Help needed


My partner has a 5 year old daughter from his previous marriage. She has lived with us ever since April of 2016 so more than three years now. But she is quite trivial, lazy and pessimistic. How do I get her to help me do some of the housework? I have tried calmness and politeness already yet it does not seem to work at all with her. I may have to resort to effective extreme yet non violent methods that are somewhat harsher from now. She is my step daughter. However she is quite demanding in nature. She turns six next month. Her behavior troubles me at times. She is not like my biological children at all. What would you do?

My patience with her has basically run out. I need her to do simple household chores to assist me. Need I add, I also have two biological small children? Should I attempt to bribe her or not? How did you get your children to do housework and chores? The goal is to teach her to be independent and prove to me that she can cope with independent living as
well. What methods did you try? She is a strong visual learner. I have purchased a chore planner for her at a shop. I am considering using mind maps as a memory aid to help her remember. My two biological children love housework.

I am at my wit’s end. I cannot carry on like this. It has been like this for months.

“effective extreme yet non violent methods that are somewhat harsher from now”
She’s only FIVE!

She doesn’t live with her mum any more, and her dad is presumably at work during the day, so it must be difficult for her at times, especially if your parenting style is very different from her mum’s, and you have two children less than half her age. Perhaps she feels a bit like a fish out of water?

I’m absolutely dismayed that you should think she should “help you with the housework”.
What exactly do you think she should be doing? A chore planner?!?!

I know you have twins, one with spina bifida, and another on the way, and you are living in a flat. Quite honestly, I feel a bit sorry for her. Isn’t it all going to be incredibly crowded? Does she have her own room which she can escape to and look after the way she wants it? Does she ever get to have Quality Time with her dad, doing what she wants with him alone? Do you ever give her the choice of what the family should do when they go out?

My grandson is seven years old, and enjoys a happy carefree childhood. His parents have split up, my son lives with me and his ex is only a mile away, so grandson spends a lot of time here. He is expected to look after his own stuff, help me lay the table, and fill the dishwasher afterwards. He likes making cakes with me, using my Magimix, helps me chop carrots and mushrooms if we are having a meal, and is expected to tidy his toys away in the lounge.

I’m an ex Brownie Guide leader, and try to make whatever we do really enjoyable, leaving him with a sense of pride at the end of the day. If we go shopping, I give him a little job, maybe not to forget something we need to buy, to make the supermarket trip more meaningful, and of course he will eat some of the food we buy, and we usually cook together. He loves helping his dad in the garden, or working on something mechanical, doing “boys stuff” as my sons did with their dad.

When he wants to, he can chill out in my lounge, maybe playing with his phone games, or watching TV, for as long as he wants. Children need “down time” so that their little brains growing furiously can process information. Do you letter her “daydream” at all??

IS this a teenager, not a 5 year old?

What does effective extreme yet non violent methods that are somewhat harsher from now" actually entail? Those words are quite disturbing to me. How does your partner feel?
Having just seen Elaines question, as to whether your stepdaughter is 5 or 15 I have ammended my post to you.

I wouldn’t use those methods on my newly adopted dog. Even if I did, they wouldn’t work. She’s too smart for that.

For a 5 year old, you’re going to have to make it fun, maybe start with something unlike a chore - helping you to make a cake, (yes, let her lick the bowl) :smiley: or just some simple scones would do, then you can progress to getting assistance with a chore before asking her to do them alone.

For a 15 year old, I can’t see anything working except bribery in some form.