what to tell a 6yo about her birth father and other sisters?

Rose - posted on 04/22/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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i have a 6yo girl who birth father has 2 other girls to two other people, they were born 9days apart. i have since married and had 2 more kids of my own. 6yo does not see the father but he is now starting to show intress in her but not his other 2 who are now 5yo. at what age should i give her this info?

11 Comments

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Caroline - posted on 04/25/2009

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Hi I had a very similar situation with my eldest boy and his father and mother . He was never around but themother was then all contact stopped. Be as honest with your child as you can but in a way they understand.
My son knows my partner is not his father but calls him Dad. He met his father once but didnt want to have any farther contact with him but leave it too your child and work it out between you. My advice is to tell her now so she grows up to accept the situation rather than later when she could feel like shes been lied to her whole life.
Whatever you decide good luck

[deleted account]

I have a simular story to Gina however I'm a donor offspring. I was told when I was 9 years old. I grew up calling my Mum's husband (who she met after she split from er ex hubby when I was 3 1/5 months then married shortly after my 3rd bday) Dad. He adopted me when I was in high school- why he took so long-I have no idea.

I would definintley tell her before she hits puberty. I would give it another couple of years. When telling her,I would avoid calling him any names etc (my partner's ex is doing this to their child, telling the child my partner is not daddy)

Rebecca - posted on 04/23/2009

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I had a slightly different situation where my mother has a daughter from a previous relationship that her entire family knew nothing about. She had the baby when she was 16 and had her adopted. Since I can remember my mother was always straight with my brother and I about it - even though there was no reason to ever let us know. I don't think that my brother ever really believed her, and honestly I don't remember ever really being too concerned about it. When my half sister finally found and contacted us when she was 21 (when i was 13 and my brother was 16) neither of us were too surprised. It was a little odd to meet a sister that you hadn't grown up with, but I didn't feel lied to or betrayed, i appreciated knowing the truth.
I also had a friend who had a little sister and a little brother who were only a few days apart in age - from two different women. Their dad took off but they were always informed who their dad was and of their unique family situation. They all seemed happy with their living arrangements and were very open about it :)
I would wait until your child is old enough to comprehend and then be the judge. I always think people who hide nothing, have nothing to hide!!
Sorry if this doesn't help at all!!

Rose - posted on 04/23/2009

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thanks all of you this has been a real help to hear from other who have been in the same boat

Cassie - posted on 04/22/2009

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I've been in a similiar situation. I left my childrens father when my son was 3 and my daughter was 18 months. I spent 4 1/2 years giving my ex chances to be a dad and role model for them. I've given up since then. We went through counseling, parenting classes and numerous other classes to try to get us on the same page for raising our kids together but from seperate homes. He could have cared less and made it to only 5 of the 45 classes. In my experience, my kids were more confused and hurt with having their father in the picture, but now that he is gone they seem a lot happier. My husband is their dad now and they relate to him as their dad. They do have an older half brother from their sperm donor that they have a relationship with and his mom and I have worked out a visitation schedule so the kids can grow up together. My advice: get the kids together but don't force the issue of her father being there. It caused more heartache for us than good coming from it.

Christina - posted on 04/22/2009

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Well I have thought about this time and time again with my son, who is now 3, and his father. I feel that unless he is willing to show full interest and be there without hesitation, he should be allowed in her life. Since children already have security and trust issues, I would not put them through any unnecessary emotional turmoil than needed. It is hurtful to a child to have a person coming in and out of their lives at will. Either he needs to be there full time or not at all, unless you are willing to explain to her why he is not there when he said he would be.

Samara - posted on 04/22/2009

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Have you tried talking to her other siblings mom's? Maybe they would show an interest in all of the kids getting to know one another and you could see what thoughts they have on it as well or if they intend for their kids to know. It's a bit of a young age to fully understand what's going on but it's also an important bonding point as well.

If he's starting to show interest in being in her life maybe reccommend the courses again, insist that it's important for her to know him, because it is important for her to know him on some level, eventually she'll start to ask questions and she'll feel less abandoned if she at least knows who he is.

But I would think the most important part is knowing her other brothers/sisters so they can grow and learn together and establish a bond early on, it'll be easier for her than when she's older and good for her all around.

Angela - posted on 04/22/2009

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i would say depends on wether your able to have contact with the other children that are 5 really if there no chance of contact then there no hurry to explain you could wait till she older and can process info better but if there a chance to intereact with her siblings then maybe sooner than later so they get to know each other while young and just be friends and not take on the complications that are with it and when older they will be close friends so it wont be comlicated

But this is just my thoughts i have a 6 year old who has nothing to do with her birth father either at this stage i dont think he has any more but it will come no doubt and i will face the same challenges



GOOD LUCK

Rose - posted on 04/22/2009

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she had limited contact with him but some contact with his mum. this stoped over1year ago due to behaviour issues as he had started to see her when his parents had her once a month.. he was ment to do a parenting course, angermanagment and mental state of mind check b4 he could be alone with her, this was when she was 4months.he never did any of this but he now has another gf with another baby. i met my hubby when she was 1 and she calls him daddy. she has only ever asked to see the birth fathers mum.

Gina - posted on 04/22/2009

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has she asked about him? or does she know the man u married as her dad? do u want her father in her life?

you should ask urself all these questions before u decide to tell her anything right now. I know its not the same thing but my parents didnt tell me that I was adopted until I was about 8 yrs old and it was only because I was going to school and all the kids would always say that I dont look like my parents. I would come home and say that to my parents and one day they told me.

If you're going to tell her, I would try and do it in a suttle way...if they dont know eachother, introduce them, but not as his dad...say his name. When she's old enough, and she starts realizing that she doesnt look like the man u're married to, I would bring it up...but explain what happened. you'd be surprised what they understand.

Just a thought... :)

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