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Question
Posted by: Mother | 2011/06/15

Jealous 5yr old

I am a single parent to a 5yr old daughter, its been her and I her since her dad and I broke up when she was 2. I havent seriously dated and when i do go out on dates - she is not aware of it. Last night one of the guys in the flat where i live put his arm around me. She knows these guys as she generally talks to everyone in the building. She got so upset by this gesture that she started crying and stomping off. The guy was so apologetic and actually felt bad. When i asked what the problem was and explaining to her that he is friend. Her response was: " Mummy, you cant have friends. I am your only friend" . Which shocked me when I asked her what she would do if I get a boyfriend she told me that she will move in with her father and grandmother. I then told her that her dad will probably also have a girlfriend and then she politely told me that she will leave both of us and live with her granny. What do i do in this regard? She doesnt often go to her dad, but i called her and told him that we should have a permanent arrangement where he takes her every second week so that we can get time apart as we spend every day together. Is this the right decision? Your advice will be appreciated.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

You're running into a likely snag arising from raising a kid on the "just you and I together against the world" model. Its important to calmly discuss this broad situation with her, and help her to understand that adults usually enjoy adult company as well as spending time with the kid they love, and that liking anyone else, even loving someone else, doesn't mean you love her one scrap the less.
The threat to leave both of you and live with granny needs to be faced - her demand / expectation is for totally exclusive attention from each of you, which is unreasonable and impractical, and allowing her to retain this type of thinking will point her towards a miserable adult life of expecting what life cannot supply.
And you need to develiop what ought to have been pat of her life all along, that she spend enjoyable time with friends, school and after-school activities, hobbies, etc.
The only area where I disagree with Maria is I dislike the current fashion for teaching little girls that they are a "princess". Little boys are lucky that nobody seems to insist that they be Princes. She's far, far better than any princess - she is herself !

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Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2011/06/15

If your daughter''s father is a good dad, then it will be a good thing for everybody involved if she spends more time with him. You have to explain to her that you have the right to have a relationship with someone, but that this will not mean you love her any less. Tell her that she will always be your princess, but you can and will have friendships with other people.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/06/15

You're running into a likely snag arising from raising a kid on the "just you and I together against the world" model. Its important to calmly discuss this broad situation with her, and help her to understand that adults usually enjoy adult company as well as spending time with the kid they love, and that liking anyone else, even loving someone else, doesn't mean you love her one scrap the less.
The threat to leave both of you and live with granny needs to be faced - her demand / expectation is for totally exclusive attention from each of you, which is unreasonable and impractical, and allowing her to retain this type of thinking will point her towards a miserable adult life of expecting what life cannot supply.
And you need to develiop what ought to have been pat of her life all along, that she spend enjoyable time with friends, school and after-school activities, hobbies, etc.
The only area where I disagree with Maria is I dislike the current fashion for teaching little girls that they are a "princess". Little boys are lucky that nobody seems to insist that they be Princes. She's far, far better than any princess - she is herself !

Reply to cybershrink

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