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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10547
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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my 4 year old step daugther hits my 9 year old daugther when

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my 4 year old step daugther hits my 9 year old daugther when she dose not get her way..she has been doing this since she was 2 years old...she try to hit her dad and mom and she has try to hit me a few times when she dont like something...do not know what to do..i am the step mom i feel her mom and dad should do something about this...help me..my fear is that it will get worse as she gets older..the 4 year old has a borther that has behavoral probems and is seeing someone for it...

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that your step-daughter is behaving in this way, I can understand how this would distress you

Dr. Z :

I would like to ask a couple questions to get some more information, so that I can better assist you

Customer:

i am just worried it will get worse when she is older... my daugther will not hit her..she takes it and cries and i feel so bad

Dr. Z :

You mention that the mother and father should do something, how do they react when their 4 year old daughter is exhibiting this behavior?

Customer:

ok

Dr. Z :

I understand and it is very possible that it can get worse, your concern is warranted.

Customer:

whe she was younger her dad really didnt do much...i think he didnt know what to do with a 2 year old...i hear the mom telling her to use her words alot

Dr. Z :

Is she in school? And if so does she display these behavioral problems there as well?

Customer:

i heard that she did before..but i am not sure if she still dose..the dad really dont like that she dose this so he dose not tell me...beacuse she dose this in our home..i think he wants me to think that is good in school...he feel bad i think

Dr. Z :

So the possibility is that she may still b exhibiting this behavior in school. Is she argumentative and defiant of adults? And does she have really severe temper tantrums?

Customer:

if i tell her she has to wear a coat and she dont want to she gets mad and try to hit..i see this with her dad but she with me i dont take it i just make her put it on..and i can tell she holds back....i tell her all the time what a good girl she is...and that is not good behavoral ..when younger she would have alot of tumper...it clam down a little..now she just hit

Customer:

when her dad is home i step back and let him handle it.. she is better when just with me

Dr. Z :

Well the hitting is definitely a behavioral issue and she will have to learn "to use her words" like the mother wants, but obviously these techniques are not getting through to the child, so I think it would be important that she see a child psychologist who can help her understand empathy, and that what she does hurts others, and that to use her words to express her anger. A child psychologist can use something called narrative therapy that use stories and role-play to help the child understand empathy and what to and what not to do during specific situations

Dr. Z :

The good news is that this type of behavior usually resolves itself after 3-4 years in 85 percent of children, so by the time that this girl is 5 or 6 years old, she will have have resolved this inappropriate behavior.

Customer:

i think you are right... there has been time when my daugther will get hurt or something..or she lose something...the 4 year would have this smile ...i really that like that..i see it but i dont think they do

Dr. Z :

I think you should convince the father to get her the help she needs to help her hasten the treatment process and curb this behavior sooner rather than later because there is a chance (15 percent) for her to escalate this behavior where therapy and treatment would be more difficult if she got worse. Right now this is perfectly treatable with a good prognosis for stopping this behavior, but when she gets older and if it gets worse, then it may difficult to stop her from exhibiting this behavior.

Customer:

thank you for the help...i will try to talk to him about...she is his heart so i feel bad telling him she need to see someone but i will try in a very nice manner..do you think her borther has anything to do with ..since he is seeing someone for the same problem is 13

Dr. Z :

There is a genetic link to this type of behavior and is more strongly seen when a sibling has it, so this is possibly no ones fault, but simple bad luck with genetics. But the younger someone sees a professional to curb the behavior, the better the prognosis.

Customer:

ok thank you...he just started and having a hard time ..so you are right thank you

Dr. Z :

Anytime, is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Customer:

no thank you

Dr. Z :

Well I am happy that I was able to help and I wish your family and your step-daughter all the best. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

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