how do you explain to your child his father wants nothing to do with him??

Nikki - posted on 03/18/2010 ( 85 moms have responded )

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My son is three and just now starting to ask questions about his "dad" , he barely remembers him but he sees these kids programs and asked me the other day "mom , where is my dad?" I felt sick. His father has made it clear by his absence he does not desire to have a relationship with him. He has never even called him on his birthdays etc , of course no child support either. He simply vanished , moved to another state and I have no idea how to properly "handle" telling him his father "chooses" to not see him. I want to make sure I handle it right for his sake as I know it will hurt him . Help ??

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Sandra - posted on 11/25/2012

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www.abovethetrees.ca - is a book that puts it in a way that a child understands and answers those questions at their level of comprehension. I wrote it for my daughter - and it contains all of her questions. It is about a giraffe whose daddy gets lost in the jungle never to return. The little giraffe repeatedly asks her mom if her daddy is ever coming back and she reassures her with the following saying: I will always love you and protect you, and as you grow you'll see, that I was chosen for you and you were chosen for me, and even though your daddy is lost we are still a family. As the giraffe grows, when she is tall enough to see above the trees she finally see's that the jungle was always made up of different kinds of families, some with" "two mommies, and two daddies, one mom, and one dad, there were grandma's, aunts and sisters and even grand dads, and each jungle family looked as right as right could be, why there even was a small giraffe foster family. The story ends when the baby is grown up and then she reassures her mother that she finally gets the message and she knows that she couldn't "always see the jungle for the tree's, but now that I am old enough, this you can believe, that I was chosen for you, and you were chosen for me, and even though we are only two, we are the perfect family." The book has done a great deal to help my daughter understand..and written from the truest part of my heart...her Dad like so many, must be lost if he chooses not to be in her life. It is a healing story for both parent and child. You can take a look at www.abovethetrees.ca , it is beautifully illustrated. It tells our story on the website.

Take care

Love & Light

Sandra

LaKisha - posted on 10/25/2012

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Well for starters a 3 yr old wont really understand being told that his father chooses not to see him. You explain to him that mommy loves him and is here for him no matter what. Tell him you are not sure why his dad is not around, but constantly tell him that you are here no matter what. Yes it is hurting him that his dad is not around, but I feel strongly that if he knows his mother is always here for him no matter what then as he gets older he will not be one of those kids who lash out bc they dont have a dad around. My father was never around, but my mother is one helluva woman and bc of that I never felt abandoned. As I got older I felt like it was his loss and I just kept it moving. I never cried myself to sleep bc he was not around or constantly asked my mother where he was. One more important thing is to never let him hear you talking bad about his dad.

Maria - posted on 10/23/2012

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You don't ever frame it that way. When my child's dad left my little one at two, I said he left because he was ill. That's the truth. When a parent unplugs from their children that is a disorder. That is NOT normal. These parents who do so have a disorder. They are sick. Tell you child the father is sick and doesn't know how to be a proper father. He needs help. It is not personal. The child must never ever think that it is personal. These parents are feeding their disease. Just give the child love, love, love ... They don't know what they are not missing. I grew up without a grandfather. I don't miss it, because I never knew what it was like. Just let your child know that he is loved. Teach him how to love others and try to guide him as best as you can to let him know it's not about your child ... his father is sick. There are so many deadbeat parents out there. It is an epidemic. I'm setting up a company to make PSAs to shed light on this rodent behavior by deadbeats. If you or anyone you know is interested in having one created, please have them contact me at momsolodigitalart@gmail.com. This video is my story.

New Deadbeat dad PSA:

Glory - posted on 03/18/2010

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Don't say anything negative about him to your son...just tell him daddy is not around right now, and you don't know where he is, but as soon as you find out you will let him know...don't let him feel like his dad does not love him...that would be sad for him, eventualy he will get the idea that "dad" is just a word

Kekua - posted on 03/19/2010

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I agree completely. Sometimes the best answer is I don't know. He doesn't live (around) here anymore. He moved away a long time ago and I don't know where he is.

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Kim - posted 6 days ago

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I simply say im not sure why your dad hasnt seen you. He knows where we live and our number. I dont want to lie or mislead them. He didnt turn up then changed his number and address. Has our email also and can facebook me via my family/ friends. I just let them know I will always be there for them

Alisha - posted on 04/20/2013

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I would say your dad can't be with us. Idk keep it simple for a 3 year old. As hard as it is I would not say anything bad about him because that will only make it worse. When he's older you can tell him the truth that his dad didn't want the responsibilities of having an amazing son but it's nothing your son did wrong.

Bethany - posted on 04/15/2013

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You don't tell your son his father doesnt want to see him. I havehad to deal with this with my now 10 year old son. I simply told him that his father loved him but couldn't be here. It doesn't fix things but it is better than telling him his father deosnt want him. It could really mess with his head if he thinks his father doesn't love him no matter if he remembers him or not.

Becky - posted on 04/11/2013

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Thank you for posting this, I will definitely be looking into it. It sounds like a gentle way of explaining the situation.

Maria - posted on 12/19/2012

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I'm no longer keeping silent about my own story and encouraging my sister-moms to do the same!!!! Use your sword of truth! One way to deal with these deadbeats is to expose them by telling the truth. Here are some links ‏to support groups that want to hear stories from #singlemoms! DM us and share your story! Shine on a light on these rats!

@AndThenThereWr2
https://www.facebook.com/pages/And-Then-There-Were-Two/494282440593852?fref=ts

@ChildSupportTip

Maria - posted on 12/19/2012

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Use your sword of truth! One way to deal with these deadbeats is to expose them by telling the truth. Here are some links ‏to support groups that want to hear stories from #singlemoms! DM us and share your story! Shine on a light on these rats!

@AndThenThereWr2
https://www.facebook.com/pages/And-Then-There-Were-Two/494282440593852?fref=ts

@ChildSupportTip

Amanda - posted on 11/25/2012

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i think everybody else hit the nail on the head. of course the dad in my case will tell my child its my fault if he sees him when he gets older so im unsure about the "maybe they can get answers when they get older" reply.. curious to others thoughts though.

Jamee - posted on 10/17/2012

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i am in same situation kind of. i have twin girls and the dad don't want anything to do with them and neither does his family. we live in a small town so i see his parents often and they walk right by my girls(now 2) and don't even look at them. they have made it clear they do not want them in their lives. i am not sure what to tell you because i have the similar situation myself and i don't know what to do

Jeanine - posted on 10/14/2012

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I have a 3-month old grandchild that I've never been able to see because my 20-year-old son and his ex-girlfriend broke up when she tried to get pregnant to force a marriage.



She wanted the baby, and he would have preferred an adoption because both parents are in college and are not ready for a family and have no income. I worry all the time about the baby growing up and not knowing her dad, and I hope and pray that he'll reach a point where he'll want a relationship. But the mother doesn't try to help and rejects my letters and gifts.



The baby has half a family who loves her, and she doesn't even know it because the parents don't talk to each other and don't like each other so the baby has less love instead of more.



Family planning is very important to a child's life and well-being.

Chick - posted on 08/28/2012

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Even if that is true that is a though subject for a kid to understand..

In the end, all I know is that I cannot lie to my child

I just always use age appropriate concepts

My son is now 8

It never gets easier

My son and his friends at school are plotting to hunt his father down when they turn 18 and break his arms and legs... :(

I always tell him violence is not the answer

I always tell him he has every right to feel how he does.. But that he needs to have non violent ways of expressing that anger

I tell him that if he gets to know his dad he may find that he'd like him

He responds that he hates his dad and will always hate his dad.

Joanne - posted on 08/25/2012

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I am in the exact same boat :( my little girl is 2 and keeps saying "mummy...daddy..mummy...daddy....where's my Daddy?" it's horrible and I really don't know what to do to or say. I have just said I don't know where's Nannie where's Grandad :( xx

Cassandra - posted on 01/31/2012

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make them feel like they are precious and special to you and dad is worse off cause he doesn't have them, but try explain they are the best thing to happen to mum and you love them too much to have them go away, as they feel bad to leave you and hopefully just forget about dad and having to leave mum if they want to see him later.

Jennifer - posted on 01/25/2012

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I agree.. I don't paint a negative image of my son's father to him no matter how hurt I feel. Its not fair for the kid. They need to be able to have their own process of thinking. My son did state he felt it was him that his father left and I did have to say "no, its because your father made a choice and all we can do is love people and pray for them".. yeah it hurts to watch but I can only speak on my part of the things that went wrong in the end. Oh the things we can get entangled in huh? I strongly advise never talking ill of the father or allowing others to do so as well.. and I even suggest steering clear of people who would speak ill of you to your child. Children need to be their own person emotionally away from our choices and situations.

Michelle - posted on 01/18/2012

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thankyou for posting this... i have a 2 month old lil boy and my fear is trying to explain to him when he gets around the same age as ur lil man who his dad is... im in the same position. hes MILES away and 100% out of the picture

Lora - posted on 12/07/2011

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Hi, My oldest son's father was the same way. I did get child support though. He would have lost his job if he hadn't paid child support. Does your son have any men roll models in his life? He's only 3 and he wouldn't understand the whole deal with his father anyway. I never spoke ill about his father either because I thought it was important for him to draw his own conclusions. He will. I would just keep it simple. I would tell him the where his father is. "Your Dad lives in another state". Like I said keep it age appropriate.

Dominique - posted on 12/06/2011

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I am going to use Elle's response that is a good 1 b'cuz I do not want him to think he was not wanted. Everyone who meets him loves him. B'cuz I did not know what to come up w/when that time came that he ask about his father.

Elle - posted on 12/01/2011

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I don't know but I was thinking of maybe telling my son this...that me and his Dad were very good friends and instead of having a random sperm donor I asked him if he would help me have a baby. That this was my plan all along and didn't think I was ever going to get married but did not want to miss having a child. That his Dad is a great guy and did this for me so I could have him. I thought it might take the element of rejection away. Its not like he would ever know the truth. There are many single Mom's out there who elected to do so. I don't know, just throwin it out there.

Elle - posted on 12/01/2011

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I don't know but I was thinking of maybe telling my son this...that me and his Dad were very good friends and instead of having a random sperm donor I asked him if he would help me have a baby. That this was my plan all along and didn't think I was ever going to get married but did not want to miss having a child. That his Dad is a great guy and did this for me so I could have him. I thought it might take the element of rejection away. Its not like he would ever know the truth. There are many single Mom's out there who elected to do so. I don't know, just throwin it out there.

Kelly - posted on 11/21/2011

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I completly understand where you are coming I have been going through the same situation. My son and I moved from ohio and now live about 8hrs away. I was forced to drive to ohio every 3 months to allow visitation. Now we never hear from my sons father, he never calls or writes and refuses to come where we live to visit. Now my son keeps asking about his father and why he never calls or visits and I have'nt a clue as to how to explain to my 3 1/2 year old that his father has apparently lost intrest. It seemed like as soon as the court order visitation he lost intrest.

Jennifer - posted on 09/22/2010

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im glad that its so far so good.. i never know what to say for my boys as far as there father goes my boys father denied our 4yr old son saying he was never his never wanted anything to do with him.. but as soon as he was ordered to pay child support than he wanted something to do with that was almost 5 yrs ago now hes got nothing to do with our 7 yr old or our almost 5 yr old doesnt see them doesnt ask about them and i have no idea what to say on the other hand they stopped asking once my bf came in the picture they have known my bf for 3 yrs now..and we have been together almost 2.. we are engaged.. i never encouraged my boys to call him daddy or anything like that.. and i never ever say anything negative about there father.. but they do not ask anymore...and i now have sole legal physical legal custody of them and im trying to get him to sign completly off he wants nothing to do with them and i will never stop fighting to protect these two from that coward.. and i dont want the boys to see him but if they ask i wont object.. the only thing you can do is just keep doing what your doing and stay positive things do get better.. let him make his own decision on his father when he gets older.. your doing a great job with him keep up the great work..

Nikki - posted on 09/15/2010

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Update Moms , I took my son to a specialist for this situation and she told me I was doing exactly the "right" thing by saying "your daddy loves you very much but he is working out of state and cannot see you due to his work but again he loves you very much" Also she told me to always ADD that "it's NOT your fault every times he asks and I explain he is working but loves you AND it's NOT your fAULT" so I NOW ADD that part ! So far so good and it is age appropriate for my almost 4 year old son :) Thought I would share my update as we saw the expert :) God Bless you all Moms :) , NIKKI

Rose - posted on 04/27/2010

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I also have a three year old who asks about his dad; and what I tell my son (this does not apply to all, his dad has a very bad drug habit) is that his daddy is sick right now and not able to see but he loves and misses him terribly. I had a friend who told her daughters that their dad just wasn't ready to be a dad yet but still loved and cared about them. Just don't tell them anything negative and I'm sure you will come up with a proper response just remember to make it the same one every time. And I honestly told my son at times that I didn't always know where his dad was but he was thinking of him.

Jennifer - posted on 04/27/2010

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ok, i have a daughter instead of a son and honey your story is exactly as mine....however my daughter is 13 and has finally realized daddy does not hang the stars and moon that daddy is not really a daddy at all. Emotionally it sucks to hang in there and bite your tongue but NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER SAY NEGATIVE WORDS ABOUT DADDY. it will make you cry, scream, cuss. hate, and oh the thoughts....but get a pillow late at night after you have tucked everyone in and take the emotion out on it. Believe me time serves it purpose and eventually YOU WILL BE ROSE YOU DESERVE TO BE IN HIS EYES.

Nikki - posted on 04/27/2010

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Thank you again Ladies for the feedback . I continue to grow in every regard in this journey and I appreciate you all. I started a community just for Mom's with abandoned children and I hope you all will join if it pertains to you as well so we can continue to learn from each other and share as it is my intention to keep us all in good spirits throughout this complicated journey.
God Bless,

Nikki Nixon
Mom's with children abandoned by their fathers - my new community :)

[deleted account]

It is difficult when children ask these questions. I don't think their is a right answer. I wouldn't sayanything bad to him about his father. I would just explain to him that you don't know where his father is or why he chooses not to have a relationship with him. Reasure him that no matter what you'll always be there and if he need to talk or has any questions he can always ask you, and you will do your bast to answer all his questions.

Krista - posted on 04/25/2010

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I had to do this when my son was only 2. I just told him that he went away for a while and I didn't know where. But that I was here for him and that I would always be here for him. All you can do is show your son all the love that you can and he will see who takes care of him all the time. And hopefully you will have a bond like my son and I. Since it was always only him and I, we are SOO close. He is momma's boy. (and I LOVE it)

Nitty - posted on 04/21/2010

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Hello, I am suffering with the same problem, my ex husband abandoned us 4 yrs ago, When it first happened rightfully i was enraged and i couldn't for the life of me understand why he didn't want to be apart of our lives. i am a person that believes even though the relationship maybe foul a child has the right to know who is parents are, At first his absence took control of me, i found my self trying to track him down through his friends and family, just so that he could build some type of relationship with his son. i did that off and on for the first 2yrs of my sons life. i eventually gave up and when my son started questioning about his daddy. Never did i once bad mouth his father or speak of the struggle that i over came to make sure we were happy. what i did tell him though was this." Son, your daddy is working, and when he has the spare time to visit he will call and ask to spend time with you. He loves you very much even though it may seem like he doesn't because you dont see him. Just know hes working very hard and He loves you very much." So far that has worked like a charm, my son has his moments but then, he goes on his way continuing to be happy. At the end of the day Im leaving it up to my son to see things for what they really are. I figure if i tell him about the stresses his father left me with and how he abandoned us it would only fuel resentment for me. as he gets older he'll start seeing the truth for what it is and he can build his own opinions of his father without me giving him my input.

Katrina - posted on 04/15/2010

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just tell your child that his dad decided to leave and you don''t know where he is....when he gets older and asks just tell him that he can find him after he turns 18....but if he still asks before he is 18 just tell him that daddy became a buthead and left. that is what I have told both of my kids. that their fathers are buttheads and they are safer with me then with him.

Rachel - posted on 04/11/2010

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My children have met their Dad, but they don't like him. He has never done anything important for them, even though when he comes around he takes them to do something fun, but that is all he does and they see that. When they are hurt Mommy is there and when they need food, clothing, and shelter Mommy is there. My boys tell me they dont like their dad, they are only 8 and 10 and he plays really rough with them.

Tishe - posted on 04/11/2010

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Hello Nikki- in my experience in raising 2 boys alone and working with young children, the best answer for children of that age is to say, "he doesn't know how to be a dad", not everyone knows how to be a parent. You don't want him to feel rejected and actually it has nothing to do with him. Children of that age don't want and can't process much depth in that area, as long as you don't bad mouth the man (trust me that would come back to haunt you). If down the road the man tries to make contact, your son will feel his dad is the one trying to overcome his problems, and it has nothing to do with your son personally
Hope this helps...Tishe

Richa - posted on 04/11/2010

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i have a 3-year-old son and whenever he sees a picture of a woman and a man he would say, 'mommy and daddy'..i just tell him that there is no more daddy because his dad is an irresponsible man..does not know his responsibility as a father and as a man to mom..then, my son wouldnt say a thing..i dont know what to tell him when time comes that he will ask more questions..i'm reading through all your replies and it somehow gave me some ideas..thanks guys

Robin - posted on 04/10/2010

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Gloy has got it just right. At this age they cannot process the concepts of this situation. So tell the truth but never negative or accusing tones. I think a photo for the child to have access and tell Daddy hi should be kept in a book you can get off the shelf when the child needs it. That helps you guage how often the child thinks about Dad and gives you an opportunity to give facts. Daddy worked as a mechanic. Daddy loved to eat pizza wanna go get one? That way you give info making it pleasant. Dont turn Daddy into a hero figure either for if in the future they are hurt by them. When your mind is up so high and you find those things arent true its a long way to fall. Keep it simple. Keep it short. My son has a friend who thought he was the son of his Uncle. He was 14 and rebelious. They used telling him he was adopted and that he wasnt wanted by his parents to cool his jets. It only made things worse. If he had the truth all along but was told they were not able to take care of him because of problems. It wouldnt have been such a shock. I wont go into details but it was like a car crash. I couldnt believe someone could be so cruel. In their mind they had what they thought was good reason for their actions. My son and I helped him find his mother. He now knows he has brothers and sisters along with the truth. He is healing. If you love your child be honest with small trickles of info that are neutral. They grow up and when things dont mesh right they seek answers. If you have tilted the scale they feel betrayed. Lastly never talk on the phone or with others about the father where your child can even remotely here negative talk or how upset you are about it. They are like little tape recorders. You dont think they are listening but they are. They fill in the gaps they dont understand and what they fill in can be much worse then the reality. Dont EVER let that happen. It's easy to slip up if someone calls you on the cell phone and they look asleep in back seat. Just tell the caller it's not a good time for this conversation, I will get back to you on that. Use your heart to guide you. I thing you will be just fine.

Nikki - posted on 04/10/2010

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I understand the part as well Amber of just wanting your child's father to be a "dad" and not "wanting" him in your life . Seems I went through the same thing as when I use to try a long time ago to reach out to Ethan's father to please just be his Dad and it has nothing to do with "he and I" anymore , yet he still chose to remain absent. He certainly did not desire a relationship with me nor did I with him but I felt he could not seperate it. If that makes sense. I was astounded by how "cocky" he was in thinking I was using my son as a tool to be with him !! I knew in my heart I surely wasn't doing that so that facet of it compounded my resentment towards him. In our case , he too would not even talk to me , not even via phone !! I felt that he felt the situation was for him the same as ending a relationship with me as he had always done with other women in his past failing to realize and accept a child was REALLY BORN of our union !! So it was like "oops" I am moving on , period and not looking back . I never could quite understand it and I guess I never will but again that is where God comes in . I have done my best to keep my faith and hope in HIM for the better of my son. I also wanted to "share" with you hoping it helps that my son watches these kids programs and sees other children who have a "dad" and as i said before , he has asked me where is HIS Dad and on occasion when I have to discipline him he will cry and say (only for a minute) "I want my dad" and of course I stop and cringe but I never say one word at all when he did that so he has not done that in a while now !!! And yes I was thinking to myself man oh man sheez !!! I know too how trying it is to raise a child with no help and sometimes envy my friends when they say their child's Dad is getting him/her for the weekend , it's his weekend and I need a break and I am thinking Lord if you only knew what it was like to never have a moment to yourself you might die ! Yes it is terribly frustrating when you are doing it alone even as much as you love them . It is hard . period. In closing though I try to stay positive and think of how I am the one whom is blessed to have my son and to have all of him :) I know God Has His reasons for all of this and i feel he chose me to be Ethan's mother,father , counselure,friend etc and I know what a great thing his father is missing out on every single day of his life. No matter where life takes my son Ethan (and I hope it's super great things) I know he will always have me as his "rock" :) Just a average simple man or the next Drew Brees I will always love him with all I have , heart and soul . He deserves it . Period . He is "worth" it to ME :) Let us pray every day for one another , God Bless , Nikki

[deleted account]

Thank you Silvy and Nikki, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me :) You both have definitely given me a lot to think about and analyze a bit more. And I know that I still have quite a bit of time to decide how I will go about that topic, but I do thank you very much. Yes I do have anger issues with him, and it's not even because I wanted to be with him, I wanted to just be civil with him and allow my son a father/dad and he couldn't even be mature enough to even talk to me to my face ever! And it breaks my heart and pisses me off when my son calls my sisters bf daddy because he hears my nephew call him that, and I have to tell him no that's not your daddy. I know he's not calling him daddy because he fully understands what a daddy is and to him its more of a name he hears him being called, but it still heartbreaking. And especially to know that one day he will know what a "daddy" is and he won't have one :(
I really do take hope in that this..."God tends to matters such as ours and God will ensure the fathers whom abandoned their child will never have a good life. I take comfort in that . God says HE is a "Father to the fatherless and protector of widows" "...is true and in my case I can too see this happen just like you have Nikki. This whole single mother thing is just hard and stressful and saddens me at times. I won't show it anywhere but here and on my ivillage messageboard, but if I could make myself I think I would cry a whole lot more! I don't want Isaiah's father to be his father, but I want my son to have a dad and many times I don't ever see that happening....he does have a few great men in his life, but it's just not the same ya know??
Argh well I'm done rambling now....thank you again for taking the time to respond to me :) I really do appreciate it.

Nikki - posted on 04/09/2010

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Trust me Amber I understand the "anger" but I had to "let it go" for my son's sake , even though I KNOW the TRUTH :( I know it's terribly difficult and I know a part of me will always carry "resentment" for how my son's own flesh and blood Father did him BUT I knew I had to seek guidance , pray and ask for help along this journey from other Mothers whom have walked in my shoes :) I so appreciate the "insight" everyone has brought to the table as I simply want what is best for my son Ethan and I knew I did not have the answers on how to handle telling him in the appropriate manner his father chose to walk from his life and I was so disturbed for HIS feelings as opposed to my own as I know he will suffer tremendously once he is old enough to really understand his father is not a part of his life. I guess if I can help you too and your child I have learned first and foremost I had to seperate and deal with MY feelings about his father in my own heart and soul then pray for guidance on how to handle breaking the reality to my son the truth of the matter. I would never let my feelings seep into my explanations to my son as no matter what his father is still just that , his "father" . NOT a "dad" :) there is a difference . My son's father vanished , left no address , number and has never paid a dime in child support and ignores my son's very existence. I hurt so much FOR my son knowing he will face this harsh reality one day. I have also learned along the way that in order to minimize the psychological damage he will feel that I must say things that are positive in spite of the ugly truth , not that I will hide it from him or be dishonest but I want to ease the truth to him so he knows he is loved no matter what :) I know his father does NOT LOVE HIM or CARE at all about him but again I pray for guidance in breaking the news to him as gently as possible:) I will never bad mouth his father (even though he is awful) and I will allow him to "see" for himself just what and who his father is on his own . I don't know what age my son will be fully recognizant of these facts but I will surely be there for him with all the love and support I can possibly give:) i don't know how other mothers feel about their children who have been abandoned by their natural fathers but for me I know it has created a very special and unique bond with my son that i cherish so much . I have older children that never had to experience abandonment so again I see my bond with my abandoned son is a very powerful mother and son relationship ! I focus on that :) and I leave the rest to the Lord . In closing , I also feel in my heart that God tends to matters such as ours and God will ensure the fathers whom abandoned their child will never have a good life. I take comfort in that . God says HE is a "Father to the fatherless and protector of widows" , I have been through both in my life and I have seen God's work in His time come through for the better of us who belong to HIm :) You and your child are in my prayers now right along side with my son Ethan . God Bless YOU ! and God Bless you all , thanks ladies , Nikki Nixon

Chick - posted on 04/09/2010

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Amber - think about how would you feel if your Mom lied to you about where you came from and who your Dad was? Try to give your child some respect and faith in their ability to handle the truth.
I'm a believer that the sooner a child knows the truth about stuff, the sooner they can cope/deal/accept it. Soon enough it will just be part of who they are. Just make sure to have age-appropriate discussions without totally bashing the father, kids internalize that stuff. Try not to let your (obvious) anger show to the child, it will only bite you in the a$$ later when they are old enough to make up their own mind.
Try to let go of the anger too, trust me, I know where you're at, and carrying anger around all the time WILL affect your parenting. Love your child - that's what they need most.
And yer right... about your son deserving better. Unfortunately, lots of kids deserve a hell of a lot better. :)
Food for thought for ya

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I think every ones suggestions are great and I'm not asking this to get a reaction out of anyone or start anything, but what do you do if the father is a complete bastard and decided not to be in my sons life because he's an immature a$$? I can't see lying to my son (in a sense) and making up something that softens the blow of that his dad, or should I say sperm donor was too much of an immature jerk to bother to care about him. Not that I want to intentionally hurt my son, but I don't want my son to even want to know who he is or what he's about. My son deserves better than what he's got as a dad. i mean he's only just about to be 2 so I think I have a little while before I have to deal with this...but really what do you tell your child when the father is in fact an a$$hole and you really don't want your child to know his father and you don't want to make up some story to make them look "okay" or "excused"??

Chrystina - posted on 04/07/2010

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This is something Im doomed to face and I honestly dont know how i will tell him...Im sure by the time he starts asking i will have a better knowledge of what to say to him...

Chick - posted on 04/07/2010

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I'm dying to see this movie... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0377752/

Nine-year-old Frankie and his single mum Lizzie have been on the move ever since Frankie can remember, most recently arriving in a seaside Scottish town. Wanting to protect her deaf son from the truth that they've run away from his father, Lizzie has invented a story that he is away at sea on the HMS Accra. Every few weeks, Lizzie writes Frankie a make-believe letter from his father, telling of his adventures in exotic lands. As Frankie tracks the ship's progress around the globe, he discovers that it is due to dock in his hometown. With the real HMS Accra arriving in only a fortnight, Lizzie must choose between telling Frankie the truth or finding the perfect stranger to play Frankie's father for just one day...

My almost 6 year old son has met his father 5 times, he wouldn't recognize him in a line up, and after having been stood up the intended visit number 6, 7 and 8th time... we gave up. My son will tell you that he hates his father (we don't use the word Dad, I explain that a "Dad" doesn't have to be the one that helps make you, that is what a Father does and that once upon a time Mommy and your father loved each other very much...anyway , and that a Dad is someone who is there in your life every day... I dunno why but that's how we define it.. he seems ok with that explaination... I guess I want to keep it open so that some day he may call someone else Dad... anyway ... He says that "when I'm older, my father probably won't even exist"... I talk to my son with respect for his father but as truthfully as I can.

I agree with what Ahuva Gamliel says - very wise :)
Good luck - I think the ONLY good news is that children who don't know their fathers is not so uncommon anymore (bad news too), but they can talk to kids in similar situations in any given classroom... and secondarily they have to be better off without these guys who don't want to be in their lives.

Keyala - posted on 04/07/2010

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U DON'T, JUST EXPLAIN TO YOUR CHILD THAT MOMMY AND DADDY LOVES HIM OR HER VERY MUCH. NO NEGATIVE ANSWERS

Jessica - posted on 04/06/2010

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idk how to answer that. im not there but i know one day i will. best to be honest and simple. say "ur father has desided to not be around, but if u want to try and talk to him some day maybe we can find a way" if u cant then tell them that to. u also have to think about thier age try ur best to hold off till they are a lil older to understand.

Debra - posted on 04/06/2010

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I would just tell your son that his father probably thinks about him and misses him and say nothing more. Your son's identity will be based on his heritage and the people that surround him. Perhaps a "future" father figure some day? When he gets older he will know that the people who have walked along-side him, celebrated his milestones and who have inspired him...are the people he will grow up to admire and love.

Ahuva - posted on 04/05/2010

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wow, i am very touched by these posts.

i agree with all the moms who said to keep it simple and positive:
1. i don't know. or daddy is not here...---this is the truth!
2. daddy went away for work--another good option (not the kid's fault)
3. even though daddy's not here, daddy loves you very much---i like that too bc even if it's not true, it's important for the child's self-confidence, eventually s/he will figure out themselves who there dad really is (character wise) without you planting any seeds in his or her head. so as angry and hurt etc as you might be, keep it neutral with the kid. don't judge his dad or it will come back to hurt you.

i do not agree with those who said: daddy wasn't ready or anything negative. this can hurt the child. what? i'm not important enough for daddy to stay? why? why am i not lovable? etc etc maybe when the kid is a teenager you can offer these kinds of explanations, but really i would try to avoid it all together if possible.

i also agree that revising the answer as the child gets older is appropriate. a 3 yr old is not capable of understnading what a 13 yr old can!

i wish you all the best.

also, BE HAPPY, if you are happy, the child will be happy and that's what matters!

Michaela - posted on 04/05/2010

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And @ Danniqua you won't have to explain because when your child gets older, He will already develop his own opinion about his Dad.. and your not the bad guy

Michaela - posted on 04/05/2010

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You DON"T! You always let your children know they are loved by both parents. Children are just that---children. They don't need to know all the nasty details. The only thing they need to know is that Dad can't be with us now, but "I know he must be thinking about you too, because he loves you"..and when I was asked "Does my Dad still love me Mom?" I said " Are you kidding me? Your a great kid, who couldn't love you? Of course your Daddy loves you!"...works for me any way! Good luck

Danniqua - posted on 04/05/2010

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My son is 2 and doing the same thing. he just realized he doesnt have a father. he asks me that question all the time lately. i dont really know what to say besides " daddy's not here". his father wants nothing to do with him. i'll eventually explain that to him when hes older. i feel that right now at the age he is a simple answer like that might take care of it. but the only way to handle the situation is to be completely honest. but the honesty can wait 3 or 4 years.

Jayne - posted on 04/02/2010

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Yeah dont let your son no he wasnt wanted or say anything bad about his dad. I told my son that his father was on a big hoilday and i didnt no where he was. He seemed happy with that answer. It took nearly 7 years before my son met his dad

Leslie - posted on 04/02/2010

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My oldest son asked me the same question just shortly after I remarried and gave birth to his baby brother (Lucas was 7yrs old). The confusion with a new family calling Mom's boyfriend the babies daddy brought on "Mommy were is MY Daddy? Kadeem has his were did mine go?". I knew this day would come, but hoped it would not have been for a long time. I decided to not get into great detail with my oldest and said this..." You know baby, Your Daddy had to go away for a bit and he loved you very much, he loved you so much that he left you here with me, because he knows Mommy can take care of you and love you better then anyone else he knows. One day we will both be able to meet up with him, I'll let you know when, is that ok?" My son said yes and never asked or spoke to me about his Bio-father for a long time.

Until Lucas was about to have his own family (age: 20) and then it was a different tune. His Bio-Father requested to see Lucas. So I sat Lucas down and told him his Bio-Father would like to meet him. Lucas explained to me that he was not interested in any man that had no interest in him. He explained that his Bio-Father had many years to "Man up!" to his responsibility, but never did. Lucas thanked me for never making his Bio-father out to be a bad guy or the super hero...he said that he has many male role models in his life and one hell of a great Mom! He said he was always filled with people who love him and that's all he said he needs. That he (Lucas) is declining his Bio-Father's request and told me the issue is closed.

Candis - posted on 04/01/2010

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i agree i dont wanna share him either lol.. hopefully i never haveto talk to hiss father in the future but if i do i will try to remain calm

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