SERIOUS QUESTION... HELP

[deleted account] ( 83 moms have responded )

I HAVE A 7 YEAR OLD LITTLE GIRL WHO HAS BEEN RAISED BY A MAN WHO IS NOT HER BIOLOGICAL DAUGHTER SINCE SHE WAS AROUND 9 MONTHS OLD. SHE BELIEVES THAT HE IS HER "REAL" DAD AND EVERYONE HAS LET HER BELIEVE THAT SINCE SHE WAS OLD ENOUGH TO CALL HIM DAD, (WHICH SHE DID ON HER OWN WHEN SHE WAS AROUND 3.) HER BIOLOGICAL FATHER LIVES IN THE SAME PART OF TOWN AS WE DO, AND HE HAS 2 OTHER CHILDREN (ONE OF WHICH IS A BOY WHO IS 4 MONTHS YOUNGER THEN MY DAUGHTER, AND IS IN THE SAME GRADE AND SCHOOL DISTRICT.) THE CHOICE WAS NOT MINE, KEEPING HER AWAY FROM HER BIOLOGICAL FATHER, HE JUST NEVER WANTED ANYTHING FROM HER. I WASN'T GOING TO FORCE HIM. HE HAS NEVER HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH HER, SINCE I WAS 5 MONTHS PREGNANT, EXCEPT ON THE OFF CHANCES THAT I RAN INTO HIM (ABOUT 3 TIMES) AND HE ACTED LIKE HE DIDN'T KNOW WHO EITHER OF US WERE... I DO NOT WANT TO HURT HER AT ALL, AND I WAS WONDERING IF SHE IS TOO YOUNG TO HEAR ANY OF THIS, OR IF I DON'T TELL HER NOW, IS SHE MISSING OUT ON HAVING SIBLINGS. I AM AT A LOSS AT WHAT TO DO, ON HOW TO TELL HER, AND WHEN TO TELL HER, AND IF I SHOULD TELL HER. HELP ME PLEASE!!!

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Michelle - posted on 04/10/2009

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I agree so much with Elizabeth. She has been in your situation...



I am qualified in Child psychology and would urge you to tell your daughter before its too late. But remember her mind is not able to process so much 'grown up' talk. It may be best if you explained using drawings. Use pictures as Elizabeth said to talk about life before the new daddy.



Theres a saying. It takes a second to make a baby and become a father. But to be a 'daddy' takes a heck of alot more, than just a second.  And your daughters biological dad, is her Father, and her new daddy is her 'daddy', if you get me.



'Studies have shown that a child’s relationship with their father has an influence on almost every area of a child’s life from academic achievement to sexual development to drug use and depression. Clearly, a child’s relationship with their father has long-lasting effects on the child’s health and development. Even if a father does not live with his children, there is much that can be done to encourage a positive relationship between them. Spending quality time together and communicating effectively are two of the greatest means of developing a strong relationship between children and their fathers.'



Your little girls real father doesnt want anything to do with her. This makes your partner the greatest role model in her life apart from you. He needs to show her all the walks of life and communicate effectively with her.



Get your partner to tell her with you. So that the trust between them is not broken. Make sure she understands what the relationship is between her and everyone else in the family.



I would urge you to make a big diary of her life and yours. Put in it pictures of you when you was pregnant. Write stories about what was happening at the time. Like 'mommy became pregnant with you when I was ** yrs old and I was so happy.' then put in pictures of when she was born. Pictures of the whole family with her if you have any. Just make sure you include everyone including her boi father in it. Put a picture of him in it if you have one.



(Make it really pretty!)



Then you need to talk to her and have this book with you.



I would say something like..



" Come here ***** Mommy and daddy need to talk to you about something. (sit her down with a book that you have made) Can we show you this diary of you in mommys tummy and as a baby and little girl? There is so much exciting news in here. Some new and old pictures that you may not have seen before and some people we want to introduce you to..."



Let her look through the book by herself if she wants and ask you who this and that persons are. Be honest with her, but as Elizabeth said, keep it simple.



I do not know your whole story, or what your family's life is like now so I cant really say too much. But only you know what the truth is.



I can tell you though if you decide to not tell her, she may end up a very confused and upset child one day, especially if some spiteful person gets hold of any info and decides to be nasty and tell her. You cant lie forever...

Elizabeth - posted on 04/10/2009

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when people tell their kids something like this they dont have to tell the whole story...some parts arent her concern...the thing is if you tell them young it is just a normal thing if you tell her later she will feel like her whole world is just fake...ask anyone that finds out in adulthood that they are adopted...its not because they are adopted that they are bothered its because everything theyve known forever was incorrect....

my story is much like yours..

I had a little boy when i was 19, his father has never seen him (except in a shopping mall where he walked past us) i married at 22 and he calls my husband dad. when i got married I told my son that my hubby was marrying us both ....My son was at the age where as life went on he forgot about it and i didnt realise he had until he came home from school ( the same age as your daughter is now) and asked me if he could have a step dad like all the other kids...i laughed and said you do....don't you remember dad married us....which means you were here before him..i explained too that his dad chose to be his dad and most dads dont get to choose their kids..i then took the opportunity to tell him that "babies are made with a man and a woman ( theres no need for gory details) and because I didnt know dad there was someone else that helped me have a baby...."



the way you could bring it up is to talk about a time before "daddy" was around and casually maybe even a picture of you and her "before we met daddy"...and try to make it casual....I think the best way is to make it a normal thing, but the last thing you do is wait any longer...



of course this may bring up awkward questions, but its going to bring up alot more "where is he questions" when shes older......it best that you be honest and deal with it in a matter of fact way rather than a way where she feels like you are trying to hide it.... she doesnt need to know why you broke up or why he chose to stay away...if she does ask you could tell her that sometimes people cant stay together because they arent in love and her new daddy loved her soooo much she doesnt need two....



either way you cant keep it from her....she won't see it as you trying to protect her....she will see it as deceit unfortunately... and as previous posts may suggest telling her will not make her feel anything less towards her dad, you will not be taking that away from her....

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Sarah - posted on 06/14/2011

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I have an almost 4 year old whos biological father never wanted anything to do with her. When she was 1 I met my partner who she now calls dad. We have explained to her that someone else is her "FATHER" but that the man who has been there and looks after her and loves her is her "DADDY" a bit of sperm does not make a dad!!!

[deleted account]

My father is a like this guy - he claims my sister isn't his kid, has such an assortment of other kids that I actually dont know how many half siblings i have. Let me put it this way; When I was about nine, I asked my mother in all seriousness, if i should ask the boys i wanted to date who their father was to make sure we werent related. He's popped up occasionally, but only to keep some form of tabs on my brother. I want nothing to do with him, because my life is better when he's not in it. I think that goes just as well for your child. Father - well, the man wasn't a father, and is not a father to her. He's her sperm donor and nothing more. The girl's FATHER is the man who stood by you and helped raise her into the person she is now. her FATHER is the one who picked her up every time she cried, laughed with her and rocked her to sleep. Why upset her? She knows who her daddy is and it is NOT the man who got you pregnant.

L.Maria - posted on 04/15/2009

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Quoting Morag:



Quoting JenVen:

I just want to say that I was never NOT going to tell my daughter! I was just wondering when is the right time to tell her. She knows that the man who has raised her is her daddy, no questions asked. But now she is asking questions like, why was he not there when i was born and why did i call him mark and not dad when i was a baby, and things along those lines. Now, She is a very bright little girl, however, i never realized that she remembered not calling him daddy. Obviously she doesn't see him in pictures from when she was born either! So, thank you everyone for your help and input into my situation.





Hun, if she's THAT bright, tell her now. I run by the golden rule with kids, if they are old enough to ask the question, they are old enough to know the answer. I will guarantee you that she already knows that something is amiss and that your partner isn't her "real" daddy.... (I use the term real as biological not that your partner isn't her daddy) Plus her questions are probably probing questions. She's testing you. She already knows that her dad isn't related to her, but wants to see if you will be truthful.






Give her the benefit of the doubt. She has opened the door to speak to her about it, you just have to now tell her the truth.. There will be tears and she will be hurt, but this was always going to hurt her.  It hurts my little girl and she's always known... but she just accepts it and moves on with her life, and so will your little one.. Her biological father is a a*shole, he has hurt her, you didn't do this.






compleatly right my little brother hadnt been told till he was 15 and it tore him up the younger you let her no i think the better she knows this man loves her and she probably knows some of the truth

Melissa - posted on 04/15/2009

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Sorry, another thought. Have you ever seen,"The face on the Milk Carton"? That show is kinda a good example. If she finds out later rather than now she might want to meet him then. Where as now, I don't think she's old enough to think she can. My 8 year old step daughter is now figuring out what a piece of crap her mom is. (she is trust me) We have told her nothing and yet she still doesn't want to see her as much any more. Her choice not ours. I believe your daughter is old enough to know now. Maybe your husband and you take her out and let her know how much you both love her to death and that nothing will change because he loved her coming into the relationship.

Melissa - posted on 04/15/2009

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OH MY GOSH!!!!! You sound almost like my daughters biological fathers ex. He has a daughter and a son who are about 3-5 months age difference and my daughter who is about 4 years younger than both of them. I believe they are now 10. My ex was sent to jail when my daughter was 3 months old. I found an amazing man and though this man would be in her life after he got out. He is not!!! He is only in his sons life. I finally got him to give up custody this year. We are in the process right now. I cannot wait. Um, my daughter knows who he is (she calls him david instead of dad) She is 6. Um, you are going to have to tell her eventually because if something gravely wrong happens it will have to be a medical desicion between both sides of the biological families. (not sayin his family has anything to say about it) I'm not sure if you would have to tell her about it. But I do believe she does and will have the right to know something like that. I think she would be more angry at you for not telling her about it. Just tell her the situation. Let her know he walked out on you. He wanted nothing to do with it and you found an amazing man for her as a father!!!! A man who loves her enough to let her call him daddy!!! Show her how much you and him love her. That is my opinion. I hope it really helped you!!!!

Cassandra - posted on 04/15/2009

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hi jen,

I'm in the exact same position your in right now. My son is four so he is still a little bit young to understand that daddy is not his biological father. His bio father has seen him 7 times since the day he was born currently he has a 18 month old daughter and one on the way but has never wanted anything to do with my son. That would be hard that they attend the same school I will not have to worry about that but i no how you feel you dont want to take away what she knows now and why tell her if she knows no different maybe when she is a little bit older tell her that daddy chose her becasuse she is very special or the book sound like a good idea in any case she is your child and what you choose to do is your choice but just be aware of the concequences its a very hard decesion to make I can relate.

Julia - posted on 04/15/2009

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i would most likely not tell her till she is older . I think 7 is still to young to tell a child that what she thought was right isn't right . It might confuse her. Plus if you did tell her then she is going to wanna ask questions and see her real father.And if he doesn't want anything to do with her she might think that something is wrong with her because he doesn't want to be around her. I wish you luck , I don't know what I would do if I were in your shoe's.

Michelle - posted on 04/15/2009

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You shouldnt say to a child 'its not your fault'. If you put the word fault in thier head thier going to use it in some way. Say something like ' some mommy's and fathers cant live together but we still care for each other (they dont need to know you hate the guy) and your mommy and daddy that live with you, are the ones that can live together. Mommy is happy, daddy is happy. Are you happy with mommy and daddy living together? Are you okay with the other daddy living with his other family?'

Katie - posted on 04/14/2009

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I definately think you should wait until she is older. I never knew my biological father. The only man I knew as my dad was my sister's father, he started dating my mother when I was 6 months old so I never knew the difference. My mom told me he wasn't my real dad when I was around 6 or 7, and I always thought it was my fault that my real dad didn't want to know me. As I got older I realized it wasn't my fault, but as a child it really hurt me to know he didn't want me. I now know that if a man wants nothing to do with his own child, he isn't worth the dirt I walk on, so I really don't want to know him these days anyway. I do know that he has atleast 2 other children, and sometimes I wonder what it would be like to know them, but as for him, I could care less. I would wait until your daughter is old enough to really understand that it's not her fault he doesn't want to be in her life, and that she has her real daddy right there with her.

Morag - posted on 04/14/2009

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Quoting JenVen:

I just want to say that I was never NOT going to tell my daughter! I was just wondering when is the right time to tell her. She knows that the man who has raised her is her daddy, no questions asked. But now she is asking questions like, why was he not there when i was born and why did i call him mark and not dad when i was a baby, and things along those lines. Now, She is a very bright little girl, however, i never realized that she remembered not calling him daddy. Obviously she doesn't see him in pictures from when she was born either! So, thank you everyone for your help and input into my situation.


Hun, if she's THAT bright, tell her now. I run by the golden rule with kids, if they are old enough to ask the question, they are old enough to know the answer. I will guarantee you that she already knows that something is amiss and that your partner isn't her "real" daddy.... (I use the term real as biological not that your partner isn't her daddy) Plus her questions are probably probing questions. She's testing you. She already knows that her dad isn't related to her, but wants to see if you will be truthful.



Give her the benefit of the doubt. She has opened the door to speak to her about it, you just have to now tell her the truth.. There will be tears and she will be hurt, but this was always going to hurt her.  It hurts my little girl and she's always known... but she just accepts it and moves on with her life, and so will your little one.. Her biological father is a a*shole, he has hurt her, you didn't do this.

Kelly - posted on 04/14/2009

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my oldest's dad is a piece of crap that spent most of his life in jail. my x husband has raised my son since he was 6 months old. To the kids it's more important to have the security! As long as they have a dad that loves them, that's all that matters!

Kelly - posted on 04/14/2009

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my oldest is 11 and has never known my x husband is not his real dad, going through the same debate. He deserves to know the truth, but still don't think he is old enough to know. My thought is when they are old enough to understand the word biological, they are old enough to know.

Cathy - posted on 04/14/2009

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hard situation but i think it would be best to be honest with her, because if she grows up thinkin that ur husband is her dad and then she finds out when she is older that he is not then that could be worse, at least she is young enough to understand and will get used to it.

Michelle - posted on 04/14/2009

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Im happy Jen that you feel like you should tell her :) Do you think that she really knows that 'Mark' isnt her biological father, that someone else made her? If so then I dont think telling her now will come as a shock. As you said, shes asking questions, so she knows her family may be different to others and curiousity is how children learn and develop. Use the opportunity to tell her the truth as it may well just become a learning curve for her. And it could actually help her become a more understanding person. Could you imagine your daughter, with the knowledge that because her family is different, when it comes to a child in the playground being bullied because they havent got a daddy etc... your daughter can be thier lifeline as such, because shes 'been there done that' and strong because of it.



I wish you luck in whichever way you decide to tell your daughter about her real father and her siblings. And you know that because she is already asking questions, just take your time in answering them. You dont have to rush all the info into her mind. Let her take the lead. When she does ask, sit her down and tell her the truth.



Good Luck! x

Jessica - posted on 04/14/2009

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I think you should tell your daughter. Children understand a lot more than we give them credit for and if you tell her now it becomes a normal part of life rather than feeling like her whole life is a lie when she is older. She doesn't need to know the whole story yet, just the basics and she can find out the rest as she asks questions. You said she goes to school in the same area as her siblings, what happens if she becomes friends with them and finds out that way? Or worse, you said her brother is her age, what if you don't tell her and as a teen she beings a relationship with him? These things dont just happen on t.v and it would ruin her to find out like that!



Give your daughter some credit, she can handle more than you think at this age. But have a plan on what you want to tell her now and what you want to explain later. I agree that you should tell her together so that her bond with her dad isnt damaged. Let him show that he loves her and cares about her even though she isnt biologically his daughter.



Good Luck!

User - posted on 04/14/2009

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i believe youve done the right thing so far, if this man hasnt bothered with her then she is already with the dad she should be, a stepdad is a great thing, i myself was raised by a stepdad from the age of 4 and i love him dearly, i do know who my biological dad is and i wish my mom had sheilded me from him as when he did bother to get in touch he always left us waiting round for him then wouldnt turn up.



 you know your daughter abd you will know deep down when the time is right to tell her, she is still very young and shes happy thats is the main thing, when shes older like 13 she will understand more.



whatever you decide to do will be best for your daughter so do what you think is best, her being safe n feeling loved is the most important thing.

Sarah - posted on 04/13/2009

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I believe you should tell her. My biological father was killed in a drunk driving accident before I was born. My "dad" has been with my  mom since I was about 9 moths old as well. I have always know that he wasn't my biological father. And I love him more for it. As I have gotten older I almost feel as though he loves me more because he chose to raise me. And I belive that takes a big person.



Of course my situation is a bit diffrent. But I had a friend that was 16 when she found out her dad wasn't he biologicical father. It didn't turn out too well. She found out through a cousin. So just remember that she may find out at some point. And resent you for this.



So tell her. The longer you wait the worse she will feel when you tell her or she finds out on her own.

[deleted account]

I just want to say that I was never NOT going to tell my daughter! I was just wondering when is the right time to tell her. She knows that the man who has raised her is her daddy, no questions asked. But now she is asking questions like, why was he not there when i was born and why did i call him mark and not dad when i was a baby, and things along those lines. Now, She is a very bright little girl, however, i never realized that she remembered not calling him daddy. Obviously she doesn't see him in pictures from when she was born either! So, thank you everyone for your help and input into my situation.

Michelle - posted on 04/13/2009

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parent



Noun


1. a father or mother


2. a person acting as a father or mother; guardian


You could tell your daughter Jen that daddy is her gaurdian. "Although he never was with mommy when she had you in the hospital,  daddy is the one person that protects you like an angel. He loves you and takes care of you and this is what God wanted, because he knew daddy was a very decent person"


The man who made you, with mommy has his own family just like us.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/13/2009

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even the lady that says she found out later in life also says she knew her mum lied to her to protect herself...doesnt that show you what your kids will think of you later??? my life is the same as all you mums that kids dont know....except i dont have to worry about the burden of them finding out and hating me cause i was honest and i dont ever remember him asking me stuff that you people are speculating about.....have you ever heard about doing the hard work now to get the pay offs later as opposed to reaping it while its good and sitting in the dirt later??? I agree with michelle everyone who would or is lying to their children are selfish......and i cant stand you justifying it by saying....oh well its good right now....thats just validating the fact that you dont care for the long run.....we dont parent our kids because they need to be good kids we parent them because they need to be good adults.....wake up people

Elizabeth - posted on 04/13/2009

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everything is good until she finds out everything she knows about herself is a complete lie, and you were the one that orchestrated it...ever thought about how she will feel later???

Michelle - posted on 04/13/2009

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Is that for your sake Dawn, is it so you dont feel the hurt and disruption it might do to your family, been as 'your' happy now? Is this justification for the hurt she will got through when she does find out one day? She maybe 55yrs old before she finds out, and you not here anymore, and she may want to seek answers but will never get the full truth. or she could be 21 and left very very betrayed.



I dont get the moms who dont want to tell thier children about thier life? At whos expense is it all for? I honestly think its selfish.

Dawn - posted on 04/13/2009

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I have that same problem. My daughter is 10 and has never seen her real dad. My boyfriend has raised her since she was 1 1/2, she calls him dad and dose not no about the other one. I have not told her yet and may not ever tell in less she asks me. I know her real dad has another daughter but he dosent see her. Her dad never wanted anything to do with her so everything is good the way it is now.

Michelle - posted on 04/13/2009

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Emma K, Dont you think if your mother had told you the lesser details as a younger child there would be no difference to your situation now? Do you think you would have ever of met your father in this circumstance? If your mother would have told you earlier about your father do you think your opinion of him now, would change?



You can not say that a child of 7 will experience the same level of disapointment and hurt as you, as a 17yr old adolescent. She will have time to come to terms with the situation and her life, where as you were not given this chance.



We all know we shouldnt lie. We all know that a lie can be seriously consequencal. Dont you think that by telling the truth to a younger child could avoid these consequences. Even if a small child starts to resent her parents, there is still time for the relationship to mend and the option of having professional help. Where as when the child becomes a teen, the likely chance of them wanting to listen to anyone else but themselves is high.



My ex partner was adopted at the age of 3. Put into care when he was 8 months old. He lived with his adoptive parents for 20 years, always knowing the truth that he had  his real mother somewhere (and not far). Didnt even know who his father was as his mother was a prostitute. He never once wanted to meet her, although he knew he could whenever he wanted. He was able to go to the places she 'worked' and walk down the streets not bothered in the fact she could be there, as he had his mom n dad who loved him at home.



Although, here comes the hurtful part. His mom n dad was talking one day about an incident that happened as to 'why' he was put into care. My ex overheard the conversation!. Dun Dun Duuunnnn.......Guess what, hes a crack head now. He also became very withdrawn at the time. He told me what happend. I thought I could help. No, its not that easy when they have been lied to for so many years. He was told his mother couldnt care for him, becuase she was too young. Not the case. The social took him off her becuase she was a crack head, prostitute who couldnt care for him because she was a crap mother. I cant explain what actually happened to him as a baby as he swore me to secrecy. He cant talk about it to anyone, nor has he learnt to live with it. He Just blocks the pain by taking drugs and committing crimes.

Michelle - posted on 04/13/2009

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"There's something special. Something significant between fathers and daughters and dads and daughters - but a dad-daughter relationship doesn't just happen.



 



You may ask what is the difference between a father-daughter relationship and a dad-daughter relationship. Fathers tend to be a little more distant, often forced by separation. While they maybe the childs 'father', they are not necessarily the 'dad'.



 



This distiction between fathers and dads can have a bearing on the young girls future. A young girl's relationship with her family, especially with her paternal parent, may influence at what age she enters puberty, according to Vanderbilt University researchers.



 



The 1999 study found that girls with close, supportive relationships with their parents tend to develop later, while girls with cold or distant relationships with their parents develop at an earlier age. And get this: Girls who enter puberty later generally had 'dads' who were active participants in care-giving; had 'dads' who were supportive to the girls' mothers; and had positive relationships with their mothers.



 



But it's the fathers' involvement, rather than the mothers', which seems to be paramount to the age of the girls' development.



 



The researchers believe that girls have evolved to experience early socialization, with their "antennae" tuned to the fathers' role in the family (both in terms of father-daughter and father-mother relationships) and that girls may unconsciously adjust their timing of puberty based on their fathers' behavior.



 



The researchers found that girls raised in father-absent homes or dysfunctional father-present homes experienced relatively early pubertal timing.



 



The father daughter relationship needs to be nurtured. The father needs to be a 'dad'. Where possible, even in separated families, the dads role should be encouraged and nurtured.



Unfortunately, we only get one chance to raise our kids. If we get it wrong the first time, we can't go back and try again. The sad thing about this is, when we do get it wrong, its the child that has to live the consequences for the rest of their lives" A study into the importance of a Father's involvement  for a child's developement.



 



Rachel - posted on 04/13/2009

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i think your putting a lot of pressure on yourself and `your seven year old. my eldest is seven too and sometimes she's so grown up and other times she's a little girl again. your daughters real dad (not the biological one) chose her so that means he loves her more, it is important to know, tellin your daughter that she has a differen biological father to her actual dad doesn't have to be a big thing just something that is, you don't have to tell her all about the biological father and his details, it doesn't come across as that important that he's worth falling out over, when she's older and she understands the implications you can tell her the details then,

Emma - posted on 04/13/2009

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i think you should tell her when she is old enough to make her own decisions about wether she wants to meet him or not, i met my father when i was 17, never seen him before in my life, but he kept letting me down and this upset me! i think if this can upset a 17 year old it will totally confuse a young child as he obviously isnt interested in a relationship with her and she may not understand this, tell her when she is mature enough to handle it, hope this helps!

Carolyne - posted on 04/12/2009

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I agree with Elizabeth and Michelle. I know that she is perfectly able to understand and the point of telling the truth right when you are readdy, and i fell that you have been wating for that moment....

I personnaly talk to my children about when i was pregnant and how i was feeling when difficulties happened to me...I told them that all of it did not belong to them. I talk about how i lived the moments and how i'm so happy to live with them...I thank them...They don't juge at that age that's why it's important to say it as soon as possible with a very loving way so she won't feel responsable for what has happened. Compassion will be a good key: she might cry or feel emotions she'll need to let out...allow!!! Allow!!!
And allow yourself to fell the way you do... culpability needs to be composted!!!

Visualise the situation as a moment of wellness!!! Well-being together...

Allow the daddy to continue to create strong bonds between them...exclusive tim is great for that!

Enjoy!!

Ashlee - posted on 04/12/2009

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This is very tricky. I think she is a little too young to really understand this situation. But if the man who's been there for her her whole life, he is her father. And you know what? Don't mess that up for her. When she is old enough to understand how her biological father was when she was a baby, then I would tell her then, but for her to be 7 years old, it's a little too young. I know it's something that you will keep thinking about until you feel you should tenn her, but honestly like I said, don't mess the relationship she has with "her father". She's known only him her whole life and he never once treated her like the odd little girl of the woman he's with. There are not too many men that will take that kind of responsibility of a child that isn't theirs. But as long as she is happy and taken care of by a man in her life, then she's good, as well as you. But if you want to tell her later down the road when she's older to understand, then go right ahead. She may be upset, but she will appreciate her father even more for taking that time to be in her life when her biological father never wanted to.



Hope everything goes well for you, your daughter, and her "daddy" from this point on.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/12/2009

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Quoting Simone:




 .....I also worry for you, that the older she gets, the higher the risk of her feeling betrayed; especially since everyone's "in on it" so to speak......



...as someone that grew up without the facts about my father .......... I would have appreciated my right to have the truth. 



I felt like my mother's dishonesty with me was to protect her, which I understand, but this wasn't about her.






Children are FAR more open and accepting when they are young versus adults who are hardened by lies, the world, skepticism and lack of trust.






In this situation, her youth is your blessing as it could be that it means absolutely nothing to her.



[deleted account]

Hi Jen,



There is no easy answer here.  Before reading on, know that I will pray for your guidance and an outcome that is only the best for you and your family. 



I don't presume to know what your belief system is based upon, but as a Christian, I know that ALL things in darkness come to light. Therefore, it is only a matter of time (could be years even) before your daughter learns about her biological father.



My personal opinion is to tell her now, but that is merely MY opinion - you have to do what's best for your child.



That being said, there are so many variables that only you and your husband/ boyfriend (and possibly the support of those you trust - that truly care for the best interests of your family) must consider, before you decide whether now is the time to tell her:



How is your daughter's termperament?



How is her relationship with your boyfriend/ husband?



How does he feel about telling her?



Can you talk to her biological father to tell him your concerns about her missing out on her siblings? Or is this not realistic?



If he's unwilling, then it may not be necessary to go into super-detail with her.  Children can be pretty satisfied with just the simple facts.



It could be a matter of just letting her know that she has two fathers; one that helped her get here & the other that has loved her from the beginning and that she loves.



I think the simpler you keep it, the better.  I also worry for you, that the older she gets, the higher the risk of her feeling betrayed; especially since everyone's "in on it" so to speak.



I pray you don't feel I am being harsh...as someone that grew up without the facts about my father (the "facts" changed many times in my situation), I would have appreciated my right to have the truth.  I felt like my mother's dishonesty with me was to protect her, which I understand, but this wasn't about her.



Children are FAR more open and accepting when they are young versus adults who are hardened by lies, the world, skepticism and lack of trust.



In this situation, her youth is your blessing as it could be that it means absolutely nothing to her.  However, only you and her dad (not biological one) knows her well enough to make that statement.



I really hope my comments are received with the highest of intentions and pray that you find peace with this.



God bless!



Simone



 

Stacey - posted on 04/12/2009

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Either way she will find out, the truth always comes out. If you tell her now you can try to control how she feels by lots of talking, asking how she feels etc. Later when she is a teenager, you have less control. She may not be open to talking about it, she may run away, any number of things can happen.
I know which option I would choose!!!!!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/12/2009

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Quoting Nicole:

i believe she is too young for that kind of information and stress i would wait till she can better understand the situation to where she would not blame herself for her father leaving and not wanting anything to do with either of you.....young kids tend to blame theirself for things that is not their fault....



teenagers blame themselves too....and we are wrong when we say that they can handle it better then......they are more likely to harm themselves...or seek love in the wrong places as teenagers...coupled with the extra stress of feeling lied to.....its definately easier when they are little

Nicole - posted on 04/12/2009

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i believe she is too young for that kind of information and stress i would wait till she can better understand the situation to where she would not blame herself for her father leaving and not wanting anything to do with either of you.....young kids tend to blame theirself for things that is not their fault....

Stacey - posted on 04/12/2009

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She doesn't have to know of the siblings yet, that can come later when she is ready to hear the real reason her Dad isn't around.
You can simply tell her that the Dad she knows isn't the one who helped to make her but he is the one who chose to know her & love her. You can say her real Dad just wasn't ready to be a Dad at the time and didn't understand what he would be missing because he didn't know how special you are, but the Dad you know does know how special you are and he's here to stay.
Leave it at that and wait for her questions and answer them minimally until you think she is ready to hear more and more over the years. When she gets to a certain age she will understand that people can be a disappointment, when she reaches that age you can tell her the real reason her Dad isn't around, in the nicest possible way. There are always nice ways to say bad things. Your daughter could easily hate you if you keep secrets from her. Secrets always come out eventually. Truth will always prevail.

Michelle - posted on 04/12/2009

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Im telapathic! I knew that when I opened this thread again, Monica would say 'dont tell her'. Im being serious. Someone had to say this, as it had been going so well to try and convince Jen into telling her daughter. Thanks for the spanner!



How would all of you feel if you was in Jen's situation but 10 yrs down the line? Her daughter has just left a note, saying, 'Please mum dont hate me. Was I a mistake? Does daddy really love me? Are my brothers and sisters my real ones? Or is it just my life thats this fake!' You havent said anything to her yet, but shes found out somehow...Shes now a very confused and upset child, and you have to expalin everything, including all the gory details as her mind is so much more mature now. So you do...What would you say? Would it take you another 10yrs to comlete the story for her, for her life to seem somewhat 'normal' again? How are you going to deal with her hurt? What if she wants to find him? What if she finds out he doesnt want to know her, and also has a famly of his own, and she has a half brother whos 4 months younger than her???



I say poor girl...She could have adapted and developed with this along time ago....now all she has to do is ...think... every day for the rest of her life, what her life might have been like, what its going to be like. Though she may never get this far. She may turn to drugs and drink. Resent you and the rest of the family for lying to her . Put that one right!

[deleted account]

I would not tell her. She is happy and she has a good life. I think that telling her would hurt her and she may not be allowed to see those sibblings even if you did tell her.

Stacey - posted on 04/12/2009

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PLEASE don't deceive & lie to your child. For starters that is encouraging lying. But most importantly if you tell her the truth in a nice pretty way like some of the others have said (cheers to you guys) and make her feel loved then she will accept it far better than deceit, betrayal and hurt later in life. If you tell her now, she will grow up accepting it, she won't know any different and there will be no shock factor later in life.
My mother adopted a child out 5 years before she had me. I was not told until I was 13 years old & my sister and Mother had been reunited. I felt betrayed, I felt alot of other emotional things as well (didn't help that I was a teenager and very hormonal) & it put a huge strain on my relationship with my mother, even to this day.

I think it is so much better to always be honest with your child, you can add more details as they grow up and can deal with it better. As long as they feel loved by you and the father they know then it won't be so hard on them.

Krystal - posted on 04/12/2009

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i think u should tell her and then explain why u chose not to be with him like "he wasent ready to be a father" and tell tell her what good characteristics u found in the other man and that this man loves her then let her decide if she wants to meet the biological father. she might even say no and not be intrested till later in life. if u keep a secreate like this and she finds out by some one other than u she will be upset. my words come from being adopted . any way good luck youll just know what to do

Michelle - posted on 04/12/2009

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I think you did right by your daughter Morag and all the other mums who decided to tell thier children the truth. It must have been hard, but you all managed to put your feelings aside for the sake of your children. That deserves more than a pat on the back!  And the issue  with hurt Morag about your daughter. If you refer to one of my earlier posts, it says that hurt is the single most hardest emotion to overcome. It takes time, as it is not like 'pain' that we feel. Hurt comes from deep within and needs to be delt with one step at a time. As these children develop into adults  and mature they will find a way to cope with the hurt.

Morag - posted on 04/12/2009

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Thats really hard. I've always been open and honest with my daughter. My ex is a complete well.. the words can't be mentioned here, but my 9 year old has always known he was her biological father, she talks about him occasionally, he occasionally flits into her life when the mood takes him, then flits out for a couple of years. She has a wonderful dad though, who is not related to her, but he holds her when she's sick, cuddles her when she's sad, helps her with her homework so really he is "dad". He fulfills that role.

If you don't tell her, and she finds out, she is going to be really hurt and feel lied to. If you tell her now, she is going to struggle with it. Either way, this is going to cause her hurt, whether it is now or in the future. My daughter struggles with it everyday and she has known the truth from day one. Its painful to know that someone that should love you unconditionally doesn't, just because they don't want to.

Maybe broach the subject gently. Ask her what she knows of adoption or IVF, or put a TV program on which covers these subjects. It opens the door for you to discuss children living in families where one or both parents aren't blood related but that they are still mummy and daddy and more so, because they didn't just have to accept it, they CHOSE to be their mummy/daddy. Remember, if a "real" daddy can choose not to be a daddy, then that makes the "fake" daddy a much better daddy, because he chose to to HER daddy.

(((HUGS))) One of the hardest things I have to deal with, with my daughter, is her issues over her father. She loves him desperately despite the way he treats her (she such a lovely natured kid), and while she is a settled and well adjusted child because she lives in a good home with a mummy/daddy set up, it still hurts her to know there is someone out there not pulling their weight. But I can't change the fact that that is what her life is. I made the silly mistake of choosing a man to be her father, who wasn't fit for the job, but I made up for that in finding a better replacement. :)

Idella - posted on 04/12/2009

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It is a hard decision to make but like everyone else said, you cannot make him be apart of herl ife and if he chosses not to be then he is the one missing out-not your daughter. She has a daddy and that is all that matters-Remember the saying 'Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad".



With that being said I have 2 children, they do NOT have the same fathers but I am with my oldest childs father. My yongest calls him dad and has for almost a year. She knows who her real father is but does not ask about him, does not talk about him or anything like that. She will tell you that she has a real dad and his name is **** and her dad is ***** that is who takes care of her!

[deleted account]

i can totally understand where ure coming from hun i was in a very violent relationship with a man who is the father to my 2 boys and it came to the point where i had to leave or he would of killed me , if u cant move on from that very dreadful event then i would suggest u have councillin hun i had it for 6 months and i came out a much stronger confident woman i was scared at first about opening up and pouring it all out but once i started i could not stop , when u hear the word counciling its very daunting but i strongly reccomend it to anyone who has been through a traumatic time i wish u luck with ure future x x

[deleted account]

i agree this is a tricky situation i have 2 boys that have a different father and i have been honest with them from the start and one of my sons was 5 wen i explained it to him , i feel u need to be honest with ure children but i will say something there is a big difference on a father and a dad and it takes a real man to raise a child she obviously adores ure husband and he adores her , so i think it may be wise to leave it for now until u r ready to tell her , i wish u every luck in the decision u take and i hope u have the out come u hope for . x x

Mary - posted on 04/11/2009

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My son was 6 when I told him about his real father, who has not had contact with him since he was 8 months old. I am now married to a wonderful man who my son calls daddy. He was fine with finding out about it. He just said that he knew he was not a very nice guy, and he has a daddy who loves him. And I think noone knows your child better then yourself. You have some idea of how they react to certain circumstances. I know that you can not know how she will react to this. I was in the same place as you not knowing whether to tell him or not, but being in school and kids asking questions, I wanted him to know the truth. He was 3 when me and my husband started seeing each other so he remembers life without him. But he understands the difference between a "father" and a "daddy". Good luck to you in whatever you decide to do.

Jessica - posted on 04/11/2009

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7 is a little too young.



you said it....missing out on siblings, she has a dad! between you and her "dad" decide if you may want to contact the sibling's mother and connect that way.



as it is my father was there but not present, now that hes passed, all i miss is the connection i missed out on with my younger brother (2nd family)



he'll be 21 soon and has no idea who i really am.



good luck

Elizabeth - posted on 04/11/2009

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Quoting Mo:



but everytime i talk bout him or  even think bout him i cnt help but think of that episode and it upsets me my partner is very supportive an he does understand tha but maybe its me that has the problem but at the moment iam 4 mnths pregnant and i nt deal with it






firstly i want to say that I am here because I WANT to help not because I want to push anyone into anything, so please take my advice as just that and you can choose to accept it or to leave it ......



 



I understand thinking about your partner and obviously the horrible time you went through must bew hard on you....but where she comes from is not about you, or about what happened...sometimes the truth hurts us, but as mothers we need to put our own feelings aside sometimes and just do what needs to be done rather than what feels right......



 



believe it or not I think your child at three is at a much better age to hear this information then even a seven year old....it wont be a shock to her like it would be when she finds out later......it's really important you don't say things like we couldn't be there because he did this or he didnt love us....you just keep it down to a 3 year old level.....like michelle said earlier....you can just show her drawings of yourself and her and the baby in your belly and on the next page you draw him in his house and show her that he has his life and we have ours.......



at her age she won't ask many questions she will most probably just say ok,, and youll be expecting so much more.....you may even think she hasnt comprehended it, but just keep bringing it up and it will be just a normal thing.....and if she does ask questions like...why is he there....you keep it simple again and say sometimes families dont live all in the same house....you know grandma/grandpa dont live here but they are still our family.... theres no need to tell her about your love life.....



I know that the whole thing is about lessening the impact on her....avoiding it to stop yourself from hurting might just cause her to be impacted more than you realise. Kids arent born with this idea that they have a mom and a dad and they have to live together...they are born with the notion that whatever they way it is is how it should be, so I would make it a normal thing while shes young enough.....

Elizabeth - posted on 04/11/2009

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Quoting Mo:



sorry ment 10 or wen child asks bout it






kids don't just wake up one day and realise that they have a biological dad.....how can she ask about something she has no clue about....

Michelle - posted on 04/11/2009

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Of course. Have the baby and enjoy the new family life. Let your daughter bond with her new sibling. It will only strengthen the bond between you all.



As for you having the problem...have you not spoke about this ordeal to anyone other than your partner. Its going to be upsetting for you and hurt takes a long time to deal with. You may find speaking to a councellor helpful because it it not someone you have to share evryday feelings with like your partner. you dont have to feel like your going to hurt them or burden them too. They are there to help you.



 

User - posted on 04/11/2009

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but everytime i talk bout him or  even think bout him i cnt help but think of that episode and it upsets me my partner is very supportive an he does understand tha but maybe its me that has the problem but at the moment iam 4 mnths pregnant and i nt deal with it

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