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When do you explain to children the difference between birth parents and step-parents?

I am married (7 yrs) and have a 8 yr old son from a previous relationship. My husband is the only father he knows, however doesn't share the same last name. I'm wondering if I should explain why or wait until he inquires.

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tinangeo

Asked by tinangeo at 10:12 PM on Apr. 12, 2011 in Relationships

Level 3 (27 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • When they can truly grasp the concept and understand it.I think Adopted children are even more special than having a baby yourself. Because you CHOOSE that child.
    vbruno

    Answer by vbruno at 10:17 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • I plan on waiting until my son asks about it. My son is 4, his biological father is never around, his choice, never calls or anything. My son looks up to my husband as his daddy. Up until recently, my son always called him by his first name, but now he calls him daddy, because he chose to, not because we told him to or have any influence on it. I think children over time learn/figure everything out on their own.
    allen.moriahd

    Answer by allen.moriahd at 10:18 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • i agree i think that when they are old enough to understand the concept
    amberpaiz

    Answer by amberpaiz at 10:19 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • I was 8 when I was told but that was because my father want to see me. If the birth father is totally out of the picture I might wait until he starts asking which maybe soon his class mate may start to point it out to him.
    Graciesmom528

    Answer by Graciesmom528 at 10:20 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • I would try to explain it to him now in a nonchalant way with something like "You know how your last name is _____ and daddy's last name is _______? Have you ever wondered why? It's because you came to mommy before daddy." Simple is better at this point. If he has questions, answer honestly yet age appropriately.

    We adopted DD and we have an open adoption to where she knows her BMom. DD is 5 and is fully aware that she grew in BMom's belly, but that I am her mommy. She doesn't understand specifics, but that's okay because, again, she's only 5.

    Good luck!
    AllAboutKeeley

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 10:20 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • i would wait until he asks, which as someone else said could be pretty soon.

    i am in literally the same situation as you except my daughter is 4, a lot younger. her bio-dad saw her once last year and told her the truth, and it confused her so much. he disappeared again as he always does and (i think) she has long forgotten. she never mentions him and i don't bring him up. he caused a lot of confusion for her and torment for my husband when the little girl he raised told him he wasn't her daddy. she didn't mean any harm, she was only 3. but still, that stings. things are back to normal though.

    when he does ask, answer very simply and one question at a time.
    tnm786

    Answer by tnm786 at 10:24 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • It is same as SEX,........................

    Answer the question.

    Honesty, and only the question that was asked.


    If they want more information, the child will ask, the "TELL THEM the Truth".
    SissyAnn141

    Answer by SissyAnn141 at 12:30 AM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • LO hasn't gotten to the point of asking what the difference is yet. Her father and I have been together since she was 20 months old. She knows he's Daddy, his Ex-wife is Mommy, and I'm Mommy E (we've all agreed on that). When she starts questioning it we'll just explain that I love her very much even though she didn't grow inside me. She's just a very special little girl that happens to have a "Bonus Mom".
    Sparklecoon

    Answer by Sparklecoon at 2:40 AM on Apr. 13, 2011

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