Dr. Wendy Walsh: So you've finally found Mr. Right, and your darling children have crowned him Mr. No-Way-No-How. So, what's a mom to do?
The first step is to investigate the whys behind your little angel's disgust. Could he really be as awful as they say? You might be surprised by a kid's perspective. Once, when I pressed my 5-year-old daughter for the reason she didn't like my new man, she very seriously declared that his chin was too big. When I thought about it, she was right. This very tall human had probably never gotten down enough to her level for her to even see that he had a pleasing face above his towering chin. Luckily that was an easy one to fix. I simply asked my guy to sit down more and engage my little one at her eye level.
But the most common reasons that kids dislike possible step parents are twofold. First, being witness to Mommy kissing Santa Claus is one thing, but accepting a total stranger means letting go of the fantasy that Mom and Dad will reunite. Many kids of divorced parents hold onto this reunion fantasy for years and years. The solution here is to talk it out. Bring it up --- because they likely won't ever. Remind them that they will always have two parents who love them no matter what other changes happen in the family.
Finally, it's important to know that kids are probably less jealous of your boyfriend and more jealous of his hoarding of Mommy's time. Ladies, no matter how much your hormones are spinning for your new guy, don't forget to make special dates with each child to reassure them that Mommy is happier when she is in a relationship and not unavailable to them.
|Dr. Wendy Walsh holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and her area of interest is Attachment Theory, a psychological, evolutionary and ethological theory that provides a descriptive and explanatory framework for understanding interpersonal relationships between human beings. As a psychological assistant registered with the California Board of Psychology, Dr. Walsh has treated individuals, couples and families for a variety of mental health concerns including personality disorders, anger management, eating and substance disorders, and depression.|