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Sat Oct 22 21:39:24 SAST 2016

Handling baby terrain

Leonard Carr, Stephanie Dawson-Cosser | 19 November, 2012 00:03
Let their father tell your children that he is expecting another baby

I have a healthy relationship with my ex. How do i tell my kids, aged 3 and 5, that their father is expecting a new addition with another woman


The world, as your children find it, is different from the one some of us still remember - when divorces made the front page of the Sunday Times .

Your children will not make judgments because they are growing up in an era that has so many family constellations. Also, they don't have enough life experience to know any differently from what their current reality presents to them. Their only likely concern is if the new baby will usurp their father's love - in other words, will they remain important to him?

It is important for you and your ex to reassure them that their status and the value they hold to both of you remains unchanged. After the baby is born, it would be important for him to make the children part of his new family constellation, as well as spending exclusive time with them, to reassure them that they have not been replaced. - Leonard Carr


It is not your responsibility to break the news to your children - it is their father's. The best-case scenario is that they will be excited about having a baby brother or sister. The worst-case scenario would be that they feel pushed out and rejected because he focuses all his attention on the new baby.

Whatever the outcome, they need to be able to rely on you to remain calm. Ultimately, endeavouring to find the positive in every situation will be the most helpful thing to do for your children.

Ask your ex when and how he is going to tell the children so you can prepare yourself for the conversations that will inevitably arise as a result.

Discuss with him how he is going to prioritise his commitments to your children going forward, now that he is in a relationship and expecting. That is the information you have a right to know and which will give you a sense of security in the sea of emotion you may be feeling now. - Stephanie Dawson-Cosser


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