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A little scared for the future

iqrt's picture

My step daughter is 5.

Honestly, I'm terrified of the future. She is little miss attitude right now. She doesn't care about other people's feelings, and she has kind of malicious thoughts go through her head.

Her thing lately has been to say, "What would you do if I ______." Where ______ is filled in with something that she knows she is not supposed to do. As if she is trying to gage whether or not the punishment would be worth the fun.

She used to say things like, What would you do if I dipped my sandwich in my milk? What would you do if I took something off Daddy's desk?

Now she's asking questions like, "What would you do if I sat on the cat?" "What would you do if I poured yogurt in the fish tank?" Now she's talking about hurting/killing my pets. What if she really does these things? She's only 5. Why are these thoughts of maliciously hurting my animals even going through her head?

emotionaly beat up's picture

Is she getting a reaction from you, because if she is she will keep it up and try to get bigger and bigger reactions.

If this is the case why not keep it simple, what would you do if I dipped my sandwich in my milk, "Nothing it's not my sandwich" What would you do if I took something off daddy's desk "It's daddy's desk why don't you ask him" What would you do if I poured youghurt in the fish tank, "Probably stop buying youhurt if you are just going to waste it" What would you do if I sat on the cat - "Well I'd be more worried about what the cat would do to you, because I am sure it would scratch and hurt you wanna try it" Try to be as offhand and nonchalant as you can be, you may have gotten into a vicious circle with her and she is enjoying the game and the attention.

However if you are concerned, truly concerned that there is more going on with this child, then you need to discuss it with her father and arrange some sort of outside help.

I hope she is just getting a rise out of you though, and if that is the case, then as I said, try not to bother or give serious answers to her teasing questions.

janeyc's picture

I agree with you, my sd did that when I first moved in, I ignored it, then she figured out that I was actually quite nice, kids will always try to control and manipulate, just don't give them the satisfaction.

emotionaly beat up's picture

Dtzyblnd we need a like button on this site. I would have just clicked on like on your post and saved myself some time Smile

jennaspace's picture

After reading so many posts on this site I've often commented to my H. that my bio son would seem like he was out to get us if he was a step to either of us. I sincerely feel for step moms with kids this age if the kids are spirited because they are trying (and I adore my son). My son tries to stop us from talking, hangs on me a lot and used to have tons of tantrums (~30/day).

Unfortunately, when this behavior is coming from a step child it seems much more deviant. I really just think this is kid stuff but from a non biological child so it's harder to take. She may be a spirited child, there are some good books about these kids on Amazon.

smdh's picture

Wink I agree. My BS cracks me up. SD could do the same thing and I'm seething for 10 minutes. Some of it is "step" related. More of it is personality related. Everything she does is skewed by the fact that I relate it to her mother's "adult" (I use the term loosely) behavior.

OP, I think it is normal and I like what one of the others said about being nonchalant in your response. If she sees that the questions make you uncomfortable, she is going to needle you.

herewegoagain's picture

Sorry, this is freaky to me. I don't ever recall doing this or my son or my nieces and nephews...hmmm...I would say "let's see...I'd kick your little ass???" sigh Sorry, but that seems a bit off to me.

iqrt's picture

I guess it concerns me that she's not particularly nice to the animals now. She is constantly chasing them, trying to scare them and pulling tails, etc. She is not a toddler. She knows better. But she doesn't care. She thinks it's funny to make the cat hiss. She thinks it's funny to make the dog yelp. She has kicked both the cat and the dog.

I get that she's in a huge testing boundaries stage, it just terrifies me that she might be capable of follow-through. I just don't trust this kid.

I had a talk with my SO/her dad last night and I think we're going to try to get her into counseling. If she ever does intentionally kill one of our pets, she will not be welcome in my home. Her next target will be our 18 month old daughter.

LilyBelle's picture

She's probably looking to you for boundaries. It's a good sign.

Tell her calmly what the consequence would be, and don't act shocked or upset. Be very business like about it.

"If you dipped your sandwich in the milk, I would remove your food from the table and send you to your room, because in our home, we use good manners."

"If you sat on the cat, first, I would make sure the cat is OK, because the could hurt him. Then, I would send you to your room until your father got home because it's important that you learn to treat pets gently."

Or, if you want to be more disengaged the I would part would always be, I would speak with your father and do whatever he said. But at 5, if he gives you authority to handle these things, she probably won't have issue with you handling them. Right now, it sounds like she's testing to see if you can and will handle things. And she's choosing things that she knows you would not approve.

Helena.Handbasket's picture

I would answer "Beat the shit out of you and laugh all the way to jail in handcuffs" Maybe that would get her attention. Brat.

She's not being sincere and seeking out boundaries. She's trying to get to you. You can ignore her nonsense, then when she does something enforce consequences (Yourself). OR you can let her get a rise out of you like I said above.

See which one works. If she went near my pets though, I'd make sure she knew ahead of time that I'd get her back.

She sounds like an attention seeker.

emotionaly beat up's picture

Beat the shit out of you...........Wouldn' you love to see the kids face if she said that. Ahh! Parenting the old fashioned way has a lot to be said for it. A quick clip on the ear and problem solved Biggrin Just to have the freedom to reply to a WHY with, because I said so, and not to have to play physchologist with our kids, but have the freedom to enjoy them without being politically correct and rational with irrational toddlers. Smile The good old days, when parents could parent and run their homes, instead of Governments running it for them.

SunnySkies's picture

If she kicks the animals, kick her back. Tell her you'll sit on her if she sits on the cat. A five year old threatening to hurt animals would scare the shit out of me. Is she at school? And if so, is she threatening kids too? You need to nip this in the bud, it starts with animals and turns into hurting humans. Loving comment above - i'm all for old fashioned parenting because, guess what, it worked. Don't EVER hurt my pets.