I have been divorced for 9 years and since remarried 4 years ago. My ex-husband has been with his wife for about 9 years. We have two beautiful boy ages 14 and 11. Last year my ex husband had a son which my boys adore. About 1 year ago I discovered that he had a daughter who is about 1 year younger than my youngest son and that [my ex]e gave up his parental rights.
The problem is that by coincidence, my oldest son and I were watching something on tv last night, and the subject was of a son being upset with his mother when he found out that his grandfather had died and he did not even get to know him. My son look over at me and said, "I hope you never do that to me. If I ever find out you that I had a family member out there and you never told me I would never forgive you." I was in shock at his response, but at the same time expected that when the time came and he found out about it, he would be very upset. Their father and I do not get along very well. I have been debating on when I should tell them about their sister but don't know how to do it without their father taking as I am doing this to hurt their relationship. My son will be devastated about this and I do not now how their relationship is going to be affected. Even though my ex and I do not get along, I have always pushed for their relationship to grow strong even when he wanted to give up on my youngest son.
I know that this news will upset my boys, but they have a right to know. Should I tell them, now that the subject was brought up, or should I tell their father about the conversation and let him tell them.
Im mostly concerned about my eldest son, especially because of what he said.
What would be the best way to do this and not make it into a big drama or hurt anyone.
From: Valeria, Nogales, AZ
I'm not gonna say that your son has ESP but he's old enough to sense that this is a possibility. I suggest you grab onto this opportunity. Begin by telling your ex exactly what you wrote here and give him the opportunity to talk to your son(so). If he's not interested in doing that, then I suggest you be the one to tell him. Use the program as your teachable moment: "You know, we were watching that show and it got me to thinking, and I think you deserve to know that....."
Obviously, my wish for all of you is that his dad would be the one to tell him; it would be in everyone's best interest. We have this tendency to think that because our kids are kids -- as opposed to adults -- we don't owe them the same level of honesty. But, trust me, it will be much harder on everyone if he finds out the truth later in life from someone other than you or his father. He's given you warning: don't squander the opportunity. Of course, all of this depends on a child's level of maturity. Sounds like your son is there.
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