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Name: madalex Member  
Title: Need help talking to my daughter
Need some advice. This is not a huge issue, but I would be interested in other's thoughts.Basically, I need help in discussing issues with my 12 year old daughter regarding her mother's new boyfriend. I have discovered that my daughter has written in her diary that she "really, really hates" her mother's new guy. Now, I know that children not liking the new significant other of either parent is completely normal and to be expected. However, I am concerned about my daughter and want to try to talk to her about this. Any suggestions for engaging in that dialogue with my daughter without making it seem like I am prying into her mother's life?Also, should I tell her mother what I know, so that she can prepare herself to deal with the issue? Or, should I just keep my mouth shut and let the two of them work out the issue in due course?

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Name: madalex Member
Thanks for these other replies. It sounds like the general advice is to be open to communication with her on this, but to let her bring it up.Also, for what it is worth, the circumstances of being exposed to my daughter's diary were not relevant to my original question, nor did I have the desire to go into details about how that occurred in my original post. Thanks so much to everyone though for your thoughts on that issue.[This message has been edited by madalex (edited 04 January 2006).]
Name: Kone Member
To facilitate conversation, I would consistently, more than once a day, let her know that you love her, and that your #1 job is to assure her happiness and safety. Tell her she can absolutely share anything with you and you will love her unconditionally... then also assure her, that you would understand if she didnt feel comfortable telling yourself or her mom anything and everything, so if she ever needs someone else to talk to you will find someone she can tell these things to in private. Even make suggestions about school counsellors and or teachers, friends parents or whomever you feel could do the job well. Some kids are more open with their parents through email or a written journal set up just for the two of you, where you write back and forth. Its sometimes hard to say how you feel face to face even as an adult, so you could set up a dialogue another way to create a security space between you. Her dislike of him is probably a small issue, I agree. Though I hear the concerns you have and I think if there is a chance it is not just a jealousy issue, a kid thing, you want to be sure she is safe. I agree.
Name: missmmeoftheday Member
Hey, madalex... hope I'm not too late to chime in... I would absolutely agree that she should be the one to bring up the issue of the boyfriend. I also would add that it's not at all surprising that she would hate him. She has already "lost" her parents to divorce; she's dealing with a lot, and can't- and shouldn't, IMHO- be expected to like someone new- esp if there hasn't been enough time to adjust to the divorce.The diary is another issue... it's a safe place for her to vent... much like this board is for you! No matter how you got the info, let her have her safe place; everyone needs one.
Name: Runehawk Member
A larger issue for a 12-yr old girl *might* be: What the hell are you doing in my diary? She'll work out her own feelings regarding your Ex's new boyfriend - and who knows, he may be a temporary thorn - but the mistrust of invading her privacy will certainly have repercussions above and beyond your Ex's new beau, no? -r
Name: Zafiro24 Member
Mad...listen. Rune is right. I made the mistake of reading my (then) 12 year old's diary when we first separated, and I mentioned something to the STBX about (when we were still speaking), to which he told her...she blew up at me for invading her privacy and I had to rebuild trust with her. She is probably just venting (being a girl, I know what that's like) and a diary is a 'safe' place to do that. Let her take care of her own feelings. You can bring up the topic and see where it goes, but I would NOT mention it to your STBX OR your daughter.------------------~Zafi
ro**************************Whil
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we cannot always change our external situation to suit us, we can change our attitude. One of the most important conditions of inner peace is our bassic attitude-how we relate to the external circumstances. The other major source of inner peace and thus of genuine happiness is the ACTIONS we undertake in our pursuit of happiness. ~ The Dalai Lama
Name: madalex Member
Runehawk -Thanks for your 2 cents, even though it was more or less nonresponsive to the question I asked.
Name: Bee Member
Sorry, I think Rune did respond to your question. Your relationship with your daughter needs to be based on trust. It would be different if you had found drugs hidden or something else damaging to your daughter. Writing in a diary is a way to express feelings and cope with situations. That is not uncommon. It is probably better to approach the subject if SHE brings it up. At this age fluxuating feelings are common. It's her way of dealing with it. Keep the trust. You don't need to get into something that can blow up in your face.[This message has been edited by Bee (edited 03 January 2006).]
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