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When & how do I explain this to a child?

When I was pregnant with my oldest, I found out I was pregnant with twins. I ended up losing one of the babies. My dd has always appeared to miss her twin. I can't remember specific examples from when she was young, but she always seemed to miss the other baby. Recently, she asked my dh if we had any other children before her because she felt like we did.
She's 8, and I think still too young to really understand & deal with this. But what age is the right age? Maybe I just don't want to tell her. How do I tell her? Do I wait for her to bring it up again?
I just don't know, any suggestions would help.
Thanks!

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ihatenames

Asked by ihatenames at 3:41 PM on Jul. 15, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • I don't think she's too young.
    I'd just bring it up. You might mention it the next time the two of you see a baby.. "Babies are such fun. Did I ever tell you you were a twin but your sister died before either of you were born? It would have been so fun to have two babies at once." And see where it goes from there. Don't let her know you've been hiding it from her. If she asks, just tell her that the loss was hard to deal with and you don't really like to talk about the baby you lost - but you are willing to talk to that baby's sister anytime she wants to talk about it.
    kaycee14

    Answer by kaycee14 at 3:47 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • I BELEIVE SHE IS OLD ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND, SPECIALLY IF SHE IS ASKING. GIVE HER THE TRUTH, IT IS THE BEST WAY, AND WHILE YOU ARE AT IT EXPLAIN ABOUT MENSTRUAL CYCLE AS WELL. I WOULD WAIT FOR HER TO BRING IT UP AGAIN.
    older

    Answer by older at 3:50 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • I think she's old enough to begin to understand what happened. It's nothing you did wrong so just explain to her what happened. You will want to tell her before another family member does and says it the wrong way.
    frenzied

    Answer by frenzied at 3:52 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • I agree with frenzied and older. She's 8, not 5. The next time she brings it up, tell her the truth, but don't dumb it down for her.
    motherofanaries

    Answer by motherofanaries at 3:53 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • I totally agree with older, frenzie and motherofanaries. I would wait till she brings it up again, and simply tell her that you didn't have a child before her, but were supposed to have one with her. Make it a fun conversation not just boring or "oh by the way". I think I would have actually told her sooner, like when I noticed signs of the "longing". Sorry about your loss, but your daughter will understand.
    mammacjjc85

    Answer by mammacjjc85 at 5:34 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • If she's old enough to ask the question then she is old enough to know the answer.
    motherofhope98

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 5:47 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

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