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Question
Posted by: GO | 2010/04/13

What to do?

Hi Cs,
I am 23 yrs old and mom of a 5yr old girl and I am 7 months pregnant with a boy. I am also proud stepmom to 2 girls. one aged 7 and one aged 5 (day older than my daughter).

We all get along fairly well and the girls love each other and have figths like normal siblings. My partner and I have been together for 3 and a half years already and i have known my stepdaughters for 4 and a half years.
My eldest stepdaughter is in grade 1 this year. Her stepdad died in a motorcycle accident in feb and the mom took it very bad as their son just turned 1 in jan. my partner used to be an alcoholic and he used to beat his wife when they were married, the eldest was very small . with the stepdad we saw the mom regularly with big blue marks on her arms and legs and such (typical signs of abuse) luckily never on the girls. now the eldest is doig very bad at school. The mom called us just before the holidays to ask us to come and talk to her as she cannot control her anymore. The eldest stayd with us for a few months last year but then one weekend decided she doesnt want to anymore telling me that her mommy is mad at her and sad that she doesnt want to stay with her mom but with me and her dad. during this time she did extremely well, the teacher even called and advised that she is controlled in class and she actually listens and isnt stealing anymore or teasing other kids anymore. now the report card showed that she is not mastered in anything that they get measured on. I then asked for the schoolbooks from the mom and the teacher is everyday making notes like   "  mom please help practise"  Mom, as discussed, please go through all words daily" 
my stepdaughter as 2 cousins of the same age and she is far sharper than them but this is how her shoolwork looks. i am so scared because she is an agel one moment and then she is a monster and screams and teases and throws tantrums and hits and pulls faces and kicks at her mom and just goes crazy.
please advise what can I do to help as I am really worried that she progressed so well and now everything seems to be going very bad. the smaller one is even worse at this stage. When we went there the one evening so my partner can talk to the eldest and find out why she is doing this to her mom and being so naughty when she never is with us, the baby was not put down one second while we were there. the mom had the baby on her hip the whole 2 and a half hours that we were there talking.
sorry so long..

should i take this girl intomy home again and move her to a new school?? my partner is working now very far from home so leaves early and we only get home at 7 at night. please offer any advice you feel would help us as a family.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Do what's best for the children, obviously, but your question is, really - what WOULD be best ? See fi the school can provide acess to a child psychologist to assess the problem girl and adise in more detail. From what you say, if she is really unhappy with her mom who doesnt sound as though she is coping at all, and if the kid does much better with you, maybe she would be btter off with you.
But remember all kids need structure and consistency, so provide them ALL with the same set of clear, consistent explained rules, with set consequences for breaking the rules and benefits for keeping to them. Sounds like the mom is struggling to cope, and focussing on the baby, and the older girl may feel ignored in favour of the baby, and maybe feels only able to get attention by being naughty

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Woman | 2010/04/13

I think you must always do what is best for the child. If the child does come to stay with you, it needs to be permanent!Kids don''t do well at all when there is movement all the time. Having a stable home is everything.

Reply to Woman
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/04/13

Do what's best for the children, obviously, but your question is, really - what WOULD be best ? See fi the school can provide acess to a child psychologist to assess the problem girl and adise in more detail. From what you say, if she is really unhappy with her mom who doesnt sound as though she is coping at all, and if the kid does much better with you, maybe she would be btter off with you.
But remember all kids need structure and consistency, so provide them ALL with the same set of clear, consistent explained rules, with set consequences for breaking the rules and benefits for keeping to them. Sounds like the mom is struggling to cope, and focussing on the baby, and the older girl may feel ignored in favour of the baby, and maybe feels only able to get attention by being naughty

Reply to cybershrink

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