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Dispair! My 12 yo step-daughter repeatedly takes things that…

Dispair! My 12...

Dispair! My 12 yo step-daughter repeatedly takes things that do not belong to her (my old cell phone, several of my rings, neighbor girl's shoes) and lies about it. Like one of the other readers, she was adopted at 1 yr from Russia. Her mother is dysfunctional and shirks responsibility, constantly dogging my step-daughter. The latest incident was lying about the neighbor girl's shoes. I asked when she got new shoes and she replied that her mom bought them for her. Later in the day, neighbor girl comes over to get her shoes and we learned that dear daughter lied. What do we do? How is the best way to reprimand this behavior?

Expert's Assistant: I should have chatted with the Psychologist on a daily basis with my two kids. And maybe about my brothers, too. You are so doing the right thing getting in touch with one of them. Is there anything else the Psychologist should be aware of?

Step-daughter Arianne is 12. Diagnosed and medicated for ADHD. My first foray into motherhood at 48. Boy 14 (borderline spectrum & severe ADHD) and girl 12 (ADHD). Both were adopted at 6 months and 1 year respectively from Russia by my husband and his ex-wife.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I don't know where the JA part of the conversation came from. It should not be part of my thread.
My name is ***** ***** the way...
Answered in 12 minutes by:
11/20/2017
John-Michaels
John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC)
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 954
Experience: 25+ years helping resolve relational issues.
Verified
Have anybody mentioned RAD for her. This is Reactive Attachment Disorder and is common among children who had severe trauma that led to separation from their mother the first few years of life. It is characterized by an inability to attach to individuals. Their behavior is disrespectful of others and their possessions. Honestly, this sounds much like your stepdaughter.
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I've read about RAD. And yes, she definitely fits the bill. My dilemma is how do we address and reprimand for the resulting behavior?
You need to get her to a therapist that is familiar with RAD. As far as what to do, she needs unconditional love but at the same time tough love. She needs much structure in her life. As far as Discipline:There are three principles to effective discipline:1. CLEAR COMMUNICATION - If you say what you mean and mean what you say, there is never reason to be mean with how you say it. Remain calm. Actions speak louder than words.2. CONSISTENT RESULTS - The same behavior yields the same results every time regardless.3. NATURAL CONSEQUENCES - As much as is possible, allow them to suffer the natural consequences of their behavior. They don’t put their toys up, they lose them.Whatever you do, don’t let her manipulate you. Rules are rules and need to be enforced.
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As for the shoes, she needs to apologize to the neighbor girl and maybe be forced to wear her own older shoes for a while.
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
She tries hard to push me away but I won't go away. I tell her all the time that no matter how much she screws up, I'm still going to love her. But wrong is wrong and bad behavior will not be tolerated. She has been to counseling.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Her mother refuses to co-parent. We can only enforce rules during the 50% time that we have her.
All you can do is what you can do. Make the rules consistent from your end. She is libel to re-bel, But do not give in. You cannot be held accountable for her birthmothers bad choices.
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Whenever we try to address bad behavior, Arianne completely shuts down. Like her adoptive mother, nothing is ever her fault. No accountability. I'm not making this woman out to be the devil... she lied to the priest in church about paying her part of Arianne's tuition that she was in default of. Take that for what it is. I just know that I'm not going to sit next to the woman in church. Between what goes through my mind and her lying to a priest in church, one of us is going to get struck by lightning. LOL I have to use humor to get through this all.
But, I digress. Trying to get her to open up about what's really going on is tough. I can tell when something is up.
To clarify, Arianne was adopted at 1 yo from a Russian orphanage by my husband and his ex-wife. When I refer to her "mother", I am referring to ex-wife/adoptive mother.
I understand. I have five adopted children, one of which is adopted from Uganda. I cannot imagine the extra complications of co-parenting.
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I hope I was a help to you. Will you do me a favor and give me a five star rating for my answer so I can be paid for it. If you have any comments or questions please post them here. I want to help you.Thank you!
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I’m not necessarily done yet. It sounds like they at least communicate. Which is unusual for exes. Sounds like she undermines your progress though.
John-Michaels
John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC)
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 954
Experience: 25+ years helping resolve relational issues.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Don't be surprised if I don't hit you up again. Right now I just want to crown her. Instead, I'm going to count to 10 and enforce the rules when she comes back to our house on Wednesday. Thanks for your insight. Can you recommend any resource reading on how to deal with RAD?And NO, this woman does not cooperate on co-parenting. Very bitter... 5 years after the split!
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Actually, 7 years after the split & divorce. It's time for her to move on...
Makes sense to me. Anything from psych central is good. I do t necessarily like her but a very popular proponent for RAD IS ***** *****. You might try this site. I just googled it:http://www.reactiveattachment-disorder.com/?m=1
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thanks, I'll check it out. I've marked you in my favorites. Hopefully I can share a success story with you soon. I need to get a handle on this now before full puberty kicks in. That girl is gonna be hell on wheels!
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