28 Feb
Is My Boyfriend’s Daughter Too Needy?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I live with my boyfriend who has two girls, ages 8 and 10. I have older kids (18 and 20) who are in college. I like his girls a great deal but the younger one will straddle him on the couch when we are sitting together. It really bothers me and makes me uncomfortable. I don’t think it’s a sexual thing but she is very needy sometimes. She has also climbed in bed with us in the mornings a couple of times. I don’t like that either. I know I need to say something to my boyfriend…but what?

I don’t want to sound jealous of an 8-year-old but maybe I am?

Signed,

Am I Really Jealous of a Tween?

______________________________________________

Dear Am I Really Jealous of a Tween?

Here’s the thing about kids. They are extremely needy. Since your children are grown, you might not remember just how needy because parenthood is about suppressing the past. It’s a natural defense mechanism so we don’t become completely insane.

But let me remind you… needy is what kids do.  It’s their top skill. They want food. They want attention. They want help with their homework. 16 extra hugs at bedtime. 47 books. More food. Now they are thirsty. Now they have to go to the bathroom. Now they want to be tucked back in.  And on and on and on.

Your boyfriend’s 8-year-old sounds pretty normal. She’s still a little kid and wanting to climb on top of her dad and hug with him shouldn’t be cause for alarm.  Many fathers and daughters have a special relationship and she wants to be close to him. It’s also quite common for kids to want to climb into bed with their parents in the morning.  In fact, as long as it’s after 7 am, I love snuggling with my children in bed…until they start screaming at each other because someone has 3 extra inches of space and well, then it’s time for breakfast.

I think you need to figure out where your jealous feeling are coming from. Do you feel like you don’t get enough attention from your boyfriend? If yes, you need to talk to him. If you constantly see him being affectionate with his kids and not you, that will understandably lead to feelings of envy and resentment for you.

If you want to be with this guy, it comes with a package deal. I would try to embrace and bond with his children, instead of seeing them as a threat. Because if you want to be with him in the long run, you are building a family, not just a relationship.

Good luck,

Kelcey, TMH

 

5 Responses to “Is My Boyfriend’s Daughter Too Needy?”

02.28.13#1

Comment by Roshni.

um…there’s always the case that the 8 yr old may be jealous of you and she may be trying to divert her dad’s attention to herself…which is also completely normal! I agree with Kelcey that you should try and bond with the kids more rather than just appear as someone who might take him away from them!

02.28.13#2

Comment by Desperate Dietwife.

The way it looks from your letter, this child is very insecure and worried about the failure of her parents’ marriage. She wants to be reassured that both her parents love her and that their separation has nothing to do with her (children tend to think that troubles are due to them). This naturally increases her neediness.
If you act jealous or uneasy about her the child will perceive it and cling to her father even more, as she will see you as a threat to her own happiness and emotional stability.
Also, don’t forget that children are very possessive of their parents.

The situation is very delicate and you need to be very sure of yourself to handle it.

02.28.13#3

Comment by Steph.

I can remember sitting on my Dad’s lap as a 12 year old when he introduced me to his date. I think it is kinda funny now but not then. I’m sure it is hard for you but you are the adult. It is great that you like the kids. If you need more alone time with him, try to take advantage of when the girls are with their mom. Best wishes for you and yours.

03.19.13#4

Comment by Jee.

Steph,

You were sitting on your Dad’s lap, not straddling him, there’s a difference. I’ve had a similar situation. . .It’s extremely uncomfortable, especially with some of skimpy clothes kids have nowadays. I think God puts a Mother and Father in a household for a reason–a Mom’s job is not only to take care of the children but to teach children proper manners and teach young girls how to be young ladies.

Charlie Reply:

I am in a slightly similar situation and definitely agree with your take on a mothers role to teach proper behavior. My boyfriends daughter is six and does not yet understand that it’s not appropriate to stick her legs up in the air wide open with a skirt on. I suppose he thinks nothing of it as he still sees her as his little baby. But I feel she is reaching an age of knowing better. I also believe her behavior is more proper when she’s with her mom and she just tries to act more juvenile with him for attention

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