Posted by: Bambi | 2011-06-30

My 10year old - how to tell about pregnancy

I am 10 weeks pregnant in my second maraige. I have a 10year old daughter from my first marraige, she is an only child. We got devorced before she was born, and my 2nd husband has been in our lifes since she was 2. My problem is I dont know how to tell her that I am pregnant, she will take this very hard, and I dont want to damage her emotionally. She has told me a couple of months ago that she hopes I dont plan to be pregnant, as she will kill herself if I do. This words concerned me so much, and now the time has come that I have to tell her, as I wont be alble to keep it a secret for much longer, please help

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Our expert says:
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If this was a pregnancy by a new man in your life, one would more easily understand why your daughter who may have felt she had a right to an exclusive relationship with you, one she might be reluctant to share, might be bothered. But you say he has been in your loves since she was 2.
It is unusually severe for a child of any age to threaten suicide if her mother gets pregnant - surely you would have discussed with her that extreme and violent threat at the time - how did she explain feeling so violently opposed to the possibility of another child who would be so very much younger than her ?
She may react unpleasantly, especially at first, but it shouldn't HARM her to be told a basic fact of life. You're right that she has to be told, as soon it will become obvious, and then she would have the aded concern that she wasn't told.
This extremlity of response is so extreme, I would take her with you to see a child psychologist for a careful assesssment of her views and condition, and why she has this highly extreme reaction. The psychologist could also help yopu to break the news to her, AFTER having asssessed her, and to help deal with whatever consequences there might be.
She might be making the quite common assumption children ( and some adults ) make, that you must have only a small and finite amount of love, so ANY love given to a new child must necessarily reduce the amount available for her - and may need to learn that love is infinite, and you can give absolute love to her, forever, and to another child, too.
I also agree with laurie that it will be important to emphasize hoe she will be even more important and dear to you, as the protector of the new child, and to help you care for it ; and to involve her in such care.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Girlie | 2011-06-30

My daughter used to say that and now I am 28 weeks pregnant and her attitude has changed.
Involve her every step of the way. When you go constultations take her with if she is not at school. When chosing baby clothes take her along. The only thing she needs is assurance that this baby will never take her place.

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Posted by: Laurei | 2011-06-30

It sounds like she might be intimidated by a sibling as she sees it as her rival for her mothers affections. Youj need to find ways perhaps with a counsellor, to introduce her to the idea, and also excite her about the prospect of being a big sister, teacher and protector to the little one. If she feels her role will be important and rewardedy by you with extra love and affection, she will most likely be more open to it. Once the little one is there, she must also be involved in most aspects so as to not feel isolated and left out.

Reply to Laurei
Posted by: Maria | 2011-06-30

Wow, that is seriously strong emotion for a 10 year old. Do you know why she feels this way? Most kids want siblings. I would strongly consider taking her to see a child psychologist who can work through this resistance to a sibling, and perhaps facilitate when you tell her that you''re pregnant.

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