My 3 year old step-daughter is saying and doing things to deliberately hurt our feelings.... HELP!

Flashy - posted on 10/20/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My husband and I got together about a year and a half ago. His daughter is almost 4, my daughter is almost 5 and my son is almost 6. When I first got with my husband, he told me that he didn't see a whole lot of his daughter because his ex wife made him so mad. Upon combining our family, I noticed his ex wife was also not cleaning her daughter that well, nor teaching her/my stepdaughter correct hygiene. After we realized that, my husband and I tried to fix a few things, including changing the unhealthy daycare she was at, and in turn after a huge dramatic fiasco, my husbands ex threatened to press harassment charges on me (without grounds to do so). After she apologized about 3 weeks ago, we asked his ex if we could have her more because we think she's been acting out a little, in which she granted.



Now... here's the situation. My step-daughter has been saying and doing things to deliberately hurt out feelings. Both her mom and her dad (my husband) keep using her age as an excuse for her to act like she is, but there's not excuse to me for her type of behavior.



Her actions: she is latching on to one of my kids and leaving the other one out, told me my house stunk and it smelt like dirt with a smile on her face, she tries to lie her way out of everything (she told me no literally 12 times before she admitted the truth 2 days ago), told me her mother and her father said I was not allowed to bust her (which is also a lie, I've spoken to both), every time her father says something to her she looks at me with a smerk and runs to him if I get her in trouble, she picked up my daughters shirt and asked if she wore it to school and when my daughter answered yes - she responded with "I don't like it" and threw it on the floor, she snapped off the head of my son's fake snake he literally just got from his dad last weekend and just looked at it -- I mean the list goes on.



I honestly have no idea what to do. My own children never acted like that. When she told me I couldn't bust her, I told her I've spoken to her mom and she said I could and I asked if she wanted me to call her. When she responded with yes, call my mom, I did and her mom's reactions were "What is calling me going to accomplish? She's only 3? Are you sure she understood?" My step daughter is extremely smart, I know she understood, and she is almost 4! Then I have her father (my husband) saying things like, are you sure she understood, maybe she didn't mean to, excuse excuse excuse. I feel like I'm all alone here. I stay home with her during the day and I see her more than her own parents, but both of her parents keep using her age as an excuse to act like that. I have 2 of my own slightly older than that and I've never dealt with what I am dealing now.



Someone PLEASE HELP! What do I do??

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Ariana - posted on 10/20/2012

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You really need to get your husband on the same page with you. You both need to sit down and decide what you will both do if she does these types of behaviors.



So if she says mean things to you you BOTH need to decide what's to be done. If you both agree then there will be no discrepancies in discipline at your house. I would have you and your husband sit her down and tell her there are things you can say to others and things you can't. So you shouldn't tell someone their house smells, or you don't like their stuff. Even tell her you are implimenting a 'if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all' rule.



Once that is done your husband won't be able to say 'she doesn't understand' because you would have explained it to her. If she does something like that again you can both decide on the punishment, either an apology to the person she said it to, or possibly she needs to go to her room for 5 minutes because you aren't going to listen to someone talk like that. If you and your husband both do this she will probably learn pretty fast not to say anything negative like that around both of you.



The key here is your husband, without his support everything you try to do will be underminded. For the 'she doesn't understand' part that isn't really the point is it? When a toddler hits another child or steals there toy they don't have the full understanding of their actions, should we continue to allow them to do something wrong? I would talk to your husband and tell him that it's your job as parents to get kids to understand when they're doing the wrong thing and teach them the proper way to act.



I would also try to do things to connect with your step-daughter. Although she is acting out, as you already can see, both her parents are allowing her to act this way without many consequences. You need to sit down with your husband and tell him that you both need to be on the same page with discipline.



If you cannot convince him I would suggest seeing a couples councellor who can help you get on the same page. Without his support it will be extremely hard for you to correct her behavior.

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