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Oh God, I feel so guilty

I am starting to hate my step-daughter and sometimes just want to smack the living crap out of her. I feel so fucking guilty for feeling this way. She's almost 8 and really sweet, but she's had so much trauma from her bio mom (she is in therapy) that she just....idk, doesn't listen, is starting to act out, not do what she's told etc. w/o a care as to the consequenses. Her father and I have a 7 month old baby together and he is just as frustrated as me. I just can't take the non-stop crap from her. It's always "I don't know, I forgot or I don't want to, or I want this/that" and she's starting to throw temper tantrums. Idk what to do.


Asked by Anonymous at 4:35 PM on Jun. 22, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • Oh honey, I hear your frustration! You really sound overwhelmed, but I hope for your family's sake that you can work this out. I would strongly recommend family therapy. Some therapists charge on a sliding fee scale (Catholic Family Services) so income shouldn't be an issue. I'm sure she's acting out because of her trauma. And now with a little baby, she must be feeling displaced. Maybe she doesn't feel loved or important or needed. Unfortunately, if you don't help her now, her teen years are only going to be worse! I would also recommend you read Happy Child - there are some free downloads with good suggestions for alternatives to punishment.
    Maybe you can find the sweetness locked inside that troubled child? Maybe you two need a girls' day out once or twice a week? She needs someone she can trust, even if she doesn't know it yet. I hope you can all get the help you need.

    Answer by LoreleiSieja at 5:35 PM on Jun. 22, 2011

  • from what I understand 8 is a very hard age for kids - sassy not listening, all of the problems you are having.. and given she has issues and is in therapy, i am sure its multiplied.. I'm sorry - hugs, I hope this passes fast!

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 4:37 PM on Jun. 22, 2011

  • don't hate her or it'll be apparent to her. kids can feel that stuff. when you get frustrated keep in mind her upbringing and realize that it's not her fault her mom treated her the way she did, and that this is all she knows what to do. kids are still trying to sort life out and emotionally it is very very confusing, especially in any sort of abusive or negligent situation

    Answer by juliness at 4:40 PM on Jun. 22, 2011

  • Go VERY structured with her day to day life. She needs a routine that is set in stone, no suprises, clear expectations. It might take some time, but stability will go a long way towards helping along with your patience and continued therapy. Hang in there, and save your hate for the circumstances that made that child this way, not the child.

    Answer by Kimedbs at 4:44 PM on Jun. 22, 2011

  • i don't have much advice, but I'm sorry for what you're going throgh. I worked with kids in a residential treatment center and it's very hard on the parents, even with good intentions. Just try to focus as much as possible on the positive things she's doing, almost overpraising when she does something you like.
    good luck

    Answer by SherriPie at 9:55 PM on Jun. 22, 2011

  • Sorry for what you are going through. I say find a day where you and her can have a day together with just the two of you and see if that helps. Maybe you can find out what is going on with her and build a special bond with her.

    Answer by dixiegurl223626 at 11:44 PM on Jun. 22, 2011

  • I dont have any advice :( I hope you get threw this if its just a phase! Dont "Hate" her she will sense it and it will make things worse

    Answer by DomsMama07 at 1:45 AM on Jun. 23, 2011

  • You need some counseling.

    Answer by ambr2006 at 2:33 AM on Jun. 23, 2011