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When to tell a half sibiling about a new baby

(8 Posts)
degroote78 Wed 23-Sep-09 15:01:45

My partner has a six year old who has not yet been told about me or our baby who will be born in around 7 weeks. He has a complex relationship with his ex and she often witholds access to his child which has resulted in his little girl getting very upset at school and the school calling social services. The situation is getting better and he is now getting weekly access however his ex still doesn't want him to tell his daughter about me or the baby.

I personally feel she has her own agenda here and I think it is best to be honest and tell her while I'm still pregnant rather than when the baby is born. I don't think there's ever a right time to do this and I feel honesty is the best policy. from what I have read it says you should tell a child as early as possible. Can snyone who has children or has been in a similar situation please give me advice?

humf Wed 23-Sep-09 20:10:06

my dp children were 7 and 10 it was him that didn't want to tell them as he thought they would be upset and their mother wasn't exactly positive about the situation and therefore would not provide them with any reasurance about situation. eventually he told them about a month before i gave birth and after initial confusion they didn't show much interest, but once our son was born, they were both v positive although a little jealous, but neither are very secure kids. it worked out ok. i'd agree with you, honesty is best, he needs to tell his daughter and ask his ex to be supportive for her daughters sake so she feels ok about situation. would be good if you could meet her before you give birth, being a girl might build bridges a little if she can see baby in tummy but get some attention from you both a couple of times before you three become four. good luck, i think girls are easier pleased at that age

Elliegant Wed 23-Sep-09 20:26:59

Hi my dsd was 9 when I had ds, she was one of the first people we told when i became pregnant. We involved her as much as possible during the pregnancy, I took her shoping to help me choose things for the new baby. Her Mom was fairly nagative and kept stressing the point that they would only be half siblings. DSD loved DS when he was born, DH picked her up from school so that she could visit us in hospital and we got her a new big sister present.

five years on and they have a fab relationship dsd loves her little brother.

Good luck

degroote78 Thu 24-Sep-09 11:05:37

Thank you for all your advice. It seems, as I thought, honesty is best and the situation needs to be sorted out sooner rather than later.

littlebitlonely Thu 24-Sep-09 22:27:43

I have a baby, who is over a year old, who has a half brother.

The half brother is now six, but the mother, and my exp insist on not telling him he has a new baby sister.

I can't tell you how damaging and wrong it is for everyone involved. And how explosive this will be in later years.

Sadly, my exp is weak, and his expartner is bitter, and neither can see their child's welfare before their own.

All I can say is, this is about the children. They have an absolute birthright to know about each other. And - all things being equal - will outlive their parents. I mean, they will have a relationship that outlives your own.

I urge you to be honest about the situation. If I had any say in this, I would.

degroote78 Fri 25-Sep-09 10:48:25

That's so terrible, I really feel for you. Do you have a relationship with the little boy? Like my situation, your partner needs to realise the damage it could do to your daughter in the future if she finds out she was kept a secret. I said that to my partner and he said "well they won't find out" but these things always come out in the end. I have posted the same thread on the step parenting section - have a look as a father who has been in the same situation and he gave me sopme good links and advice to pass on to my partner which I have and he seems much more open to telling his daughter now. Good luck and thanks for being so honest about your situation

OptimistS Fri 25-Sep-09 12:46:05

I agree with all the other posters. This needs to come out in the open. littlbitlonely is spot on when she says: "They have an absolute birthright to know about each other" and "they will have a relationship that outlives your own."

My DTs have four half siblings (though I don't like the word half, as it is too often used to imply 'of lesser importance', not that I'm suggesting that's what you mean here.). The eldest is with one woman, the other three are with another. All of us are XPs of the same man (he was busy...). I get on well with both mums and my children have a great relationship with all four of their siblings, although it was understandably a bit awkward/weird in the beginning.

Try using a bit of psychology on your DP's X. Rather than using the sensible, moral argument here, can you try suggesting that not telling might hurt her badly? Get your DP to point out to her that once your baby is born, even if she, you and your DP never talk, others will. It is extremely unlikely that this little girl will not find out, probaly through the school playground, as kids often eavesdrop on their parents conversations and someones parents are bound to make a comment at some time. IT is quite likely that the little girl will then become very angry with her mother for witholding the information. Does the mum really want to run the risk of losing her child?

You may get further with this approach. At the moment, the mother probably feels a bit threatened and usurped and thinks she is protecting herself and her daughter by denying you and the baby exist. By changing the emphasis so that your DP can explain that she's actually running the risk of alienating her daughter, she might be more amenable to being open from the start.

If social services are involved, can your DP talk to them about this? I don't know the complex back history between your DP and his X, but social services would agree that the little girl at the centre of all this should know about her new sibling when he/she arrives. They may be able to broach the subject themselves in terms that your DP's X may find more agreeable.

I must stress that this is my own personal viewpoint, but taking everything you've said at face value, if I were in your situation, and I had tried every reasonable way to get the mother to agree to tell her daughter, I would go ahead and tell the little girl anyway (in a way that does not attach any blame or accusation towards her mother). This is too important for her not to know. No court in the land is going to restrict your DP's access to his daughter for telling her that she now has a sibling with his new partner. In in ideal world, your DP's DD should be coming to spend time at her dad's house anyway. Would she not wonder about you and the baby anyway? I'm assuming that there is no history of mental illness or abuse on the part of either your DP or his X. If there is, that changes things considerably, and while the goal (to let the siblings grow up knowing each other) remains the same, the best way to achieve this could be totally different.

Good luck. Hope you get it sorted.

degroote78 Fri 25-Sep-09 14:53:10

Social services were involved through the school as his little girl was crying and disressed every day as she wasn't getting to see her dad. NOt sure if they are involved any more as she is much happier now she has access.

There is no history of abuse or mental illness on his part, but the mother has suffered from depression and is suffering it at the moment but I don't know the exact details.

Thanks for the advice. I think he knows now what he has to do and it's up to me to make sure he does it and doesn't keep putting it off. There is never a right time with these things which is why they get put off but it has to be done.

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