt discipline just as you would if it were your and dh's child. A lot of non resident children get away with being badly behaved as the NRP feels guilty that they don't spend as much time with them. This was a big issue for my DH at first but once he realised it was contributing to dsd's bad behaviour and stopped giving in all the time her tantrums reduced dramatically.

prawnypoos Thu 17-Apr-14 18:25:21

crazykat you are so right, she knows that if she behaves badly she gets what she wants so she acts up a good majority of the time!! It is hard to like children like this let alone love them and I have tried so hard! God knows I have. Her mother asked us to buy her some new clothes just after DD was born even though she gets 180 a month in maintainence and we feed her and care for her the majority of the time, that is a big bug bear for me. I bought her some clothes under the proviso that they would come in for DD when DSD had grown out of them, I bought 4 pairs of leggings, 2 jumpers, 3 long sleeved t shirts, vests, pants and socks. Apart from the underwear I havent seen any of them since and I bought them with my money which could've gone towards nappies, clothes, food and milk for my DD and that p****s me off!! I am going to get DP to ask about the clothes as its been 8 months since Ive seen her in them, I feel sorry for my DD as she doesnt get much attention from either of us atm and I know that if evrything carries on as it is she will end up feeling very neglected and unloved by her father (I know how that feels myself) anyway thanks for all your advice so far

alita7 Thu 17-Apr-14 18:49:32

Prawn that is a huge worry, that your child will end up neglected because she forces herself into the lime light.

I think the situation is very difficult for dsd but she still needs to learn. when she breaks up your hugs, try shouting group hug! and hold her in tightly.
Try having long chats with her when you can, about anything, just make her feel she is listened to.
But most importantly discipline her when she hits or is rude with the naughty step or no sweets until she apologies and give lots of cuddles when she does. And correct every wrong statement from her mum calmly.

prawnypoos Fri 18-Apr-14 09:35:52

It is a worry but then another part of me thinks that maybe when she is older and can do more like DSD then he will bond with her more and take notice of her. I think he does love her but i am in no doubt as to who he loves more! Any way I will try and cross that bridge when I come to it. She is such a good baby and has slept through since 8/9 weeks old and because she isnt used to having a great deal of attention she is very placcid and can occupy herself a lot of the time, the only times she cries are when shes hungry or very tired. So its not like shes a dificult baby and shes very happy and smiley, as soon as she wakes up she has a big grin on her face, anyway we have two very difernt parenting styles but perphaps part of that is just down to the differnt situations of both daughters, I know DSD mother doesnt bother to reprimand her, she scratched someone on the face the other day in a pub full of people (I only found out because my friend was there and she told me) and her mum was shouting and bawling at the woman whose facee DSD had scratched because she had told DSD off so no wonder she behaves like it!!!

alita7 Fri 18-Apr-14 13:37:47

It will be interesting to see how your dd ends up though- my little cousins are 4 (girl) and 6 (boy). My girl cousin was very much like your dd when she was a baby/ until she was about 18 months, and her brother was very attention seeking and jealous of her- he would try and jump all over his parents when they were holding her and often hit her or grab toys off her as she got older. Then it seemed to reverse and now she will jump all over me, sing in my ears and try to manipulate me into playing with her, when I'm trying to play with him, and he will tell me its ok, and that he doesn't mind if I play with her.

CerealMom Sat 19-Apr-14 20:12:45

With regards to the stuff your DsD is coming out with (Isobel's not my sister/my Daddy isn't Isobel's daddy) I would encourage some kind of family therapy.

If it is coming from DsD then she obviously feels very insecure. If this (and other stuff?) is coming from DsD mother then this needs to be nipped in the bud. Having a 3rd party involved will pull her (the mother) up on this. Either way, DsD gets some help.

Perhaps you and DH will be able to air your respective problems on neutral ground.

maggiemight Sun 20-Apr-14 18:04:39

Just realized that DD is only 8 months. I think your DH prob loves her very much but at 8 months she won't be doing much and once she is walking and talking things will be very different for him, for all of you.

Ime dads are much more involved once DCs are able to do stuff with them and you are worrying unnecessarily.

I would get some expert advice for handling DSD, she is just little toot too, although she will appear big compared to DD, and it sounds as if she is just needs some sensible and consistent care from you and DH to counteract the confusing example she is being shown at home. Try books on childrearing if there is no counselling available.

I doubt the difference between your children is due to patenting. My 3 all have the same parents & are completely different in terms of bring able to occupy themselves, attention seeking, grizzlyness as babies, sleeping & co-sleeping.

She's only 4. She needs you to be consistent but also understanding & loving.

There shouldn't be any issue between your dh loving one child 'more' - both should be the same (even if one child is easier or needier).

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