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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Sun, 08-12-2012 - 3:33pm

Let me start off by saying I love my soon-to-be stepdaughter very much. She's three and beautiful and fun. A month or so, her dad's parenting time was reduced significantly by the courts. Since then, her behavior has gone into a tailspin, and it wasn't that great to begin with. She's always had trouble with not listening, not eating, etc... the normal control issues, but now she's been hateful to her father, and she threw my clothes in the trash, as well as ripping a hairbow out of her infant step-sister's hair, because "she wanted one like that". She knows this behavior is unacceptable. The problem is, her father doesn't do anything about it. The actions I described above are just a sampling of the things she does to manipulate and get attention. I know she is only three, and that she needs to be taught correct behavior, but it seems like I'm the only one that sees this. I know she's not evil, she's just hurt and acting out, but what am I to do about it if her father lets it go on? It's to the point where he says he's leaving me and his other daughter, because he's "sick of my s**t," because I'm hurt by her behavior and want him to do something about it. He says the three year old has no issues, and everything's fine. I love him dearly, and love her dearly. I'm going to lose him over this. And for everyone that says, just let her act like that... I can't. This type of behavior is mean and I won't tolerate it. I don't know what to do to help us, but I know that I can't let her continue to act this way. Just... help.

Oh, and about her mother... she's too cheap to put her in preschool, we just found out that she's 11 vaccines behind. She doesn't exactly have a great home life. The only reason his parenting time was shortened is because he moved and she didn't want to have to drive to get her, and because he wanted her in school and pressed the issue. She just wants him off her back so she can parent badly and not be accountable.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2011
In reply to:
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 4:00pm
That is a very hard spot to be in, but to me the only real choice you have is to deal with her behavior without turning it into a battle of wills with your boyfriend. She is just 3, and a lot of her behaviors sound pretty typical for the age. Toddlers thrive on routine, and it's got to be very disruptive to her to be going from house to house with different routines. That's not to say that her father shouldn't be disciplining bad behavior. Your best bet would be to redirect her when she's getting naughty and focus her attention on something else. Sometimes there is just no reasoning with a 3 yo, I think it's a worse age than 2. You can't take her behavior personally, she's only 3. If it's something you can't deal with, than you might want to reconsider being with him. Good luck.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-25-2004
In reply to:
Tue, 08-14-2012 - 11:05am

IMO some of her behaviour is relative to her age, the rest is likely based on some jealousy she feels towards her new sibling and the attention her Dad puts on you and the baby.

While I agree that some of her issues will likely change over time since she is only 3, BUT your BF needs to step it up and at least attempt to set some rules and boundries.  Even if it's just a time out or something being taken away from her, she needs to be told and shown that her behaviour is not ok - not from you, but from her Dad.  At the same time, does your BF spend any one on one time with her?  Maybe offering up some of his time just for her would help her adjust better and deal with her jealousy a bit better...I say a bit better since any child would be jealous as are we adults!

You also need to work on your communication with your BF.  Why does he feel your concerns are not worth listening to?  Have you tried having some one on one time with him as well, adding in a discussion about how you feel and how much you want to make things better?