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Thread: DD2 help :(

  1. #1

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    Default DD2 help :(

    So this is about DD2 who is 4 - 5 in Jan. I don't even know where to start...about 6 weeks ago we all moved about an hour and a half away to live with DP. And since we've moved in her behaviour has changed...well, I thought it had changed but now i'm thinking it's more that she's always been like this and i've ignored it. DP won't ignore it, she's telling lies all the time...example, she's not allowed in the sandpit at daycare because she often gets bladder infections and conjunctivitis when she's in the sand pit. The convo goes like this DD2(G) "I didn't go inthe sandpit today and i'm not lying" me "really, ok what will miss Sophie say if I ask her?" G "I don't know" me "did you go in the sanndpit?" G "I think so...yes". Ive told her she'll get into more trouble for lying than she will for doing the thing and she nods and says "ok" and then smirks. It's NOT GOING IN!

    DP thinks, and I pretty much agree that she has had all my time...all of it. We all (me and the other 2 kids) pretty much cave when she cries because it's easier, it was me by myself and I know I let her get away with a lot. Now DP is calling her on everything...and it's so stressfull. Another example, she'll be watching something and i'll be downstairs with DP and she'll find any reason to call out..."muuuum can I have some water" etc...she knows she can have water she just wants to take my attention away from DP. I hate to say it because it sounds so mean but she is manipulative...she'll be in trouble and come up and say I love you to try and get out of it or purpousfully hurt herself (I saw her) so i'll come and hug her. It's really, really damaging my realtionship with DP and it's worse because I try and make excuses for her and he's getting really fed up...so am I.

    I spend time with just her, i've shown her, told her we'll do crafts or whatever for an hour and half then i'll go downa nd spend time with DP, she says yes she understands then 5 mins after i've gone its "muuuum". I don't know what to do. And this is happeneing ALL THE TIME...DP says ignore her and then she gets upset...I know she's not really, there are no tears. And she'll stop crying and sit and watch tv then rememeber and start crying again. So I know it's not real but it still hurts me to watch it. I don't know what to do

    It's all come to a head because on Monday DP noticed that one of his leather stools was scratched...3 lines down the middle. DD2 was the only one home so I went and spoke to her. She said no it wasn't her and she thought it was DD1. SO I spoke to the other 2 after school...denial all round. We spent a couple of days trying to figure out what to do...DP is pretty ****ed off and upset that one of them will deliberately try and cut his chair. So yesterday in the car I told them that no one would get pocket money untill the stall was paid for or until someone owned up. So DD2 said it wsa her. She said she did it because everyone was cranky at her. I asked her how she did it and she said with her drink bottle lid. When we got home DP tried it and it wouldn't have been that so I asked her again and she said scissors...so another lie. We've given her her punishment and told her that it's so much worse because she lied and tried to get DD1 in to trouble...told her the punishment (no scooby doo, going to friends house or barbie computer till her behaviour changes) and she nodded and said ok. I explain again why she's in trouble and what she has to stop doing and I get the nod and smirk...it's not sinking in. I don't know how to get her to understand. Five mins later she's running around laughing saying it's ok because she'll see her friend soon.



    We're both tearing our hair out, have no idea what to do. DP just doesn't want to be around her at the moment at all. Which is making it so hard for me.

    If anyone has any advice i'd be so grateful...i'm just lost

  2. #2
    MissEm Guest

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    Hey

    My nearly 4 year old has started doing this too, lying and doing things she shouldn't to get attention, even the calling out to me with excuses. I'm thinking its a phase? Gosh, I hope so!

    Another thought, does your DP spend much time with her, alone? Maybe she is craving his attention? Maybe she wants to feel liked and accepted by him?

  3. #3

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    Oh babe. hugs...

    I'm finding it really hard to formulate a reply ... I'll come back later

  4. #4

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    Step/blended families are a really tough gig. I've done it twice - on both sides of the fence. My ex brought two of his boys to live with us when we were together, and then, DD and I moved in with my current (and hopefully last!) DP when she was two.


    When there are differences in parenting style it's hard to reconcile. And you're always stuck in the middle

    I think the best course of action is some family counselling just to get the issues out in the open and resolved (or at least worked on) with some professional input.
    There are also organisations for Stepfamilies which can give you some great advice on how to navigate the minefield.

    Honestly, though, it's impossible to keep everyone happy without compromise. And, your DD, cant compromise her need for her. Your DP needs to be understanding that it's a massive period of adjustment for her. He is a grown man and he has to come second.

  5. #5

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    she has a had a really big change babe! Wanting your attention is not manipulating you its her way of getting emotional connection she may seem like a handfull but maybe she is a little jealous that you are spending more time with your DP? Its hard for a baby to understand why mummy is not there for just her anymore.

    I think your DP is being a bit harsh personally, He has never had kids and as we know kids do things, they write on walls they scratch stuff alll to see what happens, I think he needs to be more comforting and spend more time with her if anything so she can see the move was a good thing and she wont be angry at your DP for "taking" you away?

    She is probably too little to sit and talk her through it but everythime she lies explain that its not nice etc?

    Good luck babe I know you will work it out xxx

  6. #6

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    MissEm I think youve hit the nail on the head...he doesn't at all, he does with the other two and I think it's because they're older and he doesn't know how to communicate with her. He's 40 and has never had kids, she's 4...it'll be hard right now, he's pretty angry at her but i'll talk to him about it.

    Ok Cass

  7. #7

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    same Jack has started going thru a lying stage as well not excusing her behavior but I too think its part of their development at this age

    she coudl feel threatened that you have a partner now...I know its not the answer to all but have you tried spending some time alone special time so she realises just because you have a partner doesn't mean she is being shut out also as Missem said maybe DP could spend some one on one with her ....

    ((GBH)) here anytime for a chat Rach

  8. #8

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    Thanks guys, thing is Amber, she's not a baby...she's going to school next year and although I understand that she needs me, she can't have my attention all the time...there's just not enough of me, i'm exhausted. She does need to learn that she can't get everything she wants and straight away. I know it sounds harsh but she's not the only child, I spend so much time dealing with her that Paul and Cass aren't getting enough time with me

    N2L I have thought abotu councilling, i'll look into it over the weekend. I think DP is more annoyed that i'm exhausted by the end of the day, i'm falling asleep at 9 and we're not spendign time together, she's really sapping me at the moment.

    I try and explain that kids do things like that, writing on walls etc but he's annoyed because she did it because she was angry at him...and she admitted that.

    It's all about attention and he thinks that by giving her attention when she displays bad behaviour then i'm giving her what she wants and she'll keep doing it. I thought it was more about "quality" time which is why i've been doing mroe things with her and explaining that to her too, but it's not making any difference.

    ETA Rach...yep, i've been spending heaps of time with her because that was the first thing I thought of...colouring, watching movies on my lap, heaps of cuddles etc...

    By the soudns of it it is a stage as well...so I guess now it's really important to establish that lying is unnacceptable

  9. #9
    MissEm Guest

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    It makes it hard that he hasn't had kids himself, but I think he can still learn. I think a great point to make with him is that children are still emotionally developing, so when they act out for attention its not because they want attention, its because they need attention. Acting on a child's needs isn't spoiling them, its providing for them what they need to emotionally develop. If you ignore those needs then they aren't able to develop the way they 'should' and something can go wrong. You still need to provide emotionally as you would provide food, water, warmth and so on.

    I hope that makes sense?

  10. #10

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    DS does a little bit of thing kind of thing. Can be a bit manipulative and plays it against DH and me as DH is a lot harder then I am. By which I mean that DH gets angrier - I don't think I give in more. I do think that when he is like that the more we push him and get angry the more he rebels because he likes to feel he has a certain amount of control over his own life. So the more rules we inflict the worse it gets. Some rules need to be there (e.g. hurting people or damaging property) but I wonder if she is sort of feeling the same. She has moved away from what she knows and is living in someone elses house with their own rules and maybe she feels like she has no control over her own life. I can't think of a solution off the top of my head but if my suggestions feel logical to you then maybe you can think of something. She may seem young to worry about things like this but research on animals (sorry but my field) show that animals which have more control over their environment generally have better welfare (I probably sound very random now!).

  11. #11

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    Ok babe...
    I don't thing there is a way for me to say this without it sounding harsh. But you know me and I'm upfront and saying it outta love.

    I think your DP needs to back off. . .
    Go get some counselling. . . Great idea N2L
    Go easy on her, she's just had a huge upheaval.
    The more tension / fighting around her at the moment will just make her feel like shes more alone and not at 'home'
    Your DP needs to get over the fact that you are tired and there is no "alone time" it's not like before where he had you all for himself, your a mother and they come first.
    Go easy on her hun xoxox
    The thing about this issues is that they are all fixable, they just need time and work xoxox

  12. #12

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    I'm on both sides of the fence here.

    On one hand, you've taken G out of her comfort zone so that's a big thing for her little brain to comprehend. On the other, lying is absolutely not ok. Blake has been trying to get away with it for months, but pre-school are very onto it. We have a daily communication book and they are working very hard on his behaviour, alongside me. We all tell him he needs to make "good choices" and that I know everything that goes on. Also, if he tells the truth he will be in less trouble than if he lied. It really does seem to be working, consistency is key and everyone needs to get on board. I think you and big G need to sit down and formulate a disciplinary/reward system for all 3, and then sit down as a family and discuss them - and a routine that's flexible but still structured. We've done that and it's helped immensly.

    Big G also needs to spend alone time with G....it will help their relationship. I spend time alone with Lulu and when we do our relationship is better for it.

    There is no hard and fast answer, but communication with all parties and a set of guidelines is imperative.

    It will work, I promise!

    I know first hand how hard it is to blend a family and we still struggle, but it does get better.
    Last edited by Ashlee; September 9th, 2011 at 12:16 PM.

  13. #13

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    I think this sort of behaviour is her way to try and meet a need. She wants attention - and she's getting lots of bad attention from the both of you right now - but she also probably feels quite insecure and uncertain about things. Reestablishing a sense of security in her relatinoship with you may be what she needs first and formost, so perhaps getting your DP to back off a bit might help.
    Do you have time to read? PET literature might be helpful. There's also an easy book - How to talk so kids will listen adn listen so kids will talk. It's probably aimed at slightly older kids but you might find it helpful.

  14. #14

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    I definitely think it is largely an adjustment phase as well as a developmental one. She's going through a massive upheaval and is quite probably feeling very unsure of herself, and her place in the family. Especially if the times when your DP is around usually result in her being ignored or excluded - heck even as adults we'd be pretty put out by that, let alone a child accustomed to being the centre of attention. Can your DP come join in with activities you're doing with her like the crafts etc, or if you're watching TV or a movie together she can come snuggle with both of you? Have a few fun family events planned where you all get to spend time together as well as times where each kid gets one on one time with your DP and with yourself, it will help a lot in giving her confidence in getting to know your DP as well as lessen the feeling that he's taking you away from her rather than being someone else to think she's awesome.

    With the lying - keep consistent. You and your partner really need to be on the same page as to what's acceptable behaviour, and what's not as well as what the consequences will be. At 4-5 years old, it needs to be firm and definite - so having to go get her barbie computer and hand it over for a set period of time, or not being allowed to watch TV for x number of days rather than the more undefined "till your behaviour changes". And stick to it - she will cry and carry on to try get you to back down, but I found a simple "I'm sorry, but you have lost it till Friday because you lied about x" as a quick reminder that you mean what you say works wonders to make her stop and think maybe this lying bizzo isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    Big hugs babe, blended families are a tough gig at the best of times and everyone will require a period of settling in which may well have a few of these kind of "teething problems". But keep going, it does get better eventually

  15. #15

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    Heya hun..

    I have been in your situation.. so if you want to talk Im here.. especially about dealing with step parenting as the bio mum.. but Im not actually willing to go into it on her... if you speak to me I will explain why

    hugs

  16. #16

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    Big hugs hun. I've not been in your situation but you sound really torn between the needs of your DP and the needs of your DD and I bet she is picking up on that. Dynamics have certainly changed in the family now you are all living together and she is trying to find her new place. I agree with a previous poster, I don't see child behaviour as manipulative, it's simply them trying the best or only way they know how to meet their needs. The more conflict there is around her behaviour (between you and your DP and the two of you and her) the more the cycle will continue.

    I'm not sure how you get your DP to change tack or shift his perception from manipulative to unmet need though. There is a couple of great sites I have found with fantastic blog posts etc and I think you can contact the authors to ask questions etc (they have fb pages and so on). I'll pm you the links.

  17. #17

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    Ok, I'm going to say I don't think the problem is your DD. She is reacting like I think any little girl would. Her whole world has just changed. As you said, she used to have you all to herself!

    I'm not sure how your DP's relationship with your kids has been developing in the past so I'm just going on this thread here. But I don't think him taking a big role in disciplie with your kids straight up is a good idea. Think about it from their point of view. They move in with a new man and suddenly he "is calling her on everything", is angry at her for (IMO) normal silly kid stuff. I think you should continue to be the person who discipline the kids for a while and then slowly get him more involved. I really think he needs to back off in this adjustment period.

    I'm not really understanding the set-up here either. You keep saying she is constantly wanting to you while you are down spending time with DP?? Can't she come down with you if she wants you? I would think she would definitely feel put out if while she's home you're spending time with DP and she's not allowed to come down with you?? Am I missing something? Sorry, I might not have read something in a previous thread.

    I think her behaviour is pretty normal. She definitely needs to know that lying etc is not ok and that there are consequences. But she also needs a lot of love right now and is obviously having a hard time adjusting. Go gently. It is a big change! And if you change your whole discipline strategy at this time she is likely to associate it with you moving in with DP and resent him for it

    I'm sorry that this is causing problems in your relationship but I really don't think it should be. Your DP needs to cut her some slack. He shouldn't be angry at her and not wanting to be around her. I get that he is annoyed that she scratched his chair but if he wants to live with you and the kids he has to understand that **** happens and you need to deal with it and move on quickly otherwise everyone will be miserable.

    it's a tough adjustment but you will work it out.

  18. #18

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    Thanks guys, its coming from both of us, not just dp I have mentioned him because I was trying to show that it was coming from us both not just me. He is definitely much stricter and does pull her up on more as in her behaviour...she might want something and I say no because its too close to dinner then she'll make a fuss and I'll cave...he'll say no its too close too dinner etc. another example is I've always made dd1 go to bed at the same time as her as it makes her go tp sleep easier...well dd1 is 8 and dd2 is 4. Its stuff like that that he's bringing up and now I have the support of him now I find I have more strength to stand up to her.

    What I really need is ideas to stop the lying...i have been spending way more time with her and more quality time, I've made such an effort with this and its seemed to make things worse. Its not that I'm going to stop that...I'm not, I love spending time with her I just want to know how to stop and if not stop then deal with the lies and the constant need for attention...I'm exhausted.

    And I know manipulating is bout a nice sounding wired and out has nasty connotations but pretending to hurt yourself or lying to get me to behave a certain way is manipulation...its not cynister but it is what it is.

    The house set up is that all the living areas are upstairs and our bedroom and the gym is downstairs. Dp is often in our room because he's trying new treatment which is knocking him around. So me and dd will take the kids to school then we'll sit down for an hour and a half and colour or watch a movie our something then I'll go downstairs and shot with dp for a while. I always make sure she has stuff to do and if she needs anything she knows where I am. The reason she can't come down is there is no bannister and a big drop. Also we made the rule no kids in our room as dp needs somewhere to have his privacy plus his needs etc.

    Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

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