When a child misses out

Adele Cornish, BSW

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“My partner’s ex is buying items for his 8 year old son who is making comments that his dad gets him anything he wants.  I have noticed that when he does not get what he wants at our home he gets angry and starts crying out loud.  What can we/I do to manage the father’s behavior of buying items and the other child who misses out asking where’s mine?”

It’s very common for children to play one parent against the other in order to get their own way. In this case you can’t control how the father chooses to parent, but you can focus on what is within your power in your own home.  When your stepson doesn’t get his own way use it as a teaching opportunity.  Reassure him it’s ok to feel upset but suggest how he can express himself in a more constructive way.  Children need to learn how to manage emotions and deal with disappointment; it’s part of growing up.

Regarding other child asking where’s mine:  As much as we want life to be fair all the time, it’s not how reality works. One might get more gifts, another might get recognition for sporting talents and another academic abilities.  One might need funds for a school trip while another ‘misses out’.  It’s part of human nature to focus on what we don’t have or perceive we are missing out on when instead our life can be greatly enriched by learning to be thankful for what we have and …. this is harder, to be happy for what others have that we don’t.  If you can teach this to the child who is asking ‘where’s mine’, you’re giving them a gift that is more precious than anything money can buy.

Happiness doesn’t come from having things; it comes from having the right attitude towards what you have.

For more strategies and advice on how to create and sustain a happy atmosphere in your home click here

Have a great week!

Warm regards

Adele Cornish BSW

Blended Family Coach