Asking About Daddy

Shanna - posted on 06/25/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My daughter Kennedy was born in 2006 and I think her father last saw her sometime around Christmas 2006. Lately, Kennedy has been asking about daddies. I don't want to tell her that her "father" left because he never wanted kids. But I feel so bad that during Pre-K, the class made things for father's day and Kennedy had no one to make it to...It really bothers me. I'm dating a wonderful man right now but my daughter is just now really getting to know him. He is wonderful with her. But she is set on knowing why her "Real" daddy isn't around. What would you tell a four-year-old? She's a smart cookie, so I don't know exactly how to approach this.

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Carlie - posted on 06/01/2012

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First of all...I love your daughter's name! My daughter's name is Cooper, and I prefer different names as well...!

That aside....the definition of "real" needs to be addressed. "Real" implies that it is not there. That may be so....but that word should be struck from a parents vocabulary (and "perfect" too...nothing is perfect...but it can be "better"). Instead, teach your child the word and definition of "biological."

I am often asked how I am able to communicate with children so well? The answer is that I am perceptive to each child's personality and behaviour. Every child is different. One thing they all have in common is....language. You have to be observant of each child and figure out how to speak to them in "child language." Your daughter is a "smart cookie", so break it down for her in her language.

Indeed, you are correct. Never tell your child her father left because he didn't want children. What would that solve? Nothing. Instead, I would reply in the manner I mentioned earlier on another post: "Honey, I don't know why your father is not is your life at this time." I suppose he is not ready to be a father yet, and I cannot make him be one." But you have ME, and you will ALWAYS have me, and if you ever feel sad or mad about it, then I'm here for you."

This is always the truth in a situation such as yours and mine. You should never have to fabricate the truth for anyone. Keep it honest and be the bigger person. Keep your negative feelings of him away from your child's. You want to foster honesty and hope, and you will be doing that if spoken in the manner mentioned above.

Now in regards to her Pre-K class, I feel for you and she. My daughter was the only one without a father in a class of 20 children. I explained to her on "Father's Day Luncheon',that although her father is not present in her life at this time, she would not be able to have a father attend the luncheon. I did explain however, that some lucky kids do have a father "figure" in their lives as well. When she asked me what that meant, I explained further, that a "father figure" is someone who STANDS in place of a father sometimes when your biological father cannot be there for you. I asked her to think really hard if she had someone like that in her life. She said, "GRAMPY!" She's a smart cookie too.... :)

Indeed....She took Grampy to the Father's Day Luncheon. Her grandfather was honored, and Cooper was quite happy with his attendance. Should your daughter have someone in her life, such as my daughter does in hers, then her school should be fine with this. Most schools are.

Also, in relation to the man you are dating: Be careful of how soon your child is introduced to any man you date. In the beginning, he should be introduced as "Mommy's adult friend"...not JUST "mommy's friend"...but "Mommy's ADULT friend", because your child considers YOU her friend as well....

Keep it clean. Keep it honest. Give her hope. Good luck....!! :)

Kalah - posted on 06/03/2013

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my son is almost 4 years old.,he has never met his,father and his father doesn't want to be in his life and never will want to.,my son hasn't asked where he is but the other day he was talking and playing with his toys and said daddy.,I told him his daddy wasn't around and he said my pops (his grandfather, my dad) was his daddy which he does spend a lot of time with him and looks up to him as the father figure. How do I explain to him his father doesn't want to help out or be in his life.my son knows he has male figures in his life. My brother which is "uncle kevo",.my dad " pops" and my step dad "uncle Mike" and even my dads best friend Allen, helps out with Mason and plays and takes care of him some when I'm working. I'm not worried about him not having "father figures K or male role models" he has plenty plenty of those. I just need to I

Robyn - posted on 09/15/2011

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My son is about the same age and i knw how you feel especially with the preschool days where parents can come. its hard for me when i tell his dady about those nites and he says i'll see and that pisses me off but i just go and we still have fun. About your daughter asking about her real daddy although u may not want to tell her the real reason its better if u tell her the truth. for example explain to her that whne you found out she was in you belly daddy was not ready to be a daddy and instead of trying to be a daddy he decided he wasn't ready to be a daddy and that he will alwasy love her cuz she is his daughter but he is just not ready to be a aprt of your life and you feel he is missing out on a beauitful lil girls life. I f you wanted to you could explain to her that your new man has gain alot from eing around you and your daddy has lost out on a great oppurtunity

Lori - posted on 07/01/2010

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My son was born April 2006 and he last saw his dad in June of 07 but he does not remember him at all. He has asked me a few times about his dad and i in no way want to tell him the truth because his father is not what i thought he was and turned out to be a VERY bad person. So right now at the age that he is when he ask me about his dad I tell him that, your dad loves but he just cannot be withs right now, and that seems to satisfy him. I know as he gets older I will have to come up with something different but right now it seems to work

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Eliza - posted on 02/24/2015

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We have a big-blendded family. My 3&1/2 year old son; lives with me (mon), my 2 older kids, my parents, my brother & his wife.
The father of my son lives 30 miles away, & only sees our son on weekends, twice a month.
Recently, my son has started asking (During the Week) "Where's dad"?
He has Also begun sitting on the sofa & getting up to check out the Window; statting " daddy's coming Here" (this went on for an hour).
He does these things DURING the week, but only sees his father on Sunday.
It breaks my Heart to see how my son
WANTS & YEARNS to be with his father during the week :-( Its the Worst feeling in the World.
To watch your Child Wait for someone, that You KNOW isn't going yo show Up.
Am I wrong for getting upset whrn I see my child like this? HELP

Kalah - posted on 06/03/2013

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I need to know the right words and what to say and def not lie but not hurt him or make him feel like it's his fault because it is not at all!!! He is very loved :)

Carmen - posted on 09/20/2011

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This is a very difficult thing and only you will know the way you want to teach your daughter. I have two children and neither father is a part of their lives regularly. They ask often and I always say I dont know. It comes as the easiest way to give them part of the truth and still not hurt them in the long run. As a child of a single mother I know what it can be to hear horrible things about your father, and believe me it doesn't help to hear the hurtful stuff even though its the truth. I am now with an amazing man whom I did not push on my children but they both love very much and with him around they ask less and less every day about their bio dads. Only time will show your daughter the truth. My six year old has learned on his own that daddy doesnt want to be around. Though he still loves him very much, he knows there isnt a reason to push on the man what he doesnt want....

Samantha - posted on 09/09/2011

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OMGoodness! I am dealing with a little girl that is learning about my ex-husband and wondering where he is so I clicked on this only to find that our little girls have the same name! I tell my daughter that her biological father loves her very much and that he just does not have things figured out right now. I don't want her to feel that he does not love her or care about her, it would be detrimental to a child to hear that. When they ask why he does not call (I have four children with my ex) I just tell them that I do not know. I know it is not the best answer and wont stop them from asking but I am telling them what I know, and I am not making anything more painful for them than it already is.

Charlotte - posted on 09/07/2011

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Just have to say your daddy loves you and he used to love seeing you/being with you. but he has a different life now, but that your partner wants to be her father as he loves her very much. Obviously when she is older (not all girls would want to, but you never know!) she may want to find him or meet him, maybe she wont. but just have to sort of be prepared. would it help to say "maybe when you're older you can see him again"? or would that be like a promise you cant keep?? (i dont know, sorry, im not a mum!)

Heather - posted on 04/17/2011

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Just be Basic say your dad is living far away & can be there to visit you & that the man that is there wants to be your step dad, you don't want to hurt her with the truth & you really don't want to lie to her, but sometimes lying is the best way for the situation your dealing with,

Dawn - posted on 04/06/2011

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Shanna, I read through most of the comments left here... and Like you, My story is the same. My son, born in 06, hasnt seen his father since 08. We always called him by his first name.. not daddy... ( i knew he had no interest in being around ... and the visits were too sporadic to mean any kind of relationship was established.)
Like your daughter, my son is too smart for the typical answers that have been advised here. We have always just had the basic answer up until now... that at our house... we just dont have a daddy. It was downplayed by me... and therefore, never had an emotional attatchment by Quentin. he seemed alright with this answer... At least, i thought.
He now has more detailed thoughts ... and the questions are starting to flow... How can you expect a child to believe that he is loved by a dad... when it is something he hasnt ever experienced? As much you dont want to put down her father... ( one day, she may meet him face to face... and will need to be able to make her own judgements.)You do need to start being honest with her... Let her know, that it takes two people to make a beautiful little girl like her... and that sometimes, only one of those parents, are able to be there, to see her grow up into a beautiful bigger girl... Let her know.. that she is loved. Has ALWAYS been loved, even before she was born... and that although we cant choose how someone else does things... we can choose what we do, and how we will react.
I am learning, that this is not a one time conversation... It returns repeatedly. Each time... with bigger, more detailed questions... and as long as you are honest... and real.... only giving her what she is able to interpret at the time.. You are giving her all she needs.

Surrounding our children, with well meaning men... is a blessing. Grandpas and uncles and male friends shouldnt ever be unappreciated... but from someone who knows first hand... they dont make up for the lack of a dad. They are needed... but not a replacement.
That said... all ANY child needs... is to know they have a place in this world... and are LOVED.

together, we are raising, single handedly... some pretty amazing kids... Hug your daughter tight tonite... and know you are blessed to be the one who she loves back. xo

Farrah - posted on 07/03/2010

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My son's almost 4 too. He sees his dad, but his dad's about to move far away. I'm all for honesty. Tell the kid that that her dad is still learning how to show love to people, and that she deserves better, and that you're sure she will be a really great mom when she grows up because she'll know how important it is for a parent to stick around. If you lie or sugarcoat, she will know if she's a smart cookie (like my son!!) so be sure to find a way to give her a real answer that isn't traumatizing.

Earline - posted on 07/01/2010

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THATS A HARD THING TO EXPLAIN TO A CHILD BECAUSE SOMETIMES THEY DONT UNDERSTAND AND THEN SOMETIMES THEY DO. SO TELL THEM THAT THEIR DADDY LOVES THEM HE JUST CANT BE THEIR ALL THE TIME WHEN YOU WANT HIM

Tania - posted on 07/01/2010

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Its a hard one. You wanna tell them something to ease it for them but not too much that it upsets them!!!
TRUTH is a big one. tell her as much as she needs to satisfy her questions giving basic answers where possible but make sure its the truth.
Then just explain all families are different and that she still has many people who love her.
Perhaps talk with the teachers/carers and ask that they talk with you when making things like this or let them no who your daughter could make something like this for eg. grandad

Good luck .... all the best

Deborah - posted on 06/30/2010

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It is best not to dwell on the fact that her daddy is not around, i would stick with talking about all the other people that love her. And explain to her about different types of families, that some families just have a mommy or just have a daddy, some families just have a grandma and a grandpa. As far as father's day, at the preschool i used to work at, we always asked the mom's before hand who we should make things for, some were just for mom's, others had an uncle or grandpa that was kind of like a daddy. As this age dwelling to much on why daddy isn't here will just crush her, I know it did for both my nieces. If she keeps asking just tell her that you don't know why he is not there, but that you still love her very much and then again remind her that you and everyone else that loves her can do all the things a daddy does. hope this helps.

Melinda - posted on 06/29/2010

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when my children made things for fathers day, they gave them to there grand father :)

Christine - posted on 06/29/2010

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Does she have a grandfather that she is close to? Maybe when she makes things in prek, she could give them to him. The last time that I saw my father was when I was seven years old...I am now almost 28. My dad was not ready for kids either. I was born a week after my mother turned 18 years old. My maternal grandfather took the place of my dad as I was growing up, and still fills that role 150%. He even referrs to me as his fifth child. Just a thought. Hope it helps!

[deleted account]

There are all kinds of families. Some kids live with a mom and dad while others live with grandparents or just one parent. Some families have lots of kids and some have one. You can go into as much detail as you want with blended and alternative families, but the point would be that in her family, there is a mommy and one child, and that's okay.

Stephanie - posted on 06/28/2010

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Does she have other Male role models in her life? Before I met my husband, my daughters biological father was nowhere around so I chose not to have her around a lot of men. She had her Grandpa's as role models and it worked out really well. She considers my husband to be her father now (as do I) but before, she would make fathers day stuff for Papa (and still does). Just tell her as much truth as she needs. Some girls and boys have a mommy and a daddy, some only have a mommy, some have one mommy and two daddies, etc. etc. You are lucky because you have a mommy and (grandpa, grandma, aunt, uncle, neighbor, family friend) who all love you very much and are here for you. Focus on what she has and not what she doesn't. Good luck!

Wonita - posted on 06/28/2010

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luckily my daughter isnt asking about her father at this point in time my partner has taken on the father role and she is happy with that ( she has chosen to call him by his first name not daddy) as for fathers day activities my daughter makes them for her poppy and puts happy poppies day or her uncles that way shes not missing out and she is still giving it to a male role model that she looks up to.. as for advice on what to say to her i have just finished reading another post similar to this one... some one suggested that you say her father wasnt ready in his life to be a daddy and because you love her So much you are able to be mummy and daddy, or say your not sure why he isnt around but once again because you love her so much you took on the role of both parents hope this helped a little bit but should you want futher advice there are a few other post out there with alot of good advice you should definatly try and have a read

Korea - posted on 06/27/2010

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you just explain to her that right now you are mommy and daddy, let her no that there is no real explanation for why you have to be both, but that you love her enough to take both roles and for father's day you take those gifts she makes at school and show them off and display them and let her here you say look what i got for father's day isn't it nice! as a single mother i have to go to father daughter dances, and donuts for dads and all the events that are meant for daddies, but i play both roles and that is just how it is.

Shayna - posted on 06/26/2010

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I would say something like 'daddy lives far away.' I would never base him in a negative way towards her, as kids think that it is their fault. At her age, everything is probably 'why, why, why' & they're VERY curious about everything, which make it even harder being in your situation.

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