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How to talk to partners daughter!


Mini crazy cat lady
Well, the title pretty much says it all!

Been with 'im indoors for nearly 6 months now, and he has a daughter from his past relationship. She is 8, and lives with his grandparents (long story).
She seems a sweet girl, but is VERY quiet, even around her dad. They don't seem to have the best of relationships, not your typical Hallmark daddy daughter thing going on. But to make matters worse, I have very little 'experience' being around children, and am a very shy individual myself!
I don't spend a lot of time with her, and very little on my own. But I simply don't know what to say to her. I know she likes me, so to speak, I've seen the way she looks at me in the 'wow' way that you do when you are 8, craving to be a grown up! I would like to be able to spend time with her without feeling like a prat, really! My friend is a teacher, and she has said I should talk to her about JLS or school and the like, but I don't want to seem like I'm trying too hard, if you know what I mean.
She hasn't seen her mum since Christmas, and her dad has recently moved in with me, so she doesn't see him as much (which I feel absolutely awful about), and I guess I don't want her to resent me. Kinda selfish I guess. But I have tried to make the whole thing as smooth as possible, and actively encourage OH to spend more time with her, quality time, rather than just being in the same room.

So basically, and tips, hints, or advice would be greatly appreciated on how to talk to her without feeling like a div!
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Qua Sae

Full Member
I think as time goes on & you get to know her a bit better then you will find it easier to talk to her. I talk to our neighbours' son & his friends, they're all about 11 now (I think) But I've known them for years. They love our pets so I talk to them about that or their pets.. It's a nice common ground. Maybe you could ask her what she's interested in & find some way to have that together.

With kids, a lot of how they see you is about confidence.. If you're a confident div then she'll admire you more than if you're just a div. Lol!

I used to be a child who was very quiet around most people but I'd always watch & listen. I still do it now.. I'm a people watcher. Lol. So don't take her not being talkative as a sign that she's not interested :)


Mini crazy cat lady
No, not at all. I know she is very much looking and listening, she's just very very shy. I was as a kid too, and still am. But even as a grown up, I'm still a watcher and a listener :D

I know she likes cats, and shes very interested in my cat. But unfortunately she is quite nervous of dogs, and Hugo is still quite boisterous, so we are going to try and get her used to him, then we can do things as a wee family I guess, dog included!

I've already asked if she could get a cat, and she loves them. But unfortunately, OH is a bird breeder, and they are kept at his grandparents house, where she lives. So a cat is a no-no. I would love to take her shopping, she adores fashion, but all in good time :)

I should be thankful she doesn't detest me!


Gold Member
I was going to suggest taking her shopping, most little girls would love that.
Other than that, it's a case of getting to know her. It takes time. It's a nice age and she seems quite receptive of you.
You're lucky she's not a few years older (I have experience of that, 12 years old and HATED me!!!), at least at this age she'll probably be a bit nicer.

Just be interested in her, ask her what she likes, buy her a magazine and read through it together so it can then prompt discussions.

Good luck :)


Gold Member
Id recommend a shopping trip too, my niece is 8 and loves places like Claires accessories where she can get loads of girly stuff :) Maybe take her for something to eat. I know my niece loves going for lunch but likes to go to a 'proper' place not McD or KFC (her usual haunts) I think she likes the idea of doing something special...

You could ask her about school, friends, what music she likes, I know with my niece she loves hearing my stories too... particularly about when I was her age - God I sound 100 lol but its amazing the things she does that I did, and she just loves that connection. Emma loves it if Ive seen films shes seen etc she also loves being able to tell me about thing shes seen/done. Actually Emma just loves to talk ;)

Youll find shell just start talking to you before you know it and you wont have to think about it at all
You hit the nail on the head, don't look like you re trying too hard, and even if you don't know what to say make sure of one thing .. You listen to her. She may give you a few clues about what she d like to do.
I think taking her to a few places would be great, but maybe some where like a craft centre with a shop, where theres loads to look at and talk about, or even a local national trust place with gardens and animals and a big house- don't get me wrong I'm not a wholesome bread baking mother, however my 11 year old used love seeing places and getting out and about, she especially loves going to the tea room at these places and having an ice cream or some other tasty treat.
Even if you only get one word answers for a while, just keep asking about her, it ll all add to a big picture of what she s about .
It may take some work, and occasionally feeling like a div, but it sounds like she may need someone like you x

Good luck x

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Mini crazy cat lady
Great replies, thanks everyone! I think I'm guilty of my usual overthinking again, and being a "let's do it NOW" type of person. I should just let nature take its course, so to speak :)

We are toying with the idea of getting a kitten, and getting one that would be hers would be a lovely idea. It's strange, but as OH has a strange relationship with her, I don't want to push things on him too much. At the end of the day, it's his daughter. But I might suggest it to him. I just don't want to rush everything. I've already said that once we are settled, I'm totally fine with her stopping over or whatever, when I finally clear out the spare bedroom of all the soot! So perhaps the kitten would be a good plan when we are more settled. Don't want her to pick a kitten, then she can't come and see it when she wants, that would be harsh. I live about 10 miles from her, and OH doesn't drive.


Mini crazy cat lady
In many ways, I've already made my voice heard over his daughter! She's a little tubby for an 8 year old, but quite tall. But her great-grandparents are always niggling at her for being overweight, so I've had to point out to them, and to the OH, that those kinda things damage a kid. She may laugh and smile when they say it, but those things can haunt you, I know they haunted me - being called fat, then given a chocolate bar!


synful soul
Brilliant ideas !!!

I have very little recent experience but my grand daughter also loved the whole shopping thing. I did too it was such fun doing it together.
She also loved watching films with me. We chatted about them before, during and after the film.She especially loved animals ones like Spirit.

What a nice person you are to be so concerned.


Mini crazy cat lady
See you already understand her, as you too once were a little girl! Xx
It's very true! I remember as a little girl that my older female cousin was my idol, and I wanted to be her! I now can't stand her, so it's interesting how things change :D

In a month or so I might suggest a shopping trip with OH and his daughter, then tell him to bugger off whilst we do girly things :)

Thanks guys x


Gold Member
I don't have any advice tbh - just wanted so say how admirable it is that you are thinking about this little girls welfare so much. Especially important if she does not regularly see her mum. She is very kucky to have you looking out for her xxx

Lucia Lucia

Silver Member
My youngest daughter is eight and these are things she likes doing, its the sharing things that will make the relationship.

making homemade pizza- all supermarkets do the quick bread bases in the supermarket in the hombaking ailse.If you are looking for a healthy easy to make pud, fruit kebabs are a hit, cut up the fruit and thread on the sticks.

Go to the cinema- just spending time being together no pressure to talk.

My daughter likes, claires accessories as mentioned and Frankie and Bennies, bowling and rollerskating, cycling- do you have a bike hire place near you ( we have a reseviour you can cycle round nearby)

Does she go to Brownies, cheerleading, gymnastics? If so learn a bit about them.

With all my children the relationship has started from them as children as they are all adopted and it is hard at the beginning. I vividly remember with my eldest having no clue what a five year old girl liked at all but time builds the relationship.

Good Luck


Mini crazy cat lady
She likes horseriding, and I went to see her do that on Easter Sunday as I managed to wangle the day off, but I'm rather nervous around horses, so it ain't the best start! She also likes crafts, and as I used to do that, I've passed her some things in the past, and some of my old shoes, but shes now bigger than me! (I take 3-4, she is 4+)

But bless you all for thinking I'm a caring sort :) I'm just a wee bit worried about her, as the only main female figure in her life is her great grandma, and not that I think I'm the best role model, I ain't too shabby I guess. I've spoken to 'im indoors. His suggestion is to speak to her like a grown up, and don't swear. Dead helpful that. I'm not gonna rush things, she likes to come with us when we go places like B&Q as I guess she gets to go in a grown up car and hang around with grown ups who ain't really old! And I'll perhaps suggest something a few weeks down the line in half term.

I'd treat her as you would anybody you've just met, start a conversation, about anything, her shoes, clothes, hair, friends, what she watches on tv & just take it from there. Ask her about what books/mags she reads, if it's mags you could both go to the shop to chose one each then discuss what's in the mags.

You could also start to chat about 'her' room, what colours does she want, will she help you sort it out, does she want to stay over at yours.

She likes cats, what other animals does she like, just start a conversation about anything.


Gold Member
Find out something that she's good at, and ask her to 'help' you with something that involves her using that skill. She's more likely to open up if she feels confident in what she's doing (even if she doesn't feel confident in herself).
Why don't you try doing something together that's your "thing" and she'll really look forward to. Like horse riding? there's a mutual subject for when things go quiet..

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