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What To Tell The Kids
Photo Credit: Laughlin Elkind
My wife and I are parents of girls ages 8 and 10. Seven years ago when I was in my late 40's, I was contacted by a man who claimed to be my biological father about a year after my "real" father's suicide.
My mother confirmed this and I have met the man and all indications are that he is indeed my biological father. My mother has since died and the girls are left with one distant grandmother.
I have been trying to decide whether to reveal the existence of my biological father to them or not. I do not particularly like this guy, I mean his "own" children (my 8 half sisters by 2 mothers) are hardly on speaking terms with him - when we met he didn't seem particularly interested in me and he had bad words for my "real" father and that soured me on any relationship with him.
Our only communication is Christmas cards and a call on occasion. I fear that my daughters will be angry when they find out they have a living "grandfather" and didn't get to meet him before he dies. I don't know how to explain my own feelings about it all to them. I am terribly conflicted and confused about this.
I had a psychologist that I saw regularly when this was revealed to me and simply have followed my heart - so far, that has been to ignore his existence pretty much the way he apparently ignored mine for my entire childhood and young adult life.
I am open to any suggestions about how to handle my daughters' best interests long term. I guess I know already they will want to meet him and I don't feel real good about that for selfish reasons. I am willing to put that aside if there is a good reason to bring this man into their lives. I also fear their anger if and when they find out and he has already died. He is nearly 80 now I guess.
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