I'm a little late on this...from previous thread...half siblings

lovehadleyMarch 31, 2010

"If my X ever told my DD that she had a new sibling, I would say no, she might have a new half sibling, but that is it. I would regard it as badmouthing me if X ever insisted that a half sibling was my DDs sibling and not half, becuase he would be denying my role."

This comment made my stomach turn. I just cannot imagine feeling this way.

I can see using the term half-sibling in a technical way, to describe the relationship to an outsider.

But other than that....I don't see ANY reason for kids or adult kids to use the term. I guess it depends on the situations. But I will tell you--my SS has a 2 year old baby sister at BM's and BM is due VERY SOON with another baby girl. To SS--those are his SISTERS. He has NEVER used the term half-sibling. And DH and I ALAYS refer to his baby sister as his SISTER. That's what she is! It certainly doesn't *offend* my DH to refer to the two year old as SS's sister.

Likewise, we are adopting a baby and that child will be our children's SIBLING. I do not intend on saying "oh, this is your ADOPTED SISTER" or (worse) "your adopted half-sister."

The attitude about having to define halves breeds resentment IMO. KKNY, at this point, your DD is almost an adult, so why would you care if SHE views a child her dad may have as a sibling? Why would you feel the need to insist/remind her that the child is (just a) half sibling?

I don't get it.

One of my very dearest friends is the middle child of 3. Her parents divorced when we were 14 and her dad remarried and went on to have a son with his second wife when we were 18 and seniors in highschool. My friend never referred to him as a "half-brother" and to this day, they are very close, he is her BABY BROTHER. She lives in Boston now but comes back to our home city to visit a few times a year and she spends a ton of time with her now-11 year old brother. I can't imagine her ever using the word "half," except like I said, to clarify the relationship for an outsider.

My DD has a *half* sibling from her bio0-dad whom she has never met. But good grief...if she ever, down the road, met her and had a relationship with her (which is very possible!) I would not get my panties in a wad if she referred to her as her sister.

I mean, really---at the end of the day--what does it matter????

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It only matters to those who really wish that new kids (half-sibs) basically would never come along at all.

I remember that post, who wrote it and that's how I took it then and after re-reading it, take it now.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 11:22AM
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It matters because title=status=respect.

My DD has a couple of "weird" relations... her aunt is adopted so her cousins are *really* her adopted cousins (not related to her by blood, but they weren't adopted personally). We also have a couple of second/third cousins who are our age (like a first cousin would be) and we just call them "cousin". My DD has a grandma/grandpa who are "step". I call them gma and gpa to her, not sgma, sgpa. I did clarify that gma/gpa are my sm and sd so that dd understood that I had sparents just like her. But sgpa's kids/grandkids who are not related to me are not considered saunts/suncles and scousins.

If she asked, I'd detail it for her. But my husband has a sibling that is half, and we call the nieces/nephews just as if they were *whole* even though they're 1/2 step cousins, if we wanted to be pedantic.

I guess I just don't attach my self-worth or status to whose sperm/eggs made which of my relatives. Either you're worth spending time with and acknowledging as family, or you're not.

(say scousins out loud. It sounds like something one would be pulling out the Comet to scrub off!!!)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 1:20PM
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Love and Silver,

My own parents and only sister are deceased. My sister did not have a child. My first cousins have stepped in and my DS7 calls them "Aunt X and Aunt Y." MY Aunts have him calling them Granny and Grandma. When I talk to DS7 about his Half-sibs I only call them his brother and sister. The step-grandkids are called his nephews which he loves since he is their uncle and the oldest SGK hates since he's older than DS but oh well, it's accurate.

The half-brother thing only really comes up among adults. It's cruel and stupid to involve kids with it. It's also petty and insecure for the adults who drill down to it since it is so obviously a way to distinquish children in a negative way.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 1:39PM
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I think rather to distinguish children it's meant to distinguish the parents.

As in: I am FIRST wife. Everyone after that is SECOND CLASS citizens. And to call them by an equal name...


...would be to nullify my prior existence at which point...

I'd cease to exist...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 1:46PM
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I have a sister that is almost 10 years older than me. She had a different father and was actually raised by my grandmother so she never did live in the same house with me when we grew up. But she is my sister and not my half-sister. I have a few times told people how she is "technically" my half-sister but to my family she is just plain sister.

My DH has 2 step-brothers but they never ever refer to eachother as step, they are all just brothers. In fact my DH has a bestfriend that he has known for over 20 years that he and the rest of his family call his brother. He is like family and goes by Uncle with all the kids. I think that is just fine. I mean the kids know he isn't really truly Uncle but he is closer than some of their other aunts/uncles on their other side.

Being a part of a family can be based on a lot more than just blood. And sometimes a blood relative might not even be 'family' to you when someone not related is more of a family to you.

We all get so wrapped up in the politically correct way to say and do things that sometimes it just becomes silly.

I think it is wrong to tell a kid that new baby is not your sibling that they are your half-sibling because who cares it is still a sibling. Half or not they are your brother or sister period.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 9:27PM
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I agree - it is wrong. However, we have to remember that KKNY's situation is a bit different than ours - her ex is with the OW who broke up her marriage, broke up her daughter's family and, from the sounds of it, is not very pleasant to said daughter. From what KKNY wrote in the other post, she would feel that she was being displaced as her daughter's mother if ex used the term "sibling" without clarifation of "half-sibling." If this is truly how she is feeling, can you imagine how it would feel to have ex and OW take yet another thing from her...

I personally don't agree, but I can understand why she would want the relationship distinguished as such.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 9:41PM
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I can understand the feeling. I can't understand saying "no, it's your half-sibling" to a child who is in college. I think her daughter's smart enough to figure that one out.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 11:06PM
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I also can understand the *feeling* and the emotions (hurt, betrayal, anger, etc.) it might dig up.

But I also think it is so important as parents to not project OUR feelings and emotions onto our children. Our children are separate individuals, not extensions of ourselves. They are entitled to form their own opinions and relationships with family members, independant of what our feelings might be. This reminds me so much of how BM has behaved in the past. She has never liked the fact that DH was with me (even though I didn't come on the scene until over a year after their breakup!) and I think she's always felt threatened by our family unit. She's admitted in the past to feeling jealous. And those feelings are hers, and that's okay. I can empathize with them. But what isn't okay is to project them onto her son, which is what she did for many years. Thankfully, she's better about it than she used to be, but she spent a good 3-4 years reminding SS that I wasn't his mom, that it was so sad that his dad loved me and DD more than him (TOTALLY UNTRUE) etc.

She projected HER feelings of hurt and anger onto SS and that did a lot of damage to him over the years.

KKNY might FEEL displaced if a new sibling is referred to as a sibling and not a half-sibling. But at the end of the day, isn't it up to her daughter to determine a relationship with her father, and any subsequent children he might have?

Ditto Silver. KKNY's DD, I am sure, knows the dynamics and understands who her mother is. A sibling vs. half sibling debate doesn't change that fact.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 10:11AM
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See that's what I don't understand. I know I'm my DD's mom. I know no one can ever replace me as her mom. I'm not threatened at all. I want my DD to have healthy relationships with other people. I call my SD's 1/2 sibling her little sibling and so does my DH. It's HER relationship. She, obviously, at the tender age of 9, does not need us to tell her that her Bio-dad is not the same as her sibling's Bio-dad. It's obvious.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 12:56PM
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