Have a bad feeling about this one(5 Posts)
DSD has been playing her mom up a lot recently. I know this as she will recount arguments. She will openly swear at her and is often vile - tbf if she acted like she does at ours I would not have stuck around.
Now there is a huge back story of mom wanting to compete with things in our house, of lying to DH about DSD and things that she has done wrong, missing of PR section at school to attempt to hide poor attendance or being late. It used to be that every time DSD or DSS got into trouble at home mom would phone DH and tell him to tell them off or expect him to discipline them at pick up at events that happened earlier in week but never ever backed up when there was anything that DH raised as an issue with her IYSWIM.
On hols this year DSD was a brat and we pulled her up on it, really stupid things such as not winning at cards she would throw them across the table and refuse to play - that sort of thing (she is 14). When we returned DH told mom and her response was - you are all just picking on her, she is the only girl and my baby (DSS is younger).
Anyway her behavior at moms has now spiraled out of control. Earlier in the week I went to collect DSS as he was coming to ours for a couple of hours and mom spoke to me about DSD and how she felt that DSD hated her and constatnly swore at everyone in the house and was just vile and she never engaged with anyone in the house, her grades were really bad etc, etc. Now DSD had spoke to me before Christmas about her grades and that she was stressed about them (she is not overly academic) but said every time she spoke to mom, mom just threatened to take presents off her and it always turned in to a row. I did explain to DSD that nobody could put the work in for her and told her to bring stuff at weekend and I would help her but she should try 20 mins revision a night for 3 nights a week. I never get into agreeing or disagreeing about what her mom says because I know DSD has form for telling the adults what she thinks they want to hear so not really sure how much is true. That said they are like completely different kids at ours (not angels) but everything is much calmer, rows don't happen because we don't argue with them - we lay down boundaries and if they overstep they know there are consequences and we do sick to them (confiscate phone etc).
Last night DH had text from mom saying that we (both him and me) needed to go to hers to talk about DSD's out of control behavior because she does not listen to her and she an't take anymore. DH let her know that I was out picking up DS and therefore he would have to check with me beforehand. So mom phoned him after half hour to literally rant about how we don't support her and she couldn't cope etc, etc. I walked in half way through so she wanted to speak to me.
I did tell her how I felt, I was brutally honest in that I explained that DSD loved her beyond doubt but had no respect for her because she has always let them do what they want and it is difficult for us to discipline them because they don't act like it at ours and we don't see that behavior, even when it is all of us together (mom, Dh, me moms partner & kids) they don't do it. That in the past when we have tried then she says the kids can't talk to you really because they are scared of you. I told her I think DSD believes that mom needs her more than the other way round because at Christmas mom was texting for days asking her to come home and then text DH saying kids can come home if the want. When Dh spoke to DSD and asked why she hadn't text back DSD said because she didn't want to go back that she was still home at ours and she didn't know how to say she didn't want to go home without hurting her feelings.
Mom said that she knew everything I had said was true but she can't control DSD and does not know how to change because DSD will literally follow her around the house harassing her until she backs down.
The call was ok, mom knew that what I was saying was not to get at her but to explain why I thought DSD was the way she was, whilst I was honest I was factual and kept saying that I knew SD loved her because otherwise she wouldn't be worried about hurting her feelings etc. Mom said she felt much better but didn't hold out hope for things changing.
But in reality what can DH and I do (and before anyone tells me I should back away, I would like to point out that it was mom that repeatedly draws me in to this). I don't want us all to be on DSD back because actually we don't have same issues at ours and therefore don't want to alienate her and leave her feeling that she can't talk to anyone and short of moving in with mom we have little control over what happens there. I am also a bit wary because in the past (and not even that long ago) when we have tried to help at moms request we are then painted as the bad ones that the kids are scared of. I feel like we are stuck between coming across as not supporting of mom or ending up as the dad people and alienating DSD.
Long post I know, didn't want to drip feed though
I don't think you need to get on your dsd back at all or take sides, it sounds like she has no respect for their mother but that's because the mum has let her away with so much so it is not up to you or your husband to discipline them in that area. My dsd is 3.5 and bites at home kicks rules roost and takes tantrums when things don't go her way because mum laughs when telling us infront of child then says she can't cope and threatens her with her dad but that's not his problem what she gets let away with at home. She doesn't behave like this at our house she is very content she also wets herself on purpose at her mums this worries me. All u can do is speak highly of their mum and reinforse how nice she is and a good mum she is to your dsd so she can gain more respect for her mum. I always tell dsd how her mummy loves her and she has be a good girl for mummy to bit that's all we can do.
can DSD live with you and her dad in the short term? Sounds like her and her mum could do with putting some space between them to clear their heads and try and find some common ground.
There is only so much you can do. You are on a 'hiding to nothing' trying to "fix" whatever is happening outside your period of care.
I would keep reinforcing the good messages you have been giving your DSD and hoping it rubs off on her when she is back with her DM.
Don't try to solve the problems of the world, it won't make a huge difference. And try not to get dragged into this vortex just because the DM tries to suck you in. She needs to get her act together, she's an adult too, without placing the onus on you to sort her out!
Yes wheres she probably could come and stay at our - no worries from a practical view point. DSD and DS go to same school, easy walking distance to and from ours etc.
I would be more worried about her using our house to punish her mom because I don't think that is fair either and would rather them be able to each a compromise between them or I have visions of fitting a revolving door to accommodate each and every time they have a disagreement.
I have spoken to DSD and told her that if it gets to much and she needs a chat anytime she knows she can pick up phone or pop in and I have also told her if she wants to come over in week for tea a couple of nights she knows she is welcome and hope that that is enough space for them in meantime.
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