I need some advice from those that have done this! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 07-26-2006, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all...I was wondering if I could get some advice from some seasoned step-parents. I have a 7 year old dd...we are in process of moving in with who will be future step dad before too long. Making the move from tiny apartment to big home. I have been divorced 2.5 years, and my dd sees her dad a couple times a week. He is a well meaning guy, but the ultimate short and pissy authoritarian. We never had the warm fuzzy family thing going. New step-dad is wonderful...kind, loving, stable and awesome. My daughter is having a tough time adjusting to everything. She spent 2 years beggin not to have to go to real dads. She always wanted to be over with new father figure. Now suddenly when I have the talk with her about making it official, and moving in, she changed. "I dont need another dad." ..."I have a dad." She doesnt want to sleep in new room. And just having what I am guessing is normal reaction to this change. She really loves the impending step-dad...and he is very supportive and game to do what we need to make it smooth.

How does all of this work? Today was her first real meltdown and I was not ready for it. Book recommendations? Advice?

Thanks so much...
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#2 of 7 Old 07-26-2006, 01:29 PM
 
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Haven't been in your situation but would it help if you were to spend a day with her and pick out things for her new room? That way it can feel more like home to her and not like she is a guest. Hope others are able to relate.
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#3 of 7 Old 07-26-2006, 01:58 PM
 
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I'm sort of on the other side of this, I'm the step parent the kids had to adjust to. I've found that when I have the most trouble bio mom has been bad mouthing one or both of us. Is there any chance that dad is influencing this new resistance? I also agree with Starr make a bit of a fuss about this being "her" new place.
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#4 of 7 Old 07-26-2006, 07:09 PM
 
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I'd talk about how change is scary: confirm that her relationship with bio-dad is not affected. You're gaining a lover and a partner, and she is gaining a step-parent: this doesn't mean that he's a new dad for her, or that anything else has changed.
And then I'd give it time. Lots of time. And then a little bit more time. And expect hiccups every few days/weeks/months.
The way I look at it is that if you added a new baby to the household you'd get maybe three, maybe six months of intense emotions: so why would it be different if you added another grownup?

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#5 of 7 Old 07-26-2006, 07:21 PM
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i have an older 10 yr old dd. I married her new step dad 1.5 yrs ago and he had 3 ds from a previous marriage (now 16, 14, 13). So she went through some huge changes. I tried to prepare her verbally for months as best I could. her meltdown came a month or two into the marriage. I had never seen her do it before. It kind of freaked me. i spent a couple of hours with her holding her and I guess what you can say totally mothering/ babying her) . I felt so bad. My husband told me to try not doing that the next time. Talk to her, here her out and move on. Change happens. So I did. She never had a meltdown like that again - I mean she was hitting her head and saying she hates her life - it was unbelievable. So it hasnt happened since. Of course there are hiccups. Sometimes there are tears because someone got their feelings hurt. Blending is hard work, but if you persevere there are great rewards.
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#6 of 7 Old 07-31-2006, 02:25 PM
 
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My daughter was 7 when dh and I were married, and is 8 now.

I can honestly say that dd and dh have been through just about every phase in the book... seething resentment to clinging loveydoveyness. I think the important thing is to continue to maintain the stable and loving family relationships that you want to have endure.

If consistency and change are your daughter's issues (which it sounds like they are, given that this is all happening around the time of the move), then it's important not to let her current issues take over the family dynamic in too obvious of a way. It's hard to explain what I mean here--you need to strike a balance between letting her know that her concerns are heard and her feelings are valued, but making sure that she sees that her family is stable and won't be thrown entirely off kilter by her emotions.

Best of luck, and keep us updated!
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#7 of 7 Old 08-15-2006, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys. I really appreciate your input. An update. My exhusband now has an SO, who my daughter really seems to like. She is a PE teacher, and really seems to have it together. It is funny...when I was they only one with an SO, it was almost like I got some of the blame and anger put on me. Kind of like...you and daddy would be together if you and BF were not dating. Now, she seems pretty good with things. I have good things to say to her about my ex's SO, and he really likes mine. It all seemed to balance out. I am sure there will be growing pains, but I must say...having 4 loving parents is better than 2 that dont like one another!
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