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How to discipline a stepchild?

I have a 6 year old stepdaughter that has been thru alot in the past few years. Recently, Children and youth pulled her away from her mother and she now lives with me and her father and her younger sister but this is not the first time she has ever lived with us. Ever since I met her she has had a really hard time listening to me and her dad. Shes been very violent and wants things her way or the highway. Ive tried standing her in the corner, taking away her privelages, and nothing works. Any suggestions on what else we can do here? Im worried if we dont help her in some type of way we are headed for disaster.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:02 PM on May. 24, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (11)
  • Magic 1,2,3 by Thomas Phalan

    Answer by MELRN at 11:03 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • Kevin Lema is an author I like- he suggests real life consequences. If your daughter is late to school because she got up late or whatever, he would say not to punish her but just to teach her to do the right thing (what would you do if you were late somewhere) and she can do that. If the school has consequences, so be it. At home, you have the consequences.

    If she won't take out the trash, pay the neighbor boy to do it (out of her allowance.)

    Answer by txdaniella at 11:08 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • She sounds just like my SS. Everyone is going to tell you to love on her give her tons of attention.... blah blah blah. We started being firm in his discipline whether it was a spanking, corner (with arms out horizontally) or taking EVERYTHING away. At one point he had lost his bed, blankets and pillows because he couldn't comply with the rules. Yes, he slept on the floor. It has been THREE YEARS and he is finally acting like a part of our family. Don't let anyone tell you to allow her dad to be the only one to discipline her because then YOU will look weak. She lives in your house, you need to make her respect you both. Try counseling also. I adopted my SS in August because his mother committed suicide. She was on drugs and was proven unfit.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 11:10 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • txd is talking about love and logic. 1, 2, 3 Magic suggests that you count to three before disciplining and that does not work for children that have been conditioned to not listen to adults no matter what. You have to show her everytime that she doesn't listen that she will be disciplined. NO counting to three no giving 14 chances...immediately discipline her where ever you are. Show her who is boss.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 11:13 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • give her a tight slap !!! she'll be as nice as a saint

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:17 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • Nothing works? You only mention punishments. Using punishments is the least effective way of parenting. Have you tried other ways of parenting? Punishments make troubled children have more problems. Their behavior gets worse, they lie, they hurt younger children and animals, they sneak, and they resent their parents. Punishment usually doesn't stop bad behavior and never teaches good behavior.

    The authoritative style of parenting is most effective. You can google it to find more info. A good first parenting book is Love & Limits by Elizabeth Crary. She has a website called star parenting. Look into local parenting classes like STEP.


    Answer by Gailll at 11:17 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • You should never slap, spank, hit, tap, pop, or use other physical punishment with her. People on cm use all kinds of code names for hit. You are not the parent and you could get in trouble for hitting her. She could end up in foster care and you could have charges brought against you.

    My step son was being hit by his step father and I know all about this. I was outraged that this was going on and we were going to take action against the step father. He agreed to stop hitting my step son since he didn't want to go to jail and the mom didn't want to loose custody.


    Answer by Gailll at 11:23 PM on May. 24, 2010

  • In most states it is NOT against the law to spank your step child. The child is not in foster care and will not go to foster care from being spanked. Most parenting styles work because they are taught from toddlerhood. Spanking doesn't cause resentful children and it doesn't cause them to abuse younger siblings, in most cases. I would take her to counseling and talk to STEP mothers that have been through this before. Look into the Stepmom groups and groups for moms of specials needs children.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 12:12 AM on May. 25, 2010

  • Well, My SD was mouthy like heck when i first met her. Had never used the word please or thank you at all (didn't even know what I was talking about when I asked her to Ask nicely or use the "magic word") Furthermore, she would bark orders at adults (her parents would just give her what she wanted when she did this) and throw a tearful tantrum if she didn't get what she wanted immediately. She once yelled at me for giving her a spoon with her macn cheese instead of a spoon.

    Although i coulndn't tell her parents what to accept from her, I made it very clear from the get go, that I would not tolerate it. If she started crying to get her way (like to get pop tarts for dinner) I would say cool but firm, "You can stop crying or go to your room. When you are ready to talk rationally, you can come out" And if she barked an order at me "Get Me MIlk, NOW!" I would simply refuse to do it until she asked nicely.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:51 AM on May. 25, 2010

  • I think you can be firm and kind at the same time. I don't know what your actual feelings are for the girl, but I have found with my SD that she is more likely to obey me when i am generally nice to her. They care more about your opinion if they like you. So try to be fun and kind when she is good, then when she's bad and you let her know how her actions have upset you, she will be more likely to care that you are mad. I will admit there have been times I really felt the urge to slap my SD (she could be SUCH a smart alec, and her dad would just give in to her, then she'd shoot me a look like, "I won" and it would make my blood boil.) But i've never laid a hand on her, and now 4 yrs later, she actually listens to me pretty well. But I also was really good about sticking to my guns on issues. No means no, don't negotiate, especially at her age. Negotiating just leads to an arguement.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:00 AM on May. 25, 2010

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