Should a mother ever lie to a child and tell the child that their father is dead?

Emilie - posted on 10/04/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My ex husbands little sister has a 4 year old son, his father is on the run from the law because of molesting my kids. I guess she didn't want her son to know the truth, because when he asked where his father is she told him that his father is dead. I don't think she should go into alot of detail but I don't think that she should of told him that his father is dead. What do you all think?

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I'm not ok w/ lying to kids. Especially w/ something so major. Specific details are definitely not needed, but a short, simple, truthful explanation is way better (IMO) than a lie any day.

Sherri - posted on 10/04/2011

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Nope completely wrong!!! It will come back to bite her in the butt eventually. Just hope when it does she doesn't lose her son over it.

Neva - posted on 10/04/2011

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What's easiest for the Mom in the short term could turn out to be disaster in the long term. A parent should always be truthful with their children. Give them answers that fit with their age. For example she might truthfully say that his daddy went away and that she doesn't know where he is. For a 4 year old that will probably satisfy his questioning. Once the child finds out that he was lied to, the mother will have a hard time regaining trust.

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Peita - posted on 10/04/2011

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I probably would have just said 'dad has gone away for a long time' and left it at that, 4yo's take everything in , so the least amount of information on the circumstances is probably best. I am going through something with my kids at the moment (my kids are 8, 5 1/2 and 2), their aunty is a chronic drug addict and I don't want my kids exposed to that so I have told them 'aunty has some problems she needs to fix before you can see her again, if she doesn't fix her problems then you might not see her ever again', my kids asked 'why?', I told them that it's adult stuff and when they get older then I will let them know more, they were happy with this and haven't asked a lot of questions.... I am very sorry to hear about what has happened to your children, I hope everyone is doing ok?

Tara - posted on 10/04/2011

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I don't agree with lying to your children, especially in such a major way. I agree with the other ladies - it is very likely to come back and bite her in the butt.

In a situation like that I think it is best to explain to the child that their parent (mother/father) is not able to be around them but that is not the child's fault.

Emilie - posted on 10/04/2011

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Yea, well hopefully he will be in prison, and then have to register as a sex offender. I am worried about how the boy will react though and how he will feel when he finds out that one of his parents is a child molester and his mother is a lier.

Carolee - posted on 10/04/2011

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That will be one heck of a shock if he ever tries to make contact with his kids (years down the road).

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