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How to help my daughter deal with her father and step-mom's new baby

We have three children and lived together for 11 years. We split up because of his alcoholism which was hardest on my oldest (now 13). Two months after we separated he got married and did not tell the kids. Six months later he went to prison for DWI and his family told the kids he got married. My daughter and older son were devastated he hid it from them. Now he is out of prison and we just found out he is expecting a baby and again he did not tell my daughter, she found out from the rest of the family and is once again devasted. I don't know what to say to her. She longs for a relationship with him, only they don't have one and him being in prison only put more stress on their relationship and now she's convinced that they will never be close because he is just moving on with his life and not trying to repair any damages caused.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 4:46 PM on Mar. 30, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (2)
  • Be matter of fact about it- no drama, no commiseration. It is a fact and that's that.  When she visits there, tell her to give the baby a kiss for you.  She should get the idea that this is part of life and that it doesn't do any good to get all upset about it but to welcome her new relative and to get along with her father's new family.

    Bmat

    Answer by Bmat at 4:50 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • I agree with Bmat. The only thing I can think to add is to make sure she understands that she can feel whatever she likes or needs to about her dad, but that she needs to not blame her new half-sibling. I would talk to her about the baby being innocent in this, just as she is.
    Fourbymom

    Answer by Fourbymom at 7:00 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

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