How can I help DSD to feel comfortable at home?(7 Posts)
Dsd is 8. We also have my ds who is 6, dss1 who is 7 and dss2 who is almost 4.
The last few times dsd has been with us (eow and friday nights, plus a few hrs every Tuesday) she has complained of her tummy hurting.
It turns out that she has been holding in her poo because we dont have a lock on our bathroom door, and shes been scared of one of the boys bursting in on her.
Obviously I am going to rectify this but I feel sad. We only have a 2 bedroom house, so she shares the main bedroom with the boys (we have 2 bunk beds) I am conscious of the fact that she will probably begin puberty soon (her mum started her periods at 9 and dsd is 9 in August) and I would really like to give her a bit more privacy and girlie space but I dont know how! I am worried she'll stop wanting to come and stay and that would really upset dh, plus I love her very much too
Does anyone have any suggestions?
I would keep a (secret that the boys don't know about) stash of period products in the bathroom and show/tell her where they are and that they are hers and hers only. Make sure there are little nappy sacks and a bin in there too so she can dispose of everything. Include things like heat pads or even better buy her her own hot water bottle for your house and tell her she doesn't need to explain why she wants one she just needs to ask you or dad to fill it for her. My boys are always asking for theirs so it wouldn't be odd in this houses. You could buy one for all the DC so it's no big deal for her that she has one.
Wrt privacy, when it comes to getting ready for bed, teeth brushing etc allow her to go to the bathroom alone to do all that so she can do whatever else she needs to do without having to wrestle the boys out of the bathroom.
Have a chat with all the children together about privacy and allowing everyone their own time in the bathroom and not going into other people's drawers in the bedroom etc.
All previous suggestions are great. I just wanted to add, you sound really lovely and like a wonderful step mum.
Talk to her, talk to her, talk to her! Explained that you totally appreciate that she would prefer if she could have a room of her own, and you really wish you could offer her this, but that it is not possible because you can't afford a house with another room.
Talk to her about puberty, tell her that she should never be embarrassed about having her periods, that she can always talk to you about any concern, that the boys will most likely find out, but if they make fun of her, she would come to tell you and you'll make it clear there is nothing to laugh about. That she shouldn't worry about accidents, they happened to everyone.
Buy her a locker of some sort, big enough to put her things in with her own lock so she knows no one can access it. Tell her that you will always try to make things as comfortable for her as it is possible, but that you can't do so if she doesn't talk to you about it.
Of course, that's a conversation that her dad could also have with her.
Does she sleep on the top or bottom bunk? Could she have a curtain or canopy round her actual bed space? Even if it's transparent, it still sends a girlie do not disturb signal! Of course, the boys might want them too. There are some nice ideas on Pinterest. A mirror of her own will probably come in handy too.
Maybe DH (and you) could start thinking of different ways to spend time with her in preparation for the day when she might not want to come and stay over, as I understand that can be a normal part of the teenage years, even in the best of blended families. A shared hobby or interest you do together, a special cafe you go to every so often, supporting her with a particular hobby or interest etc.
My DD (13) and DS (17) share a bedroom at their dad's, and spend a similar amount of time there to your DSC. I worried when they were younger about how they'd cope with bedroom sharing as they got older, and privacy, but actually it's been OK. Their main complaints have been about the other one putting lights on, playing music, or using their phone in bed and keeping them awake. They now have a movable divider thing which gives them a bit more privacy, but puberty hasn't really been a particular issue - they get changed under duvets or in the bathroom. And I've also seemed to manage quite an open relationship with both of them - I don't think DD would be bothered by DS seeing packs of sanitary towels around for instance. He'd know what there were wouldn't see it as a big deal. So I'd try and be relaxed about puberty and everything with all the kids and that may help. But as suggested above, a curtain or something around all the beds may help - and also talking to DSD to see what she thinks would help. She'll understand that you can't magic her up another bedroom, but may have some ideas of her own that would make things better for her.
In terms of sanitary towels, once she does start, - My own DD will ask for what she needed, and but DSD was/is more private about things, so I always buy plenty in a variety of sizes and put them in the cupboard where we keep spare shampoo, toothpaste, etc and have told all the kids to help themselves to anything needed from that cupboard any time. Seems to work, as they keep running out!
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