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How to explain to a 3 yr old that his "daddy" isn't his biological father?

(16 Posts)
hotCheeseBURNS Wed 11-Nov-09 17:48:39

Can anyone help?

This is how I've tried to explain: for a baby to be made a man and a woman have to be together in a special way and mummy and Tom were together and then ds grew in mummy's tummy. Tom went away but mummy was happy and loved ds very much. Then daddy came and loved mummy and ds and looked after us. I also referred to Tom as his "birth daddy".

I drew some pictures of men and women and babies to illustrate but I don't think I managed to get any message across!

How can I make it clear for him? Are there any books explaining this sort of situation? Maybe he's just too young to understand?

posieparker Wed 11-Nov-09 17:50:07

Do you really need to?

Wait until he asks. You say birth Daddy and no lies, but I wouldn't go further until he needs it otherwise you'll have a whole lots more questions!

mrsjammi Wed 11-Nov-09 17:50:43

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Besom Wed 11-Nov-09 17:56:56

I agree with Posie. I think you're doing the right thing by just being open with him about it. It doesn't matter that he doesn't get it quite yet. He will eventually.

hotCheeseBURNS Wed 11-Nov-09 17:58:14

I'm sure there must be, I just can't find it! Not sure where to look really so I'm hoping someone on here will know?!

mrsjammi Wed 11-Nov-09 17:58:43

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posieparker Wed 11-Nov-09 18:01:07

What do you want him to understand?

My seven year old doesn't really know how his Daddy (DH) fits into his life.

hotCheeseBURNS Wed 11-Nov-09 18:06:20

Thank you mrsjammi that would be great.

It's such a difficult thing to talk about - I had no idea how hard it would be until I spoke the words to ds - that I feel like I need to be proactive about it. It would be so easy to just let it slide and never talk about it.

I've been advised (and I agree) that it's incredibly important that children grow up with a clear picture of who's who in their family.

ShinyAndNew Wed 11-Nov-09 18:06:23

Is Tom still in his life? If so, just keep on as you are calling Tom birth Daddy. If not, then wait a while.

I told dd1, when she about 4 that DH was not her natural father, In a similar way to how you have described. She seemed to understand. Also, she has said that she does not want to contact her birth father, she has a daddy who she loves and she doesn't want another one.

hotCheeseBURNS Wed 11-Nov-09 18:09:39

We're not in contact with Tom and I can't imagine he's going to appear any time soon and want to get to know his son! It makes it harder to explain clearly because it's just a story to ds as he's never met Tom and doesn't remember life without dp.

Annabel1 Wed 11-Nov-09 19:58:34

Think the important thing is that they grow up having a sense that it's info that they always knew (obviously at a differetn level now and say in 10 years time). From what I know about all this it's when children have bombshells dropped that they have probs. Quite clear from my experience that this is importatn - two pieces of family info came to light from the wrong person at the wrong time and I was devastated

ShinyAndNew Wed 11-Nov-09 20:09:21

That's exactly the same situation I was in with dd1.

I just told her that a mummy needs a daddy to make a baby, but when she was made it was with a different daddy, because we didn't know dh then. That daddy didn't think he would be a very good daddy, so he went away. Then we met DH who loved her so much he wanted to be her daddy.

But as I said she was four. She understands I think and wants to change her name to be like 'her proper daddy'. According to her the daddy that made her is not a 'proper daddy' because he went away. Methinks she is very clever grin

TheFoosa Wed 11-Nov-09 20:26:32

I would say as everyone else has, be open, don't let it be a huge bombshell at a vulnerable age because ime it really is hard to deal with

you sound like a good mum smile

thaliablogs Wed 11-Nov-09 21:36:58

Advice I've heard about adoption/egg donation is that you always tell the story, much as you have done, and that you always answer questions truthfully, but that you follow the child's need and lead and just answer the questions they have with their level of language and don't attempt to 'make them understand' in any way. It will be just like other stories about your family (I bet he doesn't understand that his grandpa is your daddy, for example, yet), he will hear them and hear them and eventually he will understand .

mrsjammi Thu 12-Nov-09 01:15:00

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SolidGoldBangers Thu 12-Nov-09 01:19:18

Yes, be open but don't bother with details, so that it just becomes something that's a part of life. (I was adopted as a baby and my parents (not bio parents but parents) did it like that. So I don't remember Being Told, I just grew up knowing it). The worst thing you could do would be to keep it a secret, because it will come out, and that's such a dreadful betrayal ie the people the child loves and trusts the most have been lying to that child for his/her whole life - people who find out in their teens or later that there is some irregularity or unusual circumstance around their birth tend to go a bit nuts.

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