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Child Jealous of New Girlfriend
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Child Jealous of New Girlfriend

I have two questions. And I will give you a little background first.
I am the new girlfriend of a dad of a 4 yr old.  His daughter is going through some issues surrounding the break up of her parents and now dad dating, me. She just turned 4 and is extremely bright.  He and I have been together for 6 months now.  She gets very jealous when him & I are talking or hold hands over a meal.  She seems to dislike me just because I am the new girlfriend. The problem I am having is that when we are all together, and she acts out or is rude to me, her dad doesnt appropriate dicsipline her. He says if he does, it will just make her resent me more as when its just the two of them, she doesnt act out. I think he coddles his child and gives her anything she wants, and therefore rewards her negative behavior. So my question is, #1is it going to have adverse effects if he disciplines her for these behaviors in my presence, will she relate the punishment to be my fault? He says thats what he is trying to avoid.  #2 Is there any advice for trying step parents to be to gain the trust and respect of a younger child from a broken home?
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13167_tn?1327197724
1.  Yes.  If she's forced to stop demonstrating that she's hurt and angry and jealous,  it will come out in other,  worse ways than just pouting and saying rude things.

2.  Stop holding his hand at dinner or demonstrating any kind of exclusive affection toward him when she is present.  You two holding hands leaves her out,  and she's already feeling very,  very left out.
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She's at the age when children want to marry opposite sex parents, so even if her parents were together, she may be trying to sit between them or hang on her dad and talk about marrying him one day anyway.  Add to that the fact that she has to cope with such adult things like divorce and dating.  It's no wonder she's behaving this way.

I don't think you should be adding to the problem by holding hands and cuddling around her.  And I don't think her dad should discipline her for this.  I think he should spend more one-on-one time with her--without you around.  Sorry, but that is what is best for the child.  I know, I know...what about US?  But, that's what being a parent is about.  Your child comes first and always will (or always should, anyway--if they don't come first, that's when parents end up with big problems).  Quite honestly, I wouldn't respect a man much if he put me and his own needs before his child.
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I'm going through a similar situation with my boyfriends 3 1/2 yr old little girl. She gets so much attention as it is, but she craves attention and will make sure she gets it in any way, even if its acting out. I mean after all, negative attention is better than no attention at all. right? He spends time with her and plays with her without me in the room. I allow him to "give me a break" from taking care of her as I am with her all day, every day. He will take her to go run errands or do things with just her and it doesn't seem to help the situation at all. This has been going on for a few months now and its only getting worse. She constantly wants to lay between us so I can't lay next to him, interrupts any conversation we are having and if he gives me a kiss and God forbid doesn't kiss her, she pitches a fit. I don't agree on not punishing her on this or doing anything about it at all. We haven't been doing anything and its only getting worse and it causes a big strain on our relationship and honestly, its causing me to resent his daughter. I don't feel its fair to not be able to be affectionate to my boyfriend because his 3 yr old daughter doesn't like it. I don't like her behavior and although I understand she is a 3 yr old, she should still have rules, guidelines, boundaries and punishment when necessary. I only feel I am being punished for loving my boyfriend and wanting to be affectionate, but can't around her
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