How do I tell my son about his father

Alex - posted on 03/08/2016 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi all I'm new here.
Really needing some advice.
Ok so I was in awful relationship with harleys dad he started abusing me when my pregnancy started to show. When harley was 8 months old he beat me for the last time as a neighbour overheard what was happening and rang the police finally I was saved social services got involved and found me and harley a place to live and said that his father was not allowed access.
So with harley being so young at the time he has no memory of having a father. I'm with a new partner now harley does not call him dad but I can see he's confused and he has asked me before if he's his dad and because it was do out the blue one didn't know what to say so I changed the subject.
I really need help and advice I feel do bad that my son at the age of five does not know what a dad is please help. Thanks xx

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Sarah - posted on 03/08/2016

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Yes I agree with Dove, leave out any emotions and just say bio-dad (maybe not that term) was not ready to parent; so aren't you a lucky boy that "Joe" came into my life to help me raise you and love you? If bio-dad does show up down the line, you don't want you son to already hate him. Leave that be. When he asks "why is my REAL dad not around" ? Be honest; "I don't know, I love you and I will always be here and 'joe' loves you too"

Sarah - posted on 03/08/2016

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At five he for sure knows what a dad is, it comes up at school, TV, movies etc.How long have you been with your new partner? Has the bio-dad been stripped of his parental rights or is it until he gets help? The best advice is to do what Dove suggests; be honest but not with load of details. If bio-dad may come back after treatment, no need to worry him or make him fear that now. Wait and see the outcome.
For now, lots of reassurance that his dad loves/loved him is a positive thing you can say; but he just wasn't ready to be a dad. You can tell him your loved dad very much and that is how you made him, but dad was just not ready. Try not to ever badmouth bio-dad. If your current partner is in for the long haul, then talk about how families come in all sorts of ways; 2 dads, 2 moms, 1 mom, 1 dad, 1 mom and a step dad or BF. He will understand and learn that he is loved, no matter the titles.

Dove - posted on 03/08/2016

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Tell him that he had a father, but his father was not ready to be a dad. If he has any friends that live w/ their dads it is highly possible that he KNOWS what a dad is... he just feels left out because he doesn't have one that he knows. My son (almost 8) knows and loves his dad, but he dad is barely ever involved... so my son has frequently told me that he wants me to get married (never going to happen) because he wants a dad that lives w/ us.

I would not be encouraging him to be calling any 'new' partner dad. If this truly is a new relationship then your son should not even know him on a level enough to think he's a dad. A child should not be introduced to any dating partners until the relationship has been going on long enough to be pretty certain (since there are no guarantees in life) that it's going to last.

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Dove - posted on 03/08/2016

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Ah... so 3.5 years isn't a new partner as in NEW... but as in... a partner after his bio dad. Got it. :)

I don't think you necessarily have to say that his father loves him... but certainly don't tell him that he doesn't or say anything negative about the man. Just simply that his father wasn't ready to be a dad, but he has you and... (your boyfriend) that love him and take care of him. Families come in all sizes and in all ways.. As he gets a bit older and starts understanding biology he will come to understand more.

Alex - posted on 03/08/2016

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I know you have said tell him his dad loves him and all this in going to find this very hard as it's going to be a lie obviously I'd never tell harley about the things he did to me. On my second scan when we were going to find out the sex harleys dad said to me it better be a boy otherwise we are getting rid of it I replied and said too far gone to get rid , he then said tor don't worry I'll get rid of it then such an awful awful man x

Alex - posted on 03/08/2016

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Thanks guys iv been with my partner now for 3 and a half years so harley doesn't know any different

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