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Dear Debra
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1822
Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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my relationship with my step grandkids is horrible. please

Customer Question

my relationship with my step grandkids is horrible. please help me fix it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 1 year ago.

Deardebra :

You are having trouble with your step grandchildren.

Deardebra :

The first step is of course acceptance.

Deardebra :

You said step grandkids so you are basically new to them and you have to show them that you want to be a part of their lives.

Deardebra :

It is very hard for someone new to enter a child's life. Some people try buying things hoping that will help like little gifts, but some times children think that they are trying to buy their love.

Deardebra :

Depending on the age of the child if you are dealing with young adult that is even more difficult because they are growing up and they are in the changing and finding out who they are as a person.

Deardebra :

What you want to do is listen and try to share pieces of their life that interest them.

Deardebra :

They might say like sports and that is what they get excited about and love to talk about.

Deardebra :

You can ask them about the sport. It does take time for a chid to open up and trust someone.

Deardebra :

Even if you are about things in their live they could get offensive and be rude.

Deardebra :

But you have to find the right way to approach them.

Deardebra :

It takes time but if you are always asking them about their lives over time they will open up when they realize you are going to keep trying. Right now they do not want to open up because they are afraid to get close to someone out of fear they might leave.

Deardebra :

So if you show you are going to keep trying and be their for them they will see that they can trust you and begin to tell you things.

Deardebra :

Children are very set in their ways and have trouble adjusting to new people or bringing them into their lives.

Deardebra :

The reason is because they had this life that they were settled in and then their lives change, often times children have trouble with change like moving or someone new in their lives. They go through adjustment periods.

Deardebra :

A child that is shy is going to very stand offish.

Deardebra :

They clings to their parent and don't know what to make of a new person.

Deardebra :

Then you might see a sign where they hand you a toy and that is an ice breaker for a child to offer something they enjoy.

Deardebra :

You might want ask them what their favorite food is and then tell them what yours is, you need to pick things that children can relate to. They might say ice team and you can say my favorite flavor is vanilla what is yours?

Deardebra :

If it is a young adult they are into technology, they spend time on computers, texting on phones, they are usually preoccupied by what is going on with their friends.

Deardebra :

You want to talk about what is new in their life and not it look like you are intruding on their privacy.

Deardebra :

They would take more time to open up because they would be very guarded and are often protective over their parent.

Deardebra :

This is going to be a step by step process and it is all about communication and understanding why they do what they do.

JACUSTOMER-1dkwap3w- :

he is 10yrs, my problem i am scared i am married to his grandfather for 13yrs and i never had or try to have one now i believe it is too late.

Deardebra :

It is never to late.

Deardebra :

He is ten this is a good age.

Deardebra :

Boys at this age are very social and accepting.

Deardebra :

They are very set on what they like and who their friends are, it is a very good time in their life.

Deardebra :

Even though time has past I know that he would love to get to know you, you just want to let him in to share in your life.

Deardebra :

You have been with his grandfather for 13 years and he knows that his grandfather loves you, so he would have no problem in letting you in is life.

Deardebra :

A child at age ten loves to talk about what they are interested in.

Deardebra :

You just want to ask him and show that you want to be apart of his life.

JACUSTOMER-1dkwap3w- :

I understand that. he told his grandfather i dont like him, not true. we have a date for friday, my husband said i should apologize to him for the way i treat him in the past, what do you think?, if i cant build a relationship with him marriage is doom. friday i dont know where to begin.

Deardebra :

Ok, so he feels you do not like him.

Deardebra :

So the past has to be put in the past and you both have to start again with a new relationship one with understanding.

Deardebra :

If you both can communicate how you both feel you both can put the past in the past. It is not too late to fix this relationship with him.

Deardebra :

I do not feel you should apologize because you want to leave the past behind you. The best things to say is very simple he is 10, you want to say too him. Why don't we start over from here.

Deardebra :

Seeing him friday is your opportunity to get to know him and him get to know you, he might have been waiting a long time to be a part of your life.

Deardebra :

As a child specially at that age they are just looking for acceptance and I feel once he knows how you feel he will be accepting of this new relationship you both are going to start.

JACUSTOMER-1dkwap3w- :

my apologizes was for me not been there all those. so you said dont apologize,and to leave the past in the past.this what i was going to say to him," i know i cant go back and change the past, but right now i would for us to be friends and start fresh" what you think.

Deardebra :

That exactly what you want to say is to start fresh.

Deardebra :

I like how you said friends because that let him know that you want to be a friend and start new.

Deardebra :

I don't think you should apologize for not being there because you don't want to remind him of the past. You want to always be moving forward with the relationship. Things change in life and their is always time to start again and be there for him.

Deardebra :

You both are going to have a great relationship and a new start.

JACUSTOMER-1dkwap3w- :

thank you, you help put a lot into perpectives.

Deardebra :

You welcome

JACUSTOMER-1dkwap3w- :

but before you go, my husband cheated on me he was in a relationship for 6yrs he said its over, i loss trust in him, i am trying to build trust it is very hard, help.

Deardebra :

When someone cheats it takes time to rebuild trust in the relationship. You trusted your husband and it is very hard for someone to understand if someone loves them why would they ever cheat and hurt them in such a way.

Deardebra :

He has said the relationship is over and it is because he has not realized the importance of his relationship with you and he does not want to do anything to jepodize his marriage.

Deardebra :

People can change and realize that they need to fix things in their marriage, your husband has now made the decision to work on his marriage and end an affair.

Deardebra :

As far as building trust this takes time, the thoughts still are very clear in mind and the questions arise of will he cheat again. Often times when the person goes out you wonder if they are going to cheat, but I feel that your husband is going to change.

Deardebra :

You both have been together a long time and people come to the realization that they need a person in their lives forever.

Deardebra :

You are the person he has chose to be with forever, you both are married and love each other, now this is just about starting over and rebuilding trust with each other.

Deardebra :

How do you build trust, you have to know how much he cares and loves you. He made the steps to change.

Deardebra :

You need to be reassured that you are the one in his life and the only one.

JACUSTOMER-1dkwap3w- :

thank you.now that i am a member do i have ti again.please send all my questions and answers to my E-Mail.he said i must trust him and right now i do, because i love him soright now he is in one borough and i am in the other he did that to see if i trust him.

Deardebra :

I'm sorry could you explain the first sentence, now that I am a member do I have ti again? So he is looking to gain your trust back and start over. I believe that you should give him another chance to show you that he can be faithful.

Deardebra :

You have been together a long time and I feel that you both can work things out and have an amazing marriage.

JACUSTOMER-1dkwap3w- :

do i have to pay again to ask questions if i need to?.

Deardebra :

Yes, expert do not get paid unless a customer accepts.

Deardebra :

You can request me when ever you need to ask a question if you would like.

JACUSTOMER-1dkwap3w- :

ok. thank much. until next time.

Deardebra :

you welcome

Deardebra :

Thank you and if you need any more help I am here. Please accept my answer. Thank you again.

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