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Is my 4yrs old son safe living with mentally unstable 16yrs old

Community Member
Hi I'm just new here, my 16yrs old step daughter have been seeing Headspace for the last 3 yrs now she had some issues with her temperament and already had been to juvenile justice parole system. My husband took her back to live with us after not being with for a year and so, I'm am now anxiously worried for my 4yrs old son. My husband doesn't seem to take it seriously he keeps saying that her daughter will not hurt our son. But I'm not just worried about physical but more of implication to my sons mental health, she seems to talk silly things to my son. I don't know what the right thing to do, I feel so alone I have no relatives here in Australia to talk to and support. If I say things to my husband about his daughter he gets cranky with me and totaly take his daughters side. Please help me!! Thank you
3 Replies 3

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Pinkoala, welcome to the site, and the question you have asked isn't an easy one to answer, because there are so many varibles to consider, which I will list before I continue;
does she know and realise why she was admitted to the parole system and regret what happened.
I wonder whether you can trust her with any money laying around the house, such as your purse or your husband's wallet, as well any alcohol, so if you left $20 on the table could you rely on her not to take it,
-does she take her medication and continue going to Headspace without being forced
-are you able to trust what she has to say or query her if suddenly she is wearing new clothes and has no money to pay for them
-your husband is always going to support her, no matter what you say against her
-older people always talk to young children in a funny way, such as telling your son to see how far he can reach, and then tickle him under the arms
-we all say to young children lies about the easter bunny, father xmas and the tooth fairy
-there will be times when you son comes up to you and mentions something she has said, and may query it with you, this will be an indication of what she has said to him.
Basically if she is taking her medication, going to Headspace and you can trust her with being honest, then there shouldn't be any problem, what does worry me is that you may complain to your husband about her, which could have the tendency to put a barrier between the two of you, and force you apart, I definitely hope not, but I think you have to abide by what your husband wants for a trial period. Geoff.

Community Member
Thank you very much for your sensible answer. We wen through that kind of dilemma already last 2015 we've been lied, been fraud with money by her in a calculus manner, I don't trust her, nobody in my husbands family trust her anymore. She manipulates people to feel sorry for her then later on she will have fight with them, she stayed in different houses already but she did not last long, one of them put AVO on her. She have this character that don't seems to have remourse and no empathy. So many times that she could've been in juvenile jail already but because of her age and my husband family tried to save her from being on jail, which for me I think that's the only way to maybe make her realise the consequence of what she's been doing. She needs a help big time. But being a mother for a 4 yrs old I will not risk my sons mental health. It's like I'm the only one who is dead worried and I don't where to get help about this. I cannot sleep well at night. It's hard coz my son loves people he knows she is his sister and love her, but how I can I explain to him to be careful about her. Hope someone here can help me what to do.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Pinkoala, this does prove to be a difficult situation, but everything you have said is typical of a person like her, where I was looking after an elderly chap, who made his son POA and was living with him.
He would deceive his father in every way he could, stealing his life savings about $4000, 'borrow' money from him to buy grog, gamble with, as well as buy drugs, and then I came onto the scene as I had known the elderly chap for years, but hadn't seen him because of long depression and tok over, not being POA but looking after him.
We would change his pin number frequently, because if the chap had a sleep in the afternoon his son would find his wallet and go on a spending spree, so that stopped him from stealing any money.
The list of things I could mention, but I think you get the gist, or perhaps the chap took out an AVO against him because he tried to kill him, but he still stayed at the same house, which I totally disagreed with.
To tell your son about her is where you will need to be careful, especially if he loves her, because all she is going to do is dispute any bad comment said to her and convince your son it's not true.
I do believe that you need to make some drastic changes, if your husband doesn't understand what's actually happening.
It's not going to be easy and you know that, but please keep in touch with us. Geoff.