how do i answer the question "momma, where's daddy?"

Magen - posted on 04/15/2010 ( 33 moms have responded )

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my son will be three in less than a month and he is well old enough to realize when his dad ditches him. the most heart breaking part though, is when he asks where his dad is, where did daddy go, and mom, i miss daddy. what are your suggestions on this? i have just been telling him that his dad is at work because it is a neutral excuse.

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Tiffany - posted on 04/15/2010

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I would just say something along the lines of I don't know why don't we ask him the next time we see him. Instead of making excuses for him. I wouldn't want to lie. My ex expected his other daughter's mother to lie for him all the time, it wasn't good. You want them to trust you.

Charlotte - posted on 04/21/2010

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Lying now only leads to the child mistrusting you when the truth is revealed, you are the one person that they can rely on and trust like no other. The implications of lying now leads to a mass of confusion and frustration later in life........ I speak from personal experience and beg that you be as honest as the childs age or itelligence allows.

Charlotte - posted on 04/21/2010

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My beautiful baby is 6 and she asks alot of questions but all i can tell her is the truth " some daddys are gd daddys but some arent and cant look after children all the time sometimes not ever but he loves you very very much just as much as i do and maybe one day he'll be able to help mummy look after you"
Please dont tell your child their father is at work, my mum did this to me and all i did was wait at the door for him, he never came home and even as little as 3 they understand far more than you could possibly imagine. Explaining that you and daddy dont love each other or even make each other sad so daddy has gone to live in another house will answer the questions sooooooooo much better.
Ladies my kids are 6 and 9, i'm also a single mum and a child psychologist and have had some seriously uncomfortable conversations with my two and even some real agression from the kids but by the time they go to bed and you've reassured them that your not going anywhere and you love them, they will be fine! Promise!

[deleted account]

You don't want to lie to your kid because then they won't trust you as they grow up trust me I know from the experience.

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Laura - posted on 05/11/2010

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one day at a time.....My kids dad was there when they were little even though we were divorced. Then things changed. Break your heart???? When you pre-teen son comes to you and tells you that it is going to be bad for his little sister when the new babies are born. He told me he was used to it (the treatment) but, it wasn't fair to his sister. He was right and both of my children payed for the neglect. People do change! Sometimes it takes them awhile. It was my responsiblilty to teach them forgiveness. Not for the ex-husband sake, but for my children. I wanted them whole not broken because of someones else stupidity. I am very proud to say that with or without the ex's change my kids are whole. They just got a bonus when dad finally asked for forgiveness from them and they were able to give it. You just have to make sure that your children are not reading in on how you are feeling and make it their own. As far as it's okay to lie to your kids????? I never did. My son knew what was going on and would have challenged me on it if I would have. Yes even as early as 4 & 5 he was smart!!!!!!!!.......teach truth with love.......you will get the same in return.

Kathy - posted on 05/08/2010

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I have raised my 5yr old twin on my own. I explained to them that all families are different, Some families only have a mom and some only have a dad or gradpa or granny. My kids have been raised around a great circle of friends and identify them as important people in their lives. We need to get away from labels and see what is important.

Stephanie - posted on 04/21/2010

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My son will be 6 september 23. His father ditched him at 6 days old. When he got his papers for child support, he quit his job, ditched his appartment and left the state. He's even hiding from child support enforcement too. My boyfriend is a much older man with grandchildren older than my son, but he thinks of him as his dad. But what am I to tell him about his father? There is no easy answer, but at work is no answer. I will tell mine the truth, and know he will be ok, because of the love he gets at home.

Nadine - posted on 04/21/2010

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I agree with the comments about asking daddy together, next time he comes. Let daddy explain it! You shouldnt have to be the 'baddie' or the one who makes excuses so that your poor childs heart isnt broken :( Thats so so sad.

My sons father comes to see him 2x a week and im HOPING that that will last. I think it will though. Id wring his neck if he ever hurt my babies heart like that :(

[deleted account]

Its difficult to really look into your kid's eyes & try not to make them cry, or make the situation worse. First, I'm sorry you have to deal with that. My son's dad is in the military & he's always saying "Daddy". And when we leave, he is always cranky. He's only about 20 months, but despite of him being so young, he knows. They always have a great time together & bond, yet when it gets to the point where we have to leave, its heart breaking for both his Dad & my son. Maybe something that would help is if you have pictures of him, show them to your son. Letting him know who it is in the picture. Maybe phone calls to his dad. Unless the dad really doesn't want to take part in your kid's life. I don't really know the full situation of what you're going through, but I know how important it is to keep your son's dad in the picture.

Neeko - posted on 04/21/2010

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Just tell your son "Daddy is not ready to be a Daddy right now"But he'll come around

Jennifer - posted on 04/21/2010

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I actually had to take my 2 daughters to a therapist because of their dad. He told me I was doing a great job and to keep up what ever I was doing. I asked him directly about lying to them. He said that at 4 and 5 they were to young to understand the actual truth and lying to them to a degree is fine. When they would ask, I either said he was at work or that I didn't know. I have never told them that he loves them as I have no clue how a father can love their children and leave them. He has not seen the girls in well over a year and the last time him actually played with them has been almost 2 years. Now that the girls are 7 and 8 the questions have started to get less and less but occasionally they come up with a tough one that I have to think about before giving them an answer.

Amber - posted on 04/20/2010

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I lied to my oldest for the last three years. Every time dad didn't show up, dad gave him back early, dad didn't find a way to the birthday. I have recently been approached with the new question "why does daddy hate us (him and his brother) but loves baby "sister name". I have decided that I am tired of lying to him and it is just not fair to try and make daddy look like and angel or the victim just so my kids don't hurt. Cause in reality they are still getting hurt just not for the right reason. I instead had a sit down with him, explaining that because of daddy's issues right now he does not have the time in his life to be a good daddy. Daddy will always love them in his heart but for now, daddy just is not able to be daddy. Maybe one day that will change but for now - he can always count on mommy (and whoever else is around).

Laura - posted on 04/20/2010

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Unfortunately your son will discover the truth by himself in due time. If you don't know where his father is then tell him so. I wouldn't ever lie for the man. I would suggest that you soften the blow as much as possible. Other wise he may start to feel like its because of him that dad does what he does. You stay positive and so will your son. Just remember what ever the problem in the future may be......If you don't know the answer to a question it is okay to tell your son that you don't know. You will be teaching him honesty by your own actions. (it will enable your son to know - go to mom for the truth - always) He is going to need that with his dad acting this way. Good luck to you.

Cheryl-anne - posted on 04/20/2010

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I have to agree with the lady name tania stewart,age appropiate answer's and as time goes on then always be honest without hurting oneanother for we cannot change the other' parent's behaviour but we can show our children love ,loyaltiy,honesty and commitment to their well being and then our children (time again) will decide on their own how they feel about the other parents absence.and give them support to go throught this journey together,be strong ,seek support groups and know that you have a gift (your child):)

Tania - posted on 04/20/2010

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Some Dad's just have no idea just how difficult it is for us mothers in these often tough situations. We want the best for our children...our natural instinct is to protect them from being hurt (sometimes over and over)...there really is no easy answer and I am certainly not looking forward to those questions from my 15 month old son. My approach is an age appropriate, honest, answer. Single parents are NOT given enough credit for the fabulous job we do not just in the day to day parenting but these tough times also. You will know the right thing to say.....and I wish you all the best....

Rebecca - posted on 04/20/2010

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hi i have the same prob, he only has charlie 2 days a week only when he is not busy and it breaks my heart when he goes cause he doesnt want to go and cries and cries i just have to walk away

Fatimoh - posted on 04/19/2010

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My son is going to be 3 in July, when he me that ? I tell him "he is working". Chilren that age would not understand that mommy and daddy are not together. So his day is working most of the time, the othere time, i don't know what is dad is up to....when they are about 5 or older they can understand whats going on a little but not fully....sometimes if my son ask for his dad, i call his dad and let them talk...

Veena - posted on 04/19/2010

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My son is gonna be 4... and just started formal school.... so this has become a constant question as he see both parents coming to leave the kid... i had been telling him mom & dad can't live together without fighting, so dad has his own place & mom has hers. then i tell him all the good things we have like granny n his uncle/ aunts to take care of him where as other kids don't have soo many people to love them... i guess he understands the situation... or may be i am hoping he will understand it someday....

Sarah - posted on 04/19/2010

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My son is 3 and i'm constatly running into this...i've started calling his dad and telling him his son wants to talk to him, let him talk and when he gets upset while talking and hands me the phone...i tell my X exactly what happens ....i've done my best to connect and when my son gets older, he will realize it.

Shawna - posted on 04/19/2010

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My 10 year old asked where dad went when he left 2 years ago. I explained to her mom & dad can't live together without fighting, so dad has his own place & mom has hers. She has his cell number and can call whenever she feels like. I told her the truth and she's ok with that. Shes happy with that, now she has 2 rooms rather than 1.

Carmen - posted on 04/19/2010

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I agree with one of the ladies to have him ask him. I also have a five year old son who wonders about his partime dad. I don't talk bad about him. I anwer all questions as honestly as i can, i dont make excuses or tell him stories because we have to remember that our kids look up to us for answers and we don't want to break that bond. Eventually our kids will see them for who they really are and make their own decisions. I know first hand how painful this can be, but we can only be the best mom's we can be. We need to be strong and offer our unconditional love. I also again suggest you have him call him and ask him, your not putting it off on him, but you can only answer for your actions not the actions of others. Your child will respect you more for this.

India - posted on 04/18/2010

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Whatever you do dont make dad look like the bad guy, men make themselves look bad enough without any help from us. You dont have to lie,but honestly a three year old dosnt need to know everything, just use discretion when telling him where daddy is, and he will learn more as he gets older.

Rose - posted on 04/18/2010

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Tell the truth and don't go into a lot of detail. If you are not together don't bash dad. Children ask a lot of questions and just need an honest answer.

Juliet - posted on 04/18/2010

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I answer my daughter's questions with an honest I don't know. I don't know why one day he just decided not to be involved with her and I don't know where he is.... There is no right answer to this question because bottom line is they should be there. We will never understand how men's minds work when it come to our babies.....

Billie - posted on 04/18/2010

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My son, who is 4, saw his daddy in a picture the other day and asked who he was. I didn't know how to respond either. I just changed the subject but I know that I am going to have to deal with that question so if you figure this one out let me know.

Erin - posted on 04/18/2010

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My daughter just recently started asking about if she has a dad (he's never been in her life) I told her yes but he just doesn't know how to be a dad..I posted this question here and all replies said be HONEST!! Good luck!!

Tara - posted on 04/17/2010

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I have always kinda wondered the same thing on what to tell a kid when they ask about the other parent.. My son just turned 5 this past march, his father has been in and out of his life the whole time and most of the time it was due to him being in jail and he would say it isnt my fault that i am in jail and i would be like oh its not then who's is it. mine!!! But now that Dakota is old enough (because he has always asked about his daddy) i just tell him that daddy is in jail, and now he has been asking why is daddy in jail and i told him the trouth daddy was on probation (as i tryed to explain probation) and that he didnt listen to his probation officer like he should have and he didnt check in when the probation officer asked him to.. then once n awhile he will say oh so my daddy is a bad boy, and i said no you know how you and mommy aka myself make bad choices sometimes when we get a time-out or mommy takes your computer away he says yah i said well its kinda the smae thing everyone makes bad dission's you just got to learn from them so you dont do it again and again... It is really hard thou even when his dad wasnt in jail he was just to busy we live in maine and he did too.. and he moved to NH quote on quote to go to college that he wasnt even in for not evn a mOnTH boy o boy wasnt i pissed. But anyways now his girlfriend that he cheats on all the time and his mother live down n NH also.. he moved his mother down there, IDK i am just so sick of my son not having a male rolemotel to look at and do all the boy things together.. sucks big timE!

Robin - posted on 04/17/2010

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My son is 20 months old, his father is a commercial diver and see's him very little, we are not together either. I often speak for both of us, like, mommy and daddy love you, mommy and daddy wish you a good night sleep; I hope this helps him be away from his father. His job is what makes him be away at a last minute notice so I have to be very careful about how close to his visit I let him know his dad will be coming. I have not kept track but I think I usually wait until he is headed to the airport or in the drivers seat!

Lindsey - posted on 04/16/2010

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Try not to put your child's father down, because they will se it in the future for themselves. Luckely she didn't ask that much but when she did I would just tell her I wan't sure. I like the "let's ask him when we see him" response. She's 7 now, so when she misses him I let her call and ask the questions. She see's now the efforts we make and the little effort he makes. And she's only 7. It's hard when she cries because she misses him though.

Jeannie - posted on 04/16/2010

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I know what u mean, my son is 8 and it's almost an everyday question....when he was younger I just told him that daddy couldn't be around but that he loved him very much, but now I tell him the truth to a degree...I tell him daddy wont answer my calls or call me back, but no matter what that he loves you very much...it's a hard one but you have to make sure they know that it's not there fault no matter what.

Magen - posted on 04/15/2010

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i dont really want to tell him that his father is skipping out on him though. i think that it would be somewhat distasteful and childish of me to speak ill of his father. i guess i will do the best that i can, and let him figure it out on his own as he ages. thanx!

Magen - posted on 04/15/2010

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his dad only wants to pick him up and see him when he finds it convenient, which is sometimes once a week, and sometimes once a month. i guess i just feel bad giving him an excuse, or saying that his dad had something "better" to do

[deleted account]

I know what ya mean. My daughter is gonna be 3 next month & she is always asking where is daddy. I tell her the truth to where he is & tell her that he will be home later.

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