jackiedee asks:

My stepdaughter just started to come stay with us after 3yrs of supervised visitation. She started acting out when she goes home to grandma, help!!!?

Daughter is 8yrs old.grandma also just got a boyfriend recently. Daughter had grandma for 3 yr all to herself. Now she is able to come to her fathers and grandma has a boyfriend. She is acting out at grandma and we don't know what to do? I told grandma that we need to keep communicating with whats going on and give my stepdaughter a routine or get her back on a routine with coming to se father adn going back home??? But not sure

Question asked after reading: http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_...
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges, Blended families
> 60 days ago



Jul 15, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Children are very sensitive to changes in their environment.  They like stability and knowing what to expect.  If there is a change, even a happy one like a birth of a sibling, children get stressed, and since they don't know how to express emotions such as frustration or fear, they act out.  Keeping your stepdaughter's schedule as routine as possible would make sense.  Also, talk to the child herself.  She might have an insight on what stresses her out.  Maybe there is something that is going on at grandma's house that rattles her sense of security and she misbehaves as the result.  

Best regards.  
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Additional Answers (1)

ShirleyCres... , Teacher, Child Professional, Parent writes:
You have great ideas about a routine.  Children appreciate a regular schedule, with boundaries and clear expectations.

I’m sure your stepdaughter is confused. She used to have Grandma all to herself, and now she has to share. It also sounds as if the visits to Dad’s house were not as frequent, and now they are more regular… everything has changed!  Her world is different and it’s confusing.

Some helpful tips:
•Everyone needs to reassure your daughter that they still love her and she is a very important part of their lives.
•Explain that adult relationships (Grandma’s boyfriend, stepmoms, etc) are different from her relationship with these adults. These new relationships don’t compete with her, or hurt her relationship in any way.
•Take her on an errand (doesn’t matter where- grocery store, ice cream shop, hard ware store) and ask her casually how she feels about all this change. Ask if she has any questions.  Be prepared to listen, listen and listen. Then reassure her that it’s all going to be O.K.
•Discuss with Dad and Grandma to schedule some one-on-one time with her, at least once a week.

Shirley Cress Dudley, MA LPC
Blended and Step Family Expert
Director of The Blended and Step Family Resource Center
> 60 days ago

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