When should you tell your child they have a half sister?

Nichole - posted on 12/19/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My husband and i just found out he has a child with someone from his past. what age should i tell my son he has a older sister? I just had another baby and he is not dealing with it well. would this new news make it worse?

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Lacye - posted on 12/19/2012

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My daughter and step daughter are both 3 years old (yes same father, LONG story!). We have always been honest with her that she has a half sister. You situation is completely different though. Your husband just found out while my husband has known the whole time. I would wait until after the DNA test comes back. If it comes back that she is his child, I would sit your son down (the BOTH of you) and let him know that he has a sister (personally, I hate saying half sibling because it seems to diminish the relationship between the siblings simply because one has a different parent than the other). The sooner you tell him afterwards, the better he will take it and the faster he will come to terms with it.

Shawnn - posted on 12/19/2012

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good luck, Nichole, because this is going to be emotionally stressful anyway...you'll be in my thoughts

Shawnn - posted on 12/19/2012

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I guess that would depend on how much your husband plans on being involved with this child. If he is just going to pay support, but not visit, then I wouldn't worry until your kids are older. But, if hubby is going to try to get contact/visitation/custody arrangements, then the sooner the better.

With our boys, we told them as soon as they were old enough to understand what we meant. They've never met their half sister, nor does she know about them. (her mother was not receptive to my husband remarrying, nor was she receptive to visitation from us. She wanted the cash, but refused to allow any other contact, which is why I advocate for the fathers contact rights)

In our opinion, we felt that it was better for us to be honest from the start with our sons, regardless of the contact question. We wanted them to know that they do have a sister out there somewhere, just in case she ever does decide she wants contact with us now that she's an adult

Nichole - posted on 12/19/2012

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If the test comes back and she is his I think he will want too. Is has just happened we are still in shock.

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