I cant find a step parenting forum, im 38 weeks pregnant and my step daughter who is 4 is soo mean to me while my hubby isnt around she has even spit at me and when i tell hubby he doesnt believe me, :( and i try so hard to be patient and nice but im pregnant and dnt feel like i need to deal w her what can i do.
There could be a couple of things going on here to consider. Is she going back and forth between two houses? How does your partner and the mom get along? This is really important to consider because it will have an effect on her behavior. Some kids have some inner turmoil over this and act out. Working on a better transition between homes, some consistent rules between both, both households committing to not saying anything negative about the other house/family there, and a team work type of relationship between the mom and you guys will really help if she is having issues with the situation. (and it is hard for some kids. Being empathetic really helps overcome it.)
Another consideration is that you are now having a baby. That can be very threatening to a 4 year old. This requires some reassurance that she will still be special. Get her a present for when the baby is born and make it from the baby. Have some special outings planned for just her while the other parent stays at home with the baby so she feels she is still the 'baby' herself. These small steps can help lesson the fear of this massive change. There are few things that change a kids life more than parents breaking up (she's got that one) and a new baby coming into the picture (she's got that one too)!
My third question is regarding her father. What is his role? To me, it sounds like he could increase it. He should be the primary disciplinarian with you working behind the scenes. Then you are simply carrying out what her dad set in place and makes you less of the bad guy.
Spitting is unacceptable and there needs to be a rule set up by her dad with you there too. He can tell her that this will not be allowed. Then he can set up what will happen if she spits. There are many books that talk about how to deal with that-- 1 2 3 Magic is a good one, for example. I'm not a spanker but I found taking loved things away worked well with my boys. Time outs were less effective but you will have to sort out what you want to work on. And remember, changing behavior takes around 3 weeks. so, you may not feel like you are successful in the beginning but keep at it! I know you have a baby coming and this is a bit of bad timing but it will pay off soon enough if you work on this calmly and patiently with dad being a big part of it.
And discipline is really only one piece and probably shouldn't be the biggest piece in my opinion. I see parenting as guiding my kids. I give lots of praise and rewards when they are doing the right thing. On a 'bad' day, I have to work hard to catch them doing things I can get excited about . . . but I make the effort. :>) At that age, I used beans in a jar and they'd get one for good behavior. When they got to a certain number, they got a reward such as a movie of their choice, or out of their choice. they loved it and it was motivating to repeat those desired behaviors. A positive way to encourage good behavior.
I also found that my boys when 4 really needed lots of outlets for energy or they were harder to handle at home. So, we went outside and played at parks or in the backyard for at least a couple of hours every day. I'd get them moving and running. Just pretending you are going to chase (trust me, I never busted a gut chasing them) works to get them to giggle and run. I'd play hide and seek, have them do races across the yard, etc. Just burn off that energy. A good thing is for you to do some during the day (know you are pregnant but after the baby is born, you'll be more able . . . and I had two kids very close together and just crated my baby along with my older son when we were burning off energy and it was good for us all) is to perhaps have your partner have designated "wear out the four year old' time planned each night. Put it on him to help tucker her out. It really helps with behavior, I swear.
And at 4, she's definitely ready for preschool. Does she attend? She'll be in kindergarten next year? That will help as then you won't be in charge by yourself all day (are you a stay at home parent?)
Hi thnx.for ur advice i dont.think us having a baby is the problem because her mom is.expecting a baby the same week as me, her dad which is my hubby jst goes more on her side simply because she is a girl and i already have my son as well, its terrible because they see what eachother do and act bad and learn from it, like that day she was acting.ugly my son tried defending me but hes 6 i told him not to say anything, dad did come.home and finallu get mad at her cuz i actuslly recorded her since he never believes me but she doesnt care for being 4 shes way ahead and its scary, she is his eyes, . . .i cant do much she transions coming and going she doesnt stay here thank god. I know it sounds bad but i cant deal w more of it. She used to but not anymore she just comes three days out of the week which seem to drag for me
I am also a step parent of two, Alex who is 5 and Karianne who is 4. I've been with them since they were only one years old. Yes, step children in diapers. We had a little trouble at first but that was mostly because of those "terrible twos." But once I showed them who was boss, we didn't have nearly as much problems and we get along great. They are my world.
BUT there is a few serious big differences... I discipline my children and my hubby always believes me.
You have a lay down the law with her or she will never respect you, but at the same time your husband can't degrade your authority in front of her. She doesn't respect you because he isn't respecting you. She isn't stupid. She sees it and she is just doing what she knows she can do.
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