1. The situation is that I have been dating a single mother of a five year old girl, and we are in Central America. The father of the girl lives in the United States, but has no contact with and does not wish to know his daughter. Sometimes, the little girl has been prone to say things like ¨my daddy doesn't live here and doesn't want to know me because he has a more pretty daughter in the States,¨ which of course breaks the mother's heart who continues to insist that the father does indeed love the daughter (which is not true). How should she speak to the girl regarding her father?
2. We have continued to display a seemingly platonic relationship in front of the daugther, who has never seen her mother with another man. Should we do this, or how should we approach handling our relationship with the daughter, who may feel jealous or may not undersand?
Regarding your first question, it would be useful to express curiosity about the girl's perceptions re: her father, to draw her out re: those perceptions, to be open to her thoughts. There's no need to chime in with any comments, reassuring or otherwise, about her father. The approach is to be sensitive to her points of view and help her to communicate those when she brings up the topic, not to offer any opinion or editorial remarks in response.
Relative to the second question, you and her mother are entitled to have a relationship, and you needn't pretend it is something other than what it is. If the girl has questions about the relationship, answer them in a simple and straightforward manner. If she fees jealous, you can address that concern in much the same manner as suggested above.
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