My husband and I were married with children. He had custody of a 4yr old daughter and I had custody of a 3yr old daughter. My situation is pretty "normal". Her father pays child support and gets her everyother weekend. My step-daughter's situation is a little different.. Her mother lost her rights to the child for selling drugs, thats how my husband obtained total custody. We have always tried to be the most complete family. Her mother has always tried causing problems between our family. But within the past few years her mother has mentally abusive to everyone involed. Which has now lead into the child doing the same. Two yrs ago I had to put an Order of Protection against the mother. She calls my home repeatedly threatening me so we put a blocker on our phone to prevent this. We did supply the daughter with miniutes on her cell phone so she could contact her mother. The mother does have serious problems with lying to the child and has totally turned this child against me!!!!! At this point, I live with a 13 yr old that I don't even speak to nor can I discipline without trouble. The child has tore up my personal things-purses,mail-box flag, stolen, purfume,deodarant... What do I do? I am at my breaking point ! The child screams at her father that she hates him and she wants to live with her mom. My husband won't have that since the mom is not a good influence to the child. She throws things up against her walls and will do anything to see her Dad and I fighting. It works because he won't disipline her properly. (in my opinion). Telling a child not to do it again when they've done it several times before won't help much, in my opinion. My husband gives in to both of them because he knows there will be a HUGE fight. My husband and I have a wonderful marriage together, BUT I can not be quiet in my own home anymore. What can I do to help this child and I , without giving in totally?
You and your husband have to get on the same page, as they say, or this situation is not going to improve. If you do not develop a clear approach to managing her behavior, with consequences rather than words, you can't expect improvement. At some point in the near future you may face the prospect of her living with her mother, simply because you'll have no alternative. It might help you and your husband to meet a few times with a counselor/therapist to address this issue. The conflict that is occurring will ultimately have a negative influence on your marriage as well.
I really feel for you but I do not think that this is a sphycological problem it sounds more like a rebeliouse " you are not my mother and you do not love me daddy tantrume". I know because I went through the same thing or should I say identical problem as yours. But I gave my husband an alternative seek him help or my kids and I are gone. First of all it's not healthy for the other children, they see her fits then they feel if she can do it they can too, and soon they will feel that they run the place and maybe even start raising their hands at you, and I'm sorry but no one runs my house but my husband and I, or raises their hands at me, so I suggested BOOTCAMP. They want to act tought, show them what tough is really like. Trust me tough love works don't beat your kids but teach them that their actions have consequences. I was raised in a strict household. I thank my parents for being tought with us if it weren't for them I would have ended up like my Midd/High school friends living in the streets doing drugs. I know that you want the best thing for your children but sometimes we have to do the unthinkable to get them to realize that they are hurting no one but themselves. Good luck...
I have a similar sitution, in that I married a man with a 4 year old daughter. Within a year, he had full custody of the child as her mother was facing drug-related legal issues. Although I'm not her legal parent, on a day-to-day basis, I'm as much a mom to her as I am to our 2 younger children. However, as the years have passed, our oldest's biological mom has maintained a relationship with her, taking her out to eat or shopping for a couple of hours 2 or 3 times a month. The child also has some contact with her maternal grandparents, who tend to take exception if they overhear her call me "mom". As she has gotten older (she's nea5rly 12 now), she's gotten more disrespectful and angry, and has made a point (when angry) of informing me that I'm NOT her mother and am NOTHING to her. She is prone to disobey and refuse to respond if I ask or tell her to do something. As you can imagine, her behaviour has an impact on our younger kids (5 and 3). At one point, when her behavior had gotten particularly out of hand, a psychiatrist suggested we find somewhere else for her to live so that our younger kids wouldn't be raised with such an angry, disruptive older sibling. My husband and I were adamant that this child is as much a part of our family as any of us, and, as such, will never be turned away. Aside from this, there is no safe, healthy home available with her biological mom, and a child deserves a home with at least one parent. I guess my feelings are that, when an adult makes a decision to marry somebody who has full custody of a child, then that person also commits to sharing in the parenting of that child. The child did not choose to become a step-child, but the adult very definitely made a decision to be a step-parent. As the adult, I have to make it work. Our family utilizes counseling and pharmaceutical intervention to help us maintain an emotionally healthy environment. I can't make my oldest child appreciate me or seek me out, but I can (with my husband's help) demand common courtesy and respect afforded to all adult relatives. I believe that in the long run, she'll look back and be confident that she was loved, even when she was at her most challenging!
My daughter was always manipulative. I worked my butt off trying to stay a step ahead of her as she grew up. I was a single parent and she's an only child. I remarried when she was 13. She left home at 14. In first grade she broke into the pricipal's office at school and stole the candy out of his jar on the desk. In third grade she started forging my signature and stopped doing her school work. I took her TV away(a gift from my dad). I put it in my closet. Recently I asked why she had told social services the lie about me 'tying her up and putting her in a closet'. (never happened) She very flatty said, "You took my TV away" My husband was amazed at how calm she could say that. I asked her, "Do you remember what you were doing then?" "you had stopped doing any school work and were forging my name on the teacher's notes to me". Her response? "You took my TV away. You had no right to do that". Even now, with years between the incident and me asking her about it, she can't get past the 'injustice' done TO her. There is no insight gained. It was not unusual for her to 'get back' at me. No matter how hard I tried to explain WHY I expected different behavior or WHY she needed to appologize I never saw the 'light go on'. She didn't get it. No amount of 'natural consequences' or time outs or spankings would get through to her. She could say what she needed to and then turn around and do what she wanted and tell people how bad a mom I was for punishing her. There were no consequences that truly effected her. Nothing that would elicit growth or insight. Or more importantly, the ability to percieve another person as being more than an object. I've tried all the best advice. I have a degree in counseling. She has seen counselors and convinced them that she's a very happy and positive young lady so they don't see her for very long. She's really an excellant liar. However, the household pets avoid her. She's bragged to me about what she's done to them. (I love anmimals and thought that I had taught her to care for them. Instead I had been leaving them at her mercy.)Kids at school that have known her from second grade won't have anything to do with her. "She's mean" is the by word. The last year she was with me was a nightmare. She made it clear that if I didn't let her leave home I would regret it and she would leave whether I let her go or not. I agreed to let her move in with another family. They are currently her captive audience. She has told them how abusive I was. (let them believe it. I don't care anymore) They are filing papers to adopt her. She's happy. I don't hear from her unless she needs something. I don't have much use for people saying not to use terms like sociopath or antisocial on someone so young. I realize what these terms denote and I am prepared to show the documentation of her behavior over the years. I believe it's genetic. I probably kept her from being worse than she is by being a very structured parent. I no longer believe that how a child turns out is dependent on the type of parenting they recieve. A person is born with a personality. You can develop a relationship and structure, have boundaries and rules but you can't change who they are. Good parenting will help you out no matter what the child is like but it won't change the nature of the person you are working with. I recommend couseling to save your marriage. You'll need your spouse's support to survive a child like this. Think about it. With a counselors assistance, your spouse could be your best ally. I can say that about my husband. He never signed on for a roller coaster ride with my daughter, it just happened. We chose to work together on this. Good luck.
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