When should a single mom tell her child why their dad's not there?

Single mothers face a range of unique questions, one of the most sensitive being; when do you tell your child why their dad isn't there?

40  Answers

42 25

There is an age appropriate way to tell a child anything. You have to know what works best for you child. Whatever you do, don't lie. Sometimes we think we should have the answer to all our children's questions but it is just as powerful letting them know what you don't know. My kids used to ask me why their dad didn't take them out or pick them up and instead of lying or venting I said, "I don't know honey. Maybe you should ask him next time he calls." Eventually they learned who their dad was without me having to say a anything about him. His actions spoke more loudly than I ever could.

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59 0

What a great answer! My dad wasn't in my life, and my Mom made sure it stayed that way. She never had a good thing to say about him, and in "brainwashing" technique, would daily remind us what a horrible character he was. That was so bad for our self-esteem. We thought we did something wrong. We are back in touch with him now, but it is weird. No bad feelings, just not much of a connection. He's changed since we were little, and it's good. But, growing up being pitted against your parents is no way to grow up healthy. Thanks for your wisdom to others!

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6 14

I always avoided saying anything negative about my ex to my daughter. That's not to say that I didn't think it, but she didn't pick her parents, she didn't ask to be in this situation, & it's not fair to influence her thoughts about him. She's an intelligent girl & she'll decide for herself. She doesn't need to be spoon fed negativity (even if it is true). There are classes aimed at divocing parents & some divorce courts require parents to take it. I took it but my ex didn't. The one I took was called "For the kids sake", & the majority of the class was about how parents should never place children in the middle, & should never speak badly of the other parent to the child or in the child's pressence. However, when you're in a situation where Dad isn't around it's not so simple. Eventually the child will ask why. I always waited for my daughter to ask the questions & tried to answer in a neutral way & without any anger (hard to do!). For my situation, I simply told her that just because he stopped loving me didn't mean he stopped loving her - that he still loves her in his own way. I told her that my ex & I were divorced, but he didn't divorce her & is still very much her Dad. It's a complicated situation for us, but I always told her to save her questions up & maybe one day she'd get the chance to ask them herself. She has a stepdad that has been in her life since she was 5, & in her eyes he's Daddy because he's the one who has been there every day - through nightmares, ER visits, school problems, etc. She's old enough now that she realizes it takes more to be a Dad than genetics - it takes genuine demonstrations of love & devotion. When she speaks of her biological Father she refers to him by his first name (I still call him her "dad"). It's a very difficult & sad situation to be in, but if your child's Father has chosen not to be a part of your child's life you have to know in your heart that in the long run it's best for your child. Eventually a man will come along who will love the both of you the way you both deserve to be loved.

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If you want to encourage open communication with your child, you need to be honest, but do it age appropriately and be as diplomatic as possible. If your ex is a total toadsnot, just be honest and tell your child sometimes people find they value different things in life and sometimes those differences are something you can't bridge. Let them figure out themselves what important values they think are different between the two of you. They will eventually. Model the values you want to pass on to your child, don't preach and tell them all about it. "He is a lying sob" isn't going to be nearly as healthy or as effective as simply modeling being honest and committed in your own relationships and telling them that Daddy has found that he doesn't like being married to you and letting them ask HIM why if that is the problem, or that he wanted to live somewhere else and again let Him offer the explanations for his behavior. Or that daddy has a hard time following rules if he is in jail or whatever. Never give them more information than they ask for and the details of what happened and why are not important unless they ask. Always remember that kids have the right to love and be loved by both parents and to make their own judgements based on what they see and experience with their parents. Give them the truth but let them figure out for themselves what they think and how they feel about the other parent, never put them in the middle. And again 'age appropriate' is important. Daddy is going to live somewhere else now might be appropriate for a todler and all the information they need unless they ask for more. And if they do keep those answers simple too. Why? Because we don't think it is good to be fighting all the time, etc. True but simple and no more information than they ask for. When they are capable of asking more complex questions then they are probably capable of accepting more complex answers....

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4 12

I too am in this situation and We(parent/child) see a therapist that deals with children, for this very reason. The time to start talking about it, is when your child asks. I would caution to be very careful and question what they REALLY WANT to know. At a young age, 5 yrs or so, I told her that her Dad lives in another state and is not able to see her but loves her very much. She is now 10 and I have told her that he loves her but is not able to make good/safe choice for himself or for her, so Mommy has had to make the decision to keep us distant. Of course my situation is a choice on my part, as the father, is not of good sound mind and is a user of drugs and alcohol and the truth is that he DOESN'T make good choices. I will become clearer as she gets older but one thing I was told never to do, is talk poorly of her father, as attacking him is like attacking her DNA, as he is a part of who she is, good or bad. Keep talking with the child and processing as much as he/she needs to, so that they do not carry the burdon of thinking it was their fault. Also finding a safeand constant male figure, is a great idea, but I emphasize, safe and constant. This would be best as a relative and not a boyfriend. Some one commited to her life.

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I really like your input. My daughter is 10 months old and the I had to make the choice of her father not being able to be in her life because his life style and mentality is the same as yours. But everyday I ask myself if I have made the right decission by following my gut and keeping him out of the picture. Everyday I am assured that I have by him not even trying to be in her life. But it still hurts and it's still super hard everyday to look at my daughter and know that she wont have a father. And that kills me becasue my father died when I was 12 and I know how hard it is sometimes. But thank you again! I have a better idea of how to go about the questions in the years to come when she starts to realize that some kids have their dads in the picture!

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30 52

I have a 10 year old who's bio dad is not around. When she asked why he wasn't there I explained that he was making decisions that aren't good for her to be around. That he is a good person, but that right now, it's not a good idea for her to be exposed to the decisions he is making. About a year after this she came to me and asked if he was involved with drugs. He is and I told her yes, while stressing that he is an addict and so he has a disease that makes it hard to stop making these bad decisions. Now, I go to NA meetings and she knows this about me so for me to tell her that wasn't a big shock or anything. I am of the opinion that if a child asks a question, they are prepared for an age appropriate answer. She asks about him sometimes and I always give her the most accurate and age appropriate answer that I can. I don't think that lying would make things better.

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im pretty much in the same boat. my sons father has been in and out of his life and really bad on drughs. hes keeps asking me y his daddy doesnt love him anymore. i told him that he does but he needs to help himself before he can be there for him. my son is only 4 but he will understand more when he is older.

5 4

This may not come up at all a lot depends on when you split up or if the child was born after the relationship ended. I would not plan an age but be prepared to answer any questions with honesty and gentleness. Explaining that it is not their fault. Don't go into too much detail and if the relationship is still difficult or impossible because of violence then tread carefully. Children will grow up happy and secure with one loving parent. and be kind to yourself too people make mistakes and being in a relationship that ends badly is a common experience. BE Honest, BE gentle. BE Kind to yourself.

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My two children, now 11 and 7, unfortunately know why their daddy isn’t at home anymore. The day my daughter turned 7, he suffered a heart attack, which resulted in a severe brain injury. He has been hospitalized since. I was very honest with them from the beginning, though back then, even I had hope for recovery, and an eventual return home. Four plus years later, this will never be the case. If I was to count them up, I have spent many hours, and spoken through many tears, just to explain to them that their daddy never would have chosen to leave them, and would do anything in the world to be part of their lives again, however, the universe had another plan for all of us.

They now understand that he will never come home, and I think they even accept that he no longer really knows us on our visits, but when they do go, he is still daddy, regardless. For whatever it is worth, whether he recognizes us or not, the children still bring smiles (and tears) to his face.

The hardest days are those when something as simple as a school project about family or even a television commercial which involves a father and child bring about the heart wrenching pain I see in their faces. Even now I tear up thinking about what they lost. It isn’t about me, I had him for 12 years. It isn’t about his family, they had him for 39 years. It would be selfish of all of us to focus on our loss, but the children, they had such a short time with him, and that breaks my heart. My girl will live each birthday from now on remembering her 7th b-day nightmare, and my boy, well 3 ½ years were not quite enough to have tangible memories. He makes many memories up… I let him. They are his to hold close to his heart, and if they make him happy, so be it!

Most importantly, while times are tough, and the 3 of know why, we will make it through it all. The kids will forever know that their daddy loved them more than anything in his entire world, and I will always be there to remind them of that!

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I'm sorry you have to go through this. That was touching, and I hope more people get to read it. :)

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9 12

My daughter is 4 1/2. Her biological father is a rare part of her life. Whenever she wants to know why he hasn't come to get her I ask her if she wants to call him and see.
I feel that it is important to pay attention to how mentally developed your child is. I haven't discussed with her the full reason that he is gone. But I do try to not belittle him around her. My family is also working on this problem, they feel as though he doesn't deserve to see her. While I am blessed to have a strong support system I am thankful that I don't have to deal with telling her the whole reason yet. Its not something I think she can handle yet. I do think that @ 4 she is old enough to start asking him why he's not around, But as I have read before it is important that I don't power-play with her. I make sure that she has an oppertunity to talk to him when she wants. But I also don't force her into it.

Hope that helps.

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Give him or her an age appropriate answer if you don't know what to say, You need to find a children's therapist to help explain to the child early on all the questions they have in an appropriate way. There are things as a single mom I would never tell my son that my ex husband has done to us both. I do not want him to feel like he cannot talk to me about things. So i set a good example by ex: praying for my ex husband and his family, encouraging him to speak about them freely, telling him he is so lucky to have so many people that love him. A good mom will try to hold her tongue around her children. The Dad may be no good, not paying child support, absent and always has been from that child's life, BUT THAT IS STILL PART OF THE CHILD. I know I have struggled with it. My son calls his bio dad by his first name or add's daddy then his name. Its whatever to me. It's all about my son, and what's best for him

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When they ask....there is always a way to communicate with your children. If they ask then it is the right time to provide an answer. I believe that you should focus on the good things as their father was once your lover. Our children will be affected by the story you tell, so tell the good one and leave the rest of the story for them to write if//when the time comes.

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i just want to share my experience and testimony here.. i was married for 4 years to my husband and all of a sudden, another woman came into the picture.. he started hailing me and he was abusive..but i still loved him with all my heart and wanted him at all cost…then he filed for divorce..my whole life was turning apart and i didn't know what to do..he moved out of the house and abandoned the kids.. so someone told me about trying spiritual means to get my husband back and introduced me to a spell caster…so i decided to try it reluctantly..although i didn't believe in all those things… then when he did the special prayers and spell, after 2days, my husband came back and was pleading..he had realized his mistakes..i just couldn't believe it.. anyways we are back together now and we are happy..in case anyone needs this man, his email address olotospellhome@yahoo.com his spells is for a better life. again his email is olotospellhome@yahoo.com

9 0

I am a big believer in owning ones mistake...if you are a horrible judge of character and made a child/children with an unfit parent you should appologize for not being wiser and planning better. It's a raw deal to have a parent missing from your life...they are both profoundly important to psychological and social development. I would also encourage you to nurture any relationship between your child and a safe friend or family member that is willing to provide a gender substitute for the missing parent. Grandparents , aunts and uncles are 1st choices as they have a life investment in you child but please NOT A BOYFRIEND OR GIRLFRIEND!
So short answer... when your child starts asking it's time to start owning so they NEVER FOR ONE SECOND feel that it was ever their fault that one of the most important human beings in their young lives is not around.

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The problem with owning ones mistake is by telling your kid you made a child with an unfit parent, you are really dinging their self esteem. Even if you aren't saying anything bad about their dad, the fact that you are apologizing to them for your selection in a parent is akin to telling them they are a mistake or the product of one. As someone who grew up the product of such a relationship who's mom "owned it" and told me that my bio-dad was unfit, I really felt bad growing up and that was with some good male substitutes. I do like the rest of your advice, but sometimes it just isn't good to fully own it. It is more important that your child think they come from something wonderful instead of a bad decision... There really isn't anything you can say to make up for "you were the product of a mistake I made/bad decision" no matter how gracefully you word it.

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3 0

For all you Moms out there that keep your children from their Fathers perhaps you should join a father's rights group and see the other side. I have been in a 5 year custody battle to see my daughter in Germany where dogs have more rights than Fathers. I have moved to Germany to be with my kid - given up my career in NYC been thru 7 lawyers 3 judges 5 court appearances and only have 3 hours Tuesday and Saturday.

No over nights no vacations zero — now My daughter has been brainwashed that she can’t stay with me.
The world court ruled against Germany for human rights violation towards fathers in 2010--
Just this month Germany finally agreed they have to bring their laws into the right way.

What no one ever talks about about is this is run by the lawyers for money — the judges are in bed with the system..

Mothers are pawns in their money making scheme.. They use you to make their fortune — Is is sad because if Fathers got %50 at the start
They would be out of work very fast.

In Germany they are setting up the new law where every Father has to take every mother to court — The courts will be plugged up for years.

But please understand the Lawyers are buddies with the politicians and they are making sure they get their last EU’s before the system change and they will have to reinvent their business model.

With my ex I always says “ Just flip the rights . The visitaion.” Being German and believing in paper she would agree to this only if a judge would rule this way,

But her lawyer and the judge are buddies so never going to happen.

In closing I am a good father pay every month see her on the assigned days , bought a house with a big garden – I believed in the system and humanity.

The system has drained me financially and emotionally and has done my daughter no good.

My daughter and I are very close. We are defeated at every turn .

So try stepping into some Father’s shoes for a while. I hope posting this helps some child that misses her father.

Fred

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I read Fred's response and understand that the court system is geared towards mother's and their children. Looking for answers to some of my questions, it disheartens me to discover out of all the responses on this topic, it's about women helping women and no comments, support or words of encouragement for the men struggling to understand why they can't be with their kids. We're all not perfect in life and make mistakes. The women I have spoken to in my medical practice, for the most part, do position their kids between their ex-husbands and use them as a bargaining chip to exhort more money. The sincere fathers look for answers and most of them have jumped higher than they're asked with negative results. It's a waste of time and their money to go back to court because the ruling is often in their favor or they play stupid and have scores of reasons and answers to get out of the pickle they are in with the courts. I love my kids very much but work keeps me busy and the distance between us keeps us apart. The money I have sent them over the years has run out and the alimony she continues to receive is a reminder every month. My practice struggled a bit but continues to endure. I often hear from her after I have called and talked to the kids (as they are older now and off on their own) as they sometimes are bothered and trust going to her to talk some more...then out of the blue I get "the phone call" as she feels it's her place to talk and lecture me about what I have said to the children. If they have issues or questions, I tell them and her they should come to me and I will give them answers to their questions. Now I have discovered the rare occasions I discover events in their lives and I make the effort to attend to celebrate...it becomes all about "ME" instead of them. I make the trip, I take scores of pictures, I'm excited about being in their presence, I ask tons of questions...and suddenly the whole theme becomes ME instead of their event. Today, I have discovered my daughter is having a wedding ceremony, by invitation ONLY, and I'm not on the list. I discovered this during a google search for family genealogy (a hobby of mine) of her name and discovered a wedding page with all the info. I should add that in AUG2012, they had a brief civil wedding ceremony down here where I live for immediate family only, his and her's (me and my ex), then he deployed with the military overseas. They promised other family and friends a more formal ceremony the next year...and this is where we spoke. She didn't want me there and didn't invite me because other than special events I wasn't there on a regular basis. I should note that both kids live near and attended college closer to their mother than near me...that's fine, it's their choice. They received more visits and went home more often than making the trip my way. I understand, it was my choice to move away...I had to break free from her manipulating hold on me with the kids. And I live with that decision every day...because when ever I speak with them they always bring it up. Getting back to the wedding...She explained her reasons for not inviting me, I offered my rebuttal and sent her all my love and hopes for a wonderful event... So, as Fred has suggested, if the shoe were on the other foot then you could see where we're coming from. I've seen both sides and lived through it. My current wife lost custody of her son to her ex-husband and ended up paying child support...she struggled with visits, vacations, phone calls, gifts being taken away from her son and kept by her ex...she's been through it all. She has a bitterness that words can't describe...she also has a concealed weapons permit and is an excellent marksman. She looks for an opportunity to use it on him. She hasn't heard a word from her son in over 9 years now. Even her ex has no idea where he is today. I've been in your shoes Fred. I only hope I'll be allowed to share in the happiness of grand kids one day...I'll hold my breath.

0 7

My 5 year olds dad has been in and out of her life since she was 2. The first 2 years are just his stupidity in not claiming her as his own. Anyway, this past summer he actually was taking her on a weekly basis. Then he got a new job which meant he would only be able to see her on weekends. His conclusion of this is that he has more important things to do with his weekends (Drinking, smoking weed, slutting around...) He saw her in July, then in October, then for Christmas each time when he dropped her off he said "love you, I'll see you next week." So the next week would roll around and he didn't call and wouldn't answer his phone. My daughter asked why he wasn't coming and my answer to her was, "Your daddy didn't have a daddy when he was little so he doesn't know how to be a daddy." She seemed to accept that as an answer. Her birthday is coming up this month and I am guessing he might stop by to give her a present, then again maybe not since the state started garnishing his checks for child support payments that he hadn't been paying on his own. I also tell her that God is her daddy and that He is always with her... I'm sure she'll understand it more as she gets older. God is the head of our household so that answer works for us. My realtionship with God is the best thing that has happenened in my life... I was on the brink of death, and He saved me. Teach your childrean about God, it is the best relationship and the only one to fill the void they are feeling in their hearts.

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My Daughter's Father lives in a different state. She started asking at 3 why she didn't have one. I tolde her she did and everyone has one. I explained that he lived far away and although he could not be with her, he loved her. I didn't think I was lying because he said so when she was born and up until about a year and a half after that. She would have a breakdown twice a year wanting him to be a part of her life. I hugged her and cried with her. I always explained that everyone is not ready to be a parent and that if you force them to be it could have a negative impact like child and continuous rejection. I also explained that it had nothing to do with her and it was a choice he felt he had to make. I told her I was more than ready to be a parent and I will always be here with her as long as God knows she needs me to be here (She understood that people die and that was a fear of hers too). She accepted that. I never speak negative of him and I have allowed her to write him letters but I would explaining that she may not receive a response but she could just let him know how she was doing. I had to play it by ear and move on the topic when she did. I am always honest with her and adress issues as she asks and seems ready to receive the response. I have no hard feelings toward him...things happen and I share with her positive times we had together. She seems to get it. Best wishes!

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0 40

When they are old enough to understand. Each child is different. They will ask and you will know.

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63 55

It is important to understand your child and what their level of comprehension is. I told my son from the beginning what was happening during my divorce, but on a level he could understand and NOT demeaning their father in any way. I have chosen not to tell him when his dad's visitation is, just so there won't be any disappointment if there is a reason for a no show. They understand alot more than we give them credit for!

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My ex-husband and I split in 2008.It was VERY emotional for me and I tried MAKING my then husband see our son,but he made every excuse not too.He was not allowed to take him because he would not give me an address,but I told him he could see him whenever.He only saw him 2 times in a 8 months, time totaling 1.5 hours.When I moved back home, he didn't even come and say goodbye to him.4 months later,I filed for divorce.A month later we had a temporary hearing.That was the first time they had seen each other since May.He didn't see him until 6 months later when our divorce was final. Our decree stated that he could see him whenever he wanted but he had to COME and see him since there wasnt much of an "established" relationship and it wasnt in the best interest to have a then 3 year old travel 5 hours away from his mother.This was to remain in place for a year and then could be revised.He didn't fight/object to any of it.He would call sporadically, on Christmas, on his birthday.He NEVER sent him a gift and we NEVER made a big deal of it.When my son turned 5,we both remarried.He did not request for our son to attend his wedding and in his defense I would not have let him go.At that point, he had not come to see my son even once since the divorce.The following January (2012), my ex had requested to relinquish his rights.
I asked him why and he said "my son gets more money than my family over here does". After further "discussing", etc. I drew up papers and in May 2012 it was made official.The reason I tell my "life story" is because I struggle with the decision i made in agreeing with his.My son remembers his father and makes up little lies/stories about them together. He misses him, wants to see him. I don't know what to say. And I can't help but feel guilty for letting this happen. I have always struggled with knowing what the best thing was to do, and now I don't know how to deal with my son being sad and wanting to see his fàther.I don't want my son to blame me.

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4 0

Just because he was a lying, cheating jerk to me doesnt mean hes gonna treat my son with such disrespect. When i forgave him for all that he has put me through, it had made our live alot easier. We dont fight anymore and we dont have any negitive thought toward each other. We are only human we will all make mistakes. I do think as a parent we treat the other parent like their mistakes are way worse. I had to stop thinking like that. Every time his dad makes an effort i praise him. I always tell him. "I really appreciated you taking him to the zoo. He really enjoyed it. Hell be talking about this trip for a while." If he makes a promise and something comes up to where he cant take him to the zoo. I just simply say "Aw thats too bad. He was really looking forward to spending time with you. Maybe we can try again another time." I would rather do that then fight with him to where he feels attacked.

#1 in my book never mention MONEY or CHILD SUPPORT. It makes the guys feel like they are only good for money. They think thats the only reason why you want them around.

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There is never a good time to tell them. No matter what you say they are going to be hurt. However, my daughter found out about her dad around the age of 5. Not my choice. Children are mean, even to their own brotheres and sisters. She found out because one of her older sisters told her that the man who she called Daddy wasnt her dad! I WAS LIVID! I understand her sister was angry but it was uncalled for and hurtful. THis in turn caused a lot of emotional problems for her. She is now 16 almost 17 and is just now learning to deal with it. so this is a good question. I almost wish I would have just told her he was dead. But that would be lying to her and what kind of parent does that make me when I have taught them NOT to lie.

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my oldest daughter was conceived in a situation that ended with him in prison....somehow someone told her he was dead. When she started asking questions (she is nine) I explained that he wasnt dead but the situation was complicated and he was unable to be there for her. I dread the day when I have to explain how I got pregnant at 14 but she will always know she was Mamma's gift from God!

13 12

You tell them when they ask and then you have to be sensitive and cautious as to what you tell them. When my daughter asked me that question over a year ago, all I could tell her was that there wasn't a reason for him not to have been in her life. We may have not lived in the same city or state for the first 7 1/2 years of her life, but he always had phone numbers and addresses of her whereabouts and he chose to disconnect before she was 2. Before her 9th birthday, we moved back to the state where her father is and I tracked him down to let him know so that he could have a chance to get to know his daughter and for the 10 months we were there, he never managed to find the time or make an effort to be in her life. Now, he's just a voice on the phone that she hears on an average of 6 times a year and that's rounding up. We single parents bare the burden of either making the absent parent a good person or bad person, but usually the child will see them for who they are.

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I have 3 kids, they were 18 months, 4 yrs and 7 yrs when their father left, and I have always been upfront and honest with them right from the start. Of course they all understood things in different ways and I explained things as appropriate for their age, as they have gotten older they have more of an understanding....(although he lives overseas and no longer wants cantact with his kids), so this was something else I had to explain (not easy)

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I had an experience with my children asking many questions of him. And my replys are still same: I DON'T KNOW. And they did not get a point from me, then I had said, "THAT YOUR FATHER WANTS TO DO ANYTHING OR EVERYTHING WHEREVER OR WHATEVER HE GOES."

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While I agree with an age appropriate answer....I have been in this situation 3 times! I could never tell them a lie, but I could not tell the truth. So I just said, "you know hunny, I am not sure." Because truthfully I wasn't. I didnt know what the dad's REAL reason was. I just knew from my point of view, and that was never good. I surely did not want to say negative things, so I just reassured that I loved them and went on about something else. As they grew older, they were not stupid! They figured it out on their own and never have they been angry with me. Because in my heart, I knew I rally did not know the dad's TRUE reason in HIS heart as to why he was not there. And I too believe that we dont know everything they do or where they go or why they do it!

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I left my son's father when I was 9 weeks pregnant. He's been asking about his dad since he was 5 because all of his school friends had dads and he didn't. I simply told him that his father didn't treat mommy very well and I wanted to give him a loving home instead of an angry one. He hasn't asked since.

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Be Honest! Good or Bad it's Still Your Child. Don't give them the ammunition to Treat you differently in the Future...

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I think as soon as they start asking about them, it is time to tell the truth

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im trying to figure out how to tell my 4 year old son why "his daddy doesn't come to see him anymore" this is so hard for me so i can only imagine how hard it must be for him it completely breaks my heart watching the tears roll down his cheeks as he asks the question over and over.. I wish I could say your father is a meth addict and is a reckless pos but that would only hurt him more! I have said " Idk why but I know he love you" and when he asks where he is I can truthfully say " id son" but he is now starting to make excuses for why his dad hasn't come to see him.He has told his sister I wont let his dad come over, he has told me his dad is working that's why he doesn't come and most recently he was watching his 16 year old brother play video games where some got shot and then told his brother his dad was shot and that's why he couldn't come anymore.. I over heard this and almost lost it. I'm so angry that this is what my little guy is going through and although in my mind i know he is better with out his dads influence my heart is breaking because I don't even know what to say to help him begin to understand. I don't want to lie and i don't want to tell him the whole truth... and what I've been saying isn't enough... HELP

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i am sti confused , have no answer that how i talk to her about this

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That's a hard one. Right or wrong, the court decided that regardless of domestic violence which triggered my sons 6 week premature birth, resuscitation and time in intensive care, he was allowed to maintain a relationship with our son. Based on this I don't want to further hurt my son by telling him what his father did nor do I speak ill of him. He doesn't need to know what will hurt him in the future. One day when my son is an adult, and if he asks, ill leave that up to him to discuss with his father.

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I think I would use age-appropriate language free of judgment, and make sure the child knows that adult decisions are made by adults and have nothing to do with anything they did. Some good resources actually might be adoption books or websites; there are a lot of good suggestions for talking about different types of family structures in a non-judgmental way, and remembering that young children think everything is their fault. For instance, we tell my child that her biological parents could not work and did not have anywhere to live, so social workers found her a foster home when she was born. She is a preschooler and doesn't need more details. We tell her that her foster parents were very loving, but there started to be some problems when she was 2 and social workers felt she would be better off being adopted by a different family. All of this is accurate, nonjudgmental, emphasizes that adults made the decisions, and leaves out any unnecessary drama.

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My dad did this and never said a harsh word about my mother, but when I was sixteen I finally got the courage to ask her why she left and her response, "The bi-polar made me do it and you have a 35% chance of being just like me and getting the same thing." I was depressed for 6 months and wouldn't tell anyone what she said but, I was severely hurt by her non-responsibility response. I think that saying I don't know why don't you ask the other parent next time they call is a very wise approach just be sure to be close by and ready to assist your child with the response from the other parent cause what they say can impact your child's life not always in a positive way.

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my daughters father was descead when she was about 12 years of age. I have been with my fiance for about 13 years. she has known her step dad which was very good to her financially and emotionaly he would like her to call him dad but she is so devoteted to what she knew her first 10 yr. of life that i think she willl never allow it. I dont know why cause her step dad has always been there and I know her birth fatther would love to know that his little angel is in good hands. how can i convince my baby that she is not betraying the memory of her dad by letting another loving man into her life. I know she loves him but will never call him dad. so sad i wish i could get him to understand the love and devotion to her dad that was really in her life for only about 7 years. she is now 17 yrs. her father last gave her a birthday party around the age of 12 but bought her gifts for the age of a 5 yr.old that is where his mind was at the time. how can i get her to move on?????

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Am a single mom i dont know how i will tell her why hes not around but my mom wasa single parent as well she hasnt told me anything about my dad til this day i am 19 yrs old all i know is him name i think theres always a way but just dont lie about it and tell them let them know why hes nt around

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I believe children who are old enough [5 and over] can tell why mom and dad are nolonger together. They are witnesses to the inside workings and see a lot. So, mom best be careful and tell the truth, and state it is her side only.

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I have a 5yr old almost 6 and an 8 month old. It is hard for my older boy to understand why my babies dad lives with us. You see his father and new partner have had a baby last year and since the new arrival my son no longer wants to see his father. I am at a loss as what to do and he has asked why me and daddy are not together. I know why we are not together but do not know how to say it to him. You see the truth is his father was more concerned about going out with his friends and some other things that it came to a head. I don't want to tell my son that it was because he didn't care about us. Can anybody help me????

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I'm not sure if I can help but I can relate and possibly give you an example of advice. I had 2 children fairly young with my first husband. He also wanted to party and live impulsively, it was really hard on me back then as I never knew what to expect or if things were ok. Things came to a head with us and I also discovered he had cheated many times. He loved us as his family, but he also had such attitude and refused to compromise with his party habits which led to him having a lot of secrets. We separated when our son was 4 and my daughter, 22 months old. It's been 10 years since then and I've never regretted parting ways with him. I've never spoken badly or told the kids why we aren't together either. They don't need to know. I also don't want them growing up to take sides based on the past because they are such adorable and innocent children who shouldn't base who they are (self esteem wise) on something they can't understand at they're age. All I've told them, is that were not together but daddy gave me you and I wouldn't change a thing. They have a good relationship with they're dad because its they're own relationship. He's been very honest with them and told them that he was recently diagnosed with ADHD and that it can be hard. I'm really glad that I never rubbished him or hurt my kids by doing that. They figure it out for themselves based on the relationship they have with they're dad. X

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i think we should tell them when they have reached the right age to understand things .a mother will just know when the right time comes.

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My 4 year old is way ahead of her age. She asked recently and I explained it to her. He was in and out of her life until last year and then just didnt care anymore. So she remembered him and I felt that she deserves to know.

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It depends upon the reason he is not there. You need to make sure that the child is old enough to understand what you tell them. Do not make the father out to be the bad guy. That will come back and bite you in the butt. Tell them the truth all the time.

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My first question is why isn't daddy there? If there's abuse, don't tell them until they're adults, give them copies of the police reports, and let them choose for themselves. If dad has passed, tell the child from the day dad passed that dad loved him, but he's in heaven with Jesus, or pick your adjective. I personally believe muslim is no different than christian, the books read pretty much the same, but whatever works for you

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when the child is old enough to understand what it is your saying and no matter what age ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH!!! What I was told and what I did was... Lets say 2 yrs old, "Daddy go bye bye?" "Noooo, Daddy lives in a DIFFERENT house!" "ohhhh" says the little one

5yrs old "mommy, why is Greg's Daddy home and my Daddy isn't"' "well, Greg's Mommy and Daddy are still together and live in the same home, your daddy is in Heaven... (this is my son, not my daughter)... "oohhhhh, " he says, "But that's not fair, Mommy!!!" "I know baby, it's not fair, would you like to give Grandpa a call and say Hi and talk boy stuff?" "YEAHHHH!" (re-direct)

NOW, my 10 yr old daughter who's Dad cheated and moved away at her age 2.. "Mom, why can't MY Daddy pick me up from school like the other Dad's? Why does my Dad never call or see me?" answer, "I don't know why sweetheart, Dad has our address and phone number and I have told him he could come visit whenever he wants" her "sheeesh, My Dad is stupid!"

10 year old son, who's Dad died when he was just turning 3... "MY DADDY IS GONE AND IS NEVER COMING BACK!!!! WHYYYYYY, WHYYYYY, WHYYYYY? MOM? THIS ISN'T FAIR!!! I WANT MY DADDY!!!!!!" **tears now** We cried as a balloon floated away, which triggered a memory of us letting balloons go with messages to heaven his whole life... NOW, he gets it, he understands the meaning of forever.... He is now 22 and doing absolutely wonderful... Owns his own home, works hard and is a musician and guitar builder for a GREAT company...

Now 16 yr old daughter, Dad comes to visit and is here to greet her as she comes home from Christian camp... He say's "HI BABY!!! How are you doing? I missed you!!" hugs her, she hugs back and says "I have been here, in the same place since I was 3... WHERE have you been? WHY haven't YOU tried to come see me? YOU don't KNOW ME! You have NEVER been here... Do you know how that made me feel? Do you know how many tears I have cried...? ALL you had to do was call and say HI and talk to me.. but you didn't, so now... I don't trust you and I don't want to get my hopes up that you won't disappear again..." After about 9 months of talking and a great sweet 16 present.... he has not returned phone calls and has been absent for almost 4 months now...

The goal of this story is that I have 2 different situations,
1. unpreventable truth that Daddy is in Heaven... give age appropriate information and NEVER lie and say he is on vacation, they WILL figure it out.
2. deadbeat Dad that has never given 1 dime to her for support, been IN her life for only 9 months and HURT HER AGAIN!!! ughhh I am so mad.. That was his last chance to not let her down and for her to maybe forgive the past.. BUT, like she anticipated, he left her again!. BUT, I always told her the truth for her age, never Daddy will be back next week, or THIS present under the tree is from your DADDY, yeahhhh he remembered Christmas... IF THEY DON'T, don't make them a hero in little kid eyes!!

Sorry so long,
this is just my life
Melissa

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