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Advice on how to bond husband and his step-daughter

Posted by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 12:40 PM
  • 13 Replies

 

I just got married to my best friend and as amazing as he is with his own son, whom we do not see nearly enough of, he is having some serious problems bonding with my daughter. He claims it is because he has no idea how to treat a little girl, she is 3 1/2, but I just dont think that's true. I feel like she can do no right and maybe he feels guilty treating my daughter well when he is not permitted to see his son because of his ex not willing to move on. I have tried everything from talking to him to beging her to go sit with him and ask him questions just to try and get them to talk. I'm lost and afraid this wedge will force our relationship down. Any advice??

 

~ Lauren

by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 12:40 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Bleacheddecay
by Gold Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 12:59 PM

How about some family counseling?

Lauren21413
by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 1:06 PM

 He is very closed in. I've tried that idea. I may just do it myself though. Thank you :)

AudrasMommy
by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 1:15 PM
1 mom liked this

I wouldn't force the relationship. Keep trying to get him to go to counselling and just ease off forcing them together. That  might actually make him more uncomfortable about the situation. As long as he's not full on ignoring her, he may be telling you the truth about how to treat her. Being a step parent is way different than being a bio parent. At first, we don't know our boundaries and such and it's hard for us to adjust, but it does happen. I know at first for me, it was hard because I went from being the fun friend of daddy's to being his wife and an authority/parental figure (We have custody).

Lauren21413
by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 1:40 PM

 The thing is he usually just does ignore her unless she needs discipline. I'm almost afraid that he wants nothing to do with her because she is somone elses. It wasn't that bad before we got married but now it is becoming more alarming. We have custody of her because she has never met her bio dad and the man she knows as daddy is the man I met while pregnant and he is still around to have her every other weekend.

Quoting AudrasMommy:

I wouldn't force the relationship. Keep trying to get him to go to counselling and just ease off forcing them together. That  might actually make him more uncomfortable about the situation. As long as he's not full on ignoring her, he may be telling you the truth about how to treat her. Being a step parent is way different than being a bio parent. At first, we don't know our boundaries and such and it's hard for us to adjust, but it does happen. I know at first for me, it was hard because I went from being the fun friend of daddy's to being his wife and an authority/parental figure (We have custody).

 

Decemberlov
by Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 1:40 PM

What sorts of things intrest your husband that he can also involve her in? Maybe he honestly doesn't know how to treat a little girl. Maybe he just needs to be shown that he can pretty much do anything with a little girl that he can with a little boy. He could teach her to fish, plat t-ball, wrestle and have fun :).

My husband and my daughter (his step daughter) feed her snake together (yes, she's quite the tom boy lol) fish together, walk the dog, plant things in the garden etc.

Maybe you could setup a fishing trip for all of you and maybe just sit back and see how they do interacting with each other - he may find he really likes teaching her to fish (or whatever activity you thing would work).

jadedcynic
by Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 1:44 PM

*bear (I do not want to get naked)

If he does not have a good relationship, then he should step back from the discipline role. Too many times stepfathers who do not have that bond don't realize how much harder they are on a stepchild than they would be their own child. Until he is able to see her as the cute, unique, fun kid that she is, he will not be able to be a parent to her in any function.

Never forget who you are, for surely the world won’t. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you. - Tyrion Lannister

Lauren21413
by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM

 We have a 4-wheeler and she loves to ride it with me, but he asks and she wants nothing to do with it if he is around. I will try the fishing and maybe even buy her skates so he can show her how to do that. Thank you :)

Quoting Decemberlov:

What sorts of things intrest your husband that he can also involve her in? Maybe he honestly doesn't know how to treat a little girl. Maybe he just needs to be shown that he can pretty much do anything with a little girl that he can with a little boy. He could teach her to fish, plat t-ball, wrestle and have fun :).

My husband and my daughter (his step daughter) feed her snake together (yes, she's quite the tom boy lol) fish together, walk the dog, plant things in the garden etc.

Maybe you could setup a fishing trip for all of you and maybe just sit back and see how they do interacting with each other - he may find he really likes teaching her to fish (or whatever activity you thing would work).

 

breebree04
by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 1:58 PM

He really may not know how to play/interact with her. Its different for men when it comes to boys and girls and he is use to having a boy. Also there may be some guilt there. That he doesnt want to get to close to your dd or spend to much time with her because he is unable to do the same with his ds. I agree with previous poster though that if he doesnt have that bond with your dd he should not be disciplining her. She is going to only associate him with being mean and punishing her since she doesnt have that bonding/loving relationship with him yet.

Roo1234
by Bronze Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Counseling should have happened before the wedding, but it isn't too late.  

Decemberlov
by Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Good luck :) Just remember that this has to be something that doesn't seemed forced and allow them to bond in their own time. I also agree with the other posters - discipline should not come from him but from you (at least at this fragile stage in their relationship). Let him be the fun, good guy and you can be the mean mom when you need to lol

Quoting Lauren21413:

 We have a 4-wheeler and she loves to ride it with me, but he asks and she wants nothing to do with it if he is around. I will try the fishing and maybe even buy her skates so he can show her how to do that. Thank you :)

Quoting Decemberlov:

What sorts of things intrest your husband that he can also involve her in? Maybe he honestly doesn't know how to treat a little girl. Maybe he just needs to be shown that he can pretty much do anything with a little girl that he can with a little boy. He could teach her to fish, plat t-ball, wrestle and have fun :).

My husband and my daughter (his step daughter) feed her snake together (yes, she's quite the tom boy lol) fish together, walk the dog, plant things in the garden etc.

Maybe you could setup a fishing trip for all of you and maybe just sit back and see how they do interacting with each other - he may find he really likes teaching her to fish (or whatever activity you thing would work).

 


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