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Waiting till DC are older to tell them this?

(95 Posts)
PumpkinP Mon 21-Oct-19 23:00:47

Just want to know what people though on this situation. I have 4 children with my ex. He is absent and has been for a few years (this is his choice). Anyway he has an older son who he also doesn’t have contact with. He always told me the mother had stopped contact and in my defence I was young and naive when I met him and he was my first relationship, so I took his word for it. I now realise that probably wasn’t the case since he now doesn’t bother with my children either.

I was never allowed to speak about his child as he didn’t want me to, said it was too painful so we never really spoke about him (ex was abusive). Anyway at the time we were together I never told the children about this half sibling. I was reading something the other day which got me thinking about my children not knowing about their half sibling. I decided it would be best to tell them once they are older (adults probably) as my children (daughter especially) already struggles with not having a dad, it really effecting her. It seems pointless telling them as nothing will come of it and just seems like it will do more harm than good.

Just want to know if am doing the right thing waiting till They are older to speak about it? Has anyone been in this situation or a similar situation and have any advice?

PumpkinP Mon 21-Oct-19 23:01:34

I originally posted in relationships but didn’t really get many comments.

DinoSn0re Mon 21-Oct-19 23:03:10

Personally I would tell them. I don’t think much good comes from keeping secrets.

HotChocWithCream Mon 21-Oct-19 23:06:45

I’m in a similar situation in that I’ve found out recently that my ex- husband has a daughter now (3 years old) and is planning to have a baby with another woman! Apparently the mother of his daughter binned him.

Our son is 8. I’ve thought about it a lot and decided to avoid telling him until he is much older. He will never bump into any of them as they are all literally hundreds of miles away.

If he asks directly in the meantime I won’t lie.

Ponoka7 Mon 21-Oct-19 23:07:32

I told mine when they were younger teens. They were getting nore independent and i didn't want the situation, that I've heard about twice, were people have had sex with their close relative.

Now as Adults they are close to their DNs.

Only you can judge when to tell your daughter.

ThreeLittleDots Mon 21-Oct-19 23:08:40

I think you should tell them. Could help them understand he's a crap dad and it's not just them.

But be prepared for the questions and how you'd handle any interest they might have in meeting him.

BackforGood Mon 21-Oct-19 23:11:38

There was a similar thread on here last week - that one was about the older sibling having a different biological father - who was occasionally in contact with her - and the younger sibling not knowing.
Overwhelmingly everybody said the best way was for it to be known about from when they were small - it was just a 'fact' and, whatever happened NOT to keep things secret hoping for a big reveal one day.

So, slightly different situation, but I think when dc know things when they are little and it just isn't a "thing", it usually is much better.

PumpkinP Mon 21-Oct-19 23:12:30

I just struggle with explaining why they won’t seeing him, it’s already hard explaining why there dad doesn’t see them (he doesn’t want to) when they are young teens it might be easier for them to understand, it’s a tough one.

Frankier88 Mon 21-Oct-19 23:12:36

I've been the child in this situation and didn't find out until I was 21. I would much rather have known when I was younger so I could try and build a relationship with my sibling. I would be open and honest if I were you

Doyoumind Mon 21-Oct-19 23:13:47

I think they should know. Leaving it until they are adults is far too late and they wont thank you for it.

tava63 Mon 21-Oct-19 23:15:51

Generally I think honesty is the best policy. These five children are being treated horribly by your ex, being and feeling rejected by a parent is a very tough burden for most people. But real honesty can help a level of healing. I haven't experienced this but I do understand why you would question what you should do going forward. If you leave it until they are older your children could be confused on why you left it for so long. Does the Mother of your ex's other child know about you and your children? Look after yourself too, most of us have been naïve and in love but what matters now is the love and care you are showing to your children, and to your ex's other child, going forward.

PumpkinP Mon 21-Oct-19 23:16:35

I wouldn’t wait till 21 I was thinking maybe 16?

Kpo58 Mon 21-Oct-19 23:23:22

I think that 16 is way too late for them finding out. They will be in full teenage angst dealing with friend issues and trying to deal with studying for GCSEs or the equivalent.

katewhinesalot Mon 21-Oct-19 23:23:27

I think telling them now will actually help them too. They will know it's not just them. That their dad has treated them just like his other child. It depersonalises it for them a bit. It's him that's shit, not them.

And secrets always come back to bite on the bum in ways you don't expect.
They need to know they can trust you. If you tell them at 16 they will wonder what else you've hidden from them.

frogsoup Mon 21-Oct-19 23:25:36

I had a situation where a family secret wasn't revealed to me until adulthood and i wish I'd been told sooner. Kids will take most things in their stride, but big family secrets corrode trust. I'd tell them much sooner than 16 personally. Imagine if they find out through other channels - even if they live far away you never know how that might happen. They could overhear a conversation, someone might tell them maliciously, the brother himself might get in contact - in all cases the loser would be your bond of trust with your kids, which is not fair on you or them. Also, telling them at 16 (which one? Would they be told one by one when they reach 16, keeping it secret from younger sibs?) makes it into a big momentous revelation, rather than something they've essentially always known about.

YesIReallyDoLikeRootBeer Mon 21-Oct-19 23:28:18

I think you should tell them and not wait. When I was growing up I had found out that my friends' father had a daughter from a previous relationship. They did not know this and being a young teen of course I ran right out and told them about the sister they knew nothing about. It was devastating for them. Looking back I wish I had been smart enough to not tell them, but kids are not always smart. You don't want your kids learning from someone else.

YesIReallyDoLikeRootBeer Mon 21-Oct-19 23:29:29

Just to add, what they were really devastated about most was that they learned it from the girl next door and that their parents had never told them. Either way its going to be shocking for your kids, but it will be much better coming from you.

PumpkinP Mon 21-Oct-19 23:31:07

He wont be in contact he doesn’t know any of my details and I’m not on any social media Facebook etc Ex also is unlikely to pass on my details if he ever got in contact. They live near ex I believe which is 2 hours away.

MyDcAreMarvel Mon 21-Oct-19 23:33:36

No that’s the worse thing you can do, they should grow up knowing.

Hecateh Mon 21-Oct-19 23:34:16

In my experience , the younger they are the easier t is,

Without making a big deal of ot it. just talking generally that Dad had a child with someone before 'us' and maybe we will talk to him one day. Rather than a big (non) reveal

Candle1000 Mon 21-Oct-19 23:34:22

My friend has custody of her grandchildren, who have another sibling that had been adopted by another couple. SS are involved and have encouraged my friend W tell the children ( all under 7 years old) to tell them now rather than leave it until they are older. They have all taken it in their stride . I wouldn’t wait to tell yours Op , it will come as more of a shock if you wait.

Derbee Mon 21-Oct-19 23:36:39

No good ever comes from keeping secrets. I would tell them sooner rather than later.

PumpkinP Mon 21-Oct-19 23:37:04

So how do I deal with the upset it will cause? Dd is very effected by not having a dad. She begs me to meet someone so she can “have a new dad” her words. It’s so bad that if a delivery man or whatever knocks on the door I get “is that my new dad?” she has also started calling teachers at the school “school dad” so I feel this will just be another thing to upset her.

crustycrab Mon 21-Oct-19 23:37:39

Tell them.

London91 Mon 21-Oct-19 23:38:24

I think it depends on your children's ages. But as someone who didn't find out about some of my half siblings until I was older, I would say honesty is the best policy. I was very angry about not being told at the time. Now I'm an adult I understand some of the reasoning behind it, but at the time I didn't.

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