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Iss it unreasonable to ban my partners daughter from my house??

(47 Posts)
emu220 Sun 06-Jan-13 15:01:35

I have been with my partner for 7 years, when we met I had a 1 year old daughter and he had a six year old daughter who are now 8 and 12. Since we got together my partners daughter has had a real problem with mine, she has always been nasty and bullied my daughter, for the first few years I kept trying to tell my partner about what was going on but we ended up in rows because he thought I was making it up, he walked out on me twice over it. she is an attention seeker to the max, and woe betide if you tell her she cant have or do something. She planted womens accessories in my bed last week that caused a huge row and they turned out to be her mothers. last year an incident occurred at my parners brther house and his children told their mother everything that had gon on including about how dsd bullied dd regulally. After then he had no choice but to believe me. She is really sneaky and if she gets shouted at for something she will take it out on dd. she it punched, pinched, kicked, threatened with a knife, her toys are broken and she steals her things. Last week they all stayed at my mums and my mum pulled me to one side to say dsd had been hurting dd and my sister had words with her about it, also when we were leaving it came about that she had stolen a very expensive pair of figure skates from out of my sisters wardrobe. She lives with her mother and they are an 8 hour round trip so she just spends the school holidays with us, but my partner works so she is my responsibility while she is here. The wole while I am stressing about what shes gtting up to, what shes doing to dd. My partner has taken her home today but as soon as she left we discovered that an iTunes gift card which was a birthday prezzie of dds was missing, ive pulled the house apart looking for it, literally, I know she has/had it, she was behaving suspiciously this morning in dds bedroom where it was. My partner pulled over and searched her things and he says its not there but don't trust him to look properly because he doesn't want to believe that of her, and shes sneaky so she could have got rid of it.

Ive had enough of her horrible ways, ive had enough of my daughter being hurt when she hurt, 7 years is too long to put up with this crap. I'm at the point where I just don't want her to come here anymore. I made such an effort to include her, to make her feel at home and like a part of the family, because she is, I tried to be close to her because I thought perhaps she upset about losing her dad or sharing with myself and dd but that kid wont be happy until she has her dad to herself.

mumandboys123 Sun 06-Jan-13 15:10:32


who's house is it? yours? or yours and your partners? would you expect your partner to say your child needs to live with her dad because she doesn't behave the way he wants her to?

how is she supervised when with you? in other words - how is she finding time/space to be able to steal things, rummage in wardrobes, pick things out, hide them and get them out of the house - I mean, a pair of skates? did you find them on her?

yes, of course she wants dad to herself. She only sees him in school holidays and he can't even be bothered to take time off work. So she's left with step mum who is fed up with her (don't blame you!). If she is as sneaky as you suggest and is generally badly behaved, what does mum say? what does the school say?

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Sun 06-Jan-13 15:12:02

What a nightmare sad

I feel sorry for you and both of the girls really. She was only a little girl when her Dad started living with another lady (you) and another little girl (your DD) that must really, really hurt and be very hard to deal with. It would appear that her Dad has not handled this at all well and so the situation has just got worse and worse and worse.

I can't believe you have tolerated this for 7 years though sad Your childs entire childhood so far - that's really sad.

What are things like when his oldest daughter isn't there?

Is he a misguided 'keeper' or is he lacking in other ways too?

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Sun 06-Jan-13 15:13:23

I can't imagine being in a relationship where this has been allowed to continue for 7 years, with a man who doesn't have the balls/skills/where-with-all to have sorted it out, with someone who will overlook the behaviour of one child at the detriment of another (and much younger) child.

3littlefrogs Sun 06-Jan-13 15:16:50

My children come first. I would not stay with a man who was prepared to let his dd ruin my daughter's childhood. sad No man is worth that.

FrustratedSycamoreIsNesting Sun 06-Jan-13 15:20:41

I think your Dp needs to sort out reasonable contact with his dd, (your dsd) so that he is actually about (not working or working much less) when she visits.

Waitingforastartofall Sun 06-Jan-13 15:34:23

I feel sorry for both of you to be honest it sounds an awful situation. I think contact where your dp is around would be the best option or I don't really see the point she doesnt want to be with you and you don't want to be with her understandly. its a tough situation but I see where you are comin from. hope you sort something out.

emu220 Sun 06-Jan-13 15:35:13

mumandboys123 - It is both mine and my partners house BUT it is also dds home and for the last 7 years she has been bullied in it every school holiday, I have tried to get dp to deal with dsd behaviour to no avail, how long do I let it go on, if dd was misbehaving myself and dp would deal with it together (dds dad is not involved in her life, his choice), but he will not challenge dsd behaviour, he is terrified of upsetting her.

I should say we have 3 year old twins together, and dsd is fine with them, extremely loving actually so I know shes capeable.

Dp does try and take time off but because everybody where he works wants school holidays they have to take turns onl so many can be off at once.

I do love him, hes a good dad to our other 3, I know what you are saying 3littlefrogs I have been down that road but then I am taking the boys dad away from them. I'm just stuck!!

emu220 Sun 06-Jan-13 15:35:39

Sorry for typos, multitasking!!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 06-Jan-13 15:39:29

I cannot believe you have stayed this long knowing that this girl is bullying your DD. Your poor DD.

emu220 Sun 06-Jan-13 15:40:59

She is supervised, but she is 12 I cant make her follow me around the house!! I have tried to encourage them to do things together and while they are downstairs being watched you would never know there was a problem but as soon as I leave the room it all starts.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 06-Jan-13 16:21:14

You are not unreasonable to refuse to care for your DPs DD when she visits - you have three other DCs to consider.
If he can't get time off work, then perhaps he should re-think the contact schedule or consider alternative arrangements such as family or formal childcare.
His DD has problems - if she steals and physically assaults others at 12 years old she is criminally responsible and someone will eventually report her to the police.

ChocHobNob Sun 06-Jan-13 18:03:32

Agree completely with NADM. You are probably unreasonable to ban your partner's daughter from her father's home. But you are definitely not unreasonable to stipulate that he must always be present at contact and that your daughter's safety is important to you.

If he was always there, perhaps his daughter wouldn't behave the way she does. Or at least he would witness the behaviour. He should be supporting you too.

colditz Sun 06-Jan-13 18:09:55

Refuse to look after her. Then your partner will have to be there. She should be in the care of a biological parent at all times, because you don't want to look after her. So if she is at yours, and her father goes to work, take her back to her mothers, if fact insist that she is taken home before your partner leaves the house.

Do not ever, ever be alone with her. A young person this capable of theft, violence and spite is perfectly capable of saying "Emu220 took photos of me in the bath" or "Emu220 hits me when there's nobody else there"

Protect yourself and don't be alone with this furious little girl.

NanaNina Sun 06-Jan-13 19:04:42

Oh lord - I could have written this post many years ago about my SD. I had a child the same age from a previous r/ship and then DP and me had another child. It wasn't so much the bullying, but she was just contrary over everything and I got to the stage where I dreaded her coming. All our family holidays were spoiled because of her moods and sulks. Of course DP saw no wrong in her and yes we rowed and rowed about her. Just thinking back turns my stomach.

I hated the fact that could feel so horrible about a little girl - but I did - and thank god I had a friend on whom I could off load. She also told lies all the time, stupid ones and we didn't correct her because DP would have been upset. It was hard for my son (who was well treated by DP until he got to teenage and then there were some ruffled feathers) to have to listen to SD telling him she had been out with Adam Ant or something equally ridiculous.

Well the years rolled by and by the time she was 15/16 her visits became less and less as she didn't really want to come. Looking back I can see that she was hugely insecure and jealous of the other kids and wanted her dad and nothing else. I'm not sure she got a very good deal from her mother either, as she was pretty much left to her own devices, so she had very low self esteem. I can see all this now, and sadly she has made a sorry mess of her adult life too.

I think you are in an impossible position - and how strange that she is loving with the 3 yr old boys. Children who steal are stealing because they believe that others have more than them and it is rooted in jealousy and stealing is one of the ways that this comes out. We had to deal with this too. The same thing is probably true of your SD though I know you will not be able to see anything positive in her at the moment.

Can I ask how your dd feels about the SD - does she complain about being bullied - do you think it's affected her emotionally. Yu are between a rock and a hard place because as someone has said youcan't really refuse to have her in your house, or your DH could refuse to have your daughter in the hosue. What kind of step father is he to your girl btw. Are yu able to talk to him about you feel about his daughter, without being critical but tryng to ind some middle ground.

SO so sorry you are going through this - it's a torment. I reckon the best thing you can hope for is for her to turn 15/16 and she will have her own life then and won't want to come. Then maybe her dad can visit her sometimes.

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 20:03:11

Just a word of caution, don't bet that things will change when she's 15/16. Some of us have 17/18 year olds coming on scheduled access visits, with no find on sight

OP that all sounds do difficult. Im not sure I would stay in that situation if I were you tbh. At 12 I would doubt she's going to get any easier for a very long time. I don't think I could put my own DD through it i were you. What will your DD think when she thinks back about how horrible every school holiday was for her, and wonders shy no one protected her from it. Sorry to sound harsh, but that's what I'd be thinking

mumandboys123 Sun 06-Jan-13 20:10:26

but what is the flip side? that a child doesn't get to spend any time in her father's house? that she is effectively banished from her dad's house? how is that going to help? it is all very well saying 'she has to learn to behave' but biological parents don't 'give up' on their children in that way, do they? if mum and dad were living together and the child was stealing and causing problems with a sibling, they would tackle it together. It is rare that it would come to the child being banished from the house (put into care, effectively).

There is a real need for mum and dad to deal with the issue, and for step mum to be backing up. How is communication between the parents? are you able to speak with mum at all? I asked earlier - what does the school say? is your partner receiving reports? can he phone the school and ask to speak to the head of year and explain what is happening in your home and ask how she is viewed in school? the school may be able to organise some support - someone to listen to about how she feels - if nothing else.

allnewtaketwo Sun 06-Jan-13 20:14:18

No, biological patents dont give up, but they have to approach a situation as one, which doesn't often happen in a step situation because the parent ends up being defensive when the non parent criticises the child.

If I were the OP and if the DP wasn't tacking this vigorously, then I'd leave

colditz Sun 06-Jan-13 21:43:14

Biological jparents don't give up, but biological parents have rights. They have the right to make decisions, apply discipline and criticise behaviour. Often, none of this is available to a step parent.

mumandboys123 Mon 07-Jan-13 09:20:28

I think it's unfair to suggest that all parents will get defensive when their children are criticised. Much will depend on the relationship between exs as it is they who have to sort things out. If my children were stealing from my ex's home and bullying someone else's child, I would be of course be defensive but assuming I had no reason to believe that lies were being told, I believe that I would set to and work it out as best as I could with my ex. At some level it would be so embaressing that I would really strive to understand what is happening for my child and try and put it right. It's not 'normal' behaviour and it's very, very worrying.

If she is picking on the OP's child that isn't her father's also there is clearly a reason for that and she should perhaps be confronted with the behaviour, by her dad and step mum together in an understanding but 'we want answers or else' kind of way. It is terribly hard for a child to be separated from a parent and see them 'move on' and have 'new' children and life be OK for them whilst they're living miles away and life doesn't seem quite so great 'cos mum's on her own and stressed or has a new partner and isn't paying as much attention to the child as perhaps she used to. Here we have a child who isn't biologically her father's who spends way more time with him than she does. That MUST feel awful.

It really does require dad to step up and be a dad, properly, to his child and work this out. If he's not going to then really the OP has her answer, doesn't she?

gallivantsaregood Mon 07-Jan-13 09:50:26

Op this has to be do hard for you and your DD. However I think it is hard for DSD too. From everything you've said I believe she I'd struggling with the fact that your DD has her dad and technically he's not even her dad! Add to that, that when she does come to visit a)dad still has to work b) she is sharing him with another 3 children and you.

She I'd quite understandably hurt and angry. I think she very possibly feels like Dad cares for your children more than he foes for her. Many adults would struggle to deal with this type of complex relationship, so expecting a vulnerable child , who is also dealing with the changes of adolescence, to deal with it is quite unreasonable.

Her behaviours needed be addressed and dealt with consistently. She cannot be allowed to continue to terrorise your DD. However DSD also needs lots of reassurance, understanding and love from you nut most importantly your DH. He needs to help her to feel important to him. TBH she could probably benefit from some family and individual counselling.

If her feelings are not acknowledged and her behaviours not addressed she will continue to be a very unhappy little person who will destroy relationships all around her and potentiallybend up I'm a whole lot of trouble.

humptydidit Mon 07-Jan-13 13:25:18

emu I really feel for you.

My situation is somewhat similar. Except that I don't live with dp, he is just literally 2 mins walk away. He has dsd and dss who live with him full time.

Dp has really struggled with dsd. She is a handful and she really dislikes me. On one hand I agree with other posters who see it from the child's side and I can see clearly that she is very insecure, low self esteem etc etc. However, 1 childs behaviour cannot be allowed to rule the whole family. Of course, if she spends little time with her dad then she would want to make the most of it while she is there... If my dsd has her way, me and dp would not be together. She tries hard at times to make it difficult for us to be together and I hate it.

Me and dp have been over and over it loads of times. But the bottom line is like somebody ellse said, as a step parent you have none of the power or responsibility of parenting that the real parents do and it's bloody hard. You feel totally powerless in your own home and over your own children.

My dsd is currently not allowed to be with any of my children unsupervised, due to previous incidents. I am not happy or proud of the situation, but I have to protect my own children. Long term, something has to give and sadly it has to be dp who deals with it.

I'm sorry I don't have any answers for you, but I do agree with others who said that you have to protect your children, all of them, and it is not fair for 1 child to grow up being bullied or having things spoilt just because of 1 child. Of course your dsd wants more attention from her dad when she's staying with you, but that does not give her the right to upset other family members. And even if they did feel a little pushed out when she is there, they would probably accept that. But it does not give her a green light to hurt/bully/upset them.

Unfortunately I agree with NADM and think you need to put the ball back in your dp's court, she is his child and he needs to face up to her behaviour and build a relationship with her which accomodates everybody's needs and where there is no place for hurting anybody else.

Good luck!

NanaNina Mon 07-Jan-13 13:52:08

I know this is not going to help at all, BUT step parenting in the main doesn't work - animals don't do it and as I've said on here many time before the lion will kill the lioness's cubs if he wants to mate with her, to ensure his gene pool is preserved.

I know we are meant to be the higher form of animal life, but sometimes I think there are lessons we can learn from them.

The problems are many and convaluted and jealousy, rejection, abandonment, fear and anger are all in the mix with the step child/ren. They can't process these feelings, so it comes out in all sorts of other ways, and all that is seen is the manifestations, not what lies beneath. I have only found this out over the years since the awful sp-ing years ended, and can now see it all more clearly. My SD told me (when she was grown up) that she knew I didn't like her (and I tried so hard to pretend I did!) and she hated seeing me with my own children and being different with her.

PLEASE step-mums don't think I am trying to tell you that the poor s-c has all these problems, (she has) but you have all sorts of emotions that you can't process either because you are in the middle of it all. I had a good friend to talk to and was able to bang her kitchen table and say "I hate that bloody girl" .........phew heavy stuff but ye know what we are human too and as I said before we have a mixture of powerful emotions that we are not really aware of and everything is focussed on what the s-c is doing (or not doing)

I don't think there is an answer to be honest I just wish I'd never had to go through it and I feel so so much for all of you going through it now. The only useful thing I can say is A can't change B's behaviour but A can change her behaviour.......don't think I mean you have to be all nice and whatnot when you feel such anger inside you. Try changing just one thing - doesn't matter what it is - when s-c does/say something you don't like, just change what you usually do/say or even change your body language. Life is like a script really and we all play out parts, but when you change the script people are confused.............not saying it will make things better but you could note how the s-c reacts when you change what you normally do, because there will be a reaction.

I was a social worker/manager for 30 years (now retired) and suggested people in difficult r/ships did this, and they used to say how confused their husband looked because she wasn't doing what she always did. IT isn't easy
but it does demonstrate that people expect (not consciously) certain things to happen in arguments and when someone changes the tune, they are confused. One woman had a difficult daughter (LDs) not a step child but her husband was not very tolerant and when the girl used to spill something deliberately on the table at meal times, the mother used to get upset and start mopping stuff up and the husband would be shouting. I suggested nexyt time it happened she left the table and picked up a book to read (she was a keen gardener and had lots of hard backed gardeningbooks, but she said she didn't think she could do it, so we wrote things about changing the script and watching the behaviour and she put it inside the gardening book and just kept looking at it. Her husband was confused and agitated and said "why aren't you mopping up this mess" and she said "No i might do it later" - she said the funny part was seeing him standing by the table with his arms outstretched not knowing what to do. The daughter came and sat by her mom and the husband went out tocut the hedge........................I suggested she tried it in other situations and we used to have a good laugh about the outcomes.

Sorry I am going on.................will shut up now.

flurp Mon 07-Jan-13 16:32:07

No you can't ban her - that will make her worse. But you can remove yourself and your dd when she is around.
I agree with those who have said you should refuse to be alone with her - she isn't your responsibility and your priority is your dd (poor kid being abused in her own home by this spiteful horrible girl)

Petal02 Mon 07-Jan-13 16:56:31

No you can’t ban her, it will make it worse. But you can remove yourself and your dd when she is around. I agree with those who have said you should refuse to be alone with her – she isn’t your responsibility and your priority is your dd

Excellent post. OP, whilst I think that this is definitely the best course of action, how would your DP react to that? Would he still bring his daughter over to the house, and then go out leaving you with her? And if so, would you be able to remove yourself and your daughter until she’s gone? I realise this latter point probably sounds rather extreme, but it may be the only way to get through to your DP. But as an earlier poster said, you can’t allow this child to ruin your daughter’s childhood.

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