Kate Ferdinand has revealed the secret code she uses to communicate with her stepdaughter Tia.
The former TOWIE star, 31, is stepmother to husband Rio’s three children Lorenz, 15, Tate, 13, and Tia, 11 – whose mother Rebecca sadly died after a battle with cancer in 2015 – and the couple also have a son named Cree, two, together.
The television personality is expecting a baby girl with Rio, a new addition to what she calls their ‘blended’ family.
Speaking on Monday’s Lorraine, she revealed that she and Tia have a secret code which tells her when she wants to talk about her late mother.
She said: ‘It’s really hard when the children are upset. Tia sends me the colour in like a heart which is her mum and grandma’s favourite colour and that’s when she wants to talk about it or she might not want to but its so I know her feelings.’
‘It’s really hard when the children are upset’: Pregnant Kate Ferdinand has revealed the secret code she uses to communicate with her stepdaughter Tia, 11
Code: The former TOWIE star, 31, revealed she and Tia have a secret code which tells her when she wants to talk about her late mother (pictured with L-R Lorenz, 15, Rio, Tia, and Tate, 13)
Kate admitted it has not always been easy throughout her stepchildren’s grief journey but she has learnt how to navigate it and give them space.
She said: ‘There were ups and downs. It wasn’t perfect but really communicating with the children is important. It is to know when to step back and give them space.’
The star, who has been married to Rio since 2019 after they began dating in 2016, also admitted that it can be hard to settle into a family as a step parent.
Kate said: ‘The children have been through so much. It’s difficult for a step parent, it can be hard but they say between four to seven years you’ll feel settled.
She also spoke about her new book, How To Build A Family, which aims to give other step parents tips.
The star said: ‘There were awkward times and I’m hoping the tips [in her new book] will help others like going to the airport with a different surname is a big one.’
Later, Kate joked about her and Rio’s incoming new arrival to Lorraine, saying: ‘Another one, oh my gosh. Cree was the icing on the cake he bought us all together so hoping the little girl will be the same.’
She also opened up about how she has been feeling during her second pregnancy.
New book: Kate also spoke about her new book, How To Build A Family, which aims to give other step parents tips
Kate said: ‘I’m good, I’m feeling good but also feeling tired. Think I’ve been so busy I haven’t thought about the logistics of having another baby yet.’
The TV personality announced the release of her parenting handbook How To Build A Family on Instagram in January.
The former TOWIE star couldn’t contain her excitement as she gushed about the ‘modern parenting handbook’ which is to help blended families.
Kate said she is ‘nervous’ and ‘grateful’ to be able to share her advice and experiences of her own.
She wrote in the reveal: ‘I’m just so excited (& a little nervous) to finally be sharing this with you all… I’ve written a book.
‘How To Build A Family is the kind of modern parenting handbook that I wish I had been given when I started out on my journey in a fully blended family.
‘Its packed full of advice from experts, every day stories and some of my experiences along the way.
‘It’s there to guide you on your journey and pick you up when your not feeling so great.
‘I’m just so grateful I’ve been able to bring my vision to life and create something that will hopefully help others along the way with their parenting journey.’
She concluded the post by thanking her team and described the news as ‘a real pinch me moment’.
It comes after Kate previously admitted on her podcast that she is ‘feeling a lot better’ about being part of a blended family after five years with Rio.
She has spoken openly about the challenges she faced becoming a step-parent to Rio’s three children.
In May last year, she admitted she worries about the ‘big kids’ more, adding that the love for a stepchild is ‘even sometimes more intense.’
The podcast host detailed the ‘instant love’ with your biological offspring before adding: ‘I feel the love of a stepchild is even sometimes more intense, because you’ve worked so hard to get there and I find myself probably overdoing everything.’
Kate added to The Sun: ‘I worry about the big kids so much more. There’s a different kind of worry that comes with children that have lost a parent.’
In December, Kate said that she feels as though she knows her husband Rio’s late wife Rebecca, because they ‘talk about her all the time.’
Kate also discussed raising her blended family on the Parenting Hell podcast, while detailing the changing dynamic with Rio and Rebecca’s three children.
She insisted that she never wanted to take the place of their mother, and that learning about Rebecca has made her a better parent.
She said: ‘Their mum is a massive part of our lives and always will be. I would never want the children to think I am taking the role of [Rebecca].
Family: Kate previously admitted on her podcast that she is ‘feeling a lot better’ about being part of a blended family after five years with Rio
‘I am a maternal figure to them but their mum is their mum. She is part of our lives. We talk about her all the time. It is really weird but I feel like I know her.’
She added: ‘For me to be the best parent to my three step-children I need to know her and know what she would do. I embrace all of that.
‘When I look back it was hard. But I have got this mentality, I love Rio and if I love Rio then this has to work.
‘I want to be part of everything. I wouldn’t want to be a half-hearted step mum. If I love him and the kids I need to be part of everything.’
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