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Telling dsd she's going to be a sister - advice needed!(13 Posts)
Hey any advice would be really appreciated! my dsd is 12, her parents split up when she was a baby and I met her dad when dsd had just turned 3. We've had our ups and downs over the years but things are pretty settled now, we get on okay with her mum and have a good routine where dsd stays with us every other weekend, sometimes every weekend depending on what she wants to do.
Im 14 weeks pregnant and we're going to share this news with her this weekend. My DH thinks I'm way overthinking it but I want to make sure we do this in a way that's supportive for her! She's had 12 years of being an only child in both houses and she's said numerous times (as a much younger child) she didn't ever want a sibling.
My DH can be a bit insensitive and as he's so excited about this baby I don't want her to feel pushed out. Has anyone experience of telling older step children? Or of being told as a child you were having a half sibling?
Would love to hear your stories or advice on what kind of reaction we might need to prepare ourselves for. Xx
It think you are right to think carefully, it's potentially big news for her, and as you say possibly not welcome news. I think in similar circumstances I'd tell her at home and then go out to 'celebrate' with her at her favourite cafe/ ice cream shop or for pizza, and I would encourage you to not change anything eg how often she comes etc, I've always been flabbergasted by threads on here about not wanting step children to come and see the new baby for a few weeks despite them usually visiting twice a week etc? She might relish some extra babysitting pocket money in a few years time?
Give her some time to process it after you tell her. She may want to be alone if she is feeling upset, as she may not want to upset you.
Are you telling her before other people? So she feels part of the secret iyswim?
Make sure she knows you are happy and it's a celebration, not a oh you have been an only for so long blah.
She is old enough to grasp the world isn't just hers.
I was the half sister, at that age. Twice actually, both parents did it to me.
To be honest, my little sisters on my dad's side...eh didn't care. Nothing changed. We aren't close.
On my mum's side, I wasn't happy. I went from being the youngest to suddenly being very very pushed out. Not nice. And everyone expected me to be happy.
So be sensitive and change nothing. She might not care, she might. Keep evaluating would be my advice. her emotions won't be static.
We had a rough trot with my DSD as her Mum had told her that siblings "come along and take all the love away from you", so we really had to tread carefully.
We took her to her favourite takeaway joint and told her. She'd always had a thing about being an only child so was delighted to not be the only member of her gang.
We told DSD that she was the first person that we'd told, and included her in lots of baby-type things. She was also the first person to visit the hospital after DC was born.
Since my DC arrived I'm fastidious about DSD and DP spending time just the two of them - DP often doesn't think it's necessary but I'm usually proven right (which is immensely satisfying as you can imagine!).
Thankyou for the advice, I know it's probably going to come as a bit of s shock to her. Yes we've not told any other family yet, we are supposed to see them this weekend if dsd is fine we can share the news, if she needs longer to process it before seeing everyone else happy we can wait - doesn't change anything for us.
I really do think she's going to be an amazing big sister so I hope she still wants to come round as much!
When I had ds with new dh my exh told my dc the baby wouldn't be their real sibling.
He filled their head with pure shit.
They actually bloody loved him straight away!
I was in this exact same situation at Christmas and it’s been really hard. My partner’s son is 13 and was super young for his age but seems to have regressed even more since the news - he will no longer walk to school without my partner and keeps drawing on the mirrors in toothpaste and shouting I DONT CARE when anyone brings up anything baby related.
He is a bit of a rare case though! I think you have to take it at their pace. It’s really really really hard so follow their lead, if that makes sense? It helps if her mum is supportive (we do not have that!) so she can talk to someone with a more neutral view as well. Does her mum know? It would be good to give her a heads up in case she wants to talk about it, if it won’t be difficult.
If she doesn’t jump for joy at the news, just tone down your own responses around her until she’s had time to process it, but be encouraging about all the positives. definitely tell her you think she’ll be an amazing big sister!
Also good luck! I think this age is the hardest to tell - younger ones you can take the lead with more and give them a gift from the baby etc, and older ones are just focused on their own lives, but this sort of middle school age is a funny one.
Thankyou so much for sharing your experiences! I'm going to have another chat with DH tonight to make sure he doesnt railroad into it (ie tell her in the car on the way home! 😂) and will let her mum know before dsd goes home so she's got a bit more support there too. Her mum is fine and I think will help dsd see the positives if she's struggling initially. I think we just need to reassure her that having a new baby won't mean she will be loved any less.
@Dustyzest that sounds really difficult to manage 😞 I really hope it gets easier for you all - you'll have to keep us posted!
Yes we had the regression also - talking in a baby voice, wanting to sleep with a teddy bear etc. Agree with getting Mum on side - we told her very early on in proceedings. DSD is an excellent big sister.