How do i help her?(4 Posts)
I'm a mum of one incredibly well behaved 6 year old girl. Her dad and i have been separated since her birth and he has very little sporadic contact (his own choice) with her. 2 years ago i fell in love with a childhood friend. We were together long distance for a year and then moved in together near where he is based and 6 months ago we got married. He is divorced with 3 children of his own (11, 18, 20) and the 18 year old boy lives with us too. In the last year I've been very happy and the relationship is going well. I so want my daughter and husband to develop a close relationship and my husband is making every effort to do this. Howeverm every attempt is rejected by my daughter and she, on occasion, is rude to him. (e.g will only ask me to leave the dinner table not him, won't sit next to him, won't cuddle him, sometimes won't say goodnight or good morning to him, rejects attempts at interaction). I don't know what to do. I tell her off for being rude to him because i think it is unacceptable and that she is just being stubborn. However, I also think that perhaps this is her only form of protest to express that she finds the situation difficult (we have spent 5 years just the two of us, bar a one year relationship in which we lived with another partner). He is a very good dad but has quite a teasing manner which she is not used to.
I desperately need advice about how to help her to express her feelings about the situation instead of behaving badly towards him and also how to manage mine and his hopes and expectations. What can i do?
Been there too, when my DD was 10. It took her 3 years to get used to DP's existence in my life, and we didn't move in together until she was ready for it. (have different probs now, but that's a different story...) Remember, she's had to get used to huge changes - new 'father', new home, new school, sharing you with him AND his children.
Give her time, and encourage DH to tone down his teasing. From my experience, most children hate it. May be better not to force his company on her, give her some space and let things develop at her pace. She's had to cope with sharing you before, and maybe she thinks your new partner is also only temporary. He may have to prove himself to her, by showing that he's not going to leave you. Also, she's had to change her home, and that will take her time to get used to. Don't insist on her sitting next to him, or cuddling him or even talk to him and make sure you and your DH don't show that you're upset or angry at her behaviour. If she's incredibly rude, just tell her it's not acceptable to be rude to anyone in your home, and leave it at that - the main thing is, she needs to know that you're still her mum, and you still love her, and that your DH isn't taking her place. And make sure he gives her nice Christmas gifts - things she really wants or likes - you can get lots of tiny things for 6 year olds quite cheaply, maybe he could make her up a special stocking - and he could do little things she likes - maybe hire a DVD she enjoys - she may not show any gratitude, but the thoughtfulness will register.
How does she get on with his children, especially the one who lives with you? They may be a bridge.
I agree about asking him to tone down the teasing - it's a loathsome activity to sensitive children, especially young ones, because they don't see it as teasing, they see it as criticism or getting at them, almost to the point of bullying. So taking that out of the equation might help for starters.
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