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Violent DSD

(56 Posts)
OrchardBeginning Sun 21-Feb-16 20:04:50

My DSD is 17 and I've been with her Dad for 10 years ago. She's always been good on the whole but with an angry side and we've had ups and downs. I have 3 young children with her Dad and she's always been nice to them, not super close but nice enough. Tonight however one of the little ones (5yrs old) was being a bit annoying asking what DSD was doing and trying to get involved (DSD was taking selfies) and DSD was ignoring her. DD hit DSD on the arm as she was getting frustrated at being ignored, I was about to swoop in and tell DD off but before I could DSD turned and smacked DD across the shoulder so hard it's left a bright red mark / bruise. For context I know what DD did was wrong, but it was a small tap/hit on the arm trying to get attention.

Both me and her Dad shouted at DSD asking what she thought she was doing and she absolutely flipped - swearing, saying we always take DDs side, that DD bullies her (?!) and was slamming doors, banging on walls. Awful. DD was in tears, the other little ones were crying and now they're all scared of her.

I really don't know what to do. She's gone home now as we have EOW contact and it's over for the weekend. I don't want her back here in our house when could do that to a 5yr old. I don't really have that choice though do I so what happens now? Thanks for any advice.

RandomMess Sun 21-Feb-16 20:11:07

TBH that is pretty standard sibling behaviour...

They do wallop each other. Your DSD is going through huge brain changes (look it up it's true) she reacted because she's not an adult with the self control to not lash out back.

plumpynoo Sun 21-Feb-16 21:33:47

Your DSD is lucky you have some self control, i would have found it difficult to restrain myself if a 17 year old had hit my 5 year old hard enough to leave a mark. You need to address this with your partner and DSD before she enters your house again. Explain to her that in under a year she will be classed as an adult, and that if she assaults one of your children again she will face criminal charges as well as being unwelcome in your home. She needs to apologise for what she has done, and acknowledge that her reaction was disproportionate to a small child slapping her arm. I am a step mum, so i know how difficult the situation can be, but your husband needs to be reasonable about this and protect his other childrens safety as well as his dsd's feelings.
As for people saying that is normal sibling stuff, yes it is, but for siblings who are much closer in age and size! I don't think anyone in their right mind would think that a 17 year old should think its ok to fight with a 5 year old! Time your DSD grew up a bit!
I fully expect people to say i'm overreacting to this, but if my children are ever put at risk by my DSD (there is a 11 year age gap) then i will certainly take action to protect them!
Hope you can improve the situation op!

anklebitersmum Mon 22-Feb-16 03:11:10

No excuse for hitting on either side.

At 5 DD is old enough to know that hitting is not an OK way to get attention and DSD at 17 knows damn well that hitting a 5yr old is not acceptable. Whether it's a 'flash to bang' reaction either to being hit or to being ignored it's wrong, end of chat.

The pair of them should have had the age-appropriate riot act read to them and been asked to 'make up' afterwards.

PrettyBrightFireflies Mon 22-Feb-16 06:17:54

Your DSD is going through huge brain changes (look it up it's true) she reacted because she's not an adult with the self control to not lash out back.

So if the OPs DSD was working in a nursery or holiday club and walloped a child 12 years younger than her, that would be OK, because she hasn't got self control yet?

The OPs DSD is lucky that she's not facing an assault charge - I'm not sure Id be as restrained. An adult who hits their child leaving a mark is regarding as abusive - the OPs DD better learn some self control, quick!

3phase Mon 22-Feb-16 06:53:34

Erm no, a 5 year old whacking an adult is not the same as an adult whacking a 5 year old. I wouldn't want her near my DC either OP. Not sure you can say she can't come back in the house really (or maybe you can if she's 17??? - what's your relationship with her mother like??) but you definitely have good reason to keep her away from the little ones.

If I had a 17 year old who hit a 5 year old I'd fully support the 5 year old's mother in refusing to allow her near them again. I'd be mortified. Actually I'd apply that to our 11 year old.

Ledkr Mon 22-Feb-16 07:09:37

My 14 yr old occasionally taps her 5 yr old sister who loves to wind her up.
Dh and I of course do tell her off and point out the imbalance of it.
However I struggle with your reaction to one incident as saying she is "violent dsd" poor kid, she's hardly that from one incident and she probably reacted like that cos she's embarrassed.
you cannot ban her from her dads home just for a misdemeanour just like I can't ban mine.
Of course it needs addressing abd must not happen again but I do think this is a slight over reaction.

anklebitersmum Mon 22-Feb-16 07:33:00

3phase Please don't get me wrong-wasn't saying it was OK in any way-just that both needed to be dealt with age appropriately. Especially as family members.

I don't think screaming and shouting was the best way forward either tbh-but again that's a flash-to-bang reaction.

Ledkr Mon 22-Feb-16 08:01:43

I think the screaming and shouting shows how wrong she knows it was.
Dd goes on the attack when she knows she's in the wrong and so cannot provide any reasonable response.

Whosthemummy16 Mon 22-Feb-16 08:15:23

At 17 I was working in a childcare setting, if I had smacked a 5 year old I don't expect the fact that my brain was changing would be taken very seriously !!
The 17 year old only lives with the 5 year old every other weekend so its not a typical sibling reaction where she has constantly been wound up (not that that would of been an excuse in my eyes ! )
I don't see how a 17 year old hitting a 5 year old hard enough to leave a mark is ever acceptable.
I would be expecting the 17 year olds parents to be dealing with the situation though so you are not classed as the big bad stepmum, it's all too easy to blame the stepmum!!

Ledkr Mon 22-Feb-16 08:54:06

Dint think the work analogy is a fair one.
I work with pretty difficult teens and their families.
Often scenarios where Id tell my own kid to shut up or go away or tell a friend they were being ridiculous, I obviousjy don't do it at work tho.
The 17 yr old is definitely wrong but I don't think she needs to be vilified just yet.
Banning her from the house or calling the police is, at the moment a massive over reaction imo.

PrettyBrightFireflies Mon 22-Feb-16 09:00:56

I also work with difficult teens and one of the most challenging issues is their lack of physical boundaries with each other.
They tolerate their friends kicking, slapping, pinching, and hurting them - with no awareness that this is criminal behaviour or that they deserve better.
Unsurprisingly, there has recently been an incident where things got out of hand and an admission to A&E resulted in police involvement.

By the time they are teens, DCs need to know that physical contact of any kind is unacceptable, even between siblings and family.

3phase Mon 22-Feb-16 09:10:34

I agree, I think that by the time they are teens is absolutely the cut off for any kind of physical behaviour. It's not normal for siblings....We're talking about a 12 year age gap here!

Villifying won't work but this girl needs to be told in no uncertain terms by both of her parents that hitting a much, much smaller child is completely unacceptable and given whatever other support she clearly needs.

The OP meanwhile is well within her rights to keep her young DC away until she feels safe again. The girls' parents should both support her in this. If that means DSD spending most nights at Mums and having lots of days out with Dad, so be it. Honestly if my DC behaved like that, I'd be very prepared for the consequences.

HPsauciness Mon 22-Feb-16 09:11:19

It is completely unacceptable and you need to tell her that. Absolutely no hitting in your house, for both the sisters.

But all this talk of never allowing her in the house is ridiculous. She is a member of the family. Sometimes members of the family say and do awful things. Including thump each other. It can't be the norm, it can't be allowed, but you don't cut off a child for that!

Siblings wind each other up enormously, it's not at all the same as a work situation, just as being husband/isn't like being with a work colleague! It's quite daft to try to make out family relations are like being at work.

That's not to excuse it. Perhaps take her out and talk to her about what's going on, as it sounds like the tip of the iceberg on that occasion and whilst she did very much the wrong thing, and needs disciplining for that, there may be other frustrations that need airing.

pinkcan Mon 22-Feb-16 09:44:48

I'd tell them both off for hitting but I don't think I would brand dsd "violent" for hitting (once to a "non dangerous" area ie not head etc) a sibling who was annoying her. Siblings do hit eachother. Plus it must be difficult for dsd to come into your family of five (who all live there permanently) as a sixth "part time" person who is very different in age to the three little kids.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Mon 22-Feb-16 09:49:45

Ledkr has it spot on, labelling her as violent for this is out of order.

If course hitting her sister wasn't on, and rightly so she was bollocked for that, but my god 5 year olds can be irritating, and you really need to teach your DD it's not ok to bother or hit others too.

If you try to ban her from her fathers home over this it would be despicable, and if your husband allowed it it would make you both absolute arseholes.

Give your head a wobble and let it go.

Wdigin2this Mon 22-Feb-16 09:51:38

Your immediate reaction was to shout at the teenager because you were shocked at her actions. Her immediate reaction was to retaliate out of a sense of embarrassment and anger....neither were appropriate! The incident should be addressed in a rational manner, the 5 year old must be made aware that hitting anyone to get attention is not acceptable, and the teen must be told that hitting her small sister will NEVER be tolerated!

As for banning her from the house, or not allowing her near your children, if you do that she will not forgive you or forget....and it will be you she blames not her DF! Also, even though she'll know her DD was wrong, the teenager's mother will take her daughter's side in this! All of which will cause a hugely destructive situation, which can only end badly!

OrchardBeginning Mon 22-Feb-16 10:28:49

Thank you for your replies i've taken overnight to think it through and you're quite right I shouldn't brand her "violent" - I wrote the OP
just a couple of hours after it all happened and i was still very upset. She does have a very volatile streak and can be physically aggressive especially towards her own Mum and verbally aggressive to us so I suppose my description was in that context too - but she has never been physical with the children and this is why I was so shocked.

I must clarify as well i didn't shout at her I looked at her in disbelief / shock and asked what she thought she was doing. I'm not sure how else I should have handled the immediate aftermath but when she started shouting I let her Dad take over and he took her out of the room whilst I did explain to my DD that she shouldn't have started it.

I'm just so torn now with what to do. I accept I can't ban her from the house just like I wouldn't ban my own DD if she had done this to her younger sibling but I don't want the children around her just in case they annoy her again... DD has a mark on her arm today and is still upset. I think I'll probably take the kids away to visit family but feel cross that I have to do that.

Ledkr Mon 22-Feb-16 10:42:31

I wouldn't.
You should both sit down with her and talk about it.
Ask her if dd has been winding her up abd tell her what she should do if it happens again.
Obviousjy reiterate that it's not acceptable to hit a small child but she already knows that.
Obviousjy if it keeps hapoening then you will need to take action but it's likely to be a one off.

My dd is 14 abd her dad has got four dc under 5.
Any time with her dad is spent with all of them. She's really lovely to them but does confide in me how sad she feeks wgen she knows they have "her dad" all the time and she doesn't.
If she stays she shares a room with two of them so has to sleep with a light on and they wake her up.
It's not easy for them.

PrettyBrightFireflies Mon 22-Feb-16 11:31:16

If course hitting her sister wasn't on, and rightly so she was bollocked for that, but my god 5 year olds can be irritating, and you really need to teach your DD it's not ok to bother or hit others too.

Where does the line get drawn? Is it acceptable for an 18 year old cousin to hit an irritating 5 year old? A 25 year old Aunt? What about a 80 year old grandparent?

If 17 year olds are not responsible enough to be held accountable for their actions towards their small half-siblings unless the 5 year old is held accountable too, then how old, and far removed, does the relationship have to be to make it unacceptable?

If a parent had done to their five year old what the 17 year old did, it would be recorded as child abuse.

Ledkr Mon 22-Feb-16 12:55:11

Yes but the child wouldnt necessarily be removed, measures would be put in place to ensure no repeat performance which is what the op is doing.
As a SW I woukd certainly view this one off incident differentky to a 25 yr old aunt too!

PrettyBrightFireflies Mon 22-Feb-16 13:31:46

measures would be put in place to ensure no repeat performance which is what the op is doing.

That's the problem though, isn't it? The OP can't put any "measures in place" in relation to her DSD, all she can do is take steps to protect her DC.
If a parent assaulted a 5 year old in this way, then that parent would be expcted to comply with whatever measures SocServ/Police put in place - parenting classes, respite care, anger management, medication. If they didn't, the child would be considered at risk, and further action may be taken.
The OP has absolutely no way of ensuring that steps are taken to reduce the risk of her DSD behaving in the same way again (and by her accounts, the behaviour is escalating).
Removing her DD, and other young DCs, from the risk seems the responsible step to take.

anklebitersmum Mon 22-Feb-16 22:06:56

The teenager reacted badly but I am sorry the 5 year old started it by hitting first after she had pestered her to the point a parent felt they should intervene. Had said parent intervened before the 5yr old hit her step-sister I suspect there wouldn't be a 'case' for the teen to answer. To now vilify the teen and 'have to go out' every time she arrives is ludicrous.

You can not run away from this OP, you have to parent it out if you want DSD to be a part of your family long term.

Talk to them together and make it clear that neither of them is covered in glory and neither of them are expected to act like that ever, ever again.

PrettyBrightFireflies Mon 22-Feb-16 22:53:49

Talk to them together and make it clear that neither of them is covered in glory and neither of them are expected to act like that ever, ever again.

Is it reasonable to expect a 5 year old to maintain the same level of self control as a 17 year old?

This is MN madness at its finest - sometimes I'm sure that if a SM posted that their DSC had murdered their DC there would be posters defending the stepDC.

A NT 17 year old hit a 5 year old in anger. There is absolutely no excusing or justifying that, no matter how annoying or pestering the 5 year old was - 5 year olds are annoying, it's what they do. A 17 year old should have the self control to ignore, walk away, or respond in an appropriate way.

Chocolatteaddict1 Mon 22-Feb-16 22:59:39

I'd be fuming.

She was pushing a boundary. Her df needs to have stong and frank words that if she does anything like that again she won't be welcome.

A 17 hitting a 5 year old is not acceptable on any level. The whole 'you treat them better than me' is a bullshit diversion. My 21 year old tries it with my three year old and she gets told where to get off too.

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