Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: down in the hunker
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I met my BF's daughter when she was 10. She lives with her mom except for school breaks and holidays and 7 weeks in the summer. Her dad and I don't live together, but we do spend a significant amout of time together.
When I first starting dating him, and was rather freaked out at the prospect of meeting her (I have no children of my own) , I bought some books - The Courage to Be a Step Mother and Stepmotherhood: how to survive without feeling left out or wicked. I don't know if they helped, they talked about negative stuff a lot which didn't apply to me, but might be helpful for you.
If your son seems to be tagging along after her a lot, make sure to get him before she starts to get annoyed. Sometimes girls that age like to "mother" littler kids.
I think a big part of it is giving her space, but letting her know you are there for her if she needs you and that you will love her no matter what.
As she gets older, it will get harder, just because of the natural moodiness that girls go through. My bf's daughter is 13 now and sometimes it is miserable. But I can go home, so hopefully you have some space of your own in the house to retreat to when things get rough and you just want to be alone. I've found it helpful to try to remember how I was at that age and, again, I got some books (How to talk so your teen will listen, and listen so your teen will talk, and Get out of my life, but first will you drive me and cheryl to the mall?) The How to Talk book is great, and they make a version for How to Talk so your Kids..., you might pick that up, too.
You might try to find a family counselor (especially since she's dealing with her mom's issues, too) who works with blended families.