"For the last couple weeks, my stepdaughter has been saying that she is going to be ‘replaced’ by the new baby coming after showing nothing but excitement for the last five months I’ve been pregnant.
I’m not too sure where she got in her mind that she was going to be replaced. It’s bothering me so much it’s breaking my heart. I don’t call her my ‘step’ daughter. She is full-blown my child as much as she is her dad’s in my heart and mind.
I don’t know what else to do. I have involved her in every little thing we possibly could. From picking clothes, nursery decor, letting her come to doctors’ appointments (as much as we can with the pandemic). Etc. Shoot, for a moment, she almost had her way with the baby name. How did you mamas and families overcome this? Or was it natural when the baby was around?"
RELATED QUESTION: My daughter is acting out: Advice?
TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):
“My first thought was usually this doesn’t happen unless someone has been telling a child this… which is sad someone would be if it’s possible u may wanna get to the bottom of it quickly… but reassure her it’s not true. Y’all need to do things that don’t even relate to baby. Take her on a girls’ day. Do mani-pedis, movies, just a date for y’all and dad do the same and keep doing this after baby is born.”
“Do a date with her. Tell her how much you love spending time with her and doing favorite activities like spa stuff or going to a diner together or a you-guys shopping spree. Everyone’s trying to tell you where it came from but it really doesn’t matter at this point. What’s done is done you need to tell her otherwise now.”
“Maybe plan some things that are solely based around her and not the baby. Maybe do a spa night with you and her and maybe Daddy and her can plan that Daddy daughter Day. This way she still feels important.”
“I think she may feel different when the new baby arrives, but all children I think feel like that when a new baby comes. Maybe let her know you will have a certain day to do something with her without the baby if possible or while your baby is sleeping.”
“Very very natural reaction. It’s absolutely brilliant that she’s voicing it. She was going to think it, the worrying this would have been if she’d bottled it up. This is something that is going to take time, as baby arrives and she sees first hand that love grows, it isn’t divided, and that she is still just as loved, just as cherished, she’ll move past the idea. But for now, just keep reassuring her.”
“My son made a couple of comments to me like this when I was pregnant with my second child. Turns out it was his dad telling him that we would only care about the baby (what a cruel and sick thing to say to a 5-year-old) we reassured him that we will love both of them the same and that there is no #1 in this house and we all love each other. We also got him “big brother presents” for when we brought baby home from the hospital. Special toys just for him or activities we could do with him like water balloons, crafts, games and he absolutely loved it and felt so special!”
"Tell her no one can ever replace her: she is unique in all the world. There is only one of her just like the new baby will be completely unique. Our kids are our “babies” for life and nothing can break that bond of love. She will be loved as always but will have a new and important role as a big sister plus a whole other person to love her in addition to her parents. And as others have said, find out if anyone said something to her and if so, put a stop to it.
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