Because yes, this is a definite possibility, and Unsure should make sure her mother is tested.
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She’s a smart kid, but she’s also a bit developmentally behind, and so explaining to her the idea of stepparents and half-siblings is a little bit daunting.
How do you tell a kid, “Well, your dad is not related to me the same way he is to you” without making her think there’s something wrong, when she still has trouble identifying that our cousins (who are very close in age to her) are our cousins, and not her aunts?
Dear Disappointed: “Unsure” was a dutiful and responsible daughter; she reported that she went to doctor’s appointments with her mother.
I took it as a given that the mother was receiving regular checkups and made an assumption that her physician would be screening her for dementia.
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Dear Big Sister: Telling your sister that you call your stepfather by his first name because you are a “grown-up” is just not true, and this might continue to be an issue for the girl because she wonders why her family members aren’t being truthful about something so important to her.
Eight-year-olds are naturally curious about family relationships. You and your family members need to stop acting like this is some strange, scandalous, or unfathomable mystery, and simply explain the family tree to someone who deserves to understand it. Cut out headshots of all of the pertinent parties (including your sister), and tape them to the papers.