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RoseRed135

If you're raising your grandchildren (or other relative kids)....possible triggers...

57 posts in this topic

Hi i am new here and trying to see if anyone has the same situation as me. Me and my husband have custody of my 5 year old granddaughter. We have basically had her off and on since she was 3 weeks old. I am not sure if im posting this in the right place but... My issue is my son died of an overdose in may 2016. Mom hasn't been around since she was 1. So she does not remember her parents. Mom is also addict. She calls me and husband mam and pap but she also calls us mom and dad. I want her to know my son was her father of course. I guess my question is how and when to do this? I am so scared i know she is just not going to understand at all. I dont want her to be angry. But i know she will be. I just dont know what to do.

Anonymous poster hash: f2322...158

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I have no experience with this situation, but do you have any pictures out of your son?  Does she ever ask who is in those pictures?

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First of all, New Member, my deepest condolences on the loss of your DS (dear son). Bless you and DH (dear husband) for taking in little GD in her time of need.

I'm so sorry, too, for your current dilemma, but I'm glad you brought your concerns to us! You're definitely posting in the right place since you are raising your GD (granddaughter) and this is a thread for GPs who are doing just that.

While I don't have personal experience w/ this situation, I've certainly seen similar ones in this forum. Please rest assured that it's not unusual for a child to think of custodial GPs as "mom" and "dad." Especially if they haven't been around their bio parents very much.

I very much understand your wanting her to know that your DS was her father. If it's any comfort, I think that will happen in time w/o your having to make a point of it. Just as she will also, eventually, realize who her bio mom is. Right now, though, your main priority, of course, is her welfare (I know you know this). My best guess is that calling you and DH - the 2 people who provide her w/ the love,care and stability she needs - Mom & Dad feels "right" to her and makes her feel secure and "normal" ("just like" a lot of the "other kids"). That's probably what she needs at the moment, so IDK if emphasizing DS' memory is a good idea for the time being. I'm not suggesting that you avoid mentioning him at all - just that you need, IMO, to approach this lightly and only now and then.

But others who have dealt w/ this issue may disagree and/or have better advice than I. Hopefully, some of them will come in soon.

Welcome!

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I am so sorry for your loss and the difficult situation you are in caring for your DGD.  While my situation is not identical, my DS's biological father is deceased so I too have to navigate the narrative of who he was and what happened to him, when my son asks.  My advice to you would be to allow your DGD to lead that conversation when she is ready.  For now, maybe use pictures and tell her stories about your son when appropriate, but don't force the details until she is ready to hear them.  What matters for now is that she has identified you and your DH as her parents, mom and dad or mam and pap, and that is the role you are filling - bless you for doing so.   5 is still quite young to understand the situation, but when she comes to you with questions, possibly consider enlisting the help of a child psychologist or other professional who specializes in children dealing with loss or other traumatic experiences.  Best of luck to you. 

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We have full custody and both parents were stripped of their rights.  Slowly we are rebuilding our relationship with our son who is the dad.  however I cant ever see a relationship ever working with the birthmother

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4 hours ago, Stcajo said:

We have full custody and both parents were stripped of their rights.  Slowly we are rebuilding our relationship with our son who is the dad.  however I cant ever see a relationship ever working with the birthmother

Welcome Stcajo! Glad you came in to share your story w/ us! So deeply sorry about your GC's (grandchild/ren's) parents. But bravo to you and DW (dear wife) for being there for your GC. I'm sorry a relationship w/ the bio mom doesn't seem possible, right now. But I'm happy to hear you are rebuilding your relationship w/ the dad/your DS. Do you think he'll be able to be a meaningful part of GC's life?

ETA: Just saw in another thread, @Stcajo, that you're a GF (grandfather), not a GM, and have a DW, not a DH, :) so edited this post, accordingly  Sorry for the error. It was b/c most of our members are moms or moms/GMs. But we do have some other dads/GFs and, of course, are always delighted to have another one join us! :)

Edited by RoseRed135

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On 10/16/2017 at 5:13 PM, RoseRed135 said:

Welcome Stcajo! Glad you came in to share your story w/ us! So deeply sorry about your GC's (grandchild/ren's) parents. But bravo to you and DW (dear wife) for being there for your GC. I'm sorry a relationship w/ the bio mom doesn't seem possible, right now. But I'm happy to hear you are rebuilding your relationship w/ the dad/your DS. Do you think he'll be able to be a meaningful part of GC's life?

We have already started allowing visits and even a few sleep overs.  It is progressing nicely but as we all know here stuf like this takes a lot of time and every case is different

Edited by RoseRed135
to reflect editing of quoted post
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