6YO Acting Out - FamilyEducation
6YO Acting Out
06/14/2008 at 10:55 AM

Before marriage my bio daughter and step dad were fine. 6 weeks after we moved in together she's started lying, saying that he squirted juice on her, told her that he didn't want to be her dad, and the sort. She leaves the room when comes in, and hides when he sees her, even if there are other people around. She says she is scared that he's going to hit her or punch her. At the same time however she admits (both to us, and to me alone) that he's never hit her, punched her, or done anything mean to her. And as scared as she says she is she still mouths back to him. My husband has raised two older children (17 and 20), who are good kids. He coaches football and basketball and mentors kids as well. He is very strict, but hasn't been nearly as strict on her because she's a girl and I am not so strict. He is deeply hurt by my daughter's behavior especially since they used to read together, he wold walk her to school. He is also concerned because one false accusation to the wrong person could damage his ability to coach. This has resulted him avoiding being around her and trying to stay out of the house until her bed time. I feel horrible for her and him. What's going on and what can I do?

Are you giving your daughter the attention that she needs from you? Remember, before he came along, it was you and her. Now, she has to fight for your attention. Are you 100% sure that your new spouse isn't stooping down to her level when you are not around? In my past experience, my former boyfriend used to stoop to my daughter's level and I felt like I was with 2 kids. I didn't want to believe that her side was true... but it was (to some degree). This particular boyfriend always had me jumping to his needs, even if it meant I was helping my daughter with HW... or a bath... etc. I am a lot more aware these days and I do not jump if my new boyfriend asks for something if I am busy with my daughter. He also knows that if I say "can't right now"... that I will not. And best of all, either do without or get it himself :-). Good luck!

There's no way to tell what's going on unless you witness a situation. All I can say is keep the lines of communication open w/ both parties. Also, encourage your daughter and her step dad to talk. If someone does something to offend someone else, they should discuss it right away so things don't build up. Your daughter may be feeling uncomfortable in the new situation w/ her step dad now that you're all living together. Maybe this is how she's expressing herself. It's got to be hard for everyone adjusting to this situation, especially her. You shld remind your daughter that she needs to be respectful to her step dad. You shld also tell your husband to try to be patient and take a step back for now. If, at any time, however, you see that he mistreats your daughter in any way, you need to take action. She's your child, and she comes first.