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A friend in need of some help.(24 Posts)
A friend of mine has met someone and her 10 year old daughter is having none of it.
The guy my friend has met is a builder and they met as he's working on the site where she lives. Her 10 year old daughter has become violent and very moody since finding out that her mum has met someone new. Her younger son appears to like the guy as he's been colouring pictures for him and waving every time he drives passed.
They are going out on a date tomorrow evening and my friends brother is watching the children. The daughter is refusing point blank to go.
The daughter is constantly hitting her mum but is also coming out with things like "if you go out with him you won't love us anymore" and "I don't want him to replace my dad".
This is my friends first date in 4 years.
Has anyone got anyone got any advice on what she can do?
It sounds like her father has had a big influence in how she feels about mummy's new date.
The younger one probably can't quite grasp the emotional manipulation, but as they get older it's easier for parents to use emotional blackmail (ie he will never love you or mummy like I love you he isn't your real dad)
But she hasn't seen her dad in 3 weeks. My friend and the builder have only become closer over the past week or so.
The children have different fathers. The youngest has never seen his and the daughter sees hers once in a blue moon. Her dad is married and has another child.
It sounds far far to early for for her children to be introduced to the idea of this person never mind actually meeting him.
It was by total accident that her daughter found about it. The knew of him because obviously he's working across the road and he's come over for a chat with us all while he was on his lunch break and things. They exchanged numbers and then the daughter was picking up her mums phone before her mum had a chance to get it before her. So she found out by pure accident.
It doesn't mean that her father hasn't had an influence. The same thing happened to my mum and her new partner before her ex even knew. Because he had drilled it into my little brothers head that his mummy shouldn't have boyfriends etc.
There isn't a reason a 10 year old girl would automatically start acting out violently against her mum because of his unless she's had a strong influence to do so IMO.
Of course the Dad's happy family with a new baby and him so uninterested in her, coupled with her half-brother's lack of contact with her little brother, has made this little girl panic that her mum will abandon her too. She's been given the message that when mummies and daddies find new partners, they dump their previous kids and have new ones.
It's very unfortunate that she found out about this date.
Her mum needs to reassure her that she's only going out for dinner with someone who wants to be friends, but that whoever she meets, whatever happens in her life, she'll never leave her and she'll always be there for her.
Poor little girl.
Her ex husband may not have had anything to do with saying Mummy shouldn't have men in her lives.
Children reach these conclusions by themselves.
That's what I was thinking too. The daughter was fine with the guy until she realised that her mum had his number and then it's just escalated from there.
My friend is just at her wits end and I really feel for her.
askbasil that's probably why actually.. didn't think of that.
This little girl definitely needs to talk to her mum.
I have to say I don't think it's absolute that the dad has had any influence on the girl- it's hard to think your mummy might love someone else... and that it would take her away! Sounds as though she's feeling insecure and is massively acting out. Your friend will need to tread carefully with the new guy whilst making sure the girl knows she is loved and cared for regardless of romantic feelings.
If the kids have different dads then maybe she didn't have a good experience with her brothers father, and that's coming out now? Even if it's just that she felt left out.
Care and consistency, and a bit of discipline on the hitting. She'll ease up over time. It's raw still.
That's what we were also thinking. We think she's very pushed out when it comes to her dad and their new daughter. As she's said that her half sister gets everything, she choose what to watch on TV and then it's not allowed to be changed, she's not allowed to play on her room and things like that.
My friend is unable to have any more children so she hasn't got to worry about that however the guy that she's going on a date with has a daughter. So I'm not sure if she's thinking what happens in her dad's with her half sister will then happen with the new guy and his daughter.
My friend has tried explaining that she's just going for dinner with him as they are friends and then she asked of she could go too but when told no, she broke down and then became violent. My friend is trying to reassure her that he will not replace anyone and she won't love them any less no matter what happens.
She's asking alot of questions but when my friend answers them the daughter is never satisfied. The answers just aren't enough for her.
She absolutely adored her little brothers father. He spoilt her rotten and took her out all the time before her little brother was born.
It sounds like this poor girl has been through alot. Her Dad moves out and gets a new family and doesn't see her very often anymore. Then she gets attached to a new man, ends up with a new sibling and then he leaves too never to be seen again. If I was your friend I'd forget about dating for a while and look into some counselling or therapy for my daughter. She is obviously struggling.
"I like this man a lot, but you are my priority so I'm going to put you first and make sure you feel more settled before I start dating anyone."
This is her first date in 4 years. She split with her daughters dad 8 years ago and her sons dad 5 years ago. She has literally had no males what so ever in her life since then.
I don't agree that she shouldn't go on a date with this man. She is entitled to a love life too, she is not just a mother but a woman and human being too. This type of martyrdom helps no one.
If this was my daughter I would sit her down and ask her what she was afraid of happening if I got a boyfriend. It's probably related to abandonment or mum not having any time for her anymore. I would then reassure her that she would always be my number 1 priority and that would never change and that we would still do lots of things together.
And then I would take things veeeery slowly with the new man and keep it casual for a long while, definitely not have him move in and start playing daddy anytime soon.
It isn't about being a martyr. But the decisions made by the adults in this girl's life have clearly caused damage. She needs to be given help to deal with it and that takes priority over dating at the moment IMO.
Her daughter doesn't particularly like it when she can't get her own way and will tend to strop over it and has hit out before. It's just gotten worse since finding out about her mum going out on a date. She's also told her mum that "she's not going out for food" and when asked why she just replies "because" and then will start hitting out again. So we're unsure if it's because mummy is going somewhere without her or whether she can't get her own way after telling mummy she can't do it.
Her mum has tried explaining that her and her brother will always be number 1 priority no matter what.
The daughter has also come out with things like "I don't want you to get married". Which my friend has no intentions what so ever of doing.
My friend is going to take things very very slow. She's been messed around by both kids father's which is why she hasn't dated anyone in so many years.
I would postpone the date in this situation, just say something has come up with the guy and arrange a new timing/location etc and keep it under the radar.
I would put some boundaries in place with the daughter re the phone etc, I would also try to start a dialogue around her attempted control of her DM but reassure that her that she isn't going to loose her DM. Maybe plan a new activity specific to the DD. The DD is clearly lashing out as she feel vulnerable.
I would also encourage your friend to have a social life, can you mind her kids at home when she goes out? then her going out seems more like the norm.
My DSIS was a nightmare when my parents starting dating after divorce, she made my Dads life hell over it. She was and is very controlling, I think that your friend needs to set some boundaries.
I understand what you're saying. This date has been arranged for the last fortnight. He has to go away to work next week and she has other commitments which is why they chose tomorrow.
She's trying to put boundaries in place which is when her daughter is lashing out more because she's not getting her own way. If she's texting anyone on her phone it's constantly, who are you talking to, why has he/she messaged you. She doesn't seem to have any privacy at the moment.
I have told her that I'd have the children for her to go out but because of how much her daughter is acting out at the moment she isn't comfortable with leaving her with anyone. We also think her hormones are all over the place at the moment which obviously isn't helping.
I could understand her reason for acting out if it was just about this guy but I honestly think it would be over any guy.
My friend stopped to speak to a male friend she hadn't seen in 8 years whilst out shopping and her daughter wouldn't speak to her for the rest of the day.
I understand she's trying to take the open and honest route with her daughter so her daughter doesn't think she's keeping secrets as that seems to be a big issue also at the moment. But literally nothing seems to be working.
I don't think 10 year olds should get to dictate their mothers love lives. Yes of course her feelings should be considered and they need to be sensitive to the fact she's feeling insecure but that's not a justification for this level of control. If pandered to this behaviour can get worse and worse, clear boundaries need to be set here.
There is no point in telling this girl that she is number 1 priority - words mean nothing, and she has been on the receiving end of discovering that parents have put her last.
The stepfather lavished her with attention and then just disappeared! See all the threads on here about ghosting, and grown women getting upset by men they've known a couple of months disappearing? Can you imagine how hard this has been for her?
Telling her she's a priority sounds like bullshit - because in her mind being a priority means not going on the date. I don't think it's right that she dictates that - but you have to be clear on what she means by priority before you think it's in any way reassuring to say "you're my priority".
I would postpone.
I would tell her that it is going to happen, because mummy gets to choose that - it's important she doesn't think she can stop things. But I'd tell her that as it's upsetting her so much, I have moved it to +2 weeks so we had more time to talk about her feelings.
Then I'd get a babysitter for the son and spend an entire day love bombing the girl. Lots of time together.
Then next day, I'd approach her again to talk about her fears. I wouldn't dismiss them. Like. I wouldn't say "no that's not going to happen". I'd say "I can see why that worries you - what can we do to reassure you?" or "let's make sure we talk about that to make sure it doesn't happen".
And I'd consider a play therapist or regular therapist with family experience. I don't think what this girl has been through should be underestimated.
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