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Partner who has a young daughter..

(14 Posts)
farthingwood Wed 08-May-13 09:19:46

Hi there,

I have been with my partner for just under a year, this weekend he told his 6 year old that I am his girlfriend (she knows me as someone who comes round for a cup of tea every now and again/ plays hide and seek with her etc)

He has her every weekend.

Can anyone recommend a book for me to read around the matter of doing things right for the best possible outcome for the child?

I have already read putting children first and gained a lot from that but there doesn't seem to be much literature out there about this.

Thank you

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 08-May-13 09:43:00

You don't need a book, just be yourself, be kind, play hide and seek and talk to the child the way you always have. She's a person so get to know her the way you would anyone else and let her get to know you. Kids can spot if you're being fake... smile

lookingfoxy Wed 08-May-13 10:33:58

If you get on with her fine then there's no need for you to change anything you've been doing up till now, she'll digest and deal with this perfectly well if nothing much changes.
Be prepared for the 'yuk, do you kiss' questions lol

farthingwood Wed 08-May-13 19:11:37

Thankyou, Im a Nanny and trainee primary teacher so quite able to be natural just interested in nuances and any boundaries that need to be established from the word go.. Hmm i think Im being a bit perfectionist youre right just be myself, exciting journey! xx

BabyHMummy Wed 08-May-13 19:19:56

As a relatively new step parent my advice would be discuss boundaries etc with ur dp. Ie if she is naughty what is acceptable for you to do or say etc, are u allowed to cuddle or administer tlc if she hurts herself etc

No amount of reading up will prepare you or her. All you can do isare sure she understands and feels included in your lives. I would go easy on any pda's in the early days and then maybe introduce a group hug when you arrive or leave so she doesn't feel threatened by ur closeness with her dad.

Hope ot goes well

exoticfruits Wed 08-May-13 19:21:13

I wouldn't read books either- much better to be yourself because you may have to keep it up for years and, as Cognito says, DCs are quick to spot a fake or words that don't match up to body language.
Just enjoy being with her and make a relationship that doesn't rely on DP. It is fairly easy to do crafty things etc without him.

farthingwood Wed 08-May-13 19:37:20

Thank you BHM, I like the idea of not many PDA's it makes sense and the group hug idea is lovely.

Exotic, thanks, yeah I think doing things with her to build our ownrl sounds lovely.
At the moment she is at the stage of thinking I'm the bees knees I play with her and can just do whatever she wants, I suppose I'm in a fortunate position that I can just enjoy her and leave the parenting to her parents.
I really adore him and her I want to be a positive force and supportive, just feel a bit out of my depth.

exoticfruits Wed 08-May-13 19:43:31

I should establish the boundaries e.g you are always polite to her and she has to be polite back sort of thing- if you ask her nicely to do something then you expect her to do it. If you let her get away with things in the early days it will be difficult to reverse. I had a 2 year relationship with someone with a 10 yr old DD and we managed to get on well- I missed her when it ended.

perfectstorm Wed 08-May-13 21:06:23

The fact you care this much and want to get it right for her so badly speaks volumes. I think that that little girl is extremely, extremely lucky, and bless you for wanting to be such a positive in her life. If all stepparents were like you, the world would be a much happier place.

I don't think you need a book. I think you sound like you have an interest in kids and a good heart, and that's all it takes.

BabyHMummy Wed 08-May-13 21:50:26

My stepdaughter is 7 and stepson is 9...the girl.is a lot easier to deal with i can tell you!!

Key is firm but fair and as exotic says establish rules from the start.

My 2 had naff all discipline at home and dp was overruled by his exw when he tried so they don't like being told no as it has never happened. They have had a bit of a culture shock since me and their dad moving in together. Luckily we both have firm ideas on ot and have agreed rules etc with each other and both stand firm. United front is important.

You sound like you are doing a Fab job already. Just keep doing what you are doing. She obviously likes you so just keep doing it hun

farthingwood Thu 09-May-13 08:55:47

Thanks so much for all your advice, yes I can see that it needs to be done intuitively, I suppose I was just looking for some identification really rather than a text book!! Which is what I've got from posting here so thankyou

nqtatwitsend Thu 09-May-13 09:21:21

I can echo most of what others have said. My partner has two girls, I met them 3 years ago when they were 6 and 9. They are truly lovely and they enrich my life. I tried reading books but I didn't get much out of them. I just had to be myself.
Lots of people have spoken about boundaries and they're right. One of the things I didn't really consider was my own personal boundaries. I was so thrilled that we were getting in that I was overly generous with the girls - let them borrow my stuff, come and chat to me in bed first thing in the morning etc.. i know that this doesn't seem like a big deal but three years on and they're still jumping into bed with me first thing in the morning, lounging on the bed at any time of the day and feeling free to 'borrow' my things (now extended to moisturisers and occasionally make up). It is really hard for me to break this cycle as I set it up at the start. So be a bit careful around that sort of thing.
Also, one of the reasons I think it's worked so well for us is that I don't see myself as a parent, more of a close aunty. I only rarely tell the girls off but I always support their dads decisions in front of the girls.
Good luck, don't underestimate the challenges of being a stepmum it is (in my opinion) one of the toughest and undervalued family roles.

nqtatwitsend Thu 09-May-13 09:21:24

I can echo most of what others have said. My partner has two girls, I met them 3 years ago when they were 6 and 9. They are truly lovely and they enrich my life. I tried reading books but I didn't get much out of them. I just had to be myself.
Lots of people have spoken about boundaries and they're right. One of the things I didn't really consider was my own personal boundaries. I was so thrilled that we were getting in that I was overly generous with the girls - let them borrow my stuff, come and chat to me in bed first thing in the morning etc.. i know that this doesn't seem like a big deal but three years on and they're still jumping into bed with me first thing in the morning, lounging on the bed at any time of the day and feeling free to 'borrow' my things (now extended to moisturisers and occasionally make up). It is really hard for me to break this cycle as I set it up at the start. So be a bit careful around that sort of thing.
Also, one of the reasons I think it's worked so well for us is that I don't see myself as a parent, more of a close aunty. I only rarely tell the girls off but I always support their dads decisions in front of the girls.
Good luck, don't underestimate the challenges of being a stepmum it is (in my opinion) one of the toughest and undervalued family roles.

staffroomwars Thu 09-May-13 09:24:55

My biggest advice is long term, be prepared for major ups and downs! At 6/7/ 12 you can be the bees knees, then 13-16 they may hate you like you created every fault in the world. Then at about 17/18 your relationship may work again.

What I'm saying is be consistent, not too reactive, and don't give up. Show you like them and don't keep changing on them. They almost always have a very very difficult patch, even when it works early on.

Vent your rage in anonymous forums when they push buttons. Visit the step parents forum for good advice and ignore most non-step as can be a tad idealistic

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