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His dad is getting married...

Can a 3 year old understand the concept of marriage? My DS's dad and I were friends before we started dating. We were only together for 3 months when I got pregnant. We decided we were better off as friends instead of a couple and have had no problems raising him. When DS was about 6 months old, dad met the girl he is now engaged to. My son adores her and I think she's a great candidate for his step-mom. DS has been told daddy is getting married but I think he's too young to quite get it. Is there anyway his dad and I can explain it to him? Or should we just not push it?

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Asked by angiemgiu at 9:47 PM on Jan. 4, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 14 (1,381 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • Do not push it, just let things happen. He will realize what marriage is later on. I think it is wonderful that all of the adults in your son's life are on good terms!

    Answer by Magpie75 at 10:02 PM on Jan. 4, 2009

  • Yes, at three he can understand. We typically don't give children credit for what they can understand. It might be nice for him and you or him and his dad to sit down and read some age appropriate books on step families and what that means. It doesn't have to be all serious - just age appropriate. Especially if he is going to be in the wedding. So snuggle up after a trip to the local library or book store - and start reading. Then ask him, what does it mean to have a wedding and be married? He may just surprise you. It is cool that you like this woman and that will go along way with how things will go in the future. Just include that you are okay and happy, many kids this age somehow think it is sad that mom is "alone," and that you will always be his mom - he just gets this bonus mom too.  Answer questions honestly, keep things light - it will work.


    Answer by frogdawg at 10:18 PM on Jan. 4, 2009

  • My ex is getting remarried, and they explained it to my daughter. She understood it superficially, and we have been talking gradually about the more substantive aspects of marriage. They will not grasp it fully at this age (for example, my daughter kissed me and said, "Now we're married, Mommy!" and she also said she wanted to get married to her brothers because she loves them. LOL!), but it will give them a basis for understanding the changes that will take place.

    Answer by B.Wright at 10:34 AM on Jan. 6, 2009

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