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Step cousin issues

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
It's been years since I have posted here but I knew this was the right place to get a gentle way to handle things because right now, my mama bear is coming out and I just want to lash out at a child.

I'm getting remarried and while my fiancé doesn't have kids, he is close to his sisters kids, more her sons than the girl because he always thought the girl was a little bratty. The girl is 10 and my daughter is 9. We thought it would be perfect as they were so close in age. Turns out the girl is very mean to my daughter and excludes her all the time. I've told my daughter just to ignore her and do her own thing.

But at my shower the other day, the girl was SOO mean to my DD. I just found out last night from a teenager that overheard some things and told her mom. Apparently the girl told my DD numerous times to go away at the activities that were set up for the kids. And then she told her that my FHs parents weren't her grandparents. His parents have always told my kids that they are their grandparents and want them to call them grandma and grandpa.

I feel terrible for my daughter. Obviously the girl is very jealous and she's lashing out. How do I handle this? Should I talk to the girls mom? Should I just try to help my DD learn techniques for dealing with this?

Our wedding is in a few weeks and I want this to be very special and fun for my kids. I would be devastated if this repeated itself on that day.
post #2 of 9

Perhaps you should talk to the girl's Mother, if you think that will help.  Or your fiance should talk to the girl's Mother.  Teaching your daughter how to cope is always a plus.  And as far as the grandparents, that's easy- "Grandma and Grandpa said I was their grandchild, so your opinion doesn't count, other little girl."

post #3 of 9

I find it does help my kids (especially my 8 and 10 year old) when I share with them the underlying feelings that I think might be contributing to bad behavior. There was a girl who was really struggling in my son's class and was being really disruptive and mean to other kids. I talked to my son about what was going on for this little girl (in her life outside of school) and why she might be acting out, as well as how out-of-control she must feel when she was behaving that way. We practiced things he could say to her, as well as ways to get help from an adult when needed. My daughter also found it helpful when she was feeling upset about some teasing at school. It really did seem to help them to understand that the meanness was a reflection of how the person was feeling inside and generally has very little to do with the person they are taking it out on.

On a practical note for your wedding, is there an older friend or a relative who could be charged with hanging out with your daughter during the wedding? Someone who would be able to help your daughter navigate those situations? You could tell your daughter that you know the day will be busy and you want to make sure she has a "go to" person for times you aren't available.

post #4 of 9

How very sad that this step cousin feels such jealousy and anger toward your daughter.  The best solution is probably to deal just with your daughter.  If your fiance has felt this step cousin to bratty all along, chances are speaking to her mom will not do much good as this is really not a new issue for them.  While it is unfortunate that you should have to ask the younger of the two children to be the more mature one and learn to deal with the situation, she will be all the better for it in the long run. I agree with a previous post that explaining to your daughter that none of us really knows what might be going on in this step cousins life to cause her to have such feelings of anger and jealousy could do a lot to help your daughter be understanding towards this mean cousin. Good Luck.

post #5 of 9

I think that Aricha has great advice on explaining to your dd why her cousin is acting like this. I would have your FH talk to his sister, too. I would also make sure to have an adult near them when possible so that dd isn't subjected to indiscriminate meanness. Hopefully the jealousy will die down soon.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I don't think talking to the sister will help as I think she will get very defensive. My Fiance mentioned it to his mom so that she could talk to the girl and reiterate how important she is. I think the sister might be a little jealous as well due to the amount of time her parents are spending on the wedding which is another reason I think talking to her might not work. I reiterated to my daughter that the girl was jealous and was having a hard time with the idea of sharing her grandparents and that it must be hard for her to have to share after so many years. DD also knows that this girl has a VERY big issue with sharing in general so we talked about that too and how it isn't just sharing her things that is hard for her but also sharing people. We had a good discussion about how there is enough love to go around and she even brought up how it didn't bother her when my sister adopted 2 kids and how she didn't feel jealous that she now had to share my mom. I think she understands a little more about what's driving the girl to be this way and will hopefully not take it personally. I did also give her about 4-5 people that she could go to that day if the girl is being mean to her. I know that I will be tied up with wedding activities and may not be able to be there to help her but she now knows who to turn to and what to do. And I have asked my mom and maid-of-honor if they could help keep an eye on things as well.
post #7 of 9

  That is very sad. I had a similiar experience as a child. When visiting my dad every other weekend my stepsister made it clear I was only a visitor, and it was HER house and she didn't want me there. My dad wouldn't say anything out of fear of angering my stepmother (she was very defensive when it came to her daughter and we all had to accomodate her precious daughter and who cared about anyone else) and i was too scared to tell my mom. What could've my mom done anyway. It wasn't happening at her house. So i had nobody to stand up for me. Left me feeling very unwanted and as if i was a "bother" when visiting my dad. Now as an adult my stepsister and i have absolutely no bond and only tolerate one another.

 

   If it helps any, not even biological cousins remain close. I'm not close to any of my cousins. Everyone grew up, had families, and drifted apart. We are now only Facebook friends and at most i might see them once every few years. Once both my grandparents died, which was the bond that tied us together everyone just went on with their own seperate lives, whereas as a kid i spent every christmas with my cousins and lots of get togethers with them at my grandparents house, and now we are like distant relatives.

post #8 of 9

Would it be possible to add an element to your ceremony that acknowledges that the kids are becoming part of your future husband's family, as well as you? I went to a wedding once where everyone present said "I do" for one of the vows... I can't remember exactly what it was about in their case, something like being supportive of their relationship/it takes a village? Maybe have everyone say a few vows about being a family. Even if it wasn't for the issue with the cousin, it might still be nice for them to have an 'official' part in the wedding. My kids signed the registry with myself and my husband and our witnesses, and even just that you could tell they felt was super important.

post #9 of 9

My first marriage was between me and my exhusband and my son and his daughter.  We did the usual "do you take her, do you take him" vows, then my son was asked if he took my ex as his Dad and my ex was asked if he took my son as his son, and then my stepdaughter and I were asked similar questions, then, my ex and I got wedding rings, and the two children got memory gifts- a little gold grandfather clock for my son and a worry box with crystal angels in it for my stepdaughter.

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