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DFs daughter(84 Posts)
Not really sure what I'm looking for here. I'm just running out of patience. Today has been particularly bad which is what has prompted me to post
I've been with my fiancé for 5 years now. We moved in together around 3 years ago. I have a 13yo daughter from a previous relationship and he has 2 daughters from his marriage who are 12 and 7. We have the girls 50/50 and would be very happy if it wasn't for his eldest daughter. There are absolutely no problems with the little one. She is an absolute angel. She is kind, funny, helpful and generally a joy to have around.
His eldest, is the complete opposite of her sister. She goes out of her way to cause trouble and wind people up. Everything has to be her way or life isn't worth living for the people around her.
She is very competitive with my daughter, everything they do is a competition and she always has to "win". She does things like counting the likes they have on Tiktok/Instagram and creates new accounts to like all her own posts to make sure she has more. She creates accounts dedicated to her pets to do this, she even has an Instagram account for her grandmas dog (I'm not joking) simply so she can like all her own posts. She takes and hides my daughters things all the time, then they miraculously reappear with a completely fabricated elaborate story of how she "found" them. Everything my daughter gets she has something bad to say about it, or knows someone who has the same thing and said it was rubbish
She also constantly deliberately breaks tings that belong to her sister and my daughter
She is horrible to her little sister. She screams and shouts at her 24/7. She constantly tells her she is stupid and everything she says is wrong. Everytime they pass each other she hits, kicks or punches her but if her sister dares to retaliate she screams the place down that her little sister is bullying her
She buts in when anyone is talking and constantly talks over people because she thinks she is right all the time. If you tell her to be quiet she just keeps taking, or gets louder and louder until you can't hear yourself think.
She thinks she has the right to make all the decisions in our house, from what we are eating, to what films we watch or who sits where in the car. She even tries to control what order people have a bath in and will have a major strop when she is told she doesn't get to make those decisions. It's exhausting
She has always been like this but is getting worse. I have tried everything to sort this out. I have spoken to her to see how she was feeling. It didn't help. I have put time aside each week to take her places one on one. It didn't help. I have taken her and my daughter to get nails/make up done while the little one went swimming with her dad. It didn't help. Her dad has spent untold amounts of time with her just the 2 of them. It didn't help.
My fiancé won't do anything about it. He says it's just the way she is but he has always favoured his eldest over her little sister and refuses to see any bad in her. it's causing major issues in our house and it can't continue. I'm at the end of my tether, my daughter is at breaking point and the little one said to me today that she wishes she could just have one day where her sister wasn't there so that no one would hit her or shout at her 😔 She is 7 years old! She should not be feeling like that
The older one sounds like a spoilt brat but lots of the interactions with her sister sound fairly normal for siblings imo. That doesn’t mean that it’s ok though.
The only way is for her father to step up here and discipline her and set house rules. If he doesn’t agree then nothing will change as she is unlikely to listen to you. In your position I would just make lots of effort with your DD and DSD2 to make sure they feel listened to. When you have a very dominant child the others can feel pushed out. Plus lots of positive praise and reinforcement for their good behaviours. DSD1 needs to understand the world doesn’t revolve around her. But by giving her attention positive and negative it’s distracting from the other 2.
It’s going to cause issues with DF but she isn’t your issue to sort out although I know she’s causing big problems in your home.
Thanks. It's just so exhausting. I feel like I am constantly fighting either with DSD1 or fighting with DF about her.
10 minutes after I posted this it all kicked off upstairs, my DD and DSD2 we're lying in DDs bed watching a film and DSD1 ran in and started whipping DSD2 with a rolled up tshirt. DSD2 was sobbing, my DD grabbed the tshirt from her and threw her out the room. I asked my fiancé what he was going to do about it and he said DD and DSD2 we're leaving DSD1 out and that's why she did it.
They do tend to stick together, DSD2 is always with DD when they are here, she sleeps in her bed with her a lot, they are very close and get on really well but it's because DSD1 is so horrid to them both. It's brought them closer
She can't see anyone relaxing or just minding their own business without having to do something to deliberately irritate them or disrupt everything.
She is also very sneaky, DSD2 came to me this morning with brown stains on her fingers and all over her nails that wouldn't wash off. She didn't know what it was and was concerned people would think it was poo. When I looked at it it was fake tan, but I thought it was strange that it was only on the top side of her fingers. I then found more marks on the side of her forehead, cheek and ear. We couldn't work out where it had come from. When DD then got up, she also had fake tan on her ear and forehead aswell as a streak of it down her leg. DSD1 was creeping around most of the night last night, I had to tell her to go back to bed 4 times. She does things like this all the time and it was pretty obvious the fake tan had come from her. When I asked her, she smirked and said "prove it" . I know it was her, but she's right. I can't prove it.
A lot if it seems to revolve around food. Today has been ridiculous. I've been buying enough in the food shop for 2 weeks at the moment to save going out as much during COVID-19 and had bought 3 packets of yoghurts. The little one only likes one of the flavours whereas my DD and DSD1 like them all. DSD1 has deliberately eaten all of the flavour her sister likes out of all 3 packs and left the rest.
She demanded the last tin of spaghetti hoops for lunch, but only after my DD had asked for them. DD said she could have them so she heated them up put them in a bowl then when my Dd made herself something else, didn't eat them. She said they tasted funny 🙄 they didn't. I tried them. They tasted completely normal.
She has eaten all of my DDs favourite flavour of crisps over the last 4 days and today laid all the empty packets in a line on DDs bedroom floor. She had obviously been keeping the packets in order to do this
She then drank DSD2s can of pop, then called DSD2 into her bedroom to ask her to put the empty can in the bin.
It's like she needs to irritate people and needs to make sure they know what she has done while at the same time denying it or saying it was her can she drank and she doesn't know where DSD2s can has gone
She has taken half of my DDs makeup brushes today (says she hasn't) but is denying having them. We know she has them because DSD2 saw them in her room, but when she went to get them for DD they had been moved. She also has her tweezers.
She takes their things all the time, but does it in the most irritating way. Like she will take pieces out of the little ones jigsaws, she hid one of her walkie talkies, she takes pieces of her games, or takes bits of her Lego sets so they don't work and she has broken the key to her magic diary so it won't open anymore. it's as though she does it so that DSD2 still has her things but they are then completely useless which upsets DSD2 more. When questioned about it she just says "it wasn't me"
Their mum has the same issues with her. Me and their Mum are very united in trying to deal with this and are more of a team than me and DF are. She says DF has always favoured DSD1 and refuses to see an issue with anything she does. He finds reasons for it all or says that he's spoken to her and that she says it's not her that does these things and we can't prove that it is. And he's right, most of the time we have absolutely no proof that's it's her. I know it is tho
I don't know what to do
Your DF has created a monster. Does she have friends?
She sounds like an absolute nightmare. Can you get your daughter a lock for her bedroom ASAP?
I guess your youngest step daughter is too young to lock her door, but maybe a lockable box to put her stuff in?
The sad fact is, if your partner won’t do anything, she will just get worse. Imagine what she will be like as a teenager.
I honestly don’t think I could live with someone like this. If you do want to stay would having the DSDs on opposite days be an option? It might give the youngest a bit of a reprieve from the bullying at least. Then when the oldest is there you can busy yourself with your daughter with her belongings safely locked in her room if you go out.
@scabetty actually thinking about it no. She has no real friends. There is a group of them at school who say they are friends who all seem very similar to her. There is constant drama, they all fall in and fall out weekly. She has a different "best friend" every few days.
Her mum is tearing her hair out with it. The things they message each other during these arguments is horrific. Her phone is constantly confiscated. This causes other issues tho as when has no phone, she is bored and her need to irritate people is even higher and she is unbearable.
What does your own daughter feel about all this? I feel very sorry for her having to endure this until she is old enough to get away from it all.
@heckypeck the little one actually has a lock on her bedroom door at home. We can't easily fit locks to the doors here. My DD has a bolt on the back of her door, it can only lock it when she is in her room.
It really annoys DSD1 that people like DSD2 so much. She hates it when people praise DSD2 or tell her she has done something good. We try to explain to her that actions have consequences and if she behaved better she would get the praise too, but then she launches into "I get the blame for everything" "it's not me who does this stuff, you always say it is but you can't prove it" "it's not fair that everyone says it's me"
We can't split the days as they actually fit perfectly with their mum, mine and my DFs working schedules.
I know my DF needs to man up and deal with her, but he is very level headed and scientific and unless you show him something in black and white it doesn't go in. When something happens and he speaks to her she just denies it, like when she drank the can and ate the yogurts. She said she didn't, she said the empty can was her own can she didn't know what had happened to DSD2s can and he only found 2 empty yoghurt cartons in the bin in her room. The rest were in the kitchen bin so in his eyes that wasn't enough to make her guilty.
It's her sneakyness that really gets me. She's manipulative and knows exactly what she's doing. I love my DF. We have a great relationship with the girls mum. In every other way our lives are absolutely perfect. We are happy, my DD and DSD2 get on so well and I love DSD2 to bits. I don't want to leave and let DSD1 ruin everything. DD and DSD2 would be devastated
It will get worse with school friends I fear. These drama seeking girls don’t grow out of it, they bounce from drama to drama and create it if there isn’t any. I feel sorry for her although I don’t condone her behaviour. She has to be centre stage and would rather have negative attention than no attention. Has DF spoken to her about how she is?
OP honestly I would leave. Your dsd sounds like a very troubled and disturbed young girl and your 'D'F doesn't care. What sort of rather is he? You are also doing a massive disservice to your own daughter, who will really resent you in the future for putting up with this mess.
@lovinglola my DD is generally very happy. She has good friends, her and my DF get on great and she absolutely adores DSD2.
The only sticking point in all of our lives is DSD1 which is what I'm trying to fix. So is their mum.
It's actually DSD2 that suffers the most. She does come to us some extra nights just in her own, we did try to look at giving her some more of this time but with her mums work schedule it would mean she hardly saw her. Her mum works 3 long days when they are with us and and is off when the girls are with her. If we took DSD2 any extra nights it would mean her mum only getting to see her 1 or 2 nights a week. DSD2 is very much a mummies girl and would really miss her if that was the case
I don't want to take DSD1 and more nights than we already do as that would then start affecting my DD more
Honestly, OP, I wouldn't let my daughter live in that situation. I'd get her out as fast as I could and I'd see the guy for dates when he doesn't have his daughters. It's just not fair on your daughter that she should live like that when she doesn't have to.
What's going to change? Not your DSD1, nor her father by the sounds of it. Would you really want to marry into this situation? She's clearly a very emotionally damaged girl who can't regulate herself - this needs to stop before she becomes a LMS even more damaged adult. Counselling for her and her father perhaps?
Tell DF you are off unless he starts to be proactive. Get CCTV in your house so you can see exactly what she's up to and confront her with it.
It sounds as if she's been allowed a lot of leeway - why have her mum and dad allowed her on Instagram etc at that age?
Good that you have a positive relationship with her mum but her dad has to step up now. Good luck.
You sound like a really lovely step mum and she is lucky to have you. She was number one to her parents until she was 5 yo then a younger sister arrived. She was/is a daddy’s girl but has to share him with a sister and you and your daughter. She needs to prove to herself she is still the most important and by letting her do it in this mean-girl manner DF is making it worse. He needs to set boundaries on behaviour. She needs to meet these expectations, along with everyone else because you are a family. Can he do the ‘chat’. She needs to know daddy loves her but doesn’t like her behaviour towards the family.
I will be honest and say that I haven't RTFT. I've just read all of the OPs posts. OP, I want to say that I appreciate that you are trying to do something about this. My oldest sister was extremely violent, and did the same type of things to me. It was devastating to me. Your partner will have to step in here. It's going to take a united front.
The damage that my sisters behavior towards me has lasted all of my life- I am now in my mid-30s. I would suggest this: tell your partner that this is a deal-breaker. Could you sit down with his Ex and confront him together? Your stepdaughter needs serious therapy..
I hope you can resolve this, for all of your sakes. But please don't let anyone tell you this is normal behavior because it isn't. I could go on all day about this, because it still hurts me even after years of therapy. And thank you for trying to help all of your children. It sounds like you love them all and want the best.
And I agree, get CCTV and don't tell your daughters. Then present the info to your partner. It may be that he is a bigger problem than his daughter because he won't confront her.
If DF isn't interested in intervening and you said you and DM is on the same page have you thought about you DM and DSD1 have a meeting without the other kids and DF and you both lay down the law to her, her seeing that your both on the same page might be enough to see she can't get away with it.
Also I think you both need to lay the law down with DF telling him that this is the new plan on discipline.
By the way you sound like an excellent DSM
It's great that you have such a good relationship with your DF's ex and are trying to tackle things together. What's your relationship like with your ex? If your DD is so badly affected by the behaviour of DSD1 you could be putting your time with her at risk. If she complains about the situation to her Dad he may decide your home isn't an appropriate place for your DD to be. What would you be thinking if this situation were reversed? Are you willing to risk time with your DD for your fiancé?
I think it's time for a few nanny cams to get the proof your fiancé clearly needs to step up and parent his child and also to wipe the smug satisfaction off the face of DSD1 the next time she says you have no proof.
Issues between siblings are reasonably normal but there is still a duty of care by parents to ensure both DSD's are safe from any threats - that extends to DSD2 being safe in the company of her sister.
My DN went through a phase like this with her little brother. What worked was praising her / thanking her when she did good things (I know it’s easily ignored if she’s so naughty all the time). Seems like the 7 yo may have gotten more attention from the beginning due to the age gap with her mum, and now she’s seeing the same thing happen with you / dd. Positive reinforcement, playing to her strengths etc will all help.
You've used the word irritating a lot, she doesn't sound irritating, she honestly sounds quite disturbing. Some of the things you mentioned her doing in your first update were frightening to read, the pleasure she takes from toying with people. I couldn't live with someone like that. If your partner favours her and is dead set on defending her every action then the problem will never go away and it will ruin your relationship.
Why should you have to prove she did something you know she did, anyway? You and your partner are the adults, she doesn't have the power over you to demand proof if you use your authority to deduce that she has done something. She should have no way of refusing your discipline.
My fiancé won't do anything about it. He says it's just the way she is but he has always favoured his eldest over her little sister and refuses to see any bad in her.
That seems a pretty hopeless case TBH.
You may have already tried this but have you tried lovebombing her? She’s clearly deeply troubled and insanely jealous of your other two children for whatever reason. She feels that the only way to get attention is for negative reasons and this makes her feel special in a way, regardless of how this comes about.
I know it’ll be hard but I have experience from working with very troubled young people - in the beginning, as hard as it is, ignore the bad behaviour, praise the very small things - like she didn’t slam a door or ate her dinner without saying something nasty. Pick up on it and praise her for it like ‘you’re amazing - I’ve really loved having dinner with you’. It will seem unfair against your other two angel children who probably are expected to behave regardless but over time it slowly but surely starts to take effect. Believe me - it is bloody hard when you want to scream to ignore and praise but problems like this arise from desperately low self worth and self esteem. A complete lack of ability to form valuable relationships and unfortunately, DF may be part of the reason for this.
Once you have begun to do this, I mean months it will take for her to have a positive behaviour pattern, you can slowly begin to set boundaries.
Being strict with her will not work for a child such as this, she will rebel more.
In addition, she may benefit from some counselling if she would be willing to engage.
You sound like a very caring mum and step mum. I was in an almost identical situation, except my step daughters dad accepted that the behaviour needed to stop. He put his foot down and implemented consequences. Her reaction was to move to her mum’s full time. Her mum talks openly to my other step daughter about how lucky my husband is to not have to live with the eldest but does not provide any boundaries or discipline. My husband has torn himself inside out at not being a part of his daughter’s life, and our marriage has been at breaking point over it.
The reason we both stuck to our guns was because we did not want our other daughters to think shitty nasty manipulative behaviour was an acceptable way to behave. We wanted better for them. It has hurt us both that we couldn’t help her because she didn’t want to be helped, but the other two needed us to help them.
I agree re cameras - it seems extreme but is the only way to objectively show the behaviours you know are there.
Sending you every bit of luck I can 💐
I also agree re cameras, prove the behaviour to her so she can't deny it, drastic but necessary. I can't help thinking that no matter how hard you work on this, and no matter how well you work with her mum (brilliant by the way!) your efforts are wasted so long as her dad won't recognise her behaviour is wrong - she must see that she has a get-out clause in him.
It does sound like she is deeply unhappy herself and craving attention and trying to get that in the wrong way. She must really need counselling or CBT.
I would also be tempted to split temporarily at least to ease the huge stress on your D. Maybe you can all have some counselling therapy during this time. And since you and your D get on so well with her mum you could offer to still have SD2 over to stay to give her a break.