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How to explain to DD that 'Daddy' is not her biolog father

(11 Posts)
Lasvegas Fri 12-Aug-05 11:35:57

DD is 2.5, she has never met biolog father and he will not re-enter our lives. She has called step father Daddy since she was age 2 and obviously assumes he is her real father. I want her to know in the future that she has a biolog father who left when she was a week old but I don't want this to be a big chat when she is teenager,I want it to be more subtle. She has step brothers age 8 and 6 and I'm worried that at some point there will be a squable and they will say He's not really your Daddy. So I want to tell her when she is fairly young. I have heard that kids often idolise the absent parent and make up stories to themselves about how lovely they are so I want to make it clear that biolog father was an unkind person to her and that her step father is much better. I'm also concerned that in future she will say to step dad your'e not my real daddy I'm not going to bed. Anyone have any advise or experience on this? Thank you

aloha Fri 12-Aug-05 12:10:49

One thing that jumps out of your message is that you want her to realise her biological father was a bad person - I think that's understandable but a mistake. After all, she's half - biologically - his and you don't want her to feel that she is somehow bad like him. I really wouldn't go down that route. I think personally it is better to just maybe start to say things quite casually like you had a daddy (or maybe just say that there was a man) who who helped mummy to make you, that you are very happy that he helped to make such a lovely little girl, and now you have Daddy X (if you use his name), who is the daddy who loves you and looks after you.
Is your relationship with your partner quite new? Do you think it will be permanent?
I think your worries about the older boys and turning on her stepfather are probably misplaced. Are they unkind children? Do they seem jealous or resentful of your daughter? If not, then I doubt very much they would be so unpleasant. By the time your daughter is old enough to squabble the boys will be at least 8 and ten and quite old enough to be beyond squabbling with a 'baby' as they will see her (hopefully a much loved and petted baby if all goes well!). My position is that I am a stepmother to a lovely 13 year old and mother of a nearly four year old and six month old baby. The children get on beautifully, and I feel sure my own children will never tell my stepdaughter that I'm not her mummy as we are all very open about the relationships. Ds does find it confusing that he has a sister who doesn't live with him but we make it clear that they are siblings, and that dh is her daddy but she has another mummy. I think small children just accept things and see them as normal. If you just drop information into conversation with your dd - perhaps when you are reading a story about families - I think she will always just know and it needn't be a big issue for her. I suspect that one day she may well be curious about the man who helped to make her but that's a bridge you can cross later on. If she wants to know where the man who helped to make her is now, I would think you can tell her, for example, that he lives a long way away. My BIL married a woman with two daughters whose father was violent and had no contact and they are perfectly well aware that he is not their bio father - always were - but love him and treat him as their father. He walked one up the aisle a few years ago and is definitely grandpa to their children.

Lasvegas Fri 12-Aug-05 12:40:38

Thank you - definately love the line about a man that helped make her.

99.9% sure it will be permanent - we are marrying as soon as my divorce is final.

My step sons are lovely kind children who are happy to have a baby sister. It helps that DP has good relationship with his X wife/mother of my step sons.

otto Fri 12-Aug-05 12:42:49

I think you are right to introduce this early on in a subtle way. A friend of mine wasn't told until she was in her 20s that the person she thought was her father was, in fact, her step father and it came as a real shock when she did find out.

Raspberry Fri 12-Aug-05 12:48:01

So long as you are kind and sympathetic to her and most of all honest, it should be alright

I have a M&D which are unlikely not to be my biological ones, but I can't say I loved them alot or was very close to them as a child.

Love, care and tenderness are what children associate with 'mummy' and 'daddy'. When dd says 'I want my Daddy!' she isn't talking biologically, she means your dp who loves her

liandme Fri 12-Aug-05 13:00:33

my dd is 4 and calls my dp daddy and her rd daddy dylan, she was the one who decided to do this he rd still has contact and he hates her calling him daddy dylan but it is her choice, she told her ss she has one dad who put her in mummys tummy and one daddy who looks after her and puts her to bed, she asked us why sd had same name as dp and she had different we said that is cos he is her daddy and she asked to have the same name, and althought we cant legally change it she has a chosen name and a legal name and when she starts school it will be her chosen name they use as my and dp are getting married in 2 months

lilibet Fri 12-Aug-05 13:03:34

Can't really better Aloha's advice but from personal experience I was adopted as a six week old baby adn I can't ever remember being told that I was adopted, but have alwys known it. I think that you should tell her while she is young and then she will grow up kowing and accepting it as perfectly natural.

Good luck

stacijc Fri 12-Aug-05 13:14:22

only scanned thru posts (sorry...rampant toddler lol)

Prob already been said but you could say that she has a daddy that made her and a daddy that loves her. that way she can form her own opinion of her biological father and still love her step father.

Mosschops30 Fri 12-Aug-05 13:17:42

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Mosschops30 Fri 12-Aug-05 13:19:17

Message withdrawn

madrush Fri 12-Aug-05 13:23:03

In my opinion, you're definitely on the right track with making it something she just grows up knowing rather than a big conversation later on. Aloha's advice is spot on and I must echo that you should try to resist giving the message that bio dad is bad.

Do try to keep your conversations about him factual and neutral and she'll make up her own mind. My dh's mother has always (and still now he's 41) tried to tell him what a nightmare his dad was and it's his fault they split up. Dh's instinct from very young was always to protect his dad over his mum because of this. His dad can be awful sometimes, but dh forgives things of his dad that his mother would be yelled at for!

You can't force opinions on these things and trying to is likely to turn her the other way. It sounds like your dd's family now is going to be a very happy place to grow up and she'll realise that sd is wonderful without you having to highlight the difference between him and rd.

You may find that as a teenager she has the occasional stroppy step daughter moment, but if it wasn't "you're not my dad" it could still be "I hate you even though you are my dad" or worse. They're just normal throwaway comments without substance.

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