DEAR HARRIETTE: My ex-husband remarried a little while ago, and they eventually had a child. He and I share two kids from our marriage.
My oldest is starting to realize that the new child is getting a lot more attention than he did from his dad growing up. My oldest is in his late 20s now, so it seems kind of random for him to be harping on this the way he is. He will often compare his experiences with his father to the experiences that his youngest half-sibling is getting. I feel that it's not my place to address the resentment he's feeling toward his father. I really think that the two of them could benefit from a sit-down. Is it even my place to facilitate this? How can I make that happen? -- Hard Conversations
DEAR HARD CONVERSATIONS: I think it’s OK for you to start the conversation with your son. The reality is that your ex-husband had this child much later in life than when he had your son. I’m sure he has learned a lot from his past and is working to be a more attentive father this go-round. Yes, that may be hurtful to your son, but it is likely what is happening. It would be great if your son could recognize that he does not need to be in competition with his younger sibling. This is just a new time in the family’s life.
Recommend that he reach out to his dad to talk. Instead of complaining about how much attention this new child is getting, why not ask his dad to rekindle their bond? Even though your son is older, he still needs his dad. He should say that to his father and ask him to make time to connect. That will likely work much better than making his dad feel guilty for loving his baby too much.