Daughter is upset at not having Mommy and Daddy living in the same house like her friends have

Suzie - posted on 09/18/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 3. Her Dad and I separated when she was a baby so she only knows this life. Recently, she has really been struggling with the fact that her Mommy and Daddy doesn't live in the same house like her friends at school.



I tell her all families are different. I talk about all of the people in our family that love her. I talk about how happy the home is we live in. She has a "stepdad" figure (my boyfriend who has been around since she was 1) that we live with so she does have a strong sense of family, accepatance, etc. But she still asks all the time why she doesn't have that. It breaks me heart to hear her say it.



She knows that Daddy and Mommy don't live in the same house because when we did it was a "sad house" filled with arguing and I didn't want her to grow up living in a sad house.



What do you say to help children come to peace with the life they have?

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6 Comments

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Sandra - posted on 09/22/2012

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I wrote a little book for my daughter to explain her family and it introduces that we all have different kinds of families. It is about a giraffe who's dad gets lost in the jungle. You can see it at www.abovethetrees.ca

It explains that the family that you have is "perfect for you"..excerpt from the book: some have two mommies, two daddies, one mom, or one dad, there were grandma's, aunts and uncles, and even grand dads, each jungle family looked as right as right could be, there was even a small giraffe foster family." It is beautifully illustrated and gives the child the message that they will always be loved and protected and it even meantions...a child looking at other families, wanting what they have. Please take a look. I am not trying to sell books, but I wrote this as a gift, and hope that it touches other;s hearts the same way. We are also on Facebook - Above the Trees. The book is written for ages 3- 7 , but the deeper meaning is good for older kids to come to an understanding of their lives. Good Luck with your daugther.

Love & Light

Amanda - posted on 09/21/2012

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You are doing the right thing. My son is four and he hasn't seen his dad since he was four months old. He has yet to ask where dad is, but when he was three he said he wanted to go to the store to buy a daddy and get me a man. I tried not laugh because it reminded me of the movie where the kids wish they had a new mom and get to go buy a new one. But I just told him it doesn't work that way. One day he may have a new dad, still doesn't, but he was fine with that answer. As to what I would say if he did ask, the same thing you did. We were not happy and it just didn't work out. I wont tell him that he walked out on us till he gets older because I just don't want him growing up thinking he isn't good enough. Also, if your parents are in her life, ask them tell her the same thing. Maybe not in the same way, but that they love her and are her family no matter where they live. If her dad is in the picture you need to tell him what she said and both of you, yes both, would need to sit down and tell her. Maybe hearing it from both of you would help. But all I can say is that you are doing the same way I will with my son. Kids can be mean, but also if the teacher said that a family is a mom, dad and kids she may also have gotten the idea that she did something wrong. She may think that she caused dad to leave, and no matter how many times you say it, it will be there. Kids hang on every word a teach says, I know my son was like that in per-school. I got lucky and there was a few kids with just a mom or just a dad so it never came up, but now he is in kindergarten and I it will at some point, but lucky for me they ask if the kid has both parents so they know the first day how to talk about families and she was good and said everyone has a different family. Some live just mom, some with just dad, some with both. Some live with grandma and grandpa or some live with everyone. Hang in there. She will get it.

Suzie - posted on 09/18/2012

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Thanks, Bobbie... I do need to ask her about who is talking about families. I think it may be partly due to the first week of school/bring in things that tell us about yourself and your family life, etc. Obviously, her was a bit different then other kids. Unfortunately, I don't know of one kid in her class that is from a divorced set of parents and now that you mention it, I do find it strange considering the modern family type of world we live in!



I will have to ask her about it more...



I think the saddest thing to see is that no matter how much I try to assure her and build her confidence, a three-year old has insecurities! I mean I knew insecurities would come up or having to explain her family was different to friends might be a little hard for her... in elementary school! But I never considered it happening now at her age and then with such frequency. She must mention it at least once or twice a day.

Bobbie - posted on 09/18/2012

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Sarah, So happy to hear your response. Your stance takes on a much stronger tone than the original post. Just goes to show you how the written word is more difficult to understand than when discussed face to face.

I would still ask her exactly who brings it up at school and what they say to her about it. Let's face it, it can't be true that all her class mates have both parents. I mean what are the odds in this day and age of gay couples, single parenting by choice and divorce.

Bullying can take on many faces and it would be a shame for her to become upset by what someone say at such a young age without being guided to speak up to that person and tell them to mind their own business.

Suzie - posted on 09/18/2012

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I try to stay as positive as possible. I don't act sad around her or coddle her because of it. I just talk with her about why families are different and what is good about having two homes, etc. Usually we end up talking about it in the car on the way home from school.



In our house we try to "focus on the what we do have and not on what we don't have".... She has so much more that some have in a 2-parent home (I'm not talking toys, I am talking about opportunities like good school, parental/grandparent involement, d her first reaction (thanks to her father's attitude) is to think about the negative side of things or what she doesn't have. So I think a lot of it is just.... her... and her response to things.



Maybe I will get a book...

Bobbie - posted on 09/18/2012

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My suggestion is to not react to it. Rather ask her what kinds of things are being said at school about families. Chances are there is one bad egg bossing her around or making her feel bad by saying things about her dad not living with her. We all know how mean kids can get. I wonder, has she said anything about being bullied?

I wouldn't let her see you be distressed or sad when she talks about not having this so called idea of family. Don't cuddle her as if she has a boo boo that can't be fixed. This just lends to her belief that there is something missing. I would go to the library and check out books of family from the children's department. I looked up a few on my local free library site under the children's section "WHO IS IN MY FAMILY" "MY DADDY DOESN'T SLEEP HERE"

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