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I really need help/advice

Smellissa's picture

Well, I'm asking you guys to critique me on my parenting abilities - especially the skills I used last night. This is VERY hard for me, so I just want to ask everyone to be gentle, okay? I realize that I didn't do everything right, but I think I need someone else to point out where I am going wrong, so...

Some background : SD12 was assigned an ABC book either last week or the week before. Basically, she had to go online and find a word from Ancient Egypt for every letter of the alphabet. Then, she had to write three facts about that word, draw a picture and color it.

I'd guess that this was a three or four hour project (factoring in how slowly SD12 works on homework, internet speed, etc.) So, on the day it was assigned, SD12 and I agreed that she would work on it for an hour a day, until it was done, or the night before it was due. Sounds like a good plan, right? I even sat down and helped her with the first three letters, and I checked over her work the first night to make sure she understood.

So, SD12 came home from school yesterday, and said she was hungry (as always!) I asked SD what she wanted to eat, she said popcorn, and I explained that was too greasy, and asked her to eat a couple of cookies, instead, (This factors in later in the story!) SD12 said that she would just rather wait and eat her popcorn, later. I told her that as soon as the ABC book was done, she could eat her popcorn, then.

SD12 sat down at the table, and started working on her stupid book, but she kept asking me "are you going to check this when I'm done?", "Why do you have to check it?". and saying "You always have to check my homework!" That set off red flags, so of course, I told her I was going to check it. No big deal.

An hour later, Sd12 says she is done with all her homework, and puts her popcorn in the microwave, so I asked to see her ABC book. Of course, she didn't do it correctly. That first day, she had done up to letter H. After letter H, there was one fact for each letter, and she just broke up those sentences, so that if I glanced over it, I wouldn't know it was only one fact.

I told SD that it wasn't done right, and asked her to fix it. SD12 sat at the table, with her back to me, mumbling to the dog about how much I don't love her. That's a theme in my house, and I wasn't taking her bait yesterday.

When I go past her to get something to drink out of the refrigerator, I noticed that she had crumpled up the stupid book, in front of her. She made a comment (to the dog) about me being mean, so I walked over to her, got down on her eye level and was very calm. I said "SD12, you're making some bad decisions, and I'm getting tired of the bad attitude. Maybe you need to leave the room, or quit making comments before you get put in time out."

I think that that was my first mistake. I have a bad temper, and I really really hate it when I realize that I've raised my voice to the girls, so sending her out of the room before I lost my cool seemed like a good idea at the time, but SD just went to her room, and laid down on her bed.

A half hour to an hour later, I went back to SD's bedroom, and had a talk with her. I said "SD12, do you know what natural consequences are? That means that I'm going to let you make your own decisions here, but there will be consequences. It's almost 5, so I'm going to get started making dinner, but you don't get to eat dinner until your homework is done. You need to take a shower at 6, and your homework has to be done and ready to hand in until bed. I think you are making bad decisions, here, but I am going to walk away and let you make them. I love you, and hope you come out soon." I was very calm, the whole time.

Then, I called Hubby, and explained the problem to him. Hubby said that I had to let SD12 have dinner. I told him she could have it late, and he asked to speak to her. So, I took SD my phone back, and told her to call me when she was off, so I could have it.

I walked away, and at the other end of my (very small) house, I could hear Sd12 screaming and crying. Some of the gems (lies) she let loose were "Dad, she won't feed me AT ALL!", "I already know that I won't get dinner when it's done, so what does it matter?", and "She wants to starve me TO DEATH!"

A while later, SD came out, and started working on her little book again. When dinner got done, SD had a whole new attitude and asked if she could "please eat with you guys". I think this is where I made the mother of all fuck ups. I totally disregarded what I had said earlier, and let her eat.. and eat.. and eat.

At 6, I told SD12 to get in the shower, and then sat her back down at the laptop to find her facts. At 7, I told SD14 to get in the shower, and at 8, I sent SD14 to bed.

At 8:30, Sd12 started whining. I told her to do her homework, get it over with, and go to bed. At 10 o'clock, SD12 handed me the book back, with two facts for each letter after H. I told her to go back and do it right.

At 10:30, Sd12 started to cry, and went back to the bathroom. She was so loud (with no tears coming out of her eyes, but sobs) that she woke up her sister. Sd12 just got louder, and I honestly think that she was trying to wake up her dad, so he would tell me to let it drop.

She did wake him up. He was pretty mad, too, and was cussing up a storm. At one point, he went to spank her (which she totally deserved, but it was out of anger, and you don't hit a child out of anger), so I got between the two of them. I don't know what happened, but my shoulder hurts so bad today!

At 11:30, SD12 got her stupid book done. She had to be up for school, at 5 this morning.

The homework war is something that I have to deal with, with both of my stepdaughters, each week. I am struggling here. I know that someone is going to tell me to let her suffer the consequences of bad grades, but she doesn't care.

Sd12's currency is food. That's the only thing that she loves enough to be bothered if she looses it. How do you punish a 12 year old for a 17% in a class, when the only motivator she has is food?

I took away her desert, last night, to.

Does anyone have any ideas? SD12 has ODD, so sometimes our life together is nothing more or less then a battle. I'm tired of battling, and I really need help figuring out how to do this, without letting her engage me in the battle!


Unfreakingreal's picture

Honestly? Let her father deal with her. You're working too hard and sadly, as you will soon enough find out, she will NEVER appreciate it or be grateful.

Smellissa's picture

Unfreakingreal, her dad has gone back to work. Today, he went into work at 5 am, and will get home (hopefully) around 8.

SD12 moved in with us at the end of May last year, but we were almost 50/50 before that. (We had SD whenever she didn't have school.)Because of everything she's been through (I think) she usually DOES appreciate what I do for her (as much as any kid will appreciate what their parents do.)

No, she doesn't ever thank me for grounding her, but she thanks me for dinner, or letting her help make dinner EVERY SINGLE night. Whenever she has money, I can plan on getting some little trinket from the dollar store - more so then her dad, sister, or anyone else in her life. When I tell her or ask her to do something (let out the dogs, get me a soda, whatever) she does it without complaining. If I say I don't feel well, she is the first to try to baby me - to death! LOL

She is a freaking difficult kid, but I know that she loves me, and she appreciates me, MOST OF THE TIME. Not so much at homework or chore time, but I've never thanked my mom for any of that stuff, either.

Thanks for your advice, though. I really do appreciate you trying to help!

Unfreakingreal's picture

Yes, I thought the same of MY SS now 21. Took him in full time, took care of him, cooked for him, took him on vacations, helped with HW, helped with school, basically took care of him as if he were mine. I thought he loved me too. Bought me Mother's Day gifts sometimes and then, from one day to the next, not even a verbal Happy Mother's Day. He rebelled. Started treating me like the enemy until I flipped out and kicked him out of our house. That's what I mean about them not being grateful or appreciating you. Sure, they do for a minute and then, they just don't. I still think you shouldlet her dad deal with her.

Jsmom's picture

This is not your problem. You care more than dad does. Stop doing it, let her repeat a grade.

DaizyDuke's picture

^^this^^... her father is upstairs sleeping while YOU are fighting with her to do her homework??? Something terribly wrong with this picture.

Smellissa's picture

Daizyduke, Hubby had been out working since 5 am, and came home around 8. SD12 and I started this at 2:30, so I really wouldn't of wanted him to come home and try to take over. At the time, I would of thought that it would be wrong for Hubby and I to tag team her. Today, that seems like it might of been a good idea, though!

Smellissa's picture

Jsmom, SD12 (and her sister, SD14) lives with us.. Hubby and I share custody of her (my name is on those custody papers.. They say Hubby and Smellissa). The way that the attorney explained it, when we went through court is that, if Hubby wanted to divorce me, we would have to (again) decide on custody of the girls.

I called the attorney last Friday, to see about adoption. Life got busy (the girls had a niece born, over the weekend!) so I slipped and haven't fallowed up with the attorney since. (Until just now! Writing this to you reminded me that I needed to fallow up with her, so I am waiting for her to touch base again.)

I have chosen to make all things Sds my problem. Hubby works long hours, and I am a stay at homer.

In my area, they do almost anything to push a kid forward to the next grade, also. If she doesn't learn something, this year, she just falls further behind, next. That's part of SD12's problem.

I guess I could probably just let her fail at this, and repeat the grade. When I think about it, though, it really really frustrates me, though. Do you really think (given all the information I just dumped on you) that that is the best way to go? Is that what you would do with your bios?

askYOURdad's picture

Ok, so there are quite a few issues here.

First off, you will most likely get comments asking why dad isn't doing this so I'll leave that one alone other than to say I understand why you are handling it while dad is at work, but the part where you say you didn't want SD to wake dad up, from the point he got home he should have handled it. If you care more than dad cares you are fighting a losing battle.

This will probably not be the most popular advice, but I wonder if you should almost give into what she likes rather than try and take it away. So SD likes food, what if you get a snack she likes that she can eat while doing homework. Is eating popcorn while doing homework going to hurt anyone?

I had a very difficult time with one of my bios in the homework department. What eventually worked was not making him do it first thing when he got home. I always liked this approach because once it was done you have the rest of the night to goof around. My bio is a very energetic kid so after being at school all day it was a major struggle for him to do homework. I let him have 45 minutes when we get home every day of free play before homework. When the timer goes off he does homework in the kitchen while I make dinner. The other kids do homework right away and you would think bio would be upset that everyone is playing when he has to do homework, but it just works better for him to wait. My point is, yes your SD is being lazy/procrastinating, but maybe there is some way you can tweak the routine to make homework less of a struggle for her.

If that doesn't work, then I suggest making her life miserable until homework is done. If that means no TV, electronics, and waiting to take a shower and other things until it is done than that probably needs to happen.

DH went through a period of laziness regarding homework with SD. She would also lie and say it was done. After getting in trouble for this, DH asked her if it was done, she said yes, he said ok and waited until she went to bed to check it. He logged on the online portal and realized she didn't do a few assignments so he actually woke her up at 4 in the morning (we usually get up at 6) and made her finish it. It hasn't been an issue since.

twoviewpoints's picture

I guess that makes me Bad Mom#2 (about the popcorn) because I was going to recommend something like pretzels (no grease to get on laptop or homework papers). Perhaps letting SD start with a snack, wash up then tackle the homework? Since kindergarten my DD (recently turned 14) has had the routine of coming home and doing her assignments right after school. I always allowed her a snack before starting. Listening to a 'starving' (rolls eyes) child whine over being hungry wasn't something that was going to get the homework done any sooner than letting her have the snack than do the work.

My DD14 has ADHD and by afterschool her meds (she's off them 5th grade)had worn off. Now I faced getting the kiddo to perform her duties without setting off lots of distractions. By turning off any tv, ipods, ect and giving her a snack at the kitchen table then immediately starting her assignments I pretty while avoided the kiddo obsessing over when supper was and there was no tummy rumbles to remind her she hadn't eaten since 11am (school lunch time).

As far as the calling Dad and whining (my, your SD is the little drama queen with 'she's never feed me, I'll starve' lol) in your case in particular I'd leave Dad out of what's occurring on the homefront. You've mentioned before he's not helpful and in my personal opinion you do better with the girls than his occasional attempts. Yes, Dad should be parenting, but your case isn't the usual SM/Skid thing. You've taken on two young troubled girls that desperately needed you in their lives and accepted the role as 'Mom' (almost as if adopted)'re not just SM here and if not for you these girls wouldn't be in a stable home and their father wouldn't be attempting to parent any at all. So 'm not going to give you the 'make Dad parent', 'not your kid, not your problem' blah blah routine. These are your kids, and you're trying very hard for your family to find it's way. If these girls think for minute that Daddy will 'save' them from your rules of running your home, you can bet they will jump on it. That part is typical kid behavior, playing one parent against the other.

This time homework assignment went poorly, you realize you handled it perhaps not in a way that's going to be effective, and you know you've got to try a different approach. I don't find you a failure in this, I see you as learning your way in a very hard role you've placed yourself and there is bound to be trial and errors. You're learning, the girls are learning. If one approach doesn't work, you find another. These girls sense they can 'play' your sympathy card. Give them their stupid snack afterschool and then stand strong on the homework as you know and so do they that the 'starving' crap can't work any more as they were feed upon arrival of getting home. Now if they want dinner they best get the homework done. The plate will be getting awfully cold sitting on the counter if they piss around and don't do it.

askYOURdad's picture

Oh, I didn't mean about the popcorn that it makes anyone a bad mom, just out of everything above a pick your battles kind of thing.

I think you bring up a good point about leaving dad out of it though when he isn't home. Especially with the dramatic performance given by SD.

Smellissa's picture

askYOURdad, I care more then Hubby does about EVERYTHING, though. Not just about SDs, but anything that happens inside this house, or outside of it. It sounds stupid, but it's a truth about our lives.

The point of her not eating the popcorn while doing this homework was because she had had over a week to finish it, so I thought presentation might count towards her grade. She has a 17% for the nine weeks, in this particular class.

Sd12 has a hard time with comprehension (but is not any kind of learning disabled!), so I spend a lot of time helping her study and with homework. The rule in our house is : any class you have below a C you have to study for an hour a day for that class (this includes their homework, though). Since SD has a hard time with comprehension, I usually help her study.. so her getting a good grade on this project would of been a boon for me, to!

I like the idea of buying her snacks she likes as a treat, but we already use snacks as a reward for good behavior. If she isn't behaving, she gets breakfast, lunch and dinner. If she is behaving, she is allowed pop, and a snack. Sad

We usually do homework and snacks together, and then whatever.

We also have the rule of no tv, electronics or whatever until homework is done. As for showers, SD12 has a BO issue (her feet and her armpits!), so her skipping the shower isn't an option. Sad

I've thought about waking SD up at 3 am to do homework (or chores!) BUT I think that would just cause more conflict. But you really think that would help, though?

askYOURdad's picture

Honestly, it sounds like you care a lot about SD and are trying very hard to help her. I am sorry it is such a struggle.

I don't know if waking her up to do it would help. My point was more just giving you mine and DH's experiences and how a little thinking outside the box helped.

So maybe the answer is waking her up, maybe it isnt. I guess I would just brainstorm a few different options. What if SD takes a shower when she gets home and doesnt have to transition right into homework? What if you reward getting homework done by letting her help you make a desert like brownies or pudding? I dont know her like you do so the brainstorming is all you but i would start by analyzing what works better rewards or punishments. I would then base it on your parenting style and what you are comfortable with.

Queencow's picture

IMO - First of, Food (as in meals, not treats) should never ever be used as punishment - food is a basic necessity - by using food as a punishment the way you did (no dinner until...) you are teaching her that she will lose the basic necessities of life as punishment for relatively mediocre things - and food itself as punishment creates adults who then have food issues, hoarding, sneaking, weight problems, etc. I would encourage you to find a different measure of "punishment" other than dinner.

As for natural consequences, if you truly want her to learn natural consequences -you have to let her learn them. You "making" her do the work until all hours is not natural consequence, her getting a "F" or low grade for poor work is - think of natural consequences as things that happen as a result of the situation that someone else doles out. One thing I learned about the whole natural consequence thing is *I*/YOU have to let it happen, wven when it kills you to stand back and watch the walls fall around them. Thats probably harder on me than it is anyoen around me - my own kid continues to fail in school, refused to do what I asked (in HS now) so I let him fail - the teachers/counselor all were on my side and supported HIM being accountable for HIS stuff. Its seems to whave worked, hes making substantially more effort on his own now that he hit rock bottom.

Sunflower1's picture

I somewhat agree with your point about food as punishment, however I see nothing wrong with maybe just giving her a PB and J, while everyone else eats a good dinner. Then you aren't starving her, but she missed out too.

Smellissa's picture

Sunflower1, I have done that in the past - let her make herself a bologna sandwich. But I really wasn't trying to punish her. Sad

Smellissa's picture

Queencrow, I wasn't thinking of using food as punishment. I was thinking that she would get dinner when her homework was done - not go without it.. because we always eat dinner after homework.

So, that seems like a natural consequence to me. But, to you, that was using her dinner as a punishment?

So, the way you see natural consequences, what would happen when she got the F? To SD12, that wouldn't be a big deal. She's been carrying Fs all year long. Sad

Smellissa's picture

Monkeyseemonkeydo, for my SDs, school starts at 720, but they spend an hour on the bus before they get there! They wake up at 5, because they are both incredibly slow eaters. Sad

SDs got in trouble, a few weeks ago, for oversleeping and missing the bus. For a weekend, they both had to get up at 5. so they could get back on the school schedule, they both seem to need the sleep. We were going to relax bedtime by a half hour a week, until we found a time that they could go to bed (reasonably) and still get up at 5 am. (GOD! I wish these two could get up at 6, instead! 5 am is the middle of the night to me!) However, relaxing their bedtime to 830, they had a hard time functioning in the morning!

I think it's horrible, myself. When I was in school, I would of NEVER gone to bed at 8, unless I was very sick!

DH gets home in the evenings, sometimes at 6, and sometimes at 3 am. It varies, A LOT! So, it is nearly impossible to expect him to handle homework.

And honestly, I don't mind. I want to do their homework with them! It sounds really mean to say, but SD12 has outgrown the kind of help that Hubby could give her. SD14 has far outgrown it!

Smellissa's picture

Ripley, I love idea number 4! Whenever we have a new rule (we are five months in with have SD14 here, and eight months with having SD12 here full time, so we are still adjusting) I will write the rule on a sheet of paper (Hubby has atrocious handwriting and spelling!) and read it to the girls (he stutters to). Then, all four of us will sign it, and put it out in the open for a while. I love the idea of having the consequence attached to the rule, though!

bulletproof's picture

Do you think that spankings and time outs are a little juvenile for a 12 year old? Maybe her consequences aren't matching her maturity level enough to get through to her.

I would've done more of a, "If you don't go the project correctly, and it's not turned in on time, you'll be grounded for a week" type deal.

Smellissa's picture

Bulletproof, OMG! DO I ever think that spankings, and timeouts are juvenile! The problem is, nothing else seems to work with SD12. (With SD14, mention taking her phone or kindle, and I have a new kid, though!)

For Sd12, we have grounded her (from her phone, Kindle, tv, friends, her favorite blanket, certain shoes, certain clothes, it doesn't matter!) and she just doesn't seem to care! We used to ground her to her bedroom for the rest of the day, but when we were being reviewed by Children's Services (as a condition of getting custody), they told us that that was cruel and unusual! Sad

We've also tried extra chores. (This is in fact a rule in our house - if you are mean to someone else, you get to do their chores for three days!) We've tried doing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning her bedroom alone (her sister shares her room) cleaning the litter boxes, writing sentences, raking our (small) yard. It doesn't have an impact (except writing sentences that one time last June.)

Smellissa's picture

stepdown, she was working on it for an hour a day, for the last week! Sad

As for finding a full time job, I'm disabled, and as much as it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm not! I want to be home with the girls, doing homework. I just need ideas on where I went wrong yesterday.

I feel like there is a formula, and I am missing part of the equation! There has to be a way to get this to work, I just feel too stupid to figure it out.

Smellissa's picture

stepdown, I don't know if she was procrastinating, or not. I know she sat at the table, for an hour a day, with her cell phone, supposedly looking up facts. I didn't check it everyday, just the first and the last. She did, however, tell me how many letters she had done, each day.

I didn't think that you thought I was slacking at all! LOL! No worries. But I thought the information that I am disabled would be helpful!

I wish kids did come with a manual! I used to feel like I knew a lot about kids, because I didn't have any and could be objective! I wish I had some of that objectivity now!

omgsaveme's picture

Honestly I had to reread this a couple times to make sure you were actually talking about a 12 year old. I'm not parent of the year but why are you putting a 12 year old in time out and why would you say that to her? Also the "SD12 do you know what natural consequences are?" Speech made me think you were talking to a 2 year old not 12. Do you think part of the problem may be the fact, that she acts like a 2 year old cause you guys treat her like one ? We have to keep the kids in line, but I talk differently to my 12 year old than I do to my 6 year old. If I went to my 12 year old and said he needed a time out, he'd laugh at me.

At my 12 year old, "BS12 you have x amount of minutes to get your work done or you won't be eating till you're done" I don't use food to punish my kids but just using it as an example. I also find it hilarious to spank a 12 year old, who gets spanked at 12 anymore ? Treat her as her age, talk to her as if she is a 12 year old and maybe she won't act like a 2 year old.

Put the responsibility on her, I help my kids with their school work, study everything, but I will tell them " you will have to get this done tonight, if its not done tonight then you're PS3, Ipad, cell phone, whatever is gone, if you want to do this without my help fine but I will read over it when you're done and if its wrong, ill erase it and you have to do it over again"

Not trying to be rude at all so please don't take it as such.

Smellissa's picture

omgsaveme, I put SD12 in timeout, because it works for her. It gets her attention. Most things don't.

SD12 has ODD, and because of that, she doesn't handle things as naturally as most kids do. Her last therapist was the one who suggested that we use the time out method on her, and we've used it every since.

I actually don't think she acts like a 2 year old, at all. I think she acts very defiant, though, which goes with the diagnosis of Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

If grounding her from ANYTHING worked, I would use that instead. That's what I do with SD14, and it works like a charm for her!

Smellissa's picture

fightincrazytrain, thank you! I am going to look at this as soon as I am done responding to my responses! LOL

By the way, I love your screen name!

hismineandours's picture

I would have just let her fail the project. Sorry but I would have. You are trying to set up a good structure here-giving her homework time after school. That's great. I would stil have "homework time", in which you don't allow any tv, cells, video games, whatnot. If she is not finished with homework in the allotted time then she can return to it after dinner and shower and chores. If she doesn't finish it then well then she will receive consequences at school. I might even call the school to let them know she is not being compliant and ask what can be done there when she doesn't do work-maybe missing a recess, field trip or special fun activity at school would motivate her more.

That is what I would do with my own kid. With my skid-I would do nothing. I wouldn't set up homework time, I wouldn't call his teacher, nada. Now, don't get me wrong I used to be the involved superstepmom who did all those things and it backfired in my face big time. The battle of trying to get him (also dx'ed with odd and adhd) to do something was ultimately not worth my headache, not worth the destruction to our relationship, nor worth any arguments it created between dh and I. Also it takes the fun out of being ODD-if he/she has no one to be "oppositional" with sometimes that behavior disappears.

I also believe that this is an age where most kids are doing their work independently. They should be able to do their work independently. You want to encourage that as much as possible

Smellissa's picture

Hismineandours, thank you for the advice! I appreciate that you told me what you would of done with your bios, because in my case, I am both SDs major care giver! That's why I'm over-involved with them.

SD is in the junior high school, so there are no special field trips or anything offered to her. I can contact her teachers, next time, though and ask them to give her a lunch detention, if homework isn't turned in completed and on time. I really like this idea, because SD12 doesn't need to know that I've done it, so it will reinforce the idea of natural consequences!

Bio-Step-Mom's picture

What hismineandours said.

I think you are doing too much. I think so many dads want to try to create a "natural" family with their bios and new wife and so many stepmoms bend themselves into pretzels trying to make sure they are "being good SM" to their skids.

That was way, way, way over-involvement on her project. My son had a project due at the end of the last quarter. Lazy. Lazy. Lazy. Teacher emailed him and copied me twice. I told him. I also told him what the consequences would be when grades come out (next week) if he didn't do well. That's when it will be dealt with. He needed a poster board? I drove him to the store to buy one. At 13 I am not about to stand over his shoulder and make sure he gets every bit right.

For one class he has homework EVERY DAY unless there's a test the next day. If I think he may be dishonest about doing it I will tell him at around 8 to bring me his completed checks.

Smellissa's picture

Bio-Step-Mom, I really do feel likes ours are special circumstances. My SDs have been in and out of Foster care, separated, living with different relatives, and whatever. Their BM has been out of both of their lives for most of the last four years. (Until August, they hadn't seen each other for three.)

All of this happened, because their BM is a piece of shit who lost her kids due to drug use and neglect. Instead of letting them live with their father, she made false allegations against him, and told the oldest (that she had already physically abused - scarred for life!) that she would "get into trouble again" (I think she was alluding to the third degree burns that still scar SD14's knees, nine years later) if she didn't lie, and say Daddy raped her.

Hubby is glad that I have a good relationship with SDs, but it is them and I who chose our relationship.

SD14 is so glad to have a "mom" who cares and is involved. She is in complete denial that I am her stepmom, and will argue for hours that I am her biological mom (even though she knows this is not the truth). I finally got tired of arguing, so I told Sd14 she can tell people I am her "real mom, but not biological". To soften the blow of this, (and because I actually believe it) I told her that I think God meant for us to be together, and I am meant to be her mom. It is either because I wasn't given bio kids that she was given her biomom, or I wasn't given biokids, because of who her biomom would be. Either way, we are meant to be together, and we are.

Sd12 knows that there's nothing I wouldn't do for her (literally - I'm an agoraphobe, and have a hard time leaving my house, but when SD12 was released from the hospital in June, and wanted me to stay with her, I did. I stayed in a city thirty miles away from home, in a house that wasn't my own, with people I hardly knew - for a week. That's a long way from walking out on my porch, or going to the corner grocery store!) She really really hopes that her Biomom (who she used to idolize) doesn't get her feelings hurt, but she loves me, and wants me to adopt her. (Both girls do!)

The girls and I are hoping it's possible for me to adopt them. Hubby doesn't want me to - because he wants their biomom to pay child support. She hasn't worked in about ten years, so there's no money coming. Hubby will let me adopt them, because it's what WE want!

Because of SD12's past, she shouldn't be with kids in her own age group. She doesn't have the same comprehension skills that they do, because when they were learning comprehension, she was being shuffled from foster home to foster home. I am way way over-involved in her school work, I admit it. But I don't know what else to do.

simifan's picture

If food is her currency - Use it. But you laying down the law will cause resentment - make the rules & let dad deliver them.

My mom use to keep "gruel" in the freezer - a simple bland beef stew. If we didn't want to eat what was for dinner - this is what we got. (If i could have PB & J or cereal - i never would have eaten anything else.)

She gets a piece of fruit when she comes in then if she doesn't have her work done by dinner - "gruel" & no desert. If it's not done by bed time - oh well - natural consequences or gruel for breakfast or something.

My point is make the rules, have DH deliver them to the kids (ours were always posted) & just enforce. You sound far too stressed about it.

BTW, She's 12 - it won't kill her to miss a meal.

omgsaveme's picture

I actually had a friend that got a visit from child protective services because she didn't allow her child dinner as punishment even though her mother gave her a healthy snack before bedtime. From what she told me the state can consider that neglect. I think the ODD thing is a crock, if you look at the symptoms its just basically IMHO a undisciplined child, or spoiled kid.

Hopefully she can straighten up, sad that they've been in the system