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to not know how to explain dds 3 grandads?

(39 Posts)
muddyprints Mon 13-May-13 14:24:58

dd1 is 5, intelligent, overthinks things and is a real worrier giving herself nightmares over things all the time.
the dds have 2 nans and 3 granddads, dps dad, my dad and my stepdad, they see them all weekly and call them granddad surname.
dd1 has presumed (and I have let her) that my mom and stepdad are my parents, she also knows my dad is my dad and has the same surname as me.
she sometimes asks me about when I was little in stepdads house and I have distracted her.
im scared to tell her that my mom and dad divorced and mom remarried as I know she will then question why and then worry that me and her dad will split up and it will be a million questions.

SPsCliffingAllOverMN Mon 13-May-13 14:30:17

My son has 3 grandads just on my side! His paternal grandad died when he was 1.

Just tell her if shes asking. Kids tend to just want to know things then just get on with life grin

redskyatnight Mon 13-May-13 14:30:56

Just tell her. If you don't make it a big deal, neither will she.

I would imagine she knows at least one child of her age whose parents have separated or who have step parents - so it's not as though she will think it totally weird!

Beamur Mon 13-May-13 14:34:06

I'd tell her too - being mysterious about it and not explaining it clearly may lead to her coming to wrong conclusions.
I have an overthinker too so I understand where you're coming from! Saying that my DD accepts her 2 half-siblings and also calls her fathers ex-wife 'Auntie' and has met her siblings GP several times and we had to explain to her that she's not actually related to any of these people directly, although her brother and sister are. She found it surprisingly easy to accept that her Dad had been married before.

DeWe Mon 13-May-13 14:34:11

My fil has had two mothers. Adoptive and birthmother. Dc have been told this from a young age and they've just accepted it. Never worried about it.
The less of a mystery you make it, the less important she'll see it. I would tell her in language she understands and you'll probably find the subject loses interest fairly quickly.

Tee2072 Mon 13-May-13 14:37:04

My son has 2 Popses (Pops's? Pops...not sure what the plural of Pops is!), 1 grandad, 2 grandmothers and a Granny.

It's really not a big deal, in this day and age, to have this. Stop over thinking it and if she asks, tell her!

Ginger4justice Mon 13-May-13 14:37:52

I had 3 granddads for exactly the same reason. I never worried about it. Maybe I would have if I had known my Grandparents before they divorced but that was when my mum was little. I just accepted it as how things are. Plus when I was older I loved everyone's confusion when I told them I had 6 grandparents.

DewDr0p Mon 13-May-13 14:40:18

OP I really think honesty is the best policy here. Eventually she's going to work this out isn't she? And then I suspect she will be far more worried that you have misled her than she will be about having 3 grandads tbh.

I do understand where you are coming from but I am sure you can reassure her.

StuntGirl Mon 13-May-13 14:41:01

I wonder where she gets her worrying, over-thinking tendencies from ;)

Just tell her.

feetheart Mon 13-May-13 14:45:53

My DC have 3 grandpas and 2 grannies - 2 grandpas are dead as is 1 granny. They are also aware that DH has a birth mother and birth father as has his sister and that they are not the same birth parents - confused yet? smile
We have always been open about it and have answered questions as they come up, which they do occasionally as they have developed a better understanding as they have got older (they are now 10 and 7), but mostly they just accept things as they are.

Don't overthink it and just answer the next question that comes up honestly.

Bowlersarm Mon 13-May-13 14:46:14

Tee grin @ "2 Popses."

muddyprints Mon 13-May-13 14:47:04

you are right stuntgirl, she is too much like me blush
lots of her friends live with single moms or stepdads but she just thinks they are their dads.
she has never asked yet. one day she will say oh youre dads here and it is my dad, but the next day she will say youre mom and dad are here and its my stepdad, she has just accepted I have 2 dads and ive never corrected her as im happy she loves my stepdad too.

zukiecat Mon 13-May-13 14:48:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

You are way overthinking.

When I was growing up I had my gran and also my grandad and his 2nd wife. I always knew that once gran and grandad were married but now he was married to someone else....I never thought anything of it as that was the way it had always been.

Just explain to her, nanny and grandad were married but not anymore - don't make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Tee2072 Mon 13-May-13 14:52:56

Well, Bowlersarm what is the plural of Pops?!?! grin

My dad and my step dad are both called Pops by their grandchildren!

AMumInScotland Mon 13-May-13 14:55:31

You're much better off explaining things to her as questions come up, rather than either hiding/avoiding things or having to have a big "explanation" when she is older.

So next time the subject comes up, you just say Grandad X is my daddy and when I was little I lived with him and Nan Y. But when I was bigger, they stopped being married to each other and later Nan married Grandad Z and I lived with them and saw Grandad X at weekends (or whatever). You can make it all sound calmer and more amicable than it was if need be!

You can talk about how all different kinds of people can be family and love each other lots, and (since she's a worrier) focus on the continuity and "caringness" of it all. She'll honestly be better off with that than worrying later about why you didn't explain it. And she'll probably then expand the idea and ask "What about Jane's parents?" until she has exhausted the list of people she knows!

Bowlersarm Mon 13-May-13 14:57:46

No i know exactly what you are saying! It must be just me- I can't stop grinning and thinking of it as 'two poppsies'. Sorry, Tee, it just brightened up my day for some reason, especially as Mumsnet seems quite sombre today. I'm not actually adding anything to this thread, I realise, just interfering....I'll go...

Yonihadtoask Mon 13-May-13 14:59:00

Agree with other posters - explain it in a simple manner.

No need to get into the whys and wherefores of 'why' they split and remarried. It's just a fact of life - and she will come across other split/blended families in the near future anyway.

My Ds has loads of grandparents smile

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 13-May-13 15:00:16

I have 6 grandparents. One of the 'spares', I knew was my Grandfather's second wife from when I could remember. No issues. The other was a dark and mysterious secret and I wasn't told the truth until I was 20+. Guess which one of these scenarios caused angst in the family? Just tell her and deal with the questions.

Scruffey Mon 13-May-13 15:00:56

My kids (incl 5yo dd as well) have 3 sets of grandparents. I told them straight that my mum and dad didn't want to live together anymore so got divorced and each married someone else and that everyone was happy. You say she is intelligent and a worrier - well I would tell her ASAP then because she she will still be the same in 2 or 3 years time but she will then additionally want to know why you misled her. It really is no big deal - if she starts asking whether you and dh are splitting, you just say no! Surely she must have some little friends with divorced parents? You cannot shield her from something that is an everyday reality but at this stage you can easily say its no big deal.

valiumredhead Mon 13-May-13 15:02:34

Just present her with the facts, she will need to know sooner or later that the set up you have is very normal, at least it is in our house!

If she has any questions just answer them truthfully.

Mutley77 Mon 13-May-13 15:11:08

Please just tell her now. Despite being an over thinker it will be easier for her to deal with at this age than feel that a secret has been kept if you disclose the full truth later.

My daughter was 6 when her Aunty separated from her husband and we just said it like it was - she is 8 and still asks about it now, i.e. if she sees a photo of them together. Unfortunately the exH wanted nothing to do with my Sil or any of us so my daughter effectively "lost" her uncle. I just say that some relationships don't work and it is sad but the best thing in the end. She will ask whether me and DH are going to separate if we have a "discussion" and I say no which she accepts - I think it is easier for her that it is out in the open and she knows it is not a taboo subject so can ask if she feels worried.

Mumsyblouse Mon 13-May-13 15:33:21

This is not a big deal, my children have three sets of grandparents, and are loved and cherished by all of them. There's just a point you have to say 'grandpa was married to granny, but they didn't stay married, and then grandpa married granny X and granny married grandpa Y'

You won't shield your daughter for ever from the concept of divorce, children at school will have mums and dads who don't live together, who split up, who don't have a dad around, who don't know who their dad is, two mums (all these are from my children's classes) and all manner of other complicated families- the best thing is to be really calm about it and not make it into a big deal.

Nagoo Mon 13-May-13 15:53:11

I used to live with my mum and my dad. Then my mum and dad didn't live together any more so I lived with my mum and grandad z.

The sooner you say it the easier it is.

elliejjtiny Mon 13-May-13 17:20:56

My DS1 (6) is an overthinker. I have 3 "grandads" alive at the moment, none of whom are my biological grandparents. 2 are DH's grandads (but I call them grandad as well) and the other one is my great uncle, but has always been more like an extra grandparent. DS1 has always accepted that families come in different shapes and sizes. The only confusion is actually from DS3 (2) who is convinced that Prince Philip is also one of his great grandads grin.

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