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Why does BioMom like setting up dissapointment? - Page 5

post #81 of 89
I'm pretty sold on the idea that the kid should go to the shower - mostly because of the long-term issues of her missing it and how that might make her feel as well as the importance of it as a significant enough family activity to miss a friend's party. Also, there's no indication that the kid is dying to go to the b'day party as opposed to the shower (though it also seems like she hasn't been asked).

However, I'm a little disturbed by the idea that children are "just children" and aren't capable of knowing their feelings or wants or making certain decisions. In general, I would just expect a much different approach on a board that's pretty strongly ap in its focus - a key part of which, in my understanding, is honoring and empathizing with the feelings of children. It doesn't mean they dictate everything, but I do think their feelings should be asked for, acknowledged and taken into genuine consideration wherever possible.

I think this is particularly a difficult question in blended families where children are often expected to meet the emotional needs of the adults in the families and it is too easy not to pay attention to what the kids are feeling. I think it's a little too easy to say "I'm the adult so know what's best". We have our own feelings, prejudices and needs that just as much can get in the way of rational thinking as a 4 year old's lack of maturity can.

Anyways, I know I've gone off-topic but I wanted to raise this issue because I've found it a little disturbing. For ex., in this case I don't understand what is wrong with asking the child about the party and talking to her about the shower and about what she would prefer/wants to do and then having a conversation about what's going to happen (regardless of what the outcome is). If it's that in this particular case she wanted to go to the party but the parents felt the shower was more important, acknowledging why she wanted to go to the party, but explaining why in this case you are better able to see the bigger picture, empathizing with her disappointment and perhaps trying to make alternate arrangements with the preschool friend would all go a long way to making her feel that her opinions and feelings matter even if they can't be the main consideration always. I'm not sure why that's not part of this process. And when we ask kids what they think we learn a lot about their worlds. For ex., we're all like "whatever about this party, which there are dozens of and they're not even that close" and that might be true; or it might be that the child has a whole different perspective that we from our adult perspective can't understand but could be equally valid. Or we may find that the child desperately wants to go to the shower and this is all a storm in a teacup. We learn a lot by asking.
post #82 of 89
I agree with the post about asking what the dsd wants, and acknowledging everyone's feelings regardless of the outcome.

That is not unreasonable.

Clearly there are different views about going to the party, but I agree that whatever the outcome, open and gentle communication should be used to work anything out with dsd.

I also like the phrase "storm in a teacup." I have never heard that before.
post #83 of 89
Thread Starter 
I'm honestly not sure if we can have a conversation like that with my DSD... she doesn't communicate that well yet. If we ask her a question we get a response that has nothing to do with the question usually.

I find it remarkable that many parents here talk of conversations they have with their 4 y/o's and sometimes wonder if my DSD is delayed in some type of communication skills somewhere. She is very brilliant in a lot of areas, but holding any kind of conversation, not so much.

If I ask her about school, she may start singing, or will say I don't know or answer with something else totally unrelated. I just don't think she has full comprehension of communication dynamics yet. Not saying that "oh she is just a child and won't be able to make a decision." Not saying that at all... I just don't think we'd be able to have a conversation about validating her feelings and her understanding it at this point... possibly in a year?

She has still not mentioned anything about the party to us. I do know, however, that she had her Mom take her to get a present for her little sister's party. So we're going with that... and her Mom is actually being pretty awesome about it right now.
post #84 of 89
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
You know... I'm thinking here...

Is it just because I'm the StepMom??

If your DC was invited to a birthday party the same day as your new baby's shower... would you make arrangments for your DC to go to the birthday party instead of being with their family celebrating the upcoming arrival of their new sibling???

I'd really love an honest answer here.
It would depend on the age of the child and how child friendly the babyshower was going to be. I don't know many 4-5yos that would enjoy watching someone else get tons of attention and hear other people all excited about a new baby that I might be afraid is going to take my place. I find most baby showers a bore even as an adult though, so that's where I'm coming from.
post #85 of 89
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
She has still not mentioned anything about the party to us.
We often find ourselves in the situation where my step-daughter's mom says she (step-daughter) really wants to do something, but we have either never heard that from my step-daughter or we have actually heard the opposite. For example, her mom was insistent (for years, I think) that my step-daughter wanted to cut her hair short. We not only never heard her talk about cutting her hair (even when the subject of haircuts came up) but often heard her talk about how long her hair was getting, how long it would be soon, how it looked like "princess hair," etc. She really liked all the hairstyles I could do with her long hair, most of which I wouldn't have been able to do with short hair.

I don't think it was a matter of mom making it up or necessarily putting ideas in her head. It seemed like when she was with mom, she wanted short hair for whatever reason, and when she was with us, she wanted long hair.

Because we didn't think she could comprehend the big picture (like that once you cut your hair it was going to be short every day, and that it takes a really long time to grow long again), we (and of course by that I mean my husband) opted to leave her hair long until we felt like she was old enough to make that choice with a better understanding of what that choice meant. Recently she told her mom she wanted to cut her hair, mom told my husband, and he had a conversation with his daughter and felt like she was in a place to make that decision and understand it.
post #86 of 89
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to update that DSD had a great time at the shower. She was excited to show everyone her big sister shirt and had a blast playing with her cousins.

She also helped open some presents and received a few Big Sister presents too which was really sweet.
post #87 of 89
That's great! It sounds like it was a really special experience for her, and will help set her up well for the arrival of her sibling.
post #88 of 89
Yay! I'm glad it all worked out.
post #89 of 89
That's awesome. I also think it's really great that you and your family are doing so much to be supportive of her as a big sister and another child in the family, not some extra that gets displaced by the real grandchild/niece/etc. I'm sure it makes all the difference in the world for her, and I assume for your husband.
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