Older kids - when to tell them? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-20-2006, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi ladies,

For those of you with older kids (my blended family ranges from ages 6-18), when are you planning to tell them and how?

For us:

How: Our plan is to divide and conquer - we will go to separate parts of the house and I will tell my bio kids and he will tell his. We expect there might be a little negativity from some of the parties and we want them to have the opportunity to express that freely while they absorb this new info and big change.

When: DH and I are anxious to tell them right away - like even as soon as tonight! (5w1d) But I'm afraid to. I'm not as worried about having to untell them if something goes wrong - even if I didn't tell them now and had an eventual loss, they'd most likely now about the loss when it occurred. I'd want them to understand the reason for my sadness.

The biggest thing holding me back is that once you tell the kids (esp that 6 yo!), you effectively tell the whole entire world. Still trying to decide if I'm quite ready for that.

Did I mention? It is SO HARD to not tell them. We'll probably tell them soon. Especially since DH's family will be here for Thanksgiving from CO. It would be nice to tell out of state family in person so they can really share in our excitement. And obviously we can't do that unless the kids are already in the know.

What would you do? I'm curious about how others would or are handling this issue.
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:36 PM
 
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I am going to try to hold out as long as humanly possible with my ds (6 in Feb.) for the same "town crier" reasons. I really do NOT want to tell certain members of my extended circle right now (some were not supportive during my miscarriage last year) so I am weighing that with not being able to WAIT to see his reaction!
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:43 PM
 
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I told all 3 of mine as soon as I got the BFP.. well shortly after at least. I did this because I wanted them to be excited with me and to understand why I was so excited. Then again I told all of my family pretty much right away.. I think your plan sounds like a good one and I also think it best you tell them before your family comes in from out of town. This way they have time to process it all and don't feel like they have this bombshell dropped on them. My boys didn't really tell that many people. Ds2 told his teacher and I think that was about it.. other than that unless asked about it they haven't really brought it up themselves. I hope all goes well with your plan to tell them and I hope they share in your excitement with you both! Oh.. and ds2 is 7 and ds3 is 5 so not quite 6 but very close lol.

Nic, loving mama to 5 with a SURPRISE 6th on the way.

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Old 11-20-2006, 10:02 PM
 
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I think its ok to tell them as soon as you feel comfortable. I didn't tell my kids with the last two that I MC, and it was so hard to hide my tears....they just didn't understand why I upset and angry and wanted to be left alone. It was a difficult time for sure. In hindsight I wish I would have told them.

This time around we decided to go ahead and tell them because I had to have some bloodwork done and some early appointments. It was just easier for them to know so that they could tag along with me.

My oldest ds(7) did blab this weekend to MIL. He actually didn't tell....he just started to say something at the dinner table with MIL and then very dramatically threw his hands over his mouth and said "OOPS! I forgot that's a secret" We had to go ahead and tell MIL or else she would have interrogated him until she found out. We told MIL to keep it on the down-low until we were ready to make the big announcement at Christmas....she's cool so I know she won't tell.

The rest of the kids really don't talk about it unless we bring it up. They are excited, but its not real to them yet.
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:22 PM
 
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I have sort-of told my DD, who is 3.5. I'm saying a lot about "someday when we have another baby", which in all honesty isn't really all that different to a 3-yr-old than "we are having a baby in about 7 months". I was hoping to wait until I heard a heartbeat to be more concrete with her, but today I think I may have crossed that line by answering some of her questions about my midwife phone conversation. I am not sure what she understands exactly, since I haven't spelled it all out for her, but I'll asnwer any questions she has honestly. And it should (hopefully!) be just a few more weeks until I can hear the heartbeat.

Stacy-- Wife to my DH, mom to three: noodle girl:, Lego boy , little guy :
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by party_of_six View Post
I think its ok to tell them as soon as you feel comfortable. I didn't tell my kids with the last two that I MC, and it was so hard to hide my tears....they just didn't understand why I upset and angry and wanted to be left alone. It was a difficult time for sure. In hindsight I wish I would have told them.
Hm... I hadn't thought about that. We've been holding off in case of a miscarriage, but having seen the heartbeat on the sonogram last week, odds are we're in the clear. We've been talking around her about it; looking at baby things at the store without being specific, joking about how I'm "knocked-up". But we haven't sat her down & told her yet.
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Old 11-21-2006, 02:06 AM
 
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We just sat down and told DS (21 mos) this evening. If I had older kids I would do the same, particularly if other people around them know or will soon know. Our reasoning for telling DS so soon is that we are going to tell the extended family at Thanksgiving and I don't want them talking around him, asking him if he's going to be a big brother, etc and us not have talked to him about it ourselves... even if he is too young to really understand. I think kids pick up on changes in the atmosphere of the house and the moods of people around them and it can be confusing for them not to be in the loop (as evidenced by DS's clingy/needy behavior in the past week... he clearly knew something was up ). In our case since he's so young we're not going to make a big deal about it until the third trimester, but I wanted him to "officially" know.

Mommy to two boys, ages 4 and 6.

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Old 11-21-2006, 10:06 AM
 
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We are telling our kids on Wed. before we leave for our Thanksgiving trip. I was going to wait until Christmas, but the kids have been wondering why I sleep and throw up alot. I don't want them worrying. I, too, was worried about the town crier thing. Not so much with our extended family, since we are planning on telling them at Thanksgiving, but because they go to a very small community school. I imagine most people there will think it strange that we are having a 5th child. I'm hoping that maybe by the time they go back to school after Thanksgiving break, the novelty will have worn off, and they won't even think to mention it to anyone! Wishful thinking, I'm sure....
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, indeed, we told the kids last night!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tatermom View Post
I think kids pick up on changes in the atmosphere of the house and the moods of people around them and it can be confusing for them not to be in the loop (as evidenced by DS's clingy/needy behavior in the past week... he clearly knew something was up ).
And ultimately this was a big part of the reason why. In spite of all the downsides to telling them this news so early, I felt it was worth the risk. And if this pregnancy isn't meant to be, well, I'm not one who believes she does her children any favors shielding them from all of life's disappointments. But of course I'm sure hoping it doesn't come to that!

Anyway, my stepson is 14 and his reaction is exactly what I expected: Shocked, dismayed, feeling insecure about his position in the order of things ("Oh, no, I won't be the 'youngest' anymore" - he's the younger of his bio family). Now DH told him the news, so I heard about it second hand. He also observed that we must not have used a condom like he learned about in sex ed (!). So glad I wisely opted out of that conversation lol.

My 18 yo stepdaughter was thrilled. She was concerned that we'd need her bedroom. DH reassured her that no worries, the baby would be sleeping with us for some time at first.

My three bio daughters were *elated*. I was a little concerned about my middle child (age 9) - she always complains that she doesn't like babies and she's generally VERY needy/clingy mama's girl. She was the most excited of the bunch! When I commented that I thought she didn't like babies, she said, well it's different when it's YOUR baby.

Hilariously, we also had this bit of dialogue:

"So your new baby brother or sister will probably be here at the end of July"

::doubletake:: "Wait, you mean you guys already did the... thing?!"
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:24 AM
 
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We told our olders a couple days after the BFP. I needed a couple days for it to set in. They are old enough that we haven't had any 'town crier' issues, I feel for you guys with kiddos in that age bracket. They are ambivalent to happy depending on the day.

They knew about the pg we miscarried and both girls were there when that happened. I was worried after-the-fact that seeing such a huge amount of blood would freak them out, but they held it together well and we explained what happened afterwords. Being girls I think they really need to know all the wacky things that can happen to their bodies (well boys too, but I hope you KWIM)

With ds 14 mo, we have been pointing out babies in stores, his little niece 4 mo and that's pretty much it. He's going to be more than a bit miffed that he has to share his boobas.
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:03 PM
 
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I told my 12 month old (haha) the day I found out. She seemed unimpressed We told my soon to be 6 y.o. yesterday because we were going to the MW for the first time and I simply couldn't stand to not tell him anymore.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:25 PM
 
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We're not going to tell anyone for awhile. I just got my bfp yesterday, which makes me due july 31. I had a miscarriage a couple months ago and we told the world immediately last time and it was such torture to go back and tell everyone. The kids actually didn't take it too hard. I'll probably wait until christmas.

Wendy - mom to dd1(11), dd2(7), dd3(3)
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:00 PM
 
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Well, I'm ahead of you guys (but since I've started labor the same day with both my kids, this baby will probably be a July baby - just barely). We told our kids (2 and 4) right away. We are NOT telling dh's family - well, for as long as possible. However, we did tell ds (4 yrs.) that we would prefer not to tell Grandma P**** and Grandpa J*** yet, because they aren't very respectful of us. We didn't tell him he couldn't say anything because that would be an unrealistic expectation of someone so young - but just asked that he not say anything quite yet. We actually have seen them in the past couple of months and he has not said a word.

Mom to Eoin (11/02), Eilis (09/04), Eamon (07/07), and Ellery (04/10)
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