Coping with my dsd(6 Posts)
Dsd is 8 in August. I've been with her dad nearly 3 years. She also has 2 brothers aged 7 and 4.
We mostly have a good relationship. I have a ds aged 5 myself and so no experience with girls but we've done ok, she often comes to me for a cuddle and I do love her very much, I think she feels the same.
The issue is that she is very ungrateful. An example of this is that I bought her a shopkins hat as a gift. She put it on her head for 2 seconds, announced "too big" and threw it across the room. At Xmas and birthday she gets to the end of her presents, barely notices them then cries because she wants more. If we go on a day out somewhere that isn't her choice, she'll scream and cry and ruin it for everyone. She reacts very violently when something doesn't go her way.
Last weekend I was downstairs when I heard ds crying upstairs. I went to see what was going on, and when I entered the children's room dsd was holding ds by his leg, not allowing him to move because he wanted to go outside and she didn't, and she wanted him with her. I just find her very hard work. She does have some lovely moments too.
How would you deal with this? I don't want to do anything that may harm my relationship with her.
It's great to hear you have a good relationship with your step daughter, but her behaviour sounds very challenging!
Do you think she could be feeling some lack of control over life in any way?
What sort of discipline is in place for this behaviour?
Whilst I would guess she is feeling out of place and insecure of her position in this new family set up that isn't a reason to let her get away with it.
She needs hugs and reassurance but a firm telling that the behaviour is unacceptable and won't be tolerated.
You've been in her life since she was 5, presumably she's used to you! So, no matter what the circumstances, no matter how difficult her parents break up was for her....this behaviour is totally out of control! If you and her DF let this continue unchecked, you have the makings of an unhappy, selfish individual, whom nobody wants to be with!
Do she and her brothers live full time with you? If so, then her DF has to lay some ground rules, and she has to know the consequences of her actions, this kind of disruption to family life can't be tolerated indefinitely, if you're all to have a harmonious life!
If they all visit on regular days, can her DF get her DM on board, or would that be difficult? Whichever way you deal with this it has to be lead by her DF, but you both have to be fully on the same page, and prepared to totally stick to your guns...whatever the consequent meltdowns!
Tbh I do tend to let it go, as I am worried about upsetting her. If she's really upset she refuses to come to us, which really makes dh unhappy.
Her and her brothers are with us eow and every Tuesday. I did tell her off about the hat, I said to her that if she doesn't like something someone has bought her she should just say no thank you rather than throw it across the room. She did apologize and then started crying which made me feel bad.
Her dm is part of the problem - the 7yo dss is autistic and the 4yo dss has speech delay which means that dsd is sometimes her mother's main source of conversation and I think she treats her as a much older child than she is. Plus everytime she visits us she has on new clothes, new shoes, new toys. I think she is inundated with treats from her mother.
Based on your update it Sounds like she is craving attention and feels like misbehaving is the only way to get it. We had similar issues with my dsd after mum and om moved in together.
Whilst not a perfect cure the following worked for us;
Ignore the bad behaviour providing not putting people in danger/hurting anyone
Over compensate on good behaviour
Try and find some time for her to have 121 with her dad but also 121 with you. My dsd was just starting to take an interest in make up etc at about your dsd's age so maybe some at home pamper evenings after the boys are in bed? Boots and the likes do cheapy face masks and foot rubs (or go on Pinterest for diy ones), paint nails do her hair etc.
Reward chart with small achievable goals so she can visualise her behaviour improving.
Her parents may have been apart for longer than together but she is just coming to an age where she is starting to understand adult relationships and how her set up is different from some of her peers. Add that to brothers with health issues who almost certainly take up lots of her dm's time and it is a recipe for boundary pushing!
Try not to be too critical of her dn though, it sounds like she is buying stuff to compensate for not having the time to focus on her dd and spending money on her probably lessens the guilt she feels
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