How would you explain?
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
JuLeah - posted on 05/03/2010
From the time my child was very young I read books with her, watch movies, met people from different cultures and countries and, in general, learned about different families from around the world. We all live in different types of houses, some live in snow, some live where it is very hot.
Some kids live with their grandparents, some with foster parents, some with aunts and uncles. Some kids live with one mom or dad, or two moms or two dads.
Some kids are raised by an older borther or sister
Some kids live in homes with one dad and two or three moms
There are step moms and step dads ...... so many many ways to be a family
There is no right or wrong. If a group of people live together in love, they can call themselves a family.
I don't think of it as a 'misssing' father. That implies the father ought to be there and the kid is missing out on something.
All kids ask why they have the family they have and live where they do. How they feel about it depends on how it is explained to them.
If they are told they ought to have a father and don't, then they will miss having a father.
I stayed as a guest with a family in another country. It was a small house with a mom a dad, two uncles and two aunts. A grandma and a great gramdma. A grandfather and many many little kids.
They felt so bad for me because I'd grown up with just a mom dad and sister.
It's all how you look at it, I think.
Sina - posted on 05/05/2010
I wonder that same question too. I dont think there is a Right or Wrong answer, everybody is different has diff circumstances, diff feelings, but my opinion would be tell the truth! They may not like what u have to say, but they would probly appreciate it more if you told the truth. My mum told me that when they split when i was 1 my dad was a dead beat dad and didnt want anything to do with me, and when i finally met him, turned out he was trying to find me and try to re-connect with me but my mother was stopping it all becoz of her hurt feelings, so i ddnt like it when i found out she lied...So what im saying is im sure when i tell my daughter...she'd appreciate me telling her the truth! and maybe it may work for you too. Take it day by day and if ur child wants to find their biological father, maybe u can help him or her!! Good luck and best wishes :)
Nicole - posted on 01/26/2013
I have been honest with her from the beginning. We call him her father but explained she has a lot of "daddy's" - grandpa, uncle scott, uncle Brett, etc. Daddy's love you no matter what. They play with you & keep you safe. I tell her that he made a choice not to be in our family...to move away. That was his choice, not ours. I don't talk bad about him because even if she doesn't know him, he is a part of who she is. I'm honest & make sure she has a lot of positive make role models. Good luck!
Sandra - posted on 01/16/2013
There are so many different answers. I guess we all agree that there are four key ingredients in your answer. That number one: Your child is loved and wanted.
Number Two: Your family is perfect just the way that it is.
Number Three: Explaining Dad has to be truthful...wherever he may be (age appropriate more importantly i.e. he lives in other state ).
Number Four: That no matter what you are always going to be there for him or her.
You can read how I explained it to my daughter at our website: www.abovethetrees.ca
It is about a baby giraffe whose Daddy gets "lost" in the jungle never to return. I use the principle's from above and confirm the very important message that "I was chosen for you, and you were chosen for me and even though we are only two, we are the perfect family.
My book also addresses other non-traditional families.
Rebekah - posted on 01/16/2013
this website has a few good answers - http://www.iloveindia.com/parenting/sing...
My parents broke up when I was 2 years old - I was just told that they didn't want to be friends anymore but they both still wanted to be friends with me - which when your little makes alot more sense than having something very complicated explained to you - keep it simple and once they have an answer they probably won't even think more about it and will go and play with their toys.. .. :) - but from day one is a bit different - I am not really sure how to answer that one.. that website has a few good answers.. Dad got scared and ran away - makes sense to a child.. - they won't ask much after that..
Suzanne - posted on 04/04/2012
my daughter is two and I dread the day she asks about her father he has never wanted to know her and 3 of his other children to other relationships but now has a 5th child to whom he is actually being a father to. I have managed to get in contact with all the other three children and they are going all going to have a relationship but very hard to explain to your child why her father and his family say that she is nothing to do with them, don't know how ro out that in kind words :(( xx
Stephanie - posted on 05/17/2010
I am honest with my child. I told him just the other day that his dad was unfaithful to me and he wanted to be with another woman and that had no bearing on how either one of us loved my son. His father is incarcerated right now also and it makes it hard on both of us. I tell him that his daddy did something wrong, stole, and that he has to pay for his mistake by serving time in jail. I don't know if this helps any and I don't know your situation but I hope it helped somewhat at least. ; )
Jo - posted on 05/16/2010
Really depends on the circumstances surrounding your single parenthood tbh. Caitlin's Daddy took his own life and unfortunately Caitlin was old old enough to semi understand - I would have loved to have hidden the 'gory' details until she was older. I suppose you do it with love and understanding and ofc be age appropriate - I am sure you know your child better than anyone and will do the right thing should the need arise :)
Marietta - posted on 05/10/2010
i would tell my child that he didnt want to be an father so he left us.and that we are doing just fine without him..and then tell him about his/her father and ask if they would like to visit him and if he would I would call him and set something up in and public place to meet him I would not try and cover up anything that my child wanted to know about anyting
Eugenie - posted on 05/10/2010
Danielle, whatever you do, please do not say that daddy is dead! As Erika says, the children usually resent their mom when they get older and the truth comes out - it usually does! I would probably explain to them that being a parent is not an easy job and that some parents are just not ready. I would also assure them that I am ready to be their parent and will always be with them. As a child gets older, if the parent is still not around you could give them a little more detail as to what happened or why he was not there. Moms are special people and although some kids do not believe that, most children usually show more appreciation as they get older.
All the best!!!
Erika - posted on 05/10/2010
That's a difficult question and depends on the child and the situation Danielle.
I was honest with my daughters when they asked because I felt that was the best thing for them. Their father and I broke up for a multitude of reasons, the most important one being that he was an irresponsible jerk (not that I put it to them that way) but they know that he was not ready to be a father and therefore I decided it was best to raise them alone. In truth, their worthless father could not be bothered with them but I refuse to tell them that so I was an honest as I could be without destroying their self-esteem... can you imagine what knowing you weren't wanted would do to you?
Whatever route you decide to take Danielle I suggest you ponder and take into consideration the age of the child when the dreaded 'where is daddy?' question surfaces and just how honest you want to be with him/her.
I had a friend who told her daughter her father was dead only to have him meet her when she was 13!!! The girl ended up resenting her mother for a very long time, even though the mother lied to protect her.
Samantha - posted on 05/10/2010
My daughter is not yet old enough to realize that her father is out of the picture, but I think about the day she does ask all the time. I am going to let her know that I felt it was best for our family if he was not in her life. I will let her know that he was not ready to be a daddy and that I was just trying to protect her and keep her safe from all harm when I made the decision to leave him out of things.
Ashley - posted on 05/07/2010
Mine kids da wasn't in their lives too much when they were younger (They are 4 years old now), He's active duty in the military and has only visited a few times, I have just told them daddy can't be there right now or as they got older that he lives in a different state or that he's busy working. He calles when he can but we rarely have visits with him.
Danielle - posted on 05/05/2010
Thank you all sooo much for your encouraging words and helpful explanations... Being that Madasyn is only 7 months I have plenty of time to get it figured out, just one of those things that is kind of burdening down and I'm somewhat dreading :( But you all have given me a better outlook on what to say. Certainly I am praying that maybe GOD will prick his heart that he will come around and share in the joy she brings! I have had my father since "day one" its a relationship that i value immensely and just want her to have the same opportunity! I think my Dad is the "cats meow" and wouldnt trade him for a thing! Just really want the same for sooo badly, ugh! In any case I thank you ALL for your whispers of love, May God BLess you ALL :) Dani
Julie - posted on 05/05/2010
I was one that did not have a "father " Mom mom was a "dayone" single mom but she had the support of my grandparetns and uncle. When I asked her this question she would say I donno where you dad is ( She really didn't) and that I had my papa and uncle and that was all I needed. When I was in high school I told my mom that I wanted to find him.. She was a little bit leary of it and I think more afraid of what situation my dad might be in.. In my SR year of high school helped me try to find him but was un successful... I kinds dropped it and moved on with my life.. Then about a year ago while visiting her ( I live in a different state) I asked her again about him and how he was and why they were never married ect.. She explained to me the situation and told me that I needed to be prepared for the worse that she did not know his situation and asked if I was interested in finding him.. I said I had been thinking about it... after that really did not give too much of a thought and was not actively persuing the search... I came across a web site an told my mom about it .. She then found him on the web site and called him... He was also trying to find us as well.. Him and I have started a relationship and talk once a week or more. ..
My 5 year old Son's father lives in the saem town as us and has no interest in him at all.. My explaination to him is ... Youhave a dad he lives here in town but you also have a mom , sister and lots of family that love you. and try to leave it at that.. If in the future he wants to see his dad I will assist him in that connection but right now ..we are leaving it as is.. He usually does not ask too much about it.
Carrie - posted on 05/05/2010
I adopted my son alone... when he asked where his dad was I had 2 answers for him... His birth father had passes away and I had some pictures of him. I explained to Mateo... Chris was his birth father and because of bad choices and drugs he was unable to take care of Mateo. However Chris was the one to convince Mateo's birth mother to sign over parental rights to me before the state took them away. Chris, I told my son, made an amazing choice to give my son the best life he saw fit by giving me my child.
As for an every day dad... Mateo was about 3 when he asked why we don't have a dad in our family. I told him at the time he came in my life I was in a place in my life where I was an alone mommy but God had the perfect man in plan for us and when Mommy and that man were ready, in God's eyes, to meet we would. We since then have talked about "that man" in God's plan. One day he will come into our lives until then I have my 3 brothers, 4 uncles and many male cousins in our lives to help guide my son as he grows in his life.
Dene - posted on 05/05/2010
I have a few friends, & many cousins in this situation. Whereas many of them choose to allow their personal negative feelings towards their child/children's father/s to enter into their response to their child's inquiry, my personal opinion would be to just explain to your child on his/her level that sometimes not all mommies & daddies are able to be apart of their child's life. Tell him/her that parents sometimes get scared, & not all are brave enough to face all of challenges of being a full-time parent, but reassure your child that YOU are brave enough, & will always be there! I would then suggest you surround your child w/ other males you trust to fill that void...Not necessarily a father-figure, just a male-figure.
Dian - posted on 05/04/2010
Just tell your baby the reality but of course in a simple statement which suitable with the baby' age. We must show the reality step by step to our babies that sometimes parents are not meant together.
They must know that no matter their father are getting involved or not in their lives , we are as single parents can fullfil their need of love.
As JuLeah said, there are so many ways to show them how a family can grow up together in various form of families, not only with father and mother..
We teach them how to have a positive thinking.
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