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chris.nohra
chris.nohra asks:
Q:

How to announce to my 11 year old son from a previous marriage that I'm expecting baby from new husband of 1 year?

My divorce was very hardly accepted by our son. It was like a schock for him, since we never shouted at home or argue in front of him. He stopped going to school, eating... and we had to consult a psychologist for that. He refused to see her but I was working with the psychologist to make things better. When he finally accepted what happened.. and we moved to my parents place to live with them, I met a new person and we decided to get married. He is so nice, and he is very kind with my son. He doesn't have children.
Again, when we announced this to my son, we had a rejection & it was another bad experience to convince him about the re-marriage & then the move to the new home. he finally accepted the idea & now we are living all together in peace.That's what I think!
I kept a good relation with his father, and he goes seeing him each Friday and he comes back on Saturday morning.
His father will get married as well soon with the women he felt in love with and was the main issue of our divorce. My son doesn't know the reason of our divorce, since I didn't want to heart him, but he is aware that his father will get married as well.
Although I take very good care of my son, paying  everything school, entertainment, clothing.... he always says that he prefers his dad.
Very strange since I really take care of him much better than his dad.
Now I need to know how shall I announce the new baby without hurting my son. I love him sooooo much and I don't want to hurt him.
In Topics: Communicating with my child (The tough talks), Blended families
> 60 days ago

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Expert

LouiseSattler
Mar 2, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk,

I do not know your family, but I have worked with children and their families with similar scenarios.

Your son is at the tween stage of life.  This makes any life change a bit tricky, however with great sensitivity and care perhaps the transitions can be made easier.  

You may wish to consult with your son's school counselor to help bring all the members of your sons family together to discuss the news, differences with parenting between your ex and yourself,  strategies for family transitions and how to be ready and accepting of a new sibling.  School counselors are customarily trained to help students regarding these tough topics.

Also, it is important to be watch his behavior and nonverbal signals as well as what he says.  Hi having all the parents as a united front (his natural father, step-father, yourself and the soon to be step-mother) will show your son that he is loved and that you are willing to place animosity aside for the sake of your son.  Also, it will help when the new baby arrives.

Again, a school counselor should be able to help you work toward this "united front", if deemed appropriate.

You also may wish to read the book, "Siblings Without Rivalry" by Faber and Mazlish.

Good luck!

Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist

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