Advice needed ASAP! — The Bump
Pre-School

Advice needed ASAP!

A little background info. I met my husband as a single mother to a 3 year old boy. He was a single father to a 3 year old girl. The love was instantaneous and the 4 of us quickly became inseparable. She is 5 years old now. My step-daughters mother had been out of the picture for a year when we met and she really had no memory of her. But she does have major behavioral problems due to being neglected and emotionally abused for the first two years of her life by her bio mom while DH was overseas in the military.

 

I'm at my wits end with her. I'm doing everything to be a good mom to her but she is manipulative, destructive, and out of control. She never listens to a word I say. Today I had to pick  her up from her preschool early because she couldn't be controlled by her teachers and she was screaming, kicking and hitting them, and disrupting the other classes. This was because she was not picked to be the line leader. She has no remorse for her actions. I've taken away her TV, her ability to play the computer/Wii and her favorite toy. It's obviously not effective because her response was "Ok, fine. I don't care." 

We've attempted counseling in the past but it doesn't seem to do anything. At this age they only do play therapy and we were paying $50 a session for her to be observed painting a picture.  

Any advise or suggestions? I feel like I need to call her pediatrician but I don't know if that what Im supposed to do.  Help?!

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Re: Advice needed ASAP!

  • I can feel your pain... Im not in the exact situation but a similar one. I started dating my husband before his son (now almost four) turned 2. He has no memory of his biological mother (she has been out of the picture since before he turned 1) and only knows me as mommy. (I am in the process of legally adopting him). However before I was in the picture, my in laws helped my husband out a lot. He lived with them so that he could have their help, but I think really they took over more than "helped". As nice as that was, they completely neglected to give him ANY type of discipline whatsoever and would really beat my husband down if he tried (telling him that THEY should be his parents because they were with him more and that he didnt have a right to step in) They put soda in his sippy cups, gave him cookies for breakfast ("because that is what he asked for") let him hit and scratch his cousins, and he was even cussing at the age of 2! (What kept me from running far and fast, I will never know! haha)

    But now we are of course living on our own as a family and with another baby on the way.Hes come a long way in knowing how to behave, but he only chooses to behave with other people. With me, he does a lot of the same stuff you are describing with your stepdaughter! Hes extremely destructive, thinks he can manipulate anyone, and throws ridiculous fits when things dont go his way.

    Since I am the first one in his life to really discipline him (and now I stay home with him) he fights me constantly no matter what it is I ask him to do. The worst part is he really is a charismatic boy and many people dont see the side of him that I am dealing with everyday and why I am so fed up. Its really to the point where I have trouble even having fun with him because I am so worn out from trying to correct his bad behavior constantly. I am especially worried about how he will act around the baby and what she will learn from his behavior.

    I know how you feel with being worn out and fed up! Let me know if you find anything that helps you!

  • imageamybrewster:

    I can feel your pain... Im not in the exact situation but a similar one. I started dating my husband before his son (now almost four) turned 2. He has no memory of his biological mother (she has been out of the picture since before he turned 1) and only knows me as mommy. (I am in the process of legally adopting him). However before I was in the picture, my in laws helped my husband out a lot. He lived with them so that he could have their help, but I think really they took over more than "helped". As nice as that was, they completely neglected to give him ANY type of discipline whatsoever and would really beat my husband down if he tried (telling him that THEY should be his parents because they were with him more and that he didnt have a right to step in) They put soda in his sippy cups, gave him cookies for breakfast ("because that is what he asked for") let him hit and scratch his cousins, and he was even cussing at the age of 2! (What kept me from running far and fast, I will never know! haha)

    But now we are of course living on our own as a family and with another baby on the way.Hes come a long way in knowing how to behave, but he only chooses to behave with other people. With me, he does a lot of the same stuff you are describing with your stepdaughter! Hes extremely destructive, thinks he can manipulate anyone, and throws ridiculous fits when things dont go his way.

    Since I am the first one in his life to really discipline him (and now I stay home with him) he fights me constantly no matter what it is I ask him to do. The worst part is he really is a charismatic boy and many people dont see the side of him that I am dealing with everyday and why I am so fed up. Its really to the point where I have trouble even having fun with him because I am so worn out from trying to correct his bad behavior constantly. I am especially worried about how he will act around the baby and what she will learn from his behavior.

    I know how you feel with being worn out and fed up! Let me know if you find anything that helps you!

     

    I know exactly what you mean. My husband is a great father but when he got full custody of her, he spoiled the crap out of her and let her get away with anything. I'm the first one to really discipline her too. She is smart as a whip and really knows how to push my buttons (and enjoys doing so!) When we're around family/friends she's usually pretty good. NOBODY understands. My husband travels a lot and even he doesn't get to see the real side of her that I do taking care of her 24/7.  

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  • That is the worst part when they don't see it! My husband works a lot also and Aidan is definitely smart and understands exactly how to work him when he is home! He likes to ask my husband for stuff that I wouldn't allow him (like candy before dinner for example) knowing he isn't home enough to know all the rules. He will even search me out and show me that daddy gave him candy before dinner if I am not right there to stop it. He definitely thrives on pushing my buttons. I try to blow it off and try not to let him see that it bothers me but it really irks me. I hate that 95% of arguments between my husband and I are about Aidan, but it is a frustrating place to be in when it feels like no one sees what you see.
  • Wow, our kids would get along so well! They are exactly alike. 
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  • I'm glad to know I'm not the only one to be in this situation. It makes me CRAZY sometimes!
  • I would contact a behavioral therapist and explain to him/her what is going on. They will be able to give you specific instructions on how to handle certain behaviors and help you figure out what is triggering them.

     Good luck!

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  • imageMaddysMama07:

    I would contact a behavioral therapist and explain to him/her what is going on. They will be able to give you specific instructions on how to handle certain behaviors and help you figure out what is triggering them.

     Good luck!

    Thanks! I'm working on finding one now. 

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  • I know this sounds crazy, but do you watch Supernanny?  She has some good advice and her naughty spot really does work, however you HAVE to follow thru EVERY TIME!!!  As a nanny I dealt with the manipulative behavior of playing one parent against the other or ME...no fun! 

    You need to write down specific details of what is happening and discuss with your spouse. Then decide together how you both will handle that situation.  Have regular discussions about the child's behavior and try to focus on the good things they are doing.  Making a house rules list could help define what you expect and also a list of consequences as well. 

    Many times abused kids need more understanding and love and affection then our non-abused kids.  It's a long healing process.  I think a behavior specialist would be a great idea.  See if there are any resources in your area to help parents who are struggling with behaviors.  I know my sister had a program that came to her house to work with their family and some of my daycare kids had a therapist visit them here at the daycare and they always shared what they discussed with her and it was about problem solving and anger management.  Hopefully you can figure things out!  

  • imagetruckngrl:

    I know this sounds crazy, but do you watch Supernanny?  She has some good advice and her naughty spot really does work, however you HAVE to follow thru EVERY TIME!!!  As a nanny I dealt with the manipulative behavior of playing one parent against the other or ME...no fun! 

    You need to write down specific details of what is happening and discuss with your spouse. Then decide together how you both will handle that situation.  Have regular discussions about the child's behavior and try to focus on the good things they are doing.  Making a house rules list could help define what you expect and also a list of consequences as well. 

    Many times abused kids need more understanding and love and affection then our non-abused kids.  It's a long healing process.  I think a behavior specialist would be a great idea.  See if there are any resources in your area to help parents who are struggling with behaviors.  I know my sister had a program that came to her house to work with their family and some of my daycare kids had a therapist visit them here at the daycare and they always shared what they discussed with her and it was about problem solving and anger management.  Hopefully you can figure things out!  

    Thank you so much. Great suggestions. We have a "naughty corner" that we got from watching Super Nanny. It works some days but it takes a lot of my attention making sure she stays there. Which is really hard when taking care of a newborn and making sure my 5 year old son has the attention he needs. It's tough! 

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  • Talk to her teachers and get her an evaluation -- it should be free or on a scale.
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