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How can I best help my DSD1?

(8 Posts)
Rabbitchat Mon 24-Sep-07 10:41:23

I'm quite new to MN but would appreciate some thoughts/advise/opinions.
DSD1(lives with her mum and SD), confided in me yesterday the reasons for her constant bad/disruptive behavior at home just lately.

She is 11(but going on 14!). She HATES her Step-dad, feels her mum has chosen her step-dad over her,gets no time/attention from her mum, younger sister always getting her in trouble (well believable!) and is generally very unhappy at home. This is reflected in her behaviour around others & at school. When she gets into trouble, her mum tells her SD and he then shouts at her and 'clips her round the ear' (or as she put it, 'slaps me round the head'). HELP! I know this needs sorting, but I don't know where to start.

Am planning to tell my DH everyting she told me, tonight. I know he will go balistic, so need to have a plan of how we handle this.
MUST make it clear that the 'hitting' is meant in a parental discipline way, rather than 'child abuse', I do know that, however, I still find it completely unacceptable for ANY type of hitting!

The relationship between DH & Ex is VERY strained/volitile...civil via text for sake of the children and that's it. Doesn't take much b4 things get hugely out of hand.
Any advice?

Hassled Mon 24-Sep-07 10:49:39

What a nightmare. You're right that you need a plan so that rather than go ballistic your DH has some options to consider straight away. Has your DSD said what she would like to happen - i.e. does she want to come and live with you? How would you feel about that - is it a viable option?
While the hitting thing is awful, I do have to say the jealousy of the new SD is very common and without the violence would probably resolve itself.
When you have a moment, remember to congratulate yourself on obviously being a top SM - for DSD to have confided in you like that you must have all the makings of a great relationship.

fairyjay Mon 24-Sep-07 10:55:46

What a tough situation you are in! I think the idea of having some options on handling the situation ready for when you talk to dh is an excellent idea.

Not meaning to undermine what your dsd said to you, but at 11, girls can be pretty manipulative - although it sounds like you've taken that into account!

Rabbitchat Mon 24-Sep-07 11:09:52

Thanks Hassled, your last comment means a lot to me! Being an SM for the last 5 years is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life! DSD1 and I do have a close relationship, I genuinly love her & vice versa, but it hasn't been easy getting here.

She has always said as soon as she's 16 she's coming to live with us. I asked her yesterday if she would want to do that b4 she's 16, 'if' it was an option, and her face lit up! I told her to think about that and how it would be in reality (we live over an hour away - new school, no mum everyday, dad at work long hours etc!) I said if she really wants that, then it has to come from her. No good me or her dad suggesting it, (her mother would instantly dismiss us with 'you're trying to take my kids away' rubbish) - she would HAVE to start talking to her mother and tell her what she wants.

Would be a huge upheival and potential nightmare with the mother, but I'd do it for her. She has so much potential and if someone doesn't help her to place that positively somewhere, she's going to end up a 'bad' statistic.

Rabbitchat Mon 24-Sep-07 11:18:04

Thanks fairyjay - yes, I suppose I'm struggling a bit also because I completely get the '11 year old girl' manipulitive thing so trying not to jump up and down too much about this at this point.

My gut feeling is that this is completely genuine though..I've known her since she was almost 5. She's always been more of a 'handful' shall we say, than her sister or our son & is a tomboy, but she's also tranparent!

She's the image of her dad, personality and looks. She lives with her sister and 2 half sisters - all of which are the image of their mum and girly. So she's a bit of a 'black sheep' of the family and our concern has always been that her SD doesn't like that.

fairyjay Mon 24-Sep-07 11:36:29

She is lucky to have you both there for her - good luck in handling this one! smile

beansprout Mon 24-Sep-07 11:40:24

It's quite common and not always healthy for children who have two homes, to move between the two as a way of resolving problems that have arisen in relationships. It's a difficult one as sometimes it is necessary, sometimes it does make life easier but I'm not sure if it's always best for the young person. It means they exercise a lot of power which is not always helpful for them, especially when they are still quite young!

(I have a 19yo dsd btw, so am speaking from experience!)

Anna8888 Mon 24-Sep-07 14:58:26

Beansprout - I'm not sure I entirely agree with your last post.

Many children have greater innate compatibility with one of their two parents and, after divorce, they don't necessarily get to live with the parent they have more affinity with. Plus, of course, there are additional issues of new stepparents, additional half-siblings etc.

Rabbitchat - if you genuinely believe that you can enjoy having your stepdaughter to live with you and her father, suggest it outright as a solution to your partner and see how he feels about it.

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