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DSD being mean to DD

(47 Posts)
Fuzzygel Mon 10-Mar-14 14:24:28

This is my first post on this board so be gentle.

I've got a dsd aged 10 and a dsd aged 7. Also two dd aged 9 and 5 (not with my dh), and a baby.

My dd9 has autism. She is high functioning and mostly just finds social relationships difficult, although she is very keen to have friends she's hard to get along with as comes across as quite immature, likes things to be her way and doesn't 'get' how to play with others often.

I am protective over her for obvious reasons and hate to see her left out, she is more aware as the years go by that she's struggling. Dsd10 is (in my opinion!) a bit of a madam. She has always been like this (known her for almost 5 years) and although I have always liked and cared for her I do find her overbearing and a bit sly, she must always be first, always be the best, always have the most etc. I understand some kids are just like this and also that she's just a child and all we can do is try to teach good manners, to be kind, to play nicely etc.

In recent months she is excluding dd9 more and more when they are all together (every other weekend). She appears to find dd9 a little embarrassing and deliberately leaves her out of games and activities. Dh has tried to talk to her about ensuring everyone is included but it makes no difference. I have now started to actively dislike her because of this and am struggling to stop getting upset because of the way she treats dd9.

I really don't know what to do. I've tried to discuss with dh but he just says he'll talk to her again, which accomplishes nothing. I feel as if I need to split with dh to protect dd so she doesn't have to be made to feel like a loner in her own home every other weekend. On the weekends we don't have the dsc everything is fine and dds play nicely together. I have tried to talk to dd5 about this but she's a little young and just gets dragged off with dsd. I'm trying to be fair and not just assume it's all dsds fault....but it is!

I feel sick after the weekend just gone, watching dd being sidelined yet again. She can be difficult I know but she's also lovely, caring, enthusiastic and kind.

Marne Mon 10-Mar-14 14:34:01

I think you need to focus on the 'it's only every other weekend ' part. Would it really be worth splitting with dh because of a child who comes over every other weekend?

I know it must be hard ( I have 2 dd's with autism too and found it hard with my dsd when she was younger), maybe make a bit of fuss over your dd when she is being left out and find her something more fun to do ( that way dsd won't be winning as such as your dd will be doing something much more fun ), if dsd wants to join in then she has to behave. I know it's hard to discipline a step child but you need too, she's at your house she should abide by your rules, at the moment she probably thinks she can get away with what she wants, she doesn't expect you to do anything and if your dh is anything like mine he won't want to tell her off as he wouldn't want to upset her incase she then stops coming over ( had this problem with my dh ).

Fuzzygel Mon 10-Mar-14 14:38:47

Thanks Marne. That's what my dh says, about it only being every other weekend. But I think to my dd that's half of all weekends feeling like crap, and some holidays too. We're going away with all of them in the summer and I'm already dreading it.

Also I feel that for dsd sake I should not be in her life. She is only a kid after all (even if not a very nice one ;), don't know how to do the crossy out thing)! I try and try to be grown up but I can't help but get cross and ranty in my head and have a good cry when I'm alone. I do realise that most of my issue with her is actually about my dd, but I feel like I'm failing to protect my dd by allowing this girl in her house every other weekend. It's partly just circumstance, but dsd does actively exclude dd at times too sad

Fuzzygel Mon 10-Mar-14 14:40:20

By the way I adore my dh, he's a wonderful partner and great in every way. I would be devastated to split but I can't put him before my dd

Morgause Mon 10-Mar-14 14:47:06

My friend has 2 children the younger one (by 2 years) is autistic. She is often excluded by her brother because he finds her difficult to deal with. She can be very inflexible playing game. I don't think it's a step problem. I think it's the nature of some children.

Is it right to force her to include DD? My friend has stopped forcing her son to include his sister because it wasn't fair on him to have to always take her into account. As a result he is more willing to include her than he used to be when he was forced to.

Fuzzygel Mon 10-Mar-14 14:49:34

We haven't forced her, we've just asked she includes everyone in games, which she has ignored!

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 10-Mar-14 14:50:25

I'm not condoning her behaviour, but forcing them to 'play together' just isn't fair. Would you want to be forced to be with someone every other weekend? She is only 10.

Fuzzygel Mon 10-Mar-14 14:51:35

And no it's probably not right to force her, but nor is it right that dd is being made to feel like this. It happens at school yes, but we have other friends with children it doesn't happen with.

I realise I'm just arguing my point here, not really sure what I'm asking. I just hate this sad

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 10-Mar-14 14:52:10

Sorry cross posted, but telling her to include everyone IS forcing her.

Fuzzygel Mon 10-Mar-14 14:52:45

Then if it's not right to 'force' her, my only option is to not put my dd in this situation no?

Fuzzygel Mon 10-Mar-14 14:53:19

I beg to differ when she's just ignored it!

Morgause Mon 10-Mar-14 14:53:32

My NT DSs didn't include each other in all games when friends were round. It's a normal thing not to.

Try choosing a specific game and play with them, then they will all be included. DSD is only 10 and not really emotionally mature yet.

Fuzzygel Mon 10-Mar-14 14:55:36

I know it's normal but this is 1 dd left out every time. Do I just accept it? Is that what you all think? What about dd?

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 10-Mar-14 14:55:38

Well that's up to you. But forcing a 10 year old just isn't on.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 10-Mar-14 14:56:49

That was a reply to your pa post at 14.52 by the way.

Fuzzygel Mon 10-Mar-14 15:03:10

Sorry but have I missed something? Why are you picking an argument? By all means say you don't think it's right to ask her to include everyone but the way you're wording it 'forcing her just isn't on' is a wee bit strong under the circumstances.

And why was it pa? I'm genuinely asking if i can't stop dd being made to feel this way then should I just accept it or ensure it doesn't happen.

purpleroses Mon 10-Mar-14 15:04:56

Whether a child has a diagnosis of a condition like autism or not, they are who they are, and as a parent you understand your own child's flaws - just like you do with your DD knowing that she can come across as difficult to get along with sometimes, etc but understanding why she is that way. But your DH will feel exactly the same about his DD - the behaviour you describe as being a "little madam" he will feel the same about as you feel about your DD's social clumbsyness. It's not the autism diagnosis that makes you accept that this is just the way she is - it's being her mum.

I think as a parent and step-parent it's very difficult to empathise with your DSC to the same extent you do with your own DCs, but I think you can always remind yourself that your DP does feel the same way towards them as you do to yours.

I can't really see why you're expecting DSD to include DD in her play. If they both want to play together, then that's lovely. But if she doesn't want to play with DD then she shouldn't be expected to. As long as she's not nasty to her, let her play on her own or with her own friends.

Yes it is OK to put your DD in a position of asking someone to play with her and for them to say no, and for your DD to feel sad, but to accept that people sometimes don't want to play with her. Can you do more to help her have friends of her own round to play with? If she finds girls her own age hard, then younger (or even older) kids or boys might be a bit different in what they expect of her.

Two of my DSC get along brilliantly with my own DCs most of the time (though all sometimes feel the need for a bit of space). But my DSS who's only a year older than my DS really doesn't want much to do with him. Fortunately I don't think DS is very bothered by this, but it's just the way it is. DSS has the right to prefer his own friends to my DS.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 10-Mar-14 15:06:11

I'm not. You obviously are. It's your job to deal with your daughter, but certainly not at the expense of another poor child you seem to be determined to pin everything on. You are obviously looking for an argument, if you're like this in real life then you need to look to how you deal with things. And stop picking on a 10 year old.

lunar1 Mon 10-Mar-14 16:20:49

I think that in just the same way as you have started to dislike your dsd, she has probably started to dislike the way she is being treated every time she visits her dad.

Are your children always there when your dh's children come or are they with their dad sometimes?

Xalla Mon 10-Mar-14 16:43:53

I disagree with most of the above OP.

I do think a 10 yr old can (should) be told not to deliberately exclude other children. I'd tell my 5 yr old.

I'm not sure it's a step-issue particularly though; kids do gang up on each other in and out of families but it's certainly a behaviour I'd clamp down on in any situation.

Is your DSD aware that DD might need some extra tlc?

Loveineveryspoonful Mon 10-Mar-14 17:40:01

Agree with xalla, if my ds were acting meanly to a child in our house I'd def speak to him about it.
In fact, my dss is a bit different, for lack of a better word... And I've always asked ds to be kind and play with him, at least for a bit, just to show he means well. And the more time they spent together, the more they liked each other genuinely, and call each other brother, etc.
I can't see any harm in asking dsd to play nice. Isn't this a great skill to learn anyway?
Sorry, OP, that your dp doesn't see it as strongly as you do. Tbh, if the shoe had been on the other foot, I.e. My ds looking to play with dss, I'm not certain dh would have applied as much loving pressure as I did... Lots of double standards when nr dc come to stay.

Eliza22 Mon 10-Mar-14 20:22:28

My ds has high functioning autism. He is an only child though he did, at one point (they're now grown ups) have step siblings. What I can say is that it is very difficult for neuro-typical to want to "do" my son. He can be very hard work. He tries hard, but it is incredibly hard for him. I do t think you can force this. Work on the "everyone play together" thing and hang on to the fact that it IS just every other weekend. Try to develope a separate social life/group/activity for your own dd. It's very hard, I know.

Eliza22 Mon 10-Mar-14 20:23:54

I don't think you can force this!! (IPad).

mymiraclebubba Mon 10-Mar-14 20:57:21

Fuzzygel it must feel like an impossible situation but i do agree with purpleroses. Her post is very true and she speaks a lot of sense!

Have you considered that some of this could be her retaliation against being forced (in her eyes at least) to play with a child she doesn't want to? Do they have similar interests? Is she actively nasty to your DD? If not then i would suggest you don't try too hard to force the issue or you run the risk of your dsd resenting you and your dd!

Unfortunately your dd is going to have to learn that not everyone likes everyone else and not everyone is going to want to play with her all the time. It is not an easy lesson to learn at any age and as an autistic child then she will find it harder i am sure and you will want to protect her (perfectly reasonable imo) but you may need to help guide her through this.

if you play it down then your dd won't see it as an issue in all likelihood! Find her other things to do, let her invite a friend round.

Look at it this way - if they were biological siblings instead of blended would you be this worked up?

maggiemight Mon 10-Mar-14 21:10:48

I think the DSD is playing with the other DCs but not the 9 year old, hence OP's concern. It's not that she is just not playing with the 9 year old but leaving her out of the group.

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