Ask Grandma Maggie

Parenting & Childcare Advice
Peggy Moss (1933-2014), also known as Grandma Maggie, penned a parenting column on this site for many years. Back by popular demand, we are republishing the column, sharing with you the best of Grandma Maggie’s parenting and childcare advice.
Unfortunately Grandma Maggie is no longer able to take questions.

How do I handle the heartbreak of miscarriage?

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Dear Grandma Maggie,

I have a daughter who is 12. She is in the sixth grade. The three of us (my husband, my daughter and I) decided that we would try to have another baby. My daughter is learning in science about where babies come from and all that, so she understands the process. Unfortunately, I just found out we failed. I had a miscarriage. My husband and I are so upset. It is heartbreaking. My daughter should know that she will not be having a little brother/sister, but I don’t know how to tell her. I mean, how do you tell your twelve-year-old daughter (after she admitted feeling a bit lonely at times and that she wanted a little sibling) that you had a miscarriage? It’s hard enough for my husband and me to deal with it, but a child? Please give me some advice.

Thank you.
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Dear Friend,

First let me offer you my condolences for your loss. Next, I think you must tell your twelve year old immediately that you had a miscarriage and there will be no baby in the near future. She also needs to feel the loss before she can get beyond it. I want to make one more suggestion. I think it’s important that you mention that one child does not ever replace another, but you are so glad you had her and the joy of her birth with no complications. If either of you cry, so be it. Tell her you know how she feels. Handling this thoroughly at this time will help your daughter learn coping life skills that will be helpful for her throughout her lifetime.

Blessings on all of you.
Grandma Maggie