Hi, i'm 4-5 months into a relationship with a man who has custody of his 8 year old daughter - her mother only left the home about 6-7 months ago and now lives in another state.
The daughter is a pretty and fun little thing but regularly plays roughly (eg. bites, kicks, punches and pulls my hair) - she is also quite bossy and is blatantly manipulative, particularly with her father - he seems clueless to many aspects of this and helpless with regard to those behaviours he acknowledges.
I'm not sure what to do as I'm accutely aware it is not my place to be any authoritative figure in her life...I'm trying to just be her friend. I'm scared she will decide she doesn't like me (and me being in her father's life) and that that will impact on my relationship with her dad - so it seems i let her get away with these things.
I've asked her to stop being rough with me (as her dad has also) but she seems to think it's a game and just laughs and becomes even more aggressive.
I have a daughter who visits her dad and stepmother and two step siblings every toher weekend. His wife says that my daughter is manipulative, bossy and plays to rough with her step siblings. What she is trying to do is fit in with the family that she feels so OUTSIDE of. she does not behave that way at my home or at shcool. Try being kind to her and she just might be a product of her enviroinment. Dont make her feelk like an outsider. If you are going to be with her father, know that it is going to be difficult and that little girl was there first. She is his number one to him, not you. Children are a product of their environment. Show her kindness and she will be kind, show her love and she will show love.
She may just feel abandoned by her mother and is taking it out on you and her father. She could also be blaming herself for the separation, a lot of kids blame themselves when parents get divorced/separated. She may also feel that you are trying to take her dad away from her.
I would like helplessmother said keep trying to make her feel like she belongs, maybe just try talking to her about how she feels about the separation and how she feels about you. Try to maybe just spend some one on one time with her, take her shopping go out to lunch or dinner together, and just try and get to know each other. I really believe this behavior could be because of the recent separation from her mother.
As top her being rough with you, just explain to her that it hurts when she plays like that, or maybe just suggest something else to do altogether. maybe do a craft project together or play a game or any different activity instead of just the rough play. If she starts playing rough again just stop what your doing and ask her if she'd like to play a board game or something else, maybe this will help her realize that there are other way to play instead of that.
Just show her some love and compassion and she'll be alright. :)
I agree with what the other two people said but I also think that you need to demand respect from her. Show her how to respect people by being nice to her and others around and pointing out to her saying things like" see what happens when you respect people, you can get attention and other things, but when you disrespect people, you won't get anything." " you have to give respect to receive respect". Also too, try doing things like maybe baking or girly things such as hair and nails. When you have her involved with something like this, that'll be the perfect time to talk to her about her behavior and how it makes you feels. Talk to her about the situation she's going through and how she feels. Remember this will take a long time to get through to her, be patient. She may be feeling left out. If you plan on staying with her father for a while, then let her know that you're not going anywhere. There's a fine line to be walked. Talk to her father about how you feel and if the 2 of you can get on the same page for parenting, you'll be fine. But that includes rules to set and followed by everyone especially her. Good luck
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