or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Step-daughter lying and abusing DC, what should I do?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Step-daughter lying and abusing DC, what should I do?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
We met my step-daughter in August, with even my husband having never met her before and she has been with us full-time since. She has had a crappy childhood being passed around and not wanted. We were told by her second cousin who had her that she lies and my step-daughter told me, "their 6yo always told them I was hurting her but she was lying and no one ever believes me." That's why the cousin passed her around between three homes since none wanted to keep her for more than a week at a time. I wanted to believe her and trust her.

She probably has ADHD, she is controlling of the other kids often screaming at them, she lies constantly even forcing my children to lie or take the blame for her, and now I'm realizing all the times I've believed her over my children about how my kids keep getting hurt was wrong. She knocks them down saying they tripped, she punches them in the stomach, kicks them, and I'm pretty sure now she pushed one of my toddlers down the stairs but I believed her over my DD's broken toddler-talk that she fell when my DD told me she pushed her.

Last week she hurt my 5yo DS and I asked him what happened...instantly she started saying he hurt himself. The older boys are getting adamant now towards the truth where they have been going along with her, so my DS told me, no, she is lying, she hurt me. She got in my face screaming "he is the liar, he hurt himself" over and over. Today, she hurt him again upstairs with all the children around. I asked what happened and she told me he fell. I instantly asked my 6yo son what happened and didn't get a response. He snuck down the stairs not talking and came to me and whispered that she had hurt DS5 and told him to lie to me and say he hurt himself. What really happened was that she wrapped him up in a blanket and shoved him to the ground then punched him in the stomach while he was on the floor.

So I told her to go to my room and stay. DH called and she answered and when I talked to him he said he "talked with her" like she really told him what had happened and I said I'm sick of this (she does this daily) and want her to leave. He's never home and I am guilted into homeschooling her so she is my problem full-time with little help. He said she's not leaving and I was adamant about being done with all of this so he said he and her will move out!!: So, what should I do???
post #2 of 37
It sounds like you're going through a rough time. I feel bad for you, and especially your stepdaughter. I understand why you're feeling the way you do, but I also have to applaud your husband for standing up for his daughter. Are you guys in any sort of family counseling? You said she might have ADHD - have you had her formally evaluated so treatment can start? Have you looked into an attachment specialist? Based on what she's been through before coming to you, I wouldn't be surprised if she had an attachment disorder. Since neither you nor your husband knew this little girl before she came to your home, you might want to ask on the adoption board for advice from families who have fostered/adopted older children. Your situation seems closer to theirs than to a traditional blended family situation, you know?

I would also talk to your husband about reconsidering homeschooling her, at least for now. It sounds like you need a break and aren't in the mental space to cared for her 24/7, and your other kids might need a break, too. Also, it sounds like constant supervision is needed when she is in the home. If she's been bumped form home home, you have no idea what she might have experienced - and what she might be acting out on your other children. It doesn't sound like it's safe for anyone involved for her to be alone, even for a few minutes, with the other kids.
post #3 of 37
Remember that she is a child, and has been through more than you can probably imagine. Why are mdc moms so adament about attachment parenting? Bc we know how much that early attachment affects the well being and mental/emotional development of a human being.

I did my masters work on a therapy that works miracles with these types of issues. It is called Theraplay. If you can not find a practitioner in your area;
http://www.theraplay.org/8400.html
please consider getting her into some kind of play therapy.

Overall, just being very consistant with her, holding your rules very strictly,making sure she understand what will happen when she does something wrong, and then giving her lots of affection,even if it is unwelcome, will help. Please pm me and I can give you my number if you want more help in how to work with her.
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
That's just it. I have been working on changing her constantly. I have a teething infant, toddler twins, an ADHD 5yo and a homeschooling 6yo...all of whom get shafted my time because she is an attention hog. If I'm talking with one child she'll just starting talking over them like they didn't exist. She demands the first, the best, the biggest, the easiest, etc. I DO EVERYTHING for this kid. Not her dad. Of course he can stand by her being a pain...he's not here! He actually doesn't really know her.

I cannot be the one to save this girl. That's the guilt-trip he gives me. She's had it so rough. She needs you. You can save her. If she goes to school, you'll have to get her up, make her lunch, and get her to school then pick her up and helping with her homework would be just as much work as you do homeschooling her.

Meanwhile I have 5 other kids getting screamed at, beat on, manipulated by her in many ways. She's years behind in school...it's my job to save her from educational and life failure. It's my job to fix her messed up behaviors and raise her, educate her, supervise her, etc, etc. I QUIT! I have 5 of my own who are getting royally screwed and it's time I stopped buying the "save the step-daughter, save the world" theory and help my own kids.
post #5 of 37
Is there any way to get her into counseling? She has been through a lot, there are reasons why she is acting this way. She is totally not beyond help. With therapy and a supportive family she could still come out right.
post #6 of 37
Your other children should not be sacrificed for her. I would make sure she is with you at all times. Never let her out of your sight. Get her some counseling. Tell your DH that he needs to step up and parent this poor kid. That you are not her Savior. She is constantly harming her sibs. Is that okay with your DH? If so, then you have alot worse problems than the DSD.

I would absolutely refuse to homeschool her. If DH is so adamant, let him homeschool her.

I hate to say it, but I would take my own children and leave if she got any worse. How would your DH feel if she seriously harmed one of the younger kids or even worse?
post #7 of 37
im not trying to sound mean to your DH, but why did he not meet his daughter until she was 9 years old??? it sounds like she has major behavioral issues, and obviously abandonment issues, and is most likely a survovor of physical abuse. kids dont just up and decide to abuse other kids without having been abused themselves. homeschooling does not sound like the appropriate type of education for this child. I think she should be evaluated by special ed and you should see if you can get an individual education plan in effect with th public school, they can provide a one on one person to be with her throughout the day and maybe even a home care worker to come to your home and help her with daily activities. I think it is borderline abusive that your husband expects you to save this child and sacrifice the safety of your other kids and your own mental health.
post #8 of 37
May I ask why your husband isn't "there" for you? Is he being an absentee dad with just his daughter or with all of your children?

I'm asking this as the stepmom of a very complex, LD/gifted 10 year old boy. When I met him, he was 6, and he was some serious abandonment issues, as well as a very big problem with anger. He doesn't know this yet (and we don't plan on telling him until he's an adult), but his mother abandoned him when he was an infant, leaving his dad alone to raise him for 2 yrs. She eventually returned, but the "damage" was done. My SS was very bonded with his father, but never quite trusted his mom. It didn't help that my DH was with 2 other women during SS's childhood, and that he tried to bond with them, and ended up being burned when the relationship went sour.

I'll tell you what worked for us, and perhaps it'll give you some ideas. SS was very violent towards other children, as well as towards himself; he'd even stabbed another boy with a pencil for taking his stapler. As soon as we could, we got him into martial arts lessons. I even took them with him for a while. Honestly, it made all the difference in the world. We got him a little punching bag and whenever he started to have a fit, we just told him to go exhaust himself by punching the bag. It didn't happen overnight and there were some serious setbacks (he managed to chop off his own finger by angrily slaming a door on it), but he's really coming around. He was in therapy for several years, and his father always had a very firm hand with him. As a result, he's adjusted very well to me and he's learned to keep his anger under control.

Maybe your SD needs some special attention from her father, along with some therapy. From your post, your DH seems adamant that YOU're the one to save this child...what about him? Where is he for his daughter? If he were to invest time and energy to get to know her, she'd start to feel as though this arrangements isn't just another temporary situation she's going to have to move on from. She probably only lashing out because she's REALLY angry, scared and frustrated that no one "wants" her.

A normal schedule and firm discipline also goes a long way with children; if she were in school, she'd be exposed to a daily routine that she could eventually learn to trust. It would also give you much needed relief from her attitude, thus giving you the energy to deal with her before/after school.

If you can hang on, make some changes, and get your DH on board, maybe you can turn things around with your SD.
post #9 of 37
It really, really sounds like you could use some family counseling. I would be firm with my dh that if I was the one doing most of the hands on parenting, that I would be the one making most of the decisions. Hoewever, I think you need to assure both your dh and your sdaughter that you won't be abandoning her.
post #10 of 37
Sorry you are going through this. I can see your side and your husband's side. He is probably hurt because, in his eyes, you are giving up on his flesh and blood and he knows you wouldn't turn your back on your child. But at the same time, he takes her in and leaves the responsibility mainly in your hands and that's not fair. Even though you love your husband, he can not make you love his daughter over night. That something that if it ever happens, will take time. Because he is your husband, I think you should give it another try but there must be some rules enforced and he needs to also understand where you are coming from and you need to understand his point of view as well.

He is the one that needs to step up to the plate and take responsibility and not put the blame on you.

Hope things get better.
post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 
We didn't know about her until she was 5 1/2 (and years into our marriage) and then her mother disappeared and we searched for her for 4 years even hiring a private detective. The courts wouldn't help us without a custody order. Anyway, we found out where she was on a Friday, contacted the cousin Monday, and drove to Florida on Tuesday. There was Zero adjustment.

*Sigh* I'm feeling a little better. It's nice to hear someone doesn't think she should be my responsibility to fix. My DH works long hours and is out of town often. In his eyes, I guess it was like "We'll just add her in with the other kids and you'll do what you're doing with them." Homeschooling, discipline, teaching good behavior, etc. He does discipline and have talks with her when he's here, but he's hardly here all week and all the really "work" has to be done while he's gone and not 9 at night or something. ALSO, the other kids get shafted when during the short time he's home she's attention hogging or needing to be disciplined.

For a while it was going great. Before I realized my kids were telling the truth about being hurt, before she got comfortable and started being rude to me and the kids, before homeschooling and taking me 4 hours a day to get through 2 subjects, before my kids started to stand up for themselves and not let her boss them around and yell at them when I was out of the room, before a lot. I think my DH's problem is that he's still in the "It's going great" mentality and needs to be caught up completely especially about her hurting the kids.

I don't mind taking care of her, I am just bitter I have to fix her. Replace bad behaviors with good, catch her up for schooling, now, he says I need to start molding her into a young lady since again, that's my job. Mainly, I feel like my reward for all my efforts is that my kids are suffering.
post #12 of 37
I don't think this should be yours and yours alone.

If my DP threatened to leave me and take SD with him, I would let him do so. In fact, I'd probably have their bags packed and ready to go when he got home. Ultimatums aren't fair and threatening to leave someone crosses the line.

I certianly would not be okay with continuing to allow someone to abuse my children until he "gets it".
post #13 of 37
Why are you homeschooling her? As far as homeschooling, I think that spending 4 hours a day on homeschooling is unrealistic. She's got healing to do and adjustments to make and those are more important than catching up in Grammar and math. I'd forget about catching her up for the moment and worry about keeping everyone safe. I'd block off areas of the house and pay close attention to what's going on around you in the house. You'll have to be vigilent, so showering before everyone wakes up and keeping her in your sight at all times. I think that homeschooling can work for her, but you can't just expect for it to be what it is for your children. Even while homeschooling though, she needs some kind of professional help. You should consider her like a toddler in some aspects. Teach her how to use her words, teach her about how to read people and about how to calm her own emotions.

What would you do if this were your birth child with these issues? You have to not give yourself the option of not being her mom. You are her mom, there's nobody else. What's your dh going to do? Move out with her, pay child support while you put all your kids in childcare and go to work? It's got to be a team effort. He has to come home and let you get out of the house. He has to take her out by himself sometimes to bond with her. You have to realize that his job takes him out of the house. You guys don't seem to be working as a team.

I'm sorry that you're going through this This poor girl needs some attachment therapy and stability. I can't say what I'd do or feel in your situation.

Lisa
post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa49 View Post
Why are you homeschooling her?

You should consider her like a toddler in some aspects. Teach her how to use her words, teach her about how to read people and about how to calm her own emotions.
I'm homeschooling because she's 10 and would be in 3rd grade and in my opinion, the bottom of the class. Also, we thought beyond being good for her to be able to learn at her own pace at home, she would feel more apart of the family since the other kids don't go to school. Plus she hates school and has always felt stupid and picked on. (By the way, the 4hrs was for writing 2 sentences and doing 12 double-digit subtraction problems.)

I have been thinking of her kind of like a toddler/preschooler. She does some very inappropriate things beyond what I've already mentioned. Like she's walked up to a woman we've met once and grabbed the necklace off her chest and later took the woman's arm and put it around her. She's also walked into a group of adults she met minutes earlier and started telling a story of her bio mom hitting her in the ears until they bled when she was 5 (which she doesn't remember but reiterates what others have told her to everyone she meets). She's climbed into a bin of stuffed animals at the store. She's also taken our then-4yo outside in the middle of the night while we were all sleeping to find frogs. She asked weird questions out of the blue like can we go to Hawaii tomorrow and why don't we live in the center of the earth and maybe we can pay someone to bury our house down there for us.

Also, as a mom of 6 you can imagine how often I hear "Mommy" during a day....but at least 50% of the time it's from her and about half of those times it's interrupting someone else. The rest of the time she is talking to herself or begging someone else to watch her dance or listen to a 20-minute story. She's very needy and exhausting.
Quote:
What would you do if this were your birth child with these issues?
That's another thing, I have birth children who do weird things....because they are toddlers and preschoolers! This is why I think of her as not only starting at toddlerhood training her in life skills, but reversing bad things she's already learned. Meanwhile, my husband sees her as my helper and tells her to mother the kids and be their leader since she's the oldest. She's not even capable of leading herself correctly. Ugh! I'm at a loss.
post #15 of 37
post #16 of 37
I would have needed more of an adjustment period than you had before taking on a parenting-type role with a stepchild. Adding homeschooling with a child years below her grade level? Who has emotional issues as well?

This poor girl needs the help of some professionals. And it sounds like she really needs some attention from her father.

You can always bring her back into the homeschooling routine later, but I think for now professional help may be in order.

Your family needs to have some time to adjust to the change in the family, and your dsd needs time to adjust to living with a new family. I would put the homeschooling on the back burner for now.
post #17 of 37
to you momma. You're doing amazingly well despite the lack of support from your DH and the very awkward situation with your stepchild. Keep on your DH; have an "intervention" with him if you feel it'll get through to him. Write down what you'd like to see happen and how both of you could concretely make that happen.

As for your SD, I'd be curious to know how *she* feels about all these changes in her life. Her vocabulary seems limited to "pay attention to me or else". It would be useful to help her find the words to express her feelings...Again, therapy would help a lot here. Can you find some kind of therapy that won't cost an arm and leg? Perhaps group therapy would be cheaper?

I hope you can find some solution that works for both you, your DH and your SD.
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyCalling View Post
We met my step-daughter in August, with even my husband having never met her before and she has been with us full-time since. She has had a crappy childhood being passed around and not wanted. We were told by her second cousin who had her that she lies and my step-daughter told me, "their 6yo always told them I was hurting her but she was lying and no one ever believes me." That's why the cousin passed her around between three homes since none wanted to keep her for more than a week at a time. I wanted to believe her and trust her.

She probably has ADHD, she is controlling of the other kids often screaming at them, she lies constantly even forcing my children to lie or take the blame for her, and now I'm realizing all the times I've believed her over my children about how my kids keep getting hurt was wrong. She knocks them down saying they tripped, she punches them in the stomach, kicks them, and I'm pretty sure now she pushed one of my toddlers down the stairs but I believed her over my DD's broken toddler-talk that she fell when my DD told me she pushed her.

Last week she hurt my 5yo DS and I asked him what happened...instantly she started saying he hurt himself. The older boys are getting adamant now towards the truth where they have been going along with her, so my DS told me, no, she is lying, she hurt me. She got in my face screaming "he is the liar, he hurt himself" over and over. Today, she hurt him again upstairs with all the children around. I asked what happened and she told me he fell. I instantly asked my 6yo son what happened and didn't get a response. He snuck down the stairs not talking and came to me and whispered that she had hurt DS5 and told him to lie to me and say he hurt himself. What really happened was that she wrapped him up in a blanket and shoved him to the ground then punched him in the stomach while he was on the floor.

So I told her to go to my room and stay. DH called and she answered and when I talked to him he said he "talked with her" like she really told him what had happened and I said I'm sick of this (she does this daily) and want her to leave. He's never home and I am guilted into homeschooling her so she is my problem full-time with little help. He said she's not leaving and I was adamant about being done with all of this so he said he and her will move out!!: So, what should I do???
Since you asked...I think you should love her. I think you should try to get counseling for her. And I think you should tell her how much you love her but how hard it is when she lies to you. This child needs love, unconditional love. You are going to be exhausted beyond measure as you can't leave your kids alone with her at all for a long while. But don't give up. Talk a lot with your husband about a plan to help her understand that you aren't going to hurt her or abandon her and she doesn't have to lie anymore to protect herself. I hurt for her. I think she has a lot of painful stories buried under those lies.
post #19 of 37
Is your dh eligible for FMLA? Even a day at a time could help if he were home. Everyone else has already given great advice. That's the only thing I have to add. And a :
post #20 of 37
And in her homeschooling? I would do a lot of art, painting, clay, mosaics...things where she can express herself with her hands. I would also ask her to write stories. I bet she has a fantastic imagination. I would redirect her energies there too. Unless she is banging on your door for other subjects, I would give her time to create and play.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Step-daughter lying and abusing DC, what should I do?