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Wicked step-mother

Dear Bunmi,

When I broke up with my ex three years ago, I left with our daughter who is now five. She used to have a good relationship with her father until he remarried early last year and his new wife became hostile towards my little girl. As a result, she became reluctant to visit and said that the woman had hit her. When I tried to talk to her, I got nothing but insults.

I told my ex that unless he could guarantee that our daughter would not encounter his hostile wife whenever she visited, he wouldn’t be allowed to see her except I was with her. That was some few months ago and my daughter hasn’t seen her dad since then. She is happier and seems more confident and I believe I have done the right thing. Do you?

Apinke, by e-ail.

 

Dear Apinke,

You’re right to be concerned when your girl felt intimidated by his father’ wife. As unacceptable as that was, your action is equally rash. A child needs to feel the love of both parents.

Your girl may seem happier now but she needs to develop a strong relationship with her father too. A mother needs to encourage her children’s bond with both parents, as well as with the rest of the family.

It’s obvious you value a man who cares for his child. So encourage your ex to do just that. Keeping him apart from his child is unkind. Apologise to him for threatening the separation you have now imposed.

Let him feel he’s needed in his daughter’s life and ask him to find his own way to protect your daughter from the hostility of his wife. With time, your ex will value time spent with his daughter more than in the company of a disgruntled wife.


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