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LGBT parents

Advice need for a gay friend regarding her ds

4 replies

Biffbaffbosh · 12/11/2008 13:52

Please see my thread here

Thank you

OP posts:
Lucifera · 12/11/2008 15:11

hi BBB
I can understand this is upsetting for your friend, but surely her ds isn't the only child in his class without a father? or is he? I guess she and her partner have talked to him about how families can be made up in many different ways including extended family so perhaps "You don't have a daddy, who is in your family? Mummy, special friend, grandad, uncle X, cousin, etc etc"? Does her partner see herself as mummy#2 or not really? Are they out to his school so staff can watch out for any teasing? (guess not if you say he is pretending he has a father)
Unfortunately I don't know of any good British books for children on this subject, there are some US titles ...

Goalie · 12/11/2008 19:06

Is he getting distressed about having 2 mummies or is he just doing what many normal children do - which is pretend he has something that his other friends have.

I know it must be hard for your friend to hear her son tell other people he has a Daddy, but he's still young and is still learning about social interaction - so I wouldn't worry overly (easier said than done!).

There are a couple of books that you could try to get hold of - 'Its ok to be different' by Todd Parr, 'King and King' by Linda De Haan or 'And Tango makes three' by Justin Richardson. Unfortunately, the last two are more around male gay parents, rather than 2 women - but it might help him understand that families can be made up in lots of different ways.

Reading the books together with her son, might also help your friend talk about why he is saying he has a daddy - and then hopefully she'll understand better.

The nursery / school can also be a good help - if she is able, suggest she talks to them about the situation. They might be able to do something with the whole class around 'general differences' i.e. religion, colour, whether your hair is blond or black and if you have 1, 2 or even 3 mums or dads....

hester · 14/11/2008 22:07

Some kids take it harder than others when they don't fit with the norm. I was one of the only children at primary school without a dad, and I remember telling the others that my dad was Paul McCartney... But my brothers didn't seem bothered by their 'difference' at all.

Now I am a gay parent, and I know a fair few other gay parents, and it does seem normal that kids go through a phase when they're quite intensely interested in their family relationships and how they compare to their peers'. For some this is a passing phase, for others it seems to be more intense.

The thing is, your friend can't magic up a dad, neither can she change society. What she can do (and much easier said than done, I know) is to keep talking to her son in a way that's warm and understanding and not defensive; join a gay parents network so he gets to regularly meet with other kids in the same situation; and above all keep calm. He'll come through this.

Dttoydto · 14/11/2008 22:16

The Todd Parr books are brilliant - my ds's love them.

It's hard to give advice without knowing the exact situation of your friend. Our ds's know that they've got a Dad but that he doesn't live with them. But he's a friend of ours and sees them regularly, so it's probably a bit different.

There's no point denying to any child (in my opinion) that they were 'made' by a woman and a man - their Mum and Dad - the difference comes in who lives with them/who they see/who brings them up. So ds's know they've got 2 Mummies, a Dad who doesn't live with them, 2 grandmas and 3 grandads!

If we'd have used a sperm bank we probably would have gone down the line that a man helped us make them - how kind and wonderful that is - but that he doesn't help bring them up. Or something.

I suppose I'm trying to say all children need some kind of explanation, suitable for their age, but not a flat out denial of how they got here. It's really tricky but having just had the yoghurt pot and syringe talk with ds1 (nearly 7 and through a logical line of questioning got there himself!) I know how difficult it is!

Dp and I have also met with ds's teachers each time they've moved up a year, to go over our approach to talking about our family - things like ds's might want to/choose to include their Dad in family drawings - and both Mums etc. In fact ds1's special person he talked about in his class assembly was his Dad These Dads who get all the credit, hey?!

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