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Dear Carol

"I feel left out of my dad's new family"

Dear Carol,
My dad and new stepmom took me ice skating with them and my stepsister. I thought it would be fun, but it wasn't. My dad kept holding hands with my stepsister (she's 8 and a bad skater), and I felt totally left out. I even drank hot chocolate alone, and my stepmom came over and asked what was wrong. I just shrugged. Should I have told her?
–Sad About New Family

Dear Sad About New Family,
Your mixed feelings are understandable, so speak up to your dad and stepmom. Your dad is being a good stepfather, but he might not realize it makes you sad to see him hold another girl's hand. A heart-to-heart won't magically take the pain away, but it will help. And your stepmom is probably already guessing your thoughts. Say, "I'm happy to be part of your family, but I admit I sometimes feel left out." They might have comforting words for you. Also try, "Dad, I know you're busy, but it'd mean a lot if you and I went to breakfast Sunday, just us. I like your new family, but I miss you. Texting or calling him might also give you two a chance to talk without involving the extended fam.

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by Dear Carol | 12/24/2017
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