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Daughter having difficulty accepting mother’s boyfriend and their baby

Question:

I have been with my boyfriend for four years. I am pregnant with his child, and we are moving in together. My 13-year-old daughter is terribly upset by this and is acting out and portraying negative behavior. She is rude to both my boyfriend and me, and she has made it clear that she wants nothing to do with the baby.

 

Answer:

Thirteen-year-olds struggle with changes taking place in their bodies and around them in school, with friends and with boys. So your daughter is contending with the transition from girlhood to womanhood right now. Your daughter could also be struggling with acceptance of your choices because she has been taught that sex is part of a marital relationship only and that cohabitating is not something she should do until she is married.  

Perhaps she feels that the two of you have been a team and that your boyfriend and new baby threaten the bond you share. Perhaps it is difficult for her to share your attention with your boyfriend and later with her new sibling. If she has to give up her familiar space and move to a new home, she may be upset about this upheaval that is not of her choosing.

Do you think she is acting out because she does not know what else to do to convey her unhappiness with you and your boyfriend for forcing these changes in her life? Is there a possibility that she doesn’t know how to think this all through and be reasonable with her reactions and behavior? 

If she is willing, talk with her about these possibilities. If she is not willing to talk to you, find someone with whom she may be more comfortable sharing her feelings. This could be a grandmother, aunt or other trustworthy adult. A school counselor, minister or doctor are other options for support at this difficult time of transition for your daughter.  

You have support from your boyfriend. The baby has you. Your daughter feels like she has no one.

 

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