HELP! Afraid to tell my 10 year old I'm pregnant!

Angela - posted on 04/05/2014 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My daughter turns 10 this month, she is an only child but my husband and I are 12 weeks pregnant. We are very excited and have been trying for a long time. We've decided to share our news with family and friends this weekend beginning with our daughter! I don't see it going well, she has expressed her desire to remain an only child many times. She doesn't care for babies or young children and she's had a decade to prefect the art of being an only child. I'm worried this will rock her boat!! Any advice on helping to ease her into this big life change and hopefully get her excited about becoming a sister? Thanks!

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/29/2016

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Itws always better to be open (age appropriately, of course) with your children. In the OP's case, I hope that she just put on her big girl panties and talked with her daughter. As for Kim Cerny...again, openness is better. Why avoid the issue that is obviously not going to go away?

Don't make it about your 10 YO, make it a conversation about your FAMILY. If you have an open conversation, explain what is happening, and that it WILL change the family dynamic, but in a positive way, you'll have much better results.

You also need to NOT turn your eldest into your automatic baby watcher once LO arrives. If she's interested, let her help, but she is not the baby's minder, nor should she have to be. I see way too many parents with older siblings expecting them to drop everything to help the younger. This can be counter productive. Once LO arrives, try to make sure you are still spending equal alone time with the eldest. That makes all the difference.

Ev - posted on 02/29/2016

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Ariana, you have had some great ideas but I must disagree with one of them. Not all only kids who become a sibling at an older age get jealous. If her parents make her a big part of the process and give her enough attention then she might be just fine with it. Also suggestions for mom is to check with the hospital that you will use, some of them offer a sibling class that covers basics in baby care, first aid and cpr, and a few other things and might also show them where the babies are born such as the nursery and such. Also, think about letting her help pick out names she likes. That gives her a say in something to do with the baby. My daughter picked out names for a girl when we were expecting her brother.

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Sarah - posted on 02/29/2016

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I am curious why you have not just told her. Are you married? What does she know about sex and procreation? Maybe start with a talk about siblings and go from there. You can't change that you are having a baby so you may as well have on with it.

Kim - posted on 02/29/2016

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Hello,
I googled posts about having 10 year old daughter and being pregnant and this article popped up! I know these comments were made in 2014. But Angela how did telling your daughter go? How is she now that baby is here? I need advice! My daughter will be 10 in April and I'm due in September.
Thanks!!

Ariana - posted on 04/06/2014

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I'm glad I could be helpful! I'd love to hear about how her initial reaction goes and whether any of those things worked in the future. Good luck!

Angela - posted on 04/05/2014

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Thank you so much for your reply and for all the great ideas! My daughter is the absolute center of my universe, so I love the tip about making this about her as much as possible, and about setting aside special time for her and I both before and after the baby comes. I hope that she embraces becoming a sister and I hope it makes her feel even more important. I will most definitely remind our friends and family to continue making her feel as special as she is during the excitement of welcoming this new little light in our life. Thanks for the encouragement!

Ariana - posted on 04/05/2014

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I would try to make it as positive as you can and try to make it about HER. The reason kids don't want siblings is because it will take attention away from them, and they know this. So try to talk about how she gets to be a big sister and see if she wants to help you in it.

She doesn't need to like babies or young kids, or help you out if she doesn't like it, but sometimes making a big deal about how helpful she is and she can help you find things for the baby or pick out stuff. The more it becomes about her and how great she is and helpful she is (in whatever capacity it is that she wants) the better it will be.

No matter what you do it WILL rock her boat, but at the same time, she's 10, not 4 she can and will handle it.

Also keep in mind to remind family members to pay special attention to big sis. If they bring presents and gifts for the baby and you they should probably bring a small present for her as well. It seems silly but it's true. Same with once the baby is born and people visit. If you have a discussion with people (obviously far away from your 10 year old so she doesn't know) just try to remind them it's a big deal for her too and if they come visit they should probably try to give her some attention too. She's definitely going to be jealous when the baby comes but you have to try and get her to be able to deal with it.

Is there something you and her can do together special for each other, before and after the baby is born? You could join a Mother-daughter book club or family yoga or a cooking class, or start doing a hobby you're both interested in. Just anything that's special to you and her.

It seems like a small thing but sometimes having something to go out and do that's planned is really helpful since then no matter what you get that time with just each other to do something. Especially if it's a club where you can't just say next week or oh tomorrow, you have to go that day to do it.

Anyway the best thing is to just tell her and see how she reacts and try to make it positive. If you tell her and she does express jealousy or upset acknowledge the legitimacy of her concerns. Don't try to push it off as if it's not an issue, take what she says and listen. If possible try to find ways to help solve things.

Anyway congratulations and I hope some of that is helpful. Good luck!

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