Q: I am a single parent female with an eight-year-old daughter. Her dad lives and works in Toronto and only gets to see her at Christmas and summer vacations. I have recently been dating a great guy. We have fun together.
I know that he would like to move in with us and that my daughter is against the idea.
I am worried that the whole thing between him and my daughter could cause serious problems for all of us.
What do you think I could do to ease the situation?
A: I would suggest that you hold off on any changes until you are convinced that your boyfriend respects your relationship with your daughter and she respects your relations with him. They do not have to like each other but they need to be respectful.
If you and your boyfriend get together, you are asking your daughter to develop a relationship with him that she has no control over.
The enthusiasm you see in him becoming a part of your family could just as easily turn into him later leaving you and leaving your daughter feeling abandoned in the process.
You may be able to handle the hurt of breaking up, but I wonder if your daughter can.
Your boyfriend and your daughter need to figure out how they can better deal with each other.
He does not need to be her dad because she already has one. Your daughter has your support as a parent for those important guidelines.
Your boyfriend could be a friend to your daughter.
All of us need friends, and if the two of them spent time learning about each other, you might find the respect you need from her for your relationship with your boyfriend.
You may also find the respect from him for your parental responsibilities.
Jacklin Andrews is a family counsellor from Saskatchewan. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.