Special Guardians How to explain to your child?

jillybee
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:14 pm

Special Guardians How to explain to your child?

Postby jillybee » Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:46 am

Hi All, It's early days as our child is only 3 and has been with us since she was 1 but we have had questions about 'did she come out of my tummy?'.
My husband and I are Mammy and Daddy but she's our neice. with a special guardianship

I told her truthfully she came out of Mammy Ts tummy but we all cuddled her and loved her when she came out.
That has satisfied her curiosity for now but I'd like to know how you explained things or if there's a helpful website or book with ideas so we can be somewhat ready.
I'd like her to know the truth albeit gently and lovingly and only when she's ready.
I've already gained lots of help through this site with others going through the same challenges.
Thankyou,

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ied53
Posts: 2100
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:26 pm

Re: Special Guardians How to explain to your child?

Postby ied53 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:33 am

we have two girls now 8 and 10. when they were growing ( were 10mths and 2yrs 9mths) when placed) we told them that a man in the big chair said they couldn't live with mummy anymore and so they live with us. They are half siblings. we were also called Mummy / Daddy which is natural progression for a child they knew who we really were ( Granny / Grandad) As they have grown we have kept it age appropriate and we are now Granny / Grandad fulltime. It is important that know the truth or as sure as life exists someone will tell them and then it is harder to sort out. They need to know that you are honest. Our eldest knows she was hurt and her Mum (sons ex girlfriend) put herself before the girls ( two others went to their Dad. She was told by a sibling (not living with us) that she wasn't our Grandchild and that started alsorts of distress so we need to ensure they hear it all from us .
Keep it simple that way no nasty surprises and it is just accepted by them also you never know when "mum" is going to say something you need to be one step ahead
Irene
Grandparent carer in Lincolnshire
Tough times never last tough people do

jillybee
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:14 pm

Re: Special Guardians How to explain to your child?

Postby jillybee » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:24 pm

Thankyou for your reply, yes being honest with her is best I want her to know she can trust us whollly, just how to phrase things can be so important. I like how you said about the man in the big chair.

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David Roth
Posts: 2022
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am

Re: Special Guardians How to explain to your child?

Postby David Roth » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:00 am

Hi jillybee

I agree with Irene that it is best to be honest with children about their background. Other people in the family and among your friends will know something of the background story, and there is always the danger that other children will blurt out something that then needs to be explained. It is better for them to grow up knowing the truth than to find out the wrong way.

Of course, they should be told in a way that is tailored to their age and ability to understand this sort of information. Social workers sometimes help people who are raising a child who is not their own to make a Life Story Book. This is a book that is made specially for the child - you can use a photo album or something similar - that has photos of the child with their birth parents and other people, and explains the story of how the child came to be with the people who are bringing him/her up. It also usually includes some anecdotes about the child's early years - where they were born, how much they weighed, when they took their first steps, what their first words were, what a lovely smile they had, etc. When children grow up with parents, they are with people who know all these things, but children who have to go away from their parents can lose a lot of their background story.

BAAF (the British Agency for Adoption and Fostering) has produced some good books that can help with talking to children:
- Kinship Care - What it is and what it means - A guide for children is aimed at helping talk to younger children, about primary school age, about why they are being brought up in family and friends care
- Special guardianship - what it is and what it means - A guide for children and young people is aimed at older children and young people, about secondary school age
- Life Story Work explains about making a life story book.

BAAF published a variety of books that are aimed at both professionals/practitioners and carers. You should be able to find them all via the bookshop pages of the BAAF website: http://www.baaf.org.uk/bookshop
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser


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