We have been separated for nearly 2 years. Dad has repartnered and my kids have recently been introduced to new partner and her child. My 8 year old daughter is really struggling with it. I’ve spoken with dad and asked if he can keep it separate as he sees the kids one day on weekend and one dinner and she is struggling. She has never had an issue going with him before. He disagrees and thinks they all need to move forward and accept his new life. My question isn’t about whether his choice was right or wrong. I just want to know what I can do to help my daughter cope with her situation. Dad has now suggested to the kids that they go on a weekend away together and she is beside herself. She’s asked him if she can just spend time with him, but he doesn’t want to.
I’ve explained to her that all she needs to think about is having fun and coming home happy. I’ve listened to her say she doesn’t want a step mum, she doesn’t want a bigger family and keeps telling me not to get divorced. I said dad has found a new girlfriend, just like how she stopped being friends with people at daycare and found new friends at school. As life goes on we make new relationships. I’ve said dad is trying to find his happiness. Short of all this, I don’t know how to ease her pain. She’s grieving for a family that has separated and now another one is being forced upon her. How do I support my girl? It breaks my heart to see her crying and powerless.
You sounds wonderful and as if you are doing everything you can. Short of getting her dad to do the right thing, I would maybe suggest she talks to a counsellor who can help her deal with these feelings moving forward. She is clearly struggling and as much as you care and love her, you might not be the person to help her on a deeper level as you part of the situation she finds herself in. I say this from my own experience with two daughter.
After two years I thought she would be used the situation of you and your ex being separated and accepted the idea that you are no longer together. Is there an issue with the girlfriend? Or does she not want to share dad? My suggestion to you is to dig a little deeper, or get someone else to as poster above has suggested.
she does need to get used to his new partner and her child if he sees her as long term potential.
Kids are resilient, she could be having loyalty issues, or maybe it’s less attention from
Dad. Have either of you given false hope to her of getting back together? telling dad will help him and the new girlfriend help her adjust more when she is with them
OP-thanks, I’m going to contact family relationship advice line and see if they can direct me to a local service who can help.
She definitely is very loyal to her family, so this could be part of the reason she doesn’t want anyone else coming in. I’ve explained to her that I’ll always be her mum and this person isn’t a replacement. I haven’t heard any remarks about the gf being mean. My son says she’s scary and he’s shy, but I tend to think he’s confused.
I’ve never given her false hope about us getting back together. Dad has said some confusing things to her that I’ve immediately cleared up.
Hopefully we can get some strategies to help her cope. She’s been thrown into such a difficult situation. I wish her feelings were considered.
Dad needs to make sure he spends time with just her and siblings without his girlfriend or she will resent her and maybe even her dad. She could be feeling like dad is making a new family without her or trying to replace you. By the sounds of it dad thinks she can just get over it. Not so easy when you are young and family is your security.
Agree with others that this might not be something you can handle yourself. See a counsellor.