Ask an expert
Question

05 Jan 2005

Young Stepdaughter Concerns
My husbands child from a previous marriage has had numerous sicknesses over the past year or so. She lives with her mother who has a eating disorder and is extremely skinny. The child "lets call her Anne" is 8 years old. She behaves at times like a teenager and at times like a baby, whatever suits. Her mothers life is very volatile, she has recently broken off a 5 year live-in relationship to start another with a younger man. 4 years ago, Anne went for theraphy, at the creches insistance, due to displays of sexual behaviour. This is the 4th father figure Anne must live with. (all much younger than her mother). I think that Anne lacks parental attention. Her sicknesses have ranged from flu, coughing, sore stomach, vomiting and not being able to breath and she crys for her mother often. Her father dotes on her. She has a 12 year old neighbour that she is very close to. They slept over at our place last night and we took them out for a meal. Anne wants her friend to cut her meat, she lays on her lap in the car and they go to the toilet together even when at home. Almost like a surrogate. Something just feels wrong. I don't want to suggest treatment or that she moves in with us until her mother settles down without some confirmation that my concerns are founded.
Answer 357 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Hi Justme,
Sounds like this child has been affected by whatever turmoil there has been with her mother, mom's eating disorder, the instability in mom's relationships, and similar issues. I'd be woried by the occurrence of such early sexual behaviour, which can indicate a more than usually disturbed child. It'd be worthwhile for her father to speak to whatever therapists she saw then, for advice on her condition and whatever further therapy may well be needed. She sounds like a most unhappy and understandably confused child.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
33% - 9364 votes
No
67% - 19336 votes
Vote