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Please help! Motherless friend of my daughter

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My daughters best friend (5) is over my house a lot. I dearly love this kid, haven't known her for very long, but sweet little kid.
Her mom abandoned her, and she lives with her dad, who does the best he can (really does) but due to work, the commute and not having family/friends in the area, he's not around too much. She's at a sitters in the am, goes to preschool, picked up at 6 and it starts over the next day.
She's got a bit of behavior issues- but nothing I can't handle - kind of manipulative and clingy, but not physical or anything like that.
I offered to pick her up from school when dads late/watch her on weekends if he has to work - I don't mind at all - if I'm home, I'm free.
Here's my issue: she is, as I mentioned very very clingy and always trying to get my attention. When I give it to her, my daughter gets jealous and tries to compete for the attention (only child). They're both 5, so a lot of it is standard kids stuff but a little more intense.
My daughters friend recently has been asking me to be her mom bc "my mommy left me and I don't have one!" she's also asked if she can move in bc she doesn't have "lots of toys and stairs" (meaning her place is smaller than ours - I'm sure she has just as many toys though lol$
How do I address this both with her and with my daughter? The friend made me a valentines day card that said "to mom" and my daughter flipped and it started a valentines day card war.
I've told the little girl that I can't be her mommy bc she only gets one mommy, but that doesn't mean I can't love her and care about her. And whenever she starts with the "my mommy left me" I always tell her I'm so sorry and that it must be sad for her, and if she wants to talk im here.

Any advice on how to handle it? She's such a good kid and even her father says how grateful he is that she spends time at our house where things are a bit more structured. I really want to help nurture this kid bc she needs it but I don't want to cross the line either.
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by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 9:17 AM
Replies (11-19):
AmericanChild82
by Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 5:50 PM

 I would sit down and talk with your dd. She may be confused as to why her friend is in infatuated with you. Tell the other little girl that you can't be her mother but you can sure be her friend and sometimes that's just as good if not better than being her mommy.

stargazerwolf
by Bronze Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 9:30 PM

I would definatly have a one on one with your daughter and explain things as others said. Tell her that you are her mom of course but her friend wants someone to call mom and is lonely without her mommy. Make sure you spend time with just her and tell her she gets your special time because you are her mom. With the little girl I'd not say she only gets one mom, but say she may not have a mommy now, but might later when daddy finds someone he wants to marry. I wouldn't make a big deal of her calling you mom and many friends will call their friends mothers mom. I know a lot of people like that.

I can sort of relate to your daughters side though. I had friend in elementary school (was probably 7 or 8 maybe) and she had a horrible life. Her mom left all the kids with her grandma and she never knew her dad. My friend and her 3 siblings lived with their grandma who couldn't handle them, they did what ever they wanted whenever, the house was disgusting and they were alone a lot. My friend was in a very bad situation, living in a house with food rotting on piles of dishes, cats using the house like a bathroom, ringworm, lice and maybe even some type of abuse from her older brother. They were all extremely malnourished, so skinny because I honestly think their grandma rarely fed them, she was hardly there.

It was a small town and at least for a long time no one did anything, well my mom felt bad (plus she always wanted more kids even after 4 of us) and she took in my friend. I was happy at first but then my friend started calling my mom "mom" so I got mad and kept saying "she's not your mom stop it!" and I started hating my friend who I felt was getting extra privlages (got away with leaving food all over and never finishing anything). My mom had to sit down with me and explain why she was living with us and everything. I ended up realizing that I was being selfish and even to this day I feel bad about acting like that and after my friend quit living with us I dont know what happened to her and still wonder :(

Anyway, what I'm saying is having it come from you, saying that her friend just needs someone to feel like a mom to her right now, might help. I got so jealous of my friend because my mom started treating her like her own, when my poor friend was going through such a horrible time and ya she was a brat not used to rules, but she was so neglected and malnourished. I hope you can get your daughter to understand.

bethany0417
by Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 9:44 PM
This :)


Quoting SpiritedMom2:

Yes - I agree with the last post. Some things are worth a few tears. I would try to give this child as much love as possible while at the same time making sure your daughter knows that you are her mommy first and last. So long as youre not giving attention or love to this child over and above yours - things will be fine. And youre teaching your own child a valuable lesson in love and genorosity. I really commend you for opening up your house and heart for this motherless child. Keep things in perspective - what would you like to think 20 years from now - that you gave meaning and direction to this child and helped her make something of herself; or that you gave in to your daughter's temporary tears and abandoned someone who was sent to your home for something that only you could provide...


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beadingmom17
by Silver Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 9:46 PM
I wonder if there might be a book out there for kids that would help her to talk a little more openly? Poor thing :( That breaks my heart!

I saw another poster say it, too, but what if she called you "Aunt"?

And I agree with the other moms who have said to talk with your daughter about it and explain how much you love her and that you're just trying to help "Susie".
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maryroses
by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 3:04 AM

Aww, that breaks my heart.  I think you are doing a wonderful thing.  Maybe try explaining to your daughter when the other little girl isn't there. 

supercarp
by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Remember she's a child and probably will have terrible abandonment issues. If you are able to help her throught this even a little, you are an angel.

As for the competition, siblings even do this, so don't be surprised. Just keep to your standards; you're the boss. It would help to have little talks with your daughter about why you are kind to her friend, but don't say anything you don't want her to repeat. 5 yr olds can't keep secrets.

MylittlePea
by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 9:20 AM
Well from a social work stand point you are crossing boundaries. Unless you seriously plan on being a permanent part of this little girls life, your not doing her any favors. It will hurt more eventually and then it'll be like she lost two mommys. I truly admire and understand what your trying to do you seem very compassionate but please tred lightly
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LiliMama18
by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 3:52 PM

This is exactly my concern - they're best of friends at the moment, but they're in pre-school. The odds are that they will not be lifelong friends, but in the short time I've known this girl, I've become very fond of her and since I was also abandoned by my mother, I am probably projecting a bit; but the more time she spends at my house, it seems the more she realizes that she's missing a mother and she makes comments to both myself as well as her father. I want to do what I can for her, in a nurturing way but at the same point let's say the kids are worst enemies next month? I don't want the kid to feel re-abandoned. 

But it's difficult bc she's always asking to buy her what I buy my own daughter (I don't mean if we're all out at a store buying coloring books or something; I mean if my daughter gets a new toy and the little girl sees it, she asks if I can buy it for her too). She also asks if I can pick her up every day, etc. 

I just don't know how to handle it - I want to help her out without hurting her more in the long run.



Quoting MylittlePea:

Well from a social work stand point you are crossing boundaries. Unless you seriously plan on being a permanent part of this little girls life, your not doing her any favors. It will hurt more eventually and then it'll be like she lost two mommys. I truly admire and understand what your trying to do you seem very compassionate but please tred lightly



MylittlePea
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Sounds like She would benefit from girl scouts or a big sister program. You may want to plan activities like going outside, just activities that aren't so intimate her eating dinner with your family and just being in your home seems to causing her confusion. whenever she mentions mommy stuff just empathize with her. I'm really sorry that happend to you ect talk to her father about finding her a role model that's related maybe a grandma or an aunt. Its a hard situation bc you get attached little kids in general can have that effect


Quoting LiliMama18:

This is exactly my concern - they're best of friends at the moment, but they're in pre-school. The odds are that they will not be lifelong friends, but in the short time I've known this girl, I've become very fond of her and since I was also abandoned by my mother, I am probably projecting a bit; but the more time she spends at my house, it seems the more she realizes that she's missing a mother and she makes comments to both myself as well as her father. I want to do what I can for her, in a nurturing way but at the same point let's say the kids are worst enemies next month? I don't want the kid to feel re-abandoned. 

But it's difficult bc she's always asking to buy her what I buy my own daughter (I don't mean if we're all out at a store buying coloring books or something; I mean if my daughter gets a new toy and the little girl sees it, she asks if I can buy it for her too). She also asks if I can pick her up every day, etc. 

I just don't know how to handle it - I want to help her out without hurting her more in the long run.




Quoting MylittlePea:

Well from a social work stand point you are crossing boundaries. Unless you seriously plan on being a permanent part of this little girls life, your not doing her any favors. It will hurt more eventually and then it'll be like she lost two mommys. I truly admire and understand what your trying to do you seem very compassionate but please tred lightly





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