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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
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Hi, I have recently started to see my girlfriends 2 children.

Customer Question

Hi, I have recently started to see my girlfriends 2 children. The girls are aged 4 and 6. At first both girls especially the eldest were almost over affectionate. Now the eldest after about 5 or 6 meetings has started to say to my partner (her Mum) that she does not want me around. The first time this happened within 45 mins she was again playing, laughing and being affectionate with me. The parents have a great relationship almost too good which I am sure would appear to the children that they are still together. It is only in the last 2 days the eldest daughter has asked if her parents are split up. I want to tred very carefully, but I know it's not me that she does not like but perhaps it's the situation?? Some advice would be great!

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.

Hi Adam,


Kids at times try to get their parent's attention and if they feel that something or someone is in the way, they may act out.


The children are yet to know you, they may be also protecting themselves (fearing that once they get to love you and get attached to you, that you may also leave them) Hence, the older one is trying to put an emotional barrier b/w you.


You can continue to act your usual self with them like you have already done. When they ask (if they do again, if the parents are still together, you can redirect them to their mom and let them know it is something for her to tell them) The kids may also blame you (should they find out that the parents are not together as a couple/family) for the separation and you've got to be able to deal with it.


At that time, you and their mom will explain to them in age appropriate terms that people can have different individuals be a part in their life, that if mommies and daddies are not together it has nothing to do with the children causing that; adults make their decisions whom to befriend etc. Then, their mom will address their fears (whether or not they'd see their dad/spend time with him, reassure them that they love them even though they are not together, etc)

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your advice, one thing that my partner and I have spoken about is that we have been very seperate when around the children so much so that it would be difficult to imagine us a truly in love couple. Will the children pick up in a positive way our affection for each other thus making them want to be part of something special? Of course there is a balance with regards XXXXX XXXXX making the child jealous. We have been so careful in all this, we have been together 20 months before I was introduced it is heart breaking to see one of them struggling to accpet me. I had not thought that perhaps she blames me for their breakup! That would make some sense... How do explain to a 6 year old that it was not my fault?
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.
The kids are still young. They largely will respond to the vibe the two of you as adults send out. It can help to do some fun activities with the children. The two of you can take them out for pizza, games, movies, etc. That way they'd associate the time you spend with their mom and with them as enjoyable. Kids are very resilient and time will allow them to get situated to the relationship. When you talk to them you do not talk of faults. You simply use examples (ex: ask the kid who is her best friend/why does she like that person, etc. ask if there had been other friends not as close to her) then, you explain to her that is the same with adults. People like others with whom they have fun and share things in common. It would help if their dad is still going to be involved as much and they can also talk to him about this and their feelings.