End of my tether with DSD!!!!!(63 Posts)
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
The way I would deal with it is to sound completely disinterested whenever she comes out with all the stuff about mummy and daddy not loving her or whatever else. Just say "we all love you lots" and walk off and do something else. If she carries on then repeat it and walk off again. Make her know that you don't care what she says to try and play you off against each other because it won't work, it's literally boring. And give her lots of opportunities to help you on the farm as she's the big girl and it's her farm too. Blah blah. Make it fun for her so all this manipulation stuff becomes utterly dull for her.
I'd also not bother fighting about the food. Fish fingers and beans are cheap enough. Offer them to her and some of yours as well and again don't make an issue of it. Want fish fingers? Oh that's nice. If she makes a face about your dinner just ignore and carry on talking. If she chooses to eat some of yours just ignore and don't make an issue of it. Sometimes making a thing of something like that can create a bit of a battle ground as they know it winds you up so act completely Un bothered. You also want to make eating with you a positive experience for her - if fish fingers etc help then I really wouldn't worry about it.
I'm sure your dh does love the baby just as much. It's just babies are boring really. When they reach toddler stage they become so much more interesting. Especially when you already have an older child who needs a lot of attention.
I am remarried with an older child and a young toddler from two different dad's. (Toddler is my Dhs) and we have had our problems. You just have to make light of things as much as you can.
I think before you have experience of 4 year olds or older kids in general, you can put too high an expectation on their behaviour/ feelings etc.
I'm not saying excuse bad behaviour, but accept that it can happen and lay boundaries and enforce them. Also just try to imagine how she feels. You come on the scene take her Daddy away and then along comes a baby. Her own mother can't cope with it by the sounds of it. So how can a child of 4 cope with it without the correct support?
When you only have a small baby older children seem so old and grown up, but when your daughter is 4 you might realise how young they still are. I now realise this.
With regards to waking in the night my 5 year old does. He can't help it, he isn't being naughty. I dread to think what he'd be like in a different house without me if me and his Dad had separated. He spent the night in our bed last night. Doesn't happen often that he co sleeps so rather than be mad I cherished waking up next to his beautiful face. You'd probably feel the same about your own daughter.
Could your DSD be picking up on your resentment? I understand your issue with her mother. But it isn't her fault, poor love.
I completely understand that 4 years olds aren't going to be perfectly behaved all of the time but I think when kids push boundaries they need to learn how far it is acceptable to push them and when to stop. I don't think a 4 year old is capable of saying Isobel isn't my sister or my mummy loves me all of the time and you just love me sometimes (bearing in mind she was 3 when she was saying that. A lot of my friends who have visited have mentioned the difference in DSD behaviour when her dad is around- she acts up yet is like a completely different child with me because she knows I won't stand for it. One of my friends even said although DP is very good with DSD he acts more like a friend to her than a father. I'm trying my best but i d
I completely understand that 4 years olds aren't going to be perfectly behaved all of the time but I think when kids push boundaries they need to learn how far it is acceptable to push them and when to stop. I don't think a 4 year old is capable of saying Isobel isn't my sister or my mummy loves me all of the time and you just love me sometimes (bearing in mind she was 3 when she was saying that. A lot of my friends who have visited have mentioned the difference in DSD behaviour when her dad is around- she acts up yet is like a completely different child with me because she knows I won't stand for it. One of my friends even said although DP is very good with DSD he acts more like a friend to her than a father. I'm trying my best but i don't know how much l
Of course she acts differently with her father - she's desperate for his attention. My ds3 can be like that with me - presumably because he's a third child & competing with a severely disabled child for my attention. It's usually a sign of insecurity & has up be dealt with by consistency but also ensuring the child has lots of attention. I try to make sure ds3 has 1:1 time with me because he needs it (as shown by his behaviour). My ds3 is a lot older than 4 as well. It doesn't just magically go away.
I suspect your dsd needs lots of 1:1 time with her father. Within that time he should be consistent & expecting good behaviour - but you need to remember she's a 4 year old who has lost her dad & now has to share him with an adult who doesn't like her very much & who is worried about the attention he shows her versus her new half sibling.
Try & see it from her point of view. Her behaviour is typical attention seeking behaviour & as such cannot be dealt with purely by sanctions. She needs to be helped to feel more secure about her dad as well. That doesn't have to happen in response to bad behaviour but it has to happen somewhere.
Erm I never said I didn't like her very much!! She can be a very difficult time and she has not lost her dad!! She gets PLENTY of 1:1 time with her father and we keep her as involved as we can. You sound very presumptuous yet you offer no real advice regarding out situation really. She is constantly reminded that daddy loves her. I feed, wash, clothe and care for this child. I sit up with her on a night when she is ill and DP is tired. I take her for days out I help with homework so how dare you say I don like her very much!!! Get off your high horse
And I'm sure you would be concerned if your OH was favouring
And I'm sure you would be concerned if your OH was favouring one of your kids over another!
Agree prawny there's a massive difference between disliking a child and disliking behaviours.
My advice is lots of 1:1 time with her dad (& you not seeing it as being in competition with your baby), consistency & lots of attention for her before she misbehaves.
You didn't sound like you liked her very much in earlier posts. Apologies if I got that wrong. She sounds very much as is she is attention seeking for her dad though & I think to some extent that has to be lavished on her preferably before she plays up so it is not a reward for bad behaviour. If you focus on the bad behaviour & consequences rather than seeing the bigger picture I think you will continue to see bad behaviour. Advice based on my own experience of having a child who for whatever reason needs extra attention to feel secure. He specifically needs attention from me - not others - and he will therefore play up for me- not others - even though the attention he receives for playing up is negative. The only way to tackle it has been to seek out ways to give him a lot of extra attention before he misbehaves, coupled with talks about expectations & rewards when he complies.
You cannot dish out your time equally between children - they need different things at different times. When my younger ones were babies dh spent a lot of time with the older ones because they needed an adult full on not held back by a baby
Ds1 has always needed 1:1 care so always has full attention from one of us while the others have to share the other parent more.
I find it better to think about what each child needs - it changes at different ages but in the whole I would say a 4 year old needs more interactive attention than a baby. We tended to sort out the older ones first then think about the baby.
She is four - she has to live with the fact that her daddy has left and has a new family and her step mother doesn't even like her - i'll save my sympathy for the child. Did her dad leave her mother for you? What does it matter if he sleeps in with her for a few nights - so what if the mother co slept up til 2 - it sounds like the poor little thing needs a bit of comfort.
No he didn't leave her for me we met after they had split up. As I have said before I dislike her behaviour sometimes I do not dislike her!! I do more than most step mothers so why don't you shut your trap and take your shitty comments elsewhere "support forum" my arse!!!
I do everything I can to make sure she is well looked after. Most of you probably aren't even step parents because if you we're you wouldn't be making such stupid comments or even wasting your energy!
From your posts it sounds like you need to take a step back from the situation. Let your DH deal with his daughter and her behaviour. If you do everything for her - stop. Your DH should be doing a lot of what you say you do.
If it's getting to you so much, talk to your DH about how he can address her behaviour. For now I'd concentrate on yourself and your daughter.
4 is very young so a lot of things need to be taken in to account. She sounds very confused about her family situation and where exactly she slots in. This is something both her parents need to address.
I know but I can't help it. I just do it instinctively. If I didn't do what I do then it would never get done. DP is shockingly untidy. He doesn't do anything around the house, he doesn't even put his rubbish in the bin or flush the toilet. I have to take up a lot of slack otherwise she would be in unclean clothes and be generally unclean herself
Gosh, are you always this defensive? is that how you counter an argument usually?
I haven't read that you SAID you dislike her, its just that you have failed to say a nice word about her, which is really sad.
She is four, she wont understand that it is a difficult situation - because she is four. It sounds like her mother hadn't got over the split for whatever reason as she was crying to your DP about you being pregnant - there must have still been feeings for him. You have to put yourself in her shoes, you are being painted as the wicked step mother by her mother - she sees you as someone who has taken her daddy away, you are a threat to her. This is partly because of her mother and partly because you get to be with her daddy all the time, just as the new baby does. I guess it goes with the territory and I am the first to admit i could never be a step parent. I couldnt be a step parent becaue i couldnt love someone elses child no matter how hard i tried so i wouldn't do it as it wouldnt be fair on the child.
I am sorry if my post sounded harsh but you do really slag this little girl off (and her mother, who at some point your DP loved enough to make a child with, maybe you are still insecure about this - i would be).
Yes this is a support forum, but support doesn't mean always agree with the OP. Did you want people to come on here and say, oh yes, you poor thing, she sounds horrible and her fat mother sounds like a cunt as well. Good luck with the healthy eating, we eat healthily too, however it is difficult when your child goes from happily eating all the quinoa and cous cous you dish up to pushing away anything that isn't fish fingers and pasta. Don't let food become yet another battle ground, let her have what she wants for dinner - a fish finger never killed anyone yet, then introduce other healthy things as treats - if she doesn't have this at home then it will be treated as a novelty. If you force it on her, she will just rail against it.
All the adults in this little girls life need to walk a mile in her shoes for a little while because she doesn't know which way is up just now - it must be a big upheval for her to have a step-brother or sister come along who daddy lives with all the time, especially if her mother is being shitty about it.
But do feel free to tell me to shut up if you don't like what i have to say, as an open forum i will exercise my right to express my opinion, you don't have to read it
it sounds like part of your problems lie in your DP thinking that the parenting thing is your job, being harsh, she is his child, his responsibility - maybe that is where some of your resentment is coming from, the fact that he is leaving everything to you.
OP ..you seem to be confusing us being judgemental with just having a different viewpoint. Don't be so defensive..people are just offering advice based on what you have told us.You have an awful lot on your plate by the sounds of it..( lambs!!!!) But I think the best advice here is about constantly reinforcing how much she is loved, and not reacting to the playing up. A four year old is not capable of understanding the situation she's in so you can't judge her by her behaviour...it will pass.But you do need to be extra careful that you show equal affection to both girls...just as you would with any new addition and your DH needs to too.This is just a busy busy time and it's not the end of the world if she acts up.All 4 year olds do!
My advice remains, she is 4, she is playing up to seek attention from her father, this is entirely understandable given her situation & needs to be met by (a) consistent boundaries while she's with you (b) more attention from her father - & not obsessing over whether she's getting more attention than her baby sibling.
In your shoes I'd try to engineer a lot more time doing nice things with her father in the short term - no it's not always easy - but it is understandable that she is going to be insecure at the moment . Many older siblings find it hard enough dealing with a baby sibling when they still live with both parents - it's usual for some babyish behaviour & attention seeking to take place while they get used to the new situation - this can take a long time - even when they're seeing both parents full time.
It sounds like she needs more attention than you can give her at this incredibly busy season. Also, it sounds like you are doing most of the actual parenting here.
Could you hire a local teenager who loves playing with kids to give you a bit of help? You might be able to fine a young teen who would help you out for a couple of pounds an hour and be thrilled with the arrangement. (My daughter did something like this when she was 10-11, and the little girl absolutely adored her).
He wasn't happy with his partner for years before they split. He said that he thinks she trapped him by getting pregnant as she told him she couldn't have kids so they didn't need to use contraception but was secretly taking the pill for years although he said he never bought it up with her even after finding loads of pill packets. He left her a week before she announced she was pregnant and felt that it was the right thing to stand by her but said that ultimately he was miserable. And I've said that she is well behaved when its just her and me, we have fun, we go for walks, we read, we paint we do all sorts!! And I do enjoy her company when she's behaving. Everyone tells me how good I am with her AND how good I am for her. And I know about evil step mothers!! My step mother refused to let me see my dad when she was pregnant and I didn't meet my brother until he was 4 years old and that was the first time I'd seen my dad in nearly 5 years!! And that was at 14 years old with a step dad at home sexually abusing me and my haven for two days/nights a week taken away. I would never do that to a child I am trying to help her out
She's misbehaving around her father because she wants his attention. Ds3 is extraordinarily well behave at school, excellent with my parents & other grandparents until I walk in the door (& to a lesser extent dh). He misbehaves around me because he wants my attention. He behaves around everyone else because he isn't fussed about their attention & he's basically a nice kid.
The only way to deal with it long term is to be consistent, & try to increase security by giving lots if positive attention before misbehaving occurs. There's no quick fix ime.
It sounds like your DP needs to pay attention to her when she is behaving herself and either ignore or discipline when she is misbehaving. This will make her feel more secure which will also improve her behaviour.
I have never had step-children but I can imagine how hard it is.
I'm sorry but I get defensive because I've had possibly the most horrendous step parents ( unfortunately like a lot of kids) and I do not see myself as one of them so I try so hard to seek solutions to problems. I do a lot but I have to!
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