SD's discipline ideas about my toddler

(41 Posts)
Anuta77 Sat 25-Jan-20 20:42:35

Hi there,
my SD is 13, I have a son who's almost 12 and me and DP have a toddler of 25 months. SD comes EOW, so basically sees the toddler twice a month.
I already posted about SD's feelings that it's her job to discipline the toddler in my presence. I told her several times not to do it, that it's my job. Falls on deaf ears.
I'm really trying to have a good relationship with her, she can be nice, but I do see inconsistencies in her behaviour that I can't accept.
So she's been with us less than 24 hrs and here are the things that happen.
-Toddler was in my arms and was making stringent sounds because he was excited. I don't even have time to open my mouth and she's autoritatively telling him "No". He obviously continues and she also. Whether I intervene or not, doesn't matter, she just seems to consider it her job. And I'm against 2 people disciplining my son, not to mention that I can deal with my son.

-When he was younger, he couldn't pronounce her name, so it sounded like "fifi", so she was teaching him to say her name. He finally learned how to pronounce it. She now decided that she likes "fifi" and everytime he calls her by her name (which is how we call her too and he hears it), she corrects him. Yesterday, she told him that if he calls her by her name again, she won't talk to him. Manipulation. I know he's too young to understand, but she does it also when he doesn't want to kiss her. She would take him toy and say that he won't get it until he kisses her. That makes me feel uncomfortable and again, I'm confused whether I should intervene or just let it go.

-If my toddler is having a snack while she's not, she just comes and takes a piece of whatever it is he has on his plate (not to mention that it's without washing hands). If I give something to her and keep one part for the toddler who's napping, she contests it. She wants to have it herself...

-Today I hear my toddler and her saying "it's mine" about something when I asked what's going on she sayd that she decided to teach him how to share. So she took his toy and when he wanted it, she said it was HERS and not to touch it. He obviously didn't accept it and she would repeat that it's hers, then take it away from him. Now, she always felt free to take his or my older son's toys as she pleases (as well as my things) even if it's without his consent. She once even took his favorite fidget cube without asking because "he already has another one". She doesn't bring much to our house, so doesn't have anything to share, but I heard her many times telling my son not to touch her phone or her small electric piano. I saw her twisting my son's hand because he wanted to take a spoon of her icecream, when she wants everything he has. About sharing with toddler, last time she was closing the box on his fingers because he wanted to take her pencils (she takes his obviously). And I have many more examples of her acting entitled.

So the problem is that not only I don't agree with her ideas and don't need her disciplining my toddler, but I'm annoyed at the blatant double standard. I want to have a good relationship with her, but I feel that I have to put her in her place (and even when I do, it doesn't sink, so I get even more annoyed).

Any advice?

OP’s posts: |
crochetandshit Sat 25-Jan-20 20:47:43

Where is her father when all these things are happening?
I'd probably have lost my shit over the taunting and taking his food/toys.

Fivetillmidnight Sat 25-Jan-20 20:55:45

You have as much right as any mother to make sure your child is happy and safe.
Tell your SD's dad that this behaviour is not acceptable.

gracepoolesrum Sat 25-Jan-20 21:01:45

What was she like before the baby? A lot of this sounds like classic attention seeking in the face of a new baby threatening her place in her father's affections. How much 1:1 time is he spending with her? The onus should be on him not you, partly because that's his job but also because it's unlikely you'll get through to her if the root problem is her fear that her father doesn't care as much any more.

Babyfg Sat 25-Jan-20 21:10:22

At 13 she's probably likes the idea of playing grown ups (and think she is one). I would reprimand her every time I noticed and I would tell her if she continues you'll have to make sure she's not left alone in a room with him (and because she's playing a grown up) which would be a shame as your usually very mature/ grown up/helpful (whatever is applicable).

I think it's a bit sad she doesn't have much at the house. Could part of her bothering the toddler be because she's bored? I used to bother my siblings when bored (but not so much of an age gap).

mummyof2darlings Sat 25-Jan-20 21:24:52

She sounds like my other half's sister who is now 14 and is only just starting to improve when we had my son she was 12 and tried telling me what to do when he was crying (still haven't forgiven her) 😂 she is a little brat though and has to gave her own way (20 year age gap between my partner and his sister)

sassbott Sat 25-Jan-20 22:27:07

I agree with other posters. Where is the dad when all of this is happening?

The reality is at 13, she is more than capable of not acting this way around a 2 year old. However she is and that tells me that she is struggling to find her place within your home. Especially in context of a baby who is her half sibling.

Does she get enough 121 time with her father?

And on another note, is enough effort made to make her feel special? You say you fix her a snack and put some aside for the toddler who is napping. In her mind she probably thinks ‘come on, can’t you just fix me a snack for ME?’

I can’t think of that many snacks that would take too long to prepare that we’re appropriate for both a toddler and a 13 year old. At 13 she should also be fixing her own snacks btw. But that’s a separate can of worms.


AnneLovesGilbert Sat 25-Jan-20 22:43:30

How are you dealing with these incidents? You don’t say.

What’s her dad doing?

I know it’s been going on a while but have you tried dealing very firmly with stuff like taking his toys, trying to make him kiss her etc by saying “DON’T take his teddy” then taking it back and moving him away from her? Saying “no, he doesn’t have to kiss you if he doesn’t want to, leave him alone” then removing him. “Give him back his snack, it’s his. I’m happy to make you a sandwich but don’t steal his food!”

Calm discussion about her behaviour once he’s in bed and you and her dad can explain why she’s out of line has presumably taken place several times so your only options are very firm interjections and/or removing him immediately each time or going out with him when she’s there for part of every visit so he at least gets a break.

WhiteCat1704 Sun 26-Jan-20 07:51:28

You should stop this behaviour if it makes you feel uncomfortable. You are the adult , mother and you are person with authority.
As poster above said you firmly tell her it's not acceptable and separate your child from her.

Her father should have a firm word too.

SoloMummy Sun 26-Jan-20 08:08:05

I think you're totally overreacting and sound like you have a chip on your shoulder tbh.

She just needs gentle parenting. She's embraced having a new sibling which is so hard given she would have been 11+ at the time.

Her behaviour with your son is normal and if you have an issue, maybe provide her with more at your home! But any issues should be resolved at the time!

The behaviour towards the toddler all sounds normal! Your reaction doesn't!

MeridianB Sun 26-Jan-20 09:23:32

YANBU OP. This would make me very frustrated and cross. In the short term, I’d gently but firmly intervene every single time she says or does something unhelpful or unfair, and briefly explain why.

I’d also probably try to ensure she’s not left alone in a room with the baby.

But mostly, and for the longer term, I’d expect her father to be sitting her down and explaining properly, as many times as necessary, why and how she needs to adjust her behaviour. I agree with pp who suggests lots of 1:1 time for them if they don’t already have it.

Raindancer411 Sun 26-Jan-20 09:35:43

I think you need to ask her Dad to have a word with her and discipline her. She is a child and you are the adult and mother, so you only will be the one disciplining from now on.

stuffedpeppers Sun 26-Jan-20 09:46:20

I personally would not get worked up as much as you are. My DCs have half sibling who is 7.5 yrs younger than them, they like to be in charge and tell them what to do. This is normal sibling behaviour.

Exacerbated by a child who has to deal with step sibling, baby and find her own way into this family where she is obviously not welcome on the god forbid 4 inconvenient days per month she is there and you struggle with.

She does not bring much to our house - how about her DF provides some stuff for her at his house, her DF sets the boundaries and you relax.

Does she have anywhere in her fathers home to store stuff or is she expected to carry all requirements every weekend?

AnneLovesGilbert Sun 26-Jan-20 10:12:26

It’s not normal behaviour. I have three younger siblings and my step kids have a baby half sister. My DSC would never do anything like OP has described. They’re kind and respectful to her, play with her, help feed her, want her to be happy, would never ever try and upset her. I can’t see how anyone is defending a teenager taunting a toddler, it’s horrible.

Her dad needs to address her behaviour and where it’s coming from and OP you need to protect your child. Whatever the reasons for her actions, there’s no excuse for her trying to undermine you or to be mean to your son.

HeckyPeck Sun 26-Jan-20 13:21:21

Her behaviour with your son is normal and if you have an issue, maybe provide her with more at your home! But any issues should be resolved at the time!

It’s absoltley not normal for a 13 year old to twist a toddlers hand or shut his fingers in boxes.

It’s spiteful and unkind and she’s old enough to know that.

I would up the firmness. DSD DO NOT do that again. If you do that again you will lose screen time (or whatever other consequences are suitable/relevant) and make sure to follow through.

Also remember to praise/rewarding any times she is nice.

I wouldn’t leave them alone for the time being or until her behaviour improves.

I also wonder what her dad is doing when this is happening? Really he should be the one to correct and enact consequences, but if he won’t/can’t then you have to do what is necessary to protect your child.

FoxtrotOscarPoppet Sun 26-Jan-20 16:25:07

Be very firm with her and challenge her behaviour. Have a talk with her father about it.

If it doesn’t stop then tell her father she is not to be in the house unless he is present.

It’s not normal behaviour and you have to protect your child.

SoloMummy Sun 26-Jan-20 17:14:18


The behaviour you're mentioning was towards her 11/12 year old son as I read it.

sassbott Sun 26-Jan-20 21:10:03

Who thinks this is normal behaviour? That’s quite shocking. My DP’s DC are younger than my Dc, not significantly as this and not once do they taunt/ tease/ snatch off any of the younger children. They may at times find them annoying but in that situation they’ll just remove themselves or come and have a quiet word with me.

If I ever caught my children doing this to a younger child, I’d be horrified.

CustomerCervixDepartment Tue 28-Jan-20 12:32:44

No mention of the child’s parent?
Are the elder two kids emotional needs being met after the breakdown of their families and being made to live with parents new wives/blokes etc? And then having a half sibling thrown in to the upheaval, as well. The child is begging for attention, parenting needs to be done, where is her parent?

Anuta77 Thu 30-Jan-20 03:06:17

Thank you for your replies.
I don't have the impression that SD is acting out, most of the time, she looks happy. She's not a bad girl, she loves my older son (they used to play together all the time when younger) and she adores the toddler. And that's why she seems to think that she can do whatever she wants with him.

I don't think there are a lot of reasons to be jealous of her dad, because I am the main caretaker of the toddler. He plays with him now that he's older, but never for a long time at once and SD doesn't have any problems to join in and I see the tree of them interacting or watching a film. It's my older son that is not always included, but that's not the subject of this post. Her dad goes to see her when she's not with us, they communicate online and he takes her to eat on their way to our house (or after).

I do fix snacks just for her sometimes, less now than before, but I still do it. And I do buy her some things in our house. Just this weekend, she got a bathrobe and a drawing book.

After I wrote this post, the same day, SD disciplined the toddler at least another 5 times that I'm aware of. Once he was with DP and I wasn't far, I guess he was touching something. Another time, all of us were playing cards and the toddler was right next to me trying to touch them. Another time, he was tapping on my back, then the same with DP...None of this was the end of the world and none of this concerned her, but she was always on his case, before anyone could intervene. It just feels strange when you're the main disciplinarian and then suddenly, there's another child doing it for you in front of you.

She also likes stretching his pants and diaper to see if he did #2 (against his will) just to tell me about it (I already asked not to do it and the smell talks for itself anyway)....

DP doesn't seem to have an issue with this, he rarely has any issue with her and is extremely defensive when I mention something, so I have to deal with it myself. It's strange because my older SS used to be a difficult teenager and DP would correct him when he was out of line. But SD is a sweet girl and often DP doesn't see what she does.

Sometimes I don't say anything, just suck it up, other times, I react, but because I suck it up, my reactions are not always the best. For those who remember my posts from the past, my relationship with her is improving, she even became affectionate again, so that makes it harder to correct her, because I obviously want our relationship to continue improving.

OP’s posts: |
Anuta77 Thu 30-Jan-20 03:08:31

The behaviour you're mentioning was towards her 11/12 year old son as I read it.

Yes, solomommy, the hand twisting was towards my 11 year old, which for me is not ok either, because:
1) she could just tell him not to take it, instead of hurting him to make him drop his spoon (her words)
2) she takes his food and objects and doesn't care if he consents to it, so it's a double standard.

OP’s posts: |
Anuta77 Thu 30-Jan-20 03:10:10

My DCs have half sibling who is 7.5 yrs younger than them, they like to be in charge and tell them what to do.

Just because your kids tell their half sibling what to do doesn't mean his or her mother likes it. I'm sure your kids do. Many people like being in charge of others, makes them feel important.

OP’s posts: |
LoveIsLovely Thu 30-Jan-20 03:12:41

So your husband isn't doing anything to discipline her?

That's your problem there.

LolaSmiles Thu 30-Jan-20 03:21:03

Could you clarify with her what she is ok to do? Whilst her disciplining your toddler isn't on, I wonder if you'd also view any guidance from her to him as discipline because of where the relationship is at.

For example, taking his food is wrong, but playing with him and showing him how to play with others and share would be a fairly typical older sibling thing to do.

Her behaviour sounds like attention seeking, but also like she is struggling to find her place in your new family setup. She'll probably have liked your son because he is your son and not her father's child, but a sibling from you and her father is different. When you talk about her not having much stuff at your house, I'd wonder if she feels more like a guest in dad's house than it being a second home.

To move forward, I would give her specific things you'd love her input in and frame it as responsibility because she's mature. Then say that other things are for the adults to sort. That way she is involved in a positive way.

Anuta77 Thu 30-Jan-20 03:29:45

Thank you, good advice smile. Last time I told her that I like how she plays with him. When she does, she's a lot of fun and the toddler loves her. And I told her that typically parents don't like when other people take charge of their kids and that I always respected her limits and I'd like her to do the same. Let's see what happens this weekend.

She doesn't have a lot of things here because she comes Fri evening quiet late and leaves on Sun afternoon and that, twice a month, so many things are not necessary. I supplied her with essentials, but she brings her other things. It's been like that from before I came into picture. But she always talks about our house as if it was hers, for ex. "when are we getting a dog?", so I don't have the impression she feels left out, but who knows...

OP’s posts: |

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