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    momma5's Avatar
    momma5 Posts: 134, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member

    Aug 18, 2014, 03:32 PM
    Difficult child
    I've adopted my 2 "step" daughters when they were 6 and 9. I've been with their father since they were 4 and 7. their biological mother ran out when they were 6m and 3y. Everything has been fine, except the Younger daughter, now 8, has always been a little more difficult than the older daughter who's now 11. The 8y daughter has ALWAYS had issues minding me, listening to me and just flat respecting me as a person. She would act one way when its just us at home ( me and all 5 kids ) which is when The issues are worse. Once dad comes home there's no problem listening to him, and respecting him. Our other 4 see the night and day difference. She's recently decided she wants to live with her biological mother and has gone to the point of saying shell do whatever she needs to ,to split me and her dad up. She got to see her biological maternal grandmother up until a year ago when she completely quiy calling or texting. 8y thinks its my fault. Our 11y would tell us after their visits with grandmother that she would tell them how their "real mom" has changed so much and wanted to see them ( again, no calls or texts) and how I'm just a "gold digger" ( I make plenty without my husbands help). Me and my husband are at the end of our rope. Please help
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert

    Aug 18, 2014, 03:52 PM
    So you entered the scene when she was 4, and she is now 8.
    I can only guess that that year was very impressionable and important. She had no memory of her mother, and had a strong bond with her father, the only parent.

    I just want to gently say (easy for me to say, right?) that she didn't and still doesn't have enough of any kind of 'adult' type notions of breaking you up, you being a gold digger, and going to live with her bio mother. She's still a young child - a product of what's going on around her here and now!

    The fact that she minds her father and not you might say a ton about HIM, something subtle that treats her in a extra special little way, with maybe a touch of guilt. Maybe he did something when she was 6 months old that helped drive the mother away, like an affair.
    Or a step sibling (or two or three) might have said something that really scared or hurt her, even if it was just a tease.

    Who knows? All I'm saying is that you and your husband are her parents and need to lovingly solve this, not just react. She is still teachable, moldable, with the right amount of patience and talking, with touching and hugging and assurance that you love her. Even if you don't feel true maternal love, he must really love her (unless something really deep and dark is going on, like he doesn't think he's her father, or knows he isn't). And he has to do at least half of this. Some family counseling for 3 or 4 sessions mind be good, just to give you the skills to step around your own hurt/frustration/anger at her. You and he need to make up for something lost. She's still too young to be given credit for being the way she is on her own. None of this is her fault.

    I think what you have to do apart from him is very difficult - to be a mother without forcing it on her. You don't have to let her run the show about who she lives with (or about anything!) but your 'mothering' needs to be of the 'I'm here to love you anyway' variety. I wouldn't try to address every complaint she makes. 'Your father and I love you and do our best to give you a good childhood and home. We can all 3 sit down and talk about this alone, after dinner' if it's the big issue of living with her bio mother, or going to counseling.

    [Edit] I read back and see that your autistic son is 2 years older than she, and that there were allegations that he had to sleep naked with his father and girlfriend. If that's true, and without reading too much into it, have you kept an eye on him for any unusual behavior with his stepsisters?
    momma5's Avatar
    momma5 Posts: 134, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member

    Aug 18, 2014, 04:52 PM
    Bio mother did the "affairing" and basically told my husband she couldn't do this parenting thing anymore. She also has a son who's 14 who she gave up also . She looked up to her bio maternal grandmother a lot and when she stopped seeing the girls ,yes, it devastated her more than her older sister. She knew down at "nana"s she could say and do anything and not get in trouble. We had issues with her at school bullying other kids and even held my Youngest bio child under water a few years back... I've done my best to keep things the same between the 5. my husband is an otr rig driver and isn't home. I've done anythingto spend a little extra (as best I can with 5! ) and she snubs me. From the beginning I've told both girls they can call me mom or my name whichever is comfortable for them. She apparently mentioned to my 9yo she was forced to call me mom, and when the 9yo said that no she wasn't, she startex pushing her for not taking her side. I have no other ideas. She's seen a counselor and all she came up with is a) she has what her grandmother has said about biomother to heart and that's her ONLY mindset ( and even if she was proven otherwise she still wpuldnt see it) and/or B) she has the mindset of an only child... she cant share attention...

    No my son has never done anything inappropriate. With him being outnumbered 4 to 1 the girls are quick to "tattle" on him.

    Also autistic son is 5 months younger than child being discussed... sorry for confusion
    Jake2008's Avatar
    Jake2008 Posts: 6,721, Reputation: 3460
    Emotional Health Expert

    Aug 18, 2014, 05:48 PM
    You have a lot on your plate, with your husband gone a lot.

    I'm very impressed that you manage to keep an even keel.

    The counseling is a very good idea for the 8 year old, although without other family members in counseling, the fire may be fueled by her feeling responsible/defiant/confused/and angry about everything, including being singled out for counselling It is very harmful that her grandmother gives her statements that give this young girl hope that her mother wants to see her, and then she likely thinks along the lines of, everything will be okay. The counselor should have listened to you. It is not unlike a kid waiting for a parent to pick them up for 'their weekend', only to be crushed when they don't show.

    Continue with the counseling, but consider a different counselor. In my professional career, I have come across too many that are just not a good fit with a client. A high level of professionalism should result in a referral to another counselor- perhaps one with more experience. I think it is up to you to simply ask for a different therapist, and make sure that you, and your husband, spend a few sessions there yourself, before the 8 year old starts.

    Things will not get better as this young girl gets older, without help. With the pre-teen years coming, and then the teen years, the more you find the strength to deal with this now, the better off everyone will be.

    It is also important that you and your husband seek assistance in putting boundaries, expectations, and consequences in place. Discipline will keep her grounded, and secure. But it is very hard work to first turn bad behavior around, and then enforce rules. But it is essential.

    Maybe if you find a new counselor, ask for a few sessions for you and your husband on those parenting pointers. Don't be shy to ask the counselor what she hopes to achieve, and whether she is forthcoming with information to keep you and your husband informed. It isn't likely- yet- that this child will sit down at the kitchen table and thoughtfully explain her session, and how she benefited from it. The counselor must be a good communicator with the parents.

    If you get the right person, and stick with it, all of you will benefit.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert

    Aug 18, 2014, 05:59 PM
    I was the one confused about ages.

    The counselor doesn't sound all that great to me. Maybe overworked if she's a social services worker. Having a mindset, sure, but she is still missing something from her father, plain and simple. This is his job first, not yours. Not that you aren't part of it, but if he's not the biggest part, anything you do is just whistling at the wind. Fathers aren't often that good at backtracking through the years of built-up anger in a child and looking for that little wounded kid, so it may never happen, and she will just be who she is and who she will be.

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