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21 Sep 2009

Bonding with girlfriends teenage daughter
Hi CS,

My girlfriend has a 12 going on 13 year old daughter, that Im in the delicate stages of bonding with. I want to take her and my similar aged niece shopping for summer wardrobes and spoil them both.

Would this be considered ' buying'  the daughters affection? My intention is to bond with her thats why Im including my niece in the picture as well, but I dont want to cross the line cause I know children are more aware of things than adults can imagine.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Regards
Rick
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

I'm not sure that its ever actally good to Spoil kids, whatever the nature of the Spoiler or the circumstances. As Really says, why do so many of our attempts to bond get seen as having to involve buying STUFF ? Bonding comes more from time spent together doing interesting and rewarding things, rather than from shopping together and buying things. And as Really also wisely points out, your plan could lead to unsustainable expectations on the child's side. What also srikes me is that, maybe accidentally, you phrase your question as though you have not discussed the broader issue with the mother, and taken her advice nor do you seem to be expecting her participation.
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