Bringing new people into a family can be challenging, especially when kids are involved. Being patient, understanding, and empathetic with everyone’s feelings is essential. At the same time, it’s crucial to ensure everyone feels welcomed and included in the family unit.
A woman we’ll call Hannah recently shared a story about her sister’s upcoming wedding and the difficulties they’re having with getting the kids on board with their soon-to-be stepfather.
Hannah’s sister, whom we’ll call Daphne, is marrying David, who has a son, James. They want all the kids to be involved in the ceremony to show the union of their families. But Daphne’s two children, Reese and Skye, are struggling with it.
Reese and Skye lost their dad three years ago, and the idea of their mom marrying someone else is difficult. They’re not thrilled about the wedding and don’t want to hold James’ hand or be a part of the ceremony. Daphne has tried talking to them, but they don’t feel it.
Daphne tried to understand why they had decided to sit out of the wedding and be on the sidelines. The kids explained they missed their dad, and it was weird having another guy come in to take his place. They didn’t want to see her marrying again, especially to a different person.
Changing Their Minds
Hannah spoke to the kids and tried to empathize with them. They admitted they don’t love David or James and wish their mom wasn’t getting remarried. They don’t know how they feel about the whole thing but don’t want to be forced into participating.
Daphne wasn’t happy that the kids weren’t on board and wanted Hannah to convince them to participate. But Hannah felt uncomfortable forcing them to do something they didn’t like. Instead, Hannah suggested that her sister talk to the kids and help them with all the changes they’re going through.
When dealing with the loss of a parent, bringing in a new person into the family can be hurtful and crushing if not done right.
Parental Guidance Required
After David had failed to talk the kids into it, Hannah listened to what the kids had to say, and she empathized with the kids, who were still grieving the death of their father. Hannah was unwilling to push further, as the kids had a right to feel as they did.
However, Daphne didn’t think Hannah had put in her best. She wanted the kids convinced to be a part of the wedding, no matter what, and she believed Hannah could have done more to bring them over.
Hannah thinks the kids can make their own choices, and Daphne needs to talk them through their grief before she goes ahead.
What People Think
Understandably, Reese and Skye are struggling, and their feelings should be validated. Unfortunately, Daphne seems focused on the perfect wedding and not her children’s emotions.
One person thinks that David and Daphne need to have a serious conversation and consider realistic expectations for the children involved. They must consider how the children view their marriage, each other, and the “second dad” thing. If they can’t address things correctly, it might lead to more resentment and pain from the children.
Another thinks Daphne is more focused on the show, which is the wedding. They think she is under the illusion that everything will be fine as long as her family appears united, but this is hardly the case.
She’s not listening to the kids, and someone needs to check with David’s son, too. It’s a difficult situation with no easy answers, but do you think Daphne was right in her actions?
This thread inspired this article.