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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2012/09/25

Concerned

I married a widower with 2 kids and in the last 3 months things have changed dramatically. I''m like a boarder in the house. The kids go to their father whenever they need anything. I don''t get included in family discussions and my opinion doesn''t matter. The father didn''t really have much influence with the kids while their mom was alive but now he can''t seem to deal with the pressures of being their only living parent.
The boy is currently in matric and over the weekend has called his dad in a total panic because some kids made fun of him. He now doesn''t want to leave the house and only wants to be around his dad and at home. He messed up in 2 of his test papers and worried that his results are not going to be what his dad exepects. I feel that his dad puts too much pressure on him to do well and all he wants to do is please his dad. The dad on the other hand wants him to do well so he can bragg to everyone else about how clever his kid is. This child seems to be bordering on a nervouse breakdown and really needs professional help which quite clearly my husband can''t provide. My husband is not very demonstrative when it comes to showing love and affection for his kids and that is really what they need. I''m not allowed to say anything but at the end of the day when our world comes tumbling down then I''ll be the one trying to pick up the pieces.
What can I do to help this child???

Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

You don't mention how long you've been married ; but when you say things have changed in the last 3 months, presumably it has been longer than that, and used to be different from what it is now. You also don't specifically mention how old the kids are ; but anyway, it'd not be unusual for them to go to their dad with concerns as presumably they did before the marriage. Maybe after their mother died ( you don't mention when ) they had to rely on their dad, and he may not have adjusted well to this.
Apparently the boy in matric is highly stressed at present, and coping badly ; and may benefit from seeing an experienced counsellor. There's probably more going on to trouble him than is so far apparent. There are so many possible reasons at this age, that its not useful to speculate rather than talk tactfully and directly about it.
Sometimes a dad who cares about his kids ( even if clumsily ) and who is not good at expressing his love in words or overtly loving deeds, can be persuaded to show his love by getting proper expert counselling and support for the kids when they become troubled, for whatever reason.
Can you talk to the lad ? Tactfully, gently, and as a concerned friend who only cares to hbe helpful, and who doesn't need your own needs to be taken account of first. ?

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: emmilly | 2012/09/25

Hi, if i can give you a little advise growing up in a family where i lost my mom when i was small and my dad remarried,
we disliked our step mother as we felt she shouldnt be there, we did wverything possible to hurt her, But she just carried on showing us love, she took interest in what we did and what we liked, she tried to get involved in everything we did and if we were nasty to her she would ditance herself and watch us from the sideline.Find out what there favourite cookies are and ask them to help you bake or to help with supper, Find out there hobbies and get involved even if they dont want you to, let them know you are not the big bad witch and are not trying to take there mothers place,,,,,, it worked for the wonderful woman i am proud to call my Mom......

Reply to emmilly
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/09/25

You don't mention how long you've been married ; but when you say things have changed in the last 3 months, presumably it has been longer than that, and used to be different from what it is now. You also don't specifically mention how old the kids are ; but anyway, it'd not be unusual for them to go to their dad with concerns as presumably they did before the marriage. Maybe after their mother died ( you don't mention when ) they had to rely on their dad, and he may not have adjusted well to this.
Apparently the boy in matric is highly stressed at present, and coping badly ; and may benefit from seeing an experienced counsellor. There's probably more going on to trouble him than is so far apparent. There are so many possible reasons at this age, that its not useful to speculate rather than talk tactfully and directly about it.
Sometimes a dad who cares about his kids ( even if clumsily ) and who is not good at expressing his love in words or overtly loving deeds, can be persuaded to show his love by getting proper expert counselling and support for the kids when they become troubled, for whatever reason.
Can you talk to the lad ? Tactfully, gently, and as a concerned friend who only cares to hbe helpful, and who doesn't need your own needs to be taken account of first. ?

Reply to cybershrink

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