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zero discipline, should i just leave it to him?

e1a24's picture

I've been living with my partner 3 months. He has 2 children full time, an 11yo boy who is well adjusted and intelligent and a 10yo girl who in my mind is very troubled.

She steals everything from everyone. She once stole food from the shop, bragged about it and enjoyed eating it. He did nothing.

She's been stealing toys, food & clothes from her brother for years without consequences. She has no concept of anyone but get going without, the world revolves around her.

She has stolen hundreds of dollars, shaving cream, a vibrator, condoms, lubricant, pornos and various other items from her father.

She stole my purfume, lingerie, shoes, clothes, money and various other items from me. None of this stuff would fit her. Her response, but I didn't daddy, I didn't...its all in her room so...

Dads solution, put locks on our doors and hide food in our rooms. She denies taking anything even though caught red handed.

I'm concerned for her welfare especially with the sexual stuff she's taken. She has also stolen from kids at school and is not well liked.

Her room was an absolute garbage tip. Food wrappers in every draw, bag, in & under the bed, stale food, old dirty plates, rubbish, mess everywhere, you could struggle to see the floor. I spent 2 days cleaning it, apparently I'm not the first. When she finishes eating something, she will throw the wrapper on the floor, treats her home like a tip, no respect.

She is constantly asked to clean her mess she leaves all over the house by me.

Its nothing for her dad to feed her in one day KFC, coke, ice cream, lollies, hungry jacks, frozen sugary drinks - this was all after school one day and there's a bunch of rubbish food in the cupboard they eat whenever they like. If you don't give it to her, she steals it, why not, no consequences for anything.

I have tried to talk to him and to enforce rules but it then becomes him and her against me. He bribes his son with gifts to put up with her. He lies to me to cover for her, defends her and ignores me cuddling up to her, just shutting me out.

This girl is going to have no friends, a criminal record and most likely be a teen mum. She does not do her homework either so career prospects are low - not being mean but she is dumb, not knowing basics a 10yo should know. Since she can't keep her home clean, cleaner is out so maybe check out chick but she can't add and will most likely steal the money and lose the job anyway.

He and I fight over her all the time. I don't see why he can't see the train wreck ahead but if he doesn't care, its hard for me too

He's a loving father who I guess doesn't know how to parent and wants to be a friend not a father. His daughter has threatened to go live with mum since I got here and tried to help her understand where all this is leading.

So much goes against my beliefs. I spend very little time with her as she's nice to your face but stealing behind your back, I just struggle to relate to her. If its for attention, well she has her fathers complete attention, they are inseparable, cuddle, kiss, hang out, hold hands, she's even in the toilet and bathroom while he showers which I hate - the toilet, come on!

She had my attention when I first got here, I'd bake with her, watch movies, take her everywhere, go for walks, play games, now I don't so she's lost my attention. I'm very close to the son, he's awesome, I feel sorry for him, he can't stand His sister and on some levels resents His father.

He has no issues disciplining his son who rarely does anything wrong, I've pointed this out but he deserves it apparently.

His daughter is not yet overweight but with puberty coming I suspect will be with the constant crap food, his son is and is made exercise however he still feeds him junk so its a lost cause. I cook healthy and try, his son is trying to follow me best he can as he hates the exercise and wants to lose the weight desperately.

Do I just give up and let her run wild so it stops doing my head in.

scifimom's picture

I've heard a lot of people use the term disengage, but I find that hard to do.

Dads tend to cave when it comes to daughters, they don't realize they're doing the worst thing possible for their little women. They're engraining in them the traits that adult women have fought against for decades. He needs to put his foot down and stop being daddy dearest and start being an actual father. The fact that he's yelling at ss and not sd tells me he has her on the daddy's little girl pedestal (I fight this with my dh), ss will start to resent him, so hold strong as the positive and connected adult for ss!

Locks only go so far. It stops her from getting at things for now until she learns how to pick the lock, but it also makes you a prisoner in your home. Do you think maybe she's acting out because you've moved in? She's trying to assert herself as the sole female in her father's life and push you out?

Have you talked to your SO about family/youth counselling for thr kids - sd definitely needs to be assessed, but ss might also benefit from talking to someone. My ss goes to a councellor (not originally our choice, but we're glad we did). His counsellor gives us the low-down on what's going on and how we can help ss. A good counsellors will want to have a session with you and their father and should put SO straight on what needs to be done, so find someone who's not going to be washy-washy.

I'm sure other with more years under their belts have more advice.

PS - I'm a Commonwealther myself with a number of Aussie friends. Some folks might confused by "tip" (dumpster) and even rubbish (garbage/trash) - that one killed my friends any time they'd ask for the rubbish bin and people got confused Smile

e1a24's picture

Thank you for your reply.
Yes I've mentioned counselling but he says she's had counselling before and he did not think it was beneficial do that's a no

still learning's picture

"She has stolen hundreds of dollars, shaving cream, a vibrator, condoms, lubricant, pornos and various other items from her father."


Over-sexualized 10 yr old daughter, she's stealing adult sexual items from her father. First of all she shouldn't even know what these things are or have any exposure to them. Then dad appeasing her with junk food, him and her against you.

There's something VERY WRONG going on between your partner and his daughter. Call CPS and get out.

ohiodad's picture

I would ask yourself: "is this man someone I can really build a future around?" Do you plan on having children with him? If so, is this the kind of father you want for your children?

e1a24's picture

Hi, thanks for your reply.

No I don't wish to have children of my own at all, I'm 43, never had the desire.

I agree the problem is the parent, I don't blame her, he enables her behaviour, she's no idea there's any issues as he does nothing.

As for building a future, no, not if we can reach a beneficial solution for all - mostly her, I'm concerned for her future. It really is a shame, I adore him, he's got some awesome qualities. I'm sticking it out for the benefit of the kids in this situation, the son suffers too at hands of his sister and disadvantaged by dads lack of control of her. Hes actually started to stick up for himself now I'm here and he feels supported instead of alone. I think 3 months is not giving it my all, this dysfunctions been going on for a long time so isn't going to change overnight. I need to walk away knowing I tried my best and didn't bail at first sign of something I didn't you think that's silly or reasonable in this world where we discard things/people so quickly.

e1a24's picture

She doesn't use the stuff she takes and had no idea what the vibrator was clothes and shoes wouldn't fit here her fathers aftershave was still in the wrapping, etc, she just takes stuff. So yes, punishment for stealing and lying teaches children boundaries, respect, etc, no point explaining what a vibrator is for if you don't have to...

ohiodad's picture

Agree with this, but unfortunately for the OP she has only been with this guy for 3 months. She can suggest these things to him, but he is ultimately the one that needs to implement it.

e1a24's picture

Exactly, he won't consider anything I suggested, as I stated originally there is zero punishment for anything, he says its just kids stuff, not a big deal...hmmmmm

e1a24's picture

I agree he is the problem but do you consider 3 months long enough to just cut your losses and go? They have been living this way for years and change doesn't happen overnight so I've been thinking I have not given it enough time to see if things do change. Generally speaking people up and go at first signs of trouble and maybe that is the right move but what if in today's throw away society I gave it a chance to get better and if it doesn't, walk away knowing I did all I could and gave it sufficient time?

scifimom's picture

I didn't read it as sd having any sexual issues, I read it as that was the draw she opened and she grabbed what she could. If you've already put locks on your doors, then she won't get at it again, but otherwise, I'd find a better hiding spot for your sensitive items Wink

I mentioned counselling before - If you can, keep pushing it.

My Dh was against it for ss, but bm demanded it as she had been in counselling since she was a child. It was brought up in court and we agreed but only if it was a specialized child's counsellor and not the new agey wacko that bm sees. We found a great practice in our area that is also highly respected by the school system. Ss has been going once or twice every two months for 3 years, more if he's been really emotional. In the end, it gives the child someone to talk to that isn't their parent or a person in control of their day to day lives. It gives the parent insights that they can't get any other way. There could be something really wrong with her that you'll never get to the heart of otherwise, or it could be the simplest the simple thing in the world that you'll smack your forehead over when you find out.

Ss had been acting out physically as a toddler and into his early school years. Bm, coming from a family of prissy females, somehow convinced dh that play fighting and roughhousing with ss was bad for him and the cause of his toddler fits. Dh stopped. When ss started counselling over this behaviour, the first thing the woman told Dh was to play fight and rough house with him. That NOT doing this for a little boy is detrimental. Ss's behaviour almost instantly changed into the normal little boy he is now.

You never know what you're going to find out, and your SO might be scared to be told he's doing something wrong or bad for her. But better to be told now than never.

e1a24's picture

Thank you for your response - yes I didn't mean to upset anyone by not stating that, it never occurred to me since I was talking about stealing and lying not sexual issues.

Stepped in what momma's picture

You've been living together for 3 mos, how long have you actually been together?

e1a24's picture

We have been together since February, we moved in early in the relationship as we live 2 hours apart and incompatible work hours...sometimes you just have to take a chance and worst case scenario, you go home.

I think opposite to you, if its been a short time you need to give time for change not expect everything to happen now but over a year nothings going to change

e1a24's picture

Thank you sally, you make perfect sense, be who I am, you are right...I was struggling with how to handle future things as I'm not one to sit back and let things go, it was giving my anxiety.

SD stole my make up this week, denied it and played victim to daddy that she gets blame for everything and she didn't have it, etc... Daddy told her she gets the blame cause she stole everyone's stuff and lied about it which surprised me, but he gave me a serve about how hard I am on her and I need to give her a clean slate, he guarantees she doesn't have any more of my stuff...

So last night mother in law sleeping in SD bed and finds my make up hidden under the fitted sheet!

Rang daddy at work and he tells me he's really disappointed after her crying victim and him having a go at me that she played him like that and when she comes back from mums he's going to say something. Well that's a change!

I pointed out the fact she had it means she took it while I was home as I lock the door when not there so while I'm in the shower, washing up, etc I now have to look the door like its a prison and that's rediculous.

I've also told him again she needs a tutor to get her up to speed before high school or she's going to get lost in the system...last time I suggested this he wasn't concerned that she's in his words dumb, but he's coming around in that one too...

I thought about just taking my makeup back and not bothering to say anything to him but that's just not me so my plan was say my piece and let it go...his reaction was surprising. Maybe he's coming around?

still learning's picture

"Since she can't keep her home clean" She's 10 for gods sake! You're worried about this when she's stealing pornos and lube?! I read above where you just brushed that aside saying she has no idea what they are. If she stole a porno DVD she probably watched it.

There are several deep psychological issues with the stealing, food indulging and boundary issues between father and daughter: "she's even in the toilet and bathroom while he showers which I hate - the toilet, come on!" I still see major red flags. None of this is normal 10 yr old behavior. This girl needs help. Demonizing her, futurizing that she'll be a criminal and her father enabling and or hiding whatever the hell happened or is going on is not helping this child.

You say she's "very troubled" have you asked why, what is troubling her? She needs therapy but I'm sure some secrets would come out.

Poor girl was/is probably victimized and yet we still blame the victim.

e1a24's picture

Do you know a 10year old who throws her food wrappers on the floor of her hone when she's done like people do in the street? That's not normal so yep, I expect some level of cleanliness above that from her.

I have bought up counselling as I've stated and no go, she's not my child, I can't do anything but keep trying.

I'm not demoralising her, etc as you say for fun or thinking it will help, I'm expressing my concern, not sugar coating it.

I'm worried about all of this which is why I mentioned all of it not just her cleaning...if it didn't all concern me I wouldn't say a word.

Aniki's picture


And for the record, my SSstb13 leaves candy wrappers all over the bloody place. Why? Because he's so busy shoving candy into his mouth and leaving the wrappers in his lap, that when he gets up, the wrappers fall here and there off of his clothes. My DH has to remind him to pick them up because he doesn't seem to notice. This is not surprising since their home is a pigsty.