Getting Step Children To Warm Up

Dear Sara,

I am twenty-nine years old and dating a man in his thirties. He has a daughter who is ten years old and she really doesn’t like me. I don’t go to their house often but when I do she starts yelling at me to go away and says that her mother is coming back. This has happened three times now and although I care about her Dad I’m not sure I could handle this kind of behavior. She spends her summers with her Mom but her school year with her Dad. He said he has tried to explain to her that he and her Mom aren’t ever going to live together again. Is there anything I can do to make her like me?

This little girl has been caught in the middle of her parents’ breakup and she is having a really difficult time adjusting to it. If you care about her father and want to continue the relationship, you might want to keep your contact with his daughter to small steps for a while so she has time to get used to you. If you can find something the two of you have in common like a TV show or activity, you might use that to engage her. Her Dad has to set the rules so that she is required to at least polite to you but don’t expect too much from her. Try to be patient and give her time to adjust.


  1. Seems like you whine a lot. Face it. Maybe you’re just unlikeable.

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