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Combining Families

Posted by on Jun. 6, 2014 at 2:10 PM
  • 15 Replies

 

Poll

Question: When two people who each have kids are seeing each other, when is it "ok" in your opinion to tell the children - *insert other child's name* is your brother/sister or you can call *insert s/o name* step mom/step dad?

Options:

Whenever they are comfortable

Under 6 months

Over 6 months

Over a year

When the parents are engaged

When the parents are married


Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 21

View Results

When two people who each have kids are seeing each other, when is it "ok" in your opinion to tell the children - *insert other child's name* is your brother/sister or you can call *insert s/o name* step mom/step dad?

by on Jun. 6, 2014 at 2:10 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MonarchMom22
by Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 2:14 PM

They are step siblings when a marriage takes place.  there are legal ramifications regarding insurance, authority, finances, inheritance, etc.  Until then, I would describe it as a "blended family" if you are residing together.

canadianmom1974
by Gold Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 3:46 PM
I don't think there's a blanket, one-size-fits-all answer. It is very personal to each family.
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hollyann85
by Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 3:49 PM

 

Quoting canadianmom1974: I don't think there's a blanket, one-size-fits-all answer. It is very personal to each family.

So would it be ok to tell your kids the brother and sister thing if ifs been less than 6 months, are not engaged and not living together?

fullxbusymom
by Bronze Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Whenever, they feel comfortable too. 

fullxbusymom
by Bronze Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 4:34 PM

I still wouldn't think it was necessarily wrong.  Weird certainly but not wrong.

I was engaged to my husband within 4wks of knowing him, moved in together 3mo's knowing him and married after only knowing him 11mo's.  So for us we moved extremely fast so introductions were done sooner than most. 

Quoting hollyann85:


Quoting canadianmom1974: I don't think there's a blanket, one-size-fits-all answer. It is very personal to each family.

So would it be ok to tell your kids the brother and sister thing if ifs been less than 6 months, are not engaged and not living together?


4evrinbluejeans
by KK on Jun. 6, 2014 at 4:38 PM

when one marries

Aestas
by Gold Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 4:58 PM

For the people who are saying it's only okay once you're married--what if you don't want to get married? What if you don't see a legal or religious contract as being central or even important to your commitment to one another?

4evrinbluejeans
by KK on Jun. 6, 2014 at 5:06 PM

For me personally, I wouldn't stay in that type of a relationship and wouldn't have more children in that type of a relationship.  It's not my scene.  

I also would never expect my children to call their step brothers/sisters their "brother" or "sister" as it's up to them to define that relationship not me.  

IMO, defining those people as siblings/parents after a very short time in a relationship (the example given in this post was six months) can be confusing to small children especially if that relationship ends and those "siblings" leave their lives for good.  I've always been of the belief that children should not be brought into relationships too early because they develop attachments to these individuals and until you are solid and sure of your (general) future they may not be emotionally mature/prepared for the loss that comes because mommy is ready to look for a new "daddy".  

Quoting Aestas:

For the people who are saying it's only okay once you're married--what if you don't want to get married? What if you don't see a legal or religious contract as being central or even important to your commitment to one another?


Aestas
by Gold Member on Jun. 6, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Okay, but I'm not talking about people who've only been dating a short time; I'm talking about people who are permanently committed to each other but who just don't wish or feel the need to be married. Not everyone views marriage as necessary or desirable.

For example, my partner and I have been engaged for two and half years and plan to marry eventually, but for me, the only reason to marry is for the legal benefits that are impossible to obtain any other way. Marriage as an institution arose as a way for men to ensure legitimate male heirs for their property. Women and girls were themselves a part of that property, and marriage allowed men to control them and use them for economic and social gain. Vestiges of this practice can be seen to this day: fathers "giving away" their daughters in marriage, the phrase "man (not husband) and wife (not woman)," women taking their husband's last names, and so on. In modern times, marriage is a tool for political and social control, privileging the nuclear family unit over all other types of social and community organization. This arrangement still benefits men more than women (studies have shown, for instance, that men experience more emotional and economic benefits from marriage than women do). It's also isolating in many ways, and it promotes greater social and economic inequality at a structural level. Marriage is not a progressive institution, and it does not lead to a more just world. At its heart, it is anti-feminist and anti-woman.

So politically, I am opposed to marriage on principle (to be clear, I'm talking about the legal institution that privileges some one form of social and community organization over others; I am not opposed to monogamy for those who choose it--I practice it!--or to whatever kind of religious ceremony or contract anyone might prefer to engage in). Practically, I live in a world where we're nowhere near abolishing marriage as a system of political and social control. After a great deal of thought, I've come to the conclusion that I have more to lose from refusing to participate in marriage (via legal benefits) than I have to gain from engaging in a two-person political statement by not participating; hence the decision to marry, despite my views. But it's something that bothers me; I'm aware that I'm "selling out" by doing it.

None of this has anything to do with my level of commitment to my partner. I don't need a contract for that; it's a decision we each make again every day, to stay together, to care for each other and our family, to keep working at and building our relationship. Contracts do not stop people from ending their relationships if that's what they choose to do, and contracts don't automatically make people any happier or more committed. If I needed a contract to convince me that my partner was serious about me and about our family, I would worry about the state of our relationship.

At any rate, I don't believe that marriage makes a family; the people involved do. My best friend, for instance, is someone my children consider an aunt, even though we are not legally related in any way. We've been best friends for 18 years, and I have no doubt whatsoever that we'll always be best friends and a part of each other's families, because we choose to and we're both committed to our friendship. The same is true of my partner and his best friend.

So I don't think that marriage is in any way the measuring stick by which families and family relationships ought to be measured.

Quoting 4evrinbluejeans:

For me personally, I wouldn't stay in that type of a relationship and wouldn't have more children in that type of a relationship.  It's not my scene.  

I also would never expect my children to call their step brothers/sisters their "brother" or "sister" as it's up to them to define that relationship not me.  

IMO, defining those people as siblings/parents after a very short time in a relationship (the example given in this post was six months) can be confusing to small children especially if that relationship ends and those "siblings" leave their lives for good.  I've always been of the belief that children should not be brought into relationships too early because they develop attachments to these individuals and until you are solid and sure of your (general) future they may not be emotionally mature/prepared for the loss that comes because mommy is ready to look for a new "daddy".  

Quoting Aestas:

For the people who are saying it's only okay once you're married--what if you don't want to get married? What if you don't see a legal or religious contract as being central or even important to your commitment to one another?


Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.

wickedfiress
by Kellie on Jun. 6, 2014 at 6:47 PM

If I were ever personally in this situation. The relationship would have to be serious... as in potential marriage serious. I never met any of my mothers dates, just my step father. 

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