First of all, my husband and I just got married 3 months ago. He has a 5 year old daughter, who I love to death and we get along great (we met when she was 2, so she has been used to me for a while). Lately she has been acting very different, and I realize that she is just developing and learning new things - but one of them is how to lie. She has been telling us lies, or leaving parts out. Many of them are about her mom and protecting her mom. I understand that she will do that because all children love their mother no matter what. But she has also told us her mom tells her not to tell us certain things. My feeling is, if you don't want us to know, don't tell her. But on the other hand I'm starting to wonder if her mother is really telling her to lie or she is trying to get out of trouble by making it seem like it's not her fault.
Another thing is that she does not recieve much, if any, discipline at her mother and materal grandmother's house. She has told us she acts bad for them "because they don't get me in trouble like y'all do." I don't expect her to abide by our rules when she's not with us, but it makes me feel awful that she doesn't want to come over to our house for fear of getting in trouble (by the way our means of discipline include time out and "talking" about it, to show her why she's done something wrong). She used to be very excited to see me but now when I go to pick her up at school she cries and holds onto her grandmother and says she doesn't want to go. I understand her attachment to them but I don't think anything has changed for the two of us to make her not want to spend time with me. I always take time to make sure we do something fun together when she comes to our house. I really love her like she is my child but lately I am starting to feel defeated. Next year she is going to start kindergarten and I want to be able to take her to school and pick her up without her throwing fits. I also want to be able to discipline her and teach her right from wrong without her thinking it's "mean" because her other family doesn't do the same. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?