how do you talk to your child about her dad that has never been there?

Erin - posted on 12/30/2009 ( 70 moms have responded )

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I have a 6yr old daughter that I have raised on my own (with the help of my parents) her papa was her father figure but passed away this last summer. She says she doesn't have a dad, not sure how to handle this, her dad chooses not to be in the picture which is fine with me. I just would like some input on how to talk to her about it. I know the questions are coming..any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!!
Erin

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Sule - posted on 08/14/2011

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First I would tell her that she is an amazing daughter and anybody would be lucky and special to have some one like her. I would also tell her that her biological father did not know how to be a good father, perhaps someday he may learn to do so. Emphasis that this on him and perhaps he himself did not have a good daddy to show him how to be a good one. Tell her that you feel lucky to be her mother and anyone who does not think so would be out of their mind. Perhaps her father will learn how to be a better daddy someday but this is not her fault. Always let her know this is NOT her fault and this is her father's lack of ability to do the right thing at this time.

Melissa - posted on 01/03/2010

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That is certainly a tough question, one I myself have thought about since I was a month and a half pregnant. My daughter is 2 now. Her father didn't leave by choice per say, although after learning much more later on, I am certain he would have. I turned her father into authorities after finding child pornography on his computer. I wrestle everyday with guilt of knowing he was MY mistake and not hers. I have told all my family and friends that when she starts asking questions that they are for ME to answer and that NO ONE better speak one bad word about him. I do not want her growing up thinking there is something wrong with her because of what her father did. My father was not there as I grew and my mother used to tell me "Your father loves you as much as he is capable of loving anyone." I never questioned that. I don't, for one moment, pretend to believe that would be a suitable answer for my own daughter as I know in my heart of hearts that her father is incapable of loving anyone.

I firmly believe the first step is to get past any and all anger, if there is any, you may feel towards him. Or at least be able to mask in when speaking about him to your child. I came to terms with things by realizing that regardless what/who he is and what he did, without him, I would not have her...and I would not change having her for anything in the world.

I agree with many who have replied that age appropriate answers are best. I have saved everything pertaining to him, his arres, court and sentencing information and have it under lock and key. One of these days, in the very very far future, it will be hers, if she wants it...and only when I feel she is capable of handling the full truth. There may come a day when she wants to meet her father and I don't want her to do so being unprepared.

So far she is not old enough to realize "My daddy isn't here." At this point, I am still clueless as to what I am going to tell her. I only hope that thinking about it, pondering it, praying about it will bring the answers that she needs.

[deleted account]

Hello all you wonderful, strong women! I have read your comments b.c. I too, have a wonderful, amazing little girl who will be 4 this September. She never asks about her Dad. He left when she was 1 yrs old and saw her once since. He does not financially support her either. I will be honest and answer her according to her development stage. I agree with the previous mom's that when she turns 18 yrs old, she can seek him out and develop whatever reln' she chooses. I will never dishonor her by speaking poorly about her Dad. I will say that he loves her in a special way in his heart, but he lives somewhere else. She has my dad and my wonderful brothers as male role models. She is strong and fiesty! I want to foster her independence and self-esteem. I never, ever want her to think that her father's failings as a man or human being is because of her or a reflection of her. Period. I cannot control him or his choices. I only can control mine and I will try to foster a peaceful, loving environment for her no matter if he is in in her life or not. Thank you again for all your posts. I don't feel so alone in this sensitive matter...

Jamaica - posted on 01/31/2010

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NOT TRYING TO START ANYTHING OR NOTHING LIKE THAT BUT HOW COULD U ALLOW UR KIDS FATHER TO BE APART OF UR SONS LIFE WHILE THE DAUGHTER HAD TO SIT BACK AND WATCH THAT KNOWING HE DIDNT WANT HER AROUND? THERE IS NO WAY HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO DO THAT. IF HE HAD NO ROOM IN HIS LIFE OR HEART FOR BOTH OF THEM THEN UR SON SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN ALLOWED TO GO OVER THERE OR TO CALL HIM DAD AND THE DAUGHTER COULD NOT. THAT SENDS THE WRONG MESSAGE TO UR DAUGHTER. UR KIDS DAD IS A STUPID STUPID MAN FOR THAT BUT AS BOTH THEIR MOM U SHOULD HAVE NEVER ALLOWED HIM TO SHOW THAT BIG A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UR KIDS!!!

Gina - posted on 01/06/2010

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You were lucky there( I think) Once I sent the "donor" packing his side of the family wanted nothing to do with me or my son. Which I was ok with. I tried for almost 13 years to have this child and from the moment of conception I knew ther would be NO BOUNCING in and out of his life. Your in for life or your OUT forever.They chose the later. We are ok with it. If they want to see the child ther should be rules. They see her, DO NOT talk about the father. Bottom line>>> she is YOUR child. Any ?'s about him should come from you when the time is right. I never talked bad about him>>> just didn't talk about him!!!! Believ me when I say eventually they will figure it out for them selves what kind of father they have...

Any man can me a father... it takes someone special to be a dad!!!!!

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Kellie - posted on 07/19/2013

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you just need to be as honest as you can with out hurting her feelings. try to explain in a way she mite understand x

Chastity - posted on 12/24/2012

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I really liked your answer. My daughter just turned 5 yrs old and she has already started asking and I wasn't sure what to tell her, not wanting to hurt her. I manage o change the subject but I know I won't always be able to change the subject as she is getting older. Your answer really helped thanks. :)

Melissa - posted on 06/20/2012

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Wow....I feel like our situations mirror each other. Although mine hasn't said anything about not having a dad. My father passed away last November and he too was the only father figure my son has ever had. I just thought I would say thank you for posting this. And now I will read the comments for advice for when the time does come.

Nichola - posted on 08/14/2011

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it is not your job to "inform" your child about their father. you tell your child about things like how you met their dad, how old you were. that you had a good time together regardless of wetherit was or not! then you say i dont know why your dad isnt around. one day i will help you find him and you can ask him yourself! regardless of what kind of person that "dad" is, there is a time where fathers will become fathers even if it is only on their death bed

Elizabeth - posted on 05/27/2011

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just be honest with your child no matter what the good n bad things about your kids father how old is ur child

Katie - posted on 05/26/2011

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My daughter is 3 and started asking just recently. I simply tell her that our family was made differently. And that we all love her. If she's really curious say that her daddy wasn't ready to be a daddy and maybe one day that will change, or you two can pick out a new daddy together. I really found success with starting with "Our family is special because ...." and listed all our fun things. (like she gets to live with me and her aunt and 3 dogs. Or that we get to have girly tea parties with no boys allowed.) Focus on the positive!

Good luck and I'm sorry that you lost your father.

Beth - posted on 05/25/2011

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Just tell her that her father doesn't know what he is missing. I am sorry about her grandfather passing away. She is going to be looking for someone to fill that void anyways possible. It doesn't help when she goes to the store, to the park or on vacations and sees that other kids have their parents both together. But just let her know that there are many different types of families. Mothers, grandparents. Or fathers and grandparents. All the same is that she is loved no matter what. That is just a decision that he has to live with for the rest of his life. He isn't going to ever going to forget her. And usually when she is talking about him right out of the blue than he is probably talking about her at the same time. He is the one missing out not you. But the thing is she is always going to remember that you were the one that was always there for her in every situation. Don't be cruel and down the guy in front of her cause she is going to resint you and not him. It's just going to make you look like the bad person and him like a saint. Wish you the best of luck though

User - posted on 11/06/2010

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telling your child about a father who decided to be out of her/his life is really hard you can atleast wait for her to be a lil older to understand what u will be explaining to him/her,i have the same situation dear it is so hard i cry almost everyday bcos my child ask of her father a lot this days.GOD WILL GUIDE US LET US GO ON RASING OUR KIDS

Julie - posted on 01/14/2010

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I am having this same problem. My 3 1/2 year old said to me not long ago "I dont have a daddy" she looked so sad and I felt so bad for her. I did not want to tell her that her dad did not care enough to be in her life, so I explained to her that every family was different. Tha some families were mommies and daddies, that some were just mommies or just daddies, some were grandparents or aunts and uncles, and that it was ok not to have a daddy because she had lots of people that loved her. Then we had fun listing everyone that loved her. Of course you want to be honesst to them but they are still just children at the same time.

User - posted on 01/14/2010

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As the mother of a 14 year old whose father has been in and out of her life from birth, at a younger age, I was as honest as I could be without talking down about him because when you talk down about the father it is also an impression on you because YOU chose him and YOU chose to bring that child into the world. She had very high expectations of him until she saw for herself these past years that he is very immature and not even responsible for himself. I still don't talk down about him but his mother and sisters did. LOL! They told her things I wasn't ready to tell her but she knows now that he is not what she expected. She doesn't even call him daddy anymore, she calls him John and told me that he just contributed to her DNA. I just tell her to not follow his path and show him that regardless of him not being there, she is still gonna succeed and do even better than he thinks. So far so good!

[deleted account]

The best thing to do is be honest with her. Yes, she is young, but don't lie to her because she will remember and when she gets older if she finds out you lied, it will haunt you. My three children have never have their fathers involved. My youngest daughter is 8 and when she asked me, I just told her that I loved her very much and love having her in my life and that her dad had other things he wanted to do and that is why he chose not to see her. She hasn't asked anything more at this time. Good luck.

Kim - posted on 01/08/2010

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i have 4 kids with different dads. 2 of the dads are deadbeat dads. Not around and no help financially. One is and was when we were together as well in and out of jail. my boys are 11 and 14 and my parents have helped me as well with them. we have always been honest with them. TO a point. Risten knows his dad commits crimes. He remembers the police coming to our house. I dont tell him his dad is a bad man though. I try to find all the good things about his dad and i tell him those things.. But when he would ask what happened or where is my dad i would say i dont know he quite possibly is in jail. Thats why mommy took you and your brother and left. it wasnt good for us. But your daddy loves you and i bet he thinks of you all the time. And that he misses you. My other sons dad was an alcoholic and i couldnt take it so i kicked him out when our son was 5 months old. Same thing. The situation was not good for us. I am sure that he thinks about y0ou and misses you. They both have pictures of they dads.My oldest has my wedding album from when i married his dad. My youngest i saved his dads drawings he was an amazing artist but the hes too young yet for the drawings. and my son is an amazing artist too and i tell him he gets that from his dad. No matter what these men are like or what they did to me....cause thats n0t the whole story ....the kids dont need to know.....they have the right later in life to go and find these men and decide for themselves if they want a relatiinship with them. its not up to me. My oldest he doesnt really care to know about his dad. but the other one he carries a family picture we had done at christmas when he was 6 months old around. you never know how they will react. i thought it would be the other way around. lol you can only do your best. just dont lie to them. they will find out the truth eventually and then they will hate you. and that of course is not what we want. they have a right to know the truth. Believe i know . its kinda the same as an adopted child. which i am. i grew up knowing nothing about who i really was. where i came from. what my nationality was. Now i am in therapy. So tell her what she wants to know. my birthmom who i found now wont tell me who my dad is and it is really bothering me. why? why cant i know? hes my dad? if you dont share with your daughter now and as she grows she will grow to resent and not trust you but if you have this line of communication think about how well rounded and what a good relationship the two of you will have. You will save her well not just her but yourself alot of pain in the end. i know its scary and these kids of ours come up with some good questions..... but you will be able to handle it. just take a deep breath and talk to her.....she will love you all the more for doing it. i know my boys do. ps what a jerk hes missing out on such a beautiful little girl. I have 3 boys and just finally had a girl 16 months ago !!!!!!

Donnea - posted on 01/08/2010

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I'm sorry you lost your dad, I don't know what I would do without my dad's involvement with my daughter. My daughter did not meet her absentee father until she was 4,and she was also saying that she didn't have a father until she actually saw him & then she was fine. Ironic how he hadn't bothered to want to see her until I filed for child support...but that's another story. But she is 8 now and I can count on two hands how many times he has made the effort to see her since they met. What I did prior to the point that she actually met him, I explained to her that she does have a father, I showed her an old picture of him and then I explained that sometimes adults don't make good choices and at that point ( and even now) her dad wasn't making good choices. I kept it simple for her to understand. I've always been honest with her and I always stress to her that his choices are no fault of hers. Then I remind her how she has my brother, my dad,and her godfather who all love and adore her. I never say anything negative about him infront of her nor do I allow anyone else to do that. My biggest concern is protecting her emotions, but also equipping her to handle disappointment without internalizing it. When we say her prayers at night, we always pray for her dad to learn to make good choices one day and to be a become a better dad. I have also taught my daughter about the importance of forgiveness so that she doesn't grow up with a chip on her shoulder,filled with anger and resentment toward him or anyone else. As she gets older, I tell her that his choices are never an excuse for her not to be the best that she can be, because she is an awesome girl, who can do and be anybody she wants to be, his choices are his choices and she also has the choice to be her best. I just try to keep it positive and empower my daughter so that her self esteem is always intact.

Rebecca - posted on 01/08/2010

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My baby's father went to prison when our son was 5 weeks old. He still is in prison and will be for another 3 years. My dad took the place of my son's dad. When my baby's dad gets out of prison, because of our domestic violence abuse history, drug history, etc, I do not want him to be in my son's life. I have been battling a Child Protective Services case and finally am getting custody of my son back, full custody. I am going to be writing out a parenting plan, granting my baby's father supervised visits if he does so many requirements. The sad thing is that when we go out, like to the store, he calls any male "daddy". He is too young to know right now but I dont know what to say when he is older. Or when his dad gets out of prison and tries to come out and all of a sudden be in his child's llife, his child won't know who the hell he is.

Melissa - posted on 01/08/2010

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I myself have 4 children and I have been through this. There is no easy answer and of course we want to protect our children and we never want to bring them pain. But honestly I think the truth is the best policy, and the sooner the better. Yes it hurts my children not knowing their fathers. And it brings me much pain when I hear them talking about the whole situation, especially since my oldest (10) does have his father apart of his life. They will not totally understand things now but at least they know and they won't grow up thinking I lied to them or kept their fathers from them.

Gina - posted on 01/07/2010

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My son is 15 and I tell himEVERYDAY god gave me to him to make us a family and in our own right>>>>>>> we are the best family we can be!!!

Nicole - posted on 01/07/2010

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Hi, Erin.

I am a single mother of 2. One is 15 and in HS, the other 18 and in college. My children have different fathers and both fathers have sadly chosen not to be know their child on any level. My older child never knew her father and as a result was abandoned twice as I left my ex when my children were 12 and 15. So, I have personal experience with this. On a professional level I am a lawyer and Guardian ad Litem with a background in child development, so I deal with this on a professional level, daily. Given your daughter's age may I suggest you let her drive the release of information. Whatever you choose to disclose, be sure it's the truth and not too much at one time. She will realize she has a father when she begins to truly comprehend how babie are made. Additionally, answer her questions directly and simply without inflicting negative emotions. It's okay to tell your daughter you don't/didn't love her father (if that's the truth) and/or you're angry with his choices (if that's the truth), but reasure your daughter regularly that her dad helped to create an amazing gift in her. As an adult she will appreciate and respect your honesty which is much better than her being angry and resentful and then romanticizing what "could've been". I hope this is helpful.

Nicole

Amanda - posted on 01/07/2010

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I tell my son the simple truth and he is 6 yrs old. Mommy has tried and I cannot make people do the things they do not want to do and for that I am sorry.

Gina - posted on 01/07/2010

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Don't underestimate a childs intelligence.I could never bring myself to lie to my child.When you say things like daddy's sick and went away for a while you make them feel bad their dad is sick ,because they want to "make daddy better". 6 is young to reveal the whole truth about where their the other parent is....however I found that telling them that their dad was just not ready to be a dad is the better way to go.When they find out the real truth later(and they will) they will wonder what else you have lied about in thier lives. It's better to say to tell them no matter what YOU will always be there for them.

Marcy - posted on 01/06/2010

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If your daughter is only 6, she isn't ready to understand why. I would just tell her that her Daddy was sick and had to go away for a while so he can get better. It is harder on a child of her age to hear the real reason for him leaving. I have a daughter that I raised by myself since she was a baby and she has never met her real father. My daughter has ADHD. I had a tough time raising her by myself. I waited until she was about 10 or 11 to talk to her about her father. It was still hard for her to understand. My daughter did kind of have her godfather in and out of her life and now her godfather will soon be her step-dad. I never thought that I would be marrying Him when I asked him to be my daughters godfather.

Melissa - posted on 01/06/2010

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hi, il b in te same situation 1 day my son is 22 months his father just has no interest wat so eva iv spent the last 2 yrs tryin to make them bond and givin his father chance after chance but has walked away time and time agen he only wants to b our sons father if we r together as a couple so iv tried but i dont love him i could neva luv sum1 who can walk away from their child, but at least wen the questions do cum i know iv tried my hardest but now im cutting all contact as my sons gettin older and will clik on soon that daddy cums then daddy goes and he deserves beta than that

Debbie - posted on 01/06/2010

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I have this conversation with my daughter all the time I am just honest with her, she is five this started at a young age as it was discussed in her nursery so she has grown up with know she has a father but he does not see her and that it is his choice and it has nothing to do with the way we are. just give her the infomation she asks for and add more info when she needs it you know her the best and what she can handle.

Natalie - posted on 01/05/2010

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wel i have the same problem except that the rest of my daughters dads family wanna c her but her father doesnt, i cant really stop them seeing their grandaughter or neice but its hard when they always talk about him!!so i think when the time comes i will just be as truthfull as i can without hurting her too much!!hope u hav the best of luck!

Gina - posted on 01/05/2010

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Been there.Done that. I went thru this most all of Nic's life. It started when he was young as well. I told him that his dad was just not "dad" material at this point in his life and honestly I didn't think he ever would be. But>>>>> that his Mommy loved him sooo much that is counted more than any other love there was. We would be better together than all 3 of us could have ever been.You know what?We are and have been for many years. We are mad close. He has so many people that love him,,,honestly he don't even talk about the "donor" anymore at all. Show her your strength as a single mom. your empowerment to "do it all alone" She will appreciate it later in life and be proud of the "FAMILY" the 2 of you have become>>>together!!!!!!!!!! Good luck!!

Alisha - posted on 01/05/2010

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I totally understand where you are coming from, my son is 4 and his dad isnt in his life. The only way we hear from him is thru his weekly child support checks. I would be honest with your daughter and tell her the truth without making excuses for him as a father. In the end the child will see what is real and what is not.

Shirley - posted on 01/05/2010

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i have a 5 yr old and im having the same prob she has seen him but not for the last 2 yrs i just tell her that her daddy dose love her and that he will always love her but that he has got another life now

Pamela - posted on 01/05/2010

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just tell her the truth when she gets older. i went through same thing with my son his pawpaw died in 2001. his is 15 now he understands now. but has some trouble why men do that. you can do it stay strong

Rachel - posted on 01/05/2010

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i have three children (16, 15 & 2) by two different men and both of them ran like their asses were on fire each time i became pregnant. Neither of the father's are around now. With my two older children i tried to only talk about the positive aspects of their fathers (he's a funny person, he's charming, he's a good muscian....blah, blah, blah). Four years ago my youngest daughters dad asked us to move close to him so we could "be a family". Of course my daughter was very much looking forward to meeting her dad and having him around. Unfortunately once we got here he only wanted to see Mommy after the kids fell asleep. I ended up pregnant with my son very shortly after we moved back and again Daddy disappeared. I kinda feel like i poorly prepared my kids for what kind of person he REALLY is. I guess i had hopes in my heart that he had changed and was ready to be a good father. I was wrong and i feel like i lead my daughter on, put her father on a pedestal when he really belongs in the gutter. Since moving back close to him and having no contact with him (even though we live 30 minutes apart) my daughters behavior has been OUTRAGEOUS! And through most of the acting out, she will eventually ask for her dad. She wants him to give her love & attention (something he is not capable of giving). And no matter how much i pumped him up he showed her his true colors in the end. Its soo sad and i hate him for what he's done. I will admit im not soo kind with my comments about him anymore, but my two older girls have seen with their own eyes what kind of person he is. I do wonder how i will explain it to my two year old son. His father wasnt even there to sign the birth certificate. I dont want to make my son feel bad by bad-mouthing his father, but i also think i made a mistake with my girls when i talked only of his good qualities.

Diana - posted on 01/04/2010

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I will have the same issue in the future except that the dad has an older 19 year old son and a 7 year old son who he does spend time with. My son is 19 months. However the 19 year old son adores his baby brother so It will be hard explaining why the dad has a relationship with his two brothers (from 2 different) women but not with him. I gave the dad every opportunity but he decided not to see him or want to know or have anything to do with him and gave me sole custody. (but refused to terminate his parental rights). The father did not want me to have him but at 39 and having never gotten pregnant and after 3 years together with the father and after having been given a choice of either the dad or the baby... I chose to keep my son. I am married now and my husband adores my son. But we have discussed it and believe that the truth is always the right thing to do But we've decided to allow the father to be the one to answer the question for himself. We have also agreed not to say anything negative about the father to my son however at 19 months my son has seen fotos of his dad and knows who his father is in fotos.

Barbara - posted on 01/04/2010

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I have a 7yr old and I am in the same situation as you are. I have raised her on my own for 7yrs. I plan to wait to tell her until she is able to understand fully and mature enough. At their age it's kinda hard for them to understand why things are the way they are. And when you do talk to her always be truthful. I wish you the best of luck talking to your daughter.

Coral - posted on 01/04/2010

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I have that same problem with both of my children. I just explain to them that sometimes dad's aren't ready to be dad's but someday they will be able to talk to them on there own. They are still a little confused but it helps knowing that once they get older they can talk to their father if they want to.

Crystal - posted on 01/04/2010

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OMG I was there with my oldest and i found it was easy to tell him the truth i didnt tell him all the bad things, I just found it easy to tell dylan (7) that his dad wasnt ready to be a dad and that he wasnt ready for children when mommy was, dylan is okay with that and since I have told him he has no desire to meet him and pesonally i am happy about that and the man that I am with loves him and shows him all the man things to know and to me I am happy with that dylan is way to young to have all the details on his deadbeat dad.... good luck

Diane - posted on 01/04/2010

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when you come up with an answer please let us know becasue im going to have to do the same thing when my daughter gets older

Felicia - posted on 01/04/2010

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I don't know if you know about God - I do. And my father wasn't in my life after I turned 4. I'm 40 and I just found about 8 years ago that I have a heavenly father that will never leave me or forsake me. I would start there. Then I would like him know that he didn't do anything wrong. He is a blessing from God and he has a purpose for being here, and that you or his father were only the vessels that were used to get him at his appointed time. Hope it helps.

Tammy - posted on 01/04/2010

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The way I explained it to my daughter because I refused to say anything negative about her father, was that I loved her very much and and that other children had fathers that were not in their homes. I also told her that she was lucky because she only had one parent to ask for permission for anything. But you will know what to say when the time comes, it is difficult and hard and you will wonder if your telling her the right thing, but as long as you ask God to be your guide you cannot go wrong.

Marie - posted on 01/04/2010

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hi i have the same problem my daughter is nearly 3 and i have raised her my self her whole life and i keep thinking to myself when she gets older and starts to ask about her dad what am i going to say to her, and then i said to myself wel i am going to tell her the truth better to be honest to our child than tell her lies

Ali - posted on 01/03/2010

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I agree with the people who say tell the truth. My son is about to turn 5. He knew his dad until he was about 3 yrs old and he has a very good memory of him. The rest of my story is similar to yours. I live with my parents and my stepdad is Holden's father figure. Holden has struggled with where his father is and why he is not around. He notices other kids picked up by thier fathers and there have even been a few times he has called other kids dads, daddy. I spoke with a child therapist who told me to be honest with him and tell it to him on his terms with none of my own opinions. Daddy is not around, he probably won't be coming back, he chose not to be a part of our family. It sounds harsh, but it worked. My son asks questions from time to time and I always tell it like it is and I let him know that he is loved and surrounded with lots of good family who want to be a part of his life. He has told me before that he doesn't want to live with me and he wants his dad. Several months ago he made a break through and told me he was angry with his dad for going away. I told him it made me angry to at times and it was ok to be angry, but we also needed to realize how lucky we were to have each other and the rest of our family. At his age he almost always lets the conversation go pretty quickly and it's over he seldom brings it up anymore.

Hope that helps!
Ali

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2010

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im in the same boat as u my kids dad took of and told me and my kids he has a new family and he dont need use to mess it up they r only 1 and 2 and he brought a nother baby in this world and i want my kids to know their family and their dad but he dont he got a laywer to try to get the kids adopted to my boyfriend that has been their since my youngest one was two months and i just feel that he should have to pay child support he over 8000 behind and to get to c them but he chose not to be and i dont know what to say to them when they ask about y their last name is diff from mine and the only daddy they know

Lisa - posted on 01/03/2010

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HELLO MY NAME IS LISA! I RECENTLY OPENED 2 GROUPS MYSELF. I THINK I MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP U OUT. i HAVE MY BS DEGREE IN LEGAL STUDIES AND I SPECIALIZE IN FAMILY LAW, CHILD SUPPORT, CHILD CUSTODY, MEDIATION, CHILD PSYCHOLOGY, ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY, FAMILY PSYCHOLOGY, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ALCOHOL&DRUG ABUSE COUNSELING, ETC....I STILL CONTINUE MY STUDIES AND WAS CALLED TO HELP OTHERS AND THESE STUDIES BECAUSE I HAVE WENT THROUGH ALL OF THIS PERSONALLY BY MY EX-HUSBAND. IF U WANT TO JOIN MY GROUP IT'S CALLED "MOMS DEALING WITH SEPARATION, DIVORCE, AND/OR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE", MY OTHER GROUP IS CALLED "MOMS MAKING IT WORK TOGETHER". i HOPE THAT YOU WILL GO CHECK IT OUT AND READ MY STORY AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF. I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP YOU AND MAYBE MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE AS SOMEONE ONCE DID MINE.
SINCERELY,
LISA-MY EMAIL IS LISABERMUDEZ77@GMAIL.COM

Tina - posted on 01/03/2010

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that is a good ? iamin the same boat as you my son is 5 1/2 his father hasnot been in his live at all he was there when i had him the gone, my son tells poeple that his dad is his uncle . he know his realy fathers name but doesnot know who he is.

Nikki - posted on 01/03/2010

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As a single mom of a 10 year old, we have dealt with this for a while. Her perception of what a father is and should be seems to be on a level that has taken baby steps to handle. I wish I had a simple answer for you. All I can say is, that it is not something that is as hard as it seems. Dreading it didnt help anything. Prayer and trust that the Lord will help us deal with problems as they arise has helped more than anything. I send out prayers to you and all of the single moms with such worries.

[deleted account]

If I was you I would tell her the truth that she does have a dad he choose not to be a part of her life. Dont tell her andy negative things about him. Someday she may choose to find him and you want her to be able to figure out what kind of a person her is all on her own. My daughters dad and me got divorced and he was never really a father from the begining and she has figured out all on her own what kind of a person he is with out me having to tell her and now she wants nothing to do with him. She is 19 now and has grown up with out him being around except for maybe 1 time a year and she turned out just fine she is a great kid. Good luck to you and your perfect little girl she will be fine.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/03/2010

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Quoting Jane:

I absolutely agree - tell the truth. My son is now 10 and the last time he saw his father was nearly 9 years ago! I tell my son that his father put himself first and give him the facts of how he was given the chance to be in his life but he wouldn't turn up when arranged, etc. I also try not to be too emotional about it, but he knows enough and it has never been an issue for him. He says that he has me and my mum and doesn't need anything else. There are no male relatives in my family so he hasn't had a father figure and hasn't missed it - although I now have a boyfriend who is becoming a greater part of his life very gradually (I've been with him over 18 months!).

My son also says he doesn't have a dad - which is true and as long as the fact doesn't upset him, I leave it alone.


This was your best answer. I too just answer by telling the "truth". But don't "embellish". Your child doesn't need to know how badly he hurt you, or how rotten he was to leave, Do NOT call the father names. Also don't play "make believe" and try to make the child's father out to be a hero either. Eventually the child will be hurt when they find out their father was just a bum who abandoned them.

Timmarie - posted on 01/02/2010

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I have an 11 yr old that use to make those same comments "I don't have a dad". I told her she did have a dad, he just choose not to be be with us (she has never met him). I told her that maybe someday I would meet someone that would love us both and how that would be so special that someone would choose to be her daddy because he wants to not because he has too. I also reminded her of the other special men in her life like her pawpaw and uncle and how the things they do with her aen't any different then what a dad would do. She is more comfortable with it now at 11yrs old and we always say its his loss, if he only new how wonderful she was. Just remind her of the wonderful people she does have.

Lahoma - posted on 01/02/2010

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My son is 12. His father saw him until he was 8 weeks old, once at 4 and has spoken to him on the phone twice. There is nothing you can do about the absentee parent. they suck. It's life, and part of your life. Little girls get their self worth and value from how they are treated by their fathers. Not saying anything to her will leave her with her thoughts and fears, like "I'm not good enough for daddy to love". I was honest with my son from day one, so he never wonders and assumes. Be honest on their level though. Now that he's 12, I can say it sucks and I don't know why he doesnt call or write. I can rationalize with him that it is because he is angry at me, because I have control over your life, where you go to school and church etc. I tell him he's worth knowing and its his fathers loss. All these years I send his father a package pnce a year with a letter about our son, who he is and his likes/dislikes, I include some school work and a school photo. My ex doesn't deserve it, but our son does! i want my son to know I did all that I could for his sake. Someday, when my son is a man, he most likely will confront his father. it is my job to see that he is equiped and emotionally prepared for that day, should it come. I don't want my son hurt or rejected but the not knowing still hurts sometimes. I tell my son that God is his daddy, he gave us Pops (my dad) and now my husband as his daddy. My suggestion is to tell her the truth, and "I don't know" is truth. She knows she has a father or will someday, she'll see friends at school with theirs. Be prepared with your answers before she even asks, it will help her. And a little answer goes a long way :D

Penny - posted on 01/02/2010

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My son just turned 5 & he is confused about his dad. There have been times when he referrred to his pap as dad, and just recenctly we had family over for the holidays & he thought that my older cousin was his dad. This is very sad and I sometimes blame myself because I was very careless and ignorant when I was with his father, a man who has no respect or love for himself let alone anyone else. I am working on how to talk to him about this, because his dad has chosen not to be around; although over the yrs I have tried to involve him. I think to be honest but not negative is your best bet. Tell her that you and her daddy love her very much, but he is not able to be here right now. Explain to her how important she is to everyone around her. If you show her all the love and support she has, maybe it will be somewhat easier for her to deal with what she doesn't have... her daddy. I am sorry that a lot of us single parents & our children have to go through this. It is very unfortunate, but we have to stay strong for our kids and give them the best that we can give. Never talk bad to the other parent or about the other parent in front of your children. This may hurt them more then they already hurt & in turn cause them to have negative feelings towards you. Good luck with everything!

Gemma - posted on 01/02/2010

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My son Caleb who is 4 years old starting asking me these questions (yes early!) and his dad is not in his life either. I really didn't know what to say or do but then after sitting down with him and just being honest (no lies) I explained to him that his dad chose not to be in his life and that he has moved away, but somewhere deep down in his heart I know he will think & love you. I just reassure him that he is with the people who love and care for him lots and lots.

Eva - posted on 01/02/2010

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I wonder the same thing everyday although i have lots of time before he asks questions ... My sons father chooses not to be around and has never seen my son I wish yoiu the best of luck

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