Step daughter doesn’t want to go home?(17 Posts)
Hi everybody, I’m new to this but... my stepdaughter doesn’t want to go home. She’s a great character, full of jokes and energy but the second we say it’s time to go home she’s different. She explains that she feels she’s being picked on by her step dad for things she doesn’t do. She cries and usually gets over it and goes home willingly. Just recently it’s got worse. She’s cries to the point she feels sick or is sick. she gets awful cramping in her stomach, she’s hysterical! She looks terrified of the door! Any advice would be appreciated :/
Has your husband discussed this with her mother? That seems the first place to start. How old is she? How often do you see her?
Sorry this is going on, it's so difficult
It’s been mentioned before and my step daughter was told off for it. This has been going on for a year in total on and off... 😕
Your poor stepdaughter, her mother sounds a delight if she is making her scared to speak up. How much time is she with you?
There's clearly a problem at home. Could she speak to a school counsellor? Is living with you an option?
Can she stay with you longer? Hope you get to the bottom of whats going on
How old is she?
We have a similar-ish scenario and are trying to work out if there’s a serious problem!
We were given advice that kids could find transitions very difficult so be matter of fact and fairly upbeat for hand overs/goodbyes. This seemed to help. Ours is young though.
I’d be worried about her upset to the point of being sick. I’d want to ask some questions or get some counselling for her to find out more I guess. It’s very hard though.
She’s just turned 10. She has had appointments with a school counsellor previously. We don’t want to ask “leading questions” just in case we put ideas into her head. We’ve got a diary of things she’s said to us over the past few weeks all dated. We have her once in the week and then alternate weekends. We have also made work arrangements in case she is to live with us.
Ideally the patents would sort it out between them. But if it means dsd gets told off maybe Dad should discuss with a solicitor? It may be nothing but safeguarding issues need to be excluded.
I was going to say...perhaps your house is more fun to be at.. so she doesn't wabt to go home...but as you said she's mentioned her step dad... maybe that's the only or main issue.
I have to say...sometimes I read threads in 'relationships' and I see women describe how their DH/DP treats their DC less favourably than his own...or picks on them and shouts at them...yet they don't leave and these things have gone on for months and years.
I feel for the poor children involved who often end up needing therapy to deal with it.
"Their narrative will be mum's husband treated me badly and I told dad, but nothing changed"
So they have low self esteem and think they aren't worthy.
Well done for keeping a diary, this may come in handy if things escalate. My step son is almost 6 and he does exactly the same thing, he doesn't give a reason he just becomes hysterical telling us that he wants to stay with us and doesn't want to go to his Mum's, he doesn't give an answer when asked why. We try and make it no big deal, tell him that his Mum is so excited to see him, he'll have lots of fun, he'll see us again in a couple of days (the usual reassurance stuff). But the same as your situation, he's distressed beyond belief.
I would get your partner to carefully bring it up and explicitly state that the child is NOT to be told off because he's bringing it up. If my step son gave a reason I would bring it up myself at the door (and get a barrage of verbal abuse for it, but at least I'd know I'd tried to help resolve it).
Your step daughter obviously sounds like she's very fond and happy with you and her Dad which is lovely. Just get your partner to talk it over with the child's mother as this is all you can really do unfortunately. Wishing you all the best!
This is really really tricky.
It could be that she is more jealous of her step dad. It could be that she’s just not that fond of him.
It could be that you provide a healthier happier home. It could be that you are easier to manipulate and indulge her more.
It could be that there is a more serious issue.
Very tricky! As on the one hand, you want to take a kids worries seriously. You want, naturally, to know what’s going on. On the other, if she’s been whipped into a hysterical state herself, then this is a really damaging course for her if it’s not to do with a more serious issue.
I’ve always told my kids that their first port of call if they were cross with a parent / step parent, is with that person. Even from a young age. That running to the other parent who is in a different house is not a good idea. My kids often complained to me about the other parents.
That is separate to ‘the talks’ about privacy, body privacy, not keeping secrets, feeling funny about someone etc. Or if they ever felt frightened by shouting or aggression. I’ve taught them to hopefully always tell me and or other responsible adults about that stuff.
Also, kids can pick up on our own biases a lot. She may well know her step dad is an easy target, as he won’t have much credibility with her own Dad.
I suppose in a long winded way I’d approach this carefully with as much wisdom and calm as possible. I would gently probe personally, say to DSD that she won’t get into trouble, but be very vague and open ended and light. Like - can you give me an example of why you feel like this? Is there anything that step dad has done? Or said?
Approach mum with loads of tact, say you just want to get her view, help DSD with this, ask if there is anything, even small, that may have happened...
Etc. Do this lightly if you can. Over time. Don’t give your DSD drama back, keep it very calm, she may well just be reacting to his personality and he’s perfectly fine, in which case you don’t want to do anything to make your DSD feel that she can reject her or undermine her mother. But, you may find, there is an issue, maybe a small one, which ultimately you can’t solve but you can keep a wise ear out for.
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