How can I help my step-daughter?

Advice please: My husband and I have full custody of his daughter. I have been in her life since she was a year old, which she is now 9. She has many issues that started before we managed to get full custody, such as exposure to porn, drugs, and just lack of supervision. She goes to a specialized therapist ever week. One of the things I’m worried about is her mentality not being where it should be for a nine-year-old. She was constantly babied with her mother and didn’t do anything for herself unless she asked over and over again. I was wondering, has anyone ever held their kid back a year in school to help them mature a little more before continuing to go up another year?

16 Likes

If she’s doing good academically than I’d say no. Holding her back when she’s passing and doing good is only going to make things worse in the long run. She’ll get bored with school because she already knows it, and will get bullied for being older than everyone else because they’ll assume she’s “stupid”, been there. Get her around kids her age who are more mature, and put your foot down and be consistent in making her do things for herself.

13 Likes

This was my life when I was 12. Moved in with my dad and step mom (although they had no interest in me or helping me get over the abuse with my mother). So I want to say thank you on behalf of you’re step daughter.
I dont think it would be best to hold her back right now uess the school also thinks so for grades. Right now, she needs as much stability as possible. I wouldnt even change school districts if possible. Talking with her therapist would probably be the best. Theyd have a better understanding what would help her. But I can tell you that your love, patience, understanding, and a good kick in the butt once in awhile is what she needs most

5 Likes

Each kid is different. I have three girls. One was mature at 12 one at 16 one at 24. And they had no issues

1 Like

That’s the teachers decision not yours. I’m sorry but this is the most ignorant thing I’ve read, hold her behind a grade because you do not think she is mature enough? Am I reading this right? If she is doing good in school why would you even think that?

3 Likes

I would personally talk to the school about that. My middle child is like this to the T! She is also very bright. She may need to join a sport to give her a boost of confidence. That seemed to help my child.

1 Like

Is homeschooling an option?

Take her to do as much 9 yr old stuff you can… Bonding is the best way to get her trust, if she trust you she looks up to you and you can lead by example. Make her apart of simple things … like just watching in the kitchen, talk her through ingredients as you go,what they are how they taste, include her in almost everything. She need stability yes, but she also needs confidence and to be shown a better life daily… Even if it’s a walk around the block after dinner to talk. Educate her on anything you can, show her the way. Idk how else to put it rn, we are making desert… cheese cake is finally in the oven, well what’s not on my walls and floor anyways

2 Likes

Instead of holding her back, maybe try helping her mature a bit. It’s our jobs as parents to raise them. It’s schools job to academically educate them.

3 Likes

I did my daughter was very much baby been spoiled but that’s cuz I had all boys so I held her back a year now she’s going into the Navy so I don’t think it hurt her

1 Like

I have first hand experience with this. Between being a public school teacher and adopting a six year old girl I have seen it all. If she is academically good keep her with her peers. She need high expections and strong boundries. It is hard but is the best. Good luck. Our daughter is now 27.

Id ask her therapist

If academically she is behind yes but not if her maturity level isnt where you think it should be. This is something to absolutely discuss with the therapist and school

This seems like contradicting information …
Exposed to bad adult behaviours at crucial stages of life - yet apparently babied and didn’t have to do anything for her self???
Her maturity (or apparent lack of ) doesn’t sound like the issue, what she was exposed to is.
Speak with the school, see how she interacts there and what the teachers notice & speak with the therapist more.
As it looks like the wrong things are being focused on by yourself.

1 Like

That’s the best thing you can do.We did this with a child in our family and I cannot tell you how this child has excelled in school.Now a top maths student more mature to handle the workload much happier both parent and student. When they are still in the first grades this holding back really helps them cope much better.We sometimes unknowingly try to compare with other kids and get concerned if they drop down a standard but believe me I have seen the difference -a happier relaxed child try it if it’s still the first few grades you wont regret it

1 Like

Parents do this all the time. There’s definitely a plus to it when necessary.

1 Like

Don’t focus on the negative behaviours and lots of praise for the good behaviours. Then She will seek approval/attention in a positive way instead of a negative one. Keep good communication with her therapist and school as well to keep consistency. Good Luck you will figure it out!

I wouldn’t be worried about the maturity because everyone matures differently if she is capable of handling her grade I wouldn’t hold her back

8 Likes

We had two kids held back in elementary school for lack of maturity— I think it turned out well for them. It was 2nd grade for both. I’d ask her counselor what they think and maybe an appropriate person at school (school counselor/teacher?)

1 Like

My niece did that for her daughter. Best thing ever for her