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Meeting a child going through divorce
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Meeting a child going through divorce

Hello all, I have a question about meeting a potentially troubled child for the first time.

I’ve been dating a wonderful girl for a few months (she is 30 I am 33).  I’ll be joining her on a trip over July 4th to meet her sister and her sister’s 2 sons, ages 4 and 6.  The older son is known to have some anger, jealousy and behavior issues.  He is not excited about the thought of me coming because he wants his Aunty, my girlfriend, all to himself.  He said he was going to “punch him (me)” when he meets me.  My gf has no children.

A few additional facts:
- The family is going through a divorce.  I don’t remember off the top of my head exactly when the separation occurred, but it’s been within the past 6 months.  I don’t know enough about the family dynamics to know for sure the root cause.  I don’t think it was an abusive situation – more than likely a simple mutual realization that they’re better off separated.
- The family (my gf and her sister) even more recently unexpectedly lost their father.  This has added additional stress to the entire family and they are only now starting to move past it.  The older son, when told about his grandfather’s passing, did not show express emotion, indicating potential detachment.
-I don’t know any additional details about the situation except that my gf has said that she is afraid the older son will become a bully (or be bullied) – he does not seem to fit in well with others.  I don't think he is has recieved any therapy.  

Obviously, I know enough not to react to a child’s anger.  I am aware that if he acts out it has really nothing to do with me and will remain patient and understanding.  He obviously is very confused about the changes going on in his life and his family.  However if there is any advice as to get through to him such that I am not a threat, but a potential friend, it would be appreciated.  Wondering if the ole’ bribery method would work here…. Thoughts?

1 Comment
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242606_tn?1243786248
This matter is likely simpler than you think. As you yourself noted, be 'patient and understanding'. That's all you have to do - be nice to him, regardless of how he acts. The Golden Rule never fails.
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