I need advice. My Stepdaughter is 10. Her mother left her when she was 4 and she has only had phone conversations with her recently. We keep SD all of the time. I've been around for 3 years now and over the years SD has been continuously getting more and more aggressive. We've had her in therapy for 3 years (since my husband and I met, due to the adjustment of a new relationship) - and each therapist has tested her and she has not been diagnosed with anything.. not even ADHD. However, my SD is abusive. She is verbally abusive - she calls my husband and I stupid and tells us she hates us and tells us to shut up. She also is physically abusive. She kicks and punches and has full blown toddler tantrums at the age of 10.
We've had her in therapy. We've taken everything.. and I do mean EVERYTHING but her bed and dresser out of her bedroom and had her work for her stuff back.. but everytime she works for her stuff back.. she gets it back and then the battle starts all over. We've tried positive rewards.. such as a "surprise" bag for good behavior. We've spent extra time with her and recently in June I had a baby and I'm terrified she's going to do something to hurt him.
What can I do? I want to hit her back to show her she can't bully me, but I do not believe in spanking. I have sat down and really spent time talking to her about how much we love her and we have a very open house where we talk about everything. I can't figure out what is causing my SD tantrums. Honestly, it is as if we say NO and she sees red and immediately goes into a panic rage! She isn't getting any help from therapy because she isn't angry when she goes into therapy, therefore she seems like a cute rational young lady who is very cooperative and understanding. SD doesn't have any problems at school, no problems with friends, no problems anywhere but at home. She honestly thinks she is queen of the house and is very disruptive.
What can I do if therapy isnt working? How do I stop her from hitting?
Oh, and time out! hahaha.. I had to actually put a lock on her door (on the outside) and when she becomes physical and dangerous to the household she is locked in her room until she calms down. (which normally takes 40 minutes or more) and now, she's learned how to pick the lock and she runs around the house throwing stuff and laughing and screaming.
I'm at a loss. I love the little girl as much as I love my son and we do everything to show her and she still is abusive.