why is it so bad that I want my child to know his siblings are half siblings?

Denise - posted on 08/21/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )




My boyfriend has 2 other kids and likes to call his kids all siblings, which from his point I understand. However, I donot want to lie to my child and I want him to know that these 2 other kids are his half siblings. I plan on explaining that his cousins are brothers and sisters because they all have the same mom and dad but that his siblings only have oneparent the same which makes them half. My bf thinks im mean and hurtful but I
believe its better to be honest. Besides none of them look alike anyway. And they all
have a different mom. I dont want my child to learn later on in life, I want him to know as he grows so he doesnt think ive lied to him . Why is honesty so bad ?


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Jodi - posted on 08/21/2013




I don't think you need to point it out to them. Kids know that the other kids have a different parent. But that shouldn't diminish their relationship with each other. They ARE siblings, in a sense. There is nothing wrong with using that term. Don't make such a major deal about it. How you go about it depends on the situation (such as, do the other kids have contact with their mum), but I think trying to differentiate and make a point that they are half-siblings and not using the term sibling is unnecessary. Technically, yes they are, but at a relationship level, let it go.

My daughter has grown up all her life with three older siblings (yes, we call them siblings because that's what they are), two of whom have a different mother and one of whom has a different father. These older three come and go, visiting us, visiting other parents, and my youngest totally understands. What she also understands is that they are her brothers and sister. Nothing wrong with that. I have never told her "they are only half brothers and sisters". She knows that.

Chet - posted on 08/21/2013




I agree with both you and your boyfriend. When I was growing up I had a friend who came from a complicated family situation. The woman she called her mom was actually her grandma. She also called a group of cousins that she lived with her sisters. She knew the official blood relation of these people on her family tree, but she felt and treated the relationships as though they were closer in blood than they really were. Moreover, I definitely know blended families where step children call each other brother and sister and where kids have made the choice to call the step parent mom or dad. They know the "truth," but don't feel the need to differentiate between full siblings and half siblings or they feel that their step mom really is playing the role of their mom. Anyway, I think it's reasonable for kids to know the truth about where they come from. It can be very upsetting to discover that your parents actively hid information about your past. However, I would be very careful not to undermine the family relationship that the kids have right now with this information. It doesn't need to be a big deal that these kids have a different biomom if they feel like true siblings. So when it comes up it's reasonable to provide the information, but I would do it carefully, and in a very this is not a big deal, and doesn't change anything sort of way.

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