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Stepchild says they don't feel loved?

(8 Posts)
999UserAlert Sun 05-Feb-17 23:22:23

My DSC has told my DH that they "feel like a stranger" to two of my children, and apparently also said they don't feel loved by DH. This was said during their alone time together.
There have been some difficulties in our (DH and I) relationship recently, but I'm not sure where this has come from. All the children play very happily together, there are some squabbles, nothing more than usual.

I have spoken to my own mother who DSC is close with, and she believes this to be "borrowed words" as DSC is not usually as sophisticated at expressing feelings in this way. Very likely from DSC's mother who has made reference many times to our 'new family' not being welcoming to DSC. It is simply not true, but now DH is worried. What to do now for the best?

swingofthings Mon 06-Feb-17 16:29:00

I can give the perspective from a child who grew up from separated parents. When I used to come to see my father, I often felt unloved too. The reason is because everything was about my step mum's daughter, what she wanted to eat, what she wanted to do, what she wanted to talk about etc...

There was really nothing wrong with this because it was their normal dynamic when I wasn't there, but it meant that instead of feeling I was part of the family, I felt more like I was visiting someone's else family. For instance, they would spend a whole meal, talking about their previous' week-end visit to friends I'd never meant, bringing up conversations they had, plans they made, all things that meant nothing to me and made me feel excluded.

Or it was talk about DD's school and who went there, and what happened in the week. They never showed much interest in my school because they knew nobody going there, so it was usually a 5 seconds question about how was school and that was it.

There was also talks about future holidays they would go when I was away with my mum, everyone getting excited about it, looking at brochures.

None of this was malicious in any way, just that they didn't see the need to adjust their day to day life to when I was coming. As time went, I wanted to go and less and less. Things got better when I think my dad picked up on the dynamics and we started to do more things just him and I. My SM wasn't happy about it at all, so it affected my relationship with her, but at least I felt more integrated as I could have more of my father's attention.

SecondsLeft Mon 06-Feb-17 16:54:33

That's a really interesting point swing - and some things OP could address. Take a long term view, build activities you all like doing together, and that DH and DSC, and you and DSC like doing together (like say, a programme you and dsc prefer to the others, or a favourite meal you like to make for them).

workingmumsarebad Mon 06-Feb-17 19:15:30

Swing - thank you for that post. You have as an adult articulated what my DCS have been trying to say to their DF but failing to get it across. ( other than their exclusion is pre meditated and quite malicious)

He has just dropped them off from school and I made him read it - the look on his face was the light dawning. All I said was now do you get it- he does. Long sit down with DCS and discussion on what they did not like - let's see what happens.

Evergreen777 Mon 06-Feb-17 19:22:57

Would it be worth speaking to your DC to very their take on things ? Not in a way that's in any way accusing them of excluding the DSC, but just whether they'd have any idea why DSC might be feeling a bit out of things right now?

You could be right that it's being fuelled by the ex. But it's also possible that there's been some interaction between the kids that you're not aware of. Could be as innocent as your kids talking about some holiday with their dad, or something that happened when DSC wasn't there. But I've sometimes found my DC have an understanding of things with the DSC that I'd not been aware of myself

swingofthings Tue 07-Feb-17 18:00:53

Oh, thank you for your comments. If it can help a child feeling better integrated in their second family, than that would make me very happy.

There are a number of threads here about whether children should have their own room at their nrp or go on holidays with them. Of course it is often not financially possible to do so, but anything that can help the children feel like they have their own space, both physically, emotionally and socially in that home, the happier they will be to there, especially as they become teenagers and having that privacy whilst also being listened to is essential to their feeling that they belong.

999UserAlert Thu 09-Feb-17 08:47:21

Thank you, your comments have been quite insightful.

Well, my children don't go to the same primary school, and we only really do family activities together when DSC is here, so there are no 'shared' experiences in that sense, that they can leave DSC out of. DH has been working fairly long hours for some time now, and so they also barely see him during the week.

I have asked them, and they are not sure.

Unfortunately we are not in a financial position to offer a separate room. That could be a problem because the house may seem like my own children's 'world' so to speak, but nothing can be done there for now.

Thanks all, I'll keep an eye on the situation.

swingofthings Thu 09-Feb-17 17:53:16

Don't worry, you don't need a separate room, but things like them have some little say over the room, say if you ever decide to redecorate, being able to pick their own bedding, maybe having their own chest of drawers with a lock so they know only they can open it.

It might be an issue if your children do see the rooms as theirs, refer to it as 'you have a bed in my bedroom, or you can put your things in my drawer' and/or they have different habits in terms of lights on/off and they feel that they have to adapt completely to your children's habit. If that is the case, maybe having a talk with your children to explain that when your SCs are not their, it is their room, but when they are there, it is as much your SCs as theirs.

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