How do I help my step daughter who has behavior problems?

Since I aksed another question, it has come to my attention that you all might be able to help here...My SD is 8.5 in 2nd grade. She is the oldest of my bf's kids. She has a tendency to be kind of bossy (I know this is typical of oldest children) and is also known to tattle. We try to work with her, but I don't think I am doing a very good job. I can't say anything about how her mom does...but we have them more and I think it is important to take care of. She is also decietful and manipulative. If she asked for someone to come over and we told her no, she would go pout and cry and then start saying I miss my mommy. i want to call my mommy, etc. And then when she would call mommy would say well do you want me to come get you - without talking to us. i could go on, but i think you get the idea. this hasn't been a problem lately, but she is definately sneaky about things. i hate it. i don't like manipulative behavior.

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aly38914290

Asked by aly38914290 at 1:47 PM on Feb. 25, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (7)
  • how long has her parents been divorced and how long have you been with her dad. it could all be because of so much change in her life. divorce can be hard on kids and when one of the parents start to date again, it can be quite an adjustment. my little brother went through this after our parents divorced and my dad got remarried.
    SThompson21

    Answer by SThompson21 at 1:54 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

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  • well, they did not have a healthy relationship. they got divorced in 2005 (i am pretty sure). her dad and i got together may 2007. we aren't married, but we own a house together and we have a 7.5 month old baby girl. her BM remarried last aug 2007. her BM dated around quite a bit, moved from place to place, and moved SD in and out of different schools. SD has changed schools twice just since i have been around. her dad told her this would be the last move. they go to the school in the district where we live since we own our home and it is a better fit for her. this is good since BM is moving again this weekend. so there have been a lot of changes for my SD. I have even thought that it would be good for her to meet and talk with the school counselor. I mentioned something about it to her mom, but she thinks that my SD is fine with the divorce and understands that BM and daddy shouldn't be together.
    aly38914290

    Answer by aly38914290 at 2:11 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

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  • IF YOU NARE MAKING THIS YOUR FAMILY THEN YOU NEED TO HAVE RULES EXPECALLY ABOUT THESE SITUATIONS. YOUR THE CAREGIVER AN HAVE A RESOPNSIBILITY AS PARENTS TO SET GUIDLINES WITH THE CHILDREN. THIS WILL GIVE YOU A FOUNDATION AND TEACH THE CHILDREN TO COMUNICATE WITH YOU!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:15 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

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  • cont.
    I dont think she gets the full picture or wants to see that SD does try to manipulate things. or if she does she chooses to ignore that. I also have a SS, but he does not have these problems since he is younger and they were never together when he was born.
    Either way no matter what is causing the problems, I want to try to fix them. BM and I are getting along right now. Most communication goes through me. So, any advice if I put it right could help at both homes. BM is not a horrible person, but i think she wasnt mature enough when she first had her kids. She is finally starting to get herself together and I am glad. The kids need a good mommy. As much as I think I am a good mommy, I am not their mommy....you know what I mean...
    aly38914290

    Answer by aly38914290 at 2:16 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

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  • Anon. 2:15 , I understand this. there are rules at our house. things are stricter at our house than at BMs but I am looking for advice on how to change her tattling, bossy-ness, and sneakiness. Thank you!
    aly38914290

    Answer by aly38914290 at 2:17 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

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  • Sounds familiar, only BM has major mental illness issues, too. I have been struggling to find answers to these questions, and so am not sure my ways or what I have found is helpful...yet! Ideas: Check out some descriptions of 8 year olds. Bossiness is very normal at 8 . Also, more independence from parents...that could manifest in sneakiness. We are strict when it comes to behavior issues, because we see how easy it is to copy mommy. But also very compassionate. For example, at our house, crying and whining never results in getting the thing you cry about. Bossiness, snatching from sibling, hitting, we try to never let those result in getting something. If behavior persists, a time out happens. I also try to see how I can empower what my SD is TRYING to do--help her sister, be important, get her needs met, and show her other options. Plus, I always try to give a hug and let her know I love her no matter what.
    EnnieN

    Answer by EnnieN at 3:18 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

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  • try having a heart to heart with her... let her know you understand that its confusing to her etc. when my 7 yr SD starts acting like that...or ignoring me I sit her down and get to the root of it. The problem always links back to her BM telling her that I am not her real mom and not to love me and calling me stupid. She says it hurts her feelings that she says these things about me..and I explain to her that its okay just let it go through one ear and out the other because you know the truth to all of this and you know me..she don't know me like you do. It always helps.. Just had to sit her down again this week and let her know im in charge..they live with us and have every other weekend visitation with their BM..she doesnt remember her parents together..so its very confuesing for her.. she sees me as her mom because I have been raising her since she was 2.. but her BM is evil..and immature..taht is never a good combo!
    KylonsMom

    Answer by KylonsMom at 6:14 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

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