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introducing siblings????

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introducing siblings????

Postby soon2be6 on Tue May 01, 2012 11:45 am

SO DH has 2 kids with 2 different women previous to our relationship, he pays child support but that's about it, the oldest child's mother moved on to another relationship prior to my DH's and mine and had the man she married take on her child as his own....My DH being rather young at the time just left it at that, they moved to Alberta and that's the last we have heard....the second lady is close, her child is only a year older then ours, and I see her on a rather consistent basis as I am home with our kids and she comes by each month to pick up her child support, we talk for a few mins usually and get along fine, although my DH has nothing to do with her child I am increasingly wanting to at least talk about the fact that our children have other siblings and possibly have them meet...I have not talked to either DH or the mother of the other child, but I think it is important for our kids to know that they have 2 other siblings out there and for them to be able to have the chance to get to know them even if its when they are older....I don't know how to bring it up as DH doesn't like to talk about the other children, and I certainly wouldn't go behind his back and speak to the other mother about it first or even if she would want to have her child know....What should I do??? has anyone ever been in this kind of situation?? Is it none of my business?? but MY kids do deserve to know right??? Not sure what to do here....I know DH would think then HE is obligated to be in this other child's life and I am not sure that is really what he wants....sigh
Please I don't want comments about weather or not DH should be in the other child's life its really up to him. ALL I am interesting in hearing about is if it seems beneficial to OUR kids to get to know their other sibling(s) or at least know they exist.
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Re: introducing siblings????

Postby Spectrum on Tue May 01, 2012 1:01 pm

I have talked to people that met siblings later in life and were very angry they weren't told.

I have three siblings I only met a few times, they live in the States, But it was nice to know about them. Now they are my fiends on facebook and I send christmas cards.

My DDs dad has two other kids and I think it's important to introduce them.
He spends a lot more time with them than DD, but I don't think any of the kids question it.

it doesn't have to be complicated. When my daughter asks to see her siblings, I just tell her they are spending time with their mom.

If the other kid is in this city, eventually they will find out. And it's better that it from you than somewhere else.
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Re: introducing siblings????

Postby kapoohhh on Tue May 01, 2012 1:22 pm

Kids need to know... if they find out from other sources or whispers when you think they are in bed or even from another relative or friend from school later down the road. They could be very upset with you and your husband.
All kids need to know who there siblings are.
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Re: introducing siblings????

Postby vixx on Tue May 01, 2012 2:44 pm

I think that while kids do need to know that they have other siblings (if for no other reason than medical) if your DH is not a part of those childrens' lives and he has no desire to be think of how detrimental that would be to those other kids.

telling your kids that they have siblings out there is one thing, but expecting there to be a relationship between siblings when the father only wants to be a part of some of their lives is really something that needs to be considered.
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Re: introducing siblings????

Postby onceinvic on Thu May 03, 2012 10:30 am

This is one of those situations where men and women can really differ... Sorry, OP, I don't have a solution for you. My husband has 2 siblings who he has never met, and only recently learned about.

And he does not really care. Zero interest in contacting them. Not that he is angry -- he just honestly does not see the point.

I would be wanting to meet them! New family! My kids may have cousins nearby! So cool! But that is me.
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” ― Daniel J. Boorstin
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Re: introducing siblings????

Postby soon2be6 on Thu May 03, 2012 11:23 am

Thanks to everyone who has replied:-) I feel that its sorta my business then I think its really not my place to force the issue on DH...There is some question of whether he is the Bio father of each of them but especially the first....I guess that's why he is less inclined to see them, I have asked him a few times why not just have a test done but he gets flustered with me so I don't push it :?
Our oldest together is 5 we have a 3 and 10 month old....the oldest on my ticker is also from a previous relationship, so my next question would be then what age would be suitable to tell our kids at least that they may have 2 siblings out there, I don't think they are old enough yet to understand, maybe I am wrong????
And what if we went threw all this trouble only to find out that they aren't his kids, I don't want to get my kids all geared up about having 2 more siblings then find out that they don't, I think it would be great to have them get to know each other I love big families even if they are blended from everywhere :D
But I won't force DH to be in the lives of kids he decided not to be around, it just makes me a little sad :-(
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Re: introducing siblings????

Postby Spectrum on Wed May 09, 2012 1:18 pm

I just wanted to say sorry you are dealing with this. It sounds really tough. As far as not knowing if they are his, he is paying money so he must be somewhat sure. But the test is always the best option I guess.

Anyways, my own thoughts aside. I would tell kids as early as possible, then they won't get angry at you. My daughter is two and I would tell her now. Even if she can't process it, I would make sure it's never a secret.

I am adopted and I have known since I can remember. I was told it made me special and unique. I was never angry or surprised, because it was never sprung on me.

And I posted before, my daughter sees her dad's kids maybe once a month at the most. If she asks for them I just say they are with their own mom and she is OK with that. I say they are with their mom and you are with your mom.
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Re: introducing siblings????

Postby VicStepmom on Tue May 22, 2012 10:08 am

I feel for you OP - we have a similar but different circumstance in that my DH has 2 children from 2 previous relationships that predate our relationship and marriage BUT my DH is involved in his children's lives and has regular access to them and pays child support. As such our children (age almost 2 and one on the way) have always known about and will always know about their siblings.

It sounds as though your DH doesn't have involvement with his other children, aside from a financial responsibility. Have you discussed with your DH why this is the case? There might be good reasons why your husband has chosen not to be involved in the other households. Understanding the reasons behind the choice might make it easier to navigate what should be done regarding your children's knowledge of and involvement with their other siblings.

Moving away from this arrangement could involve significant disruption, not only for your DH but also for his other children and the children that you have together. Think about what that might mean and whether or not you are really open to also having those 'other households' involved in your life.

Another consideration is the age of your children and their ability to handle the news of 'other kids'. Will they feel threatened by this? Might they think that their dad might abandon them? Will they be hurt if the other children don't want a relationship with them?

Your situation has a lot of parralels to a situation where one of the partners gave up a child for adoption in their past (except for the ongoing financial commitment, and the possibility of re-entrance into your lives at any time) and then went on to have another 'family'. Maybe look into how that circumstance is best handled, and perhaps use a similar approach.

I kind of see it as a two-part problem (a) should the kids know? and (b) if they should know, when should they know and how should they be told?

If it were me, I'd want to do some work with my DH first and get on the same page about how to handle the situation.
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Re: introducing siblings????

Postby VicStepmom on Tue May 22, 2012 10:44 am

I should add the following:

Growing up my older sister was adopted by my father when she was a toddler (her biological father never paid child support and never had any involvement in her life), I don't know when they told her she was adopted - I think she was quite young maybe 5 or 6. I don't know when me and my brother were 'told' that my sister was actually a biological 'half-sister', but she lived with us so if we ever used the half- before 'sister', we were told that she was our sister and that was all there was to it...

I know that in my sister's teen years she wanted to know more about her biological dad and my mother made arrangements for her to contact him. He wanted nothing to do with her. I don't know if her biological dad ever told his other kids about my sister's existence. I know that my sister doesn't currently have a relationship with either her biological dad or any of his other off-spring. It's just the way it is.

Maybe a conversation about the difference between biology and 'family' would help. Maybe your DH would be agreeable to letting your kids know that there are kids out there who are 'biological' siblings but who are not 'social' siblings - and that the social aspects of the relationship are just as important as the biological relationships. A dad isn't a dad just because he has a kid with another mom - a dad is a dad because of all the things he does with the kids on an ongoing basis. Similar a 'brother' or a 'sister' isn't a sibling just because they share some of the genes, but because they also take on that role.

There's got to be a good kid's book out there that kind of deals with this - particularly when ART is more common and all sorts of kids grow up with 'real dads' or 'real moms' who are different from their bio-dads or bio-moms.
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Re: introducing siblings????

Postby Elisitas Photography on Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:28 pm

My immediate reaction was I would have a really hard time with my husband not having a relationship with his children. I am very emotional, didn't know my father, and found out later in life that he was raising someone else's child. It was a very emotional thing for me. I think it is in every way your right to have a say in the situation. After reading other posts though... I agree that maybe talking to him and trying to understand why he doesn't want to be part of their lives would be a good way to start. I think if she is coming every month to your home to pick up a cheque, it shouldn't be a difficult thing for your children to know each other. I can imagine them being very angry one day when they realized that this women had their sibling the whole time. My children have a half brother, know their brothers half brothers, and all spend time together. Though it's not a typical family, the more people to love them, and be part of their lives the better. Your husband would have to be on board though. There is no way that he could not be part of it and have your children part of it. I think no matter what you decide, it is something you have to talk about, or else resentment might evolve. What a tough situation to be in I am sorry you are having to deal with it.
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