Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

when do the stepkids fully understand the situation??

the other night my stepson was staying the night...and he asked were is the baby sleeping???? and i told him with mommy and daddy. he said madly, NO he's my daddy. i told him he's both your daddies. and then he was asking why does the baby sleep with yall? well he knows he has a baby brother... so when is he going to fully understand??

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:10 PM on Feb. 19, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (10)
  • A couple of years maybe.

    Answer by louise2 at 6:13 PM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • What is it you want him to fully understand? Why the baby sleeps with you? In order for him to understand that, you have to explain it to him. If you did that, that's all you can do. He may not understand (I'm assuming he's 3-4 since that's where you posted this) b/c he's still so little, or he may not understand simply b/c he refuses to. Kids, especially at his age, are often very confused by changes like this. If he's only 3-4, it sounds like mom and dad divorced, you two got married and had a baby all in a relatively short amount of time. I'm not criticizing, I'm saying that from his point of view, things moved fast. He's probably confused, wants dad home all the time, maybe jealous of the baby. I'd just keep talking to him and explaining it to him as often as necessary. Try to reassure him that he's very loved. Hope that helps some.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 6:14 PM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • It will take him a little while. My ss was about 5 when our daughter was born, so he understood that our dd was his sister but that she doesn't have the same mommy as he does.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:26 PM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • how old is this kid? because when my dad broke the news i had a half brother i was 14 yeah thats right and he shattered my world,he kept telling not to cry because i was his only girl,omg i was not crying because of that i was crying because i didnt understand how my dad could have kids with anyone else besides my mom,it was so heart breaking to me,so truth is it depends how old the kid is,but really that kid is gonna feel like an outcast no matter what you do,cause i know i did and l loved my baby brother.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:27 PM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • Because he's so young, explain it to him like you would if he were your own. Say to him, "when a baby is that young, they have to stay close to mommy because they need to eat all the time, just like you did when your mommy had you." Then you can remind him that pretty soon his baby will move to a big boy room like he has.

    Answer by Danishlady at 6:33 PM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • You might try saying until the baby is a big boy like you. Tell him the baby is still little and needs to be near you at night, but when he's bigger and stronger like your SS he'll sleep in his own bed in his own room too.

    For the brother issue, talk to him about all the cool big kid stuff he can do and someday teach his little brother. It may be easier for him to accept when he hears it more often and in a way that lets him feel important.

    It will take time too. My DD was 5 when I remarried, and it took her at least a year to adjust to having a step-dad even without the addition of a brother or sister. Give him time and keep it positive. He will eventually get it, and if he gets it on his own schedule rather than feeling pushed into it he is more likely to be a loving big brother.


    Answer by Anonymous at 6:34 PM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • I like what Danishlady said. I would do whatever I could to include him and make him feel loved, he should know he is an equal and important part of your family. Let him help with the baby, and do some special things that are meant to make him feel special. If things did happen quickly, how difficult for such a young child to have their whole world turned upside down so fast. I got divorced when my son was 2, and remarried when he was 5. Luckily, my husband has always loved my son as his own, he has always been close to our two younger sons, and the word "step" has never been part of the vocabulary at our house. In fact, if you ask him about his dad, he assumes you're talking about my husband, and the boys are all just brothers. no "half" brothers in this house.

    I would hope that would be your goal in your home, that's a gift that my loving husband gave to my son, and by doing so to me.

    Answer by ohwrite at 6:40 PM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • I agree with PP on this, why is it so important to you that he "fully understands" that he's different? My girls don't realize they are half sisters, its a point that doesn't need stressed or brought up constantly until they get it. My girls call both their dads, daddy (and their names) I don't distinguish them by their bio dads and their dads & grandparents consider both kids theirs and treat them as such. Concentrate on him learning something that will serve a purpose like his ABC's and not the fact that he's not really your kid!

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:55 PM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • I don't think OP is wanting her SS to understand that he's "different." Quite the opposite. It seems she is wondering when her SS can fully understand how Daddy can be Daddy to both him and his new sibling.

    My skids were a little older when DS was born (10, 7, 4 at the time). They didn't completely understand it either. In fact, I remember the 10 year old innocently saying that the new baby would be Daddy's "half-kid". She thought because I was the mother, the baby would only be half Daddy's.

    Really, time is what makes them get it. Children are egocentric. They see the world through their eyes and your ss is approaching this through his view of his mom and dad. Soon enough, this new sibling and new family will become a part of his reality too.

    Just keep correcting him and involving him. Show him through example and he will eventually come to understand. My stepkids do now. Even the littlest one.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:42 PM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • my SKs were 7 and 4 when I got pregnant and did fine. they both understood and had no problems understanding. we told them the whole time that they were going to have a new little brother or sister. once we found out the sex, we told them it would be a girl. they loved it. they have never had any issues with sharing their dad as of yet or understanding that their dad can have kids with someone other than their mother. they also understand that she is their sister. we dont get into the half sister part, but i think they understand that she is blood related. they have step sisters on their moms side. they call them sister's but when SS (now almost 6) describes his family he doesn't include his step siters. SD since she will be 10 this summer, is more connected to them because she wants to be buddy buddy with them and her mom acts like a friend to its whole different relationship.

    Answer by aly38914290 at 11:11 PM on Feb. 20, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.