Hi Mums, I want to ask your opinion. I have been married for over 4 years and I have 11 year old girl. For over 5 years, her relationship with her step-father is great. They are very close but she seems like a little bit competitive in some ways. Like she always wants cuddle and kiss if my husband cuddle and kiss me. She always wanna be in the middle of us and won’t let us have our moment as husband and wife. Not that me and my daughter never have time together. Most of the time after school she will play games and not really wanna spent time with me until my husband arrived at home from work then she wanna be with me like a glue. I thought this behaviour will change over time but seems like I was wrong. What should I do or say or explain to her? I tried to tell her that I love her no matter what and always will but that love a little different than love to my husband.

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  • When she had only you for some years and now she has to share you with her stepdad, I can unserstand this can cause some internal confusion and anxiety. Just keep on doing what you guys are doing by loving on her and for her stephdad to adopt her may be a good step. I would also make sure that you as mum spend one on one time with her.

  • I’m sure it is something that will pass with time. More time may be necessary

  • She seems a bit old for this behaviour (I’ve seen it a lot, but mostly in toddlers). Maybe you could talk to her with a counsellor to hand? Schools often have one, free of charge.

  • I think you need to explain sometimes mummies and daddies need special time together, like… give an example of time you have spent with daughter, and this time it’s daddy’s turn. Then remind her of something you will do b with her later. She’s old enough to understand.

  • Thank you for the advice. I can feel she is a bit jelous when my husband around. I always make sure that we love her no matter what. She will always be our baby. She never know her real dad so for her, her stepfather is her very first father figure. He loves her so much. I sit down with her one time and ask her why she is being rude toward her stepfather. What I’m afraid of, one day she might say ” you are not my real dad” . That will break my heart. We decided that my husband will take legal action to adopt her properly and have his last name. We thought that will make her feel inclusive.

  • At 11 I think you need to sit her down and talk to her about it. She needs reassurance but an understanding of the dynamics.

  • This is definitely a sticky one;
    My Nan told me when my first baby was born, “kids will do ANYTHING for attention”, to me it seems that your daughter may not be concerned about being your only attention when he’s not there, therefore she’s not trying to get your attention.
    However when he comes home she (her attention) may feel threatened and therefore invoking some feelings of jealousy.
    As a kid from a broken family when a lot of “stepfathers” came and went, it’s a completely different feeling to your real dad, no matter how fatherly they are. It always seemed a bit wierd to see my mum with someone else and whilst I was never jelous, it wasn’t always easy to navigate the whole loving boyfriend towards mum thing, especially when she’s not really affectionate any other time ie with us kids or with our actual dad.
    I’m just offering a bit of perspective from experience, not suggesting you’re like this in any way.
    I hope this helps and good luck.

  • I was thinking she compete with my husband. She only have me for years and now she have to share me with her stepdad. I tried to explain to her that she get extra love from her Stepdad. It seems like she still cant accept it. I’m afraid it will continue but we’ll see.

  • Could it be that she’s competing with you for his attention ? In general, stepkids tend to be possessive of their parents, resulting in jealousy and uncertainty to their stepparent.

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