Help me with how I feel please :((162 Posts)
My stepchildren were supposed to be with us until this morning.
Yesterday though, my SD did something she has been expressly told not to (on more than one occasion) which resulted in my beloved puppy breaking his leg.
Puppy will now be in the vet hospital over Christmas as surgery cannot take place until after. This has cost me dearly both emotionally & financially (though thankfully I'm insured for the latter).
It was an accident, albeit one that wouldn't have happened if SD had just done as she was told. She is old enough to understand.
I'm in pieces about my puppy. He is all alone and I miss him.
The kids' mum was great yesterday and had them while we were back & forth to the vet. They are coming back this morning to do presents.
The problem is I don't want to see SD. I'm happy for her to be here, see her dad, have Christmas etc. But I just want to stay out of the way. I've been told by everyone that "it was just an accident", "he's just a dog he'll be ok" and "don't make the child feel worse".
I know I'm an adult but I'm shocked / sad too. None of the real consequences of what happened fall on SD. Her persistent lack of ability to do as asked always seems to affect things of her brother, did or I. This is the worst yet though.
I just want some space to get over my own feelings. I can't see her yet. DP isn't forcing it but his family & the kids' mum think I'm awful.
Oh for goodness sake, it was an accident, children don't do as they are told all the time.
Paste a smile on and welcome her with open arms.
Hope your puppy recovers quickly.
This could have been your own child or any child for that matter but nevertheless is a sharp reminder that step children will never feel like our own
Also start acting like an adult. Slap a smile on and move past it, she's a child. I mean that kindly
It was an accident, albeit one that wouldn't have happened if SD had just done as she was told. She is old enough to understand
I don't have DSCs, but I do have DCs. I think sometimes it's helpful to think whether one would react in the same way had it been DCs rather than DSCs involved.
I have a rule in my house that no-one gets cross over accidents but that it's not an accident if it happens after and as a direct result of someone not doing as he's told.
You don't say how old DSD is, but anything more than 6 and I'd feel the same way as you do had one of my DCs done something the resulted in a puppy's leg being broken. In your place I think I'd quietly take myself upstairs until after their visit has ended. It must still be raw for you, and better to keep apart in the very short term than say something you might regret.
The not doing as asked thing is not always possible for some children, their processing ability doesn't allow it. This may or may not be the case for your sd but it's a very real possibility and, if it was the case, she'd be getting punished for something she has no control over. Just putting it out there.
That said, whatever the rights and wrongs, you are entitled to your feelings and it is such a shame that this has happened at Christmas.
Really though there is only one thing to do and that is to be the grown up. Be gracious, be kind because you are the parent, she is the child - and it's Christmas.
I'm really sorry to hear about your puppy. How old is your SD?
Yes, my post does assume that DSD has the processing ability to do as she's asked. I agree it's different if there's reason to think that she hasn't.
Still hurts though. Try to take it one bit at a time... as another poster suggested, maybe duck away for breaks if you're finding it too much?
Op you're going to have to tell us how old she is and what she actually did
Eg if she kicked him down the stairs that's different to leaving the front door open and he got out and was knocked down
I also think the child should have attended all the vets visits and appointments with you so that she can see the repercussions of her actions. Also having to face the vets and be embarrassed about what she did.
Agree with Lilaclily - if it was not putting her shoes in the cupboard, thats a bit different to leaving a glass jug balanced somewhere precarious also huge differences if she's 5 or 15. Hope the pup will be ok though. Yanbu to be upset, but you will have to be an adult and move on for everyone's sake.
I agreed with others, how old is your stepdaughter and what exactly did she do? Was it just being careless or was it a result of her direct actions? I think this does make a difference.
I pulled myself together for long enough to do presents.
She is 9. She opened the stairs gate (which we have to stop the dogs going upstairs), called the puppy up half way, ran back down and encouraged him to jump to her. Which he did.
I know it's Christmas but I am not in control of the timing and I am struggling with my feelings.
Aw I see, she must feel bad enough already , it was an accident , these things happen
The exuberance of Christmas probably didn't help , at that age they are thoughtless , what a shame though, so sorry for you and her and puppy
I agree with doosy seeing the direct consequences of her actions is the only real way for her to understand and learn.
Age is an important factor, but I do think that you need to suck it up. She is a part of your family and you should address it with her in an age appropriate way, rather than withdrawing affection, which while understandable is always a negative course of action.
That's not an accident though? Presumably it's something she has tried to before and you have told her not to (because of risk of harm to the dog) and then she did it anyway.
Obviously she didn't intend to break the dogs leg but she did intend to ignore the fact she had been told not to.
I would completely feel the same as you, probably because of the whole "it was an accident thing". I bet you'd feel differently if you felt the other adults around her viewed that particular behaviour as bad.
I bet that the other adults have perceived she already feels bad and are trying to smooth things over. I also reckon that the more angry or upset you seem, the more they are trying to smooth things over by saying it was an accident (I.e she didn't intend to break your dog's leg)
I would stay quiet about it and don't take your feelings out on the girl (because then everyone will spring to her defence and you'll continue to feel bad and the situation will be prolonged). But don't feel you need to slap a false smile on and be jolly. Your SD (and everyone else in the family) should be able to perceive the fact that you are upset and comfort you, regardless of why you're upset.
I'm so sorry for you and your dog
I think it's disgusting behaviour by your SD and that poor dog is suffering. I would be so mad! So so mad! That poor dog :-(
That's not a really an accident. I would be very upset if either of my children had done that and they are younger than 9.
Is she showing remorse?
I do hope your puppy recovers well OP. I'm not sure what I would do in your situation but you have every right to be very upset.
That's not an accident.
An accident would have been forgetting to close the stair gate.
Actively playing on the stairs with the dog when you have expressly told her not to isn't.
I agree that's not an accident at all. I would be furious if DS1, who's 9, did that. I wouldn't care one jot that she didn't intend the puppy to break its leg.
Ok I was thinking maybe
a) she was younger and b) it was more of an accident like dropping him after being told not to pick him up.
However your update clarifies that in fact it's is neither
At 9 she is old enough to understand when asked not to do something. Also what she did was deliberate not an accident like falling while carrying him or dropping him.
I'm sorry to say she has ingnored your requests and a poor animal is suffering as a consequence.
So yanbu to be upset with her.
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