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Thursday, November 20, 2014

FAMILY: Problems

Will I cope with step kids?

I am planning to get married in the New Year to a man who has custody of his three children. I like them a lot and we get on really well whenever we do anything together, but that’s only been for the occasional outing, not living together. I am beginning to worry how they (and I) will react when we have to share a home together all the time. I have never looked after children before, except to baby-sit, and am beginning to panic. My fiance says his children think the world of me, but I can’t help myself from panicking. JA

Fiona says:

I am not surprised you are concerned as becoming a step-mother is never easy, especially when you've never looked after children before. I think you've got a head start in as much as the children like you, but that won't stop a lot of confused and powerful emotions coming into play. I think you'd find Deborah Fowler's book, Loving Other People's Children particularly helpful – it’s an excellent guide to step-parenting.

Is it my fault my son’s gay?

My 19-year-old son has just told me that he is gay and while I’m not totally surprised, I can’t help but feel sad. He’s my only child and knowing that he will never have a family is making me quite weepy. I don’t want to show him how I feel though and while I know it’s silly to expect some sort of miraculous change, I can’t help but hope. I also can’t help but wondering if it's something I did. My husband walked out on us when he was only five and so he’s always been brought up by women – me, my mum, my sister. Is it possible that this has affected him? HR

Fiona says...

No, I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that he was brought up by women, so lease, please stop feeling guilty and stop thinking that your son's sexual orientation has anything to do with what you did, or didn’t do, when he was younger. He is a normal young man and the fact that he’s able to be open with you is a wonderful thing. There are many gay couples who marry or enter into civil partnerships. Many too have children, either through adoption or surrogacy, so you can't assume there will be no grandchildren. However, for now I think you should try to concentrate on loving and supporting your son.


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