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My husband & I have been together 9yrs. We're expecting our 1st baby together May 24th. We both have a child from a previous relationship living w/us, his 15yr old son & my 13yr old daughter. His son is fine w/the new baby but my daughter, VERY UPSET. She doesn't want to hear anything about it, gets an attitude/argumentive when she sees items we buy & gifts given of things we'll need. She wants to move in w/her Grammy. She talks back, throws tantrums, complains & talks bad about it to family/friends, cries & argues why should she have to live here & be unhappy. Since she absolutely loves animals & normally so sweet, caring & kind I thought she'd be happy about the baby. I'm hurt & sad she's not so any helpful suggestions will be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!
Oh man that must be tough. Could her real issue be that she's jealous or afraid that the new baby is going to be taking some of your attention from her? Honestly i think once the baby is here and she has some time to adjust she will "get with the program" so to speak. Maybe in the meantime try to do some special things with her to remind her that she is still special to you and will always be. I know from having been a 13 year old girl once that she is more likely to want to spend her time with friends instead of you, but maybe you can take her and her friends to the movies, or skating or something that will show her that you care about what she wants and what she is feeling. maybe take her on a shopping trip so that she doesn't feel so much like the baby is getting all this new stuff and i get nothing. And most of all remember that teenage girls are BEASTS at times with all the raging hormones that they don't know how to deal with just yet... so don't beat yourself up when she is throwing a tantrum. Just hang in there and remember that the harder you fight for her to "conform" the more likely she is to fight back and pull away. Give her space when she needs it and she will come around.
Oh gosh, this sounds like a hard situation. I agree with Brinny that some of this behavior is what you'd see in her at 13 years old baby or no baby. I think that the important thing here is that you are consistent and loving with her. I think it's very important to set limits with her behavior so far as it not being ok. She does need to know that she is very important and loved, and that is part of what this behavior is about. If you set those limits with her she will see that you do care-as backwards as that seems. I would encourage her to use her voice instead of her behavior to tell you what she is feeling. Once she can start demonstrating better behavior then I absolutely agree that special time with her is a lot of what she needs. Let us know how things are going and hang in there,
My son is 14 and my daughter is 7 months.... he was not very happy at first either but I allowed him to come to appointments (ultrasounds etc) if he wanted to. He did not at first but then he warmed up to the idea slowly but surely. Then he was at the hospital for most of my labor but did not want to witness the delivery (can't say I blame him there!!) so his bio dad came to get him. He went to his Dad's, got a few hours of sleep and spent the rest of the time in the hospital with my husband and me. He did not have to, as his dad lives close to the hospital, but once he met his little sister, he was so in love with her that he did not WANT to leave. He has done a total 180 on how he feels and he is totally in love with her now. I have made a very concerted effort to not use him as a sitter for her, but to just allow him to warm up to being a big brother. He has done things that blow me away sometimes- changed her diaper without being asked too while I was in the shower. The first thing he does when he gets home from school is kiss his sister. He has taken her on walks around the neighborhood a couple times. They will warm up eventually- even a totally unimpressable teenage boy can come around when there is a sweet little angel baby to play with. It didn't hurt either that her first word was 'Bubba' (what we say for 'brother'). She has him wrapped around her little finger and any resentment or rivalry issues are gone. Time. It just takes time!
AlieD-Thank you so much for sharing that with everyone here on the boards. What a heart warming story and I hope it offers some hope for others with teen siblings struggling with new babies in the family.
All great and helpful responses. Without knowing the dynamic of your relationship with your daughter's father, it may be possible that she is upset because it is even more evidence that you will never be reunited with her biological father. Again, I could be dead wrong but it is another consideration from the outside looking in. Like many parents, there is something about looking into the eyes of a new family member that seems to help melt some of the barriers a family member may feel about accepting a newborn into the house. Good luck!
I agree that she is probably anxious about how this new little baby will affect her "Life" and position in the family. Without her even realizing it, she may be worried that everyone will love the baby and she will be forgotten. In order to help her calm her fears, you need to get her to open up and say what is really bothering her. This is tough for a 13 year old girl, but it can be done. Try taking her out for a special "mommy and daughter" day. Go out to eat, maybe do some fun summer shopping and during your outing start opening up and discussing the situation. Let her know how much you love her and how her role as big sister will be very important. She will be the baby's mentor and your biggest helper. Tell her that you understand her feelings (even if you don't) but that you are a family and family's stick together and work through their issues. And that no matter how she is feeling, she can always come and talk to you about her feelings. You just don't appreciate her yelling, screaming, etc... but your door is always open if she wants to come in and talk about things. Let her know that while she may think that things are going to change horribly because of the new baby, to please be open to the idea that things may actually be better after the baby comes.
Is she into something fun? I was 14 when my little sister was born and I was VERY into Bon Jovi. My mom let me buy the baby a Bon Jovi T-shirt and I even got to put a BonJovi poster on her wall (we shared a room, so it was acceptable). I would play even play rock n roll to the baby. This helped me connect with the baby in a way and realize that even though we were so far apart in age, we could still be friends. You could try something like that. Ultimately though, when the baby comes, I doubt she will hate it!!!
cdjern-It's been a few days since you posted so I wanted to check in and see how things are going and if there is anyway that we can support you. Would love an update!
cdjern-I keep looking at this post on the board and I have been wondering how things are going in your family. Would love an update when you have time. Please take care and let us know how and if we can support you further!