How can I help my aggressive step child?
Q: My fiance and I each have 2 girls. My girls (11 and 6) live with us all the time whereas his girls (10 and 8) live with us about 40% of the time. The problem is with his oldest daughter. A few months ago, her mother said she was very aggressive towards her younger sister, pushed her against the wall, hitting, etc. They were supposed to take her to a therapist and never did. She stopped the physical aggression, but is mean to all the other girls when she is here. She is usually very moody when we first get her. My oldest says she throws things around in her room, when she asked her why she was doing this, his daughter said that she was angry with her mother since she yelled and screamed at her so she screamed back and was really stressed out. I brought this up with her father, but she lies and makes up stories, and he believes them. I know she needs help, but he does not think so. Is there anything I can do to help? She is very helpful and respectful to me. My girls are not very happy that his girls are coming over again in a few days. We are having a family meeting about a few things. We plan on discussing some basic rules (again) and this time, outlining consequences for the actions. But what can I do to help her with her stress?
A:I think that the child's mother (or father) should take the responsibility of getting her to a counsellor or therapist. She has given adequate messages that she needs help. As you were planning, there could also be a specifying of codes of behaviour at a family meeting. However, if the girl has so much anger, as you describe, she would need some professional help to get it out of her system. It could be a school counsellor or Psychologist that is consulted.