Dealing with a few things with my 3 year old

Hope - posted on 05/14/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi

I have a three year old step daughter that i believe is stressed due to some issues with her biological mother. We have noticed that after she talks to her mother she refuses to eat for some of the time, and she picks at her skin and makes sores appear on her arms and legs. She has also picked some of the hair off her eyebrow at one point. We listened to one of the conversations that she had with her mother and her mother constantly played the two parents against one another by saying that i will do this for you cause papa won't. We believe that her actions are a result of what her mother is saying to her. She has come to us and said that her mother said bad things. Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this??? Please help.....

3 Comments

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Kate - posted on 05/15/2009

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i'm not suprised that the mom is not working with you. if her attitude is bad enough to do what she does on the phone, then working with you guys is most likely not high on her list. it sounds like there is a lot more going on than just the phone calls, with your stepdaughters reaction being so self harmful. also, the cursing and the crying. this is actually a form of emotional abuse that your stepdaughter is enduring from her mom. there may be more things that her mother is doing, and it sounds like it's not just you she is trying to get control from. it sounds like she has a very unhealthy relationship with her daughter. what you have described, and what your child is acting out, is a very damaging situation.



knowing judges, i would get as much hard evidence as you can. there has to be a point that you and your husband stand up for your child. show that you've made efforts in good faith - write down dates and times of these conversations you've had with the mom as well as her responses to you and her inability to address the issues - her refusal to work with you for the well being of the daughter. also if anyone you know has witnessed this interaction, that would be good to be able to pull from if they write an affadavit or witness in court...



the issue becomes bigger though. what do you want from court? if you are there to show the judge the damage the mother is doing to her daughter - what do you want in the end? do you want full custody? to cancel visitations with the mother? or would you settle for the mom to go through counseling or do something effective but less drastic?



in the end, the descion you and your husband make should be one you are willing to fight for for your daughters best interest. it is tough. i hate court. but if you love your child, court is unavoidable sometimes.



also, if you get a lawyer, make sure they work for you. i had some bad experiences, and realized i could have represented myself far better than my lawyer ever did. so trust your gut in court! if you end up there, that is! good luck, and i'll pray a lil prayer for you.

Hope - posted on 05/15/2009

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We have tried to communicate what she has been doing with her mother but according to her she is doing nothing wrong. There are times that her daughter gets on the phone and is completely quiet and while the mother is trying to talk to her, she will start saying curse words and our daughter will then begin crying, and when we try to talk to her about she says we are full of it and that she has done nothing to her daughter. I sit with her and talk to her every time this happens and she seems to do better then she had been. Thank you so much for the advice. Hopefully we can do something about this even if it does go to court.

Kate - posted on 05/15/2009

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oh i totally feel for you. my first son is not my husbands bio son, but he accepts him as his own. knowing that the bio/step line needs to be crossed with care and delicacy - i would do a couple things:



number one, document, document, document. if you can, record one of the conversations they have. then video or write down what happens immediately after. this is just for your legal protection as well as being important to have if you need to for someday go to court.



what you do next really depends on you and your partners relationship with the biomom. getting her involved and aware of what this is doing to her own daughter could help her to stop. however, if you know she will not respond in the correct way, (i.e. decide to stop this damaging behavoir for the benefit of her child) you may or may not want to do that. but working together with her dad on stopping the behavior can be done.



at three, your stepdaughter is able to communicate their emotions a bit. explaining emotions like - sad, mad, and desire might be a good thing to explore.



and actually talking about what her mom says to her with you, and how it makes her feel should be addressed in a calm and positive way. also letting her know how you feel about her. you and papa love her very much, you and papa don't want her to hurt herself and make owies. that it makes you and papa sad to see her with owies. also that you and papa want to make sure she DOES have fun. like, addressing something mom said she CAN't do with you both, and saying something that you DO let her do that she loves to do. letting her know that you both want her to be happy. then it would be very important to transition that conversation once you feel like you should end it, into a very positive interaction. laughing and hugging and playing. or - 'let's go play outside!' or something of the sort. something you all do together. and she may still act out, but it's important to have this conversation every time.



it is hard to balance the differences in how the other parent is raising your child without you. if the behavior continues, or gets worse, it might be good to confront the situation with the mom (documenting everything) and if she goes sour and won't work with you, you have the attempt to clear it up before you go to court. if you ever have to (or want to) go to court.



i hope that helps, it's just one suggestion. i am sure there are other things others may give that might help even better than mine. but i know that sharing a child is so hard. good luck.

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