My daughter is having a girl! The problem is her son Lance, who is 6, has been listening to his dad. His dad has low self esteem, lies about everything, has a daughter he has nothing to do with and loves to play head games! Lance is convinced that baby sisters are horrible. Only baby brothers are cool. Any suggestion how what we can do to help Lance? He is having a bad time since they found out it is a girl.
By Jodi from Aurora, CO
Well, my heart sank when I read this, because there probably isn't a lot you can do about it. Just re-enforce every time that you can that sisters are great and girls are great and all that. (If he loves you and I hope he does, remind him that you are a "girl" and so is his mother.)(Also, do the "big boy" approach, you will need to watch over and help your sister, protect her, etc. That will appeal to the man in him hopefully.) He likely will be influenced by his dad, unfortunately. It sounds like your daughter intends to continue living with him, but surely she isn't "ok" with this sort of attitude on the part of the father? I know it's hard being a grandmother and standing by 'watching' this sort of thing. I think being positive is about all you can do. Sounds like the "dad" wanted another boy and is taking it out on everybody, by being negative about the fact the baby is a girl.) I wish all of you well.
The dad sounds like a real pig. I kind of hope your daughter doesn't have any more kids with him (I know it's not a nice thing to say, but he doesn't sound like a good father). I think you just have to be the best positive influence you can. I agree that you can remind Lance that you and Mommy are both girls, too.
There are books that you could read to him that might help, without it being too apparent that you're trying to teach a lesson. The Magic Treehouse series has an older brother and younger sister. They use a magic treehouse and books to travel to different places and times, and work together through adversity. There is a book by Kevin Henkes called, "Julius, Baby of the World." Lilly's parents are having a baby. At first Lilly is happy about it. But after Julius arrives, she decides he's not so great. She tries to teach him the alphabet incorrectly, and thinks he's disgusting. She says some pretty hateful things about him, but this is an opportunity to discuss her behavior and words. Toward the end, a cousin starts saying bad things about Julius. Then Lilly's protective big sister instincts kick in and she puts the other girl in her place (no violence, by the way!). Maybe, by reading this story to him, he can see that sisters can be cool.
I hope all ends well with Lance and his little sister. Just be a positive influence, and hopefully he'll be able to see past what his dad is teaching him.
Actually, this man is sick and I pity the new baby. I really think the mother should get counceling or leave him. The mental health of her children is at stake.
I agree this is a sad situation. Good for you for trying to bring something positive into it. You could talk to your grandson, or read stories about women who have done things he might admire, i.e. an astronaut, flying around the world etc. You are going to have to be the diplomat. Bless you, and best of luck.
Consider getting Lance a t-shirt that says, I'm a big brother now! As a "present" from his baby sister. Mom and Grandma, you are in for a rough time, but you can put a positive spin on it. Can Lance join Cub Scouts to help get a more balanced life-view? Yes, Mom is going to be busy with baby sister, but many Cub dens will allow moms to bring babies when needed.
Maybe the baby will charm her father right out of his socks? We can hope!
Does Lance's Mom have a sister? If so, she could talk about how great it was to grow up with a sister. She should also tell Lance how wonderful it will be to have both a son and daughter in the family. Since the father's attitude is so wrong, I think there is nothing wrong with both of you emphasizing how wonderful this will be, and pour it on thickly. A six-year-old could possibly even be told that sometimes his Daddy can be wrong about things and this is something he is wrong about.
In addition to all the great feedback already given, when I went to the hospital to give birth, I packed gifts in the suitcase. When we got home, the other children received a "present" from the baby. Amazingly, it worked. I also wonder how she can live with a man who obviously thinks little of her. I had that kind of marriage and loved the divorce.
P.S. I am a retired clinical psychologist (35 years) and this man is destructive if he acts on his attitudes and he does.
A six year old is old enough to reason some things out for himself, and it is good practice to teach him to use good judgment. First off, remove the good/bad girl from the issue. Make it orange - good cats, white means cats, and lazy - brown cats. Get him to watch cat behavior and ask him if it is true that all orange cats are good cats?
Are all the white cats he saw mean? Are they mean to just certain people, or are they just mean in general, or are they really nice a lot of times? Has he seen a brown cat who liked to run and play? Then judging all orange cats the same is wrong, isn't it? What if there was a sad white cat who needed a human friend very badly? Shouldn't he be the kitty's friend? If he likes fish, use fish or dogs or earthworms, for critters' sake!
Then take it to humans, then girls in general, then sisters in particular. Show him how wrong and illogical it is to judge any human by their physical features,and how especially wrong it is to judge someone by other people's opinions! If he is going to be around this kind of influence, he needs to resist it. Who knows, maybe he can actually show his father a better way, and do the world a favor.
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