Polk Moms

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I recently got remarried around seven months ago and would love to find some unique ideas on getting my seven-year-old daughter and her new stepfather to know each other on a more personal level. Her real father is no longer with us so this will be the only dad she will have and be able to depend on throughout her life. Any ideas?

I was in a similar situation about six years ago with our son. His dad was around but not often and I didn't want him to think we were trying to replace his dad. He and his stepfather came up with some ideas that worked pretty well. One of these was going camping together at least once a month. They would fish, hunt and just hang out for a couple of days. It has grown into a father-son tradition between the two of them. Over the years they have gotten close and my son seems to really look forward to that time as does his stepfather. Maybe start with some things that your daughter enjoys and go from there. - Patricia W. in Wildwood, MO

FROM JODIE:

Getting them together to do things that your daughter enjoys is certainly a good place to start. However, in time, trying new experiences would be something exciting and a chance for them to build their relationship as well. Consider things like bowling, going for bike rides in a park or neighborhood, cooking together, having an outdoor or indoor picnic, visiting special places like science and art museums for kids, maybe building something together like a doll house, visiting the zoo or certain places that house animals or maybe even volunteering together. There are tons of things that they can do together to build a wonderful healthy and close relationship. You can also check out the YWCA, YMCA, etc., for other father-daughter activities. Maybe shopping for a new book in one of the local bookstores once a month would be an idea. The one thing that he doesn't want to start is buying her something to take home each time. That could end up costing quite a bit over time and she would come to expect it and more than anything else, that's not the core purpose of the endeavor. Be sure that they are having these father-daughter dates by themselves, unless they both invite you to come along every once in a while.

CAN YOU HELP?

Our 17-year-old hopes to do some intern work for her uncle's law firm this fall. She's been helping out on small projects for the last two summers. He has a new partner and would like for her to present a resume to him so that he can give her extra hours, plus, maybe help the attorney across the hall as well. What's the most important things to include?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Emaildirect2contact@parenttoparent.com,or go to www.parenttoparent.com which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

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