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Thursday, 14 September 2000

The Blended Family: Demanding Equal Love

Written by  Sherri Mandell

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The Blended Family: Demanding Equal Love

The Attack: Blaming and defending

Kimberly: Why did you leave Dina at the doctor? She's only 15. She doesn't know the whole medical situation.

Greg: Then you should have taken her yourself.

Name calling

Kim: She needed you there with her. It was irresponsible of you. Negligent.

Greg: Don't give me negligent. Take her yourself next time.

You know I couldn't.

Greg: Well you knew I had an appointment. I told you I couldn't stay long.

Attacking and Deflecting the blows

Kim: I know she's not your daughter but you could care about her a little more. I'm sure if it were Tanya you would have stayed.

Greg: That's a cheap shot. I couldn't stay...I told you I had an appointment.

Kim: Yeah, sure. I wish you cared more about Dina. You never go out of your way for her.

Greg: That's not true. I do.

Kim: Yeah, did you buy her anything for her birthday? No. Do you ever spend time with her? NO. The only time you spend with her is when I ask you to.

Kim, you know I'm busy. Besides she doesn't want to spend time with me.

More blaming and admonishing

Kim: You're her father now. You should act like one.

Greg: I do.

Kim: I'm sure you spent more time with Tanya. She says that you were a great father. Always taking her swimming and playing ball in the park. You have never done that with Dina, ever.

Greg: She's not athletic. She doesn't like swimming. She's not a jock.

Kim: She needs to know you care about her. She feels left out.

Greg: How do you know? Did she say that?

Kim: No. But I can tell.

Greg's needs:

Greg: Let me do this in my own time. Don't force me to become Super dad. It's gonna take time for us to feel close.

Kim: You have to try harder.

Greg's Counterattack

Greg: You have to let go. You have to stop pushing me.

Kim: I'm just so happy for her to finally have a father. And I want it to work.

Greg: You can't force relationships.

Kim returns to blaming

Kim: Greg, you are the adult. You have to find a way to get her to want to be with you. You have to open your heart to her. I get the feeling you don't even like her.

Greg: I like her. It's just that.... It's just...


Greg blames his stepdaughter and Kim defends her

Greg: She's fresh. She's disrespectful. She's sarcastic. I don't like the way she speaks.

That's the way kids talk. You've just got to accept her. She needs love from you. She's not used to having a father. But she could...

Greg: She gets away with murder. If she were my daughter, she'd be grounded for a week.

Well she is your daughter.

: Well then, she has to stop being disrespectful. Sitting at the table and reading during dinner. It's not right.

Kim: You can't change her.

So how am I supposed to be her father? I'm not supposed to discipline her or tell her how I really feel. Do you see what a catch 22 you've got me in? And then you get upset because I dropped her off at the doctors? Well my whole life with the two of you is walking on eggshells. Either I'm going to upset her or I'm going to upset you.


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Last modified on Sunday, 22 May 2011 14:16
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Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell has a Master's degree in Creative Writing and has taught writing at the University of Maryland and Penn State University. She is the author of the book Writers of the Holocaust. She has written articles for the Washington Post. She is married with four children

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