Step mom vs 7 year old daughter. Suggestions, anybody?

Ana - posted on 07/29/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )




My stepdaughter is becoming disrespectful, throwing fits, lying to parents and it seems that the behavior is getting worse. She seemed to think she can get away with things. I don't have kids of my own and I feel I'm not being very successful helping with this matter because of it.


L - posted on 07/29/2014




-First of all, i would say that kids do go thru stages of testing, which is required for their growth as a person. Keep in mind that her behavior might be temporarily magnified by such a stage. However, maintain the same standards for behavior you've always had in your household, so she learns that her bad behavior does not wield the power to change them.

I find that relating to my daughter as an emotional equal helps de-escalate times of bad behavior. Ask her what might be bothering her. Ask her what's going on in other areas of her life, school, clubs, friends, other relatives. Stay calm no matter what comes up, and reassure her that you want to help her with whatever she might be going through. Seven is rather young for her to be able to identify her emotions but letting her know that you are there for her and want to help will go a long way.

As far as the disrespect, simply say that it will not be tolerated, that people don't treat people with disrespect in your household, and then be sure to keep up your end of that bargain. Make it clear what will happen the next time disrespect occurs (i.e. loss of a privilege, proportional to her age and interests) and then follow through. Stay calm, but follow through.

As for the lying, i always remind my daughter that when she lies she is doing harm to herself, and lay out the consequences of her teaching people to not trust her. I also tell her that i appreciate the truth, no matter how awful she thinks it might be, and will always respect her for telling the truth. I even let her know that she can remind me of this before she tells me something she thinks i won't want to hear! (mom, remember you said i could tell you anything and you won't get mad?) Let her know that you are always more than willing to hear her side calmly and with an attitude of wanting to help her. Praise her whenever you find her being truthful in an uncomfortable or difficult situation.

I am no expert, but i find that if you can find out the WHY bad behavior is happening, you are much better equipped to figure out HOW to resolve it. Wishing you well!


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Ev - posted on 07/29/2014




I would also take a look at how things are between the parents and how she has reacted to her parents not being together. I would also look at how long you have been in the picture too. If you have not been around long, and not having kids of your own to have experience of, you have to understand that her world is not the same as it was when her parents were together. You also can not expect her to show you respect until you show her some too. She may feel like you are trying to take over her mother's spot too. There are a lot of things going on here. How often is she with you guys and then at mom's? Who has custody? You can not have too high an expectation when it comes to blending a family. You need to start small and work your way up.

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