Dear Grandma Maggie,
I am a single mom and I just found out that I am 2 months pregnant. My daughter is 11 and she wants to pick the girl’s name, but the names she picked are off of some television show she watches and I do not like the names. How do I tell her that I won’t be using the names she picked out? Also, because she has been the only child she already seems to get mad when we talk about the things I will need for the baby and she asks if she will get new things every time the baby gets something new. My mom, against what I thought, told her that she has got everything for the last 11 years so now it is the baby’s turn. That only seemed to make things worse. How can I explain to her she will still get some things just not like she used to without being to harsh?
Sounds to me you are buying the guilt your older daughter is selling about having a second child. The first error was agreeing to her selecting the baby’s name. You can now tell her that she can make a list of ten names and you will consider them but it is the parents’ job to name their baby and she will do that one day for her child just as you are now doing for yours.
As for getting “things” when the baby gets things, tell her that her needs will be different but that she will always have everything she needs, even if it isn’t everything she wants, and that she will always have your love no matter how many children are in the family. I think that is really her concern. Don’t be afraid to set limits as a parent. Done lovingly, it is helpful to a child.