How do I tell my 3yr old dad days not his biological father?

Samantha - posted on 05/05/2012 ( 25 moms have responded )

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Hi guys, I have 2 boys one 3yrs and one 4 months. My eldest child is has a different father to my youngest, I feel pregnant after ending a terbulant long term relationship and going out clubbing for the first time:/ that night is a blur and to say the least I'm not sure who the father is. My fiancé and I have been together since he was 10months old and is the only father he's ever known, my question is how do I tell him that daddy isn't his biological dad? I do have to tell have don't I? and what age is the right age? Thanks guys I really do appreciate it

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Medic - posted on 05/07/2012

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Kids should ALWAYS know the truth. Just make it part of his every day so it is normal to him. I am adopted and I have always known and my son is adopted by my husband and he is 5 and has always known. The worst thing you can do to a child is lie to them because you are scared for selfish reasons. We told my son that daddy chose to be his daddy, and that some parents make babies and some parents raise babies and they are not always the same. Some parents love their kids so much that they know they cannot raise them so they allow someone who can to step in and do it. Do not make it a bad thing just be matter of fact and answer questions. If you start know it will be normal...if you wait you will have a child who feels lied to and betrayed.

April - posted on 05/05/2012

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He's still fairly young...he probably wouldn't understand the concept of what it means...If it were me, i'd wait a couple of years, age 5 or so. i would absolutely tell him at some point while he's still young..bc a shock like that in later years could have some very negative outcomes. I'd explain it as he has 2 daddies..one that helped give him to mommy; and the daddy who he has come to know and love as his own daddy. of course let him know that you don't know where biological daddy is but reassure him that he's still special and that your fiance loves him very much.

Medic - posted on 05/09/2012

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Kids understand a lot more than we give them credit for. Why on earth would you wait and drop it on them like a bomb? What is the harm in making it part of their story and normal?

Tammy - posted on 05/07/2012

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If you don't even know who the "sperm donor" was, I don't see why you need to even tell him. He has Dad and that's all that matters.

Shelbie - posted on 11/27/2012

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When i was 10 my parents told me that the dad i grew up thinking was my real father was actually not my biological father. It destroyed my entire world at that age. I felt as if my parents had lied to me my entire life. So in my opinion I would go ahead and tell him. I still treat the guy that raised me as my father and I have actually never met my biological father. It just would've been nice to not have been lied to for 10 years.

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Ann Marie - posted on 11/27/2012

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I would ask myself does my fiance love me for me or is he marrying me for the children. I beileve he has a right to know. However i dont think u should enter this marriage with a lie. I would not tell the child until he was at least old enough to understand. And he started asking questions

Karen - posted on 06/07/2012

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I believe he is way to young to tell him now. Discuss it with your fiance and the both of you come up with a way that seems best for him. When he gets an age that he is old enough to understand the sit and talk to him.

Samantha - posted on 06/07/2012

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Thanks everyone I really appreciate your thoughts and opinions, I feel I should tell him as I would hate for him to hear something like that from someone else. Is saying that I'm not looking for "sperm doner". Nor do I intend to look for him or have any interest in doing so. My partner is and always will be dad, my issue is that we have friends that have already slipped up and said things about my partner not being around when he was born in front of our son (I wasnt real impressed) and things like that could be confusing, but I don't want him stressing so I think i've decided to leave it until he's older. He will be taking my partners last name at the end of the year when we get married

Julie - posted on 06/07/2012

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he is 3 let the kid be a kid and don't lay your burden down on him at this age ,he did not ask for it. I have a 3 year old and am pretty sure she wont understand the difference between biological father and real father ..
When your kid is at least 6 years older try this conversation, or secretly try to find the dad if that works for you and if real dad is found you and your boyfriend slowly find a way to introduce that person into the child life, kids are very smart ,but with that comes life time of scaring if people are not careful about what kids know by what age ...

Lee - posted on 06/05/2012

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I just feel like you should just keep it real from the start, so there be no surprises at the end. I would had introduce him as a step dad, or called him by his name. That just leaves the child confused.

Brandi - posted on 06/04/2012

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I agree with Tammy Broadley! If you dont know who the real father is than it would be pointless to even mention it! If your Fiance' takes care of him like his own and loves him thats all the father he needs!! My grandpa is my biological grandfather but he treated my aunt and uncles&Dad better than my real one would ever have done!! Good luck

Rosa - posted on 05/31/2012

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Yea My mom is in the same deal though she adopted my baby brother when he was 3 days old because the state was going to take him anyways and this way he was still around some family. We knew his mom since before he was born but he is now 17 going to be 18 next year and she is struggling on when to tell him. Recently she found out his mom was diagnosed with AIDS and she was crying because she was afraid that if she told him he wouldnt want to be with her that'd he want to go to his "real mom" she still hasn't told him she is planning on telling him when he finishes high school. But she still is devastated on what the outcome will be. You'll know when he's ready to be told.

Meaghan - posted on 05/27/2012

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That is a very stressful position to be in, buy i agree with April- wait until hes older and definitely express the importance of the relationship he has with his REAL father- the one who has been in his life this whole time. I have never met my biological father and, unlike my own mother, i commend you for having found a replacement father for your child. He may go through a 'stage'go of wanting to find his 'reallife (bio) dad' when he's older, but if he has a male role model that has acted as his father his whole life, he will be much more well-adjusted and at peace with himself than i was as a child and ypung adult!

Janice - posted on 05/27/2012

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He's still really young. I would give him sometime yet but would certainly do it sometime between 6 and 8. That way it isn't a big shock while he is dealing with changing schools or anything like that, but he is also established in his own school, has some friends, ect. Also, many schools have counselors that students can see for free. If he is in school and he feels he needs to talk to someone in private you can offer that to him.

Ashley - posted on 05/20/2012

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I went through this a couple years ago. We told my son when he was 3, he's now 6. I've lucked out though and his biological father has stepped up to the plate (finally) and started seeing/calling my son regularly. He finds everything to have a reward in the end, so when we were telling him that my boyfriend isn't his real dad, we let him know that he is such a lucky boy because he was given two dads instead of one. One who loves him and participates in every day life with us, and one who lives far away due to work, but still loves him just as much. After that, he asked a few questions but respects both of them a lot more. Good luck! It's not as dreadful as you may find it to be. I also felt a lot better after I had the talk with him.

Briana - posted on 05/20/2012

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Well since his "real" dad is and never will be around I feel like you will know when the time is right... 3 years old is not old enough to understand. My daughter will be 6 years old in August and I have a son that is 18 months. They have different dads and both of them see there dads not often tho... Chloe understands that they have different dads because mommy was married with daddy and then they didnt love each other any more. Then mommy meet Ryan and had brother but they didn't love each other either but mommy is so happy alone raising her kids. She totally gets it, but I will never let my family or any one say your kids are half siblings... NO they are brother and sister just like every one else, they live together every day since they were born. Girl you will know when the time is right... If my kids dads werent around I don't think my daughter would know that she has a different dad then her brother.

Kimi - posted on 05/20/2012

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There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Although I would agree that he is probably still to young to grasp the concept. I would definitely wait a few years but when you do tell him, let him know that just because his DADDY'S blood is not the blood that runs through him his DADDY'S heart does beat for him. Let him know that blood does not make a Daddy, it's what a Daddy does that makes him Daddy.

Now definitely understand that when you do tell him, he will be hurt. Let him take it out. Let him get angry, let him get his aggression's out. Not on you or Daddy or his brother but find a constructive way for him to do it. Have him write a letter to say exactly how he feels (depending on how old he is when you decide to tell him you may have to do the writing) to whomever he wants to say it to. Tell him to say anything that is going through his mind no matter how much it hurts mommy and daddy, remember you will have just dropped a huge bomb on him and this is going to be a healthy way for him to get it out instead of him acting out. Also remember that anything he will say won't last long if you let him get it out. If he feels he has to bottle it in, he will eventually start acting out. If you decide to do the letter thing it may also be healthy to have him write a letter daily to start out, weekly then monthly then yearly. But also as he is writing these letters you and Daddy should write a letter in response to his. Keep all of these letters in a binder to keep safe.

Date all of the letters. Put his letter first then yours and Daddy's responding letters next. When he is older, if he starts to act out pull out the binder and have him go through it with you. Obviously he will know that he wrote his letters but I wouldn't tell him about your letters until the day comes that he will need those letters. Those letters you and Daddy write him may be that light that he needs to understand that just because he didn't cause me to be born, Daddy caused me to live, to be the person I am meant to be.

I am going through a similar situation myself only my son knows that his biological dad is not around. I have started the letter writing myself. My boyfriend and I write him a letter in response to every letter he writes. My boyfriend has only been around for 9 months and has had a huge impact on my son but my son does still get angry, I myself hope that the letter writing works and I hope you will try it as well.

Rachael - posted on 05/18/2012

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I'd tell him in plain language he can understand. Also, another thing I would consider is to see if your fiance and the father of your other 2 children would consider adopting your oldest after the 2 of you are married. You do not have to tell him about the drunken tryst that led to his conception, but tell him the truth. Otherwise at some point he will wonder why "daddy" is in newborn pictures of the younger 2, but not with him. Good luck

Grace - posted on 05/09/2012

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I jut vrecently told my daughter that dad wasn't her biological father. She is 10...She handled it really well,better than I thought she would....I would wait until he is older,maybe about 10 when he can understand what you are saying...

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I agree with Medic. Basically the same thing I was saying but she said it better lol. Make it everyday life. I was adopted but my bioDad was in my life so I always knew. But I agree with how she has worded it to her son!!!

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I would wait. He has a Dad who loves him and cares for him. I wouldnt hide the fact but if you soon to be husband is going to adopt him after you marry I wouldn't worry to much for now.

Amanda - posted on 05/07/2012

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I am worried about the day my son asks where is dad is. He is four years old now and will start kindergarten in fall and I know that is when the questions start. But you will know when your son is old enough to be told. I will probably just tell my son it didn't work out and when he gets older explain into more. They are smart and you as a mom know your child better then anyone! Its a hard subject cause he may ask more when he gets older. About why he isn't there and for me thats when the truth will come out.

Samantha - posted on 05/05/2012

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Thanks April that was really helpful:) I had 't thought to explain it like that

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