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Stepkids show no interest in new baby

Carolyn Hax on

I don't have enough information to judge, obviously -- but you make no mention of the emotional conditions into which you brought this baby. If you weren't invested in emotional cohesion before you had your daughter, then it would be a bit rich for you to expect it now that it's your own child who would benefit.

So, ask yourself the hard questions about how the "before" -- yours, his, theirs, everyone's -- brought you to this "after."

Then bring that insight to your husband, along with ideas for how to eat dinner, travel, celebrate and make conversation as one unit versus two. The best way to encourage affection is to show it, and the best way to show it is for its own sake, without defensiveness, and without any notion of a quid pro quo.

Re: Stepkids:

Babies are intimidating as heck. I think the first baby I held was when I was like 30 and my best friend basically shoved hers in my arms. So if you're waiting for teenagers to ask to hold your baby as a sign of family cohesion ... er ... it could be a long wait.

-- Anonymous

Re: Stepkids:

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I can see how a father of kids approaching adulthood would want to spend time with them that's not dominated by a baby. Make the best of the time you all spend together but recognize that alone time for them is OK, too.

-- Anonymous 2

Both make perfect sense, thanks.

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Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

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