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Advice on telling kids...

Once upon a time, a man and a woman were married and had 2 beautiful kids. Needless to say, the fairy taled ended, as did the marraige.

Since that time, my ex moved to the other side of the country & hasn't had anything to do with the kids in over 7 years. In that time, he's started and almost completed the MtoF change (everything but surgery).

Because the kids have been excluded from the transition, when I found out 3 years ago, I made the choice to wait and tell them when they're older. My thought was when they're 18 or so. (Our daughter is almost 13, our son is 10.)

Now, they're asking to have a relationship with her. She's willing to have a relationship with them.

So, any advice on telling the kids? Anything I be certain to avoid? HELP!

Anyway, I figure this conversation will be make the next conversation easier. After telling the kids that they're father is now a woman, hearing that both their parents are lesbians should be easy. 

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Hi Denise, first of all I also have ADHD. Second my greatest task will be telling my son who is upset by my cross dressing will then include, as you say, that dad is now a woman and as you say being lesbian will then be much easier by comparison. Actually dating women helped him accept my Cross dressing. When I have all my operations there will be no longer any half truths. The chips will fall were they may and I am gambling that our extremely close relationship will prevail over time. So good luck!

My only concession was to wait till he crossed a certain personal milestone, of graduating college.

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A great possible reason your ex left was due to fear of facing the kids. It is very common thinking that such a revelation would "screw up" the children and it best he simply not be there, rather than put them thru that nonsence.

Such horrid, horrid thinking. This is not 1950! Mom and Dad (the grandparents) may be under the impression that such revelations would be very damaging to the children. But, studies have shown this is NOT the case. In truth, a child would MUCH prefer to have BOTH parents in their lives and KNOW that BOTH parents love them. Yes, there are and will be difficulties. Hey, look at a gay couple with kids... We can raise them to be well adjusted, responsible and happy adults... but, there are those occassional difficulties, only a gay or lesbian parents and their children get to experience. But, they are no big deal. We handle them as they come along.

In the case of your ex, I would suggest a nice quiet evening at home ... perhaps a bowl of popcorn and a board game ... then, at some point, simply tell them about their father. Tell them he left because he was scared about what would or could happen to them. Tell them his issues are real and ausually a condition of birth.But mostly, make sure you tell them that their father loves them.

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Thanks for the advice.

The conversation ended up taking place in the car driving from DC to upstate PA.

The kids handled it remarkably well. They simply wanted to know: Is she happy? They asked the same question when I came out. It was a proud moment for me.

Our son doesn't have much of an interest in a relationship with his biological father (who prefers to be Aunt Dee, rather than Mom); that may change in the future.

Our daughter talks with her sporadically, and is the catalyst in the communication, but it's there.

The best advice that I'd offer any one else broaching this topic is honesty and not to over-dramatize. The situation would have been more difficult if I'd overreacted or acted like any of it was scandalous. Instead, the matter of fact approach and respect that made all the difference in the world!

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