what do i do with my 7 year old step-daughter?
i have a seven year old step daughter and im about at a loss with her. in the past few months she has eaten half a bar of soap, taken candy off the ground outside and put it in our carpet, stolen a number of items from the thrift store and school... thats just a few things she has done. the school she attends is no help, whenever she does something negative they reward her and its making me sick. and we cant switch schools cuz its the only one in the district right now, and we cant move yet. ive been talking to our therapist and im wondering if she may have some mild mental retardation? her mother acts as if she is mildly retarded herself so i dont know. she hasnt seen or spoke to either of her kids since may of 2007. anyway my main question is what should i do with her other than counseling?? im getting sick of dealing with her and its causing difficulties between my husband and i. serious answers only would be appreciated. thank you!
- johnLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
sounds like she is a perfectly normal product of a broken home.
She is acting out her frustrations in the only way she knows how. She is an angry little girl. Her Mommy and Daddy are not together and partially in her mind she blames you (as the stepmom) for making this happen. Even if this isn't true she is only 7 and cannot possibly understand why her Mommy and Daddy aren't together.
Stop trying to fight with her... talk to her calmly rationally and explain that her behavior is not acceptable and that this is what the punishment will be if she doesn't behave. And stick to it... kids want and need discipline if you just talk and don't react then the behavior will continue. Tread lightly though and make sure your husband is fully behind you and will defend your actions to the ex.
Good luck this is part of the step parenting that is really tough.
- 1 decade ago
My instinct on this tells me that your step daughter is seeking attention......if she is still grieving for the loss of her mother, then this is inevitable....the grieving process can take up to two years, and can take may forms. She is crying out for attention from someone somewhere.....and the only way she appears to get it is by being naughty. Usually what happens is that when a child is being good they are rarely rewarded or get attention for good behaviour...but when being naughty they get all the attention they need, although the attention is negative, it is still attention to the child nonetheless.
My advice to you is to start rewarding the good behaviour, and if she does a minor violation, try to ignore it. In a way, its like a two year old that has tantrums. the only way to kerb these is to ignore them, and they soon dissapear. In other words, dont feed the negativity of the child....just give rewards for good behaviour. if your step daughter is in breach of a serious violation then you cant ignore this.....but this behaviour has to be dealt with in a certain way also......no hitting, no name calling etc, but calmly tell the child what she has done wrong and find an appropriate punishment, such as going without pocket money, or confiscating a special toy, but on no account condemn the child to its room as a form of punishment, as this should be the childs place of sanctuary and privacy.
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- MicheleLv 44 years ago
Do not back down and don't let your husband either. If that has been one of the problems then discuss punishments before you give them out. Then you can always say you agreed to... Screaming and yelling want do anything but escalate the behavior. Don't let her know she's getting to you and continue to punish as well as praise for all the little stuff good and bad. The spanking won't do anything. I don't ground to a room. I have found without stimulus my kids would seek me out to read or play a board game or something along those lines. During that time a lot of talking and bonding can happen. Good luck.
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- animal loverLv 41 decade ago
Your comment "I'm getting sick of dealing with it" is really sad. You are the grown up here. This little girl clearly has some problems. Some can stem from her broken home for starters. To be a step mom calls for you to love this child unconditionally. Not to want to give up on her because you are tired of dealing with her issues. They may be difficult but she needs help from caring adults in her life. I would hope her father would be angry at your attitude. Personally, I could not be with a person who would feel that way about my child. You need to rethink your role as a step parent and be one all the way or get out instead of becoming another loss this poor child has to deal with later on. I will keep this child in my prayers. I do not mean to be harsh with you, but come on, you have to see how your wanting to give up on a child when she needs someone to care about her the most is wrong.
- BPCBLv 41 decade ago
If you love the man, you must accept the child. If you can't love her because of her behavior, pretend you do anyway, and work out your true feelings in therapy. The child is not at fault. If you feel she is developmentally delayed take her to a doctor. If she is just being a brat, your brief description of her mother may explain why. It may help if you look at the same situation through her little eyes. Mommy is gone, and daddy loves someone who is not my mommy, and he loves her more than me. How would you, as a 7 yr old, feel and act? If your husband is worth the effort, learn to be a mommy to his little girl. If he's not, I'd bail.
- 1 decade ago
See a family therapist but in the meantime she may be acting up as she doesn't know how to express her feelings of frustration / anger etc.
Here is something you could do at home which they use in therapy for kids finding it hard to express themselves:-
Cut out a cardboard circle like a clock face with different faces around the 'clock' instead of numbers. Google 'emotions faces' print them out and stick them on if you can't draw them. They can include include happy, sad, left out, angry, mean, unloved, scared. Then made a cardboard clock 'hand' and attach it to the clock with one of those brass clips. If she is starting to act up ask her to use her faces clock. This can help her think how she is feeling and you can start to talk about it.
- 1 decade ago
Start by making your YES mean YES and your NO mean NO
Give her some quality time and make her feel part of your family. Ask her opinion of things rather than just give her yours. Put the shoe on the other foot and ask her what she would do if her daughter acted in the way she does.
That`s enough to go on for now.
- 1 decade ago
Family counseling is the first (and best) step. After being evaluated, a licensed therapist may decide she needs meds or behavioral modification therapy, but honestly it sounds like she's just acting out because her mother's absence from her life.Source(s): Been there and done that as a kid with an absent mother. My son's father is absent and we went through similar problems, but therapy really has helped him.
- 1 decade ago
I think at that age kids need to know whats right and wrong that goes without saying. but is the little mite bored as you do need to do fun things stuff together as a family,making stuff, painting going to the park going for walks,little pets are great things for children of her age.their only little once enjoy them while there young because in a blink of an eye they will be all grown up and gone. :)