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Advice re dsd please!

(7 Posts)
melmog Tue 23-Jun-09 13:46:16

Hello all, bit of background:

I've been with dh 4 years, dsd was 5 when I met and moved in with him. He'd been separated from his exw for 2 years before I met him. We also now have dd1 (2) and dd2 (1).

I've been worrying about how this is going to come across but really would value some honest (not too nasty please) opinions.

Dsd is coming for a visit this weekend and I've started dreading it already. I do understand how awful it must be for dh not seeing her very often (last time was over Easter) but everything has to revolve around her when she is with us. She can be a lovely child, but, more often than not, she comes across as extremely spoiled. Her mother has always done everything for her. For example, dsd is now 9 and dh will automatically dress her, do her shoes up, do her seatbelt up and a million other things. I know he does it because he still sees her as the 3 year old he left. Dsd happily lets him because she is used to her mum doing that stuff for her too. I know it isn't dsd's fault, but I seem to be the only one trying to teach her a bit of independance, manners etc. Dh will always ask her what she wants for tea, rather than asking me what I am making. When it is served up she normally takes a mouthful then says she's full. Then approx half an hour later she'll announce she's hungry and get a biscuit. There are too many examples but my hands are aching from typing!

On another topic, she still soils herself. She has been under a paediatrician and physcologist since I've known her. They say there is nothing medically wrong, purely an attention problem and although every time we have her to stay we are told she is clean now, she never is. And it's always me picking up her dirty knickers and telling her to wash her hands. She is also incapable of wiping herself when she does soil. I can't tell you how many times I've shown her how to clean herself up, but she gazes off into space. She has been told so many times this is not her fault she has detached from it altogether. Because of this, I can't do girly things with her going clothes shopping or even horse riding which I've been promising her for ages.

I want to know if it is right that I continue to try to be a parent the only way I know how, or back off and let her mum and dh continue to treat her like this? I just get so stressed by her manners and I know if I don't pull her up, no one will.
I would add that when I talk to dh about her he agrees with me about everything but appears to be happy for me to be the discipliarian while he spoils her rotten. This hasn't affected mine and dsd's relationship either, she doesn't see me as an evil witch. I hope! I'm sure she doesn't because she'll always side with me if we're mucking around or having pretend disagreements with dh.

Sorry this is such a long post. Any help appreciated.

mrshibbins Tue 23-Jun-09 14:06:34

i had the same problems with SD when I moved in with her and her dad. She was just 6 then, and nearly 8 now and we still do have some issues, but the list is getting shorter all the time. I had an advantage over you though because she lives solely with us, and I really did take over as mum in most respects, and OH and SD were so grateful for it. It's been a bit of uphill work, but you just have to keep at it. and keep at it. and keep at it. and keep at it. try different tactics, find what works. a mixture of showing by example, rewards, sticks, actions vs consequences, and reasoning, for us. Not one thing or the other. It's so boring and repetitive, but worth it in the long run. speak to your OH though, and explain that he's got to back you up, and follow your lead, otherwise it won't work. Maybe worth having a little *family chat* about it.

mrsjammi Tue 23-Jun-09 22:58:12

Message withdrawn

melmog Wed 24-Jun-09 16:10:51

Thank you, both of you.

I think you're right Mrsjammi to say that I see her so little that I should grin and bear it.

Mrshibbins, we will be having a chat on thursday night before he goes to pick her up on friday. We do normally do this, at my instigation, just to agree on how to handle different things. I think it just goes out of his head when he sees her though. (I sound like a proper old witch!)

*My DSD is extremely spoilt, and like your DH my DH is well aware of it, he tolerates her behaviour because he is frightened if he upsets her too much she will refuse to come, and again, like you, the role of disciplinarian falls to me.*

That's our situation down to a 't'.

I will try and relax a little more, she won't be this way forever.
Thanks again.

cornsilk Wed 24-Jun-09 16:15:57

Are you quite sure that the soiling is attention seeking behaviour?

melmog Thu 25-Jun-09 05:55:28

Cornsilk, that's according to the latest letter from the consultant paediatrician. She has a community nurse go to her house once a week too and it is what they have both concluded. I know it sounds like she may still be constipated but she only does this at certain times. She won't soil at school or round friends houses. She seems to do it now only with her mum and us. I've wondered if it's because we have two young dd's and her mum has a toddler too.

Fruitysunshine Wed 01-Jul-09 09:41:08

At 9 years old she needs to be doing a lot more things independently. Before she comes to visit why not talk to DH and suggest to him that he LEAVES DSD to do three things for herself that he would normally do. Not a big deal, just "you're a big girl now, why don't you show dad how to do it?" By keeping to a small number and not insisting she moves instantly to full independence you are less likely to get a fullblown backlash. Also, I would take a step back from doing all the cleaning up behind DSD and if she soils herself, tell DH that he needs to come and help her because she has had an accident. If he queries as to why you can't do it tell him perhaps he needs to be more hands on with the soiling issue considering how serious it is. Perhaps he will then appreciate how much his DD and yourself go through when she soils herself.

I find that if things get on top of me with my SSs I take a step back and allow DH to take over more. He then sharpish gets them back in line and the tensions eases.

I really feel for the child also in that she is still soiling herself at 9 yrs old. I hope it is solved soon but I am not so sure it is "attention seeking", what if it is nerves or fear?

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