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How to tell my 8 year old his dad is not his dad..

Morning ladies.. I hope that someone is maybe going through or has already gone through this.. I got pregnant with my son and my boyfriend didn't want me to keep him.. I had two children already and I knew that I couldn't and won't give him up. We are not together.. But when my son was 6 months old I got together with a great guy.. He and I got married.. My son thinks he's his bio logical father but he is his dad in a sense.. I would like to tell him but I just don't know how to explain it to him.. I have tried writing a letter so I can read from that but every time I read it to myself it sounds stupid and more confusing to me.. His bio logical father has not seen him or even contracted him.. He is 8 now.. He does send in child support when he feels like it.. But that doesn't matter right now.. My husband gives him so much love and I don't want that to end or hurt either one of them.. I know that I should tell him but not sure it it's the right time.. I could use alot of help.. Thanks Ladies..


Asked by AJMcGuire at 11:21 AM on Jun. 16, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (29)
  • Um, that is a tough one. Here is how I would explain it. I would never use the term real when discussing either of your son's father's for starters. They're both real and have both made him into the child he is today and that should be respected. I would explain that there is more than one way to be a dad and that he simply has two father's. What you say after that depends on a few things. Is the biological father now wanting involvement? Is your husband wanting to adopt him? Does the child want to see his other father? Explain that he is loved and answer any questions honestly and openly, provide pictures of biological father if your child wants them (if available) Also don't say negative things about the bio father but don't lie to your son either. Good luck!


    Answer by Luuckymommy at 2:35 PM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • Wow. With Father's Day this weekend, this may be a good time to do that. Maybe when you are making or filling out cards for your husband (with JUST your 8 year-old), you can talk about how great his dad is, and all the wonderful things he does for your family. This is where it gets hard. It may depend if your other 2 kids' dad is in their lives. You can say, "Daddy isn't the one who helped you grow in my tummy, but he is the one who has helped you grow since you were a little baby. He will always be your dad. He loves you so much." Answer his questions honestly. Be prepared for a lot more questions.

    Good luck! You may want to talk to a school counselor about this, too.

    Answer by Evie3 at 11:27 AM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • I think open and honest would be the best approach.

    My situation was similar. But I started talking about it from a young age. I told her that she has two daddy's. One who was ready and wanted to be a daddy and one who wasn't ready. She is now 8 years old. My hubby is her daddy in every sense of the word. Her bio father is just some man in her mind who made it possible for her to be here but has no part in her life.

    Answer by Shaken1976 at 11:27 AM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • Sooner than later would be the way to go.
    Start simple, just mention that although his Dad loves him very much, he has a different daddy that helped make him. Don't dwell on the subject. And don't be surprised if he says "OK" then runs off to play. He will probably be thinking about it and have more questions for you later.

    Answer by Candi1024 at 11:36 AM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • This happened to me as a child. Right about this age too! Just be honest. I can say after mom told me I didn't quite process it or discuss it again until I was almost eleven. So don't expect much right away. Just be there from here on out and tactfully answer any questions he may have. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me. Good luck.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 11:38 AM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • Sith - That was a bit uncalled for. Actually a lot uncalled for. Most kids aren't going to think that way at that age. My dd is eight and she knows that her Dad isn't her bio dad and those words have never crossed her mind.

    Answer by Shaken1976 at 11:44 AM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • I have not been through this so I may be way off base. Maybe refer to your hubby as his Dad and the bio-father as his Father or his first name. That may help your son understand that the two men in(or not in)his life are different and distinct and help keep it clear in his mind. Tell him his Dad is the one who has always been there for him and always will. The one who helped 'make' him is just that, a man. Don't keep him away from his bio-father, but be there when he needs you.

    Answer by nova.mommy at 11:56 AM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • Please do not take this the wrong way i never try to be a mean person but why didn't you tell him before? This is going to hurt him that the Dad he has known all his life is not who he thought he is. You should always be honest with your kids right away about things like this because now he can think you both are liars. I raised my oldest with no help from his Dad, he is almost 17 now and i so easily could've lied to him about many things but i didn't.
    The best thing is for both you and your husband to sit down with him and explain to him that his real Dad isn't around and why and let him know how much you both love him and that your husband will always be his Dad because he loves him so much. That just because he isnt his real Dad he is still his Dad and that will never change. Good luck!!!! hugs!

    Answer by jenn4443 at 11:58 AM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • I am not sure that now is the time to tell him either. I guess I need more information, like why do you want to tell him? Is his bio dad wanting to come back in his life?

    Here's the thing, it can go either way. It can be a negative or a positive. On one side he could think, wow Dad must really love me if he is not my real dad and still treats me so wonderfully, etc. On the other side, he could be very upset that his bio dad didn't love or want him and lash out just because he is feeling hurt. It could take a long time to heal that wound.

    I guess it is whetehr or not you want to take that chance with your little guy. If his bio dad hasn't tried to be in his life, then why turn his world upside down? I mean unless he needs an organ one day, he would never know the difference.

    This is certainly a tough decision and I am sorry you have to make it. Good luck mama :)

    Answer by BriHan06 at 2:22 PM on Jun. 16, 2011

  • Do you really need to tell him? I mean im sure there will come a day but i have seen things where the child gets so mad at the parents and it doesnt go well from there. Idk but then again he could be mad that it was a big secret his whole life. you could always tell him he has 2 dads, you hubby is his daddy, his sperm donar is a man that did not want to be around and so his daddy stepped in and rasied him. has your hubby adopted him? I would prob do that as well b/c if anything happens to you his real dad could get him even though he doesnt want him. Good luck. My bestfriend has this issue, her son is the same age as yours and they havent told him yet and dont know when they will, her and the daddy arent even together anymore but he still raises him as his own. you have a good man there :)

    Answer by Leelee1008 at 7:05 PM on Jun. 16, 2011