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How do you explain to a 3 1/2 year old what a step parent is?

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HomeIsWithU
Baby #2 on the way!

Member since 9/07

7816 total posts

Name:
Jenn

How do you explain to a 3 1/2 year old what a step parent is?

My FH and I will be getting married in September. He's been in my DS' life since he was 6 months old, so DS loves him like a second father, but we've never really explained to him about divorce or even really what my FH is in relation to him. My ExH is dating someone seriously who DS sees all the time. I'm thinking it might be time to try to explain to DS that FH is going to be his step father? I really dont know how to approach the subject and I also don't want to confuse DS.

Any advice is appreciated. Should I just let it go and wait until he asks (or wait until he's a bit older and can better understand) or should we talk about it now so that he knows what his relationship to FH is called?

Posted 4/2/13 4:38 PM
 

2boys1girl4me
LIF Infant

Member since 5/12

321 total posts

Name:

How do you explain to a 3 1/2 year old what a step parent is?

I assume your son addresses your FH by his first name? Does ur son have a good relationship with his dad? If everything seems ok for your son I would leave it alone. When the wedding approaches maybe u can ease any concerns by telling him FH is not replacing your daddy but will be a part of his life. I don't think my boys used the term stepdad until they were older than that. Also maybe your FH should talk to him and also explain he's not replacing his dad, likes his dad, etc. My boys always knew my DH respected their dad and didn't step on toes and that made a huge difference. Good luck!

Posted 4/4/13 8:08 AM
 

chilltocam
LIF Adult

Member since 11/11

9141 total posts

Name:

How do you explain to a 3 1/2 year old what a step parent is?

I think if you just use the term step-dad in normal conversation your son will get used to hearing it and then might eventually ask you what that means. Then you can have simple, age appropriate conversations with him. I think hearing you say it and talking about it like its just a regular part of your life will let him know that nothing in his life is changing, but he will have a word to describe a relationship.

Posted 4/7/13 8:32 AM
 

ThePinkGoose
In Your Hands

Member since 8/08

4706 total posts

Name:
Nunya

Re: How do you explain to a 3 1/2 year old what a step parent is?

Posted by chilltocam

I think if you just use the term step-dad in normal conversation your son will get used to hearing it and then might eventually ask you what that means. Then you can have simple, age appropriate conversations with him. I think hearing you say it and talking about it like its just a regular part of your life will let him know that nothing in his life is changing, but he will have a word to describe a relationship.



I agree with this. My SK were a bit older when DH and I got married but my SD was almost 5 at the time I came into their lives and doesn't even remember meeting me. She remembers "before" me in little pieces but doesn't remember me ever NOT being around. They don't retain too much and I question how much they truly even understand at that age. That said, I don't think it's necessary to explain to him or make an issue out of it. He will figure it out on his own and what he doesn't figure out, he will ask. In our experience, at times we felt like things were such a big deal and made such an issue out of them but in retrospect, had we just gone along with it, things would have been totally fine. All of those little tings and conversations that we felt we "HAD" to have, seem so trivial now that the kids are older. So much time wasted on "non-issues." Kids are like playdo, they conform! :)

Posted 4/10/13 10:05 AM
 

lipglossjunky73
My Everything!

Member since 11/05

35670 total posts

Name:
<3

Re: How do you explain to a 3 1/2 year old what a step parent is?

Cailen was born into a stepfamily.

I didn't explain anything until he asked, which was around that age.... Closer to 4.

He always heard me refer to my stepdaughters or heard them say I'm their stepmom, but to him, they were his sisters, so he just didn't think anything of it. He had a nice relationship with their mom (DH's ex) and called her by make, but he just never really thought to ask who she was until he was a little older.

One day he asked who was who. I stuck to the facts.... Daddy was married to "Jane" and they had (the 2 girls). They got divorced (they decided they didn't want to be married to each other anymore - he didn't need or ask for more details on that), and then daddy married mommy and had you.

He is 6 now and never asked another question. We gave him enough info to satisfy his curiosity.

Posted 4/17/13 11:12 AM
 

FreeButterfly
hum...

Member since 5/05

6263 total posts

Name:

How do you explain to a 3 1/2 year old what a step parent is?

Exh remarried when DS was 31/2. He refered to her son as his brother pretty early on. I'm not sure how or what they said to DS. He just knows that I'm his mom, she's his stepmom and he has to respect us.

I think just say after we get married fh will be your step dad but you can still call him "name". I'm sure he won't care and is more interested in getting back to playing.

He still has a dad in his life and unless fh hasn't moved in yet, nothing will change as far as he knows/cares.

Message edited 4/23/2013 3:54:22 PM.

Posted 4/23/13 3:52 PM
 

harrismargaret9
LIF Infant

Member since 9/12

50 total posts

Name:
Margaret

How do you explain to a 3 1/2 year old what a step parent is?

I think there is no need to tell to DS about his real father and step father gradually and slowly one day he will get idea about this fact. Don’t tell him now because he is too small to understand it.

Posted 7/26/13 3:00 AM
 

harrismargaret9
LIF Infant

Member since 9/12

50 total posts

Name:
Margaret

How do you explain to a 3 1/2 year old what a step parent is?

I think he is too small to understand the terms and the meaning of a being a stepparent it better for to take your time leave it away from your children as time passes he will understand what means who.

Posted 11/26/13 3:57 AM
 
 

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