Do I confront my daughter head on or ignore her?

Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2013 11:37 pm
I had my 1st child at age 18. I had just moved her here from my native Russia with hockey dreams and got tied up in a brief relationship. The woman was older than me and had just divorced her husband, so she was pretty much on the rebound. It fell apart shortly after the child a girl was born. We went our separate ways and eventually I married a woman from my homeland and had 2 sons. Last year my ex passed away during surgery and apparently left instructions to deliver the child who is now 9 years old to me. A friend of hers' literally just showed up on my doorstep with the girl one day, told me she had died and I was entitled to social security benefits, and left me with the girl. My wife already knew about her, but the child didn't know about me, her stepmother, or two younger brothers. She wouldn't talk for 3 days and when she did talk it was to tell me I wasn't her father and she hated me. I was expecting that since Rome wasn't built in a day. After about a week I just told her that her mommy's in heaven and she gets to live here now. I told her that she could call me Papa, my wife Mama(she called her own mother Mommy), and I told her what her the names of my 5 and 1 year old sons. She didn't want to call us anything, but eventually began doing it. That's when I told her a little more about myself and that in addition to having to learn Russian she would no longer have the name she was given at birth. I had already put in the name change. I felt she needed a fresh start and besides I could not even pronounce her given name. Lots of tears then, but eventually got use to it. Only issue was a few hunger strikes when did not like what food was prepared. Nothing major until she began attending local school in January. At her last school she had top marks and was labeled a quiet child and although she still does well at this school, her teachers say she's smart mouthed and won't answer when called. I won't tolerate and take away all her toys. She finds them and takes them back even when placed out of her reach. She gets a chair to reach the shelf and once struck my wife when she tried to make her leave the toys where they were. I say no TV and she watches anyway. I ask what's the problem and she says she's fine, so I ask why she misbehaves and she rolls her eyes. Telling the child not to do something is the same as giving permission! She also answers back and says "What are you going to do about it if I do it anyway?" . At 1st I thought she acted this way for attention, but she gets loads of attention from me and my wife, though she does not like to SHARE. She wants all the attention for herself and it has been suggested to me by a child psychologist that she wants complete control and as a result constantly clashes with me mouthing off, defying, and issuing challenges because she has not been put in her proper place. Never have I heard a child say, "What are you going to do? Smack me?" then laugh like it's a joke and do what she pleases in front of my face knowing that she's angering me. This child is driving me insane. I was raised with the belt if I misbehaved and though I don't want to have to go that far with her this cannot continue. I know that I cannot to turn my own child out on the streets, but I can hardly tolerate having her running my home either. This is how she treated her mother, but she cannot remain in my home and act this way.
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Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2013 01:41 am
Have you heard of the word 'compassion'?
This kid has just lost her mother, and has been dumped on a family she didn't even know existed. She has had to change schools so presumably has lost all her friends as well. And on top of all this you changed her name because you couldn't pronounce it. Seriously?
No wonder she is playing up, her world has been turned upside down and inside out, and it doesn't sound like she is getting a lot of sympathy or support.
You asked if you should confront her or ignore her, maybe you should try to understand what she has been through and try to help her deal with it. Just put yourself in her place for a moment, everything she knows and loves is gone, and suddenly she is living with strangers, and expected to just fit in. This is going to take time and patience and understanding.

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