How to explain our 'blended family' to DD(3 Posts)
I started to type out a bit of back-story, but it got very long and complicated, so I'll try to summarise if I can. In short, I need to find a way to talk to my DD(6) about the fact that her Dad is actually her brother's step-dad.
My DS(13) has called my DH 'Dad' since before she was born, and he calls his biological dad (as well as his GPs, whom his dad lives with) by first name. He visits them regularly, but DD is not aware of their exact relationship to her brother. All she knows is DS goes to visit some people every so often, and she has never really questioned this, until recently. On that occasion I sort of avoided the question a little.
I feel like all of this just kind of 'happened', one thing at a time, and all of a sudden I feel like I've been lying to DD and turned this all in to some sort of secret. This was never my intention, and it really troubles me. I wish things had been different, and that DD had grown up knowing her brother had another family, and that would have been her 'normal' as she'd not have known any different.
I feel like we need to have this talk with DD soon, and I think she will understand. One of her friends has a step-dad, which I think might help her process things. Can you give me some suggestions on how to open the conversation?
The sooner the better, i think. She's young enough i think to be able to accept the information without feeling that you've been keeping it from her. I would try really hard to keep factual and upbeat about it, not to convey any kind of emotion around it (you don't want to suggest it might be sad or shameful in some way), but equally be prepared to reassure and cuddle her if she does feel sad about it in some way. It's OK for her to feel however she likes about it. Make absolutely sure your DS knows you are going to tell her so that he is prepared in case she brings it up with him. It might be a good idea for him to be ready to reassure her that they are just as much brother and sister and that it doesn't change anything.
Backdrop to this for me is that I found out when I was 15yo that my sister was actually my half sister, when her Dad made contact. It wasn't a massive big deal for me (it was/still is for her, as was news to her too!) but i would have preferred to have always had the truth.
Thank you, I really appreciate your response, especially given your own experience. I have spoken to DH and he says he had been thinking about this too, but like me had kept putting off talking about it. We agreed that I will talk to DD as I am home with her a lot more at the moment, and we thought it might allow a more 'natural' conversation to develop (rather than us both being there and it feeling like a big deal). Of course I also need to speak to DS first, as you said.
One other thing I am thinking about now is how to tackle this with DD2, who is just a baby right now. I will certainly make her aware at a younger age than DD1, but is there an easier way to do this? I don't know anyone who's been in a similar situation to us - at least not that I'd feel I could ask advice from.
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