Growing up, I was raised with a Step-Dad. My oldest son also has been raised with a Step-Dad (my husband) and I’ve said ‘Your NOT my real Dad’ and its been said by my son as well. Today in a private group a mother of an adopted child shared how she has dealt with this and it was such a great way to ease the tension and lighten the mood. I thought I would share (with her permission of course):
I finally found a playful/loving way to address the dreaded “YOUR NOT MY REAL MOTHER!” line that some kids (ok mine) like to say when they are angry, and I thought it might be helpful for someone else. I have a son who uses that line when he is really mad that he has a consequence and that lovely phrase came out of his mouth again today. He was adopted at age 7, he is 9 now, just FYI. Now he had already had his consequence and his talking to for his behavior and fast forward a few hours later after he was completely calm and in a better space. Now this technique could totally backfire if I had any biological sons, but I don’t, I just have two REAL adopted sons. He saw me pull out some crafts that he loves doing and I noticed he was very interested. So I said to him “My REAL son just loves to sit at the table and do crafts with me. If you see him can you tell him to come sit with me?” He knew I was being playful and silly so he smiled and sat down and got busy making crafts. I proceeded to tell him how sweet and helpful my real son is, and mentioned how he had such a nice smile. I like to be a little dramatic at times, so in a very serious tone I said “Oh but you DO NOT want to meet my FAKE son! He gets real mad and says mean things.” He said “I know who you are talking about!” But he played right along we kept the game going the whole day. He asked what was for dinner, I told him I made chili because my real son just loves it! My fake son loves chili too but mostly because it makes him fart. When it was time for bed I asked if I could have a hug from my real son. He came and sat on my lap and I hugged him tight before I sent him off to bed. I guarantee their will be more days like this but I always feel better when I can address it in a way that makes him see how silly that is to say something like that.
Written by: Susan Woodruff