How can we get help for my bonus daughter? I have a 6 year old bonus daughter. I’ve been with her dad and in her life since she was 15 months. She is behind in her development. She is very “immature” for her age. She is also behind in her learning at school. Her teacher recommended she get held back (in kindergarten) because of how immature she is and how far behind she is with her learning. A little more background context… Last school year, she was at her mom’s Monday through Friday and we had her on the weekends because we lived over an hour away from her school and then we did 50/50 week to week in the summer. We just moved to the town her school is in so we will do 50/50 all year round. She gets babied at her moms house. Her mom doesn’t make her use silverware when she eats, let’s the grandparents there give her a sippy cup, gives into everything she wants anytime she cries, etc. Her dad and I have been working hard to help with her learning. We do sight word flash cards the school Gave us, reading board games, lots of reading books, help her sound out words to try and read books, etc. We have been encouraging her to be more independent (go grab a towel herself if she spills (no she’s not in trouble for spilling), grab her own snack, open her own water bottles, wash her hands herself, etc) to try and get her maturity level to where it should be.
Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. What can I do to help my bonus daughter?p
Sounds like you’re doing all the right things already, keep it up. She’ll grow you guys just keep on with the stuff you’re doing.
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Just keep doing what your doing. I have a niece who has a bonus son. His mother has him M<W.and F. His dad and my niece have him Thursday after school till Sunday eve. He doesn’t like coming to their house because he had to brush his teeth, shower, comb his hair and can’t play much video games as their busy keeping the other 3 kids busy too. They do everything with the kids. But they just keep plugging away. At least you have a better start cause she’s 6. This boy was 10. Good luck as I think you will win her over
Good job and and just keep at it
You’re doing great, and amazing. Have you tried ABC Mouse?? Maybe she’ll love it. If not, keep doing the things you’re doing. Maybe put a big reward for each big thing she accomplished? Like, if she learns to read, you’ll take her out to her favorite restaurant, ect. Maybe it’ll spark her to learn more, so she won’t have to be held back?
They said my 10 year old was immature, held her back and everything, she was in 3rd grade last year and by golly geez she has a learning disability, she is dyslexic. But good luck getting a diagnosis this early, I have fought for years to get her diagnosed.
Sounds like you are doing good to me. She needs to know how to do all of these things. For the being held back it’s okay give her more time to learn.
I would suggest having this discussion with your pediatrician. Occupational therapy is an incredible tool to help children who may be behind catch up and learn necessary skills. This is something that mom may have to take her to as well, so that you will know she’s still being worked with. Two of mine utilized occupational therapy and it’s a blessing!
Been there. We just keep doing those same things. After awhile it works. Luckily you will have more chances to teach her. Soon she will want to learn new things! Keep up the good work.
This is really sad. She should be doing all those things on her own by now. This is kinda border line between child neglect and just being a terrible mom on her mother’s part. And super unfair to that little girl. I’d try to work with the school with one on one help and talk with her mother about what she doing to her own child. She won’t like to hear it I’m sure but someone has to do it, and fast!
I think your doing doing the best you can do just keep it going obviously it’s going to be hard your patenting one way her mom parenting another.
Request an evaluation either from the school or the district unsure how it works in your state. She may have a learning disability or need some therapies and if so she can get an IEP to help her in school.
it’s hard as well as confusing for children to live in two different homes with two different routines and set of rules, but of course when parents are no longer together there is no other alternative. It sounds like you are doing all the right things–just be sure to also be having fun, be silly etc and don’t focus too much on academics because the fun, silly stuff is important too. I also wonder does she need an evaluation to see if she has some kind of developmental delay and it’s not just that she’s immature.
My daughter was really struggling at school between the ages of 6-8. I remember that time very well. She couldn’t seem to focus and when she did, she quickly forgot. She would check out so often that I remember giving her trouble for being so “rude”. It was very frustrating.
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Please don’t rush to assume it’s a “maturity” thing. She’s 6. It could be any number of neurological or physical health problems.
Not everything is obvious to the naked eye. Especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.
If these things are a big deal for your family, talk to your family doctor and rule out anything medical for her lack of progress. Then focus on the little things.
Not every child will hit all their milestones at the same rate as their peers. They will catch up though, at their own pace. That much I am certain of!
After reading comments I wanted to add, have her be around some older children. People she can still play with but more mature, kids mimic people they really like and she might start doing that. Also seeing other children doing these things might encourage her.
It sounds like you guys are doing everything you should be doing.
I agree with the suggestion to get her involved with occupational therapy. The therapist should have a little sit down with the bio mother and explain a few facts about how she’s been holding her daughter back in her development. You’re doing the right things. Keep it up.
How is she doing with the sight cards and other educational development tools? If she is improving, then your husband might have a good argument for keeping her full time during the school year. Make sure you have a good relationship with her teacher during the coming year and have the teacher make note of her progress. Good luck. It can be really hard on the kids when both parents aren’t on the same page.
You’re doing a great job Mama! Keep doing what you’re doing. Consistency and repetition is key. It’s good that you are closer and will have more time with her during the week. Wishing you all the best
Hold her back an extra year. That way She won’t be struggling the next 12 years.
My son is 7 and has a learning disability (developmental delay, Autism, ADHD) and we decided to hold him back in pre-k an extra year. I’m glad we did. He just finished kindergarten and will be going to 1st this August. He is also in behavioral therapy once a month and he has an iep at school so he gets speech and OT at school a few times a week as well as consults with the special Ed teacher as needed. It’s made a world of difference. Just keep on keeping on momma. Work with the school to get resources or her pediatrician to out source them if need be. Before school my son was receiving speech, OT, and PT at a rehab center.
Just keep it up and listen to her teachers’ recommendations.
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It might be better for her to be set back and catch up than to continue to struggle each year. It sounds like you and husband are on the right track, it would help if everyone was unfortunately that’s not going to happen.
Keep studying with her and doing what you have to do. Maybe dad needs to have a conversation with mom. However, I do feel like you’re being a bit harsh saying she’s “immature” she’s 6. Also why do you care if she doesn’t use a silver spoon and uses plastic to eat? Sorry but that didn’t really make sense to me. Just keep studying with her.
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The best is for all caregivers to sit down and come up with a workable plan, routine etc because she is learning but failing to keep information. Since everyone is just teaching new things and not allowing her to absorb anything.
I think you’re doing a good job already. However, I think it’s VERY important to stay consistent. Can you and the Dad have a talk with the Mom and come up with a plan that you all can stick to? If you can, then I’m sure that will help her much better. Consistency is so important IMO
I would think you need to get her tested to verify there is no underlying medical issue, if there is get her help she needs. Either way, if she is behind and struggling, hold her back. Whether she needs more hands on learning or medical help, having her struggle more to catch up and keep up with 1st. Plenty of kids are held back at some point in elementary because even though there is a standard age, all kids learn at different paces.
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I was held back in first grade, honestly it was the best thing for me. At that young age it’s not really a bid deal. I’d say trust the education professionals - go ahead and hold her back
have her evaluated for level 1 autism.
trauma focused play therapy.
Sounds like to me she’ll be better off living with you guys than her mom when her mom isn’t being a mom to her, she’s only being a friend
Sounds like she needs the extra year…what are thinking giving ger a sippy cup at 6 yrs old…thats just crazy
Maybe mom is babying her or maybe she has a learning disability if some sort. I would ask the school for an educational evaluation so you can rule that out, otherwise she would qualify for additional help at school to work on these things
Independence and maturity aren’t the same. My 9yo has mid, and is immature for her age. She’s also very independent, as much or more than others her age. If there is immaturity mixed with poor academic performance, she shoukd be evaluated.
Kinder is the best time to hold her back if it needs to happen. Better now than later, give her time to mature. Continue doing what you are doing, working with her.
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Repeating kindergarten isn’t as bad as you think it is. It’s just ensuring that the foundations are laid so she can make the most of her time in school, it doesn’t mean “failure.” Take that stigma away. Not every 5 year old is ready to enter kindergarten. She just wasn’t ready. She’ll get more from repeating kindergarten than trying to force her into first grade.
Keep doing what ur doing momma. It helps and she will thank u later on in life
I don’t know any kids that left back in kindergarten I could understand 3 or 4 grade shebis kindergarten the real learning starts in 1st grade don’t let the teacher tell u what her maturity level is there the teach so go teach
What does her mom say about all of this? I don’t know if you and her dad are married or what - but since you aren’t legally her parent, I would see about having her dad have an evaluation done on her before jumping into anything rational (like trying to get full custody like others are suggesting)/speak to the pediatrician. That way it will rule out any learning disabilities or anything additional. Then I’d go from there. I would just stay consistent on helping her with the things you’re already doing but make it fun and not like it’s a chore. Your bonus baby just might need some extra help and some form of therapy in certain departments, for example - she might need some OT if something’s going on with her fine motor skills
I would also encourage her DAD to be more involved. This is an issue for the biological parents to deal with. The best thing you can do is just be a supportive and loving step mother. Don’t judge your step child by saying she’s immature. She’s 6. She’s very young. She SHOULD be immature.
You are helping her by being consistent and helping her try to be be as independent as she can be at her age. Being behind in Kindergarten isn’t the worst that could happen but if she’s going forward than see if school will put her on an IEP and address some of these developmental issues more specifically for her.
Spend an hour a day teaching her what she needs to learn. Make it fun for her…
Sounds like she may have a learning disability, talk with her pediatrician. Sounds like her mom is trying to keep her a baby, because you know, some people can’t deal with the realization that their child is growing up so fast. Keep doing what you are doing cuz it sounds like you’re doing a great job at being a parent to her! God bless YOU GOT THIS
She probably has autism
Honestly, from experience, I would have her evaluated for autism. I have 4 with autism.
Kids do develop at their own speed …just keep doing what you can…maybe some fun videos with a bit of educational lessons tossed in…singing can offer some fun teachings, maybe even some tablet time with fun learning games she can do on her own
You will never regret holding her back in kindergarten. That’s the most fun year for them and do it while she’s still young and hasn’t made super close friendships yet. It’ll be way harder to hold her back in 2nd - 5th grade
I would suggest having her evaluated either privately or with the school system to see if she has a documented developmental delay. If so, she could be eligible for services at school. Early intervention is the key!
I’d recommend (as a special Ed teacher) to call a meeting at her school to request academic/social testing. No matter what her scores are, it will give you and them TONS of good info about her learning style and how best to help her. You’re doing great things for her. I wish you all luck on this journey!!
I just came here to say so many of these comments are ignorant. Telling her to take custody of a child THATS NOT HERS! nobody here knows the situation, nobody knows who posted this. personally i think she should have kept her mouth shut and not went to the internet for answers. Seems pretty “ IMMATURE “ for a 30 or 40 something year old I’ll assume.
If she needs to catch up, now is the time. Not when she struggles in 5th or 6th grade and can feel self conscious about it. Some kids need the extra help and thats ok. Kids aren’t a one size fits all. Kids are individuals.
I’d hold her back and take this year with the new 50/50 schedule to really let her catch up. She’ll have 12 more years of school and her emotional and learning identity aren’t ready. 1st grade is a lot of reading (18-26 levels) and requires the independence to sit and do the work for 5-10 minutes. Kinder teaches the foundation they need for success in 1st: independence, letters and sounds, numbers and math, and reading 1-6 levels. Encourage her independence and academics again this year so she’s ready for the academic push in 1st. I had a kindergartener my first year go to speech therapy because mom talked baby talk to him so he didn’t know the correct way to say words and couldn’t match sounds to letters since he knew “bahbah” as ball, etc. He technically had to relearn English, but it helped him separate his school identity from his home identity. Please don’t dismiss the importance of kindergarten.
Hold her back and get her evaluated to see if she’s on the spectrum
Hey has your husband not gone for full custody? He needs to take the mom to court she is stunting her daughters growth
My middle was held back in first grade. It was discovered she was the youngest kid out of the whole class. She was “put in school too early”. Her birthday is right at the cutoff point. We don’t regret it! At first I was disappointed Bc she had so many friends and she was so happy. But the decision to stay back turned out for the best! She can read a lot better, she’s way better than I ever was or will be in math and she’s finally starting to love reading for Fun. We also discovered she’s dyslexic. Use the school’s and pediatrician’s resources to help your bonus daughter! Maybe her mom is unaware/doesn’t care or see it as a big deal, or maybe her mom isn’t fully sharing all of the concerns going on at her home with the child?? And I agree, keep dad 100% involved with every thing when that little girl is with y’all.
I’m probably gonna get hate for this but continue doing what you and her dad are doing find time to speak to a occupational therapy person and a doctor and continue to work alongside her school then find time one to one and then with her dad to speak to her granma then her mum about these things and find out who why granma and mum are doing this
Many OT’s, child specialists and early education specialists that kids go to grade1 at the age of 7. Send her to grade1 after a year.
Occupational therapy assessment asap ask thru pediatrician for a referral. Also does she sleep well? Snore? Drool? Has her tonsils? Maybe need a sleep study too.
They wanted to keep my 5 year old back because she is immature, I put her into therapy. We treat her like a “big girl” she helps set the table and we have her do chores she can handle so she knows she is being big and helping out. I also got her into hooked on phonics and she moved up drastically, also finding educational games to play, one of our favorites is a bug splat sight word game and zingo. The therapist has also helped so much, any time we find her shutting down and throwing fits we discuss it with her therapist and she talks to her about good behaviors and stuff like that through playing games and talking. It is a process and it does take time to see a difference.
I feel like you just want to be told you’re a better mother for this girl.
I want to know exactly how u know what goes on at her mothers home? Such as “gives into everything she wants anytime she cries, etc.”???
How exactly do u know this? You have totally blown this completely out of proportion!!
And, how about those water bottles u give her to open herself. If she can’t get one, u just stare at her until she does or do u eventually open it for her???
Maybe she should be evaluated for an IEP, WHY wouldn’t they recommend that before recommending her to be left back? How is leaving her back going to help if she possibly has a learning issue? She just might have the same problem next year if certain things arent addressed.
Maybe look into an IEP because that will help get her extra learning and assistance at school and definitely hold back in kindergarten. Easiest grade to do it where it doesn’t affect them and it’s their most fun year! I have 3 kids on ieps for slight speech delays and it has done wonders!
Have her see a therapist for evaluation. Having her held back is not good for her in the long run. Kids need to be in school with other kids their age group. If she is with younger kids than later on she may not want to go to school and drop out. Have a therapist help her get to where she needs to be.
I would hold her back. See a therapist to help her develope. In the meantime, do what your doing.
Have these concerns been expressed to her pediatrician? Usually during a well child visit, they will go over development to see if she’s on track. Maybe you and dad should take her and express these concerns. If she developmentally delayed, they can point you in the right direction.
I would hold her back to give her a chance, need to get full custody
Time to calling a social worker to straighten mom out and help child
First of all I wouldn’t trust a school that recommends holding a child back. It used to be the norm but has been found to create more issues emotionally & socially. Some older teachers will still recommend it. That shows their education is behind.
Second if she’s going back & fourth between homes rules need to be the same. Her parents need to sit down & discuss. It’s not going to be helpful for her to have different expectations in different homes. As far as “sippy cups” that’s a broad term. I have school aged kids who use spill resistant cups. So do I. Its a preventative measure. It sounds like you’re trying to find fault on the real mom & grandparents.
Third it sounds like she needs services. Her parents need to talk to her school & Dr about getting her tested. From there services need to be provided.
Sounds like you are doing a great job, keep it up, it can only help
What does her grandparents giving her a sippy cup matter to any of this? Some kids have sippy cups as their comfort item until they are 7 or 8. And how mom parents the child is moms business anyway. I don’t know if you’re looking for a pat on the back or to be told you’re the better mom, but trying to compete and painting mom in a negative light isn’t cool either.
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Disappointing advice in here from people that are just sharing opinions without fact.
It is better to hold her back in kindy than in later years.
You are doing a great job with her self help skills.
School readiness is about
and executive functions
Sight words are one thing but I would be more focused on
Cleaning up after herself
Managing clothing independently
Understanding when she is cold, hungry, tired
Being able to express herself and her emotions
Understanding her own emotions
Mums can baby their children. They don’t mean to and it’s a natural thing to want to do.
It’s about empowering the child to be able to
Handle her day at school
And thrive and not just survive her days and time there.
The kindergarten teachers are there to be listened to and they’ll give you the best advice on her being ready.
*Let her pick a meal to plan and take her shopping for ingredients, have her recognize letters/words, then assist her in preparing and cooking the meal.
*When at her house with you, let her pick/create her outfits and lay them out so there together and ready so she can dress herself!
*Reading, Reading, Reading
You’re on the right path, keep it up!
It sounds like YOU are doing the right things. Gentle encouragement is the key. Reading… everything… from books to store & street signs, will help.
I have 6yo son and at 6 he is very independent I would say some children maturity just develops more slowly than others. If a teacher is expressing concern IMO listen because it’s better to hold them back at young age than it is at an older age. Just continue to do what your doing and talk to mom and encourage her to keep the same routine you have and help with sight words and things like your doing. If mom isn’t doing that than just stress to her the importance of both of you being on that same page for your child and just keeping doing what your doing! Sounds like you are doing great and trying your best. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to develop that independence just keep working with her and be as patient as possible eventually even if mom isn’t following the routine it will carry over to her house as she learn at your house and you continuously reenforce it
Look into homeschooling to catch her up maybe counceling. Bio mom and dad need to get on the same page about raising daughter. It’s great your stepping up to help raise her and are concerned for her development and well being.
It is a hard call, but what does her mom say about the holding her back? Is she blaming teachers etc… 6 and a sippy cup is a bit old but if it a cup with a lid that might just work better for them at mom and grandparents’. I’d try and have a serious sit down with mom and teachers to see what milestones she needs to exhibit before being mature enough to move up. 2 of my cousins got held bad in kindergarten, one is in college for vet tech program now and it was best thing for him. and 2 of my nephews almost did but they have ADHD, their parents worked with them all summer and they had another evaluation a week before school and met goals. You may want to get her evaluated to see if there are any causes for delay. A lot of times ADD or Autism is not caught in girls until a child starts formal education, many pre K programs are more about socialization and playing well with others. Ultimately it may be best for her if she is held back and you work with her all next school yr. I have friends at church that parents share custody of their lil girl, she will be 9 this sept. She was held back pre Kindergarten due to her maturity level and she was 7 almost when she started kindergarten. The grandparents and her dad worked with her but similar situation, babied with mom or left at an overcrowded sitter when mom was at work. Dad re- negotiated custody and got her almost all the time, after a few months she was hitting goals and it was like night and day. Co parenting is hard when not in same page. Seems like you & your hubby and her mom need to set aside differences and work together without anger, frustration and resentment to get her caught up. Maybe suggest a chore reward chart with simple things like stickers or extra tablet time when she gets so many stamps etc. Make it something the mom can easily do same as you! Make sure you are always communicating to keep the charts same at both houses etc… good luck!
Why hasn’t any development services been accessed, this child needs professional intervention and not providing what the child needs is neglect
“Maturity”? She’s 6!! Just keep doing what your doing. But the sippy cup thing is like this us as adults we using similar stuff with our adult tumblers and stuff like that. It helps with spills if theres alot of accidents and there’s plenty of cute kids plates and silverware. She’s still a kid. Label everything in the house so she can read, put it eye level to her. Make a reward system and watch some good videos on YouTube that helps with underdeveloped kids. Also of course lots of reading do with your husband role playing to make it interesting dress up and lots of excitement.
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It won’t be easy
Especially that she goes back and forth
You have 50/50 custody? When is her next yearly check up? If possible you guys take her. Talk to her Dr. about your & the school concerns. When is her next 6mn check up for the dentist? Go with her mom talk to the dentist about sippy cups & her age. It can effect her teeth, gums. Talk to her school, see why they want to hold her back. Is it just Due to maturity? Is there a possibility that she has a learning disability? Can they get her into small reading groups & extra help?
Keep encouraging her to be independent at your house. Ask if she wants to help you make lunch. Ask her what she wants to do for dinner. then take her shopping with you buy the ingredients and let her help you make it. Speak to her as a growing child not a baby. She will never articulate words properly if she’s spoken to like a baby.
Sounds like you are doing great job! Just continue as you have been.
Besides what you are doing( perfect) try to get her to a psychological evaluation to help you to help her. The psychologist will pin point to you the best approach.To live in two different environment also makes it hard for her to adapt, but she will with time
Summer school or employing a tutor might be good for the reading issue, to go forward into first grade all they’ll want her to know is a hand full of sight words and to be able to identify each letter and its name and sound to be able to sound things out and simple math concepts. I did homeschooling with my youngest for kindergarden because of the pandemic and it was pretty straight foreward- zingo sight words is a great game for memorization, along with singing the letters of a word over and over again. I don’t see an issue with a cup with a lid on it if she has frequent spills, but the silverware thing should be corrected. It sounds like this child needs more encouragement and one on one time, not less help and more of a “do it yourself” kind of mentality. 6 is pretty young, they’re still getting the hang of reading and writing, etc.
Mom’s time, mom’s rules. If she wants to baby her that’s on her not on you guys. Dad’s (your) time your rules. That’s on you guys and not mom. Try tutoring if you feel they are behind. Schedule it during your week. Every other week should be fine with tutoring. If you guys want to set up counseling, do it during your week. Again you’ll be amazed at what can be accomplished even going 2 times a month. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Focus on what you can do and not what mom’s doing. At the end of the day you can’t control her or what she does in her home, it’s unfortunate but you can control what goes on in your home and what you choose to do with the little one.
Alot of good ideas. I also have the caption on the TV. That way she sees ppl talk and the words that go with it.
Maybe have her evaluated to see if She has any learning disabilities that you guys can find a way to fix. If not it seems like her mom is the problem in a doctor’s evaluation or a school evaluation might also help you guys get her Monday through Friday every week So that you guys can make sure she stays on track and leaps up reaching on her milestones instead of falling behind
You are doing amazing the mom and grandparents need to stop what they are doing and you guys need to sit down and talk I suggest maybe you parents have the doctor explain to the mom that what she is doing is slowing her mental growth down and she needs to start letting her do things on her own like you guys do
Maybe you guys should go for more custody so she can also have a more stable environment and can reach her milestones better I think just weekends with the mom would probably help a lot
Do we have the same stepdaughter? All you can do is work with her
Sounds like she’s not getting the learning part at the mothers house.
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My daughters school had what they called “junior primary.” It was a classroom between kindergarten and 1st because she wasn’t ready to move on. Let them hold her back. It helped my daughter so much. She was even more advanced than her peers in 1st grade.