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DD has to do family tree - estranged grandparent

(17 Posts)
LifeInAHamsterWheel Sun 06-Sep-20 19:10:30

I've been NC with my father for 15+ years. My children have never seen or known him. Occasionally they asked and my response was quite honest and short. He wasn't a good daddy, made Nana very sad and I don't know where he is. There have been no questions for a long time. But now DD (10) has to do a family tree for school I'm absolutely dreading it. Do we have to put him on it? Would it be petty and setting a really bad example to her to just leave him off it altogether?

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Iggly Sun 06-Sep-20 19:11:51

It’s only a name on a piece of paper? What exactly are you worried about - if she’s asked to talk about him?

Not having him there may mean she is asked about it which could be more awkward for her.

Maltay Sun 06-Sep-20 19:17:20

As I child I always found those type of things awful and very stressful (estranged mother). Personally I would ask DD how she feels about it and if she's worried I would ask the school if maybe if she could do a famous persons family tree - like the queen or something. What if she has to make a presentation or talk about her family? Made me feel so abnormal as a child... But that could just be me, some children are more resilient. Good luck x

OldWomanSaysThis Sun 06-Sep-20 19:20:14

When my son was in school, we did not include any of the no-contact people from "family tree" assignments.

I say "we" because the 1st time this came up, he was 6 years old - "Trace your family tree from when they first entered the country" was the assignment. Age 6. For us, 15 generations back. I replied, "Please teach reading and writing before assigning a genealogy project, because this took me hours to complete."

Looking back, I probably should have just done a totally fabricated family tree full of famous people. Silly assignment.

LifeInAHamsterWheel Sun 06-Sep-20 19:29:12

They're all doing their own families so I think DD doing a celebrity one would make her stand out more. I suppose it's my own issues that are coming out here, I resent giving him a place on our tree he really doesn't deserve it (yes at 46 I should be more mature!) I suppose we'll sit down and start it and I'll just maybe ask what she thinks about putting him on it.

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LifeInAHamsterWheel Sun 06-Sep-20 19:30:35

I should point out my entire family are NC so DD won't have heard him mentioned or seen photos etc he just really doesn't exist at all in our lives.

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LifeInAHamsterWheel Sun 06-Sep-20 19:31:24

*entire family are NC with my father - siblings and mum are all extremely close

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Spied Sun 06-Sep-20 19:33:06

No way would the teacher question a 'missing' element of the family tree of a ten year old.
No way.
He isn't a part of her family. There's no relationship.

Spied Sun 06-Sep-20 19:34:19

I think there will be a few DC with 'missing' elements tbh.

FiveFootTwoEyesOfBlue Sun 06-Sep-20 19:41:27

If your DD knows his name, then she could write his name in. Alternatively, just leave it blank. You could let her choose.

If - worst case scenario - the teacher or another child asks about him, your DD can just say, I don't know.

You won't be the only family with non-typical family relationships.

Ideasplease322 Sun 06-Sep-20 19:43:55

I think you are overthinking this.

Ask dd what she thinks should there, be light about it. Could put in his name or, seeing dd doesn’t know him, it would also be fine to leave him out and just have your mum on that branch.

Don’t make it into a huge deal.

Rainbowshine Sun 06-Sep-20 19:45:23

Contact the teacher, they will have to have thought about adapting the task for children who have been fostered or adopted and those that may have trauma associated with discussing family. It could be just keeping the tree to a small part of the family or as has been suggested doing it for someone well known or even a fictional character.

SlipperyLizard Sun 06-Sep-20 19:48:53

I don’t really see or speak to my dad, but my DDs know he exists. I would just write his name in the family tree, and if your DD asks repeat what she already knows - he wasn’t a good dad to you etc.

I think cutting harmful people out of your life should be discussed openly, it is not something to hide from your DD.

Floralnomad Sun 06-Sep-20 19:52:04

I really can’t see what difference it makes whether you are NC or not , it’s a name on a piece of paper and irrespective of how you feel about him his genetic material is relevant to your family tree .

tabulahrasa Sun 06-Sep-20 19:52:46

Just leave him out...

My DC added extra people, my nephew doesn’t have a grandfather on one side (well I mean he does, but his granny lied about who he is... so... nobody else is sure)

I’ve known people to put step relatives in...

It’ll be fine, honestly.

LifeInAHamsterWheel Sun 06-Sep-20 21:02:54

I am over thinking it, yes.

Thanks for all the opinions, good to hear what others have done too.

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funnylittlefloozie Sun 06-Sep-20 21:13:51

Realistically, your child isn't going to be the only one in the class with "missing branches". Some kids will be adopted or fostered, some kids won't know their real dads, some kids just won't know anything. Dont over-think it.

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